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Writerís Commentary Ė Peter Milligan On Terminal Hero #1

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  • Writerís Commentary Ė Peter Milligan On Terminal Hero #1

    Writerís Commentary Ė Peter Milligan On Terminal Hero #1

    Dynamiteís new Creators Unleashed title Terminal Hero hit stores this week and series creator/writer Peter Milligan went through the issue and shares his thoughts with our readers.

    A comic book about cancer? Terminal cancer? Oh God, that sounds so bloody depressing.

    Cancer is at the heart of the book. In that itís our hero Rory being diagnosed with terminal cancer that will set him on his strange journey. But the journey that Rory goes on is full of sex, drugs, craziness, and some really dark, and terrible places.

    In other words: life.

    Terminal Hero? Well, for Rory it doesnít turn out to be exactly terminal. And, unfortunately, he falls some way short of being any kind of hero. Unless itís heroic simply to survive.

    Iíve spoken in a few interviews about my starting point for this book. A friend who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That was the creative spark, but unlike my friend I wanted Rory to survive. Maybe in this way I was sticking two fingers (or in the USA One finger) up at the Big C.

    See, something happens that changes my terminal patientís life around. And this is what this book is really about. Not death. But life. And what price life might come with.

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    Rory is a good person. People like him. And he really doesnít want to die. But even now, he isnít inclined to take advantage of someoneís generosity. This is an important scene. We meet the lovely Emma. And Roryís treatment of her now is in a marked contrast to how itíll be later, after he is taking Treatment Q.

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    Here we see Roryís best friend Raza, first introducing a baffled Rory to Treatment Q. Created by the brilliant and doomed Professor Quigley.

    Iíve always been a fan of the Quatermass stories and wanted to give this a bit of the flavour of that. Brilliant slightly mad scientist, incredible inventions. Something fun and a bit ďout-thereĒ to offset the real life horror of terminal illness.

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    And these panels get to the heart of what makes Rory Fletcher tick. Lulu was his sister whom he watched dying from a defective heart. Itís this that made Rory become a doctor, to want to help people. But itís this very thing

    that will be the stuff of his recurring nightmares later on, when the treatment really starts to kick in.

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    The Treatment Q does begin to work. But Rory soon discovers what they meant by terrible, unforeseen side-effects. This is just the beginning.

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    I wanted Rory to fight back at the side-effects. Heís a doctor, it is in his nature to look for a cure. The ways he finds to hold back the more extreme effects of the Treatment Q are surprising, and reveal sides to him he never knew he had, and never wanted to have.

    Rory thought the tumor in his brain meant the end. But it turns out to be the beginning for him. As the idea of a tumor was the beginning for me to write this book. I know, some people will still be worried that this book is depressing, simply because of the subject matter. But follow Rory Fletcher and his exploits and youíll see that he has many, many problems.

    Interestingly, depression is not one of them.

    For more on Terminal Hero #1, click here.