"Obviously, the point of the second series is to explore the relationship between the Steward and Kestus," Roddenberry Productions COO and Days Missing creator Trevor Roth continued. "That said, what I can tell you of her and her powers is that Kestus is the first being who sits on the same level as The Steward. She is The Steward's first chance of companionship and her introduction represents both the best and the worst thing that could ever have happened to him. While her powers—if you want to call them that—might differ from those of The Steward, the unmistakable similarities between them

are equally as gripping a story."

"I think I'm safe in saying she's an immortal being much like The Steward, but not sharing his humanitarian bent," Hester added. "I'm not saying she's evil or anything, but she does not view humanity in terms of our potential, but rather in terms of our weaknesses. This puts her at odds with The Steward on occasion. Yet she and The Steward have an innate attraction to one another."

 How does the existence of Kestus change the Steward's world? "Perhaps the best way to answer is to ask an analogous question, 'If you are the only one of your kind, if have lived longer than any animal in   the world, and if you encounter another being who shares your experience, what would that change for you?'" Roth replied. "My guess is everything. The emergence of Kestus is a game-changer for The Steward. Regardless of how their story ends, I can promise that he will never be the same again."

Have the two ever crossed paths before in one or more days now missing from the historical chronicle? "In order to keep true to the concept of Days Missing, it was important to make sure that the relationship between The Steward and Kestus played out within the structure we had already set forth—days throughout history that have been eradicated from human history," Roth said. "In doing so, we found ourselves compelled to tell the story through a continuum of missing days within which Kestus and The Steward connected. From that standpoint, I guess the answer to your question could be 'yes.'"

"Much like Catwoman, sometimes she's a villain and sometimes she's an ally," Hester explained. "Since she's been alive from the dawn of time, her views can change over the eons. In fact, we see her views shift as she interacts with The Steward. And as Trevor said, maybe the Steward has seen her before. The series stretches all the way back to 500 B.C. and then moves forward to today, so we'll be filled in on just how many times he's run across her in the past."

Does the presence of a being like Kestus change how the Steward views his role? "I think Kestus brings everything into question for The Steward," Roth said. "I'm not sure how much of this will be discussed right out in the open and how much will be filled in by the readers' imaginations, but it's all in there. Like all of us,

The Steward has doubts about the path he has chosen for himself. At the same time, he has a tremendous faith and a lot invested in what he believes to be his purpose. I guess the question is, 'What wins out?'"

The concept behind Days Missing and Kestus has incredible potential—it can span all eras, all places. How does this second series take advantage of the epic nature of the concept? "First, thank you! Second, I couldn't agree more," Roth said. "Days Missing affords us an extremely large playground

 within which to create and tell stories—the entirety of human history (and possibly beyond). It's something that we've really been able to embrace in the second series. As opposed to introducing a character through the stories of random days, as we did in the first series, Days Missing: Kestus has much more of through-story. The tale of The Steward and Kestus is truly told through an epic chronology of their interactions through history. It's got a very different, but equally unique feel to it."

While the series focuses on two incredible beings possessed of superhuman abilities, Hester feels that it's very important to keep it rooted in our real world. "Trevor feels it's vitally important to ground The Steward's adventures in known history, and I agree," Hester said. "When you have pretty outrageous concepts flying around in your comic, as we often do with Days Missing, tying them to specific and recognizable days in history help the reader relate to the action. Besides, that's sort of the theme of the book—that we have a hidden history lurking behind us. Changing days no one has any memory of blunts the impact."

What makes Days Missing so creatively appealing to Hester? "Probably the same thing that drives our artist, David Marquez, crazy," Hester said. "We get to change locales and eras with each and every story. For example, the first issue takes place in ancient China, the second during Caesar's siege of Alexandria, the third during the height of the Cold War, etc. So, the story always stays fresh and interesting. I can create supporting characters with rich backstories and challenge myself to imply that richness in just a few pages. It's a fun exercise—and I hope reading it will be, too."
In spite of the book's artistic demands, Marquez is having a great time with Days Missing. "Working with Phil is a real treat," Marquez said. "In addition to being one of the nicest guys in the business, his experience as an artist really comes through when reading his scripts. While he often asks a lot of me as an artist, it's clear that he understands what it takes to make these ambitious stories work and is able to communicate that in a way that keeps it all very manageable. He also has a keen sense of what is just plain fun to draw, and gives me all kinds of great stuff to play with in this book."

Days Missing: Kestus is Marquez's second project for Archaia, who made his comics debut with the graphic novel Syndrome. "Syndrome was definitely my first major comics project, and a blast to work on," Marquez said. "I've been an avid comics reader since elementary school, and have dreamed of drawing comics ever since.

"My first professional art gig, though, was as an animator on Warner Independent's feature film A Scanner Darkly, made here in Austin where I had been studying political science at the University of Texas with plans of either teaching or going on to grad school. Once Scanner wrapped, though, I decided to keep pursuing art, building a comics portfolio and landing a few small press and anthology projects. I've only recently started drawing comics full time, first with Syndrome and now Days Missing, and it's a complete dream come true."

Is a book with such an epic scope particularly challenging artistically??"Well, Syndrome was a challenging project in its own right, having to nail a comic with strong indie sensibilities in a fairly mainstream art style," Marquez said. "Days Missing: Kestus, on the other hand, is definitely a story on a much grander scale, but also—perhaps because of
the scale—one that lends itself much more to mainstream storytelling techniques. I also feel that I've grown a lot as an artist since the first pages of Syndrome, and Days Missing provides a great opportunity to spread my wings a bit. So, yes, it's a challenge, but a welcome one."

Since the late Gene Roddenberry and Roddenberry Productions have quite an impressive record in film, television, and videogames, is it possible that Days

Missing might expand into these media in the future? "I can't confirm anything on this one right now," Roth said. "People in the entertainment industry who have read Volume One have really taken to it and seem to agree it could go further. Nothing pleases us more than to have created something potent enough to break through into other media.

"Still, until anything shapes up concretely, and as long as we are developing Days Missing for comics, our mission remains simple: bring people a substantive science fiction adventure, including accessible characters and relevant issues, engaging extraordinary creators, and inventive storytelling through the amazing vehicles of comics and graphic novels. If we continue to do that, the sky's the limit on the rest!"

Days Missing: Kestus #1, a $3.95 comic created by Trevor Roth, written by Phil Hester, and illustrated by David Marquez, is slated for late September release. To find a comic shop near you, try the Comic Book Locator Service.

by Cliff Biggers

Follow CSN via Twitter at twitter.com/csnsider
Days of Future Passed
 Comics are populated by a virtual army of time travellers, some of whom have been known to alter history when necessary. But the Steward is different—he doesn't travel through time, and he doesn't change history. What he does, though, is equally as impressive as impressive: he "folds" days.

The Steward was initially introduced in Archaia's Days Missing, a series produced in conjunction with Roddenberry Productions. The series proved so successful that Archaia and Roddenberry are revisiting the Steward's world in the new limited series Days Missing: Kestus.

"The Steward has, as far as he knows, existed from the dawn of time, and has taken it upon himself to shepherd humanity into a fruitful future, writer Phil Hester explained regarding the central character of Days Missing and its upcoming sequel Days Missing:?Kestus. "He observes mankind, and when he feels he must interfere, he rights the ship, but in order to let us believe we are making our own progress, he 'folds' the day, basically rewinding the previous 24 hours, removing it from our collective memory.

"Now, we're introducing Kestus, a being that operates on the same level as The Steward—which is both thrilling and frightening to him. As far as he knows, he's one of a kind, but when he meets the immortal Kestus, all that gets turned upside down."