Why Nevsky?

April 10, 2011

A thrilling true story of heroism and the fight for freedom. A classic, visually stunning film that continues to influence filmmakers. And now an unprecedented graphic novel by an international team of creators. That’s the genesis of Nevsky: the Graphic Novel.

This new adaptation of Sergei Eisenstein’s film classic Alexander Nevsky is written by Ben McCool (Choker, Memoir, Pigs) with art by rising star Mario Guevara (Solomon Kane, Victorian Undead), and presents a stunning re-imagination of Eisenstein’s famed film.

Alexander Nevsky — voted the most popular figure in Russian history — is a historical leader who helped establish the Russian nation by defeating the Teutonic Knights, invaders from the last vestiges of the Holy Roman Empire, who drove out from Germany bringing oppression and religious intolerance with them. In 1242, Nevsky and an army of soldiers and citizens defeated the invaders in a spectacular battle on the frozen Lake Peipus, an achievement celebrated in Russia to this day.

Eisenstein is a revolutionary figure who is to Russian film what Chekhov and Tolstoy are to its literature. In 1938, Eisenstein, already hailed for his groundbreaking films Battleship Potemkin and October, brought the story of Nevsky’s battles to life in a stirring epic that featured a famed score by Sergei Prokofiev. The spectacular closing scene of the Battle on the Ice has been studied by filmmakers from David Lean to Steven Spielberg to Walt Disney Animation. Although caught up in the politics of the time — Eisenstein was frequently out of favor with dictator Joseph Stalin — the film became a worldwide classic.

Now, working together with Mosfilm, Trident Entertainment has created the first ever graphic novel adaptation of this classic story to bring it to a new generation of readers and ultimately, film-goers, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Russ Intellectual Properties, which is devoted to promoting Russian cultural properties across all media.

To that end, they have assembled an international team of creators for this graphic novel, including English-born Ben McCool and Mexican artist Mario Guevara. “Nevsky was as much a leader as he was a warrior, “ says McCool. “His story isn’t just a page of little known history, it’s an inspiring tale full of strategy and battles and the fight for freedom.”

Now this story is told for a new generation in a graphic novel which brings the heroes and villains of 13th century Russia into the 21st century with an exciting story of battles, heroes, and fierce warrior women: Nevsky, already battle weary from a campaign against the Mongols, who must defend his nation against a new and savage invader; Olga, a fierce shield maiden who cannot be stopped from joining the fray; Vasili and Gavrilo, two soldiers who must overcome their own personal demons to continue the fight; and Hermann Balke, the brutal Grand Knight who leads the Teutonic Knights on a path of destruction.

Nevsky is a 110-page full-color graphic novel to be published by IDW in Summer 2012.

Check back to our webpage for regular sneak previews of the art, trailers, and more information about the making of the graphic novel, the real Nevsky and the legacy of Sergei Eisenstein.