The Chapterverse: Canada’s Own Shared Superhero Universe
Canada may soon have its own slightly more polite Justice League, thanks to Chapterhouse Comics‘ upcoming shared superhero universe, the Chapterverse.
During a Chapterhouse panel at Fan Expo 2016, the publishers of comics like Captain Canuck, Die Kitty Die, and The Pitiful Human Lizard announced that 2017 will kick off a string of interconnected series, all accessible for only 8 dollars a month.
The Chapterverse will formally bridge established Chapterhouse heroes, as well as introduce new series and protagonists that will tie into a single universe. Freelance, the second Canadian comic book hero ever created, is back and will star in a new globetrotting adventure series. Agents of Pact is an all new team-up story starring several heroes from Captain Canuck’s adventures. There’s also Northern Light, a hard sci-fi space epic described by its creator as a rise and fall story, “sort of like Scarface in space.”
“It’s bee a joy to kind of envision, reinvision, and invent all the new stuff that we’re building up to,” Chapterhouse Creative Director Kalman Andrasofszky tells the Fan Expo audience.
Starting January 2017, two new monthlies will release side by side for four issues. Once those arcs wrap, the books will swap out with two different comics – sort of like seasons of television – before returning later in the year.
Beyond connecting Intellectual Properties that Chapterhouse already owns, a major initiative for the Chapterverse will be nurturing upcoming talent through “Creator Owned” partnerships. Through these, the company hopes to connect and support independent print and web comic creators with their network and resources. “It’s about finding talent and nurturing talent,” Chapterhouse Production Manager Keith WTS Morris explains. “If you have a really good creator owned product, we want to be able to help foster that.”
Jason Loo’s The Pitiful Human Lizard is one such Creator Owned series that, although part of the shared universe, will stay under Loo’s creative control and release schedule. The dream, according to Morris, is that if Creator Owned stories are well received, those artists will be one day working on Canuck and other Chapterhouse mainstays.
The Chapterhouse team is adamant that the shared universe will not force fans of any one series to read every other book to understand what’s happening. “Each of these books are meant to work on their own, and maybe they can appeal to different people and different kinds of readers,” says Andrasofszky. “But for people who follow all or most of the books, you’re going to start to see how they all connect, and that kind of attention is rewarded with an extra level of depth and a bigger picture that will start to form.”
The new Chapterverse venture will kick off this upcoming January with the launch of Agents of Pact and Freelance. Seeing as Justin Trudeau recently wrote the foreword for Chapterhouse’s Summer Special, we can only hope that the Canadian Prime Minister will play a role in the new universe. Maybe his comics counterpart will dust off those boxing gloves and knock some sense into Human Lizard villain/ dudebro Johnny Bodyrocks.