Launching a new creator-owned series is already a formidable task, but that’s not enough for The Weatherman. The June-debuting Image Comics series will have its own original synthwave soundtrack, with each issue of the first arc of The Weatherman getting an accompanying track by a band in the retrofuristic electronic music genre. CBR has the first details.
The Weatherman, from writer Jody LeHeup, artist Nathan Fox and colorist Dave Stewart, is the story of a well-meaning local weatherman — who ends up being accused of decimating the population of Earth. LeHeup enlisted synthwave band Magic Sword — whose song “In the Face of Evil” appeared in the Thor: Ragnarok trailer — to help compile a roster of bands to contribute to The Weatherman soundtrack, which includes Dance with the Dead, Power Glove, Pylot, Le Matos, Makeup & Vanity Set and Magic Sword itself.
RELATED: Marcos Martin Joins Image’s The Weatherman on Covers
“There’s an intensity and a viciousness to their work that when taken together sharpens the teeth we feel The Weatherman has,” LeHeup told CBR of the bands involved. “But it’s also incredibly fun and high energy when it wants to be, which is the case for our book as well.”
CBR has the debut of the first song from The Weatherman soundtrack, “Colossus” by Magic Sword, which is listenable in the below Soundcloud embed.
Additionally, CBR talked with LeHeup about what inspired doing a Weatherman soundtrack in the first place, the creative team’s love for the synthwave genre and how the music complements Nathan Fox and Dave Stewart’s art. Plus, keep reading for a five-page lettered preview of The Weatherman #1, available June 13 from Image.
CBR: Jody, this is a bold project to take on in the already labor-intensive process of launching a new creator-owned series. What sparked the idea? What is it thematically about The Weatherman that makes it a natural fit to have its own soundtrack?
Jody LeHeup: Well, I think it’s a few things. But first you have to understand what The Weatherman is. The Weatherman is the story of a fun-loving local weatherman and all-around nice guy that out of nowhere is accused of masterminding the worst terrorist attack in human history — an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth. Which is crazy, right? His accusers clearly have the wrong guy. The problem is that there’s a giant hole in Nathan’s memory… and he can’t actually say whether he did it or not. So Nathan — this local celebrity — is forced on the run, on a journey across the solar system to find his lost memory and ultimately the key to stopping a second mass attack. All while trying to not be murdered in the face by everyone in the galaxy. That’s our starting point. Things get very crazy once we start filling in the gaps.
But this story is huge in scale. It’s a sci-fi thriller chase through space with the fate of humanity resting in the hands of this guy who has no business being in the position he’s in. And that’s not even getting into what he discovers along the way. From an aesthetic point of view, we’ve got all these colorful, compelling characters battling through this rich, futuristic, gorgeously rendered world. But on an emotional level
it’s about this terrified, hunted person who may be responsible for the worst crime against his fellow man imaginable. And he doesn’t remember. Thematically we’re asking questions like, what is the difference between justice and revenge? How much damage are we willing to do to those around us in the name of balancing the scales? What does it mean to be redeemed? It doesn’t get more dramatic or more epic than The Weatherman.
Our book is built to be a comic, but if it were ever turned into a film or television show I imagine it would 100 percent have a badass soundtrack. So talking it over with my fellow WM creators we figured…why wait?
Why synthwave for the genre? is it a personal favorite? Other than a general sci-fi type vibe, how does it fit The Weatherman?
The Weatherman artist Nathan Fox, designer Tom Muller, editor Sebastian Girner and I are all big fans of synthwave and synthwave-adjacent music. And of the bands we’re collaborating with in particular. I listen to it often while I write. In fact much of The Weatherman was written listening to Magic Sword, Pylot, Power Glove, Le Matos, Makeup & Vanity Set and Dance with the Dead. So this collaboration is extremely exciting for us.
As far as how it fits, yeah, the sci-fi vibe is obvious. But we feel like the music these bands write and perform is a perfect complement to the drama and epic-ness I mentioned before. There’s also an intensity and a viciousness to their work that when taken together sharpens the teeth we feel The Weatherman has. But it’s also incredibly fun and high energy when it wants to be, which is the case for our book as well.
How did Magic Sword get involved?
Magic Sword was the first call we made simply because we knew they were into comics. In fact they make their own and they’re great, so I’d encourage everyone to go to their website and check them out. And their other music as well. All of these guys. It’s amazing. But yeah, we started a conversation, figured out an angle on it all and here we are. Magic Sword’s been a fantastic partner. They’ve done a great job championing the book and bringing other bands on board. It’s been a joy working with them. The rest of the bands too.
RELATED: Image Comics’ Full Image Expo 2018 Announcements
How do you see the music as complementing Nathan Fox and Dave Stewart’s visuals?
I think it adds a another dimension to what Nathan and Dave are doing by expanding an already beautifully designed world, and enhancing the moods and tensions that Nathan and Dave are establishing. It makes their art all the more powerful and the narrative all the more compelling. It’s cool as well because the music can be taken as a companion to The Weatherman as a whole, but it also speaks to micro moments and the space between panels. So for example a reader might enjoy the song after having read an issue and think about what a character must have been feeling at a certain time. Or ponder the questions the book is asking. Or maybe it’s just a really fun backing track to an action scene. The music is what we make of it. What does it mean to you in context of The Weatherman?
Couple of last things I’ll say, definitely check out these guys’ social accounts and websites, interact with them, listen to their music, and spread the word. Their music is amazing. You can also follow The Weatherman on Twitter and Instagram at @WM_Comic. Don’t forget that Monday is the last day to pre-order The Weatherman #1! Don’t get sold out!
The Weatherman #1 is scheduled for release on June 13 from Image Comics.