Brian Stelfreeze & Doug Wagner Launch Kickstarter for THOMAS RIVER

The spy comic from 12-Gauge Comics explores racial identity and politics through a white-knuckle blockbuster. 

Brian Stelfreeze, the award-winning artist behind the 2016 relaunch of Marvel’s Black Panther, and Doug Wagner, the writer behind Image Comics’ Plastic and The Ride, today announce THOMAS RIVER, a new ongoing spy blockbuster comic series. The pair joins colorist Michelle Poust and letterer Ed Dukeshire for a white-knuckle thriller that explores race and identity through political upheaval. The debut issue is currently available for backing on Kickstarter.

The first chapter introduces the titular character, a construction engineer who also serves as the United State’s top spy operative. The narrative winds through Thomas River’s past and present to illustrate a man with brutal efficiency and drive, navigating horrendous acts of destruction as his foundations of truth crumble away.

“This book is a taut thriller about exploring perceptions, and how each person’s perceptions of fact cannot only warp their beliefs and build a false set of truths, but how they can influence one’s life,” Stelfreeze says.


“I’ve always been fascinated by how two people can read the same sentence and come away with two separate interpretations,” Wagner elaborates. “THOMAS RIVER explores those extremes and how they operate after the United States suffers a devastating terrorist attack—an event that will lead River into a descent of violence and ambiguous ethics.”

The comic roots those weighty themes in pure, relentless action—an approach both Stelfreeze and Wagner honed together on titles such as The Ride and Gun Candy. But the creative team deviates from standard cinematic fare by adding an autobiographic element to River’s identity. “I love Jason Bourne, John Wick, and James Bond, but I wanted a character who reflected my own upbringing and those of anyone who didn’t grow up in international chateaus. I wanted a black super spy who could speak to that American identity,” Stelfreeze says.

Future publishing plans for THOMAS RIVER will be announced later in the year.

Kickstarter Link for THOMAS RIVER #1

Thomas River #1

Artist/Story: Brian Stelfreeze
Writer/Story: Doug Wagner
Colors: Michelle Poust
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Design: Sasha Head

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