A New Comic Universe Takes Aim at Marvel and DC With Superheroes Born of a Pre-Coronavirus Epidemic

Benjamin Reeves

A mysterious plague breaks out in Southern China, quickly infects tens of thousands, and then begins to spread across the world. It kills most of the infected. The Chinese government decides to nuke the entire region, but it’s not enough to stop the virus’ advance. It’s the end of the world. And then the virus just… stops. Of the survivors, about 5% wake up to find themselves newly imbued with powers and facing a new existential challenge: What will they do with their newfound abilities? Written months before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, this is the eerily contemporary beginning of Upshot Comics’ upcoming series, “The Resistance,” the origin of what the company’s executives hope will be a shared universe of superheroes capable of competing head-to-head with entertainment powerhouses Marvel and DC. Upshot Comics is the main imprint of Artists, Writers and Artisans (AWA), a startup launched a little over one year ago by a cadre of comic book veterans and millions in venture capital from the likes of James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a media and entertainment-focused venture capital fund started in 2019. “When the creative council convened…to discuss the origin of our universe, we agreed that we wanted to...

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