Call of Duty: Making 'The Activity' a Reality

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The Activity meets Call of Duty in a night of modern warfare with Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads, the creative team behind the hottest comic of 2012.

When the opportunity to jump online with Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads arose last week, it was hard not to oblige. I, along with other fans from around the globe, pledged allegiance to the clan and got ready to bring The Activity to life in a few hours of frantic, fast paced fun on the digital battlegrounds of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The initial fun of the night came from a first round savaging from yours truly, representing Broken Frontier in style. “Mr. ‘I’ve never played an FPS’ is sitting on top’!” Edmondson jibed as we sat in the post-game lobby, me lamenting my various successes and Edmondson wishing he hadn’t fallen prey to my false modesty found on Twitter… of course that early victory proved to be the only one on the night as I fell into a slow decent of dwindling numbers, but the less we talk of that the better.

Thankfully, there was still plenty of fun to be had as the creative duo behind one of 2012’s hottest new titles chatted comics, talked the future and provided more than a handful of good times as they each showed their competitive side.

“Mitch thinks he’s better than me at everything,” Edmondson says as a 50cal shot echoes around the claustrophobic alleyways of Seatown. “So this will be classic!”

Though Nathan was forced somewhat to eat those words by the end of the evening. After seven games played, the result (going purely on score and leaderboard placement) stood at an overwhelming 5 games to 2 in Mitch’s corner. If The Activity ever misses deadline, now you know why – you don’t get those sorts of results without practice.

Due to Call of Duty: Elite’s numerous inadequacies, I sadly couldn’t pull up the leaderboards for you all to enjoy… but know this; every game was tight. With Mitch and Nathan each leading a team of us into battle, the stakes couldn’t be any higher. Nobody wants to relinquish bragging rights; they are one step from becoming a viable form of currency on Xbox Live.

Fans were vocal throughout the night; asking a wide range of questions with everything covered from the promise of The Activity merchandise (can you hold out until the Emerald City Comic Con in March?) to how one could go about researching the truth behind The Activity. Edmondson points us in the direction of a book called Killer Elite by Michael Smith. It may be quintessential reading, but it’s not the whole story… expect a challenge if you want the truth behind this highly covert team and operation.

Nathan chatted quite openly about everything and anything, from his work on the DC relaunch to when we can expect more news on the proposed sequel to his smash-hit Who Is Jake Ellis? (though that’s a secret just for those who decided to show-up, for now.)

“It wasn’t the easiest thing to work through,” said the writer on his first and only arc of DC’s Grifter. “Though if anyone wants to read about Superman and the Daemonites, they’ll have to come and pick up  my book to see how it started… and that will be there forever.”

Mitch also spoke very openly regarding his work on The Activity, giving fans an insight into his creative process. He revealed that he is just wrapping up issue #4, which he claims has some of the most exciting story beats to date. He also revealed that The Activity would have a guest artist jump on soon for a fill-in issue between arcs, focusing on one member of the team and their past. It commented that it was “pretty wild” seeing another artist take on his characters, while Edmondson laughed that it would detail “Speakeasy’s life as a tapdancer!”

Not sure if he was kidding… then again, with the recent announcement of his Nic Klein collaboration at Image Comics for Dancer, who knows if he is tying everything together Millarworld style.

Sure, getting to chat with these guys was fun. But the real fun came from the banter throughout. Anyone with a copy of Modern Warfare 3 and an hour to spare really should consider jumping into the fray for some laughs, some good times and maybe some inside tips on new projects and story arcs.

The duo is hoping to make this a regular event, with “guest celebrity players” promised. We can only hope that some Image Comics’ rivalries begin to form between creative teams. Besides, with Activision keeping an eye on how The Activity develops and how the team continues to market their book – who knows whether or not we will see any sort of collaboration in the future.

A great night full of laughs, disappointment and the crushing realisation that not only do these guys make comics for a living;they can still kick my ass on Call of Duty. Where is the justice in that? Round two is today: Nathan? Mitch? I’m gunning for you!

If you want to get involved in the next games: sign up for a free Call of Duty: Elite account, search for ‘The Activity’ clan and leave a message on the wall. You’ll get added into the roster, and then from there all you have to do is log onto COD on Monday, January 23 at 9:30PM (PST), crack open a beer and wait for the invites to start pouring in. See you on the battlefield!

(In-game picture credit: Jon Eadler)

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