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Comic Preview:
Image's WildGuard
By Brian Jacks


Forget about Survivor and American Idol. This fall, the cameras start rolling for the auditions of an all-new, made-for-TV superhero team called WildGuard. Hundreds of heroes will try out, but only five will be chosen for the team -- if they survive. Are you hooked yet?

Debuting at Image this September as a six-issue miniseries, WILDGUARD: CASTING CALL is written and drawn by Todd Nauck, best known to comics readers as the artist of DC's Young Justice. Inspired by reality shows like American Idol, Pop Stars and Making the Band, WILDGUARD follows a host of heroes as they endure the agony of competition and a myriad of unforeseen dangers in the hope of being selected by an elite panel of judges, including the mysterious "Producer X."

Who will make the cut and who won't will largely be determined by readers, though: Nauck is inviting fans to vote for the final WildGuard team by logging on to www.wildguard.com and picking the heroes they want on the team.

Article continued below advertisement

"The concept for WildGuard goes back to 1992, when I was at the Art Institute of Dallas," explained Nauck. "Being a fan of the show COPS, I wanted to see the same concept with superheroes. I produced two mini-comics featuring WildGuard which helped me to break into comics in 1994. Now I have the chance to bring WildGuard to the comic stands full length and full color. A dream come true!"

In addition to being Nauck's first foray into creator-owned comics, WILDGUARD also marks his return to Image Comics. A nine-year veteran of the comics industry, Nauck's first work was for Image on titles like Extreme Studios' NEW MEN, SUPREME and BADROCK & COMPANY. Since then, Nauck has drawn comics for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, including Sensational Spider-Man, Superman, Supergirl and a 50+ issue run on Young Justice. Nauck is also one of several creators contributing to Jay Faerber's NOBLE CAUSES: EXTENDED FAMILY one-shot, due out this month from Image.

"I've had a great time working in comics and contributing to many great characters and series," Nauck said. "Young Justice was one of the best experiences and really got my work out to a larger audience. Now to have an opportunity to create my own comic and characters is taking my experience in the industry to a whole new level for me."

In addition to allowing fans to vote for WildGuard's final lineup, Nauck is also calling on the aid of several other well-known artists over the course of the six-issue miniseries. Arthur Adams (Tom Strong's Terrific Tales), Keron Grant (New Mutants), Paco Medina (Superman), Ed McGuinness (Superman/Batman, Thundercats), Phil Noto (Birds of Prey, Beautiful Killer) and Mike Weiringo (Fantastic Four) will each contribute variant covers (one per issue) depicting who they would choose to make up WildGuard.

Also on board for the series is inker Lary Stucker, no stranger to Nauck's pencils after inking him not only on Young Justice but much of his earlier work for Extreme Studios, and colorist Tom McCraw.

"It's been great to work with Lary for so long and develop our craft together," said Nauck. "He takes my critiques really well and is always open to trying new approaches to inking my pencils. Tom has been really cool to work with. He's a colorist who's not afraid to color every character and detail. I appreciate that. Especially since the first two issues are chock full of heroes!"

WILDGUARD: CASTING CALL #1 will arrive in stores in September 2003, with the first issue featuring two covers: a wraparound cover by Todd Nauck, plus a variant by Ed McGuinness and Lary Stucker.


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