Chuck Austen returns to comics with ‘Edgeworld’

Austen team with Hawkman artist Patrick Olliffe on a new title for comiXology Originals.

Here’s a name that will likely bring a strong reaction from comics fans of a certain age — Chuck Austen will return to comics next week with Edgeworld, a new series from comiXology Originals.

Austen will write the series, with veteran artist Patrick Olliffe and colorist Lee Loughridge providing the art. It’s described as “an edgy expectation-busting western set in the far reaches of outer space.”

“Edgeworld is the place people need to go in order to get somewhere else, but not to stay,” said Austen, “It’s a temporary rest stop, a place to blow off some steam on a long journey between the stars. But no one stays on Pala unless the rest of the universe is done with them. No one, that is except for the oppressed Palans and their lone supporter, Killian Jess.”

If you aren’t familiar with Austen’s work, he actually started in comics back in the 1980s as an artist, drawing issues of the Alan Moore-written Miracleman. He’d go on to write and draw his own comics, including Hero Sandwich and the porn comics Strips and Hardball.

In the early 2000s, he started working for Marvel, first creating an adults-only War Machine comic for their new MAX line, writing several Sept. 11-inspired comics under their The Call of Duty banner and eventually taking over Uncanny X-Men opposite Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men. His run proved somewhat controversial, as it revealed Nightcrawler was the son of a wannabe devil, featured She-Hulk sleeping with Juggernaut (her client at the time) and had a really uncomfortable sex scene between Archangel and Husk while flying over her mom. He would go on to write Avengers, Captain America, JLA and Action Comics, before moving on from comics to work in animation, on shows like King of the Hill, Steven Universe and She-Ra.

“Pat Olliffe and I had worked together before at Marvel on a couple projects and enjoyed the process, me writing, him drawing, us collaborating on look, scenes, and mood,” said Austen. “We’d talked before about working together again, but I’d left comics. One day we both finally realized, ‘Hey! Why don’t we create a comic for ourselves? Just for fun?’ One rocket-sled ride later, and here we are. We never created this to sell to a publisher. We created it to create and that was very freeing.”

Here’s how comiXology describes the comic:

In Edgeworld, Killian Jess is the magistrate and a former United Authority soldier who knows the system, upholds the law, and delivers the verdict—with a vengeance. Alongside native Palan Cheela, Killian fights to protect the planet Pala, a backwater, frontier planet on the edge of known space located beneath a riftgate—the greatest and most valuable discovery in galactic history. Together, the duo must battle alien invasions, military forces, black market traders, otherworldly infestations, drug runners and the disastrous, ecological aftermath of a brutal, planet-wide war, in order to save the world they love.

The first issue of five arrives on comiXology on Tuesday. Check out some preview pages below:

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