Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s another Kickstarter campaign!
I’m IPPY Award winning writer Kevin Powersand I’m teaming up with artists Matt Gaudio, Rowel Roque and IPPY Award winning colorist Donna Gregory to revive the greatest one-hit wonder in comic book history – The Atomic Thunderbolt.
What’s the story?
In the early years of World War II, super-powered and costumed heroes emerged to fight domestic corruption and the Nazi war machine. As the war pressed on, the heroes began to disappear at home and on the frontlines without any explanation. They quickly became urban legends and tall tales, exaggerated stories of comic books come to life.
In 1946, the war has ended and the Cold War has yet to begin. As the world’s new status quo begins to take shape, a new super-powered being called makes his presence known drawing the attention of former OSS agent Jay McPherson. With a hidden threat to the world’s new and fragile stability looming, McPherson goes to extreme lengths to track down and recruit the new hero.
Wait… we’ve been here before…
It’s true. This is the second campaign for The Atomic Thunderbolt, but we’re taking a bit of a different approach this time. Rather than try to fund the entire story at once, we wanted to approach the project on an issue by issue basis.
Part of the relaunch and restructuring of the project are a few big changes.
The first issue sets up our main story -"Whatever happened to The Atomic Thunderbolt?" - which is slated to be a four-issue story arc. While Matt Gaudio provided line art for the first issue, the second four issues will be drawn by Rowel Roque. This was due to scheduling and making sure we could put out the most timely product. It has ended up working in our favor because it allows our new "The Atomic Thunderbolt #1" to stand on it's own as a homage and sequel to the original.
We're also going to be including 15 pages (both Atomic Thunderbolt stories). Because the actual book is hard to come by, we've sized down and slightly touched up some of the pages found on public domain libraries.
Full disclosure: It’s not the best quality by any means, but it's enough to serve as a proper supplement to our new story.
What can we expect in issue #2?
The first issue reestablishes the character and his story. The second issue really dives into the meat of the story with plenty of action, super-heroics and Nazi-punching. That's right, from a historical standpoint, the war might be over, but our hero is left to deal with remnants.
Rowel Roque takes over art duties and he brings a very sharp and crisp style that is perfect for a classic hero and keeps the spirit Matt establishes in the first issue. Here is some of Rowel's work from an unpublished project he and I worked on recently:
Sounds great! What are the rewards?
Check out the rewards below. We've got some great incentives, plus a handful of variant covers that are really unique and exclusive to the Kickstarter!
STRETCH GOAL #1
$2,000 - At $2,000, all reward tiers that have selected a print copy will receive an exclusive 6 x 9 print by Patriot-1 artist Dexter Wee!
Okay.. so who the heck is The Atomic Thunderbolt?!
I’m glad you asked. Following the debut of Superman in “Action Comics #1” in June 1938, every publisher under the sun created characters like the Man of Steel in an attempt to capture that same lightning in a bottle – especially during World War II. Some of those characters have endured, while others have faded into obscurity.
The Atomic Thunderbolt came after the height of the early-1940s superhero craze. The war was over, the Cold War had yet to begin and many superhero comics had begun to cease publication while the precursors of Marvel and DC continued to evolve. The atomic age hero made his first and only appearance in “The Atomic Thunderbolt #1” in 1946.
Featured in two stories – one detailing the character’s origin and the other in a slapstick tale with two aloof scientists – The Atomic Thunderbolt disappeared and was never seen again in mainstream comics. In the 71 years since his initial publication by the Regor Company, The Atomic Thunderbolt has achieved a cult status among Golden Age and Public Domain superhero enthusiasts.
Why are you reviving him?
Another good question. I really love Golden Age characters. Technically, four of my favorite characters – Green Arrow, Superman, The Phantom and Captain America – are Golden Age characters, but this day and age we’re mostly referring to characters that aren’t still published. Many of these characters – like The Atomic Thunderbolt – are also in the public domain.
A few years ago, I was looking to do a story set during World War II featuring some of these characters. In researching them, I came across The Atomic Thunderbolt and I was hooked. I loved the powers, the backstory and the time period. I thought there was so much more left to explore.
Where is the money going?
The funds raised for this issue will be used in part for printing the first issue, but mostly for production costs on the second issue. Any funds raised over goal will be rolled into production of the series, plus added incentives and rewards!
Risks and challenges
There are always risks that come with campaigns. First and foremost, if we don't get funded, we will retool and try again, but we will also still make the first issue available.
Of course, life happens and that may cause delays with deadlines or shipping rewards, but we're committed to creating a really great story together.
I'm very big about transparency with Kickstarters and I won't BS you of something comes up that may hinder production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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