“There’s all these great characters that no one has seen in 10 years.” So pronounces writer/artist Mike Wolfer (Night of the Living Dead, Gravel) of the Avatar Press imprint Boundless Comics, the new home to characters like Pandora, Hellina, Widow, and Lady Death. Some of these names might be unfamiliar to you unless you lived through the heady time in the early-to-mid 90’s when the “bad girl” comics craze gave rise to characters like Lady Death and Pandora, and Catwoman had a costume so tight it showed the contours of her navel.
The two pillars of the Boundless Comics line are Brian Pulido’s Lady Death, which is scripted by Wolfer and started its new ongoing at the end of last year, and War Goddess, also written by Wolfer, and serving as a kind of launching pad for some of those mid-90’s action heroines. At the forefront of the series is Pandora, originally the flagship character for Avatar Press, created back in ’96 by Editor-in-Chief William Christiansen. Her original origin was close to the Greek myth from which she gets her name: a girl unleashes the evils of the world from a box clearly marked “do not open,” but the twist of the original series is that she decides arm up and fight it.
War Goddess, which is getting a 0 issue on April 11th, doesn’t seem to be straying too far from the formula. Pandora’s contained the monsters and baddies released from the box, but now some kind of inter-dimensional threat is looming, forcing her to assemble some like-minded female badasses to take the fight to said threat. Enter characters like Widow, who’s a possible recruit and Hellina (a former Lightning Comics character) who plays antagonist to the lead. According to Wolfer, the series is an attempt to bring back the characters in a way that’s faithful to their original incarnations while also making them accessible to new readers.
Art is being provided by Pow Rodrix who’s worked on Justice League of America and What If? Secret Invasion in the past, with variant covers by Matt Martin and Jacen Burrows. It’s clear from the cover images that—as with the mainline Avatar titles—War Goddess and presumably any other titles from Boundless won’t be shying away from the gore and the violence. From Wolfer’s descriptions of the series, it’s also going to be unapologetically a throwback to the cheesecake of the boom-era of comics.
Interestingly, Boundless was actually started as a place to publish Lady Death after Avatar had held the rights for several years but found that the character wasn’t a fit for the kind of titles being published in the main line. The publisher decided that there was still a market for the “bad girl” style of books and hoped to resurrect Lady Death, as it were, with creator Brian Pulido onboard to create plots with Wolfer providing the final scripts. The new series actually flashes forward centuries ahead in LD’s very long lifetime.
Wolfer is happy to note that he’ll be bringing some of his horror writing background into the primarily dark fantasy-based world of Lady Death with a focus on making the series a “horror epic.” As for the current plot, Wolfer promises the revelation of a major villain in the series’ upcoming 6th issue, upending the life of the titular lead.
Lady Death is currently ongoing, and War Goddess launches in June.