Writer Don McGregor (“Black Panther,” “Killraven”) goes big, bad, and black to the future with a return to his ’70s action series in this recently-launched Kickstarter campaign.
The campaign, which launched on August 5, sees McGregor returning to the character with the help of “Green Arrow” and “The Original Johnson” artist Trevor von Eeden for a new graphic novel featuring the sword-wielding Sabre, hero of one of the first American graphic novels.
When released via now-defunct indie publisher Eclipse back in 1978, the series featured a murderous theme park, murder, babies, and yes, afrocentric action in the post-apocalypse. McGregor co-created the character with comics veteran Paul Gulacy on the back of a rejected Marvel pitch for a character called “Dagger,” with the renamed Sabre making his debut in “Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species” in summer 1978. That original book spawned an ambitious plan for a 600-page graphic novel which ultimately resulted in a 14-issue series from Eclipse.
“The Early Future Years” is a planned 190-page OGN illustrated by von Eeden which will reintroduce Sabre and his supporting cast of characters.
Sabre’s kind of an anomaly: we don’t really see a lot of black heroes out front in post-apocalyptic fiction, much less ones carrying the name of the property. I feel like there was a missed period in the late ’70s/early ’80s where some film outfit like American International Pictures could have been cranking out a few blaxploitation/”Mad Max” riffs.
I should note here that the campaign was started by my friend and former Comics Bulletin boss Jason Sacks, who’s been collaborating with McGregor for some time now to get Sabre off the ground. A longtime comics fan and historian, reviving lost titles like this is kind of a passion for him.