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    Chaos! Reigns at Dynamite

    Evil Ernie has made an appearance under the Dynamite imprint, but his fellow Chaos cast of characters has thus far remained out of the spotlight. That changes in May, though, when Dynamite takes readers right into the middle of the Chaos Universe in the six-issue miniseries Chaos! by Tim Seeley & Mirka Andolfo.

    It’s been almost four years since Dynamite first acquired the rights to the Chaos characters; publisher Nick Barrucci explained the reason behind the measured pace at which the project developed. “We wanted to take it slowly and not relaunch with the entire universe out of the gate. So we had Evil Ernie come out—for lack of a better way of saying it, because this isn’t exactly the case—as a ‘warm-up.’ We wanted to do something different than just launch with the women, because that was expected. We wanted to do something different, and I'm happy to say that it worked very well for us. It also allowed Tim to take more time in planning the Chaos! event, which fans will see in the pages.

    “Now the twentieth anniversary of Chaos Comics is coming up, and that’s a great touchstone year to launch the entire universe. And to be candid, there was so much being put together—Tim Seeley has done such a good job—that the best thing we could have done was wait until we did it right and we couldn’t be happier.

    “Chaos! has been in various stages of development since we acquired Chaos! Comics. As you can imagine, this isn’t an event that can just be rushed into—these characters and this universe are a big deal, not just to us but to fans as well. It was originally conceived before the Evil Ernie miniseries, so when we went forward with that, then the character of Ernie had to be consistent with that—which didn’t require a big adjustment, but as crisis after crisis can tell you, the devil is in the details.

    “After that, we had to find the proper creative team to tell this story and Tim Seeley & Mirka Andolfo are just that team. Tim Seeley as the writer was a bit of a no-brainer, as he has been a fan of the characters for years, so getting him on board was key to making this event matter in a big way. To find Mirka, however, we went through dozens of portfolios and tests to find the artist who could both call back the old school Chaos look, but also bring something new and contemporary to the characters so it can appeal not only to old fans, but new readers as well. We are very lucky to have her. Then, once the team was set the rest of the pieces began to fall into place easily.”

    Tim Seeley offered some insights into the Chaos! storyline. “We're going to be playing with the ‘Apocalypse"’ scenario that was always prevalent in Chaos Comics, but in this case, the characters meet a woman who gives them a vision of the end of the world... and the perpetrator. Then, each character has to decide how they'll deal with this knowledge. And because it's the Chaos characters we're talking about here, the moralities aren't always so black and white, so we're set up for a bunch of crazy alliances, betrayals and grudges!”

    Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity, the Chosen... all of these characters will play a major role in Chaos. For readers who might not be familiar with the cast, Seeley offered an overview. “Purgatori is an ancient vampiress whose thirst for power and control has made her both an adversary and ally of mankind.

    “Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity and the Chosen are the primary focus of the series, but don’t think we’ll ignore other characters and players here,” assistant editor Molly Mahan added. “While other characters like Homicide, the Dead Onez, and Lucifur play bigger roles, there are a few references to other characters that established readers will appreciate as Easter eggs, while new readers will note to pay attention to for future storytelling.”

    Seeley isn’t writing solely for those with fond memories of the original Chaos line; he’s hoping to interest new readers in this intriguing horror universe. “This is Ground Zero for this universe... the story that sets up who these people are, what they want, and how that makes them get into really gory monster-versus-monster battles all the time.”

    Writing Chaos! is a dream come true for Seeley, a long-time Chaos fan. “I actually bought the very first black and white Evil Ernie book (from Eternity Comics!) off the rack in 1991 when I was fourteen years old,” Seeley said. “At that time I was looking for comics that appealed to my growing teenage sense that I should be rebelling against some damn thing or another, and Brian Pulido & Steven Hughes' gritty black and white horror comic book about a long haired metalhead who killed people in service of a pale girl in lingerie totally fit the bill.

    “Now, more than twenty years years later, I'm channeling some of that punk rock sensibility into this universe. Nothing's black and white. It's all about questioning the system and what motivates us. It's also about scary ass monsters, handsome bad boys and gorgeous ladies in gothy underpants

    “I've been talking to Nick [Barrucci] and Joe [Rybandt] about working on this project for a few years. I worked with them on Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash, and between us, I think we knew if I was anything, I was probably the guy to do Chaos! Sexy horror stuff is kinda my thing. I've had the time of my life working on it, and I'm really excited for new and old fans to check it out.”

    Does Chaos! lead into some bigger plans in late 2014? “It most definitely does,” Barrucci said. “The  Chaos! crossover series runs through November, so we’re evaluating whether the next stage should happen in December to launch during the twentieth anniversary, or whether we should wait until early 2015. Regardless of what we decide, it’s going to be a fun ride. Hey, Ernie is involved—it doesn’t get more fun than that!”

    And if Seeley were offered any one of these characters to continue after Chaos! wraps up in November, which one would he call dibs on? “Probably Evil Ernie,” Seeley said, “but I'm also pretty sure I could write The Omen—the book The Chosen appeared in—for a long time. I love those characters, They're horror Teen Titans by way of X-Men, and that’s right up my alley!”

    Chaos! #1 is scheduled for May 7th release. The book will be offered with cover art by J. Scott Campbell, Tim Seeley, & Emanuela Lupacchino; a subscription variant cover by Carlos Rafael; a blank Authentix cover; and a 1-for-10 variant cover by Charlie Adlard; a 1-for-25 black-and-white variant cover by Adlard; a 1-for-50 variant cover by Michael Turner; and a 1-for-100 black-and-white variant cover by Turner.

    —by Cliff Biggers
    Last edited by DudeAtDynamite; 03-25-2014, 03:24 PM.