ELEMENTALS #22 February,1988 I’ve been a fan of his Bill Willingham’s work since I graduated from High School. See, on graduation night, I had gotten my diploma and was on my way to the county graduation party to have one last blast with friends, and so I stopped by the Mall to pick up a tee-shirt with the
Elementals #2 April 1989 It was 1989, and I was graduating from High School. In my home town, there were only two places to buy comics, a Convenience store with a spinner rack and just down the road from there at the town's only shopping mall, a B. Dalton booksellers that also had a spinner rack, but featured better comics. The plan was just after graduating and just prior to a party, to stop by the mall and get a t-shirt for the college I would be attending (and subsequently dropping out of) in the fall. Being the comics fan that I am, I decided to stop by the bookstore and pick up a comic or two. For some reason on that afternoon, I decided to pick up something new, and that was where I was introduced to Elementals.
Hansi, the Girl Who Loved The Swastika February 1994 The trick in talking about Religiously-themed comics is doing so without inserting my own feelings about said religion into the commentary. Hansi was published in 1976 by Spire Christian Comics, who also produced a series of Christian-themed comics featuring Archie. It is the biographical story of
I've been reading comics for a long time, so I remember when comics were something you waited for and every week you were surprised. I remember when you trekked to the convenience store, or drug store, or grocery store, where ever you bought comics because there was no store that conveniently pulled your comics for you every week. I remember the one time a year you went to the closest comic book convention to you to get the issues that you missed because the other kids in town got there before you. This is the ongoing story of recapturing that feeling by reading some comics that haven't been cracked in some time. Perhaps they live in some long-neglected long box in your spare room. Perhaps they are discovered at the bottom of that last box you haven't unpacked since your last move two years ago, and perhaps they're just waiting in some comic shops back stock waiting for you to discover them the next time they drag them to some mini-convention in a hotel ballroom looking to score some quick cash with cheap back issues. Sometimes they'll be gems, sometimes the memory is fonder than the reality, but my goal is to share with you my spoiler-ridden reviews of old comics. JOHN BYRNE'S NEXT MEN #6 July 1992 John Byrne was one of my earliest influences. In the 1990s, after bouncing between Marvel and DC over a decade, he turned a proposal for Marvel's 2099 line into 2112, a graphic novel that became the basis for Next Men. This was the issue that tied those two together, because after reading 2112 and the first six issues (there was a Next Men #0) of John Byrne's Next Men, it was not apparent that they were linked in any way except that both had a character named Sathanas, which could or could not be the same character. They certainly didn't look alike. Enter this issue. SYNOPSIS: In an Antarctic research station, an earthquake rocks four scientists who quickly deduce it came from an explosion 30 miles away. They go to investigate to discover at the site, around a hundred mangled, mutilated and not quite human bodies. One of them is alive and it quickly attacks the group draining their life-force to save itself. Recognizing one of the scientists as Fleming Jorgenson, the creature, horribly injured relishes in that the year is 1955. Cut to the States and the home of Congressman Aldus Hilltop who his hosting Dr. Jorgenson who's returned from an apparent explosion of the research station that killed all other scientists there. Jorgenson is bringing Aldus Hilltop who places his political career above all else. Jorgenson has Hilltop help retrieve a case from Antarctica in the most confusing and complicated way possible. Inside the case, is the creature he discovered in Antarctica, named Sathanas, an energy vampire that awakes and brings Hilltop into his grand plan with the promise of power.
In the early 1990s, the speculation boom brought lots of new customers into comic shops. Some professionals in the industry though it might be a good time to create new universes to draw these new readers in, and some used purchased licenses to build those universes around. Valiant was one of those companies. Structured around purchased Silver Age Gold Key characters Solar, Man of the Atom and Magnus, Robot Fighter, Jim Shooter directed the construction of a universe complete with new characters, brought in creators like Barry Windsor-Smith and Dave Lapham, and engage readers on a level not seen in years. Valiant seemed like it might survive the eventual bursting of the speculation bubble, but alas, it was not to be.