From whistleblower to comic book hero. ‘Beyond: Edward Snowden’ charts the life of the former NSA contractor and his reasons for taking part in the largest leak of classified information in US history.
Author Valerie D’Orazio says it was originally conceived as a straight biography, but turned into a drama as the story evolved.
She says Snowden’s story was an ideal bridge between geek culture and the mainstream: “It’s about the life of Edward Snowden going all the way from his geek early years as a Japanese animation-loving, fun-loving person, to what he ended up becoming, one of the biggest leakers of classified information in the United States.”
Illustrated by Dan Lauer, the comic humorously depicts US and Russian presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.
It also pays tribute to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported on the leaked documents.
“Real life people are the main characters. So in the Snowden book it’s obviously Edward Snowden. But I think Glenn Greenwald also plays a really major role. I think if anybody in the story, I would call most likely a hero, it would be Glenn Greenwald,” says Valerie D’Orazio.
Snowden has been charged with espionage and other offences and faces 30 years in jail. He’s received asylum in Russia.
D’Orazio, who has worked at DC Comics and written X-Men and Punisher titles for Marvel, says she plans on pursuing a sequel in a year or so.
‘Beyond: Edward Snowden’ is out now in both print and digital editions.