Margaret Atwood to Create New Superhero Comic Book Series

The 'Handmaid's Tale' author will write three 'Angel Catbird' graphic novels for Dark Horse Comics.
Johnnie Christmas/Dark Horse Comics

Margaret Atwood might not be the most obvious choice to create the next big superhero, but a new graphic novel series launching next year written by the Handmaid's Tale novelist might prove otherwise. Prepare to meet the wonderfully named Angel Catbird.

Catbird — so called because he's part man, part owl and part cat as the result of "some spilled genetic Super-Splicer," according to Atwood — will be the star of three graphic novels written by the Canadian novelist and poet and illustrated by Shattered and Firebug's Johnnie Christmas, with the series being produced in conjunction with Nature Canada's Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives initiative.

Described by editor Daniel Chabon as "a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired story" (and one that will contain a lot of cat puns, he added), the series will pay homage to "classic pulp heroes and traditional comic book origin stories," according to Mike Richardson, the president of Angel Catbird publisher Dark Horse Comics.

"We’re proud to bring Margaret’s Angel Catbird here to Dark Horse, since it is exactly the kind of creator-owned graphic novel we are committed to publishing," Richardson said in a statement accompanying Tuesday's announcement of the project.

This isn't Atwood's first time making comics. Under the pseudonym "Bart Gerrard," she wrote and drew the strip Kanadian Kultchur Komix in alternative magazine This from 1975 through 1980. The strip featured Atwood's first superheroic character, Survivalwoman.

More information about Angel Catbird, including the publication date for the first volume, will be released in early 2016.

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