Image Introduces The Portent

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From the mind of acclaimed Swedish illustrator Peter Bergting comes THE PORTENT, a sweeping fantasy epic launching in February from Image Comics.

THE PORTENT is the story of Milo, a man who has absolutely no interest in the world or other people. Through forces he cannot control, he sets out to become a hero but for all the wrong reasons. He ends up destroying the world and then heads to find the ancient demon who set everything in motion in an attempt to try to set things right. At the crossroads between this world and the next, Milo finally must take a stand, and in doing so, learn just what it takes to be a hero.

"Milo is not like the other 'anti-heroes,' he isn't rotten to the core," explains Bergting. "Having lost everything once, he's now been given the chance to live all over again. Milo decides that no one or nothing will come between him and the rest of his life. He could have turned this opportunity into something good but decides to be the most egotistical bastard you could dig up. And when he finally decides to become a hero, he does so out of lust and self indulgence, leaving him and the world on a path that leads directly to hell. Eventually, he'll come to terms with who he is and what he must do, but by then it is already too late. That leads up to the finale which will be a pig payoff emotionally as well as story and character wise."

"The story is set against a backdrop of a romanticized norse country with mist-filled valleys and towering mountains. Evil spirits, the restless souls of the undead (albeit in physical form) plague the countryside and through an unfortunate incident they have come upon the means to resurrect an ancient automaton, the giant Mökkurkalve.  It is now on it’s way to destroy the one thing that gave birth to mankind."

THE PORTENT has had a long road in making its way to the printed page.

"I began work for real on the Portent in 2001," says Bergting. "I was still working on other comics for a Swedish publisher as well as my own comic strip (also called the Portent, unfortunately) that runs in Dungeon Magazine. THE PORTENT has been in production for well over 10 years, going from a novel to a movie script and back to comic book form where it first started. My original idea was to sort of bring a visual story to all the great rock ‘n’ roll classics that I loved, like a rock opera but on paper. In the beginning, it was pretty shallow and more a roller coaster of visuals and mayhem, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that I wanted to create something deeper, more meaningful with the story. And that’s when everything sort of clicked into place. Ultimately it’s a story about redemption but it goes further than that."

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Bergting himself has been an illustrator for over 16 years, working  on a wide variety of projects for both European and American  companies, with his experience and influences lending a completely fresh feel to THE PORTENT.

"The story, and the way it’s told, is a bit different from most comics. It’s a sweeping story and I have quite few surprises planned. I believe it doesn’t look or read quite like any other comic, it's certainly more verbal and brainy, I see it more like an opera played out on the printed page. It has all the action of an action film and all the melodrama and tragedy of a great stageplay as well. Some would describe it as Shakespeare with Kung Fu I guess. I’m very into Tsui Hark and you can certainly pick up on a few things that have inspired me from his films. I would best call it melancholic but there is a lot of humor in there as well."

THE PORTENT will be available for preordering from the December PREVIEWS and the first issue of this full-color series is set to hit stores in February 2006.

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