One of the most interesting comics of the past few years was a short-run series from Oni Press, Ghost Projekt.
The story was set in Russia (which you knew because of the “k” in “project”), where female “operativnik” Anya Romanova crosses paths with a male U.S. weapons inspector while investigating an abandoned Soviet research facility in Siberia. The facility had been the site of research and experiments to find new weapons of mass destruction — one of scores of such abandoned labs. After 9/11, the U.S. increased efforts to help the Russian government make sure that anything left in the facilities was inventoried and secured.
One of America’s top inspectors, Will Haley, is sent to Siberia to investigate a burglary of the lab. Anya is there as well, investigating a string of murders linked to the weapons research that went on at the site. Eventually, Anya and Will learn that the lab’s project “Dosvidanya” — Russian for “goodbye” — involved a deadly supernatural force unleashed during the break-in.
The whole series was only five issues long, but the story stayed with me. It was one of those magic comics in which the story (by Joe Harris) is strong and the art (by Steve Roston) makes it stronger. Even the color (by Dean Trippe) advances the story, with the hues matching the subtlety or drama of what’s happening. The result seemed destined to be onscreen.
At ComicCon in August, Harris leaked news that Ghost Projekt was being turned into a TV series. Wednesday, SyFy confirmed, with an announcement that Supernatural‘s Britt Matthews is attached to the show as executive producer and writer. In case you’re not a Supernatural fan, note that Matthews has worked on Buffy, Angel and Firefly.
The best news for us is that Ghost Projekt features a strong female protagonist — I think of Anya as a younger Irina Derevko (Sydney Bristow’s mom on Alias).
She’s kick-ass with class — reserved, but ready to do whatever she needs to in order to get what she wants. Will, too, is good at his job. But the pair is a team, not a couple.
Of course, we’d love it if Anya turned out to be a lesbian, but regardless of her sexual orientation, Ghost Projekt promises to give us a woman character worth watching.
In my perfect world, the part of Anya would go to Jaime Murray.
What do you think? Any Ghost Projekt fans among us? Will you watch? Who is your ideal Anya?