Earthraiser – Voice of the Voiceless (Limited edition hardcover)

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Enter Earthraiser, a superhero or rather anti-hero story, that I have been silently working on for the last four years and that was originally been written as a screenplay to be turned into a film. But the more I worked on the story the more I realized that it would make sense to present it to the world in form of a graphic novel first before going for the more ambitious plan to turn it into a movie.

Our limited edition variant cover is here! (cover-art by Alejandro Colucci)

Why does the world need another comic book hero you may ask. Comic books are the modern-day version of myths and legends and like their historic predecessors, comic books usually tell the stories of the struggle and fight of powerful heroes against forces who represent the darker aspects of the world, thus ideally inspiring us to be better versions of ourselves through the means of entertainment and storytelling. The huge success of films based on comic book characters in the last two decades shows the power this kind of storytelling has and I have been thinking about a way to use that power for good for a very long time.

I was always a bit disappointed that there was no popular comic book with an animal rights theme and a badass hero with fantastic powers. Sure there are a number of vegan-comic book heroes, but as a true comic enthusiast, I have to tell you that a super-hero whose defining characteristic is his diet is not very compelling to the non-vegan general audience.

So I spent many years trying to find an angle on the message I wanted to get across that would not only attract vegans who would already agree with the theme of the story but the general public. After all, the animals deserve a hero powerful enough to create real change and that is only possible by appealing to a broad audience. So after years of racking my brain, I found the perfect recipe just a few months ago on a sleepless night in a hotel room.

Rob Schwager (MARVEL, DC, Humanoids) will be coloring all pages of the book.

In that night while I was trying to fall asleep my mind just gave me the answer to how to make a powerful animal rights superhero story, that would appeal to everyone. And the answer was this: Instead of putting the emphasis on veganism, I put the emphasis on the actual problem that has to be solved. Suffering!

What if there were a hero whose superpower (rather his curse) was that he would inadvertently feel the suffering of others as if it was his own. This would force our hero to fight against that which unnecessarily creates suffering in the world. Do you see where this is going? ,

Wolf feeling the pain of human and non-human animals

This is all of a sudden not about a vegan in spandex anymore. No, our hero would not even need to be a vegan or identify with animal rights. His curse would force him to do the right thing but he could be someone the general audience can identify with and thus they would see everything in the story through his eyes and identify with his need to put an end to the unnecessary suffering created by humans in this world.

This angle is powerful and I sincerely believe that I have written a story that can change millions of minds and hearts and benefit those who can not speak for themselves as well as help millions of people see the world from a very different perspective thus creating positive change within their own lives.

To make the story compelling and credible I have weaved many aspects from my own autobiographic experience into the story. Like myself, the hero of “Earthraiser- Voice of the voiceless” loses his father early in his life and experiences other catastrophic events that shape him in a way to make him what he is as a person with strengths as much as with flaws that he has to overcome to reach his goals in the story and ultimately to survive and to reach his potential as the catalyst that will change the course of life on earth.

I hope that at this point you will understand why I could not fall asleep that night after having this revelation of a story idea. So I wrote the full outline to the story in that very night and have worked on it since then. Joining me in my quest to bring this story and his hero to the world is David Padilla, who is the talented artist in charge of the illustration of the book. And today we are both super excited to be able to present this story to the world for the very first time.

So without further ado let us introduce you to the world of “Earthraiser- Voice of the voiceless”!

The Characters

Wolf Winter

was born in the Middle East and had been adopted by German parents as a child. After his foster father died during a bombardment his mother took him to Germany where Wolf joined the German army as an adult.

Having lost everyone he ever loved while always being unharmed himself and not being able to save any of them, Wolf feels like he doesn’t deserve to be in this world. This leads him to not being able to form emotional bonds as he knows it’s just a matter of time until those he loves will be taken away from him.

Because he feels a deep irrational guilt for still being alive while those he loved all died he tends to get himself into situations that promise harm actually trying to sacrifice himself to somehow repay for the guilt that haunts him.

Thus he ends up in a secret EU-military-program for high-level military and intelligence personnel who undergo an experimental genetic bio-augmentation-program with a high risk of a fatal outcome for the subjects. The experiment is designed to create super-agents with the ability to read and influence the cognition of sentient life forms. He is the sole survivor of the experiment and when he wakes from a ten-day coma and learns the truth he feels it again. That voice in him that says: “Why you? You should be dead by now. You don’t deserve to be here.”

But as always he also knows that he has a mission to fulfill and this time it is to find out why the government was willing to sacrifice 100 of their highest ranking agents in an experiment that had never been tested before.

Five years after the experiment Wolf’s new abilities start to manifest in a very different form as intended. Instead of being able to read minds, these abilities turn Wolf into a human antenna for the suffering of any complex sentient life form that is inside a radius of five miles to Wolf’s position at any given time. This causes Wolf to feel the pain and suffering of human and non-human animals as if it was his own and because he might feel the suffering of hundreds or even thousands of individuals at the same time these manifestation attacks put Wolf into a raging state where his mind is trying to survive the devastating agony by transforming all the pain into anger causing Wolf to go into a berserk state where he has no conscious control over his actions.

Wolf going berserk

Agent D

is a die-hard professional. She is the one the government calls for when the world is on fire and all heroes have hit the road because a monster is too scary. Not afraid to get her hands dirty, she is the government’s number one problem solver in tricky situations that require a certain degree of recklessness.

She works with a team of four elite bio-enhanced special ops soldiers who are only mentioned by their collective code name: The Riders as they operate on airworthy amphibian motorcycles or their individual code names that match the names of the biblical horsemen of the apocalypse: Conquest, War, Famine and their captain Death who is apart from Agent D herself- the scariest thing the government has to offer.

Agent D is deployed to apprehend Wolf after he apparently runs amok during a routine mission in the middle east.

Agent D and Wolf

Dr. Z. Geist

is a German exobiologist who has spent most of his career researching extraterrestrial microbial life. When he discovers that one strain of microbes he is working on show collective behavior patterns that only can be interpreted as the outcome of some form of telepathic connection between the whole colony of microorganisms a secret branch of the EU military hires him to direct a program code-named “Project Pandora” with the objective to use his research to help the government create human agents with mind-reading abilities.

But after sacrificing decades of his life to the program and finally being at the point he has been working towards for all those years his career takes a catastrophic turn when his experiment kills almost the entire elite ranks of the EU- military and intelligence apparatus.

The sole survivor of the program is Wolf Winter.

Concept art of Dr. Z. Geist

Gaia

is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her mother Minna in Berlin. She has been speechless since birth but has extraordinary cognitive abilities and uses sign language to communicate.

Gaia and her mother live in constant fear of her violent substance-abusing father, who must not know their whereabouts.

When Wolf tries to hide from the government in the shadows of Berlin he befriends Gaia and her mother not knowing how this silent and yet so bright girl will change his fate one day.

Concept of Gaia with her mother in the background

Aether

is a being who appears to Wolf at an early dark point of the story and pushes him to fight through the darkness back to life. We will learn in the book who he really is and how his and Wolf’s fates are intertwined.

Concept of Aether

Tom and Jordan

are Wolf’s best friends…. actually they are his only friends and they are the only people he trusts. They both serve in the German military with Wolf. When the genetic changes that he underwent suddenly take effect years after the experiment Wolf severely injures his two friends as they try to get him under control while he is raging in a berserk like state without conscious control over his own actions. Thus Wolf is again in a situation where he has to feel guilty for what happened to those close to him, but this time he is directly responsible for the harm they been put through.

The world of “Earthraiser- Voice of the voiceless”

In the near future after a series of pandemics and wars have destabilized the world to the brink of a world war there are 3 major geopolitical players trying to use the situation for their own interest. The US, China, and Russia have been playing a geopolitical game of 4-dimensional chess for decades and on the brink of total chaos, each of those states has its own way of using the situation for their own geopolitical goals.

All three superpowers are trying to create peace thereby bringing the world closer and closer to what would be the mother of all wars and potentially the end of mankind.

In this desolate geopolitical state, Europe tries to establish itself as a significant player. Knowing that militarily they are outclassed Europe launches a number of secret intelligence operations under the umbrella of the EU in order to use the human aspect of war to gain an edge over vastly superior contenders on the technological front.

The most ambitious of those programs goes under the code-name: “Project Pandora” and aims to create soldiers/agents who have the ability to read and manipulate human and non-human minds thereby putting Europe in a position to beat its opponents by manipulating their leaders rather than risking to meet them on the battlefield. What sounds like a genius plan will soon turn out to have unforeseen consequences as this program creates “The Earthraiser”, a being who will change life on earth as we know it forever.