CBS TV’s Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders executive, co-showrunner and writer Adam Glass, no stranger to comics having worked on DC Comics New 52’s Suicide Squad and Deadpool: Suicide Kings and more for Marvel Comics, brings readers AfterShock Comics‘ Rough Riders #1 that hits stands this week.
Glass is joined by veteran artist Pat Olliffe, most notable for his Spider-Girl work and other Marvel series, to bring Rough Riders to fandom.
It is an alternate history tale, with historical figures, presented in a new ways with a splash of sci-fi and fantasy thrown in.
Below are some preview pages for Rough Riders #1 as well as some excerpts from Adam Glass’ recent interview about this mini-series.
…The idea that I thought was interesting – and I veer away from comparisons to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which I love, but these are real-life people rather than fictional characters – was that “What if the Spanish-American War was not an invasion of Spain, but rather a secret mission?”
I don’t want to reveal too much, but it involves an alien invasion, some extraordinary people from that time…and a lot of historical fact. Teddy Roosevelt was a sickly child, he suffered from asthma, and at eight years old, his father came into his room and said, “Teddy, your mind has to become stronger than your body, or you’re going to die.” Imagine being told that at eight!
…I watch a lot of History Channel, and I read a lot of historical books, especially ones about Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive era, so it got me thinking about those similarities between Roosevelt and Bruce Wayne. and they were so plentiful that I started thinking of a story to showcase it all in.
That’s where the Rough Riders idea was born, and in researching the Spanish-American War, I realized Teddy could have used the battle of San Juan Hill as a front for a secret mission with a special team, one made up of the greatest people of his time. I’m a huge Houdini fan, so Harry Houdini became part of this instantly. His skill set as a magician made him perfect for this team as did Annie Oakley’s shooting abilities, Jack Johnson’s fist, and Thomas Edison’s brain.
And what was interesting was we play into everyone’s real journey through history – Houdini is on the way up, he’s working on Coney Island, a low-end magician when we meet him. Jack Johnson becomes the first black heavyweight champion of the world, but right now is a contender fighting his way up. And Teddy Roosevelt is an ex-police commissioner, but is not world renowned yet, but within three years of this story becomes President of the United States.
So, we catch those three before they become the famous men they will become. Annie is already a legend at this point, but is starting her descent into alcoholism.
And the other figure in this story is Thomas Edison – who was essentially the Steve Jobs of his time. An entitled, arrogant, patent thief, who is about 15 years removed from his last great invention, and itching to find his next one so he can stay relevant. We’re playing both sides of Edison – the genius, and the asshole. [laughs]
The goal is to play these people as they really were.
I’m pretty excited for his mini-series! Pick up Rough Riders #1 this Wednesday April 6, 2016.
Tags: Adam Glass, AfterShock, AfterShock Comics, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Pat Olliffe, Rough Riders