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Entertainment Weekly

Books

Black Eyed Peas partner with Oculus for Masters of the Sun VR experience

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

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The Black Eyed Peas are taking their new Marvel graphic novel Masters of the Sun — The Zombie Chronicles (co-written by Benjamin Jackendoff and penciled by Damion Scott) to another level: It’s coming to virtual reality!

Announced in March and written by the band’s frontman will.i.am, the comic book tells the story of a California hip-hop crew that must fight back against an alien God who comes to Earth to continue a Black Curse that turns drug dealers and gangsters into zombies. On Saturday, the band announced at their Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con panel that it has partnered with Oculus to tell the story through virtual reality, an experience that will launch in January 2018.

Although there aren’t too many details about the forthcoming virtual reality app, we do know that it will feature the vocal talents of Rosario Dawson, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, rapper Rakim, Stan Lee, and many more.

“It’s just provocative and modern and beautiful and incredible, and has an incredible group of people that I’m so delighted to be up here [with],” said Dawson during the panel, which included Flava Flav and rapper Eric B.

“VR is the perfect tool to create the world, and this story has an incredibly vast and deep world in it,” said graphic designer and frequent Black Eyed Peas collaborator Pasha Shapiro, who, along with his partner Ernst Weber, helped create this new experience.

What makes this latest Masters of the Sun news so exciting is that the book already stood out in the comic market. In October at New York Comic Con, the Fergie-less band debuted the book’s astonishing augmented reality component, too. Using a phone app, readers can see the book’s characters burst from the page, accompanied by an impressive score from will.i.am and Hans Zimmer. However, it seems as though the augmented reality aspect of the project will be related to the virtual reality one.

“The reason you have these characters who pop up off the page: You can collect those characters when you get this book,” said will.i.am, teasing that readers will be able do something with these collectibles next year. “There’s weapons you collect, sound blasters you collect, crew members you collect, vehicles you can collect. Now that we live in a world where you can find and hunt and do all those kinds of things, I’ll leave that to your imagination on what you do with the characters once you’ve collected them. But it’s an amazing world out there to go and zap zombies and stuff. ”

Black Eyed Peas Presents: Masters of the Sun — The Zombie Chronicles is available now for purchase.

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