A couple of months ago I tipped all of you regular Knuckleheads off about some new projects that I was working on. Well, now is a very good time to announce the first of these projects. You heard it first here at SBC.

As most of you know, I’ve been a fan of the FOX TV series 24 since day one (pun intended.) Like other fans of the show, I’ve sat there many an evening watching Jack Bauer chase down terrorists down and daydreamed of what I would like to see done with the series, the stories and the characters. As a writer, I collected a ton of ideas in my head and even jotted a few of them down because that’s what I do.

Right after turned the last issue of COBB: Off The Leash (http://www.idwpublishing.com) in to my editor, Chris Ryall, Chris asked me if I’d take a stab at writing a 24 story. I said I would. I got out my current Molskine notebook (I fill a lot of these up) and thumbed through it until I came to my notes on a special Jack Bauer/24 story I had called “Cold Warrior”. I turned my scribbles and notes into a story proposal and turned it in. I’ve gotta admit I was a little concerned that Chris and IDW would think it was too out of the box for 24. I was wrong.

Chris really liked it and gave it an immediate green light. On to my next concern, the Fox Network. Like any licensed product, it had to get their approval before I could start working on it for real. Chris turned it into Fox. The next day they sent their approval. Needless to say, I was stoked.

I wanted to do the most with this wonderful opportunity and that’s just what it was, a wonderful opportunity. I wanted to write this not only as a writer, but as a fan of the show as well. It’s a rare chance to not only place these characters on new canvas, but a chance to add a few new strokes of the brush to them as well. My goal was to add a few layers, not take any away.

As any viewer of the TV show 24 knows, there are a few things that are well known staples of 24. Things that have not only made the show a hit, but are also expected. Here are just ten of those staples:

  1. The bulk of the show takes place in Los Angeles.
  2. The weather is always nice.
  3. Jack Bauer uses a lot of minutes on his cell phone plan.
  4. Jack Bauer gets blueprints and incredible amounts of info downloaded to his PDA from Chloe O’Brian? a lot.
  5. Chloe is rarely in a good mood.
  6. Jack Bauer says “Dammit” a whole lot.
  7. Everyone at CTU is constantly giving each other the stink-eye and arguing about who is doing their job.
  8. Jack Bauer disobeys orders.
  9. New characters are never what they seem.
  10. Jack Bauer shoots a lot of people with no remorse.

When you read the story I wrote, 24: Cold Warrior, you’ll get to see which of these 10 items I kept and which ones I twisted and turned inside out.

The biggest goal I had with this story was to strip away a lot of the things that Jack Bauer uses with his missions. I wanted to remind the fans of 24 why Jack Bauer IS Jack Bauer. It’s not very often that you as a paying consumer and retailer really get to know what you’re pre-paying for on your pull list or distributor order form. I wanted to give you a detailed idea of what 24: Cold Warrior is gonna be so you won’t be getting a pig in a poke. Since I have my own column, I can do this. So I will. Here is a summary of what you can expect from 24: Cold Warrior:

The fight against terrorism is the most unconventional battle that’s been fought on U.S. soil since the Revolutionary War. Unorthodox attacks need something more than operating combat tactics. That’s a factor that JACK BAUER has always brought to the CTU table.

Recently CTU Los Angeles has been tracking movement of a paramilitary/terrorist group that hijacked a transport that was delivering a top-secret communications viral software. The software was developed for the government by some of the best minds in Silicon Valley. The software was to be secured in Los Angeles for shipment to an undisclosed location. The software has the ability to disrupt and then destroy all wireless communications (Internet, cell phones, etc.) causing information to become non-retrievable for years or possibly forever, once the virus is fully embedded and allowed to spread.

In a raid and interrogation, Jack Bauer is able to find out that the software has being taken north to a remote Alaskan destination. It’s there that a covert U.S. communications station has been compromised from within. It’s to be used as the base to bring down the entire west coast and mid-west systems with the software and cause devastating chaos on all levels, government, business and civilian.

The terrorist group hopes to bring distrust and anarchy between the American people and the government. They want to replicate and intensify the distrust and anger that the public had against the government caused from Hurricane Katrina.

The terrorist group is funded and led by former hardcore Soviet Union covert ops whose history dates back to World War II. The Terrorist group is made up of the best of the old and new Soviet secret ops. They are lead by OLEG MALENOV. Malenov was the Soviet Union’s most ruthless and psychotic black ops leader. Right before the fall of the Soviet Union, his own government tried to assassinate him on more than one occasion.

In Alaska, Jack Bauer is partnered with his Alaskan counter-part, AMY SEELAKI. Amy is Inuit/Russian decent. Like her grandfather and father, she served as one of Alaska’s elite Cold Warriors for the military as well as time in Afghanistan and Iraq. She’s now special field agent in charge for CTU in Alaska. She is Jack’s mirror image as far as duty, dedication and getting the job done. Like Jack, Amy can also bend rules if she has to. She also shares legendary status within the files of CTU members. Upon hearing that Jack and Amy would be working together on this case, CTU chief BILL BUCHANAN had this to say:

“Jack Bauer and Amy Seelaki?that’s like two ice cubes in the same glass fighting to see who gets to keep the water the coldest.”

Because of the computer/communication situation, CHOLE O’BRIEN has been sent with Jack on this rare field mission. Her computer and communications skills will be critical to keep the viral software from taking root.

Once in Alaska Jack, Amy and the team find themselves traveling to this remote station with a massive winter storm front on it’s way. Malenov’s people manage to start the viral software and shut down most everything in Alaska. The virus then starts to make it’s way towards Canada and the lower United States. This cuts Jack off from his usual use of cell phone, PDA, computer back up and other high tech devices. This is primal Jack.

It’s a chance to see Chole out in the field and if she can channel her irritability into aggression. It’s a chance to find a whole new piece of the Jack Bauer personality puzzle as we learn about a dark moment from his Delta Force days that Amy Seelaki, Oleg Malenov and a member of CTU are all connected to.

24: Cold Warrior is something different and unique. It gives the readers/viewers what they love about 24 only with a fresh twist. Jack out of his element and in the elements?but still Jack Bauer.

The book is a self-contained 48 page story. The art is by Steve Bryant of ATHENA VOLTAIRE fame. (see: http://atomictiki.blogspot.com) I’ve really enjoyed working with Steve. He not only knows the characters, but he knows his guns. We spent more time on the phone talking about weaponry than we should’ve.

With the writer’s strike still going on at this date and the season premiere of 24 possibly being knocked back a bit, 24:Cold Warrior may be able to fill a 24 void come February. Let’s hope the writer’s strike is settled by then.

24: Cold Warrior is published by IDW Publishing (see: http://www.idwpublishing.com). You can expect IDW’s quality intense formatting for this action-intrigue story in the frozen north. I hope that you’ll enjoy the book and make it a part of your must-buy list this coming February 2008.

Here’s the most important part of the article. The Diamond Distribution Order Number for 24: Cold Warrior. Write this down and remember it when you place your order with your comic shop retailer/service or with Diamond.

24: Cold Warrior DEC07 3744

Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week

Marisol Nichols
– actress

In keeping with the 24 theme, I’ve chosen the lovely dark haired, 24 star, Marisol Nichols as this week’s Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week. You’ll know her as Nadia Yassir from 2007 season of 24. You may also know her from films and TV shoes such as Delta Farce, Blind Justice, Cold Case, Alias and Scream 2. Her upcoming role in the movie Felon has already got folks talking. She has a wide range and has proven that many times over. She’s at home with comedy, drama and action. I just wish she was at home with me.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week

Man Form U.N.C.L.E. #8
Gold Key Comics, 1966

Also keeping with the 24 theme, this week’s Busted Knuckles Manly Cover goes back to 1966 when one of the original fighter’s of terrorist crimes, The Man Form U.N.C.L.E. ruled the airwaves and the spinner racks with great photo covers. As you may know, IDW Publishing has kept up this tradition with 24 and has done a series of great photo covers as well. As a kid I always loved the incredibly cool guns that they would use on this TV show. This cover shows off one of those weapons.

The Roundup

I’ll have more announcements very soon. Trust me, there are more waiting in the pipeline.

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving and were well fed. I spent time with family in a couple of different locations and then settled in at the ranch for evening football and leftovers. I tried not to overdo anything and broke about even.

Now I’m focusing on the next big holiday, Christmas. I’ve started some of my shopping, but have a lot left to do. One of the firs things I did was make up my own Christmas list and made sure my wife and other family members had it burnt to memory. December is also the month of my birthday so I plan on hitting them with that list of gifts as well. I’m not shy, but I am selfish. My family told me they didn’t need reminding on that.

The new iMac is doing good. I appreciate all the folks that wrote in offering their help with questions as I stumble along the keyboard to make sense out of the Leopard operating system. In time I hope to be able to use all the cool features it has to offer. It took me almost 2 years to really take advantage of all the features and tools that the Tiger operating system had. I’ll try and make this one more than just an expensive typewriter. I promise.

I also wanna thank everyone that wrote in about my review comics last week. It seems that there are a lot of Sub-Mariner fans out there that feel the same as I do. Let’s hope a change in Namor is what we all get for Christmas this year.

I was also very interested in the emails that spoke up about another badly beaten favorite of mine, Aquaman. It seems that folks are ready for a manlier Aquaman than they one that has been presented to them for the last few decades. I promise you this, if I get my chance on the character you can count on the seawaters getting stirred to a more enjoyable wave of entertainment.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you and getting things you want me to look over. I try and answer everyone as time will allow. I appreciate you looking out for me.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin