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Interview: J. Michael Straczynski talks THE ADVENTURES OF APOCALYPSE AL

And check out our exclusive character sketches from Sid Kotian.

This February you'll be able to check out THE ADVENTURES OF APOCALYPSE AL from J. Michael Straczynski with art by Sid Kotian. The series will introduce Allison Carter, a not-so-average private investigator. Her latest case, saving the world from total destruction.

We had the chance to ask Straczynski some questions about the series as well as get the chance to check out some exclusive character designs from Sid Kotian.

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COMIC VINE: What can you tell us about THE ADVENTURES OF APOCALPSE AL? What do readers need to know before jumping in?

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J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI: Absolutely nothing, and that's part of the fun of it. There's no prior knowledge required, it's just four issues, so readers don't need to worry about signing on for a year-long run...the last two issues come out in April, so there's no long waiting for issues. Allison Carter is a private investigator whose main beat is preventing the end of the world. To that end, she is constantly engaged in a one-woman war against the dark and sometimes ridiculously stupid forces out to try and destroy humankind.

It's an action/adventure book with humor, kind of in the tradition of Men in Black or the original Raiders of the Lost Ark. You sign on and grab hold and it never slows down. We're making the book extra sized, averaging about 30 pages or so per issue, unbroken by ads, but keeping the same price, as a thanks to the readers and retailers who helped make the first year of Joe's Comics so successful.

CV: What's the tone of the series?

JMS: The thing about THE ADVENTURES OF APOCALYPSE AL is that this title is all about sheer, unadulterated fun. TEN GRAND and SIDEKICK are very dark, dour, dangerous books...Al is just about excitement and adventure and action and fun. Her world is populated by people designed to drive her insane: mad prophets, Ultimate Darkness, machine gun toting imps, dead boyfriends, zombie cops and trolls who won't come out of the closet.

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CV: What else can you tell us about Allison Carter?

JMS: Her family has been in the avoiding-the-apocalypse business for generations, passed down from father to son...until Al, the only child and daughter who now had to pick up the family business and run with it. She's sarcastic, and funny, and tends to say exactly what she's thinking at exactly the wrong moment. She's smart enough to think herself out of some situations and strong enough to shoot or fight her way out of others.


CV: So this is just set as a miniseries?

JMS: Our first kick at the cat (as they say in places where apparently cats are not overly popular) is four issues, 107 pages, all of which is written, drawn and lettered. As with all of the Joe's Comics titles, we allow for a rest between titles where we reassess, review, and see if there's another story worth telling...and if so, we tell it. With Al, we're definitely planning to revisit that universe again, so look for more mini- and maxi-series with her once I get past shooting on year one of Sense8, the series I'm writing and producing with the Wachowskis for Netflix.

CV: What can you tell us about the Book of Keys?

JMS: The danger comes because someone has gotten his hands on a book with the keys to alternate universes, the past, the present, dreams and nightmares. One of those keys opens the door that will bring about the end of the world. Trouble is, he doesn't know which that is, he's really kind of incompetent at the world-destroying thing, so he's going through all of them to try and figure it out. Each time he uses the book, it has weird, dangerous or unintentionally funny effects on the world, and Al invariably finds herself caught in the middle of those situations.

A troll.
A troll.

CV: There's all sorts of crazy denizens in this world from the sound of it. What's one of the craziest type of character that immediately comes to mind?

JMS: I love the imps, who we meet in issue two, when they're sent to kill Al. They're about three inches tall, and work in concert to operate cars and heavy machinery and weaponry. They're also certifiably insane and very funny. They take place in one of the most entertaining car chases I've written in a long time.

Bottom line: If you're a reader looking for something fun and adventurous, with action and humor and a terrific leading character, The Adventures of Apocalypse Al are definitely worth checking out.

THE ADVENTURES OF APOCALYPSE AL is on sale February 5 from Joe's Comic and Image. Let your comic shop know today to hold a copy for you.