Last week in our interview
with "Axe Cop" creators (and recent Dark Horse Comics signees) Ethan and Malachai Nicolle it was revealed that the brothers' axe-wielding protagonist would be meeting Christopher Hastings' celebrated webcomic hero Dr. McNinja. Now, thanks to Ethan and Hastings, we have a glimpse into what the all-star crossover will look like:
That's right - Axe Cop and Dr. McNinja are going to be on a team.
Just as Axe Cop and Dr. McNinja are teaming up in their own unique fashion, so too are the creative teams behind the heroes.
The story itself is written by Hastings and Malachai, who collaborated based on a treatment by Hastings. From there Ethan ran the story by Malachai, who pumped up the basic concept with ideas of his own based on the knowledge that Dr. McNinja had the power to heal others and behaved according to the basic tenents of "Axe Cop" ninja lore: He is a good fighter and he stays up all night and sleeps in the morning.
"It's been a total joy to work with Malachai and Ethan!" Hastings told ComicsAlliance in an e-mail, "I pitched Malachai a sort of basic story concept, and then got back the craziest, most brilliant details and twists off of it from him. Malachai has a pure creativity that I have to say I'm kind of jealous of. But let me tell you, it really makes me appreciate Ethan's skill as a storyteller to take the wild notes that Malachai gives and turn it into something entertaining and clear for adults to read. I don't think Stan Lee and his stable of artists would have ever thought to see the old Marvel way of making comics applied like this."
According to Ethan, he and Hastings originally planned to collaborate on a one-page tale with Hastings drawing the entire story, but after Malachai added his ideas to the story, the pair decided to split art duties and do six full pages. Hastings will illustrate the first three pages, which will be posted at AxeCop.com
throughout the week of July 26. Ethan will complete the story by drawing the last three pages, which will be posted at DrMcNinja.com
throughout the week of August 2 and concluding on August 6.
Though the project was affirmed by a mutual admiration between the creators, according to Ethan, its genesis came very early on in Axe Cop's career, with mutual fans demanding a crossover.
"One of the most common emails I have received since Axe Cop came out has been 'Axe Cop should team up with Dr. McNinja.' Ethan told us in an e-mail. "I was not real familiar with ['Dr. McNinja'] at first, but when I started looking into what the more well-known Webcomics were, I remembered 'Dr. McNInja' was at the top of Cracked.com's
list of funniest Webcomics. I finally gave it a read and loved it, and could see what all the fuss was about. As Comic-Con was approaching I wanted to do some cool stuff with other artists to keep my fanbase entertained while I was busy at the convention, so I e-mailed Chris to see if he would be up to do a one-page guest episode, and I offered to have Malachai co-write because it was sort of a 'special event.' He took me up on the offer and when I took his premise to Malachai, Malachai expanded it quite a bit and Chris decided it would be better to do it as a six-page story. That's when we decided to make more of an event of it, split the drawing duties on the pages and really have some fun with it."
As of press time, the team is keeping the crossover's exact plot under wraps. Fans of either series know one thing's for sure, however: No bad guy is safe from this team.