AfterShock Comics Announces Revenge Thriller ‘Bulls Of Beacon Hill’

by Olly MacNamee

Writer Steve Orlando and Andy MacDonald join creative forces once again (they both worked together on Justice League of America previously) for an all-new series from AfterShock Comics. Joining them on Bulls of Beacon Hill, a hard-hitting revenge story, is colourist Lorenzo Scaramella and letterer Carlos M. Mangual. 

“Doctor Christopher Boldt has everything he ever wanted: A successful career as a surgeon, a supportive and loving boyfriend, and an overload of hype on his rumored run for Boston City Council. But there’s one problem – it’s all held up by a lie. For years, Chris has been hiding in plain sight, desperate not to be connected to his father, Orin Paige, one of Boston’s most notorious gangsters.  

Until now, Chris has been able to live with the secret. And Chris’s father has been just as happy to deny any connection to his queer son, who he sees as a liability in the mob world. Now, Chris’s political aspirations have put father and son on a collision course. A collision course bathed in blood… a story of family secrets and violent retribution.”

As well as a first look Orlando discussed why he’s excited about this new series:

“BULLS OF BEACON HILL is a chance to return refreshed to a genre I’ve missed for a long time, one of the genres that helped get me in the door in the comics business: revenge! BULLS follows surgeon Chris Boldt and his father, construction mogul and rumored crime boss Orin Paige. For years, there’s been a slow simmering dislike between father and son, but when Chris decides to run for city council…the match is struck. Orin does the unthinkable, using his mob connections to blackmail an off-duty cop into attacking his son. Orin can’t risk Chris going through with his campaign, knowing having a queer son in the macho mob world would make him vulnerable. That’s why Paige even lies to the cop he’s sent on the hit. But the lie blows up in his face when Chris becomes enraged and fights off the attack long enough to reveal the truth about him and Orin. BULLS follows Chris as he races to get back at his father and dismantle his organization. For a son attacked by his father, this is one last, long night of revenge, leading into a morning of professional, personal, and political victory…if he can survive long enough to welcome it.”

Plus, some inspirations behind this revenge thriller:

“For many, the concept of family is a concept steeped in obligation – sometimes it can feel like the expectations and responsibilities are too much to handle. And what’s worse is when one’s duty to themselves stands in direct conflict to duty to family. Too common is it a concept that what could be a safety net instead becomes a trap, and from those moments comes BULLS OF BEACON HILL – father and son, charging at each other. Here, we have an action epic inspired by the slow simmering grudges that so often touch our relationships, which in this case come with a bloody, apocalyptic fuse. We’re inspired by iconic action, crime, and revenge narratives: The Departed, The Count of Monte Cristo, Oldboy, not to mention the explosive fuel that is machismo, and the iconic father/son feuds found in professional wrestling – Flair versus Flair for one generation, Mysterio versus Mysterio for another. But hot blooded and devastating no matter the time.” 

Finally, he gives three reasons for you to consider adding this one to your pull list:

  1. Andy MacDonald, above all. Justice League of America never showcased the blockbuster action and violence dealt by the hands of Lobo like it did under Andy’s pen. And now, he’s bringing that same style of meaty massacre to an all-new original story with an intensity even deeper engrained in every panel. 
  1. A return to form! For folks who came to know me for my particular brand of queer revenge and badass violence in Midnighter and Virgil, we’ve now got a spiritual sequel steeped high in brash manly chest beating and vendetta driven ass-kicking. This one breaks heads in all new ways!
  1. The betrayals! BULLS OF BEACON HILL is built on one of the deepest betrayals possible, that of a parent attempting to kill one of their children. There’s almost no fuse more volatile, and no revenge more explosive.

Bonus – You can create your own Boston accents.”

MacDonald also discussed his art process for Bulls of Beacon Hill:

“(It’s) a story inspired by actual events – real, bloody, gritty events.  My approach is to bring as much of that blood, sweat and grit into the visuals as possible. amping up the heavy shadows of deadly noir and setting them against finer lines of the softer moments that make life worth living.  It’s an attempt to visually translate the hard work that we need to sometimes be able to enjoy the most important parts of living.”

Ad for his favourite moment in the book:

“There’s a few, but I think that page 17 holds up as a standalone story all on its own.  Most of the credit goes to Steve Orlando for writing scripts that bring entire worlds of existence to a single scene and lets them live in the details.  The page is Chris Boldt’s mother at home, enjoying/coping/tolerating[?] her day, living in, and haunted by, her past.  The phone rings with news that snaps her directly into the present with an urgent call for her to challenge the ghosts she’s been living with. And it’s just ONE page!  I try my best to do justice to Steve’s script and I hope that this page is one of those times that I have succeeded.”

And, lastly, he explains the most challenging aspect of this series:

“The most challenging aspect of creating art for comics is not having enough time to make more of them in a day!  I love drawing these things and wish that I could make more of them per month than I do.  There’s a hundred stories that I wish I could work on but can only carve out so much time. The most rewarding aspect is the people I have met while collaborating on making comics.  I love making these comics and seeing them in print on the shelves is fantastic, but I’m truly impressed by and honored to have met and worked with really good people.  People that genuinely want to bring an idea or feeling to life in panels and translate that to a reader, ideally establishing a connection through the page.”

Bulls of Beacon Hill #1 is out Wednesday 4th January 2023 from AfterShock Comics

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