J. Michael Straczynski has had a strange ride in comics over the last few years. The Twelve, which finally wrapped up last year, was highly regarded by critics. Superman walking across the country… not so much. When JMS first started doing comics on a regular basis (he’d dabbled a bit here and there, earlier), it was over at Top Cow with Rising Stars and Midnight Nation. Two of his own concepts. One super hero, one horror. Regular work at Marvel and DC came later.
In May, JMS is bringing his Top Cow act back to Image, starting with Ten Grand. JMS is probably a little past due to stretch his SF/F/Horror muscles after an extended run in the world of capes. Ten Grand sounds closer to Midnight Nation, too. Here’s the premise and some of Ben Templesmith’s art for the title.
The premise: Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agrees to one last job, little realizing that the man he’s been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survives Joe’s attempt and comes after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lies dying, an angelic force promises that if Joel agrees to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn’t most people.