Have you ever been criticized, burned, ostracized, or harassed online? Well, Cable & Deadpool's Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown are reuniting to create a vigilante who stands up to that and fights back.
Debuting later this year as a digital comic on LINE Webtoon, Outrage centers on a mysterious character who is, in Nicieza's own words, "bully who bullies people who are being bullies on the internet."
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, bully for a bully.
Newsarama spoke with Nicieza and Brown about this new series, their reunion, and their big dreams for Outrage's success.
Yeah, it's big.
Newsarama: Fabian, Reilly - you're back together. We'll talk about the comic book soon, but how's it feel to get the band back together?
Fabian Nicieza: For me it feels good. I love working with Reilly. He's a great storyteller who always has really smart ideas to make the work better. He's willing to do 90% of the heavy lifting, which I greatly respect since it only leaves our editor, Tom Akel with 10% of the load.
Reilly Brown: Working with Fabian is always great, because he's such a well-mannered and kind-hearted individual. While I'm doing my 90% of the lifting, he's going to take it upon himself to deal with all the angry rants, so make sure you send all the means ones to him, and all the nice ones to me.
Nrama: So what is Outrage about?
Nicieza: It is about a bully who bullies people who are being bullies on the internet. Didn't the press release say that, man? But one important thing is that he does this bullying in real life by appearing out of your social media device and slapping the crap out of you!
Brown: You know when you see someone post something stupid online, and you wish you could just reach across the internet and smack them upside the head? It's about someone who can do that. At first it seems like a great way to settle petty, online beefs, but eventually greater uses for this power come into play, as well as all the potential problems with it.
Nrama: This is an interesting concept - someone who can track down those at... well, internet trolls. Was there any bad experiences of your own or others that inspired this?
Nicieza: There was one week when an artist I've worked with named Reilly couldn't stop sending me dick pix. It was really embarrassing until I realized they were just pictures of uncooked cocktail weenies. He assured me his is much more impressive than the pictures he sent.
Brown: Like my lawyer said, Fabian, I was just asking if you thought they were cooked well enough. Who else was I supposed to ask? No one knows a weenie like Fabian Nicieza.
Nrama: So who is this person who has this ability?
Nicieza: You like to read the last page of a mystery before you've even started reading the book? I hate people like that. Grow up. Show some patience.
Nrama: Woah, sensitive about spoilers.
Nicieza: We're not going to tell you who Outrage is, we're only going to say that Outrage does turn out to be a character in the story.
But for me, ultimately, the story is less about who Outrage is, but why Outrage is...
Brown: That's part of the mystery of the series...
The story follows a bunch of characters who work at a tech start up, all of whom have their own public and private demons that they struggle with and/or nurture. Outrage could be any of them, or all of them. Part of the fun of the story will be seeing law enforcement narrow it down.
Nrama: At first this might seem tongue-in-cheek, but there could also be a Mr. Robot kind of vibe. What is this, big picture?
Nicieza: Well, whore that I am, and please, all the whores in Hollywood taken notice, I have described it as “Deadpool meets Mr. Robot meets The Office.”
I know it has the potential to be considered a comedy book, but it's really not. It is a mystery story about our social climate and how we have disengaged from our humanity while being engaged with more humans than ever before.
And it also happens to have some comedy in it.
And also crap-slapping.
Brown: I tend to describe it a bit more like Death Note meets Deadpool. It's got that mystery at the center of it, where some anonymous person is trying to impact the world with their own vision of justice, but at the same time the character has a lot of personality. Of course, while Outrage finds himself very funny, but not everyone necessarily shares his sense of humor.
Nrama: And you're doing this not in print, but online with immediate feedback, at LINE Webtoon. We've talked with Reilly before about his webcomics, but can you talk about this plan - specifically with the context of the story?
Nicieza: I will shut my mouth for a change.
Brown: I've played with a bunch of types of digital comics in the past, and the vertical scroll style at LINE Webtoon is one I'm psyched to take a crack at. There are a lot of interesting narrative opportunities to play with there, and I think we're doing some cool stuff with it.
The immediate feedback, as well as the built-in comments section, will be particularly interesting with a story that plays with current events and social media. Careful what you say there, or Outrage might come after you!
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals with Outrage?
Nicieza: Most importantly, my goal is to make everyone across the planet treat each other in a more mature, civil manner. Since that goal is not likely to be met, my secondary goal is to make a lot of money on all the things you kids today are buying! Lunchboxes! Underoos! Mego figures! Feminine Hygiene products!
And also, I would like to see our OMOJIS pasted on social media all over the world just to prove to Reilly I was right all along!
Brown: If you get your face printed on feminine hygiene products, that will definitely prove something...
I'm excited to try out another new way of making comics, and am really impressed by the size of the audience that Webtoon has attracted to their app and their site. I don't think we've mentioned it yet, but the comic will be free, so hopefully