Los Angeles-based publisher Immortal Studios continues its mission to create a martial arts-inspired comic book universe (what the company has aptly dubbed the “Immortal Storyverse”) with Assassins G. Currently raising funds via Kickstarter, the project comes from a veteran super girl writer Jen Troy and artist Tan Comics He Tao. Joyce Chin, Gian Gulang and Gene Ha are on variable cover duty.
Set in the early 1980s, the story follows a “deadly saga of revenge between warring factions in the martial underworld,” reads the official synopsis.
Born an orphan, Margot Gan was raised to be an unstoppable killing machine capable of vanishing into any environment (the titular Assassin G). His goal is to eliminate the formidable families that make up the Seven Culture Alliance and avenge the death of his stepmother, Shui Hongshao. This rampage suddenly stops when Margot falls in love with JP Yin, the main heir of the Yueyang family.
Troy and Tao drew much inspiration from Wǔxiá, an age-old cultural tradition encompassing martial arts, philosophy, virtue, history, romance, poetry, and legends. Over the decades, this has influenced everything from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon; at star wars; at The matrix.
“As the initial scope of our work at Immortal Studios nears a major milestone in completing our first four foundational titles, I feel more than ever that we have brought an authentic dynamism that brings the genre back to its founding ideals, while taking Wǔxiá into the modern world we all live in and still yearn – more than ever – for new heroes like us to rekindle our ambitious flames,” Immortal Studios Founder and CEO Peter Shiao tells me via e -mail.
He continues, “This Herculean effort would not have been possible without the prowess and cunning of Assassin G writer Jen Troy, who added her own voice to Margo Gan, the assassin who gains a conscience by falling in love with her nemesis; the imaginative art of He Tao, who harmoniously married Wǔxiá tradition with modernity; the editorial oversight of Brian Cunningham who brought dimensionality to the story’s martial underworld; and all the different variant artists who have shared their creative powers with us to build the world of Assassin G in a new power plant.
Assassin G is based on the literary works of famous author Shiao Yi, especially his Gan the 19th sister novel, which has been adapted for Chinese television a total of four times. Shiao – who happens to be Yi’s son – described the impending comic as “a great moment” for the Immortal Storyverse to flourish.
“Not only is this story one of Wǔxiá’s great modern classics, starring a ‘Sword Woman’ with millions of fans of the original syndicated dailies and her multiple television adaptations, it’s also fortunate that my dad and I have been planning and waiting,” he explains. “Where we would reopen this beloved story to reflect the widespread fan input my dad has received over the years on the original ending and wishes and hopes that the Assassin has a chance for true love, while bringing forward a uniquely Asian-American ethos to the original story by setting it in the 1980s, which now gives the story a unique pop sensibility, and of course, a modern soundtrack.
Check out an exclusive five-page preview of the first issue below:
A child of both East and West, Shiao says his goal is to “carry this living heritage forward for the next 1,000 years” and continue to adapt and shape it for the 21st century by constant evolution. As contemporary civilization continues to deliver new surprises every day, “Wǔxiá’s message is even more relevant than ever,” he adds.
“As the world enters troubling times, we champion stories that challenge everyone to live from their heroic cores, to be the difference we want in the world,” Shiao concludes. “While we’re breaking new creative ground, I’m encouraged by the Immortal playbook we’ve created and executed in terms of our direct-to-fan strategy and multi-window distribution partnerships that take our Storyverse into a variety of distinct communities from Wǔxiá fans to superhero fans, manga/anime lovers, martial artists, gamers, and everyone in between.