Masters of the Sun – The Zombie Chronicles comes to VR with one hell of an impressive voice cast.
Many people weren’t sure what to expect when it was announced that iconic hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas would be teaming up with Marvel for a post-apocalyptic comic book centered around an evil alien race turning gangsters, drug dealers and other violent members of society into flesh-hungry zombies.
Surprisingly though, the obscure graphic novel, written by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am, actually received a warm reception from critics and readers alike. This was due in large part to the augmented reality element that brings the characters to life, accompanied by music composed by will.i.am and legendary Hans Zimmer. It could also be because of the insanely odd, yet interesting plot. Masters of the Sun – The Zombie Chronicles blends mythology with science fiction for a story that follows a California hip hop crew battling an evil alien God who has invaded the Earth and begun turning some of societies more unsavory individuals into a massive zombie horde.
Now it appears as though the media-bending comic is taking its immersion level to new heights by bringing all that zombie, hip hop action to VR. Announced Saturday during the Stan Lee LA Comic Con panel, Marvel and the Black Eyed Peas have partnered with Oculus to bring a new VR version of Masters of the Sun – The Zombie Chronicles to the Samsung Gear VR this coming January. This new VR rendition will borrow elements from gang culture and social commentary and marry them with unique themes such as Egyptology.
“The Black Eyed Peas and I have begun a new journey,” said will.i.am about the project. “We’ve been working on this original story for years and partnering with Marvel to bring this book to life is more than a dream come true.”
“VR is the perfect tool to create the world, and this story has an incredibly vast and deep world in it,” said Black Eyed Peas collaborator and graphic artist Pasha Shapiro, who assisted in developing the VR experience alongside his partner Ernst Weber.
However, one of the most exciting parts of this new experience is by far the insane voice cast Marvel and Black Eyed Peas have managed to acquire. Rosario Dawson, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, rapper Rakim, THE Stan Lee, Ice T and KRS-One are just a few of the names being thrown around at the moment, with more recognizable artists expected to be announced as we get closer to release.
“It’s just provocative and modern and beautiful and incredible, and has an incredible group of people that I’m so delighted to be up here [with],” announced Dawson during the Comic Con panel where she was joined by Flava Flav and Eric B.
But just because we’ll soon be getting a fully-realized VR experience, that still doesn’t mean you should sleep on the physical comic and its AR functionality. Along with it just being a really cool overall experience, will.i.am has also been teasing that the AR feature will actually affect the VR experience in some capacity:
“The reason you have these characters who pop up off the page: You can collect those characters when you get this book,” explained will.i.am. “There’s weapons you collect, sound blasters you collect, crew members you collect, vehicles you can collect. Now that we live in a world where you can find and hunt and do all those kinds of things, I’ll leave that to your imagination on what you do with the characters once you’ve collected them. But it’s an amazing world out there to go and zap zombies and stuff. ”
Black Eyed Peas’ Masters of the Sun – The Zombie Chronicles was written by willi.i.am and Benjamin Jackendoff and penciled by Damion Scott. The VR rendition will be available for download January 2018. You can pick up a copy of the physical comic and start obtaining those sweet collectables right now with. Check out the trailer above to get a look at the captivating universe, narrated by the greatest human being currently walking the Earth, Stan Lee.