STX Entertainment launches the heavily advertised feature-length film Hardcore Henry April 08, 2016. The movie’s director, Ilya Naishuller, originally launched the Hardcore world as a short film in Russia centered on Henry but utilizing an extreme first person POV almost putting the viewer in the seat of the protagonist. So first person it’s almost second person . . . not unlike a video game POV, but without the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure aspect.
Also sharing that world is super-villain, Hardcore Akan. In conjunction with the release of the movie, Bliss On Tap Publishing simultaneously releases the official prequel to the film. This Issue #1 to Hardcore Akan is also written by Naishuller [with Brian Phillipson and Will Stewart] keeping the Hardcore World consistent. The art is by Alex Cormack.
The prequel is an unrelenting origin story for the villain that calls into question the nature vs nurture debate. The confluence of events leading to his supervillain status starts in the moments of his birth in the shadow of the Chernobyl meltdown in a rolling ambulance after his mother has been accidentally/not accidentally given a cyanide pill in lieu of an anti-radiation pill by people more interested in obfuscation and plausible deniability than disaster prevention. Yes, that qualifies as “hardcore”.
It only takes a few more major events to prove that Akan is different from the other boys. And it’s those differences that change him, and not for the better.
It’s said that every villain is the hero of his own story. There is a hint to that in this first issue, but watching Akan define how he’s the hero amid his actions will take another issue or two.