When Freshmen was first solicited by its publisher Top Cow, the series was promoted as "The adventures of college freshmen with extraordinary powers."
And while many writers might respond by rolling their eyes, smirking and claiming that their characters were a bit more serious and tackled deeper social issues, Freshmen creators Seth Green and Hugh Sterbakov embrace that tagline for their popular series. When the series kicked off, their heroes were naive college freshmen making the same mistakes any other freshmen might, but on a much larger, action-packed scale.
Majoring in outrageous situations with a minor in young adult drama, the original Freshmen: Introduction to Superpowers miniseries passed its first semester with honors. The second volume, Freshmen II: Fundamental of Fear, is currently wrapping up — soon to be followed by a Freshmen: Summer Vacation Special in July.
While actor, writer and producer Seth Green gets a lot of the spotlight because of his involvement with movies, the Family Guy TV series and co-creating Robot Chicken, co-writer Hugh Sterbakov is very much the heart and soul of the series.
COMICMIX: For new readers who haven’t studied the Freshmen curriculum, what do they need to know for the test? Let’s hear the CliffsNotes version of the series…
HUGH STERBAKOV: It’s a whole dramatic and comedic saga with a crapload of characters and relationships, but if we’re cramming, I’d say that a bunch of college freshmen have been given superpowers by the explosion of a special machine, and the powers are based on whatever they were thinking at that moment.
So one guy can burp at anyone and make them drunk, one girl can make everyone fall in love with her, another guy is totally sticky, that dude can talk to plants, this girl can jump into people’s minds… and they’re (sort of) led by a comic book geek who didn’t get any powers and a talking beaver obsessed with building dams.
The important story elements leading into this [special] deal with three traumatic goodbyes from the end of our last series, Freshmen II. Green Thumb, the plant guy, left his beloved plant, which had a Fatal Attraction-type obsessiveness over him. Brady and Renee, sometimes called the Drama Twins [with the powers to repel and attract whenever they are in contact with each other], ended their toxic relationship for good, because Brady fell in love with Annalee, the Puppeteer, who can jump into people’s minds.
Norrin, our resident "Wannabe" comic guy, watched his beloved girlfriend die. It was a dark ending, but this Summer Vacation Special is the first step toward a bright new future.