Back This: The Surgeon

A central theme to The Surgeon, Unlikely Heroes’ ongoing post-apocalyptic Western, is the stress Doctor Hanover goes through trying to balance her calling as a healer with her need to kill to stay alive in world ruined by mad weather, leaking radiation, and society’s collapse. In Chapter 5 of this underground hit series, that tension is no longer just a theme; it’s the opportunity for Doc to pick all the wrong fights.

“The first four chapters set our characters up and placed them in a chaotic and violent battle against truly bad people so we can see who they are under pressure,” creator and author John Pence (Up from the Skies; Hot Brass, Pharaoh’s Gold; The Jonesey and Dr. Long Adventures) says. “But just because Doc fights for good people and wins the fight against bad people doesn’t mean she’s a good person. She is very skillful at hiding her true nature, even from herself. We’ve spent the last four chapters fighting hard, and now in Chapter 5, it’s time to survey the damage. There’s plenty.” 

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“We could say that Chapter 4 began the transition from an action comic to something a little heavier, a little more interpersonal,” says publisher and editor Laurie Foster. “We won’t be lacking for action in these last two installments of the Turtle Island cycle (not by a long shot), but we’re going to get deeper into characters, deeper into this post-apocalyptic world and how it operates. From here on out, things tighten up and the stakes just get higher.” 

The series has built a growing and enthusiastic fan base telling the story of Dr. Hanover’s arrival at a surprisingly prosperous fort that was quickly besieged by lunatic raiders. On a frontier, one’s word is bond, and now that she has helped the fort defend itself, she has lived up to her bargain. She is ready to break ties, and if necessary, burn bridges.

One more chapter remains in this story arc, and the team is eager to bring the story to its first resting point. Chapter 5 continues line artist Omar Zaldivar’s run on the series, and brings on brother Hedwin Zaldivar for colors. “Omar’s work on Chapter 4 was clean, stylish, and looked effortless,” says Pence. “I’m psyched to have him finish this series up.”

Running until April 1, the Surgeon Chapter 5: Do No Harm Kickstarter features SICK Early Bird discounts, a predictably badass set of backer premiums for all budgets, and chances to catch up on the first four chapters.

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