The creative team behind “Down, Set, Fight!” returns with a new “SwordQuest” comic at Dynamite. Co-writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims, along with illustrator Scott Kowalchuk, bring back the Atari property, which is legendary among gamers of a certain age for its incomplete nature. There were four planned games, each of which had an associated comic book, produced by DC, and which all featured cash prizes for being the first to beat them. However, the fourth game was never released, nor was the grand prize of $150,000 dolled out.
That is where this new comic begins – the real-life story of AirQuest – the fourth, never released game – is part of the comic. As a young boy, te protagonist, Peter, looked very much forward to AirQuest’s release – a release that never came. Now, he has to move back in with his mom after things go south for him; luckily, she never threw away his Atari and his games, and his SwordQuest obsession takes root again.
Co-writer Chad Bowers who, in the interest of full disclosure, is a former Multiversity staff member, had this to say about the series:
“SwordQuest” takes what was maybe the most ambitious video game promotion in history, and goes one step further! And yes, there’s going to be so much face-melting action, but at it’s core, there’s a very human story I feel so many of us as fans can relate to. That question of when to let go of the past, and when to hold on like it’s the only thing you have left.
Bowers’s writing partner, Sims, had this to say:
When we were first talking to Dynamite about working on one of the Atari properties, “SwordQuest” was #1 on our list because of how great that real-life story is. It’s so weird and fascinating, and it’s been a blast putting our own spin on it 30 years later!
Kowalchuk is one of the unsung artist working today, and we featured his take on Supergirl last year as part of our ’40 Days of Supergirl’ promotion.
The early 80’s comics had a murderer’s row of a creative team, with Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, George Pérez, and Dick Giordano all involved. No pressure living up to that, boys!
The series will debut in May with a $.025 #0 issue, similar to recent debuts of “Red Sonja” and “Vampirella.” See the full press release, and four covers, below.
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES
THE FIRST ATARI® COMIC BOOK SERIES IN OVER 30 YEARS!
Swordquest Launches in May with a Special 25-Cent #0 Issue
February 20, 2017, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment continues its partnership with Atari®, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment, to create a new comics line based on beloved Atari titles. In the early 1980’s, as video games lit up living rooms across the country and licensed comic books saw prominence in the industry, Atari released their own based on their popular line of titles. Now, Dynamite Entertainment, the modern leader in licensed comics, brings fans Swordquest comic we’ve been waiting for since 1983!
Peter Case was a boy on a quest… the quest to win the prizes from Atari’s Swordquest challenge! He was counting down the days to the release of the final game, AirWorld, only to be shattered when the news surfaced that it would never be released. Now Peter is an adult… and things aren’t going well. The bad news is he has to move back in with his mother. The good news is she still has all of his old Atari stuff. With nothing else to look forward to, his obsession with Swordquest is reignited, in a more daring — and fantastic — way!
Written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims (X-Men ’92, Down Set Fight) and art by Scott Kowalchuk (Batman ’66, Down Set Fight), Swordquest makes its triumphant return to the printed page at a special introductory price of just 25 cents!
“Most anyone who remembers Atari’s heyday, remembers Swordquest. It was one of the crown jewels of their line of games, complete with its own real world prizes,” says Dynamite CEO and Publisher, Nick Barrucci. “When we announced our intention to publish a new line of Atari comics back in 2014, Swordquest was one of the titles everyone inquired about most. What Chris and Chad have come up with will delight every kid who dreamed of winning that gold goblet! Also, we wanted to have fun with this series, so we’re releasing the #0 issue at the same price as an arcade game cost to play back in the ’80’s: only 25 cents. Sure, Swordquest was a console game, but if it was an arcade game, it would have been two bits for the 8 bits. Not only do we get to have fun with this cool pricing, but this also allows fans to try out the series at the lowest cost possible, and retailers can stock the shelves to get readers with minimal risk.”
Swordquest #0 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ March 2017 Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in May. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies with their local comic book retailers. Swordquest will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.
About Dynamite Entertainment:
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
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Atari (www.atari.com) is an interactive entertainment production company. As an iconic brand that transcends generations and audiences, the company is globally recognized for its multi-platform, interactive entertainment, and licensed products. Atari owns and/or manages a portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises, including world-renowned brands like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Pong®, and RollerCoaster Tycoon®.
Atari has offices in New York and Paris.
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