<EM>Supernatural: Rising Son</EM> Supernatural: Rising Son

There are only four episodes of Supernatural to go before the writers' strike puts the demon-hunting Winchester brothers on hiatus. But fans of the CW spookfest will get to enjoy the show in an alternative format this spring when WildStorm, an imprint of DC Comics, launches Supernatural: Rising Son, a six-issue miniseries. Following up on last year's well-received Supernatural: Origins, this new arc debuts April 23. Set a few years after Origins, the story picks up with an 11-year-old Dean and a 7-year-old Sam traveling with their father, John. "Whereas the first series was more about John and his becoming a hunter, this one's much more of a dysfunctional-family story," explains writer Peter Johnson, who's also a coexecutive producer on the TV show. "We're really going to explore the differences between Sam and Dean in this one. Dean is becoming aware of what his dad's up to and we'll see him training and hunting a little bit, while John will start to key in on something different about Sam."

Click here, here and here to preview some pages, and also check out the cover.

Johnson says readers should expect "freakier monsters," including "some badass female villains and a big bad villain that may have something to do with the TV show." Some familiar faces, including fellow hunter Bobby, also show up. There's also a different artist this time around — Diego Olmos (Manhunter), known for his detailing and facial expressiveness — but the writers' strike has temporarily sidelined Supernatural showrunner Eric Kripke, who had major input in Origins.

A third series is in the planning stages, which, Johnson hints, could bring the story right up to the TV show's pilot. And here's some more good news: a trade paperback collection of Origins will be published in April and "there will be slight tweaks in the collected version," Johnson reveals. "I was sensitive to a lot of fan feedback that the Impala [the show's signature automobile], in my story, was something John picked up on the road. That did not sit well with the fans, so I decided to make an editorial change, so that the Impala is already in the Winchester family when the series opens."

What do you think, Winchester fans? Talk about Rising Son in our Supernatural show blog.

Read more about Supernatural's remaining episodes in TV Guide's Ultimate Sci-fi Preview, on sale this week.