By Brandon Schreur, CBR

CBR presents an exclusive preview of J. Michael Straczynski and ACO’s new thriller series for AWA Studios, The Madness, which launches in Aug. 2023.

The Madness is a new six-issue limited series launching in Aug. 2023 from AWA Studios. Written by Straczynski (The Amazing Spider-Man, Babylon 5), The Madness is illustrated by ACO, inked by David Lorenzo, colored by Marcelo Maiolo and lettered by Sal Cipriano.

The publisher said of the series, “In The Madness, Sarah Ross has been using her power as a thief, stealing from the rich and…well, keeping it. Until the day she stole from the wrong person, a highly placed official who pressures the government to assassinate her. The plot, aided by so-called “good” superheroes sponsored by the government, misses her but wipes out her family. Driven mad by grief, and laser-focused on revenge for the murder of her family, Sarah and a hidden side of her personality – an imaginary friend who may be more real than she believes – goes after these superpowered operatives determined to take her revenge, at any cost.”

Straczynski on What Fans Can Expect From The Madness

“I love writing stories about atypical heroes,” said Straczynski. “I wanted to play with the idea that we all have another side of us deep within that isn’t comparable to what we show people in everyday life. And – when that part comes out – how destructive it can really be, regardless of intent. It was a joy to develop Sarah, a complicated and passionate lead character seeking accountability, in the world that is THE MADNESS, especially working with a talented artist like ACO to bring it all to life.”

Axel Alonso, the chief creative officer for AWA Studios, added, “An adrenaline-pumping page turner with artwork so eye-catching that readers will be forced to linger on those pages that they’re so desperate to turn, THE MADNESS brings a deeply psychological take to superhero comics. We’re thrilled that Straczynski has taken on an all-new superhero story at AWA and can’t wait for readers to join Sarah and the friend she imagines on their quest for revenge.”

Additionally, artist Chris Ferguson (Black Tape) has collaborated with a number of other artists and creators for a series of punk rock variant covers homaging bands (including Black Flag, The Cramps, The Sex Pistols, Descendants, Misfits and Flipper) that inspired The Madness. A special punk rock variant will be available with each issue of the miniseries.

The Madness #1 features cover art by ACO, Brandon Peterson, Maiolo and Dalibor Talajić and variant covers by Ferguson, Talajić, Danielle Otrakji and Alonso. The issue releases on Aug. 9, 2023, from AWA Studios.

THE MADNESS is created and written by J. Michael Straczynski, pencilled by ACO, inked by David Lorenzo, colored by Marcelo Maiolo, and letterer Sal Cipriano. Issue #1 will be available Aug. 9, 2023, both digitally and in-stores wherever comic books are sold. For more information on THE MADNESS and other content, visit AWA Studios on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and

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