Dynamite Entertainment have announced a new video game-related title springing from the Hitman gaming franchise, to be written by Christopher Sebela (Hellraiser, Injustice: Ground Zero, Green Lantern/Space Ghost), and illustrated by Jonathan Lau (Bionic Man, Battlestar Galactica).
In partnership with Gunpowder Studios and video game developer IO Interactive, Dynamite will publish Agent 47: Birth of the Hitman #1 on October 11, 2017. The comic will explore the origins of Agent 47 from the Hitman game.
47 and his handler, Diana Burnwood, are a team responsible for some of the most ruthless, efficient and untraceable assassinations across the globe. But before they were operatives of the shadowy International Contracts Association, 47 and Burnwood were on their own separate paths in life – streets lined with blood, bullets and revenge. As 14-year-old Diana begins a mission to track down the people who killed her parents, 47 is struggling to free himself and his friend, 6, from the mysterious Institute which has bred them as killers since they were kids. With a story that stretches from the heartland of America to the Berlin Wall, Lone Wolves will trace the birth of the legendary Hitman and the secret past of the woman behind him who pulls the string and knows just how hard taking a life truly is.
Writer Chris Sebela says:
I’ve always loved murder stories, so when Dynamite asked if I had any ideas about a Hitman book, all my gears started to race right off their spindles. Of course, I did. But as much as I love the assassination playground setup of the games, what lured me in was figuring out how someone becomes an apex predator and how, with each new acquired skill, something more vital gets lost or sacrificed along the way. Not just for Agent 47, but also with his handler–the woman who chooses their jobs and points him at a target. Every job and life 47 takes can potentially swing the tides of history on a whim, and seeing how it all intertwines through a history we thought we knew was the final magical element that I needed to get to work and I’m really excited to get it out there.
Christopher Sebela is the co-creator of Heartthrob, High Crimes, We(l)come Back, Dead Letters and Short Order Crooks as well as having written things like Kiss/Vampirella, Detective Comics, Escape from New York, Captain Marvel, Injustice: Ground Zero and Demonic. He says he “is a fan of dogs, coffee, horror movies and writing about himself in the third person”.
Artist Jonathan Lau comments:
I played the games and watched the movies so I was a fan from the get go, so choosing Hitman was a pretty obvious choice for me from among the many other properties from DE. I was protective at the outset in the sense that I love the character so much I wouldn’t want other artists who are unfamiliar with Agent 47 to handle him. His persona of being robotic, very calculating, apathetic, emotionless, and always wearing a dead-pan face, has engrossed me ever since. In one sense he’s easy to draw, but on the other hand, the environment is the most tedious and time-consuming part to work on, as it feels alive and ever-changing. As a fan, I’m enjoying creating this world from a fan’s point of view. If I get thrilled at every turn of the page, and if that suspense holds for fans, then I know I’ve accurately depicted the world of Hitman as it truly deserves to be.
Jonathan Lau has been an exclusive artist with Dynamite since the inception of his career. Beginning with Battlestar Galactica, Lau then joined the creative teams on The Green Hornet, and Bionic Man based on undeveloped screenplays from director Kevin Smith. Lau also contributed to a number of mini-series including Peter Canon Thunderbolt, Miss Fury, Solar Man of the Atom and Pathfinder, as well doing alternate covers for many of Dynamite’s titles. His “artist strength lies in his pulse-pounding action scenes, and states his biggest influences come from Manhwa or Kung Fu comics”.
Hitman was originally developed by Danish company IO Interactive, and was initially released in 2000 with several follow-up installments since. The cross-platform game franchise also features two novels, Hitman: Enemy Within and Hitman: Damnation, both written by William C. Dietz. The series also saw the loosely based film adaption, Hitman, in 2007, and again in 2015 with Hitman: Agent 47.
Agent 47: Birth of the Hitman #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ August 2017 Previews catalog, and slated for release in October.