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Matt Kindt — who with two titles announced for Netflix adaptation earlier in August is Hollywood’s comic book auteur du jour — is launching a new series, a spy thriller titled Spy Superb.
Kindt, a cartoonist who writes and sometimes draws his work, is reteaming with Dark Horse Comics, the publishing home of his hit Mind MGMT, for what is intended to be a miniseries featuring three overstuffed volumes.
Kindt’s wife and sometime collaborator, colorist Sharlene Kindt, will be painting the book, which comes from Kindt’s recently launched boutique imprint, Flux House, which aims put out the cartoonist’s crime, science fiction and humor stories.
Superb is described as an offbeat mystery-thriller about a secret organization that has developed a spy so perfect that the person doesn’t even know they are a spy. A secret organization identifies its ultimate asset, a man named Jay, who is what they call a “useful idiot.” The man is sent on missions without even realizing he’s on a mission — until the day he picks up the wrong phone with the wrong secret intel. With Russian hit squads and elite assassins after him, Jay, whose complete obliviousness and lack of survival skills may be the only thing that is saving him, comes to believe that he may actually be that ultimate spy.
“In Spy Superb I wanted to explore a character, the idea of a very average person who is under the belief that he is utterly exceptional,” Kindt tells THR. “There is a scientific term for this — the Dunning-Kruger effect — a person who insists they possess knowledge and skills that they obviously do not. What if a super spy was suffering from this? Well, they would of course be a … Spy Superb.
“It was actually really hard for me to keep this character alive past issue #1. There are hit men after him, a super assassin who kills only with rock, paper, and scissors, and a real super spy working in the shadows of our ‘hero’ who may actually be the real spy superb.”
Said Dark Horse Publisher Mike Richardson: “If you close your eyes and imagine John Wick being dropped into a Wes Anderson film, you’ll have a sense of the world of Spy Superb. It’s unconventional, unusual and the kind of smart action comic book you expect from Matt Kindt.”
Kindt came up through the indie comics scene in the early 2000s, establishing himself as a unique voice. As opposed to other indie darlings, who jumped at the chance to work on branded IP for the major publishers, Kindt for the most part stuck to his creator-owned roots, although he was a key figure in authoring the revamp of Valiant Universe in the mid-2010s. It was in that time frame that he began building a strong following with his Dark Horse output, generating buzz for pushing the boundaries of the comics medium.
When Netflix announced it was extending its multiyear partnership with Dark Horse earlier this month, it unveiled two adaptations of Kindt comics in the works. Bang! has Idris Elba attached to star and David Leitch directing, with Kindt writing the script with Bullet Train scribe Zak Olkewicz for what is intended to be a feature. Mind MGMT is being developed as a series with Curtis Gwinn, whose credits include The Leftovers and Stranger Things, executive producing. That’s on top of a third book, Dept H, that is already in development. Dark Horse is involved in all three projects as producers.
Kindt is also the co-writer, with actor Keanu Reeves, on Boom! Studios’ violent action comic BRZRKR, whose first issue became one of the top-selling single issues from any publisher in years.
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