The Evil Queen is expanding her kingdom — into comic books! The Once Upon a Time villainess will headline an upcoming original graphic novel adaptation of the ABC drama, which explores her relationship with the Huntsman. Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen, coming form Marvel Comics on Sept. 4, will directly tie in to the show's continuity. "We wanted to explore some new narrative territory that the show hadn't fully covered yet," says Emily Shaw, the Marvel editor working on the book. "The Huntsman was perfect. Fans love him, he's such a compelling character, but his background is still pretty mysterious. Especially when it comes to his servitude to Regina, the Evil Queen."
The story was developed by Dan Thomsen, a co-producer on the TV series, and was co-written by Corinna Bechko. The art is being created by Nimit Malavia, Vasilis Lolos, Mike Del Mundo, Stephanie Hans and Mike Henderson. TV Guide Magazine has your first look at Malavia's art for the cover.
Shadow of the Queen is set in Fairy Tale Land following the events of the Season 1 episode "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." The Queen had taken the Huntsman prisoner after he let Snow White escape rather than kill her, as Regina requested. "The Evil Queen is still on a rampage to destroy her nemesis," Shaw says. "We'll get to witness some important events from the Huntsman's past. Events that define him as a character and explore a new side to his relationship with the Evil Queen."
Regina and the Huntsman are the stars of the story, but "they'll definitely cross paths with some other familiar faces from the show," Shaw promises. And (as the cover image shows), the art will reflect the look of the series. "We want the book to be immediately recognizable to fans," Shaw says. "Obviously, the actors are a huge part of that. They're the faces of the show. So we want to be true to the flavor and personality of our characters, while still allowing our artists stylistic freedom to express themselves."