This August, a new team of heroes steps up to the challenge of protecting the world.
The six-issue Guardians of the Globe spins out of the long-running Image superhero series Invincible, and chronicles that book’s premiere superhero team as they come to terms and step up to the threats their world faces in the absence of Invincible, off Earth with his father to fight in the Viltrumite War.
Earlier this year, Image rolled out the core line-up of the team in a series of teaser images – and the recently released covers shows more faces – both familiar and new – from the Invincible universe.
Joining series creator Robert Kirkman to write this series is long-time compatriot Benito Cereno, who wrote both Invincible Presents: Atom Eve and the sequel with Rex Splode. Cereno’s connect to the I-verse runs deep, as he had humorous back-up stories early on in Invincible with his friend Nate Bellegarde. But this is undoubtedly Cereno’s biggest project yet, but as we can tell from our interview – he’s more than ready.
Newsarama: The ads have revealed five of the main characters to the book, but the cover shows quite a few more. Can you lay out to us what the Guardians line-up will end up being?
Benito Cereno: Telling the whole lineup would spoil the story! Like I said, adding new members is one of the main thrusts of the story, so there will be a few surprises before the end. We'll see plenty of familiar faces as well as new ones, but I don't want to ruin anything in this or any other series, so... But, yeah, you can see on the cover from issue one that the team will feature old members Brit, Bulletproof, Black Samson, and Shapesmith, as well as new members Yeti, Kaboomerang, and Outrun. Robot and Monster Girl (and Invincible too) appear in the first issue, but as readers of Invincible know, Robot and Monster Girl throw themselves into the Flaxan dimension in issue 71. This series will deal with some of the fallout from that.
One big part of the recruitment drive is trying to make the Guardians of the Globe a more truly global initiative, so we'll see several characters from countries other than the U.S.. Yeti is from Nepal, Kaboomerang from Australia, and Outrun hails from South Africa. We'll also see characters from Mexico and Japan, among others, debuting through this series. You'll have to wait and see, though.
Nrama: I may be reading too many superhero comics, but I've always enjoyed those team-building issues where a cast is recruited. Will we be seeing any of that in the first issues of Guardians of the Globe?
Cereno: The overall plot of the miniseries has to do with the Guardians having to recruit new members, but also expanding their roster, so, yeah, we definitely get some of those scenes of members going to pick up new recruits and what have you. There's nothing like the full-on recruitment-drive-try-out scene like you get in Invincible #9 after the death of the original team, but you definitely get to see some new members getting picked up at home or whatever. But that's hardly the bulk of the series; there's really a ton of stuff going on, with lots of great action and other fun.Nrama: This series is set-up on the idea of Invincible going off-planet and the remaining heroes banding together to make up for that loss. Can you tell us more about that and the threats that'll pull them together? Cereno: The main threat comes in the form of The Order, an international super-crime organization that we've seen in Invincible. We've seen Mr. Liu, the older Asian man who can project his soul in the form of a dragon, making some trouble for Titan and Isotope in their domestic crime concerns, as well as breaking Multi-Paul out of jail. We'll see that Liu is not the guy in charge of the Order, and we'll find out who is, as the Order tries to take advantage of the Guardians' seemingly depleted ranks.
But besides that, the Guardians of the Globe still have to tackle any other major disasters that come up, so we'll see them having plenty of other adventures, facing, again, both new faces and familiar ones, with some old favorite Invincible villains popping up here and there.
Nrama: It seems as it Brit's emerging as the team leader on this, but where's Cecil Steadman in all of this? He's been scheming quite a bit recently in Invincible.
Cereno: Cecil's role is what it always is: he's the guy trying to protect the world at any cost. Like we've seen in Invincible, he's the guy who puts the Guardians team together and alerts them to crises and what have you, but he's not a field agent or anything. While Brit is the leader of the team, Cecil is Brit's boss. So he'll do whatever he thinks is necessary to keep the world safe, even if he takes steps that many people might view as morally dubious.
Nrama: The first glimpse of this project came by way of those parody ads with Barack, Barry Popper, Brit and the others. I heard that was your idea - can you tell us about that, from the initial idea to the response it got from fans - and now the news that Chris Giarrusso is taking those ads one step further with 1pp backup comics to Guardians of the Globe?
Cereno: Ah, I can't take credit for those original teaser ads. That was all Robert. I didn't even know about them until he told me, like, "Oh, hey, these ads are coming out this week." Robert's a pretty clever guy in terms of finding interesting ways to promote stuff, and this was one of his best ideas yet.I did, though, make the suggestion that we get Chris Giarrusso to do the backups. When I saw how much people seemed to be into the ridiculous team-up implied by the ads, I figured we couldn't let it go to waste. At first I considered volunteering to write a strip with them myself, but then I figured we should probably get someone way funnier and more talented than me to do it, so I brought up Chris G.
Nrama: I'm always glad to see more work from you - I'm still waiting on more Bully Pulpit. What else are you working on these days?
Cereno: Hah, well, Bully Pulpit is not in the immediate pipeline, but I've always planned to come back to it whenever possible. But for right now, I am still working on The Tick for New England Comics with Les McClaine, which ships bi-monthly. Issue 4 should be out soon as of this writing, which is my favorite issue of the series so far, and then issues 5 and 6 will feature a two-part story where the Tick teams up with his counterpart from the Golden Age. Les and I will also have a full-length story in the next print collection of Dr. McNinja that will be exclusive to that volume.
Nate Bellegarde and I have just started work on our next project, a full-length action-comedy-science-fiction graphic novel that will hopefully be out in a year or two. I've got another couple of irons in the fire, but nothing really ready to talk about yet.Nrama: Coming back around to Guardians of the Globe, I know this is scheduled as a miniseries - but say things go well, could you see doing more Guardians of the Globe down the line?
Cereno: Man, I hope so. Robert has created such a rich universe with the stories in Invincible, Brit, Tech Jacket and Astounding Wolf-Man that there are tons of threads that would be a blast to pick up on. The plan is definitely to continue these as long as sales merit it, so, you know, everyone buy three copies. There are a lot of stories we could do, lots of ideas we'd like to use, and just a million potential dream team-ups we could do, so hopefully this book can last as long as Invincible has.