For those of us who spent teenage years lost in books and comics, 1987's Wild Cards was a dream come true: an anthology of short prose fiction about superheroes written by some of science fiction's favorite authors. One of them flew around in a tricked-out VW Beetle! Another of them had kinky sex magic powers! Who could resist? Sadly, the answer seemed to be "comic book fans." A 1990 comic-book adaptation of the successful prose series failed, but now a comics publisher is finally trying its luck with Wild Cards once again.

The new series, called Wild Cards: The Hard Call is being brought to you by Dabel Brothers Productions, who've made a cottage industry of bringing fantasy and sci-fi properties — and their creators — into comics over the last couple of years (Some of their previous hits have included adaptations and original stories from the likes of Orson Scott Card, Laurell K. Hamilton and Wild Cards' daddy himself, George R.R. Martin). Unlike the majority of their line, this series by creators Daniel Abraham and former DC Comics and Image artist Eric Battle offers up a brand new story instead of an adaptation, although it's aimed squarely at the existing fanbase as the press release shows:

Over twenty years later, Wild Cards is returning to comic books, but this time, with a brand new story set in the present day where the Wild Card virus strikes again at a high school in Colorado. The survivors are rushed to New York City's clinic for those affected by the virus. And while one student has drawn the joker, two more have discovered that they are Aces — one with the power to release electricity from his body, and another with the ability to travel through mirrors. Meanwhile, Croyd Crenson, the ace known as "The Sleeper," has been framed for murder in the New York City slum known as Jokertown... and he's not going to rest until he clears his name.

Aces? Jokers? The Sleeper? In case none of this makes any sense to you, there are always the pretty pictures:

George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards: The Hard Call hits shelves in April '08! [Dabel]