Dylan Kussman wrote a “graphic novella.” That’s pretty exciting, right? And, you could read it below!
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, one of my favorite movies of the year, released this past week on DVD/Blu-Ray. Released in conjunction with the film is a digital only comic book featuring a story by Rogue Nation writer/director Christopher McQuarrie and art by Owen Freeman of Lazarus. Wired, which is the home for the new comic book, ventured into the digital comic medium last year with Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. You could find what we had to say on that here. Mission: Impossible is a fun series with unlimited potential for stories and adventure, especially with Tom Cruise’s IMF agent, Ethan Hunt. Seeing Rogue Nation get the comic treatment should come as a fun surprise to fans of the film and series, especially that it’s digital, available now, and free!
“Torn Asunder”, written by Dylan Kussman, from a story by Christopher McQuarrie takes place in the interim of Ethan Hunt leaving London after his escape from the Bone Doctor and phone call to William Brandt (“The Syndicate is real.”) and his eventual arrival in Havana. Angela Watercutter of Wired writes “What happened when Ethan Hunt, you know, went rogue?” and the Kussman/McQuarrie comic answers that in a fuse-lit pace of a story in 8 pages. Dylan Kussman, most recognizable as an actor and writer from Dead Poets Society, is obviously a friend of Christopher McQuarrie. Having previously worked with the writer/director on The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher, it’s great seeing how far established relationships with McQuarrie extend outside of film. In Kussman’s first comic/”graphic novella” (as he puts it), he exhibits a definite understanding of story and pacing (fuse-lit, remember?) and the directness of the story is only enhanced by Seattle based freelance artist Owen Freeman, best known for his Lazarus series and work appearing in The New Yorker.
This past summer I previously reported on the great, but forgotten Paramount Comics by way of Marvel, Mission: Impossible 90’s tie-in comic. The issue, written by Marv Wolfman, was notable for featuring Ethan Hunt, but not depicting him as Tom Cruise. It was exciting to learn of Wired’s Mission: Impossible “Torn Asunder” digital comic and then to see that Ethan Hunt actually appeared as Tom Cruise. The actor, bringing Ethan Hunt to life over the course of soon to be six different Missions, is known for not allowing his likeness to be used in video games, action figures, comic books, and the like. Having his friend Christopher McQuarrie on board for the comic should be reason enough to understand how artist Owen Freeman was able to illustrate Ethan Hunt in a screen accurate way. It works in creating an effective approach to filling in an area of the movie only alluded to and rounding out a spectacular story by Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pierce.
I’m a huge Mission: Impossible fan and I love the camaraderie/brotherhood between Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise. It’s great seeing such a thriving and smart partnership like that in a business that doesn’t necessarily promote that all too often. To see McQuarrie extend this to Dylan Kussman is great to see and to now have Dr. Painter from The Way of the Gun and Gary from Jack Reacher attached to the Mission: Impossible series is a wonderful little flourish to a series and partnership only getting better with each project.
- To Mr. Tom Cruise and Mr. Christopher McQuarrie, please work with Dylan Kussman again. And please, please, please find a way to utilize him in M:i-6. Even if he’s just the guy that provides a temporary roadblock to Ethan Hunt. Or maybe the voice that gives the IMF their next mission! Yes, do that!
“Torn Asunder”, feat. a story by Christopher McQuarrie, written by Dylan Kussman, with art by Owen Freeman and lettering by Jodi Wynne gets five stars!
For more on Owen Freeman, you could find his work here.
You can follow Dylan Kussman on Twitter – @dylankussman
Christopher McQuarrie – @chrismcquarrie