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'Hawken: Genesis' graphic novel previewed at New York Comic Con

"This is a work of art that happens to be a story" Joe LeFavi, Archaia Entertainment

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Hawken has already gained a tremendous amount of attention, both for its multiplayer first-person mech combat and the diversity of its transmedia tendrils even before the game's release. One of those cross-media products is Hawken: Genesis, a graphic novel anthology set to be published early next year by Archaia Entertainment.

Representatives from Archaia — as well as Hawken's developer, Adhesive Games, and publisher, Meteor Entertainment — gathered for a New York Comic Con panel yesterday evening in which they discussed Hawken the game and Hawken the brand; took questions on both items from fans in attendance; and presented never-before-seen preview pages from Genesis.

Hawken takes place far in the future, on a distant planet called Illal that human leaders have allowed three massive corporations to terraform and colonize. Before long, those corporations' holdings become nation-states unto themselves, and eventually militarize to protect their assets. A war breaks out over the planet's precious natural resources, and the vital technology for building mechs.

Hawken: Genesis concerns James Hawken, the inventor of the mech, and Rion Lazlo, the corporate leader who benefits from Hawken's technical wizardry. It focuses on their partnership, which begins as a symbiotic relationship but eventually breaks apart after a betrayal. The 120-page graphic novel is being written by Jeremy Barlow, who has authored Star Wars and Mass Effect books. Joe LeFavi, the host of the panel and the book's editor at Archaia, said Barlow imbues the science-fiction story with the political intrigue and interesting characters necessary to make it compelling.

LeFavi showed six pages of art from Genesis done by Francisco Ruiz Velasco, a comic-book artist and conceptual designer who has worked with Guillermo del Toro on films like Hellboy 2: The Golden Army and The Hobbit. According to LeFavi, Ruiz Velasco came out of retirement to work on Hawken: Genesis "because he fell in love with this world." He is one of many artists working on the graphic novel, along with such illustrious names as Bagus Hutomo (Shrapnel) and Federico Dallocchio (Modern Warfare 2: Ghost).

"This is a work of art that happens to be a story," said LeFavi of Genesis.

Hawken: Genesis is set for release in March 2013 — about three months after the launch of Hawken itself, which is scheduled for Dec. 12. See the six preview pages for yourself here.

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