The Brother of All Men issue 1 featured News 

AfterShock Announces “The Brother of All Men”

By | April 12th, 2022
Posted in News | % Comments
Cover by Eoin Marron
with Mark Englert

AfterShock Comics have announced “The Brother of All Men,” a historical thriller by writer Zac Thompson (“Undone by Blood”) and artist Eoin Marron (“Killer Groove”), with colorist Mark Englert, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Set in 1928, the book follows private eye Guy Horn as he travels to Western Canada to find his brother, who has joined the Aquarian Foundation, a group led by the real-life cult leader Brother XII (Twelve). However, Guy, a veteran of the Great War, is struggling with his own personal demons, and risks becoming seduced by Brother XII himself.

Thompson says in the press release that the book features an “omniscient third person narrator and three chapter per issue format,” which allows them “to explore all kinds of different characters in and around the cult,” as well as Horn. “While the book is a moody blend of folk horror and neo-noir, it’s also historical fiction. Every page is layered with dense research about real people from real Canadian history. The goal is to hold a mirror to the tumultuous 1920s to tell a story about right now.”

The writer was inspired to tackle the subject of the Aquarian Foundation because “cults are arguably more prevalent than ever. Whether they’re formed around a failed University professor, a shitty comedian turned podcast host, or an ignorant teen icon – they’re corrosive. They erode people’s decision-making skills and reinforce limited ways of thinking. I think most people believe they’re above that kinda thinking, without realizing the various outside factors that draw people into cults in the first place. I imagine we’ve all had an experience in the last few years where we’ve tried to appeal to someone else’s logic in an effort to change their mind. But can you actually save someone who doesn’t want to be saved? I’m not so sure.”

For more from Thompson and Eoin Marron, head to the official Q&A below. “The Brother of All Men” #1 will be released on July 13, and retail at 32 pages for $4.99. The book will be available with an incentive cover by Hayden Sherman, which you can also check out with an unlettered interior preview here:

Art by Hayden Sherman

ZAC THOMPSON ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE IS EXCITED FOR IT TO COME OUT:

“The Brother of All Men is a rural horror/noir story about estranged brothers. It’s set in the late 1920’s and follows World War One vet and part-time private eye Guy (pronounced Gee) Horn. Guy travels to the pacific northwest looking for his estranged brother. He comes to find that his brother is actually part of a (real life) cult called The Aquarian Foundation, led by the enigmatic Brother XII.

Guy is ill-equipped to understand the true scope of his peril. Like all good noir detectives, his goal is noble but perhaps misguided by emotion. Guy sustained a life-changing injury in the war. He’s lost his place in the world and is sickened by his own country. He’s searching for purpose just as much as he’s searching for his brother.

I’m excited for people to get into Guy’s head and understand his frustrations. But also – thanks to the omniscient third person narrator and three chapter per issue format – we’re able to explore all kinds of different characters in and around the cult. While the book is a moody blend of folk horror and neo-noir, it’s also historical fiction. Every page is layered with dense research about real people from real Canadian history. The goal is to hold a mirror to the tumultuous 1920’s to tell a story about right now.”

ZAC THOMPSON ON WHAT SOME OF HIS INSPIRATIONS WERE BEHIND CREATING THE BOOK:

“This book is a giant love letter to the cinema of the 1970’s. Channeling all the mood and atmosphere of something like The Wicker Man but moving the setting to the Canadian west. A place where the occult thrived for years amidst the backdrop of heavy industry and colonization. That changing sense of place is something that is embodied by 1970’s neo-noir like The Long Goodbye and Chinatown. There’s also tons of literary influence from the hard-hitting noir of Dashiell Hammett, or Brian Evenson’s excellent novel Last Days. In the comics space we’re looking for fans of Darwyn Cooke’s Parker graphic novels and people who loved Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale.”

ZAC THOMPSON ON WHAT HE HOPES READERS WILL TAKE AWAY FROM READING THIS BOOK:

“Cults are arguably more prevalent than ever. Whether they’re formed around a failed University professor, a shitty comedian turned podcast host, or an ignorant teen icon – they’re corrosive. They erode people’s decision-making skills and reinforce limited ways of thinking. I think most people believe they’re above that kinda thinking, without realizing the various outside factors that draw people into cults in the first place. I imagine we’ve all had an experience in the last few years where we’ve tried to appeal to someone else’s logic in an effort to change their mind. But can you actually save someone who doesn’t want to be saved? I’m not so sure.”

EOIN MARRON ON HIS APPROACH TO THE ARTWORK:

“I work exclusively in analog and saw an opportunity in a book of this nature – where texture is key and the setting is of an older period – to explore my style in even more tactile ways than before. This meant getting rougher and looser with the inks, being less precious about the end result and engaging with the board in a more hands-on manner.”

(WITHOUT REVEALING SPOILERS) EOIN MARRON ON HIS FAVORITE PAGE/PANEL IN ISSUE #1:

“Definitely page 17 – one of those pages that read so vividly in script form that I was waiting all issue (I draw chronologically) to get to it. You’ll also find the three tiers have panel counts that lead up to a very integral recurring number in this series, and that kind of formalistic composition is always fun to play with.”

EOIN MARRON ON (3) REASONS WHY COMIC FANS SHOULD ADD THIS TITLE TO THEIR PULL LIST:

  • The Brother of All Men is the first time me and Zac are collaborating on something from scratch, and anyone who knows either of us will know how deep our shared pool of influences go. To say this is a pet project for us is an understatement, and I think that will come across in spades.
  • You’ll come for the surface-level post-WW1 noir stylings but stay for what’s on the other side of the half-broken mirror.
  • “3” is a factor of “12.”

  • Christopher Chiu-Tabet

    Chris is the news manager of Multiversity Comics. A writer from London on the autistic spectrum, he enjoys tweeting and blogging on Medium about his favourite films, TV shows, books, music, and games, plus history and religion. He is Lebanese/Chinese, although he can't speak Cantonese or Arabic.

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