This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on May 31, 2016.
Aftershock Comics has had an explosive first year of publications with series featuring compelling new concepts and excellent comics talent. One of the most exciting debuts from the publisher in 2016 is Rough Riders from writer Adam Glass and artist Pat Olliffe. The series is set on the verge of the Spanish-American War as the USS Maine is destroyed off of the Cuban coast. It follows future President Theodore Roosevelt and his band of Rough Riders, a collection of famous American figures from the era, as they go to investigate the incident and discover mind-boggling, nefarious forces at work.
Rough Riders #1 and #2 have been released, and the first issue is already on its second printing. Next week Rough Riders #3 will continue to follow the group of adventurers as things take a turn for the deadly. ComicBook.Com is proud to offer readers a first glimpse at an exclusive preview of the issue here.ComicBook.Com writer Chase Magnett also had the opportunity to speak with series writer Adam Glass and ask him a few questions about the reception of Rough Riders so far and what fans can expect in the future.
You can check out the full solicit, interview, and preview all below.
ROUGH RIDERS #3 / $3.99 / 32 pages / Color / on sale 6.1.16
writer: Adam Glass
artist: Pat Olliffe
color: Gabe Eltaub
cover: Pat Olliffe
variant cover: Nick Pitarra
Operating in a strange land with newly forged alliances, Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders race against time to uncover their true enemy before war breaks out and innocent blood is shed. But what they’ll soon discover is that everyone is an adversary and what once was a mission of discovery has become a game of survival as one of our Riders is about to take a dirt nap for good.
Rough Riders #1 is on its second printing even though there was a healthy overprinting of the first issue. Has the response to the series been what you expected and how are you feeling as it picks up steam with #3 on the horizon?
Adam Glass:AfterShock Comics and our creative team feel great about Rough Riders and the building interest in the book. The response has been great. Pat Olliffe’s cover for RR #1 really caught people’s eyes and helped it fly off the shelves. And we’re pleasantly surprised to already have a fan favorite in Annie Oakley, who also happens to grace book #3’s cover. I probably get more tweets about Annie than any other character in the team, she is quickly becoming our Harley in Suicide Squad.
Collecting historical icons, real or fictional, is an intriguing concept that has been used to great effect in comics before. What attracted you to the time of the Spanish-American War and this set of characters?
Glass:I’ve always loved HISTORICAL FICTION, especially when it involves an alternate history. Movies like “Time After Time” “League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” novels such as “the Alienist” and comic books like “What IF?” And “Elseworlds,” had a huge influence on me. I love history in general and studied it in college so I already knew a lot about the Spanish American War and America’s Progressive Era. Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Houdini and Jack Johnson were all great representatives of their time, men that were pushing America into a more progressive time. Pioneers in their own right and colorful characters that still live on today, so putting them all together and on an adventure was an idea I had for a long time and am finally glad to tell.
There’s definitely a “twist” to the historical setting of Rough Riders too. Is there a long game for how these changes might affect and shape Teddy Roosevelt’s America as the series continues?
Glass: ABSOLUTELY. I’ve always seen Rough Riders as a Four Part series that will be told in Four different chapters of the team’s lives. This 1st series is before they were famous, second chapter will be when they have made it, third the price of that fame and finally the end game and what did it all mean. But what happens in this chapter of the series will have lasting affects throughout the rest of the series and America as we know it. The fun part is how you tie all of it to actual history, which we do really well.
Pat Olliffe captures the historical figures of Rough Riders very well, making them feel like the icons they are without becoming caricatures. What do you most enjoy seeing from Olliffe’s art on the series each month?
Glass:I’ve always been a big fan of Pat’s work, “The Untold Tales Of Spiderman” was one of my favorites and so when Mike Marts brought him up for this project I jumped at the chance to work with him. My wife laughs at me when I get an email from Pat, because I’m like a kid opening his presents on Christmas morning and can’t wait to see what Pat drew. I feel truly lucky and thankful to have him drawing this book.
Looking ahead at the increasing stakes and weirdness to face the Rough Riders, what kind of experience do you think readers can expect as the series continues?
Glass:In the immortal words of the Grateful Dead, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” I think that sums up what’s coming, but like any journey; friendships are tested, bonds are made and you come out in the end of it stronger than when you entered. For those who are already on the journey with us I think they will be very happy and surprised by where it’s going. SPOILER ALERT: We’ll bump into a few other people from history a long the way who will play a part in the story also. And for those readers who haven’t taken the journey with us yet, the only question I have for you is — what are you waiting for?