Anyone who loves the “darker” and “grittier” trend that comic books started to take around the ’80s has Karen Berger to thank. Berger was the longtime editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint who lured talented writers like Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison to add a macabre sensibility to the genre with works like The Sandman and The Invisibles, among others. Berger stepped down as editor of Vertigo back in 2012 and took a three-year break from comics, but now she’s back, editing a new Image Comics series called Surgeon X. The series, which follows a vigilante doctor’s adventures in a dystopian future Britain laid low by antibiotic-resistant superbacteria, is written by Sara Kenney and drawn by John Watkiss, but the reason it lured Berger to comics again goes beyond the page. Surgeon X will come with its own app.
Fueled by Kenney’s documentary filmmaking experience and her interviews with medical experts and ethicists, the Surgeon X Enhanced Comics App will update each month alongside new issues of the series. The app will feature animated scientific shorts, historical footage about the science of antibiotics, and futuristic animations of political campaigns, among other content. Check out one such animation, a political ad from the series’ fictional Lionheart Party, above.
“The app is the ultimate companion piece,” Berger said in a statement. “No one in comics has done anything quite like this before, and I was blown away by the idea of experimenting with off-the-page storytelling while keeping the purity of comics intact. Not only has Sara created a rich and incredible world, but with the app she’s using her filmmaking talents to expand on the concept in an exciting and special way.”
The app will launch on Sep. 28, alongside the first issue of Surgeon X.