On Friday AWA Studios announced its latest comic; The Resistance by Marvel alums J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato Jr, per THR. AWA, otherwise known as Artists, Writers and Artisans is the recently launched publisher, founded by former Marvel execs Axel Alonso and Bill Jemas. This comic represents a huge step for a publisher that hopes to redefine how a younger generation thinks about superheroes.
This won’t be the first superhero collaboration between Straczynski and Deodato Jr. Spidey readers in the early aughts will remember their work on The Amazing Spider-Man. Deodato Jr. continues his work at Marvel later with Original Sin and Savage Avengers while Straczynski has since transitioned into television with Babylon 5 and Sense8.
The Resistance, set to be a six issue miniseries, will be the first step in bringing the AWA titles under a shared universe – an effort Alonso and Jemas have been planning since its conception. Because of that, the series is said to heavily focus on world-building and setting the scene for what this universe will look like and why. That especially is important to Straczynski, who tells THR that Big Two supers remain a product of the time they were created in. He boils them down simply and sardonically.
“DC, which came to prominence in the ’40s and ’50s, a very conservative time, was peopled largely by authority figures: Batman is a cop; Superman’s a cop; Green Lantern is an interstellar cop; Hawkman is another interstellar cop; Flash is a cop-scientist; and so on. Marvel hit its stride during the anti-authoritarian ’60s, and that’s reflected by its heroes: the Hulk and Thor answer to no one, Spider-Man is a kid, the X-Men are on the run from the government… you get the idea.”
That’s why The Resistance looks to the present for inspiration. The Sense8 writer and Alonso spoke in length about what the superhero paradigm would look like today. Their goal in this series, and for stories to come is “to give readers, especially millennials, something that would impart a measure of hope without undue cotton candy while confronting dead-on the real challenges we face as a people.”
That hope won’t come easily. The Resistance kicks off with a global pandemic that simultaneously kills millions and leaves others with superpowers. Readers follow those people – the survivors – as they determine their place in a new world and what it means to have inherited great power under terrible circumstances. Alonso asks “Are they harbingers of perils to come… or Earth’s last hope?”
Readers will have to wait until AWA launches The Resistance next spring to find out.