Mahershala Ali may be succeeding Wesley Snipes as the vampire hunter Blade, but the Daywalker isn’t the only comic book character out there. Now, the New Jack City star is creating a new comic book character and rather than going to Marvel, DC, Image, BOOM!, or any other well-known comics publishers, he’s turning to another source — you. Snipes is bringing his graphic novel The Exiled to life, and he’s hoping to use crowdfunding to make it happen.
As reported by Comic Book, Wesley Snipes is co-creating The Exiled with Keith Arem and Adam Lawson. The hero of the graphic novel is Detective Niles “Roach” Washington who is on the trail of a serial killer who removes his victims’ spines with millennia-old tools. No one believes Washington’s theory about the killer, but he doesn’t let that stop him. The press release doesn’t expressly say so, but the hero’s portrayal on the graphic novel’s cover — sporting what look to be some kind of futuristic cybernetic armor/implants on his arms and hands — seems to make it clear the story takes place in the future. You can see that cover below.
The Exiled‘s Kickstarter campaign begins Tuesday, June 21, and the creators have provided a page on BackerKit with a countdown clock as well as an opportunity for folks interested in backing the graphic novel to sign up for email updates. Wesley Snipes and the others will be offering some intriguing incentives like a 120mm figurine for all day-one backers. The Exiled will arrive as a 140-page GN and/or a manga-sized version. The comic will also reportedly include hidden codes for unlocking “digital collectibles and exclusive events.”
The Exiled will be written by Adam Lawson, who’s written a number of horror graphic novels, including ones for younger readers. He wrote the all-ages Kids & Monsters, the slasher celebration The Kill List, and the adventure story The Eighth. The art will be by Gabriel ‘Eskivo’ Santos (KnightWraith), with colors by Valentina Bianconi (Dogs of London). While the Wesley Snipes co-created graphic novel is meant to be a standalone tale, the creators aren’t ruling out spinoffs or sequels.
Even modest success with The Exiled could mean a new comic book character for Wesley Snipes to inhabit on the big screen. There are rumors he will reprise the role briefly for the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — and The Exiled‘s campaign goes live a month later, what a coincidence — but when it comes to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, the sword has been passed to Mahershala Ali. And while at 59 years old he may be getting a little “long in the tooth” to play a near-ageless half-vampire (pun intended and we’re not sorry for it), the same narrative limitations wouldn’t hold with a detective.
There will likely at least be a few chuckles over the idea of Wesley Snipes crowdfunding a project, considering the star went to prison for about two and a half years for tax evasion in the early 2010s. But, at the risk of appearing to try to predict the future, Snipes is almost definitely using The Exiled as a foundation for future projects. He has every reason to make sure it gets into as many hands as possible.