SDCC ’12: Top Cow Gives Cyber Force Away For FREE!
In 2002, Joe Field helped make comic book history by aiding in the creation of Free Comic Book Day, an annual event where publishers and retailers provide free comics for fans and new readers. Now, 10 years later, Marc Silvestri and the talent of Top Cow Productions are bringing this concept to a whole new level as they make comic history once more. How are they doing this? They’re not just giving away a little sample comic once a year, but rather giving away an entire, full length, big name comic book series for free! Yes, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Marc Silvestri’s first Image comic book series, Top Cow will be just giving away issues #1 through 5 of a brand new Cyber Force series. No, this wont just be free digital downloads, but you will be able to walk right into your local comic store and walk out with a shiny new comic book from the talented mind of Marc Silvestri without paying a single dime!
First announced at the Top Cow panel of this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Silvestri took great pride in sharing the details of this unique comic endeavor which will show how Top Cow is the comic company of the people. Of course, Top Cow has always been innovative, with video games of their characters, like The Darkness, and even an anime series based on their property the Witchblade. So as they prepare for an upcoming Darkness live action movie, it is time for Top Cow to show just how incredible of a comic company they are. Free print comics you can just walk in and grab at your local comic book shop; it is almost too awesome to believe. Of course, it could be too awesome to be real without your help. Top Cow surely intends to do much of the work here, but they need some financial assistance from fans and retailers. That said, they are not about to let fans just give them money without some incredible incentives. With that, we turn to the new Kickstarter campaign, Cyber Force Returns! There, fans, retailers, and supporters can donate money to help make this free comic dream into a reality while gaining some awesome swag and incentives along the way.
Now some of you might be wondering “What is Cyber Force?”, and that is understandable considering the characters first appeared 20 years ago at the old Homage Studios of Jim Lee and Marc Silvestri, before Lee made Wildstorm and Silvestri created Top Cow. Cyber Force was a popular 90′s style comic that seemed to mix the mutant concepts of the X-men with cyber punk ideas that were beloved in comics at the end of the 20th century. The team consisted of many strong, sexy, and powerful superheroes like Stryker, Ballistic, Ripclaw, and Velocity, that still pop up in Top Cow books today. Over the years, the team saw various reformations, countless crossovers, and three volumes of self-titled on-going series. The more complex way of describing the team, however, is as a group of cybernetically enhanced resistance fighters on the run from a monolithic multi-national conglomerate. But now, with the Top Cow universe somewhat re-crafted by the events of Artifacts #1-13, it is a perfect time to reform and redo the Cyber Force team for new fans and old alike. Top Cow is now describing the essence of the new Cyber Force series as bio-cybernetic steampunk. Marc Silvestri, who has since created The Darkness and recently drawn Marvel’s Incredible Hulk, will be returning to his creation as co-writer, art director, and cover artist on the new series. Co-writer Matt Hawkins (Think Tank, Lady Pendragon) is collaborating with Marc while artist Khoi Pham (Mighty Avengers, Daredevil) works hand-in-hand with Silvestri to make sure that every issue is filled with the spectacular, dynamic art that the fans have come to expect from Top Cow. Rounding out the creative team of the new Cyber Force will be the amazing colorist, Sunny Gho (Artifacts, Incredible Hulk), and letterer Troy Peteri.
As for why Marc Silvestri and Top Cow have decided to do this very surprising new Cyber Force series now, let alone for free, Marc had this to say: “Well on the surface, one could say that it’s to celebrate Image and Top Cow hitting the 20 year mark which isn’t a bad reason, but celebrating anniversaries isn’t enough. To warrant bringing something back and in turn retooling it, you’d better have something new to say. And that thing you want to say needs to be relevant and organic to the concept/characters. Thematically, the ideas for Cyber Force fit in today’s world much more fluidly than they did 20 years ago. The literal fusion of nature and technology is a future we can all see coming and the doors that open because of it are as interesting as the doors it will close. The big idea is that for the first time in history, mankind and his intelligence is outpacing evolution. It takes nature thousands of years to adapt to changes and the things we’ve accomplished technologically in just the past 100 years have thrown our ability to evolve, and in turn survive, completely out of whack. In other words, we’re creating a world of wonders and conveniences that we could never hope to survive. This dilemma is at the heart of what CYBER FORCE is all about.”
By helping fund the Cyber Force Returns project, you will help Top Cow (along with comic shop owners in the US, Canada, & around the world, Diamond Comic Distributors, Top Cow’s digital partners, and others) produce and give away the first full 5-issue story arc of the brand-new Cyber Force full-color ongoing series. Sure, Top Cow could have went with the tried and true method of putting the comic book out for sale this fall at a traditional $3.99 a copy and let fans buy it as they have so often in the past, but instead they saw an opportunity to change how mainstream comics are produced and reach both new readers and lapsed fans. As they word it on their Kickstarter, “this isn’t just about making an amazing, action-packed comic series. It’s about changing the landscape of mainstream U.S. comics!” But rather than force you all to read more and more about why you should help fund this great project, why not just watch Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins tell you directly in the video below:
Remember, Top Cow can’t do it without you, and this is an incredibly new way to get a great comic into the hands of old fans and new readers alike. Maybe it will even wake up the bigger comic companies into lowering prices or spur more publishers into trying this incredible new approach of bringing fans into new comic book series. Either way there are countless reasons to donate what you can to this venture, including amazing incentives such as Kickstarter variant sketch covers, signed comics from Silvestri and Hawkins, hardcover collections of Cyberforce, the chance to be a character in Cyber Force, and even one-on-one time with Silvestri and Hawkins where they will teach you everything from how to draw to how to hit on girls (Silvestri even offers to call friends, family, and crushes at the $250 level, and if that doesn’t get you a date, you don’t need to be dating that person!). So check out the Cyber Force Returns! Kickstarter, donate a bit, spread the word, and check out this beautiful sketch variant to issue #1 below:
Most importantly: Pick up your free copy of Cyber Force #1 when it hits stores and digital comic readers this November!
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