Fans will soon get a chance to check out Mike Deodato Jr's new Dark Horse Comics project Berserker Unbound #1, a project with writer Jeff Lemire that takes us on a journey alongside an ancient warrior who ends up in the modern-day world. Aside from the appealing premise, the series is notable for another reason, as it is Deodato's first creator-owned project after a long history of working on characters from the big two. ComicBook.com had the chance to chat with Deodato all about Berserker Unbound, including how it came about, how he's approaching this new character, and what fans can expect from the series.
The origins of this project actually go back to Lemire and Deodato's work at Marvel, and once they started working on Berserker, Deodato knew he wanted to go into the creator-owned world full speed.
"It actually happened the other way around: working on the book made me decide it was time to make the jump for the creator-owned world for good," Deodato said. "Jeff and I were working on Thanos and I just fell in love with his writing. He asked me if I would like to do something together and I said yes, of course, but told him it would take more than a year because I would have to do it only during the weekends. I was still under exclusive contract and only after that we could publish it. Well, after a while I realized how hard the task was going to be, to keep my pace with my work at Marvel and still deliver two more pages weekly for my own book. I also realized how amazingly fulfilling was to work on my own stuff. That was when I decided it was time to take a turn in my career."
Berserker definitely has some Conan-level vibes, but when creating the character Deodato was just focused on making him look imposing. "I just wanted him to be, and look, like a giant unbeatable warrior," Deodato said.
While Deodato's art style is unmistakable here, he did aim to bring a specific style to the book. "I wanted it to look more classic, like Foster and Frazetta," Deodato said. "I wanted it to be the comic I would've loved to read when I was just a reader, not a pro. Every single line I drew was made with love and passion. I think our book is a crossing of the savagery of Conan with the sensibility of Ken Parker."
In the book we see some brightly colored runes introduced, and while we don't know exactly what they do or what they mean yet, Deodato did tease their importance. "We have a couple more stories planned, and those runes are central."
This series features plenty of epic action sequences, but it still comes down to characters, and that is what will set it apart from other stories regarding misplaced people in time. "The characters, definitely,' Deodato said. "They drive the story. I like stories where we fall in love for the characters first, then we follow them wherever the story goes."
As for what's to come, those secrets have yet to be revealed, though Deodato did tease one particularly interesting detail, and hopes this isn't the last time he gets to return to this world.0comments
"There is more than one portal, so there are a lot of possibilities ahead! Personally, I wanna draw barbarians forever, but in the end it's the reader that will decide if they want the story to continue," Deodato said.
You can check out some new art from the book above, and you can read Berserker Unbound #1 in full when it releases on August 7th.