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Teens of Tomorrow

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In the not-too-distant future, growing up won’t be as easy as it once was. Even if you attest that growing up is never easy, then wait till you find out what tomorrow’s teenagers have to deal with.

In Infiniteens, released from Moonstone later this month, four teens band together to take fight the good fight in a future world plagued by superparticles that turn everyone prone to them into sheer madmen. As we said, this is not a future you want to grow up in.

Still, someone has to take you there and that’s why series creator Zeu, short for Eliseu Gouveia, comes in to talk about his children of tomorrow…

BROKEN FRONTIER: At the heart, Infiniteens is about a group of youngsters who dream of being superheroes. How do they get their powers?

ZEU: That’s a very good question since this entire story arc revolves around that fatal Moment Zero. All people know is that due to an unknown Singularity Event, Earth was flooded by invisible superparticles that turn anyone susceptible to them into mindless freaks driven by pure rage. When the story begins, 18 years have passed and mankind stands on the verge of total annihilation at the hands of millions of these deadly monsters.

Amidst this chaos and destruction, the media suddenly catches a glimpse of four super powered teenagers who are somehow immune to Superparticle Rage.

BF: So, does answering the ‘how’ and ‘why’ these teenagers got their powers form the meat of the first issue, or is it a mystery that will be answered over the course of the series?

ZEU: Definitely the second; they have these amazing abilities and have always lived with them, but don’t know the true nature of their powers or where they came from. As the story unfolds we will discover the answers including the dark secret behind the Superparticle Rage.

BF: The cover of the first issue depicts four characters in costume—two boys and two girls. Who are they and what powers do they have?

ZEU: The Infiniteens are led by the happy-go-lucky Nadia “Tripper” Markov, an extremely bright young lady with the ability to shift between parallel dimensions.
The super strong Luther “Dreadnought” Kilmore is her second-in-command, a pragmatic young man who (tries to) keep the group grounded to reality.
Julian “Visionary” Lerner is the tech-artist, a dreamer with a heart of gold and a rampaging imagination that allows him to create the most amazing artefacts.
Last but not least comes the wildcard Beverly “Twinblast” Garcia, a girl with electromagnetic powers and a very dark past.

BF: Superheroes can’t exist without villains to fight. What threat does the group have to confront?

ZEU: The main threat to mankind—and the Infiniteens—are the swarms of Event Freaks that have spread death and destruction across the globe. In their enthusiasm to help people survive this threat they accidentally step on the toes of the mysterious advanced weapons tycoon Excelord and end up receiving the full undivided attention of the most dangerous man on earth.

BF: Since the book deals with four adolescents, will the main focus lie on teen drama or on superheroics?

ZEU: I’d say Infiniteens balances both the dreams and aspirations of four teenagers and the (dangerous) situations they find themselves in. There’s action in spades, but also a great deal of heart. The Infiniteens are actually a rescue team, not a combat unit. Engaging event freaks in battle is the last thing Nadia was thinking when she formed the group, they just want to save people. Unfortunately, there’s a huge difference between what you want and what you usually get.

BF: With four characters as closely connected to each other as your four ‘stars’, the sub-theme of friendship can’t be too far around the corner, can it?

ZEU: Yeah, at its core Infiniteens is essentially a tale about friendship. Human relations and the bonds people form have always fascinated me and I wanted to take that one step further and see how those ties fare under extreme conditions.

Not only between the Infiniteens but also the entire gallery of support characters that surrounds them, from Nadia’s mom, the eccentric Madam Markov to Luther’s terribly independent kid sisters, the Muhler twins Arthur and Athena (who are pretty much the group’s backup), the strange Ms. Ifwitch who roams the town streets at night playing flute, the decorated war hero Chief Barnes who lost his entire platoon to the Event Child threat or Julian’s “rival”, Sheriff Ito.

It’s to this tightly knit community that Beverly, a girl who never had anyone to call a friend, arrives one fine day, ready to change the whole dynamics…

BF: Strong bonds of friendships are sometimes betrayed, or lead to broken hearts if love is involved somewhere. Will the Infiniteens have to deal with those matters too?

ZEU: I really don’t want to spoil anything but yeah, the Infiniteens will find themselves involved knee-deep in matters of the Heart—especially when it comes to the touchy subject of unrequited love.

BF: Some readers may remember you from your work on Image’s Cloudburst, a graphic novel released in April 2004, or from Moonstone’s two-issue Vengeance of the Mummy, published last year. What have you been up to in the meantime?

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeZEU: Well, I’ve mostly been working on General Jinjur Comics´ flagship title Charlatan (story by Gil Lawson, pencils, inks and colours by me), to be released very soon. It ´s a high octane superhero saga with lots of action about a brave young man who will do anything for his family. I’ve also worked on providing the pencils and inks for Strange Matter Comics’ Project Elohim written by Rebecca Hicks and to be released soon.

My biggest setback however was my three-part online comic Silver Sparrow which was set to be released through another publisher but got cancelled at the last moment.

BF: Was your work on Vengeance one of the reasons Moonstone offered to publish Infiniteens?

ZEU: Yeah, I think Infiniteens benefited a great deal from my collaboration with Justin Gray in Vengeance of the Mummy. When I submitted the series, I was fortunate that they were already familiar with me and my work.

BF: You already referred to setbacks What few people will recall is that Infiniteens was originally going to be published by FC9, before the company ceased publication on all its titles. How do you like back at that time?   

ZEU: Finding a home for my Infiniteens proved to be one of my most challenging tasks to this date. It all started with Committed Comics back in 2001 who agreed to publish the series as long as they had at least 6 issues finished. In the summer of 2003 I finished the entire series but just as they were about to launch it, they had to shut down. I was working on Genie for FC9 at the time and they liked the series, so Infiniteens migrated to a new publisher.

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeUnfortunatelly, tragedy stroke again and just as the book was about to be published, they had to close doors. I was working with Justin Gray on Vengeance of the Mummy for Moonstone and they liked my work, so I decided to submit the series to them in the hope that my kids would have better luck the third time (knock on wood). Moonstone agreed to pick it up and this time it looks like Infiniteens have finally found a new home.

BF: Since you’re Portuguese, I assume you’re influenced by a lot of European artists. Whose work are you especially fond of?

ZEU: That ´s a very hard question since I really cannot boil it down to a single name. I grew up under all sorts of influences, from US comics to European ones. I usually avoid listing them because I just know I ´m gonna leave a crucial name behind, but there were dozens of artists and storytellers that helped me develop , from Russ Manning to Hal Foster, Bourgeon, Moebius, Hugo Pratt, Bilal, John Romita Jr., Frank Miller, John Byrne, George Perez, Boucq, Uderzo and Goscinny, Franquin, Herman & Grer, Schuiten and Peeters… the list is endless.

BF: Infiniteens is an ongoing series. Is it open-ended, or do you have a clear ending in mind for your band of young heroes?

ZEU: I planned Infiniteens to be an eight-part compartmentalised story arc. I do leave a few open threads to be explored as an ongoing series, but it will ultimately depend on how well these kids will be received by the readers.

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