Shrapnel focuses on a future where humanity has reached out and colonized the Solar System and a Solar Alliance governs the planets similarly to the way ancient Rome dominated over their territories. Venus, the last free colony in the system, must do what it can to battle the domineering Marine forces of the Alliance in order to remain sovereign. Unbeknownst to the Marines, or even the Colonists themselves, one of the Alliance’s greatest heroes has exiled herself on the lost planet, hoping to escape the life she once knew as a soldier. Now, pulled back into the fold, she must teach the Colonist how to fight for their freedom and come to terms with her own past.
The story is being written by Nick (son of Carl) Sagan, who's got a fair number of decent Hollywood writing credits to his name, including several episodes of various incarnations of the Star Trek franchise. It's being co-written by M. Zachary Sherman, who's written Marvel Comics Presents, Star Wars: Visionaries and other comics. And some of the concept designs were done by Syd Mead, who created the visual designs for Blade Runner and Tron.
Of course, none of this to say that the book will be a guaranteed hit, nor does it speak directly to it's quality. But it does, I think, give the book a leg up over a lot of other books published these days. And, since it's not about superheroes, I heard about it via Boing Boing -- which tends to cast a wider net over their audience than most comic news outlets. This might also give the book a bit of oomph in the casual reader/bookstore market. I've heard anecdotal evidence, at least, that this is exactly what happened when Marvel put out some Stephen King comics last year.
Interesting, though, that smaller publishers are doing the same thing, despite not having the clout or cash flow of larger companies.