Last month, Image Comics released Burn the Orphanage #1, a throwback to the side-scrolling video game brawlers of the 16-bit era like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage.
With the second installment, creators Sina Grace and Daniel Freedman are taking the game homages further and conjuring up a Mortal Kombat-style tale that finds our cast headed to a supernatural fighting tournament as a result of the events of issue #1. It's still a standalone tale, but fans of the first over-sized issue will find themselves already familiarized with this world.
We caught up with the creators to have a quick chat about what to expect from Burn the Orphanage #2, on sale December 4. Check out some early interior art in the slideshow at the bottom!
Sina Grace: We find Rock living in a world where he thinks his problems should be gone now that he beat the big bad... sadly that's not the case. There are some pretty brutal consequences to beating up a corporate philanthropist, the most unexpected being that Rock has to take Mann's place in a tournament where contestants are fighting to appease an evil witch and win the graces of her overlord husband.
Rock and friends will definitely have to address that the world got a little bit darker and meaner since Burn the Orphanage...
Daniel Freedman: Actions have reactions. While getting your revenge may be fun, there are consequences. Both internally and externally. Rock only found out who burned down the orphanage minutes before flash kicking his head off… he probably should have done a bit more research on who he was killing.
IGN: Are you incorporating any other video game influences that we didn’t see in Chapter 1? It looks like this one takes its cues from Mortal Kombat…
Freedman: While Part 1 was inspired by brawlers, Part 2 is inspired by fighters. And Part 3 will take its cues from platform games. Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter are the big easy ones, but I grew up hanging out in arcades waiting for the new King of Fighters by SNK. Also, Soul Caliber 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on the Dreamcast were my personal favorites. Too many hours lost there. Or maybe they were gained. Depends on how you look at it, I guess.
Grace: Style-wise, I'm pulling a bit out from the side scroller stuff and looking at designs from Tekken, Final Fantasy VII & VIII, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and my usual array of comics, fashion books, and obscure 90s movies. Fans of the vintage Sarah Jessica Parker easter egg will get to see more of her.
IGN: How about new characters? Anyone new joining Rock’s plight?
Grace: There will be some interesting allies. We have an “importer” (i.e. drug smuggler) named Iza who's a lot of fun. Readers do get to see more of Bear and Lex, as well as some of the craziest bad guys yet. People are going to enjoy the fact that Rock has to fight one-on-one with a wrestling ram, and try to outsmart one of the coldest witches in pop culture.
Freedman: Yeah. While last time we had goons, punks and (topless) stripper ninjas, this time Rock will be facing off against master martial artists, anthropomorphic wrestlers, aliens, and a witch. This is blood sport, the octagon and game of death rolled into one. Only, with a twist.
Grace: Part 2 (which we have been internally calling Demons) is not like Empire Strikes Back where it ends on a massive cliffhanger, but will similarly leave the surviving cast shaken from the experiences. To the same way we handled Part 1, a person can pick up part two without reading part one, love it, and have a complete story. Each part enriches and informs the part before and the part after.
Freedman: Our goal from the start was to do 3 single issue stories that build on each other but each one will stand alone. So of course if you read Part 1, you’ll pick up on what's going on with Rock more but at the same time, the books are created to be enjoyed as single self-contained stories. That’s why they are all over-sized. Part 2 is clocking in at around 40 pages. The 3-issue thing has been a confusing part for people because Part 1 has its own ending but I want to clarify that each issue is not a different cast of characters. The three stand alone stories do link and tell one bigger narrative. We have a clear arc for Rock that required this kind of structure.
IGN: Anything you want to add?
Grace: Daniel and I are both bringing our A-game to this installment. I'm drawing on bigger art boards, and I honestly have never been so revved up to be returning to a book like this one. Daniel has pushed so many of the core themes in this issue. We're proud parents.
Freedman: Proud indeed. We’ve gotten a little bit of flack for how “simple” part 1 was but that was the point. It was a fun silly romp. For Rock, while he may have thought it cathartic to kill the man that burned down his orphanage, it has scarred him deeply. The only thing that had been driving him was that revenge and now that he’s gotten it, he’s lost. And a lost man is a dangerous man, especially to himself.
Grace: Demons -- we’re gonna see all meanings of the word in this book.
Source : ign[dot]com