Hacktivist Vol 2 #1 Liew 10 Years 1:10 Incentive Cover Boom Alyssa Milano CW TV


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Hacktivist (2015 Boom) Volume 2 #1B

Published Jul 2015 by Boom Studios
Limited 1 for 10 Retailer Incentive Variant Cover
Written by Alyssa Milano, Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Art by Marcus To
Cover by Sonny Liew
24 pages, full color

It’s been six months since Tunis. Nate Graft’s life was turned upside-down after his best friend Ed Hiccox died, but he’s since pulled things together and is now in charge of VIGIL, the front line of America’s ongoing cyber operations. Just when things are starting to gain some semblance of control, YourLife, the government, and Nate come under attack by a new breed of hacker…who call themselves .sve_urs3lf. Using Nate and Ed’s former handle, they want to know the truth of what happened in Tunis, and they’re calling for blood. Nate’s blood.

Hacking Becomes Warfare In “Hacktivist Volume 2” #1 Review

One of last year’s most intriguing miniseries “Hacktivist” returns this week with a new and longer miniseries that picks up six months after the events of the last miniseries. Read on for our spoiler free review of “Hacktivist Volume 2” #1.

It’s been six months since Tunis. Nate Graft’s life was turned upside-down after his best friend Ed Hiccox died, but he’s since pulled things together and is now in charge of VIGIL, the front line of America’s ongoing cyber operations. Just when things are starting to gain some semblance of control, YourLife, the government, and Nate come under attack by a new breed of hacker…who call themselves .sve_urs3lf. Using Nate and Ed’s former handle, they want to know the truth of what happened in Tunis, and they’re calling for blood. Nate’s blood.

“Hacktivist” introduced us to Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft, best friend tech savants who created Your Life, a Twitter/Facebook hybrid that operated completely outside of the government’s reach. The two of them are billionaires but in their spare time they are hackers who work with revolutionaries in Tunisia. After they get caught by the C.I.A., they end up working for the government but this leads to Ed and Nate clashing with Ed eventually going off on his own to help with the Tunisian revolution. It was a good, four issue miniseries that played off a lot of what was happening in the world at the time even if the scope was a little too wide.

“Hacktivist Volume 2” begins six months after Ed is presumed dead, which we know isn’t true. In the wake of what happened in Tunisia, Nate’s role at Your Life is much different and he’s more of a government lackey than anything else. He doesn’t do very much anymore and people hate him. On the very first page, we find out where Ed has been but things haven’t been good for him or the world in general. What happened in Tunisia has led to what is basically a war between hackers and the government and a group of hackers has learned from Ed but are using the technology for bad. Ed and Nate are in a position now to fix things but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as “Hacktivist Volume 2” has a lot to offer.

Right off the bat, the extension to six issues is going to work wonderfully given what is set up. We don’t get the chance to see much of who the villains are but that’s fine, because this team can take it’s time a little bit more. The first volume of “Hacktivist” saw Kelly and Lanzing needing to do a lot in a short amount of time as far as scripting and it ended up feeling like things were a little glossed over when it came to what was happening in Tunisia. “Hacktivist Volume 2” #1 jumps right into things with big, world wide story that really does a great job tapping into what’s happening in real life. Anonymous gets named dropped and the fragility of internet security has a magnifying lens over it.

“Hacktivist Volume 2” doesn’t hit you over the head with its politics but it also doesn’t really shy away from more sensitive topics associated with hacking. Ed, despite needing to work with Nate again, isn’t entirely against what his technology is used for. He wants to do more things like what he did in Tunisia because he think it benefits the greater good but he’s apologetic because what’s about to happen was not in his plan. His technology is being abused in his eyes but without going into spoiler territory, he may also be contradicting his own belief system, but this adds an extra layer to the story an makes Ed very complex.

“Hacktivist Volume 2” #1 relies on a lot of what happened in the first miniseries and that’s great for someone like me who read it but not so great for everyone else. Some major things happen to characters from the first mini that isn’t fully explained here. Brynn is a very bad position but it’s just dropped on us with no context. When we last saw her, we were led to believe that she would have a heap of trouble to deal with, but nothing quite like this. You can follow this story well enough without the first miniseries but you may have some trouble connecting to the characters.

Marcus To steps in to do the art once again and he does a very nice job settling back into these characters while adding some subtle changes. Ed’s innocence is all but visually gone and it’s not just cause of his beard and long hair. Ed is the genius but he also has this sense of idealism that fueled why he went to Tunisia. To draws him much more worn out and his eyes don’t have that light they once had. The panel layouts in the first few pages with the focus on the phones and the text has such a cool effect. Combined with the wordy dialogue, you get the sense that you’re watching a tension filled thriller. These pages move fast and To nails each panel perfectly by not skipping out on the finer details like the shocked and scared faces of those being attacked. He does something similar near the end with a cyber attack and it’s really cinematic feeling. The effects are almost moving and the way things are arranged on the page are visually stunning.

Ian Herring’s colors work very well in this issue and have a lot of range. He’s assisted by Becka Kenzie and it’s impossible (at least for me) to see where their styles separate. They work together very nicely and create a great looking comic book. The colors are bright with lots of red used to emphasize the technology. It’s almost a little too Terminator but it does get the point across. The mix of blues and greens in Nate’s office are a stark contrast to the rest of the world and that again reflects a lot of what he’s been through and where he is right now. The darker, nighttime scenes are wonderfully done with almost perfect shadow effects.

“Hacktivist Volume 2” #1 is a nice start to what will hopefully be a very memorable sequel. There’s a lot here to deconstruct and analyze and I hope this series can pull it off properly.

Why Alyssa Milano created a comic book tribute to Anonymous

What do Alyssa Milano and Anonymous have in common? Surprisingly, they both play a role in a new comic book series called Hacktivist, and to hear her tell it, she was a bit “obsessed” with her muse.

You might remember Milano from her TV roles on Who’s the Boss?, Charmed, or the more recent Mistresses. But in the last few years, the actress has shifted her focus to issues of Internet freedom (she was very vocal against the Stop Online Piracy Act) as well as social media and the politics and narratives that inform it—Twitter especially.

Hacktivist is based around the global adventures of fictional characters Nate Graft and Ed Hiccox, who run a successful social media company, YourLife, which is like Twitter. They also happen to be hackers with a group modeled off Anonymous called sve_Urs3lf.

On Jan. 22, comics publisher Archaia releases the first of four installments of Hacktivist and will compile all four volumes into one book by summer. Milano said the idea came about a year ago.

“I became obsessed with the role of the media, and how it was being used as a tool for protest,” she told the Daily Dot. “At the same time, Anonymous was using hacking skills to empower people. And I thought, ‘What if Anonymous wasn’t a group but one person?’ And that spiraled into, ‘What if Anonymous was one guy? What characteristics would he have?’ He’d have to be socially aware, a coder, have access, be compassionate.”

She then took a very big leap and modeled her protagonist after a real person.

“Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey was the only person I could think of,” she adds. “What if Jack started Twitter to affect social change?” Dorsey is her son’s godfather, and Milano was an advisor at his startup, Square.

It could be argued that Twitter has become a forum for social change. Its role in protests and uprisings around the world has been well documented, and it’s become the platform of choice for Anonymous’s various activities, as seen recently with the collective’s Million Mask March.

Milano says she always wanted Hacktivist to be a graphic novel, and the publishing house Archaia “fell in love” with the idea. They paired her with writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly to create the story, plus artist Marcus To and colorist Ian Herring. While Hacktivist could easily translate to a film or television medium, Milano thought there was a better way to tell the story.

“Digital storytelling is something I’m into,” she explains. “I didn’t want to go into a network or studio and hear a million reasons why it wouldn’t work.”

In early November, she engaged in a bit of viral marketing for the project and made it look like her Twitter account had been hacked. She also made sure she got input from coders and actual members of Anonymous. In an initial meeting, one of her consultants hacked her phone while she was sitting across from him.

Archaia saw a chance to market a story not everyone is telling in the graphic novel medium.

“When Alyssa came to us with the idea, we instantly recognized its relevance and timeliness with what’s going on in the world today, touching upon how social media has affected our everyday lives, and how it can be used for both good and sinister things,” offered Rebecca Taylor, editor of the series.

But making it realistic was another challenge. The art, layout, and coloring is striking, but the storyline is a fairly Hollywood version of what the culture entails and mostly stays away from discussing hacking’s greyer areas, like the fates that befell Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, and Aaron Swartz. It’s more realistic as a way of explaining hacking to mainstream culture and how it can be a forum for positive social change.

“I had some great creative consultants; hackers and members of Anonymous,” Milano said. “It was important that I got this right. We couldn’t fake it. The heroes here are real men who don’t have superpowers.”

She adds that it was important to have a strong female character as well. The action of the story jumps back and forth between the men and Sirine, the woman on the ground amidst a revolution, and on the novel’s cover.

Hacktivist paces its story on the info and misinfo Twitter—and the Internet—can provide, and there are some parallels to the reality of living online. Milano also talked about the celebrity culture of Twitter and explained her recent run-in with comedian Jay Mohr, who indulged in some body-shaming on his podcast. The only reason she found out, she says, is because of Twitter.

“It’s a great barometer of where we are socially,” Milano adds. “The exploitiveness of where we are culturally. We don’t want to open magazines and read about people giving Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian a hard time about their weight. With social media, it’s easy to throw jabs.

“There’s a disconnect there; we’re not saying these things to people’s faces. It’s important to remind people we hear and see this.”

Alyssa Milano Teams With ‘Covert Affairs’ Creators To Adapt Her ‘Hacktivist’ Comic As TV Series For the CW

Alyssa Milano’s 2014 graphic novel Hacktivist is heading to the small screen. The CW is developing a drama series adaptation of fast-paced cyber-thriller from the former Mistresses star, Covert Affairs creators/executive producers Matt Corman and Chris Ord, BOOM! Studios and CBS TV Studios.

Written by Corman and Ord, Hacktivist tells the story of Nate Graft and Ed Hiccox, two twentysomething best friends and co-founders of the most important social networking company in the world, who are recruited to work secretly for the CIA to bring about global social change. Using their fame and access as cover, and their technical prowess as a tool, Nate & Ed pull off risky missions, both foreign and domestic. But the arrangement is not without perils — Nate & Ed’s thirst for information freedom runs deep, begging the question, can the CIA trust them? And, more importantly, can Nate & Ed trust the CIA?

Milano, Corman and Ord executive produce alongside Ross Richie & Stephen Christy of BOOM! Studios. BOOM!’s Josh Levy co-executive produces. There are no current plans for Milano to act.

Created by Milano and published by BOOM! imprint Archaia, the Hacktivist graphic novel series was written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (DC’s Batman: Eternal) and illustrated by Marcus To (Boom!’s Joyride). The well-reviewed series has released two volumes to date.

BOOM!, which controls the largest library of comic book IP outside of Marvel and DC, is in production on supernatural thriller The Empty Man, the first feature film to come from the publisher’s first-look pact with 20th Century Fox.

This marks Corman & Ord’s return to the CW where they served as executive producers and co-showrunners on drama Containment last season. Before that, they created and ran USA’s spy thriller Covert Affairs for five seasons.

Milano has been the host of Lifetime’s Project Runway All Stars for the last three seasons. Her scripted series credits include Mistresses, Romantically Challenged, My Name Is Earl, Spin City, Charmed, Melrose Place and Who’s The Boss.

Alyssa Milano’s Hacktivist Gets A Second Chance At The CW

After a false start, The CW is looking to develop Hacktivist once again.

Deadline reports the network will develop a new script from writer Grant Thompson. Around this time last year, the network assigned Matt Corman and Chris Ord to the project, but ultimately passed.

The Archaia series was created by Alyssa Milano — but written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly with art from Marcus To — and centered on a pair of twentysomething social media entrepreneurs. They’ve managed to become the most important service in the business, attracting the attention of the CIA. But as their work for the agency comes with greater and greater risks, they begin to wonder if they can trust the CIA.

The title was released on digital platforms in 2013, with a four-issue miniseries and a collected edition following the next year. Hacktivist was received favorable, but no further comic books ever materialized.

Both television versions are produced by Archaia’s parent company, Boom! Studios.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.