For 37 years, humanity has been manipulated by an extraterrestrial organization called the Devolution. Utilizing 13 ministries, these cunning alien agents have infiltrated every aspect of humanity’s culture, weakening civilization by strategically destabilizing it and flooding the planet with misinformation to accelerate chaos and division among mankind. This has all been in an effort to take over and reshape the planet, and these secretive saboteurs truly believe they are helping humanity in the long run. But what happens when the interstellar operatives begin to turn on each other, and humanity is caught in the middle of the cosmic conflict?
Eisner-nominated storyteller John Ridley reunites with GCPD: The Blue Wall collaborator Stefano Raffaele to present THE MINISTRY OF COMPLIANCE, a sociopolitical sci-fi thriller that is full of extraterrestrial espionage and excitement as the creatives take a look at the world we live in today through the lens of an inconspicuous alien invasion.
Comics have always held a special place in Ridley’s heart, and the characters he’s crafted for THE MINISTRY OF COMPLIANCE are unlike any he’s created before. “I’ve been real fortunate to have had many ‘phases’ in my career, from starting out writing on The Martin Show all the way up to 12 Years A Slave and everything that flowed from it. But there’s always going to be part of me which is the kid who fell in love with storytelling by way of comic books. And to be real this is the craft that brings me the most joy. The trio of Avigail, Quinn and Kingsley are easily my three favorite characters in thirty-plus years of creating.”
Ridley delved a little deeper into what fans can expect from the mysterious alien invasion and revealed a key theme behind the tale. “And, yeah, in the series there’s a lot of literal and figurative backstabbing and heads rolling as the three quietly lead the charge to take over all of Earth, which is quite the chore… THE MINISTRY OF COMPLIANCE, however, is really about these three trying to figure out who they are, and what they mean to each other which are the basics of human nature. Sometimes it takes ‘aliens’ to show us a little something about ourselves.”
While the storyteller has been keeping busy with the Big Two in the world of comics, he remarked on what makes this a truly unique passion project for him. “I’m very happy to be working on THE MINISTRY OF COMPLIANCE at IDW along with some of the editors who helped re-introduce me to comics at DC. They are so committed to this project, and in an ever-shifting landscape of entertainment it’s really, really, nice to be at a house where you know everyone is pulling not only for you, but more importantly for the work itself. I could not be more excited to get this series before people.”
Preview art by Raffaele & Anderson
Raffaele jumped at the chance to work with Ridley again when IDW co-publisher Mark Doyle reached out to him about the project. “I think me and John are on the same wavelength in terms of storytelling style, and THE MINISTRY OF COMPLIANCE is masterfully written. Every page is a joy to work on and I am sure the readers will love it too!”
The artist further elaborated on why Ridley’s story spoke to him and why he couldn’t wait to start drawing. “When I did read the script I fell in love with the story right away. It was just perfect. The drama, the action, the social and political outcry, and a lot of sword fights, and deeply built characters. It was just perfect.”
Doyle is eager for fans to discover what THE MINISTRY OF COMPLIANCE has in store for them. “This is a real passion project for me. I feel like we’ve been able to put together a super group of talent here. First, we have John who is an incredibly thoughtful storyteller and I am so happy to be working with him again. He is so passionate about this story, it’s something he’s been wanting to tell for a long, long time and I’m honored that he chose me and IDW to tell it. And then we have dream collaborators like Stefano Raffaelle and colorist Brad Anderson.”
Comics are a collaborative process, and Doyle added the editorial team at IDW has been working hard to ensure the comic creators are supported. “Plus we have my old colleague and friend Dave Wielgosz doing a great job helping me edit and Jake Williams on assists – it’s a killer crew. All of us are firing on all cylinders to bring you a complicated story of intrigue and struggles for power and, as John said when he first pitched it to me ‘…and sword fights. Lots and lots of sword fights!’”
THE MINISTRY OF COMPLIANCE #1 goes on sale November 15, 2023, featuring primary covers by Raffaele and colorist Brad Anderson, colors by Anderson, letters by Ariana Maher, and variants by Ryan Sook (Legion of Super-Heroes), Claire Roe (DARK SPACES: THE HOLLYWOOD SPECIAL), and Edwin Galmon (Cyborg) with more to be announced soon.