BIRMINGHAM, AL (August 16, 2019)—Legendary artist Cully Hamner (RED, BATMAN AND THE SIGNAL) returns to the crime-and-chrome RIDE universe this Wednesday, illustrating an emotional back-up story written by series writer Doug Wagner. Hamner and Wagner kicked off the original RIDE title 15 years ago, introducing Atlanta detective Samantha Vega and her veteran partner, Frank Simms, to a brutal world of crime lords and haunted muscle cars. Celebrating that noir legacy, THE RIDE: BURNING DESIRE 5-issue miniseries follows Vega’s life as a bouncer at a fetish club, the titular Burning Desire. Each issue features a main story from the PLASTIC team of Wagner and artist Daniel Hillyard, with an additional segment from a rotating group of artists—the majority of whom worked on the initial RIDE jam comic from 2004.
“When you’re a young creator, you just create. It’s almost indiscriminate, a need you have. You certainly don’t expect—at least I didn’t—that anything you come up with will stick around for long,” Hamner explains. “I’ve been lucky to be at the right place and right time on a few of those: significant contributions to DC’s THE QUESTION and BLACK LIGHTNING; co-creating RED’s Paul Moses and BLUE BEETLE’s Jaime Reyes. And definitely on THE RIDE, being able to co-create Samantha Vega and Frank Simms with my old friend Doug Wagner is a gift that has only deepened. And the fact that Doug and Daniel Hillyard have brought Vega back in BURNING DESIRE… man, it’s just great to see her again.”
In this issue, Hamner tells the story of Burning Desire dancer Foo, a rabbit-eared bodybuilder with a tragic past. Alongside Vega, Foo is just one of the tortured souls seeking refuge at the unconventional dance club. That sanctuary is violated when a fellow performer is murdered, sucking Vega back into a world of bloodshed and bad decisions as she pursues a local drug gang with Foo and a hairless dwarf.
“Vega is shocked to learn everything that’s happening to her and her dancers is the plans of a ghost she thought long gone,” Wagner says. “Writing this issue was a rollercoaster for me. First, the two stories have heavy emotional moments and badass action scenes all mixed together with some comical childlike moments. When I’m personally having mood swings as I’m writing something, I know I’m close to something special. Second, I’m working again with Cully Hamner on THE RIDE after 15 years. Cully and I have been friends since high school, so every time we get to work together is a childhood dream come true. We came up with something together that I think is unusual, heartfelt, and insightful.”
Hillyard was eager to capture the mounting chaos in this issue. “I had a great time drawing a totally hairless little person, a bodybuilding leather-clad bunny and an ex-detective go to town on a gang of drug pushers. It was a lot of fun!”
THE RIDE: BURNING DESIRE #3
Writer: Doug Wagner
Artists: Daniel Hillyard, Cully Hamner
Colorists: Laura Martin, Charlie Kirchoff, Nayoung Kim
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Print copies of THE RIDE: BURNING DESIRE #3 will be available in comic stores on August 21, 2019. The issue will also be available digitally on platforms including comiXology, Amazon Kindle, Google Play, and Apple iBooks.