Conspiracies can be fun or deadly, depending on the information. Stronghold, coming in February from AfterShock Comics seems like it will be a mix of the two. The series, written by Phil Hester, illustrated by Ryan Kelly, colored by Dee Cunniffe, and lettered by Simon Bowland, reveals that our planet is actually a prison designed to both trap and shelter an amnesiac alien entity of incalculable power. He now goes by Michael Grey, having transformed from a cosmic angel of destruction into an ordinary, Midwestern insurance underwriter.
To complicate matters further, Claire, a delivery driver / college student has fallen in love with Grey. She’s also part of a centuries-old secret society called The Stronghold which works to prevent Grey from finding out about his past and keep the world safe. For their love to be born, Earth must die. Stronghold is described as a mix of cosmic horror, high adventure, and tragic romance.
Writer Phil Hester says:
Nothing heightens the unreality of a fantastical story like keeping the real aspects of it authentic. What makes Stephen King’s work scary isn’t the big bad monster as much as how effectively he contrasts it with the reality of everyday life. The most frightening parts of The War of the Worlds radio broadcast or the original Night of the Living Dead film are hearing and seeing the mundane media reports struggling to grasp the bizarre events. To maintain that contrast, I sort of have to keep a bright line in my mind between the down-to-earth details of falling in love and the vast cosmic cataclysm yawning underneath everyone’s feet. If a reader can feel the authenticity of the relationship, they’ll feel like they have a stake in its success or failure in the face of these otherworldly forces.
Stronghold #1 is set to debut on February 20th, 2019. It will feature a cover by Ryan Kelly and another by Tyler Walpole.