The stories behind the stories

Smite: Pantheon War #1

“I will find the truth.” — Athena

“Pantheon War, Part 1”

It is an age where gods live among the mortals over which they rule. The worship of mortals is needed by the gods to maintain their divinity—but the number of gods has swelled and there are fewer mortal faithful for the individual gods in each pantheon. Only the gods who maintain worshipers will survive; and so tensions are rising among the pantheons. There is an uneasy peace…but peace is not desired by all!
Published by Dark Horse • December 15, 2015

Written by John Jackson Miller

Art by Eduardo Francisco

Colors by Wes Dzioba

Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot

Cover by Eduardo Francisco and Stefani Rennee

Edited by Randy Stradley and Freddye Lins

Following the release of the Smite: Battleground of the Gods introductory comic book, Hi-Rez Studios commissioned a three-issue limited series intended to tell the history of the conflict that forms the basis for the Smite video game. I collaborated with the design staff on the plot for the series, which explained how the gods of the various pantheons originally went to war.

Scripting required me to consult again with the designers as to the mechanics of the game universe, as the gods exist within the mortal realm and so questions as to how they travel and communicate needed to be addressed.

I had just turned in the script for the second issue when I was informed that — as sometimes happens with video game comics where everything has to fit perfectly within an evolving storyline — the licensor wanted to bring story creation fully in house. I was already knee-deep in the Star Trek: Prey trilogy by that point, so it actually wound up helping my schedule.

“This ends now!” — Zeus

Some of the plotting and breakdowns for first issue, which bears my name on the cover, was used, with a new writer on the script; I received credit for “additional story elements” on the second and third issues.

Later issues featured the name “Jack Banish” as writer — and as that name appeared on social media only during the release of this series and never before or after, I’ve been asked whether it’s a pseudonym for the entire Hi-Rez staff. That’s something you’ll have to ask them!