Exclusive: J. Michael Straczynski’s ‘Adventures of Apocalypse Al’

J. Michael Straczynski is one of the biggest names in comics, which is why his new series The Adventures of Apocalypse Al, with artist Sid Kotian, is something you may just want to check out. Published by his own imprint, Joe's Comics, and due out on February 5, it tells the story of a P.I. named Allison Carter who is charged with saving the world.

Here's the official synopsis: "Al's latest assignment promises to be her biggest one yet. When a mysterious figure gets his hands on the Book of Keys, whose secrets can cause the destruction of the world, Al is the only one who can stop him. Her journey takes her through a world populated by zombie cops, machinegun toting imps, techno-wizards, closet trolls, demonic theme parks, other dimensions, Ultimate Darkness, and perhaps worst of all, an undead ex-boyfriend."

Crave Online is happy to present some new Kotian character sketches from The Adventures of Apocalypse Al, with context provided by JMS himself. Take a look at what you can expect from this cool new series, and check back again later for a more in-depth interview with the man behind this and Ten Grand.


The Adventures of Apocalypse Al - Allison Carter

J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI: For Allison Carter, aka Apocalypse Al, private investigator — a strong, smart, funny heroine in the noir tradition — we wanted someone who had style in a fairly accessible way.  What we didn't want was someone in a tight costume, body parts hanging out all over the place (though there is one — and only one — scene of her in a nighty in the first issue, not thereafter).  We wanted to make the point that a female comic character could be strong and dynamic without being exploitive (except that one scene, we swear to god).  Her job is preventing the end of the world, a task passed down her family line generation after generation.  She is often the only sane one in any given situation.


The Adventures of Apocalypse Al - Scott


JMS: Scott is Al's former partner and lover, before he got zapped into an undead state, so he had to be someone you could look at and say yeah, I see why she could fall in love with him.  Strong, handsome…a good, solid chin.  When he got zapped saving her life, the misfired incantation left him stranded between life and death, his skin somewhat translucent, like fine white china.


The Adventures of Apocalypse Al - Max


JMS: Max is a mad prophet who lives under a bridge just west of Pasadena, who is constantly tormented by visions of things that are about to happen that he cannot control…which would be bearable if they were important visions, but most of them are utterly useless and irrelevant: a chef somewhere putting undercooked bacon on a club sandwich, an elderly woman about to go down a long staircase in the dark…no lottery numbers to be found.  The description in the script, which this visual approach captures so well, was that Max has "the red eyes of an albino hamster that has spent far too much time thinking about the wheel."


The Adventures of Apocalypse Al - Abernathy


JMS:  Mr. Abernathy, first name unknown, is the head of Onyx Futures, a multinational consortium whose clients include several major corporations, two foreign countries, ultimate darkness and a number of quite good toy companies.  For Mr. Abernathy, good and evil, life and death are just profit points to be leveraged to the benefit of the shareholders.  A vulture capitalist of the human soul.  We wanted a look for the character that spoke of haughtiness and power and utter indifference to human suffering.  So it was either this or a Roger Ailes look-alike.