I’ve long been a fan of Ender’s Game. In fact, if I were I to list my top five favorite books of all time, I would be tempted to name Ender’s Game twice. I love and adore this book that much. I never knew it was possible to become so emotionally invested in a character until I read EG. I was Ender. Or at least I liked to think I was–as every other kid who has ever read this book has.
So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this one-shot. Next to Ender, Mazer Rackham is my favorite character in the series, and “Mazer in Prison” is an incredible story. Scott Card allowed me to read it a few years ago before it was published, and I felt like I was holding a precious gem. “Mazer in Prison” takes place before the events of Ender’s Game as Mazer is hurtling through space at relativistic speeds. The International Fleet is cheating time and trying to preserve Mazer’s age so that he can lead the fleet when it reaches the Formic planet. The only problem: Mazer doesn’t want to lead the fleet. He wants to find his replacement, someone who exemplifies the characteristics of a true commander. Unfortunately, no one in the International Fleet currently fits that description, and if things continue as they are—under the rule of self-serving careerists—Mazer won’t have a replacement in time. So Mazer takes the appropriate action to ensure the search for his replacement begins in earnest.
The short story is mostly epistolary and takes place entirely in the cramped space of Mazer’s tiny starship. For the comic, however, we knew we needed to do something a little different; we couldn’t have all 22 pages take place inside this starship. The artists would go crazy. So to give the comic more visual diversity, we follow Graff’s point of view as well as he works on Eros, interacting with the bureaucrats who currently run the International Fleet.
Pop Mahn did an amazing job with the art. It looks incredible. What I enjoy most about this story is that it shows us what soldiers give up when they go off to war; we see the sacrifice that Mazer made, the family he left behind. Anyone who reads the short story—and hopefully the comic—will come away with a renewed sense of gratitude for those who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and free.
Creative Director & Executive Director: Orson Scott Card
Script: Aaron Johnston
Pencils: Pop Mahn
Inks: Norman Lee
Colors: Jim Charlampidis
Lettering: Cory Petit
Cover: Pasqual Ferry & Frank D’armata
Editor: Jordan D. White