Top Cow Productions, the company behind The Darkness and CyberForce, will celebrate Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead 20-year milestone anniversary with collectible variants by artist Giuseppe Cafaro and colorist John Starr. Together, these three virgin variant covers will connect to create a panoramic masterpiece featuring Top Cow characters from Destiny Gate #1, Antarctica #4, and Haunt You to the End #5, fighting side-by-side with The Walking Dead iconic horror series heroes and villains this October.
“Being part of something done by Top Cow was one of my biggest dreams,” said Cafaro. “It was super fun to work on and John did an amazing job on colors! It was great to put together the characters from some new and awesome Top Cow series and some of the most iconic The Walking Dead characters.”
The duo wanted to create a feel to match each respective book and also tie them all in together. “Destiny Gate, I gave a hellish vibe,” said Starr. “Antarctica, I used cool colors, but the lighting was mostly dictated by the portal. And, Haunt You to the End, I used the blues and reds that are used in that book. I added some of Giuseppe’s cool texture splatter and fog across the covers to give it some grit and mood. He did a great job on this and I really had fun coloring it!”
Lee Thomas, the creative director of EP1T0ME—Top Cow’s partners on the series Destiny Gate—added: “When offered the opportunity to resurrect one of the greatest comic book characters from the original The Walking Dead series, we took that opportunity. Lucille… she lives, again! A ferocious Negan explodes from the macabre annals of Destiny Gate’s horrors with a determinism worthy of his character’s savagery and focus.”
For the Top Cow/EP1T0ME series Destiny Gate #1 by Ryan Cady and Christian DiBari, The Walking Dead’s Negan is wielding the mighty Lucille as he struggles with Destiny Gate protagonist Mitchell Slate while the demonic character ‘Madness’ looms.
While on Antarctica #4, Michonne’s sword is drawn with Antarctica heroine Hannah, as they fight back to back against walkers clawing at them.
A huge fan of The Walking Dead, Antarctica artist Willi Roberts added: “It’s one of my favorite comics and TV shows of all time—it was hard to believe…that Hannah gets to fight back to back with Michonne!”
Lastly, the cover of Haunt You to the End #5, features the tough-as-nails mercenary Gersh, as she struggles in the foreground while behind her, The Walking Dead’s Maggie fights for her life against ravenous walkers, tears in her eyes in shock and surprise, as next to her she sees the mangled, broken, ghost corpse of the love of her life, Glenn.
Cady, writer of Destiny Gate and Haunt You to the End, said: “Giuseppe and John have masterfully merged the worlds of Haunt You to the End and Destiny Gate with the post-apocalyptic nightmare of The Walking Dead.” Collectors will want to pick up all three to create what Antarctica’s creator called: “zombie multiverse heaven.” Antarctica letterer Lyndon White added: “This feels surreal.”
“Seeing Negan on the cover of Destiny Gate and Gersh paired with ghost Glenn makes this Halloween season an extra special one,” said Cady.
The Walking Dead first launched in 2003 from Image Comics and garnered critical acclaim and an escalating sales track-record before Hollywood picked up the hot IP and the series was adapted from TV by AMC in 2010. It was also in 2010 that Kirkman teamed up with David Alpert to launch the multiplatform entertainment company, Skybound Entertainment, which would expand his—and others’—IP beyond comics into other mediums. The Walking Dead has since gone on to become a pop culture phenomenon inspiring everything from hit video games, novelizations, merchandise, and a multitude of multimedia spin-offs across the walker universe. The series has sold over 45 million copies across multiple formats and has been translated into 21 languages globally.