Reading Mark Waid’s new digital comic with Jeremy Rock, Luther, tickled my brain. Not so much the use of delayed panel reveals to enhance the reading experience, like Alex De Campi’s Valentine. But more like Warren Ellis’ Ultimate Extinction for Marvel – that I was sure I’d read this before.
In that case Warren recycled a script that has been spiked, but that he’d then put online for people to read. And years later, found a new home for parts of it.
And in Luther‘s case, I was getting the same thing. I’d read this story. But I had no idea where.
Last night I found it. A one shot from Boom!’s Zombie Tales anthology of zombie books called Oblivion. With three stories, one at the back, called Luthor by Mark Waid and Mark Badger.
And it’s the exact same story. The dialogue, the scenes, they are one and the same, just drawn in a different style, with different compositions, panel breaks and the like.
It’s doubtful if Rock ever saw the original version, the differences are so distinct. Here are a few comparison panels and blocks.
If you have a copy, fish it out. It’s also on eBay, and available in a collection. It’s certainly worth a comparison. And there’s the realisation that Mark’s first public designed-for-digital comic is actually an adaptation of one designed for print.