Saturday, November 3, 2018

Kickstart the Week(end) with The Leaders of the Free World

By: Nicole D’Andria

The Leaders of the Free World introduces a diverse team of superheroes located around the globe. I interview the creator of the series about his brand of superpowered beings who are just beginning their journey.

“The Godsend,” a group of super beings, come to Earth in The Leaders of the Free World and bestow superpowers onto the people. However, these powers lead to greed, corruption and destruction, which forces the Godsend to team up with the United Nations and bring order to the world. They now enforce the Archetype Papers, a law prohibiting people with powers from using them outside their respective countries. But what is the hidden cost of this? Now, when the entire Earth is in danger, a new team of superheroes across the globe are forcibly united to run their countries. They are “The Leaders of the Free World!”

The first issue of The Leaders of the Free World is written by Corey Lakel Pruitt, illustrated by Elijah Johnson, colored by Ross Hughes and lettered by Toben Racicot. The Kickstarter will cover production costs for the first 26 page issue.

The project recently hit its $4,000 goal on Kickstarter, but it will be live until November 8, 2018 at 11:59 AM EST. Rewards include digital ($5) and physical ($15) copies of the first issue, posters ($25), shirts ($50) and more.

If you’re interested in more superpowered rewards, check out The Leaders of the Free World Kickstarter page.

I spoke with creator/writer Corey Lakel Pruitt about his team of superheroes.

Corey Lakel Pruitt
Me: Describe each of the seven members of "The Leaders of the Free World" in one sentence.

Pruitt: Surreal: Chinese-American teenager and the current descendant of the Monkey King.

Eco: The son of Gaia and the wrestling champion of the world.

Tech-Neek: A brilliant young Samoan woman who can control and create technology from scratch. 

Doohickey: Tech-Neek’s pet dog and loyal member of the team.

Doctor Séance: An evil spirit inhabiting the body of a young Latino sorcerer.

Medic: The daughter of two Earth angels with the ability to heal and destroy.

Moonshine: A former member of the Godsend who gets power from the moon but has abused substances. 

The Leaders of the Free World Wallpaper by Eli Johnson

Me: What are the “Godsend” and how would you describe each member?

Pruitt: The "Godsend" are beings who came from another planet to bestow their knowledge and abilities to the world.  We already met Moonshine, who is on the team.  The others are...

Symbolic: The Leader of the Godsend who is here to save us from ourselves... whether we want him to or not.

Devi: The Maiden of Magic has introduced the world to magical properties. But what is her source?

The Specimen: A being that has been experimented on by scientists from around the galaxy. His knowledge in technology is second to none. So why is he here?

Surreal & Eco by Marcus Williams

Me: If you had to pick, who is your favorite member of the team and why are they your favorite?

Pruitt: I would have to go with Surreal. He was the first character I ever created and is just like me. A loud-mouthed music fan who curses like a sailor LOL. 

Me: A big element of the series seems to be that the members of “The Leaders of the Free World” each descend from different countries. Why did you decide to spread them across the globe and how will that component influence the story?

Pruitt: While growing up I was a fan of different teams like Avengers and JLA. But one thing I noticed is that most of these teams consist of all Americans. On the Justice League the only non-Americans are two from fictional places that don’t even exist. Growing up in California I was raised around a melting pot of people from all over. So I wanted to make a team that reflected the world that I see. 

Tech-Neek Doohickey and Moonshine by Brian Fajardo

Me: Say people in our world were given powers by “The Godsend.” How do you think we would react and why do you think we’d react this way?

Pruitt: I believe that the world is dangerous enough, but if we do add superpowers then that would make it even more dangerous. That’s why the “Godsend” are around to keep everyone in check, in my book. They are the authoritative figure to uphold “order”. But they’re basically taking away free will. That’s why the Leaders of the Free World are a threat to the Godsend; their existence together is a threat to the Godsend’s Rule. 

Me: If you woke up one day with powers, which ones would you want? You can only pick three.

Pruitt: Great question. I say speed, strength and flight.

Medic & Doctor Seance by Chris Williams
Me: How did you go about finding and assembling your creative team for The Leaders of the Free World?

Pruitt: The most important part of developing a team is not just to find a good artist, colorist, etc.; it was important for me to find a team that actually work well together. So when I first contacted my artist Eli through Reddit, he had already worked with a colorist and letterer before. So that’s how I got in touch with my colorist Ross and my letterer Toben. 

Me: What is the number one reason why you think people should pledge money to your project?

Pruitt: Because Leaders of the Free World isn’t just a good comic, it’s a celebration of everything that we love about superheroes. There’s something for everybody: action, drama, comedy and some of the best designed characters ever in comics. Give it a shot!!! 

The Leaders of the Free World alternate cover by Eli Johnson
Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers?

Pruitt: Never give up. Never ever stop. Write as much as you can. Even if it’s just an hour a day. Write like there’s no tomorrow. And just do it!!! Everybody should be able to submit a story and see it come to life. I did it, you can too!!! 

Me: Thank you for taking the time to share your superpowers with us! If you’re reading this and interested in a diverse superhero team, check it out here.

Do you have a Kickstarter? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on "Kickstart the Week?" Let me know in the comments below or message me on my website.

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