Steve Orlando deconstructs The Death of Superman in Project Patron

Project Patron #1
(Image credit: David Talaksi (AfterShock Comics))

Writer Steve Orlando has created a new contender for world's greatest hero, but that hero has a secret: he's been dead for years.

(Image credit: Aaron Lopresti (AfterShock Comics))
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In the upcoming limited series Project Patron from AfterShock Comics, Orlando and artist Patrick Piazzalunga create a new superhero mythology - and a twist on the usually flimsy idea of death in the superhero genre.

"Project Patron asks a simple question - what if the death of the world's greatest superhero was a con job?" Orlando says in the announcement. "30 years ago, the world watched as its greatest defender, the Patron, fought for it all against Woe, a primordial creature that last popped up to kill the dinosaurs. It was the greatest superhuman fistfight the world had ever seen, and at the end, but Woe and the Patron fell dead...but soon after, the Patron rose again! Or did he? Project Patron is the answer. 

"When the world loses its greatest hero, those in power fear what we'll do without him, so they bring him back to life the best they can and replace him with a Reploid," the writer continues. "This is the story of the team that pilots that Reploid, the people secretly behind the Patron's continued heroism, and the incredible sacrifices they make. Piloting the Patron Reploid might be the greatest thrill in history, but it comes at a price: total anonymity, and a gig where every flight knocks a year off your life. The pressures on the team are enormous...so when a tragedy strikes at the heart of Project Patron, the world hangs in the balance as the greatest secret in modern history trembles on the brink of revelation."

Here's a preview:

(Image credit: David Talaksi (AfterShock Comics))
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Scheduled to debut April 7, Project Patron is described by Orlando as "Curt Swan's Superman meets Mobile Suit Gundam."

"The inspirations clicked together for me so quickly with Project Patron - it started with 'what if Gundam starred a Superman robot?' And when I thought further, it grew into not just that basic idea, but with additional hints of classic works like T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and a deconstruction of 'The Death of Superman,' one of the best known Superman stories of all time."

Joining Orlando and Piazzalunga on Project Patron are colorist Carlos Lopez and cover artist David Talaksi.

Project Patron #1 goes on sale April 7 in print and digitally. Check out Newsarama's list of the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)