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Red Team Is Go – Dynamite Entertainment Lights The Fuse On Crime Imprint
Dynamite Entertainment seems to be the little company that could. Just this last week, the comic book publisher announced that they’re launching a crime fiction imprint, and have brought Garth Ennis and Andy Diggle on board to write for it.
Now, ask me a few years back about Dynamite Entertainment, and I’d likely have stared blankly at you, mainly because statistically, I probably wouldn’t have known who you are. But once awkward formalities were out of the way, I’d likely have thought of those guys as just that comics company that did mostly just licensed work and such.
They managed to turn somewhat of a corner when DC Comics got cold feet with Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s series The Boys and cancelled the series with issue #6. In a somewhat non-dickish move by DC Comics, they allowed the rights to revert back to Ennis and Robertson, who took their property over to Dynamite Entertainment, where it became the publisher’s biggest selling title, a hit, and is currently past its 70th issue, wrapping its run the way the creators intended.
If only they could’ve done the same with Jack Cross, a DC Comics series by Warren Ellis and Gary Erskine series cancelled by DC after only four issues, that apparently only I loved…
Anyhoo, since then, Dynamite Entertainment has been going from strength to strength. While still relying heavily on their licensed properties (and doing a pretty bang-up job, all things considered) they’ve proven themselves in what is a pretty difficult market during current times. And hell, they’ve gotten guys like Mark Waid, Rick Remender, Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, and more to write for them.
But it’s just this last week that has really gotten my pneumatic crime boner pumping, with Dynamite Entertainment launching the aforementioned crime fiction imprint.
This is a smart, smart move, as this company definitely needs more original properties if they’re going to continue to thrive.
First up is the Garth Ennis title Red Team, which all things considered, sounds a little bit like The Shield. And fuckaroo, sounding “a little bit like The Shield” is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, and knowing Ennis, he’ll knock this one out of the park. Ennis is teaming with up-and-coming artist Craig Cermak on the title which concerns, in Garth’s words (imagine the following in a thick Irish brogue):
“Earlier this year, the four members of the NYPD’s elite strike unit Red Team decided to murder a suspect. And the worst possible thing that could happen… happened.”
What’s that? I have no idea what was said. It’s like I’m deaf to that accent.
Anyway, the series is going to be seven issues long, and I’m ready to jump the fuck on.
Why should you bother, you ask? Well, Ennis is something of crime comics royalty. Take a look at the guy’s resumé: He’s written Preacher, one of the big Vertigo comics; Hitman, a gem of a series from a much ballsier DC Comics of the past; countless, excellent war comics; co-wrote the great Back To Brooklyn; and had what is, for my money at least, his greatest work on Marvel’s The Punisher on his The Punisher Max series. That run is going to be looked back on as one of the greatest runs on the 2000s. Mark my fucken words. Just some of the best writing, tucked into a seemingly one-note character like the Punisher, who becomes less a hokey relic of the ‘70s, and more an almost mythic force of doom and corruption, the black soul of a dying world. That, and there’s tits.
Anyway, Red Team is all but certainly going to be good. Ennis writes complex characters and does especially well when dealing with themes of corruption.
Also freshly announced is that Andy Diggle is going to be writing for the crime imprint, as well. Now, Diggle is a guy who got my attention in a huge way a few years back, writing the Vertigo reboot of The Losers. You might know it from the mediocre film of the same name, but ignore that, and just jump straight into the comics. They were just awesome, well-paced, fun and high energy heist/action comics. Besides that, I’ve found the guy to be a little hit and miss. I dug his Adam Strange miniseries for DC, but was pretty cold on his Marvel work on Daredevil and Thunderbolts.
However, the guy seems fired-up about writing for Dynamite and getting to do some original comics, saying on Dynamite’s press release:
“It’s not every day that a publisher offers you the chance to create a whole new world from scratch, and I’m having fun cooking up something dark, funny, violent and twisted… Hard-hitting genre fiction with a twist, for readers who don’t like having their intelligence insulted.”
Wow. Well, fuck me. I’m having trouble reading as my throbbing erection keeps getting in the way of the screen.
Details are scarce on what Diggle will actually be doing, but hell, if it’s half as good as his hype, it’ll be great!
Look for Dynamite’s crime line to debut next year.