First off, a big thanks for all of you who stopped by our booth (okay, our table) at Fan Expo Canada and picked-up or downloaded a copy of Brute! We hope you loved reading Brute as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Quick note: Issue #0, a reprint of short stories we did for an anthology series, was our initial testing of Brute, and takes place after the events of Brute #1-10 (or so). When the characters are a little further on their journey. Brute #1 is the proper starting point, and Brute #2 explores Brute’s origin story (and why he’s called ‘Brute’).

Today I thought I’d explore what the future holds for Brute (without spoilers). I’ll break this up into the short, medium and long term.

Brute in the Short Term:

Although Brute is ultimately a group book (see medium and long term), I decided it was better to introduce the characters gradually, so we get a chance to really know and care about them, than to immediately jump into the adventures of a large group of aliens that would awesome, but also very confusing.

So the initial three issues focus on Rose and Brute – as they are the central characters throughout the series. We come to understand who they are, and why they are that way. We see the deep betrayals that cause Rose to be untrusting and overly reliant on her own wits, and why Brute doesn’t feel he has anything to offer other than his brute strength.

The focus is on their dynamic, Rose’s distrust butting up against Brute’s short temper, yet the two come to depend on each other. Rose needs Brute to survive, and Brute needs Rose to help him regain his lost humanity. They’re both stranded in space, with no way to get home, and no one else like them around. They bring out the best – and worse – of each other.

Issue #4 shifts the focus to Captain Jerrreecko (as known as Vanguard) and we finally get to meet his crew. After that, the series follows three story threads – Rose & Brute, Vanguard & Co, and another not yet introduced, until they converge – at which point we reach…

Brute in the Mid-Term:

At this point the group is formed and will be gradually added to as we have fun with this rag-tag band of broken people, forming a broken family and becoming the worse bounty hunters in the galaxy, but persevering and finding a way, despite themselves.

I’ll look to alternate between action oriented group stories and character-focused stories on just two or three characters at a time. The focus is on the relationships between these very different characters, who will both squabble and bond with each other. Brute, Rose and Vanguard will remain the core characters.

During this time, our heroes will eventually make their way to Earth, and we’ll discover what the ‘Great Enlightenment’ and ‘Great War’ are all about as they become embroiled in a major arc known as the ‘Utopian War’, which will explore some complex themes like freewill vs the needs of society.

Brute in the Long Term:

Brute, to me, is a finite story. I know the beginning, much of the middle and the end. It’s the story of redemption. Of these broken people, discovering themselves and their place in society, and as you might expect, becoming major players in the galaxy – or not. Some characters will never overcome their own self-imposed limitations, and some may end tragically. But ultimately, it’s a story about love, resiliency, friends/family and overcoming the odds – but not in ways you expect.

I’m looking at a Cerebus the Aardvark-like 300 issue run, but I’m totally down with Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead) approach of ending the series when the series is done (he ended a little shy of 200 issues and didn’t feel the need to pad it with filler stories just to make that mark). I’m also hoping to build a Star Wars/Star Trek like sandbox that other writers/artists can come and play in, telling their own stories and expanding upon what I’ve created.

So although my Brute stories will end, there will be lots more Brute stories, and stories in the Bruteverse to tell afterwards (and probably even during).