The epic Wild Cards superhero universe, created by George RR Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass, is being revived as a new series from Marvel Comics.
“As my fans will already know, Wild Cards World holds a special place in my heart, so to have the privilege of announcing that an industry titan like Marvel will produce the narrative from the ground up as a comic book is no end of joy.” says Martin in the ad.
And hey, both Wild Cards and Martin have long histories with Marvel Comics (more on that in a bit).
Wild Cards is a superhero universe conceived by Martin and Snodgrass that developed as a series of prose novels and short stories by the duo, along with other collaborators such as Roger Zelazny and Harold Waldrop. The general presumption is that an alien virus known as the ‘Wild Card’ has infiltrated Earth’s society, and those affected by it are seemingly randomly given different abilities that are divided into three classes: ‘Joker ‘ as in physical mutations; ‘Ace’ as in direct superpowers; or ‘Black Queen’, which means that they will die suddenly from the virus.
Writer Paul Cornell and artist Mike Hawthorne will adapt the early days of the Wild Cards prose stories into a cohesive limited series titled Wild Cards: The Drawing of Cards. Here’s a four-page preview of the first issue:
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“Wild Cards remains a unique take on superheroes, a creation story that has influenced everything since, but still holds its power,” Cornell says in the ad. “It is an honor and a pleasure to bring all of these wonderful stories to their natural home at Marvel, and I look forward to giving George, Melinda and the rest of the Wild Cards Collective the credit they deserve for making the superhero mythos new again. : just look at that art!”
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In 1990, Marvel published a four-issue Wild Cards series under its now-defunct Epic Comics imprint, featuring stories by Snodgrass and others, with art by Barry Kitson, Butch Guice, and Marshall Rogers, to name a few. A second series, subtitled The Hard Call, was published in 2008 by Dabel Brothers Productions.
The Wild Cards prose line has been revived several times, with everyone from Chris Claremont to Saladin Ahmed writing prose stories for it. Cornell even wrote three prose stories for the Wild Cards universe, prior to this comic adaptation.
Martin is known for being one of the first big fans of Marvel Comics, with fan letters of his appearing in letter columns as early as 1963’s Fantastic Four #20.
Wild Cards: The Drawing of Cards #1 (of 4) goes on sale this July 27.
Wildcards could soon rise through the ranks to be one of the The Best Non-DC/Marvel Superhero Universes of all times.