RED began as one of several three-issue mini-series that Warren Ellis wrote for WildStorm in 2003-2004. Dynamically illustrated by Cully Hamner, RED told the over-the-top tale of retired government killer Paul Moses, forced to return to his violent ways.
It was a fun, well-done comic, and it got new life in 2010, when a film version, starring Bruce Willis as the now-renamed Frank Moses, performed well in theaters. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film expanded on the original mini-series and adopted a fun tone that resonated with audiences who were perhaps ready for a smart action movie that didn’t take itself too seriously.
For the occasion, Cully Hamner, the artist of original mini-series, produced a 40-page prequel to the original comic. He wrote it himself, with Ellis’s blessing but not participation. In addition, the movie’s screenwriters authored four prequel comics, focusing on four separate characters.
A sequel to the film, titled RED 2, is slated for 2013 release.