Stan Lee has teamed up with Japan’s premier musician Yoshiki to create the next evolution of comic book- - Blood Red Dragon. In Blood Red Dragon #0, the story partially takes place in San Diego and follows Yoshiki as he discovers the might of the Blood Red Dragon, whose power is derived in music. The musician is then locked into a battle with the dark armies of Oblivion. In a departure from the traditional comic book, the two planned on integrating the technology in greeting cards that play music when you open them. Yoshiki took the technology and recorded his own original music for the comic. This allowed him to convey the mood and tone of the story through his medium of choice, music.
Considered to be the Bono of Japan, Yoshiki is one of biggest artists in the country. When he worked with X Japan he sold over 30 million albums and sold out the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times. Lee said, “When I met Yoshiki, I was so impressed with his musical talents and unique creative eye that I knew immediately I wanted to work with him on something special where we could combine both our strengths. Creating a music Super Hero character was the natural evolution of our efforts.”
The joint venture between Stan Lee, co-creator of most of the Marvel Comic characters, and Yoshiki began at a chance meeting at a party. Their introduction inspired Yoshiki to put Stan Lee in his music video as Satan. Yoshiki said that, “working with the one-and-only Stan Lee has been an incredible experience for me. He is truly as genius and one of the best storytellers living today.” Duo then recruited Todd McFarlane as the creative director for the comic.
As the creator of Spawn, McFarlane managed to sell an unprecedented 1.7 million comics for its debut in 1992. The success of the comic series generated an Emmy Award Winning HOBO series and live-action feature film that grossed $100 million. Aside from his work in the comic industry, McFarlane is a Grammy award winner as a music video director and is the founder of the award winning toy company McFarlane Toys.
This collaboration has the potential to turn into something truly unique. When asked if they would continue to add music to the comic books Yoshiki chuckled and asked, “Why not?” The trio is considering the possibility of creating a music video for the comic, which would hardly be a stretch for the multitalented collaborators. What’s next for the series? No one knows for certain. However, one thing is sure- Stan Lee, Yoshiki and Todd McFarlane are pursuing an avenue for comics not yet explored.