PREVIEW: 'Deathlok' #1

DetahlokIt's been a busy year at the movies for robots big and small, from blockbusters like "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Terminator: Salvation" to this week's significantly more tame "Astro Boy." This November, Marvel Comics’ classic, semi-robotic antihero Deathlok heads back to print in a big way, too—with a new seven-issue miniseries from Marvel’s mature label, MAX.

Originally created in the '70s by Rich Buckler and Doug Moench, Deathlok is the name adopted by Luther Manning, an American soldier in a post-apocalyptic future who is killed in action then resurrected as an experimental cyborg. And it all happened years before "Robocop."

Marvel has provided Splash Page readers with a preview of "Deathlok" #1, featuring a story by acclaimed novelist Charlie Huston (“Moon Knight”) and artist Lan Medina (“Foolkiller”).

Click on the thumbnails for full-size images.


The creative team behind Deathlok’s return has crafted a re-envisioned origin story for the character, with corporate armies waging war as the ultimate spectator sport and Luther Manning as one of the biggest "superstars"... until his untimely death.

“I came up with this idea of Luthor Manning as the old pro soldier in this world and the character of Michael Travers—his best friend in the original “Deathlok”—re-imagined as a cocky superstar of this mercenary culture,” Huston explained to MTV News. “What happens if your company superstar—the face of your corporation—is killed? How do you end up with Deathlok in that culture? You end up with Deathlok because he looks cool and he can be marketed as a cool toy or a t-shirt.”

“Manning doesn’t know exactly where he is or what’s going on,” Huston continued. “But he’s trying to find out and get his humanity back from the machine.”

While the new “Deathlok” still takes place in the future, Huston was surprised by artist Lan Medina’s interpretation of that world.

“It actually has a classic retro look,” Huston elaborated. “I didn’t intend it, but there’s a weird '80s retro look to the world. It wasn’t something I specified in the script pages but it was how Lan conceived it. Rather than looking like the future as seen from today or the future from the 1930’s – which is what most people think of as retro science fiction—it looks like the future as seen from 1980.”

Medina, who is perhaps best known for his work on comic book series like “Fables”, “District X” and “The Punisher MAX," has more recently been gaining fans for his unique visual style in two “Foolkiller” miniseries for the MAX line.

“I usually use two ways to provide better results in every project I do,” Medina related to MTV News. “Inkwash and pencils with shading. But the editor of “Deathlok” prefers pencils with shadings because it gives more life to the subject's character. Moreover it emphasizes every scene as you feel the action from one page to another.”

“My goal is to give every angle, scene and panel its own life,” Medina continued. “That way the readers will always feel the anticipation and excitement for the coming issues. Every scene in the series is exciting and full of action. [Huston] has established a very good plot for the story. You will really feel the intensity in every angle.”

Click on the thumbnails for full-size images.

Does the new “Deathlok” sound intriguing? What do you think of the preview pages? Will this series be enough to get the “Deathlok” movie out of development hell? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!