introduction to the upcoming series by James Anthony Kuhoric
"Write what you know." It’s the best advice you can get as a writer. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to put that sentiment to use in writing the upcoming Pulsar Press series, Stargate SG-1: Fall of Rome. Since my youth, I’ve been a fan of theatrical and television science fiction. From that fateful day in 1977 when a very impressionable six year old’s life was changed by the brilliant originality and special effects of Star Wars, I have been enthralled with the genre. As my tastes diverged through high school and college, my interests expanded to include psychology, philosophy, sociology, and ancient studies. Delving through the histories of ancient Rome and Greece captured my interest and imagination in a way few others could match. Over the years through official study and casual reading I’ve developed a sincere respect for antediluvian history and a real appreciation for literary classics.
When Avatar asked me to develop a new Stargate SG-1 series that created an original Goa’uld menace based on a classic historical pantheon, I knew something special was happening. I spent several years studying Greek and Roman history at the University of Maryland, and had been itching to pair up that knowledge with the creativity of comic book writing. For a month straight I revisited the teachings of the classical masters, Plato, Homer, and Virgil. When the smoke cleared I was staring at an outline that had combined the political intrigue and the grand majesty of the Greek and Roman mythology.
In Stargate SG-1: Fall of Rome, we are introduced to a Goa’uld System Lord that could have stepped out of the history books. We created Mars, the Roman god of war, around aspects of classic literature and the Goa’uld’s ruthless penchant for power. Originally a lesser Greek god of fright, Phobos, attempted to destroy his father, and ascend to his throne of power. When his treachery was discovered, the ruthless Ares drove his offspring out of Greece. Phobos fled to Rome and assumed his father’s mantle as their version of the war god. His ruthless rule helped to forge the empire, but his past would come back to haunt him.
Betrayed by his Roman loyalists, Ares eventually caught up to the insolent child and banished the deposed god to a Goa’uld graveyard planet devoid of suitable hosts. Mars’ hatred of his father and his original host race grew into a festering fury, and he plotted his eventual return to Earth for revenge. When SG-1 stumbles upon his lair, they are thrust into a cybernetic version of a Roman epic, and unwittingly give the god his opportunity for vengeance.
In our new series, we are introduced to immerging superstar artist, Jorge Correa. Following in the footsteps of Renato Guedes is no simple thing, but Jorge accepted the challenge and amazed us with his character likenesses and creativity. The outline I developed for Stargate SG-1: Fall of Rome called for unique alien races, mythical monsters, and an entire civilization of cybernetic Goa’uld. We reviewed hundreds of Roman artifacts, statues, and ruins to find the right design elements to bring an authentic feel to the book. The designs for Mars went through several different incarnations until we settled upon the final imposing visage. Our designs capture the essence of an ancient Roman civilization that has developed technologically into the distant future, but remained true to classical style and culture.