At the recent New York Comic Con, I announced a new project for 2013, a series called The Protectors, which is the brainchild of Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije. Israel, or “Izzy,” founded Athleta Comics in order to bring The Protectors, and hopefully future projects, to life. The exclusive announcement story was featured in USA Today, with comments from both me and Izzy, and can be seen here:

The Protectors combines professional sports with the kind of superhero/cosmic storylines you might see in Avengers or X-Men. Now I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right: sports hardly ever works in comics. The vast majority of the time, it reads awkwardly and looks worse. So when The Protectors came across my desk, I knew we had to get the right artist to draw it, or all would be for naught. So I called my buddy Bart Sears, to see if I possibly could lure him back to comics. Bart has been working in video games and commercial art for the last few years, but the prospect of The Protectors brought him back to sequential storytelling. I truly can’t think of anybody more suited to draw this story.

The Protectors will feature original characters, as well as cameos by real-life athletes. We intend to create a story that accessible to both comic fans and sports fans. Follow the Athleta Comics website for a pretty steady stream of updates and exclusive content, and expect the first issue to debut at C2E2 in Chicago next April.