Jonathan Hickman envisions Earth’s spacefaring failures in new Image comic, Frontier

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Jul 21, 2016, 3:49 PM EDT (Updated)

Superstar comic creator Jonathan Hickman isn’t hopeful about the humanity’s off-planet prospects, and in his new creator-owned comic book from Image Comics, Frontier, he’ll show us just how bad the future can get. Inspired by Hickman’s frustrations with the current state of the world, Frontier will take us to a future Earth reeling from being kicked out of a galactic collective for bad behavior and cut off from faster-than-light space travel. The series was announced via Polygon, where he discussed the themes behind the series:

“I just want the story to reflect kind of how I feel about society right now. Like, why would we assume expansion is going to work out… I have hope, but the idea that some species would take a long, hard look at humanity and think, ‘Yeah, those guys look awesome, got to have them in our utopian society, immediately’ seems like wishful thinking.”

Described as a “super depressing” Star Trek, the story will be about Earth being drafted into a galactic conflict in exchange for re-admittance into the planetary alliance. To fight the war, Earth sends “the Accursed,” a caste of exiles imprisoned on the moon.

While he’s best known as a writer on Marvel on titles like Fantastic Four, Avengers and last year’s Secret Wars event, as well as creator-owned sci-fi hits like The Manhattan Projects and East of West, Hickman will also be providing the artwork for Frontier, and this actually isn’t his first time as an artist. He got his break at Image in 2006 writing and illustrating the design-heavy thriller The Nightly News, followed by Pax Romana the following year (which was optioned for a TV series by Blastr’s parent company Syfy in 2014). Because of the long artistic downtime, Hickman has called in veteran artist Andy Kuhn (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) to assist with layouts.

Hickman has been one of the most compelling sci-fi writers in comic books in recent years, and a series with this strong a concept and his returning to art are sure to make for an un-missable reading experience. Frontier’s extra-sized first issue will be dropping in November, but if fans don't want to wait that long for new Hickman, his magic-and-money mystery series with artist Tomm Coker, The Black Monday Murders, debuts in September.