Dynamite and Warner Bros. are getting set to release ThunderCats, the first title in a new licensing partnership between the two companies. The book debuting in February 2024 centers on the beloved franchise that will trigger nostalgia for us ’80s kids while introducing a new generation to the Lion-O-led team. 
Written by Declan Shalvey (Alien, Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan) and illustrated by Drew Moss (Gargoyles: Dark Ages, Vampirella/Red Sonja), the series will also feature covers by Shalvey, David Nakayama, Lucio Parrillo, and more.
The Beat chatted with Shalvey and Moss about their upcoming team-up. 
Deanna Destito: Were you big fans of the ’80s franchise? 
Declan Shalvey: Absolutely, I have a clear memory of when I saw the show for the first time as a kid; that intro blew apart my tiny little mind. I didn’t have access to all the episodes as a kid, but I had Lion-O and Mumm-Ra figures, so I came up with a lot of battles for them on the floor of my bedroom.
Drew Moss: I was a huge fan when I was a kid.  It was a bit of escapism for me.  A bit of turmoil with my family.  It was one of those bright lights, like comics, books, and toys.
Destito: How much of this story is a nostalgia throwback and how much is a fresh new take on the characters?
Shalvey: There is a little nostalgia, admittedly, but really my approach is to reintroduce these characters to a contemporary audience for both old fans and new. I’m taking the original concept as a starting point, and fleshing out from there, introducing different character dynamics and opening things up for Drew to visually develop them further.
Moss: The costumes are grounded in the original but with a modern twist.  There will be callbacks like Lion-O’s midriff, ha!
Destito: What can old fans expect and what will draw in new fans?
Shalvey: Old fans can expect the core characters and conflicts; those are built into the concept. I think what might draw in new fans is discovering these new characters as they face new, unknown threats and conflicts. You don’t really need to know the mythology behind the franchise. You can just engage with the characters. I think this new approach will also keep old fans interested, as it’s not just a rehashing of what came before.
Moss: The story to me is compelling from all fronts. It’s being marooned on a planet and a coming-of-age story. It has lots of action with happy moments. There are monsters and, personally, that’s all I need. 
Destito: How did you approach the look and feel of the book?
Shalvey: I wanted to take a slightly more grounded approach while introducing big sci-fi ideas and environments. We follow the characters as they discover a whole new world to both them and the reader. Though we know a dark presence is somewhere nearby, contained in the Black Pyramid. A lot of that aesthetic was going to need to be sold by the artist, which is why I was so relieved when Drew Moss came aboard.
Moss: I think of the old Ed McGuiness run and how much energy it had, but working with Declan we have created some unique and engaging moments that give it our own voice.  
Destito: What has been your biggest challenge taking on such a popular, beloved property?
Shalvey: The palpable interest of the audience! ThunderCats has a passionate fanbase, and I think because there haven’t been any ThunderCats comics in a long time, there’s more built-up excitement to see what we do. I understand that, am excited by it, but also a bit nervous.
Really though, the challenge is to take something beloved and find your own way into the story that honors what came before, while still being engaging. Hopefully, the readers will be along for the ride.
Moss: The fans, hahaha, not wanting to disappoint them. But I think we will be fine. 
Destito: Which characters can fans expect to see and will there be any new ones?
Shalvey: Fans can expect to see the main ThunderCats character from Season One of the show, as well as a brand new character to show up in the series at some stage.
Moss: I think Declan nailed this answer. 
Destito: How has it been working with Dynamite and the whole creative team?
Shalvey: So far so great! WB seemed to like my big outline for the series, Dynamite is clearly behind the book in a big way, editor Nate Cosby has pitched some cool ideas that have been fun to play with, and I am excited every day to see what Drew Moss magic has hit my inbox.
Moss: Dynamite has been doing a great job pushing the book, and I like working with everyone very much except Declan. He is such a diva. Just kidding.
Destito: Who is your favorite character and why?
Shalvey: I think Panthro. He’s the older, wiser, grumpier character in the team, and I seem to warm to those traits. Truth be told though, there is something interesting about each of the characters, especially with their relationships with Lion-O. Unlike the rest, Panthro still treats him like a little kid, so their dynamic is a little different.
Moss: I have always had a love for Tygra. His ability to turn invisible has always been appealing. Also, Mumm-Ra and Slithe are fun to draw.
Destito: Any teasers for upcoming issues?
Shalvey: After the fallout of #1, I can tease some tension between the team as well as a storyline concentrating on one of the ThunderCats’ iconic foes who discovers all is not what it seems on Third Earth. Meanwhile, Lion-O learns being a leader is a lot more complicated than he thought.