An alien invasion has come and gone in the small British town of Lower Crowchurch, but for its surviving citizens the problems are just now getting started.
Guardians of the Galaxy's Dan Abnett and artist I.N.J. Culbard are returning to their anthropomorphic series Wild's End with a new, Invasion of the Body Snatchers style story of government intervention called Wild's End: The Enemy Within.
Launching September 23, Wild's End: The Enemy Within's creative team talked with Newsarama about the paranoia creeping in as the alien invasion passes. For his part, Culbard tows the (fictional) government line while Abnett is a little bit more upfront about what readers can expect.
Newsarama: Dan, Ian, what can you tell us about Wild's End: The Enemy Within?
I.N.J. Culbard: Nothing. The Riding is on lockdown and there's very little information getting out as of this moment. The military will be making an official statement on the matter in due course.
Dan Abnett: It’s a direct continuation of our first adventure, but new readers can jump aboard easily as everything will be explained as we go (of course, there’ll be a handy-dandy trade collection of the first series available to help you catch up on the fun too!). This series shows the aftermath of the original events, the consequences… and a whole new peril.
Nrama: The inaugural series saw Clive, Susan, Fawkes and the others live through an alien invasion -- how soon does this pick up after that?
Abnett: About a week or two. Things have changed from the War of the Worlds’ vibe of the first series to a much more sinister, Invasion of the Body Snatchers type paranoia.
Nrama: So then what’s the town, Lower Crowchurch, like now, post-invasion?
Culbard: Like the military has everything under control and your taxes are being spent wisely. There's no need for concern.
Abnett: Under lock-down. The army’s investigating, and it’s all very sinister and secret. Our friends are not in a happy situation either.
Nrama: And who's at front of the military coming to cover up word of the invasion?
Culbard: That's classified. You'd need to sign the official secrets act before we could possibly disclose that kind of information.
Abnett: That would be the glorious Brigadier Winterbottom, plus his aide-de-camp Upton, and a sinister man from the Ministry called Laidlaw. I say man, I mean squirrel. It’s all about national security, don’t cha know?
Nrama: Why don't the Wild's End crew want to leave this in the past and try to forget about the invasion?
Culbard: They can't. Could you? If you could then Department Nine would very much like to speak to you.
Abnett: Because they can’t. Their freedom is restricted… and they’re not sure the threat is passed.
Nrama: You've spent several issues now with the characters -- what surprises have you had in terms of characters or story threads from concept to the first finished volume?
Abnett: I think we both love the characters. The series was an absolute favorite thing for us both to work on, and we were so pleased with the way it came to life. It’s an incredible pleasure to come back and do more - to explore and expand those original characters, which seem really alive to us, to add new ones, and to discover that there’s so much more to do. This story really broadens things out, both for the characters and the situation… without losing that ‘little village in peril’ charm.
Abnett: Ditto from me. In terms of the characters, Peter surprised me. He started out being this awkward little tag along but he really strikes out by the end of the first series.
Nrama: Last question, what would each of you do in Clive & co.'s situation?
Culbard: Get an axe.
Abnett: I’d hope that Clive was around to save me. Or Fawkes. Or Susan with her shotgun.