Steve Orlando and Matthew Dow Smith have partnered together for "a post-post-apocalypse" series at AfterShock titled Dead Kings. Scheduled to launch October 24, Dead Kings mixes science, sorcery, and global war into what the publisher calls "an in-depth exploration of retribution, in all its dark, complex forms."
“In Dead Kings, there is no mystery to magic, it's simply assets and technology, and like any other type of dangerous technology, we've abused it to create massive diesel-punk war machines that nearly destroyed the world," Orlando explained. "But the world's crawling back, and in Thrice-Nine, the kingdom that used to be the Slavic Empire, anarchy rules. The Oprichniki, Secret Police without a Captain, run the loose nation as a police state, the Wild Wild East...rounding up anyone who disagrees with them or lives against their standards. The worlds been burnt and born again, but these human drives remain."
The series centers on Sasha Vasnetsov, who is working to free her brother Gena from a work camp for the socially regressive. Sasha finds help in a veteran of the Great Iron War, Maria Kamenaya.
"This is Russian Folklore to the tune of Blade Runner 2049, and it's going to take you to a world you've never seen...the world a generation after the end of the world, where the first sprouts of goodness are fighting to grow up through the cracks," Orlando said.
Here is a solicitation for the first issue. Look for AfterShock's full October 2018 solicitations later this month at Newsarama.
DEAD KINGS #1 / $3.99 / 32 pages / color / on sale 10.24.18
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Colorist: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Cover A: Matthew Dow Smith
Cover B: Michael Gaydos
Thrice-Nine took Sasha's brother, and it took Maria's heart.
Plagued by the ramifications of a techno-magic world now thirty years gone, Thrice-Nine is a dirty folklore world that limps along, degenerating into a place filled with paranoia and poison. Sasha Vasnetsov thought he’d escaped all that, but when news comes that his younger brother has been kidnapped by the secret police, he finds himself dragged back into the madness with a simple goal—to find his brother.
But Sasha is going to need help to do this, and he enlists Maria Kamenaya, a former warrior with hundreds of enemy kills to her name, who was betrayed by the very country she served. This quest is how they get both of those things back, in the lawless land of decapitated states...the land of DEAD KINGS.