Like so many major films released these days, ‘Interstellar’ has a comic book tie-in. But unlike most comic book tie-ins, this one is actually written by the original film’s director and is premiering online. And yes, you can read the whole thing right now, free of charge. We’re going to jump straight into spoilers right at the end of this sentence, so if you haven’t had a chance to see Christopher Nolan‘s science fiction adventure yet, you may want to consider turning around.

Okay. Let’s go. About halfway through ‘Interstellar,’ we meet Dr. Mann, played by Matt Damon in an extended cameo. A seemingly heroic explorer, Mann is eventually revealed to be a coward, a liar and a murderer who faked his planetary test results so he could be rescued by future astronauts. Eventually, he and Matthew McConaughey have a big ‘ol fistfight when the truth starts to come out. The character has already proven controversial among nearly everyone who has seen the movie, so this seven-page comic may also ruffle some feathers: it’s all about Dr. Mann before the events of the film, back when he was stranded with his robot companion, KIPP.

Written by Nolan and drawn by the seriously great Sean Murphy, the comic is a character-driven piece, establishing the motivations and mindset of Mann. There’s no action to be found and it doesn’t stand on its own in any way, so it’s a bit of an odd project. However, anyone wanting to know more about the universe of ‘Interstellar’ and the characters who live in it will find much to enjoy. Those who were already frustrated by the film and the character of Mann will probably find something to grumble about every few panels. However, the mere fact that it is so closely tied to the film’s main creative force makes this the rare tie-in that actually feels worth inserting into the greater conversation. In comic book terms, it’s fully canon.

You can preview the one page of the comic above, but make sure you head over to Wired to read the whole thing. ‘Interstellar’ is currently in theaters. The conversation about ‘Interstellar’ is everywhere you look.


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