Ghost Machine #1 is arriving in comic book shops this Wednesday, available for $4.99, the eagerly awaited one-shot from Ghost Machine introduces FOUR UNIVERSES of genre characters across 64 pages and is published by Image Comics:
1) The Unnamed reveals a mysterious group of genre heroes from across history, featuring characters and titles like Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s already established Geiger and Junkyard Joe, and Redcoat, an all-new adventure saga from Johns and artist Bryan Hitch.
2) Rook: Exodus, a sprawling sci-fi epic created by Johns and artist Jason Fabok, takes place in the far future, on a planet where every aspect of nature is controlled by technology.
3) The universe of Family Odysseys centers around the time displaced family, The Rocketfellers from creators Peter J. Tomasi and Francis Manapul, as well Hornsby & Halo, written by Tomasi and illustrated by Peter Snejbjerg, which follows demon child Rose Hornsby and angel child Zach Halo at the center of a cosmic family swap to keep the peace between Heaven and Hell.
And 4) Hyde Street, an epic horror universe and the name of one of Ghost Machine’s lead series created by Johns and artist Ivan Reis. Ghost Machine will kick off its monthly issues with “Ghost Machine Day” on April 3, 2024 launching an all-new ongoing Geiger series, and first issues of Redcoat and Rook: Exodus. All of Ghost Machine’s titles will be published through Image Comics.
“Geiger, Redcoat, Rook, The Rocketfellers, and all the other characters we introduce in this inaugural book come from some of the most brilliant creators in the world,” said Johns. “This issue is the doorway to Ghost Machine. To our characters and creators. Our mission is to make great comics. Our goal is to put beautiful, compelling, character-driven monthly books on the stands for readers and retailers. But it’s quality over quantity. It’s long-term creator commitment. And it’s all-new characters and concepts. I couldn’t be prouder or more excited to be a part of this.”
Johns and Frank’s Geiger quickly established itself as one of the most popular and best reviewed creator-owned comics when it was first published in 2021. A two-issue prequel series followed end of 2023. Set in the years after a nuclear war ravaged the planet, desperate outlaws battle for survival in a world of radioactive chaos. Beyond the poisoned wasteland lives a man who became a monster protecting his family, and now struggles to become a man again. A television adaptation written by Johns is in development at Paramount TV with director Justin Simien (Dear White People, Haunted Mansion).
Frank added: “Geiger has all of the pyrotechnics and action of a kick-ass sci-fi adventure, but at its core, it’s about a dad who cannot let his family go and it kind of destroys him. He survives everything—maybe he’s the only one on Earth who does—but he loses himself. In the story, we get to see what he can piece back together and what he can become.”
Junkyard Joe, also created by Johns and Frank, published to critical acclaim in 2022. The story strives to highlight veterans’ perspectives through a comic book lens as a Vietnam Vet encounters the mysterious robotic soldier he met long ago in the jungles and the deadly forces pursuing him. Junkyard Joe #1: Special Black & White Veterans Edition was dedicated to Johns’ grandfather and Franks’ grandparents, who served in WWII, with the special veterans edition raising awareness and funds in support of the NCHV (US) and VA (UK). Johns and Frank are honored to continue their collaboration with the NCHV and VA through Ghost Machine. All proceeds of the Junkyard Joe Veterans Day merchandise launched last Veterans Day benefit the two charities.
Redcoat introduces readers to Simon Pure, a British soldier fighting in the American Revolutionary War. A fateful moment changes his life…literally forever, as Simon finds himself immortal after being shot in the head and left for dead. As he lives on, through the centuries, he witnesses American history first-hand…and one would think he might learn a thing or two along the way. Or will he? The idea was borne from banter between Johns and Hitch who asked themselves this very question: If you could live forever, would you repeat the same mistakes?
“Simon is almost the opposite of every superhero I’ve worked on,” said Hitch. “It’s a huge, magical, historical world we’re creating that spans centuries and if Simon does save the world, it won’t be his idea to do it. The big world building is great and hugely engaging to create, but dropping a character like Simon into it is brilliantly disruptive and that’s where all the action, adventure, romance, comedy, good, evil and good old-fashioned running away comes from.
I’ve learned from my own mistakes and can repeat them almost exactly. Simon has no idea what he’s capable of and we’re all going to follow his misadventures as he finds out. We’d go to therapy. Simon shoots people for food.”
Rook: Exodus, written by Johns and illustrated by Jason Fabok, introduces readers to an epic new sci-fi universe on planet Exodus, a terraformed world where every aspect is controlled by humans. Rook is one of the Wardens—those who wear helmets capable of commanding an entire species of animal. But when the world’s engine failed, the power of Wardens fell into the wrong hands—now it is up to Rook and those left behind to try and save it. Fabok first conceived ROOK as a teenager and found the ideal storytelling partner in Johns with whom he previously collaborated on the hugely successful Batman: Three Jokers.
Fabok added: “Rook is a character that’s been running around in my head since I was a teenager. But it wasn’t until Geoff and I began to talk about Ghost Machine that we found the story that would bring him and the world he inhabits to life.”
Family Odysseys sets the stage for a family universe full of heart, humor and heroics. Leading off with Peter J. Tomasi and Francis Manapul’s time-displaced The Rocketfellers, about a family in witness protection, hiding out from the future in our dysfunctional present. Tomasi and Manapul previously worked together on Batman: The Merciless.
Manapul added: “Peter and I want to take the readers on the ultimate family road trip, following The Rocketfellers epic journey from the future to the present where they’ll face adversities that could bring them together or tear them apart. Being time displaced outsiders, we’ll also have some fun with the family adjusting to our archaic world as well as elevate the scope of the threat they’ll have to face together.”
Set in the same family universe, Hornsby & Halo from Tomasi and frequent collaborator, artist Peter Snejbjerg, follows Rose Hornsby and Zack Halo in a small town in Upstate New York. With nothing less than cosmic peace at stake, the two adolescents find themselves at the center of an epic family swap as demon daughter Rose and angel child Zack are made to swap families. What the hell could go wrong?
Peter J. Tomasi added: “I’m so excited to be working on the Family Odysseys of books right now—and Hornsby & Halo has been a blast to write. As I’ve done with Batman and Robin and Super-Sons, I love crafting stories about young characters going through life-changing adventures, and watching Peter Snjebjerg fill Rose and Zack with so much vibrancy and energy while wrestling with the good and evil nipping at their heels is amazing and we can’t wait to share their stories!”
Finally, take a stroll down eerie Hyde Street. You can’t escape it. In every town, in every city, in every era, there is a Hyde Street. Johns and artist Ivan Reis, who collaborated on the massively successful Aquaman, step into a new horror universe that introduces the frightening figure Mr. X-Ray, capable of seeing your worst fears.
Ivan Reis added: “Hyde Street will blow your mind. It is the kind of story that will pull you in and make you fear every Hyde Street in your own town. It is a lot of fun creating a brand-new universe that is at once dark and twisted, yet also very relatable in terms of human fears and emotions.”
All of Ghost Machine’s titles are colored by Brad Anderson, with the exception of The Rocketfellers, colored by Francis Manapul, and Hornsby & Halo colored by Peter Snejbjerg, lettered by Rob Leigh and edited by Brian Cunningham.
Ghost Machine’s groundbreaking creator collective was launched at New York Comic Con in October 2023 and features a global best-of-class lineup of artists and writers whose award-winning and iconic works include a who’s who of comic book legends such as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Aquaman, Stargirl, JSA, The Flash, The Ultimates, Black Lightning, Green Arrow and countless more: Brad Anderson, Jason Fabok, Gary Frank, Bryan Hitch, Geoff Johns, Rob Leigh, Lamont Magee, Francis Manapul, Brad Meltzer, Ivan Reis, Peter Snejbjerg, Peter J. Tomasi, and Maytal Zchut. In an industry first, all of Ghost Machine’s creators jointly own and run the company, sharing in all of Ghost Machine’s publishing, media, merchandising and licensing. Each creator is exclusive to the company for their comic book work after completing projects already committed to.
Upcoming in-person appearances include FAN EXPO’s MEGACON Orlando (February 1-4, 2024), Philadelphia (May 3-5, 2024), Denver (July 4-7, 2024), Chicago (August 16-18, 2024) and Canada (August 22-25, 2024), as well as San Diego Comic-Con (July 25-28) and New York Comic-Con (October 17-20, 2024).
Additional store signings to celebrate the launch of Ghost Machine #1 include: Geoff Johns, Lamont Magee, Maytal Zchut at Earth-2 on January 24, Golden Apple and Arsenal Comics on January 27; Francis Manapul, Peter J. Tomasi at Scarborough Comic Room and The Canadian Comic Bin on January 24; Jason Fabok, Francis Manapul at CaptCan Comics on January 27; Geoff Johns at Desert Oasis Comicson January 28.