Revenge Thriller 'Kill Whitey Donovan' Brings A New Flavor to the Civil War

Kill Whitey Donovan_Art - Publicity - H 2019
Jason Pearson/Dark Horse Comics
The new series from Dark Horse Comics launches in December.

The Civil War gets a much-needed dose of feminism this December with the launch of Kill Whitey Donovan, an unexpected revenge thriller from two newcomers to the medium.

The series, published by Dark Horse Comics in partnership with 12-Gauge Comics, is written by screenwriter and novelist Sydney Duncan, with art from illustrator Natalie Barahona, with Black Panther’s Brian Stelfreeze on board as both editor and historical consultant. Set in the Civil War, it follows Anna Hoyt, a woman out to kill the Whitey Donovan of the title — a man who prompted her sister to commit suicide. Knowing that she can’t do it alone, Anna strikes a deal with Hattie Virgil, one of the slaves owned by the man in question, to help kill Whitey in exchange for her freedom.

"I'd written Kill Whitey Donovan as a [novel] about ten years ago in between Gabriel Adam books, fascinated by this notion of how external and internal expectations guide identity," Duncan said in a statement about the series. "Hattie represented the external struggle and Anna the internal. I wanted to explore those ideas on this Inferno-esque journey during the Civil War, which was basically this war for identity and, I thought, the perfect backdrop for the story."

What had been a novel became a comic book when Duncan befriended 12-Gauge Comics publisher Keven Gardner, which led to the addition of Barahona to the project.

"Brian Stelfreeze, who is a friend and became a sort of mentor to me when I lived in Atlanta, approached me with the idea and introduced me to Keven and Sydney," the artist explained. "I always like to draw stories where the characters really go through something physically and the period the story takes place in is really interesting to me. Keven and Sydney are just great people who have a lot of respect for artists, and so they gave me total freedom."

The first issue of the series, featuring a cover by 12-Gauge’s Jason Pearson, will be available digitally and in comic book stores Dec. 4.