Vampires, superheroes, space-born warriors and astronauts are all in day's work for writer Joe Keatinge. The first collection of Keatinge's “Glory” comic book came out last month, illustrated by Ross Campbell. In “Glory,” Keatinge has revived a character from the 1990s and given her a new twist. Keatinge's other projects include the upstart superheroics of “Hell Yeah” and two recently announced upcoming projects: the sci-fi “Intergalactic” and the Marvel Comics vampire “Morbius.”
“Glory” blends fantasy, sci-fi and superheroes. The protagonist is the daughter of two warring alien races who comes to earth. The character debuted in Image Comics' “Youngblood Strikefile” back in 1993, created by Rob Liefeld.
“I was 10 years old when Image launched ... it definitely had an effect on me,” Keatinge said in a recent phone interview. “At the same time I was discovering all sorts of other stuff, especially European comics. Kind of the mix of those two influences turned into ‘Glory' in specific ... If they were doing '90s-style comics in Europe, I imagine it would end up something like ‘Glory.'”
The “Glory” trade paperback collects issues No. 23-28 (the new series continued the numbering of the 1990s series), and is available now. Ross Campbell (“Wet Moon”) is the illustrator.
“I feel like ‘Glory' is by far most critically acclaimed thing I've ever worked on, and I get the most feedback on it, and the most impassioned feedback from readers at conventions, and online,” Keatinge said.
The trade paperback for Keatinge's other Image Comics series, “Hell, Yeah,” is set for later this year, collecting the first five issues. The series stars Ben Day, a young, superpowered man who discovers that alternate versions of him throughout the multiverse are being murdered.
“The two biggest influences in American comics would be ‘Savage Dragon' and Mike Allred's ‘Madman,'” Keatinge said. “The first arc of ‘Hell Yeah' is kind of about coming to terms with reality when you're younger, and dealing with the checks that have been cashed by your parents and the ramifications thereof.”
Later this year, Keatinge plans an outer-space trip in the hard science fiction comic “Intergalactic,” which will be released digitally through the publisher Monkeybrain. The artist is Ken Garing (“Planetoid”).
“‘Intergalactic,' in loose idea, is something that's been with me for a while. Like a lot of people, growing up, I was really into the whole idea of the space program, even though it was definitely past its prime by the time I was really getting into it.”
Keatinge said “Intergalactic” will tend toward the Arthur C. Clarke or Stanislaw Lem branch of science fiction.
“All the sci-fi that I tend to enjoy as a reader ... tend to be more grounded; fantastic things may happened, but it's definitely human-based and the technology is all plausible. That's the kind of stuff I really like; ‘2001: A Space Odyssey' is one of my favorite movies.”
The book will focus on a large family who has been involved in space travel.
“It is a complete departure from anything I've done before, in tone,” Keatinge said. “It's about this sprawling, large family dynasty. It's about them, and how they deal with each other, and the ways they don't get along, or get along, and how complicated family can get. And it's a much more subtle book than anything I've done before.”
And Keatinge is also setting up shop with Marvel Comics. A series featuring Marvel villain Thanos was announced, then canceled, but the planned creative team is coming back together for “Morbius: The Living Vampire.”
“Working with Marvel on ‘Morbius' is hugely exciting for me. Being teamed up with my ‘Thanos: Son of Titan' collaborator, Rich Elson, has me absolutely ecstatic. There hasn't been a Marvel book quite like this one before — I'm very thrilled with what they're letting us do on the book.”
Leading into “Morbius,” Keatinge will write issue 699.1 of “Amazing Spider-Man.” As for what to expect from Keatinge in the future, his only promise is continuing variety.
“I want to do all sorts of comics. I don't want to do just one type of comic,” he said. “I started off doing creator-owned, and now I'm doing work with Marvel ... I have a wide variety of interests, I don't see the reason to pigeonhole yourself in what you do.”