Solar, Man of the Atom (1991)

Valiant’s Solar, Man of the Atom began with three multi-part stories all written by Jim Shooter: “Alpha and Omega” with artwork by Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton, spanned the first ten issues and told of the origin story of how the protagonist, Phil Seleski, became Solar, until the time he accidentally destroys the world; “Second Death”, with artwork by Don Perlin, Bob Layton and Thomas Ryder, spanned the first four issues and tells of Seleski’s attempt to prevent another version of himself from destroying the world; “First Strike”, with artwork by Don Perlin and Stan Drake, spanned issues #5 to #8 and follows Solar as he fights spider aliens. These first year stories included first appearances by Eternal Warrior, the Harbinger FoundationGeomancers, and the X-O Manowar armor – all of which would be spun off into their own series.

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Flaming Carrot Comics (1980’s)

The Flaming Carrot origin states that “having read 5,000 comics in a single sitting to win a bet, this poor man suffered brain damage and appeared directly thereafter as—the Flaming Carrot!”

The Carrot, who lives in Palookaville, a neighborhood of Iron City, has staved off at least three alien invasions, a Communist take over of Iron City, flying dead dogs, the Man in the Moon, Death itself, and a cloned horde of evil marching Hitler‘s boots. Possessing no real super powers, the Carrot wins the day through sheer grit, raw determination, blinding stupidity, and bizarre luck. Flaming Carrot even died in #6 (fell into a deep toxic waste pit in Palookaville), was brought back from clinical death in #7, described his sojourn in Limbo in #8 and got back at those who sent him to Limbo in #9.

Flaming Carrot was also a founding member of the blue collar superhero group the Mystery Men, introduced in a flashback/dream sequence in Flaming Carrot Comics #16. The story of this group was later made into the 1999 movie Mystery Men and a short-lived spin-off comic book series. The Flaming Carrot himself does not appear in the film, although a handful of characters like Mr. Furious, the Shoveler, and Dr. Heller do.

Devil May Cry (2004)

Devil May Cry is a comic adaptation of the first game, published by a Canadian publisher Dreamwave Productions in 2004. It was written by Brad Mick with art by Pat Lee, and additional cover images were provided by Michael Turner and Jae Lee. Three issues of the comics were released, but it was left unfinished when the company went bankrupt in 2005.

Grendel V2 (1980’s)

The Grendel ongoing series published by Comico started in 1986 and lasted 40 issues. It was written by Matt Wagner and drawn by a variety of artists, including the Pander Brothers, Bernie Mireault, Tim Sale, John K. Snyder III and others. It began with a story set in the near future, with Christine Spar, Hunter’s posthumous biographer, taking on the identity of Grendel to pursue a mission of revenge. The identity passed briefly, and tragically, to her deluded boyfriend Brian Li Sung. After a brief return to stories of Hunter Rose (actually two in-universe fictional novels written by Captain Wiggins, a supporting character from the Christine Spar arc), Wagner then spun the series further into the future, with the Grendel identity affecting a variety of people. The name “Grendel” took on several meanings as the stories portrayed a dystopian future. Grendel became a synonym for The Devil with the title held by the emperor of the world, (Grendel-Khan) and members of a warrior society identical to samurai.

The Vampire Lestat (1990)

The Vampire Lestat was adapted into a comic and released as a 12-part miniseries by Innovation Comics in 1990 and 1991. The comic, which was formally titled Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat and featured Daerick Gross and Mike Okamoto as lead artists, had a script adapted from the novel by Rice and Faye Perozich. In 1991 the entire series was published as a graphic novel by Ballantine.

 

Fathom: Dawn of War (2004)

Fathom: Dawn of War bridges the gap between the original series and Fathom vol. 2. The story focuses on the Blue warrior Kiani, who is forced to side with the rebellious councilman Marqueses in order to save her master, Casque, from the clutches of human military scientists. Marqueses has engineered the situation in order to kidnap Casque and to secure the older warrior’s immense power for an offensive against the humans. Kiani tracks down Marqueses and saves Casque only to find he is part of the Black. The Black come for Casque, and he is forced to rejoin them, leaving Kiani angry and lost.

Dawn of War emphasizes Kiani’s loneliness and character development. It also introduces audiences further to the underwater world of the Blue.

Fathom Dawn of War #0 Limited Edition NM $19

Dalgoda (1984)

Dalgoda by Jan Strnad and Dennis Fujitake was published by Fantagraphics Books in 1984. This is a series that needs to come back! Not only were the featured stories and art amazing, but the books also featured back-up stories by Alan Moore (“The Bojeffries Saga”) and Kevin Nowlan (“Grimwood’s Daughter”).

Nexus V2 – Capital Comics (1980’s)

Nexus is a comic book series created by writer Mike Baron and penciler Steve Rude in 1981. The series is a combination of the superhero and science fiction genres, set 500 years in the future.

The series debuted as a three-issue black-and-white limited series (the third of which featured a 33 RPM flexi disc with music and dialogue from the issue), followed by an eighty-issue ongoing full-color series. The black-and-white issues and the first six color issues were published by Capital Comics; after Capital’s demise, First Comics took over publication.

On the creation of the series: Baron noted that they had originally pitched a series called Encyclopaedias to Capital Comics, but the company rejected this, saying they were looking for a superhero title. Over a drink at a restaurant, Baron outlined his ideas for Nexus to Rude.

Nexus was entirely Baron’s idea. He even came up with the lightning bolt for the costume. All that we needed then was a name… a few weeks passed. Baron calls, and, without preamble, just says “Nexus.” We finally had our name.”

 

Kabuki – Circle of Blood (1994)

Set in an alternate near-future Japan, a young woman codenamed “Kabuki”, acts as an agent and television law-enforcement personality for a clandestine government body known as “The Noh”. In the first volume of the series, The Noh’s nature and background is explained.

The Noh is controlled by a renowned World War II Japanese military man known as the General, who has achieved much power and status for being a brilliant military tactician during his many years of service. The agency itself exists as part of Japan’s strict police state, which hunts down and brutally executes criminals for their misdeeds under the veil of keeping the peace. Secretly the Noh also acts to maintain the balance of crime and order that ultimately benefits the national economy on both sides of the law and thus targets politicians, businessmen and certain underworld kingpins whose actions threaten this balance. Kabuki herself is one of eight masked assassins whom perform these secret executions under the General’s orders.

Forgotten Realms: Homeland (2005)

Based on the best selling Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore, Homeland is a volume full of intrigue, beauty and the struggle for position. Based in the underground drow city of Menzoberranzan, this story begins the legend of the dark elf ranger Drizzt Do’urden, and his struggle to find himself in a world whose practices and beliefs do not match what he finds in his heart.