By Selome Hailu, Variety
Charlamagne Tha God is developing new lines of graphic novels under his Simon & Schuster imprint Black Privilege Publishing as well as comic book series with AWA Studios, Variety has learned exclusively.
To begin the endeavor, Charlamagne has tapped Kevin Grevioux (“Underworld,” “King of Killers”) as the writer of a new graphic novel project titled “Darkstorm.” Illustrated by Ken Lashley, “Darkstorm” follows a reluctant superhero with PTSD who is seen as an anti-hero except to those who know him best.
On the comic books side, the first series in development is “The Vindicators,” which centers a a diverse superhero team and a relatable origin story set in a bleak dystopian future.
“If you know anything about me, then you know how much I love comics,” Charlamagne said. “I’m the guy who got Wolverine holding a microphone tattooed on his arm when he was 17 because of my love of comics. Partnering with Kevin Grevioux to present this new universe, filled with Black and brown god-level superheroes is a dream come true. A lot of the Black superheroes I loved growing up were street-level and that’s cool, but I want to see omega-level superheroes that look like me and people around me, and that’s exactly what we are giving you with ‘Darkstorm’ and ‘The Vindicators.’ I am blessed and excited to continue the important work with my Black Privilege imprint on Simon & Schuster and begin partnerships with comic book veterans like Bill Jemas, Axel Alonso and the whole team at AWA Studios. It’s collaborations like this that help to build an empire and I’m grateful to have found good ones.”
Grevioux commented, “I feel blessed to be working with a guy that is as successful as Charlamagne, a one-of-a-kind cultural icon with global reach. He also has an incredible genre IQ for science fiction, comics and fantasy. So, I truly believe that he is the absolute perfect partner for these ventures. The world’s really not ready for what we have in store.”
“When you get the opportunity to work on some great characters you jump at the chance,” said Lashley. “l am drawn to strong characters of color, and there are not many in mainstream comics, but ‘Darkstorm’ is just that. It’s also created by Kevin Grevioux who is a very talented writer and created another powerful character in Blue Marvel, so it’s a win-win. it’s very exciting.”
“Charlamagne Tha God is one of the most compelling voices in culture today,” added AWA CEO Bill Jemas. “His passion for comics was abundantly clear when we met him. But what truly blew us away was his handle on comic storytelling. We look forward to working with him and bringing his amazing concepts and vision to life starting with ‘The Vindicators.’”
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