Wheatley And Hempel’s Breathtaker Gets A Remastered Edition From Titan Comics
by Olly MacNamee
Titan Comics will be releasing a remastered edition of Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel’s early 90s graphic novel, Breathtaker, along with a brand-new companion comic and a wide-ranging traveling exhibit too. Originally serialized as a four-issue, Prestige format mini-series, Breathtaker became a highly-praised, best-selling trade paperback for DC’s Vertigo imprint.
Siren. Temptress. Man-eater. Call Chase Darrow what you want, but whatever the label, the truth is that she is the Breathtaker: a nice young woman who possesses the power to love a man to death. Chase Darrow might be the only real, living example of a succubus. Breathtaker is part horror story, about a woman with the power to drain men of their very life force … part romance, because her lovers are her willing victims … part crime story, as Chase is on the run from a government that has branded her a criminal … and part superhero story: she is pursued by The Man, a popular television and merchandising figure who also happens to have extraordinary powers and abilities that he is using to hunt down and capture Chase in an effort to boost his sagging Nielsen ratings.
And, it has some very prestigious fans too with Sandman and American Gods creator and acclaimed novelist Neil Gaiman – who gives this remasters edition its introduction – saying of the book, “Breathtaker proves itself something utterly odd and new. Powerful art, vibrant coloring, a new, quirky story told in a different way.”
The all-new companion comic, Breathtaker: Make Way For the Man, ostensibly Make Way For The Man #138 (which was referred to in the original Breathtaker story), is the first all-new collaboration between Wheatley and Hempel in 20 years.
As for the exhibition, that will be coordinated and curated by Wheatley and Hempel’s Insight Studios Group, and was created by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts: it will appear at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland and feature more than 90 original works of art that will take you behind the scenes:
The exhibition explores the creative and physical processes that were undertaken during the original production of the comic Breathtaker in the 1990s, as well as how the work was re-adapted, tweaked and in some cases reworked by the artists during the preparation stages for the Titan Comics re-release. Incorporating examples from all aspects of the creative process, the exhibition will offer the viewer the opportunity to experience story and character development; penciled, inked, and painted art; and samples of completed comic pages – that all are part of constructing a narrative in the comic format. The exhibition will be on view August 24, 2020 through October 30, 2020.
Look out for Breathtaker and Make Way For The Man #138 will both be available in March’s Previews catalogue.