If you’re a fan of martial arts movies, the Small Press Spotlight has a book for your action-loving consideration. Dead Legends Vol. 2 is set to debut today from A Wave Blue World, continuing Yan’s story after the deadly events in the first installment.
Writer James Maddox reunites with artist Gavin Smith, letterer Ryan Ferrier, and color assistant Milena Deneno for the next epic chapter in the saga. Read more from the publisher here:
“The continuing story follows the trials of Yan, a young woman trained by her grandfather, Jee Sin—one of the most deadly and experienced martial arts experts in existence. After winning the last Dead Legends tournament and taking lethal revenge on her husband’s killer, Yan flees the competition’s self-destructive overseer and his army of merciless followers. Luckily, she has friends like Red Death and Stalk to aid her and the child. But new adversaries, including the unhinged Tigress, will resort to sinister tactics that Yan and her fellow refugees couldn’t fathom.
The resulting comic should resonate with fans of iconic cinematic martial arts films, including Riki-O: The Story of Riki, Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior, Bloodsport, The Raid: Redemption, Kill Bill, and the seminal oeuvre of Bruce Lee.”
Maddox explained the inspiration behind the series and how he and Smith came up with the fight sequences:
“Gavin and I wanted to produce a martial arts tale with an equal emphasis on fight choreography and story content. We decided on how the fights will work for our collaboration pretty early in the series. For all of the fight scenes, I just let Gavin take the lead and structure the battles. My script will basically list some necessary moments that need to happen during the scene, but other than that, I leave it in Gavin’s hands.”
The writer discussed why classic martial arts movies hold up and if modern versions are just as good.
“I’m still a big fan of the older films like Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport, but that said, martial arts media has always been a hybrid of fighting and some other genre, usually a mix of something like John Wick‘s crime or like Cobra Kai‘s emotional drama. I’d even go so far as acknowledging the mix of drama and fighting present in pro wrestling. So yeah, I think modern examples of martial arts media hold up (and many times surpass) the films of the past, mainly because they’ve refined the mixing of other storytelling ingredients into their narratives.”
Maddox went on to explain which character emerged as his favorite while writing the saga.
“As the second volume played out, my favorite character soon became Barbosa. He consistently made himself the emotional core of the group and a vehicle for levity. As much as I love the energy that Yan and Red Death bring to the series (especially in the first volume), I was struck by how fun and emotionally investing Barbosa’s part in Dead Legends ended up being.”
Will there be more in this world?
“Gavin and I love this series and have already started to put together more from the world of Dead Legends. Definitely look out for the future, but until then, I can’t wait to see how readers react to the events of the second volume.”
Check out Dead Legends Vol 2. today. Take a look at some preview pages below, and head to the publisher’s website to grab Volume 1 as well.