By Kiel Phegley
One of the most hotly anticipated releases of Marvel's "Dark Reign" campaign, Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman and Stefano Caselli's SECRET WARRIORS presents a brand new team of teenage heroes to the tumultuous Marvel Universe. But even brand new characters can hold strong connections to the past as proven by Carlos Pacheco's "Parent Variant" for SECRET WARRIORS #1, the superstar artist's first Marvel work in over five years.
"Carlos matches the power and the classicism of a John Buscema with a modern approach to storytelling that's always exciting-looking and never hard to follow," says Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort.
Pacheco's cover features the chill-inducing
lineup of Mr. Hyde, the Phantom Rider and Griffin. The two super villains and one ghostly "hero" represent the parental pedigree of Secret Warriors Quake, Hellfire and Yo-Yo, and the cult status of the characters proved the perfect assignment to bring Pacheco back to the Marvel U.
"One of our Sales and Marketing team, Arune Singh, came up with the idea of doing a 'Parents' cover to showcase the lineage of the Secret Warriors characters," relates Brevoort. "And the fact that it was this eclectic cast of characters is why I thought of Carlos for it in the first place, as he's a true Marvel fan from way back. In fact, when I told him what the cover would be and who the characters were, his reaction was 'You mean this is all of the classic characters that we love? Awesome!'"
Brevoort went on to explain that although the three characters won't appear within the pages of SECRET WARRIORS in its first issue, fans can expect their presence to be felt in the series as a whole. "We'll eventually delve into the familial relationships of some of the Warriors, but right out of the gate they're going to have hotter fires to put out."
In the meantime, readers can gawk at Pacheco's skill with the trio and his unique stylistic contributions.
"My favorite bit of business on this cover is the skeletal horse the Phantom Rider is riding," Brevoort explains. "He never had such a steed in the past, this was Carlos' brainstorm—inspired by the Ghost Rider movie, I'd expect—and it works great!
"Carlos is one of those artists who can do anything, any character, extremely well. He proved that doing AVENGERS FOREVER years ago, in which he drew every Avenger ever."
SECRET WARRIORS #1 goes on sale February 4. To see more work by Carlos Pacheco, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
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