Amanda “Livewire” McKee has long been one of Valiant Comics’ most compelling characters, a woman who forged a heroic path after discovering that the cause to which she devoted her life was less noble than she thought. She was a member of the Unity superhero team, led her own group of superpowered individuals in the pages of Secret Weapons, and was recently at the center of the Harbingers Wars 2 event, where she doubled down on her revolutionary stance in response to the government hunting down her people. Livewire’s been elevated to a major position in the Valiant Universe, and it’s the perfect time for her to step into the solo spotlight with her first ongoing series.
Written by Vita Ayala with art by the Secret Weapons team of Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín, December’s Livewire sees Amanda on the run after she shut down the United States’ electrical grid in Harbinger Wars 2. Her actions resulted in hundreds of deaths and she’s been branded a terrorist, but that’s not going to stop her from protecting other psiots. That opposition motivates her. Ayala has a lot of layers to explore here in regards to what drives Amanda and how she copes with the consequences of her actions. Ayala also has a challenge in making the character’s heroic spirit shine through when she’s been painted as a villain, and this exclusive preview of Livewire #1 explores that tension as Amanda gets into the superhero groove before going back into hiding.
The opening pages of this excerpt show Livewire in action, rescuing passengers in a plane crash while she recaps her past. Superhero readers have seen variations on this scene many times before, but there’s a significant tonal shift when the action stops and Amanda goes to her creepy lair full of newspaper clippings and naked mannequins. With the intense contrast of magenta and icy blue, Allén and Martín create significant visual tension when Amanda is alone, reflecting the internal conflict within her as she tries to negotiate her superhero identity with her self-appointed role as a resistance leader in wartime. How far will she go? Readers can find out when Livewire #1 goes on sale December 19.