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Branson to save universe?

01/08/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy The Stranded in the USA - or Buy The Stranded in the UK

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SCI FI Channel and Richard Branson's Virgin Comics have announced their first original title under the SCI FI/Virgin Comics banner. The Stranded, created and written by Mike Carey, is an adventure spanning two worlds as seen through the eyes of five ordinary people and whose abilities may ultimately spell doom or salvation for the entire universe.

The comic book is expected to be released later this year and will be distributed by Diamond Comics.

"As SCI FI evolves and expands its business beyond the television screen, we're thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Comics to create compelling characters and stories that are designed to live across multiple media platforms, " said Dave Howe, over at SCI FI. "The Stranded is the first original concept to be born out of this new joint venture. Mike Carey has created an incredibly rich and mysterious world and a unique cast of characters with the power and potential to come to life everywhere their story is told."

"This partnership with SCI FI creates an opportunity for comic writers to develop stories that move far beyond the printed page," added Sharad Devarajan, CEO of Virgin Comics. "From the concept stage, Mike Carey has been able to craft his story with some of the top creative and marketing minds in television today."

"The fact that we are seeding our new imprint with an original idea from Mike Carey gives me great confidence that this is going to be an awesome collaboration," added Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics Chief Creative Officer. "Further nurturing that idea with the minds of SCI FI's creative team and having Stuart Moore as editor to guide it makes me believe that we are at the start of a story that many people in comics and beyond will enjoy for a long time."

What if your entire world - your childhood, your family, all your memories - was a lie? The Stranded cast: Sisera, a conceptual artist; Endo, an art gallery worker; Drum, a new York City librarian; and Cullen, a Washington DC lawyer are all secretly from a world called Standfire - and now their past is returning to try and kill them.

One by one, The Stranded are assaulted by Janus, an altered human working for a mysterious, otherworldly force that seeks their destruction. Their only hope: Tamree, a dark, mysterious woman sent to Earth to protect them. She must awaken the buried individual memories of The Stranded - along with their powerful, unique psychic and physical abilities. But even if they can defeat Janus and his unseen masters, they must also deal with one of their own...who, damaged and unable to deal with her incredible new powers, cuts a swathe of incredible destruction across the Earth.

The Stranded's writer/creator is Mike Carey. His current work includes X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Voodoo Child and his own creations Faker, Crossing Midnight, and The Re-gifters. His long runs on Lucifer and John Constantine, Hellblazer have been particularly well received. He has just completed a coast-to-coast book tour for his first novel, The Devil You Know.

The first issue of The Stranded will feature two covers with artwork from Marc Silvestri (Cyberforce, Witchblade, The Darkness and the X-Men) and Greg Horn (Elektra, Emma Frost).

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