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“Noble Causes” takes five-year jump

by Matthew Price Modified: April 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm •  Published: February 29, 2008

From Friday’s The Oklahoman:

By Matthew Price

Acting Assistant Entertainment Editor

WORD BALLOONS

The celebrity superheroes of “Noble Causes” get a new status quo in issue No. 32 of the Image Comics superhero series, scheduled to ship in March. 

Writer Jay Faerber moves his family of superhero characters five years in the future with issue No. 32.

“Everyone will have to learn who the family is all over again, to some degree,” Faerber said. “Some characters from the previous issues are in the book, but their circumstances have changed. Plus, there are new characters, a new locale, even a new tone. Issue No. 32 is essentially a new No. 1, but we wanted to keep our numbering consistent so we didn’t go down the re-numbering route.”

“Noble Causes” is about the Noble family, world-famous superhero celebrities.

“The original tag line I used to sell the series to Image all those years ago was: ‘The Kennedy family, with super-powers,’” Faerber said. “And that still applies today — the Nobles are larger-than-life and generally want to do good, but they’ve got a lot of skeletons in their closets. … The book strikes a balance between world-saving action and more character-driven subplots and dramatics. The focus of the book, however, is always on the characters and how they relate to one another.”

Several of those characters and relationships will have changed over the five-year gap.

“The biggest and most noticeable change is going to be the cast,” Faerber said. “We’ve gotten rid of a handful of characters, and introduced some new family members as well. And the older characters have all been redesigned — some more drastically than others.

“Doc, the patriarch of the family, has remarried during the five-year gap, so his wife is a new character, and she brings with her two of her own children. So we’ve kind of got a super-hero Brady Bunch, with a mixed family of heroes.”

Turkish artist Yildiray Cinar pencils and inks “Noble Causes.”

“Yildiray is really changing the entire look of the book. He’s going for a more old-school approach,” Faerber said. “For example, in the past, I shied away from using sound effects, but Yildiray really lobbied hard for them, so we’re bringing them back. He and (colorist) Ryan (Vera) have also come up with a different sort of color palette for the book, as well.”

Faerber said he hopes the five-year jump in the title will provide a good jumping-on point for new readers.

“The biggest challenge of working on a long-running independent series is finding ways to make it easy for potential new readers to read your book,” Faerber said. “Unlike Marvel and DC, I can’t entice new readers by bringing in a new writer, because I’m the writer, and I’m not going anywhere! So this five-year jump is hopefully a way that can bring in new readers.”

Faerber said there are many rewards from working on “Noble Causes,” including working with many talented artists and ultimately, owning his own work.

“Just looking at the collected editions sitting on my bookshelf is the biggest reward — having such a body of work that I wrote, which I own, is pretty cool.”


by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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