Last month, Heavy Metal debuted its first standalone comic book series, Hoax Hunters, and it quickly sold out in comics shops across the country. Today, issue 2 has landed! We don’t expect this one will linger on shelves either, so try to catch it at your local shop or order it from the Heavy Metal store (also available, as of today: Heavy Metal #274). We spoke with co-creator Michael Moreci about the new issue.
Last issue was the first back after a long layoff, with a major character missing, and a dramatic change in location—from the U.S. to Paris. There were things that needed to happen and things to be explained. Was the process of writing issue #2 different from that of writing issue #1? Does the narrative move differently in the two issues?
It was different, for sure. I think we played catch up, a bit, with issue #1. I mean, there’s no true jumping on point here. There’s 14 issues of [season 1 of] Hoax Hunters—that’s over a year of work, and we can’t act like it doesn’t exist or spend an issue explaining everything. That’s not fair to new or old readers. We’ve actually released a recap of all of season one through Heavy Metal. So if anyone wants to get caught up, that’s the way to go.
That said, in issue #2, we just dive into the story, and I think that’s the way to go. Jack’s in a different dimension, a prison dimension, and that’s all the background you need to know. So we’re able to just dive right into that story, which, personally, I love.
So as we find out on page 1 of this issue, Jack is still alive—or perhaps “alive” is not really the right word for someone trapped in a prison dimension. What sort of challenges lay in store for him?
Lots! He’s in the midst of investigating a murder in a place where no one cares about such things, not to mention a place filled with people who want him dead. It’s like the classic “cop in jail with the criminals he put there” story, only a lot weirder.
But there’s also Jack’s existential despair. If he’s not a Hoax Hunter, who is he? He tries to fill the void with investigating things as usual, but it’s not cutting it. We’re going to see a lot of Jack defining who he is and what he wants, which is really important to the future of the Hoax Hunters universe.
There’s no pretense of the reality TV show in this issue, in fact they ended up in Paris as a break, because they didn’t have their shit together enough to fake the reality show in issue #1. But how much do they really need the reality show to do their work? They seem to be onto something in Paris without lugging the cameras and boom mics all over the place.
Yeah, I mean, that’s something we try to infuse in the comic, but it doesn’t always work. And I’d rather focus on the characters, monsters, and all that then try to figure out how to pull of the “filming” aspect. They need the show as a guise, no doubt, and I hope we give enough to show that the show does exist. But, ultimately, their main goal is fighting back against those things that go bump in the night.
Everyone’s favorite character (perhaps), Murder, the enigmatic crow being, gets a new suit in this issue, his spaceman outfit having been damaged in a fight with skeletons. Is this merely a cosmetic change or will it affect the story?
It will affect the story, for sure. I mean, it’s definitely a cosmetic change, one of many things we’ve done to try and switch up the paradigm of the series (Jack in the other dimension, Donovan as the leader, Murder in the new suit—and there’s a few BIG ones to come) and make it fresh or new again. We’re setting up a new dynamic that will solidify after this arc and, believe me, it’s going to change the Hoax Hunters world forever.
Hoax Hunters #2 and Heavy Metal #274 are the latest additions to the Heavy Metal Store, where you’ll also find Hoax Hunters #1 and tons (really, we have to use a forklift sometimes) of back issues and other books: shop.heavymetal.com