Saturday, September 1, 2007

Even More Slept On Comic Book Titles AKA Yet Another Poisonous Paragraphs Special Comic Book Nerd Edition

I told y’all I was gonna come back and bless you with another on of these! Anyways, lets begin:

Dreadstar
Epic Comics was a writer based comic book imprint started by Marvel Comics legend Jim Shooter. The crown jewels of the Epic Comics line were the Heavy Metal Magazine inspired Epic Illustrated and the comic title Dreadstar. Jim Starlin wrote and penciled the adventures of Vanth Dreadstar, the last survivor of the Milky Way Galaxy and his exploits in space as he and his group of ragtag rebels ran afoul of the evil known as The Church Of Instrumentality. I didn't fully understand what the hell I was reading when I got my hands on these books as a kid but when I read them as a teenager I realized how ill they were. If you can find old issues of this title for cheap then don't hesitate to cop 'em.

Sgt. Rock
Sgt. Rock, the grizzled war veteran and leader of Easy Company was one of DC Comics most beloved characters of the 60's and 70's. He was featured in one of the most popular war comic books of all times and every time the country was at war it seemed that good ol' Sgt. Rock could be counted on to do another tour of duty. The Sgt. Rock comic book began it's modern run in the late 70's and spawned action figures and graphic novels. Sgt. Rock is often cited as the cheif inspiration for the rise of the G.I. Joe toys, comic book and cartoon series. Even to this very day, film producer Joel Silver own the rights to this property and is hell bent on bringing it to the silver screen. He's pissed that G.I. Joe will beat him to it as well.

Deathlok
Deathlok was a futuristic killing machine that traveled back to our time from the future (sound familiar) in order to stop it's creator from taking over the world. The series was originally created by Rich Buckler and Doug Moench back in the mid 70's and Deathlok became one of Marvel's most popular recurring characters. The reason I picked the cover above was because this is from the third (or second based on who you ask) incarnation of Deathlok from the early 90's in which a Black scientist who happens to be a pacifist has become trapped in the body of the ultimate killing machine and he seeks out his original body. Great book if you've never read it.

Marvel Team-Up
This popular title had Spider Man teamed with different heroes and sometimes villians to do battle with a wide array of supervillians. This title had a rotating team of Marvel's best writers and their best young pencilers and inkers on staff. Some of the best stories Marvel ever wrote were in the pages of this long running series.

Marvel Two-In-One
The Thing was teamed with different heroes that he normally wouldn't encounter and they managed to end up fighting some supervillians and kicking their asses. The series was written by a bunch of different heads and this title was one of the more popular titles of the late 70's to mid 80's. Of course nowadays anyone barely remembers it.

Champions (Of Los Angeles)
Tony Isabella and John Byrne concocted a superhero team founded by former X-Men Angel (who funded the group with his deep ass pockets) and Ice Man. They also added super jumpoff Black Widow (who served as team leader), Hercules and Ghost Rider to their ranks (as well as a few other low level heroes) and fought supervillians based out of Los Angeles. This title was doomed from the beginning and it didn't even last two years. I still remember it like it was yesterday, though.

Justice
Jim Shooter's failed writer based imprint New Universe birthed a shitload of forgettable titles and characters, one of the most intriguing being John Tensen or Justice. He had the power to read a person's aura and determine if they were good or evil or not. Once he found out, he would pass "judgement" on them (usually in the form of extermination). He could project shields made of energy with his left hand and an energy blast he referred to as this "sword" with his right hand. This title had a plethora of different artists and writers for the first 15 issues and didn't hit it stride until the 16th issue when it got a regular writer. The series (and the entireity of the New Universe) was halted after 32 issues and subsequently forgotten about although John Tensen still exists in today's Marvel Universe.


Cloak & Dagger
Bill Mantlo and Rick Leonardi handled the job of giving two of Marvel Comics most beloved characters their own title. Cloak & Dagger were both altered humans that had a co-dependent relationship and an on/off romance. Cloak was a Black man from the mean streets of Boston with a cloak that served as a portal to a world made of complete darkness and Dagger had the power to generate light and hurl them at opponents in the form of light daggers. Cloak used to feed on Dagger's light as it kept him from feeding on the souls of random people. There were several incarnations of this title and Cloak & Dagger are still kicking around in the Marvel Universe to this day.

Machine Man
Jack Kirby originally created the Machine Man character and Marv Wolfman and Steve Ditko took over for the title’s initial run. X-51 was a military robot first introduced in Marvel’s comic book adaptation of 2001: A Space Oddysey and once his creator died he gained sentience, rebelled against the military and became a fugitive. This series ended after only 19 issues but was brought back for a second series a year later. The Machine Man titles have been all but forgotten about in recent years leaving us old heads to write blogs about 'em.

Star Wars
Howard Chaykin did the pencils and inking on the early run of this comic book based on the popular film series. Eventually, the book went off on it's on tangent even introducing aliens that didn't originally appear in the Star Wars universe. This series was extremely popular during it's run even though it's storylines didn't follow the Star Wars canon. The Marvel comic books have been all but forgotten about since it's run ended.

Vigilante
Marv Wolfman, Paul Kupperberg & Alan Moore did the writing for this series about Adrian Chase. The district attorney by day, super secret operative by night character that worked in association with a secret organization to take down crazies and super villians. The issue ran for a long time until the character of Adrian Chase was killed off and the organization he worked for was given it's own book.


Checkmate
This book was created by Paul Kupperberg, Jon Byrne & Steve Erwin. Al Vey inked the series and it told the story of the operatives of the covert ops squad that served as DC's answer to S.H.I.E.L.D. and it's inner workings after the death of it's former key operative Vigilante. The main characters were Knight One and Black Thorn and the book only lasted to issue #33 before it was retooled and brought back years later.

Teen Titans anti drug comic book
Keebler Corporation in association with DC Comics put together this unforgettable anti drug comic book back in 1986. Marv Wolfman wrote it and George Perez did the ink and pencils in what became one of the most graphic Teen Titan tales ever written. Since another company had the licensing rights to Robin the writers were hamstrung and couldn't use him..they instead created a generic hero called The Protector (The DC honcos decided to use him in the DC Universe to cover up the fact that Keebler was blocked from using Robin). The Teen Titans title had a pretty adult slant to it already and this issue was FAR from corny. People died of overdoses and Speedy himself admitted to being a junkie to some kid high on goofballs so he would come down. I learned about drugs that I didn't even know existed from that book. After they handed it out in school, kids on the bus ride home read it and were like "What's a quaalude?" and "How do you pronounce this word here?" "It's spelled H-A-S-H-I-S-H". Good times.


Spider Man & Power Pack child molestation/abuse prevention comic book
Spider-Man and Power-Pack was a giveaway comic produced in 1984 by Marvel, the National Committee For Prevention of Child Abuse, and the NEA. As in the case of the Teen Titans comic book, it was distributed in schools, Boys & Girls' Club locations and community centers to educate children about child and sexual abuse. The Spider-Man story involves Spidey keeping some kid from being Michael Jacksoned and it was written by Jim Salicrup and penciled by Jim Mooney. The second story has Power Pack finding out that a friend of theirs is getting molested by her father and they pretty much just tell her to call the police and get counseling...nothing their superpowers could do in that situation. This issue was creepy as hell and a bit on the corny side. Plus it was mad short, nowadays it's a collector's item and there is a regular title called Spider Man & Power Pack...weird.

I'll be back with more later on. One.

4 comments:

Dallas said...

monster drop right here. too many goodies to name. The Dreadstar books were an event at the specialty shops I used to eff with.

You nailed it with Cloak and Dagger. I been wanting to give Dagger a taste of my dagger up her cloak for the longest.

Yo fam, Machine Man was slept on for good reason. Jack Kirby(R.I.P.) is definitely the father of the game and respect is due, but that don't mean I want to hear another album from Kool Moe Dee either.

Yeah, man I gotta get back on my grind this week...

Storm
Misty Knight
and maybe manga's Dirty Pair

holla at your cousin, cousin.

RO-beast said...

Good post. Most of those books i've read. I have to say that the New Universe line wasn't forgettable enough to have a new series out nowadays on the "Heroes" type of level.

Just reminded me that if DC can bring back Brave & bold, then Marvel can bring back Marvel Two in one.

Xibalba said...

Dude,
What about the Badger? Cat wouldn't wear tight pants, he called everyone larry, and had no super powers.

Dart Adams said...

@xibalba:

I couldn't find any Badger covers in time...I'm far from done, trust me.

One.