Extinctioners is a science fiction, action and adventure comic book that follows in the superhero genre, but uses anthropomorphic animals as its main characters. Its original release in 1998 was by the independent comic book company Vision Comics. After a year of hiatus it was picked up by Shanda Fantasy Arts due to Vision Comics having some publishing problems. It is published quarterly by Shanda Fantasy Arts, is written and drawn by Shawntae Howard and, as of February 2006, has released a total of 16 issues and 3 annuals.
The first issue of Extinctioners (book one according the cover), entitled “Countdown to Extinction”, was published in July 1998 by Vision Comics. It had a cover price of $3.95 US or $5.50 Canadian, and is 32 full-color pages on glossy paper. The story and pencils are by Shawntae Howard, and the inks by Malcolm Earle. The digital color is by Eric Blumrich and Scotty Arsenault.
The second issue of Extinctioners, issue 1 of volume 2, was published in April 1999 by Shanda Fantasy Arts. It had a color cover, and 32 black and white interior pages containing two stories: “Countdown to Extinction Part Two” (story and art by Shawntae Howard, inks by Malcolm Earle, lettering by Fender and Tom Ziolkowski) and “Freedom” (story, pencils, and inks by Shawntae Howard; letters by Fender).
A graphic novel is currently in the works with a planned release date in 2008 through Angry Viking Press.
Extinctioners follows a group of characters who learn that they are 'hybrids' possessing special powers, and that their creators are on their way back to their planet with plans of taking over. The humanoid animals on the planet Alden, or humanimals, were genetic constructs created by humans for the purpose of avoiding having animals become extinct on an over-populated Earth, with the idea that more humanoid animals would be able to better adapt to the changing reduction to their natural environments and increased pollution.
During the time of a global war, the humans discovered a new fresh planet though a wormhole that would be inhabitable for mankind, so they sent a seeding of humanimals with human trainers to the planet to terraform the planet, building cities and setting up social organizations, so that upon the humans' arrival the transition to the new planet would go smoothly. However, a miscalculation in the wormhole's temporal properties caused the humans to lose contact with their humanimal constructs, leaving them alone on the planet for years.
Without direct guidance, the humanimals developed on their own, and would eventually create a social structure suitable for their vastly diverse races. Now with the memory of mankind vague in the social conscious, humans, or The Makers, have been elevated to an virtual deity status among much of the humanimal population. The humans, however, are still on their way to Alden and the Extinctioners are the only ones that know that they are coming, due to less than positive encounters with a small faction of humans. What the humans ultimate plans for Alden and its humanimal population has yet to be revealed, whether they will be benevolent creators or an angry destructive force has yet to be determined.
The main heroes of Extinctioners consist of two major groups that at the beginning of the series came together to fight the first wave of an invasion fleet, then later went their separate ways.
The Solar Foxes
Hunters & Trackers
ECS (Evil Cat Sisters)
Guardians of the Garden
- The Extinctioners fandom grew rather quickly, and fan response was quite varied. Not only did some fans create their own fan-characters inspired by the story, some even created fan teams. *The character Artica had a strong enough fan response that a “Yahoo! Groups” Fan Group devoted specifically to her was created. However, the group receives a lot of content about the character Scarlet, making it a fan club for both vixens.