Back in 2005, Josh Howard debuted his first creator-owned book "Dead@17" through Viper Comics. Over the course of six miniseries, Howard has chronicled the tale of his heroine Nara Kilday, a murdered teenager who is resurrected to prevent the pending Apocalypse. Now published through Image Comics, the penultimate series in the "Dead@17" saga — "Dead@17: The Witch Queen" — arrives in comic stores later this week.
And while Nara's comic book journey is nearing its end, Howard has indicated that the long-awaited "Dead@17" film adaptation has signed director Dennis Iliadis ("Last House on The Left").
"Last I heard, they had attached Dennis Iliadis as a director," Howard revealed to MTV News. "And we've also set up some meetings at some studios that are interested in it. Right now, meetings are taking place with potential writers."
Howard also confirmed that Michael Dougherty ("Superman Returns") will not write the "Dead@17" movie, although whether Vanessa Hudgens will star in it is still currently unknown. Howard also offered MTV News a preview of his latest miniseries, "Dead@17: The Witch Queen."
"Basically [at the end of 'Dead@17: Afterbirth'] Nara had to kill her best friend Hazy because she was the holder of the Key to the Abyss and that was the only way to release it," said Howard. "Doing that unleashes the great beast and so Nara has been banished to purgatory and that's where the story in 'Witch Queen' picks up."
"A little time has passed (since the end of 'Afterbirth')," continued Howard. "Nara has been there a while by herself. She lives in a cave and she doesn't really care about the war or anything else. She's just punishing herself for what's she's done. Nara is really down on herself and she has to deal with her past both literally and figuratively. She has to reexamine why she's been fighting and if it's worth going on.
Howard also offered some hints as to fate of Asia Black — the girl who is joined with Nara as Gemini — and the identity of the Witch Queen.
"The Witch Queen is Lilith. She is the mother of Bolabogg and all of the big demons," added Howard. "As for Asia, she and Nara have been separated. Nara doesn't know where she is, but that's something that will come into play later in the series."
While Howard's current "Dead@17" miniseries will wrap up later this year, he is already making plans for the grand finale.
It's going to be a lot longer, at least seven or eight issues," related Howard. "I have a title in mind, but nothing that's sticking yet. It'll probably be coming out next year. It will take me the better part of the year to finish it and I'd like to do something in-between 'Dead@17' before I come back and finish it off."
"Dead@17: The Witch Queen" hits stores this week, but you can check out a preview of the first issue here on Splash Page.
What are your thoughts on Dennis Iliadis as the director of "Dead@17"? Who would you cast as Nara and Hazy? And what do you think about the "Witch Queen"? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or on Twitter!