Superheroes are a staple of comics. Hell, there’s even more superheroes than there are staples in a comic. But what about a superhero comic where all the superheroes are gone? That’s kind of what the Dark Horse miniseries Rapture is about.
Debuting back in May, Rapture asks the question “what if all the superheroes and supervillains of the world were suddenly taken away?”. After warring for a century, both heroes and villains are spirited away in a biblical-style rapture, leaving normal humans like me and you in the rubble wondering what comes next. Amongst the the wreckage is two fated lovers, far apart and trying to reunite amid all the tragedy and turmoil. If an Armageddon style earth wasn’t enough, a mysterious soul has come to Evelyn pushing the idea of a higher goal for her as an integral part of a hopeful future. In that she’s left with a choice: find her boyfriend or follow this being and his odd speculations of a superhuman destiny for her.
With Rapture #3 having hit the stands at the end of July, we caught up with Oeming and Soma to get caught up with the book and why people should check it out.
Newsarama: Set it up for us – What is the world of Rapture like?
Taki Soma: The epitome of everything that's cool. Or, you know, the end of the world happens because the super-beings up and leave you like a bastard child.
Michael Avon Oeming: Have you ever had a bad break up where it feels like all of your foundations are shaken to the core and the world is a blasted, bleached out heap of shit? There you go, that's what the world of Rapture is like.
NRAMA: The title is Rapture, and the lead-in is the heroes & villains have disappeared. Is this a biblical rapture where the heroes and villains are saved by a god of some kind?
SOMA: The biblical background to Rapture isn't literal, it's meant as a backdrop or setup. But yeah, in a way, they are the privileged beings right?
OEMING: They are "Saved" because they are special, and the rest of us are damned, but with hopes of redemption. A lot like the religious point of view.
NRAMA: So the heroes & villains get up and leave – and the planet is devastated. What caused the devastation?
SOMA: I blame swine flu.
OEMING: That and a world wide battle that caused some terrible chain reactions. But we only know what our characters know about the very fast events that tore the world apart- almost nothing.
NRAMA: There’s a lot of big things at play, and our lead character Evelyn Town is trying to live through it all. What’s she like?
SOMA: Sarcastic girl full of insecurities, but has a lot of heart. I think her layers are being stacked as the story progress because she is young and full of confusion.
NRAMA:A being called the Word chooses Evelyn to be the next hero – who is he, and why her?
SOMA: God only knows. Literally.
OEMING: Again, the reader will only know what the characters know and that's it. If a child is born a genius, why is that? Why was he chosen? There is no "origin" it just happens. IF there is a cosmic explanation, we don't know what it is. Several profits of the bible were chosen by God seemingly for no particular reason. Enoch did not seem to be particularly blessed but for some reason, he walked with God and never died...
NRAMA: Tell us about this spear she gets – its talked about as her destiny – is it “the” Spear of Destiny?
SOMA: Oh man, why didn't we consult you before writing the story? That would've been cool.
OEMING: Could be rabbit, could be... They are shaped the same.
NRAMA: She’s supposed to be a champion, but all she wants to do is get back with her boyfriend Gil. What’s their relationship like, and why are they seperated?
SOMA: As mentioned before, she is plagued with youth. And with youth, you suffer confusion, fear, regret, etc. and you don't know why! Love is such a strong feeling that she is literally overwhelmed, and for a brief moment, needed space from Gil.
OEMING: You never know what you've got until you've lost it right? Evelyn will learn this the hard way, both about Gil and power.
NRAMA: And who else is in the book besides Evelyn and Gil?
SOMA: There are some fun supporting characters like the cannibals, General Val Helberg, Evelyn's stoic mom, WORD and of course, the child champion, Adam. I love them all.
OEMING: Don't forget "Old Man"! Old Man is a survivor who sees Gil as someone he can survive with and possibly pass on some of his wisdom too. He's full of piss and a very specific point of view: "Get them before they get you", but you know, in an Obi Wan sort of way.
NRAMA: Mike, in the first issue I see you switching things up from the traditional Oeming comic style to a more watercolor look, and even a more sketchy sketchbook style. Why’d you vary it up – and what do you think your diversity brings to your ability to tell the story?
OEMING: When the story shifts from point of view and time to time, I like to switch up styles in a story. You can see it happen in Powers, but here, I took a cue from Taki's online comic, You'll Never Die where she actually does her flashbacks fully painted or in wash. It serves both story and style.
NRAMA: Taki, you’re an artist in your own right – people should go read You’ll Never Die. Mike seems to be drawing this, but are you doing any illustrations or pin-ups for the book?
SOMA: I do the thumbnails/layout for Mike and cover art for the even numbered Rapture issues.
NRAMA: How did the miniseries Rapture come about?
SOMA: My favorite place/time to think of stories is on a road-trip, and Mike and I had a long-distance relationship at first, so a lot of the details were finalized caffeinated and looking onto an unending road. Oh yeah, and we love apocalyptic stories.
OEMING: Yea, it came out of our courtship. The heartbreak of distance and longing and the love of apocalyptic settings. Can you believe Taki has never seen Road Warrior?
NRAMA: I believe this is your first big project together, besides being married and all. What’s the collaboration like?
SOMA:I really am having a great time. We work very well together, it's almost not fair.
OEMING: We win!
Come back later today for the FULL First issue of Rapture exclusively on Newsarama!