Somewhere in the late 1990s there was an odd moment in my life. I sat around visiting with my parents and my older brother. My brother and I are very different. He’s the off-roading, gun shooting, get drunk and party type. I’m more of the plus hotel, fine art, sipping whisky and conversing type. My folks are blue-collar, do-it-yourself, poker night couple. But we have two things in common, we all love football and that one weird night in the late 90s we discovered that we all liked the TV show The Pretender. It was a show about a man who could be anything trying to help people in trouble and discover who he is while he runs from a mysterious group calledThe Centre. Jarod, played by Michael T Weiss was a genius that could flawlessly assume the role of any job/career. He had been taken from his parents as a child and raised/mentored by Sydney played by Patrick Bauchau. Once Jarod had escaped, he became hunted by Miss Parker oddly enough played by Andrea Parker. Jarod used his abilities to try and figure out who he is and help others. It was a well written and acted show that played the mystery angle well but maybe lasted a season too long. Think Mr. Spock meets MacGyver with an Bourne Identity background.
The character of Miss Parker was an interesting one that started off as the sexy antagonist but grew into her being just as involved and manipulated by the Centre as Jarod. Her past was just as muddled in mystery as his. So it makes sense that when series creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle decided to get back into the universe, Miss Parker’s history would be a place they’d choose to explore. Besides their announced novel The Pretender: Rebirth, there will be a 6 part graphic novel series called The Pretender: The Centre Chronicles that details the origin of the Centre and how that affected a young Miss Parker. The novel is scheduled to be released October 7th. The creative team for the project is interesting in that both the writer and the artist have acting backgrounds. Jenna Busch will write the series. Jenna has worked in comics on Archetypes, Ladybird and contributed to the Womanthology, also an editor for Fan Voice Entertainment and has written for the Huffington Post, IGN, Comic Soon,AOL and JoBlo. She is an actor, singer and former make-up artist. “To us Jenna is the Blond Miss Parker.” Says Steve Mitchell. “Her insights into dynamic, strong female characters and her twisted sense of story telling made her the perfect person for this project.”
Craig Van Sickle added, “We’re thrilled and lucky to welcome Jenna into the Pretender family as we give the brand a new Rebith through Novels and Graphic Novels and hope to have her involved in both.” “I’m thrilled to be a part of The Pretender universe,” says Busch. “I loved the show and Steve and Craig have been so wonderful during this process. I’m a lifelong fan, so it’s a huge honor to be able to contribute to the story.” The creators released the sketch of the cover to the first issue from artist Jeffrey Henderson, who will do all the covers and art direction for the series. Henderson has worked for Marvel, DC and Image comics, as well as doing storyboards for films like 30 Days of Night, Twilight: Ecllipse, Spider-Man 3 and 4, and Oz the Great and Powerful. He’s also an actor , voice over artist and musician.