Scientists modify their own bodies and become the world's first superheroes. Living the io9.com dream? Well, yes, but it's also the beginning of Warren Ellis' Black Summer, soon to be part of the next wave of superhero cinema.
Summer, which was published from 2007 through 2008 by indie publisher Avatar Press, was Transmetropolitan and Planetary writer Ellis' attempt to break new ground for the superhero genre, stripping it of continuity and familiar characters and trying to rebuild it for a new audience. As he said in a 2007 interview:
There are still questions to be asked of the superhero genre, but, after all these years, most of the ones left are pretty esoteric and involved. I was looking for the simple question, the one that gets to the heart of the central notion of people disguising themselves and taking up arms to fight for justice with total commitment. And the one I found had political expression but was essentially ethical and moral. Where do you draw the line? Especially if you're a guy with the destructive potential of a fleet of Apache helicopters. If you're that guy, you're not in it to govern. You don't see that as your job, and, in fact, that would prevent you from doing your job. You operate outside society to keep it honest. So where do you draw the line? And where's the line before which you embody the outrage of the people and beyond which you become the fears of the people?
Here's a clue to where the answer to that last part may lie: The story begins with one of seven superheroes killing the President of the United States.
The movie adaptation will be the first project from the brand new Vigilante Enterprises. No studio, director or writers have been announced for the project yet.
Vigilante launching with 'Black Summer' [Variety]