Earlier this year, IDW unveiled An impressive slate of upcoming original comic book projects, with plans for IDW’s Entertainment Group to potentially develop these inventive stories into IP that could make the jump onto the television or movie screen in the near future. These stories spanned across a wide variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, crime thriller, and supernatural horror, with tales born from the creative genius of talents like Scott Snyder, G. Willow Wilsonand even Academy Award winner John Ridley. Today, Collider can exclusively reveal new details about the New York Times bestselling horror author Stephen Graham Jones‘ historical slasher Earthdiverswhich ventures deep into the bloody terrain of American colonial history.
Set in a post-apocalyptic near future, Earthdivers follows a small group of Indigenous survivors who time-travel to prevent the creation of America and, by doing so, retroactively save the world from destruction. In each arc, the group of survivors targets a pivotal point in history, beginning with a mission to kill Christopher Columbus in 1492. The series seems to borrow its name from the myth of “Earth-divers,” who are figures sent on a quest by a higher being to find sustenance and build a new habitable world, which seems perfectly in line with a group of Indigenous time travelers who are hell-bent on stopping the finding of the United States.
While Earthdivers is a fantastical exploration of America’s past (and future) history, the story is also a cautionary tale that seeks to shed light on environmental consciousness and the perils of an impending climate disaster. “Post-apocalyptic stories are always cautionary tales,” Jones explained. “Stories give us devices like time travel as a way of dealing with poor choices and regret. History is not written in stone. Or if it is? Then go back, scratch it out. Write something better.”
Jones is a Blackfoot Native American who has written well over twenty-five published works and is a critically acclaimed voice within the horror genre. He is perhaps best known for his recent horror novels The Only Good Indians and My Heart Is a Chainsawand two years ago he made his Marvel debut, penning a story in Marvel Comics’ Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1 anthology. His background is at the very heart of his stories, and it’s clear to see those similar themes burst to life in Earthdivers. Speaking on his inspiration for the story, Jones shared:
A lot of us here in America who have been forcibly dispossessed, had genocide attempted against us, then was continually erased from history books, we’ve got a bone to pick with one of the people instrumental in facilitating all that: Christopher Columbus. If you could go back in time, deal with one of your bullies, really put them in their place, then…maybe you do that, right? For American Indians, there have been a lot of those bullies we’d like to go back and put in their place, and Columbus is first on that list.”
For EarthdiversJones is joined by Daredevil: Reborn artist Davide Gianfelice, who spoke about the nature of bringing to life this high-stakes world for the page. “What I like most about drawing Earthdivers is the depth of feeling of the protagonists.” He explained, “Often they face very difficult and extreme situations, and I wonder what I would do in their place. I’m not ashamed to say that sometimes a shiver runs down my spine thinking about it.” Earthdivers Also features colors by Joana Lafuente and lettering by Steve Wands.
Maggie Howell, Earthdivers‘ editor also spoke about working on the project, sharing that, “Earthdivers is one of the most creatively rewarding comics that I’ve edited, and I can’t wait to share this experience with readers. The story fully commits to its killer premise, but in ways you won’t predict and can hardly imagine. Stephen and Davide are delivering a feast of genres—sci-fi, horror, supernatural thriller—all thoughtfully connected by a tragic love story that spans centuries. You’re going to look back and laugh at your own expectations because this book blows them out of the water with each passing issue.”
The first issue of Earthdivers will arrive this October, just in time for Halloween. Horror fans will be thrilled to learn that Earthdivers #1 will be available with four variant covers featuring cover art by American Vampire‘s Rafael Albuquerqueas well as Maria Wolf, Aaron Campbelland Christian Ward. Take a look inside Earthdivers Below and the gorgeous covers by Rafael Albuquerque and Christian Ward: