Widely considered to be the “Father of Science Fiction,” the famed French poet, novelist, and playwright known as Jules Verne celebrates what would have been his 193rd birthday this year.
Born Feb. 8, 1828, Verne ushered in the grand era of speculative fiction with his classic novels, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “From the Earth to the Moon,” “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
Now one of Verne’s lesser-known works from 1905, “The Lighthouse At The End Of The World,” is being adapted for the first time into a five-issue comic book miniseries at Image Comics premiering in April. Orchestrated by the veteran creative team of Brian Haberlin and David Hine (“The Marked,'” “Sonata”), “Jules Verne’s: Lighthouse” gets a sci-fi twist and casts readers into the high seas of outer space for a swashbuckling cyberpunk saga.
Here’s the official synopsis:
“Jules Verne’s: Lighthouse” is set at the edge of the galaxy, where there is a giant supercomputer known as the Lighthouse. The only brain powerful enough to navigate ships through a sargasso of naturally occurring wormholes, potentially cutting months or even years off a spaceship’s journey. Three humans, one alien, and a nanny bot have manned the remote station for years in relative peace until the arrival of Captain Kongre and his band of cutthroat pirates threatens the future of civilization and reveals that each of the Lighthouse crew has been hiding a shocking secret. He who controls the Lighthouse controls this part of the galaxy.”
For Haberlin, Jules Verne’s “The Lighthouse At The End Of The World” is one of those stories he’s wanted to adapt for some time.
“A tale of survival and revenge, the original story took place on Earth in the 1850s, we’ve moved that up a bit to 2717 and put it in deep space and in the universe I created in my ‘Anomaly’ graphic novels,” he told Space.com. “Our new lighthouse is a supercomputer the size of a skyscraper that makes computations no ship’s onboard computer can, to navigate a Sargasso of wormholes that The Conglomerate uses to cut years off transit time.”
“Those who control the lighthouse can simply wreck ships by providing their own telemetry, then allowing pirates to pick the bones, a much safer way of piracy than fighting and having to board a ship to take it. “In this version we have a female lead with a dark past,” Haberlin added.
“She was once a soldier, psychologically damaged from her war experiences. She believed this assignment at the far end of the Universe on a mostly automated base would keep her safe. She was wrong. Now it’s up to her and her ‘nanny bot’ to retake the lighthouse and prevent some of the most lethal technology known to The Conglomerate from falling into the pirate’s hands.”
Jules Verne wrote his “Extraordinary Voyages” in the 19th Century, but to Hine, they have a timeless quality, which makes them remarkably easy to transpose into any time period.
“He vied with H.G. Wells for the title of ‘Father of Science Fiction’ so I’m certain he would have loved the idea of space pirates and robots,” Hine tells Space.com. “Talking of ‘bots, Moses the ‘nanny bot’ started out as a minor character in the book but has grown to be my favorite. He’s the latest in a long line of flawed artificial intelligence from the Man Machine of ‘Metropolis’ to HAL in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘The Terminator.'”
“Jules Verne’s: Lighthouse #1” arrives in a special 48-page issue from Image Comics on April 14. Besides being stocked in local comic shops, this sci-fi series will also be sold across multiple digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.
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