When faced with death, most of us will grasp at any hope of survival, no matter how tenuous. In that regard, Rory Fletches is no different from the rest of us. However, one thing about Rory Fletcher is very different: he’s been told that he’s about to die, and there’s nothing medicine can do to save his life... or is there?
This is the situation at the center of Peter Milligan’s series Terminal Hero. “Rory discovers he has inoperable brain cancer,” Milligan said. “When a close friend finds a secretive treatment that was banned because of its side-effects, Rory thinks that he has nothing to lose. But Rory is going to discover that there might be worse things than death.”
The secret treatment is known only as Treatment Q. It may possibly save Rory’s life... but it also may cause disturbing side effects that may render meaningless what ever life he has left.
What sort of a person is Rory to begin with? “Rory is a good guy,” Milligan explained. “When he was young, he watched his sister die of meningitis and this inspired him to become a doctor—to help others. He also likes smoking grass and listening to Bob Marley-- so how bad can he be?”
What sort of side effects does he have to deal with? “Horrible side-effects that make him sick,” Milligan said. “The purest, most meaningful memory he has is of his late sister: the sludge that is dredged up from his subconscious challenges his real thoughts towards her. Treatment Q has been banned because of its horrific side-effects... and it will shatter many of Rory's illusions about himself.
“He discovers that there is a way to dampen the side-effects of the treatment—but this takes its toll on his body, mind, and bank balance... What happens to Rory isn't kicked off by any threat to his survival. It's something that lies within him, deep within him, that the treatment brings out.”
Rory has to make some difficult decisions as Terminal Hero progresses. “The biggest choice he has to make is whether it's better to be dead than to go through what he's going through.
For Milligan, this is a deeply personal project."Terminal Hero is the book I had to write, right now. It's simply unlike anything I've ever written—or read. This book laughs in the face of fear. The journey is dark, the road is littered with horrors, but it's one hell of a ride."
Milligan describes Terminal Hero as “a kind of warped version of a superhero series. Rory will possess something that can just about be described as ‘superpowers.’ He will eventually face a semi-human adversary, and there'll be others who also possess what one might call ‘powers.’” But it’s what happens within Rory that is more important than any hero-villain conflict.
Readers often find inspiration in the noble actions of heroes, but it sounds like Rory Fletcher’s motivations are far from noble. Does Milligan believe that the potential for altruistic heroism exists in most people? Does it exist in Rory? “I don't think it exists in most people. I think some people are mean-hearted bastards. Rory isn't one of those. There is something noble about him. But there's also something dark, and something which is hard to face.”
Terminal Hero is the latest addition to Dynamite’s new Creator Unleashed line of books, featuring innovative concepts by prominent creators. “These books are all new worlds and characters that are creator-driven, and with a line-up featuring Peter Milligan, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Rick Remender, Duane Swierczynski, James Robinson, and more to be announced, we couldn't have a better roster of creators,” Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci said. “With Peter Milligan’s Terminal Hero, fans and retailers can see that we're targeting the Vertigo and Image audience with our line-up. This is an exciting initiative for us; we’re working with new creative voices, and we can’t wait for fans to read and enjoy!”
“I’ve watched with interest how Dynamite has expanded both physically and creatively over the years,” Milligan explained. “During that time, Nick Barrucci and I discussed working on a project on and off, but due to a number of reasons, things never quite worked out. Now I have a project which demands a certain kind of publisher — one who’ll give me a lot a creative latitude and is willing to go to some dark, edgy, and honest places... Luckily, Dynamite isn’t afraid to go there!”
"Peter is one of the greatest comic writers of all time, and he's bringing his unique vision, in this hard-edged look at the nature of life, death and ultimate power,” Dynamite senior editor Joseph Rybandt said of the series. “We have freed Peter of any content restrictions or concerns and allowed him to go to any extreme he desires to go to tell this story. As such, elements get extreme and push the envelope in the same way as such anti-hero projects as Garth Ennis’ The Boys, for sure. The themes are different, but the tone is similar, albeit with Peter's particular writing style.”
Used by permission from CSN