Lace up your combat boots and brace yourself for unnerving horror as AfterShock Comics launches Godkillers, a brand-new creator-owned series that promises to be one of the most provocative titles in their roster come 2020 — and SYFY WIRE is unleashing a sneak peek at the premiere issue.
Delivered by writer Mark Sable (Grounded, Fearless, Supergirl) and fortified with art by up-and-coming illustrator Maan House, Godkiller is branded as a monster story for the modern age set within the frightful arena of 21st-century terrorism. Sable considers the series to be a spiritual sequel to Graveyard of Empires, his sold-out Image Comics book with Paul Azaceta and Matt Wilson.
Distilled down to B.P.R.D. meets Zero Dark Thirty, the plotline is an extensively researched fusion of military and horror fiction that asks pertinent questions about the War on Terror, all centered around the character of Abdul Alhazred.
He's an Arab-American folklore professor turned soldier whose intense fear of death originates from uncertainty about the possibility of an afterlife. Alhazred joins up with the Godkillers, an elite special forces unit assigned the task of battling insurgents who employ mythological creatures as weapons of mass destruction. Now that he's certain that a paranormal realm exists, he must decide which is worse—imminent death or the nightmarish monsters he believed were only fictional legends.
Sable's initial inspiration was a quote by an U.S. Army general who hunted for the Somali warlords behind the Black Hawk Down tragedy.
"The general said he captured a warlord because he 'knew my God was bigger than his, I knew my God was a real God and his was an idol,'" Sable tells SYFY WIRE. "The general caught flak for that, and rightly so -- it's offensive and counterproductive to frame the War on Terror as a war between religions. But I asked myself, what if he was wrong in a literal sense? What if the insurgents we're fighting had gods and monsters on their sides that were not only as big as ours, but took an active role in human affairs? What if our enemies were using them as weapons of mass destruction?"
He also took inspiration from horror legend H.P. Lovecraft, whose featured book of ancient evil, The Necronomicon, was supposedly written by a mad Arab named Abdul Alhazred.
“Maan House does an amazing job of accurately portraying realistic-looking military personnel, weapons, and vehicles while also creating original takes on mythological monsters," Sable notes regarding the creative team. "More importantly, he's an incredible storyteller -- his pages are a treat to get from Aftershock because they are always better than my scripts.
"Colorist Hernan Cabrera somehow finds a way to make Maan's art look even better than when I first see it in black and white," he adds. "He grounds the war in grittiness, while bringing a frightening intensity to the horror. On top of that, we're lucky to have Jeremy Haun and Nick Filardi doing main covers, each of which is an iconic work of art. And at least one incentive cover has been done by the legendary Tim Bradstreet, who I have to pinch myself to believe I'm actually working with.”
Now fall out and advance into our early unlettered look at AfterShock Comics' Godkillers #1 in the gallery below, then let us know if you'll join this unholy crusade when the debut issue drops Feb. 19, 2020.