Kieron Gillen Returns to Superhero Comics With 'Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt'

The new Dynamite Entertainment series revives the hero who inspired Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' 'Watchmen.'
Sean Phillips/Dynamite Entertainment

Years after his last superhero series, comic book writer Kieron Gillen is returning to the genre by revamping a cult favorite for Dynamite Entertainment. Launching 2019, Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is back.

Readers wondering “Peter who?” can be forgiven; Cannon, originally created in 1966 by Pete Morisi for Charlton Comics, is far from a well-known character, having only sporadically appeared in his 50+ year history. But audiences may be far more familiar with a character he inspired: Watchmen’s Ozymandias, created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, is based directly on Peter Cannon, with the other primary members of the beloved graphic novel also based on characters from the defunct Charlton Comics line.

"There’s a fascinating duality to Peter Cannon, and I’ve noticed that Kieron has a duality of his own, which really comes across in the writing of this book," teased Matt Idelson, senior editor at Dynamite Entertainment, the publisher of the title. "There’s more going on here than just what’s happening on the page, and I’m very excited to see peoples’ response to the book."

In a statement, Gillen presented the new series — illustrated by Caspar Wijngaard — as featuring a new, re-energized response to superhero comics, a space he’s been absent from since 2014. Prior to this break, he had found critical acclaim as the writer of a number of Marvel titles, including Uncanny X-Men, Young AvengersIron Man and Thor.

“I've been away from the genre for a few years,” he said. “This is me refreshed, grinning and more than a little bit angry. I want to try things. I want to have fun. Hell, we've created a whole new supporting cast of heroes for this series because we wanted to. I wanted to do a state-of-the-art, state of the superheroic nation, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is it. High adventure, big ideals, epic destruction, heroism, despair and nine-panel grids.”

The new series begins January 2019.