Announced late last month, Boom Studios' upcoming "Die Hard: Year One" comic book series will take Bruce Willis' hard-luck hero John McClane back to his roots in a story that unfolds more than a decade before his 1988 adventure at the Nakatomi Plaza. Veteran writer/artist Howard Chaykin, who will be scripting the prequel, spoke with MTV News about what readers can expect from the series when it hits shelves this August -- including some of the familiar movie characters and elements of New York City history that will find their way into story.
"We're dealing with McClane as a 23-year-old Marine veteran, new to the force from Queens, just loving his job," Chaykin told MTV News. "The series is going to explain exactly how he got his gold shield."
According to Chaykin, who grew up in New York City during the same time period of McClane's "Year One" adventure, his first-hand knowledge of the culture and climate of both NYC and the nation as a whole during the '70s plays a big role in the series.
"What we're doing is hitting the high points of the drama of the 1970s and using them as the background and springboards for the issues," explained Chaykin. "The first four-issue arc takes place on the Bicentennial -- the Fourth of July in 1976."
"The great irony of the Bicentennial celebration is that it was at a time when New York City was kind of a scary place and the rest of the country really hated New York," said Chaykin. "So the irony of the 200th birthday of the United States being celebrated in a place that was regarded as a sodomite hell-hole wasn't lost on anyone."
Chaykin described the first arc as "a ticking clock story that starts early in the morning and ends around dusk," with subsequent arcs continuing to unfold in four-issue blocks. After the first arc themed around the Bicentennial, the next storyline will involve the infamous, 25-hour blackout of 1977.
Looking ahead to the third arc, Chaykin said he plans to use that story to introduce a familiar character to fans of the "Die Hard" films.
"I'm planning on introducing Holly, his wife, in that arc," the writer revealed.
"Die Hard: Year One" hits shelves this August from Boom Studios. Now that you know all about Chaykin's plans for the series, check out some exclusive cover art for Splash Page readers from the second and third issues, featuring the work of artists Jock and Dave Johnson. (Click on each image below for a larger version.)
What do you think of Chaykin's plans for "Die Hard: Year One"? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!