Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Look Alive, Sunshine — ‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem’ by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon Coming Soon!

The future is bulletproof, the aftermath is secondary.

It’s been almost seven years, but the Killjoys are back! Well, sort of. Not the Girl, and not the Fabulous Four — Party Poison, Fun Ghoul, Jet Star, and Kobra Kid — either, but rather … someone else entirely.

Back in the summer of 2008, My Chemical Romance lead singer and The Umbrella Academy comic series creator Gerard Way called up a friend, Shaun Simon, to discuss a comic book idea the latter was working on. It turned out Way was also fleshing out something with similar ideas and themes, and so began the history of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

Before Party Poison and then later Val Velocity, there was Mike Milligram — the original Killjoy. For Way, he was the starting point in his brain for the initial comic idea, who was created out of his and Simon’s need to express their distaste for the homogenization of youth culture at that time. The name Mike Milligram is a nickname that Way gave his brother, Mikey, during the tracking of his band’s third studio album, The Black Parade. Though a miniseries focusing on this character was announced in 2009, it unfortunately fizzled out.

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Courtesy of My Chemical Romance’s music video for the song “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”

My Chemical Romance would eventually go on to release Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys in 2010, an album with a story set in a post-apocalyptic California. After the third theatrical music video for the album fell through, Way and Simon dove back into their comic plans, because the look, the colors, and the energy of the world Way created for Danger Days were exactly what the two had been discussing for years (albeit with a different story and characters.) And so in 2013, the first issue of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys miniseries hit shelves, which took place in the years that followed where the album’s story left off.

Cover artwork by Becky Cloonan, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

But what about Mike Milligram? Ironically, as we approach the eve of the ten year anniversary of Danger Days, the original Killjoy will be getting his long-awaited moment in the spotlight. Way and Simon are finally ready to tell the story that inspired the Killjoys — The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem — a six-part miniseries that will begin hitting shelves next month.

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It’s important for fans to keep in mind that National Anthem is a completely different story from the one told across Danger Days and the 2013 comic series. Whereas those were set in the future, this takes place in the 1990s and 2000s.

The Fabulous Killjoys, once a group of teenage exterminators determined to save reality, have lost their way — and their memories. After a period of mental confinement, former Killjoys leader Mike Milligram gets de-programmed and hits the road to bring the gang back together for a final showdown against an evil pharmaceutical corporation, their monstrous hitman, and savage gang rivals.

The creative team behind National Anthem includes artist Leonardo Romero, letterer Nate Piekos, and colorist Jordie Bellaire. Several variant covers for the series have already been revealed, including ones from Becky Cloonan, the artist of the 2013 series.

Dark Horse Comics now has a short preview available for the first issue, which can be seen here. In the span of but nine pages, Mike Milligram has already proven to be a compelling lead character, one that we’re thrilled to learn more about and follow through the pages of this upcoming story. The artwork is superb, channeling a retro look with muted tones interspersed with bright splashes of color that feel dreamy — going hand in hand with the overall vibe and time period of National Anthem.

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

Needless to say, we’re incredibly excited that Way and Simon’s original idea is finally getting its due. Issue #1 of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem will arrive on October 14 through Dark Horse Comics. Killjoys, make some noise!

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Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about something Star Wars or Marvel related on Twitter @lindyysolo. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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