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.

Advertisements

Miracleman – Eclipse (1980’s)

In August 1985, Eclipse began reprinting the Marvelman stories from Warrior, colored, and re-sized. They were renamed and re-lettered throughout as Miracleman to avoid further problems with Marvel Comics. Issues 1-6 reprinted all the Warrior content, after which Eclipse began publishing new Miracleman stories from Alan Moore and new artist Chuck Beckum (now better known as Chuck Austen), soon replaced by Rick Veitch and then John Totleben. Eclipse split the rights to the character, with 2/3 going to Eclipse and 1/3 split between the current writer and artist of the series. Moore wrote the series until issue 16.

Writer Neil Gaiman picked up the series at #17 and developed it further in the 1990s, working with artist Mark Buckingham. He planned three books, consisting of six issues each; they would be titled “The Golden Age”, “The Silver Age” and “The Dark Age”.

The Crow – Tundra (1992)

The Crow was created by James O’Barr. The series was originally written by O’Barr as a means of dealing with the death of his girlfriend at the hands of a drunk driver. It was later published by Caliber Comics in 1989, becoming an underground success, and later adapted into a film of the same name in 1994. Three film sequels, a television series and numerous books and comic books have also been subsequently produced.

The story revolves around an unfortunate young man named Eric. He and his fiancée, Shelly, are assaulted by a gang of street thugs after their car breaks down. Eric is shot in the head and is paralyzed, and can only watch as Shelly is savagely beaten and raped. They are then left for dead on the side of the road.

He is resurrected by a crow and seeks vengeance on the murderers, methodically stalking and killing them. When not on the hunt, Eric stays in the house he shared with Shelly, spending most of his time there lost in memories of her. Her absence is torture for him; he is in emotional pain, even engaging in self-mutilation by cutting himself.

The crow acts as both guide and goad for Eric, giving him information that helps him in his quest but also chastising him for dwelling on Shelly’s death, seeing his pining as useless self-indulgence that distracts him from his purpose.

Rai – V1 (1992)

Rai (pronounced “rye”) appeared in books published by Valiant Comics. Rai was the first original hero created by Valiant and had its beginning as a flipbook back-up feature in Magnus Robot Fighter issues #5-8. The popularity of the flipbook back-up story later led to an ongoing series. Valiant Entertainment is the current owner of Rai and the rest of the original Valiant Comics characters.

In his original incarnation, Rai is the spirit guardian that protects the nation of Japan in the 41st century. It is a mantle passed down from father to son through the generations. As such, the series chronicled a number of protagonists.

A new Rai ongoing series was launched in April 2014 by the creative team of writer Matt Kindt and artist Clayton Crain, selling out of its initial print run.

 

28 Days Later (2009)

The series follows on from the events of 28 Days Later, initially taking place in the gap between it and the sequel, 28 Weeks Later, much like the graphic novel 28 Days Later: The Aftermath, and as such references the upcoming American NATO occupation. Issues 22, 23 and 24 directly reference events from the second movie, and takes place in the same time frame, ending with the Rage Virus spreading into mainland Europe.

Magnus Robot Fighter – Valiant

In 1991, Jim Shooter obtained rights to three Gold Key characters: Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom; Turok, Son of Stone; and Magnus, Robot Fighter. He intended to use those characters to launch his new comic book line, Valiant Comics. Several months later, the company launched Magnus, Robot Fighter.

The series began where the original one left off. The artists took great care to replicate the setting and trappings of the original stories. But as the new series progressed, it began to deviate from the original concept.The term “Freewills” appeared in the Valiant run, introducing the concept that the rogue robots seen previously were not simply the product of random malfunctions, but were the result of a common phenomenon which allowed robots to become sentient. While some of them are malevolent, others merely want to be free. It was also learned that 1A is a freewill. With Magnus’s help, a colony of benevolent Freewills is established called the “Steel Nation.” At the same time, Magnus becomes disgusted with North Am’s elite. He journeys to the lower levels of North Am and befriends a group of social outcasts known as Gophs.

 

The Hobbit (1989)

In 1989, Eclipse comics published a three-part comic book adaptation with a script by Chuck Dixon and Sean Deming and illustrations by David Wenzel.

  • Unwin Paperbacks released a one-volume edition in 1990, with cover artwork by the original illustrator David Wenzel.
  • Del Rey Books released a reprint collected in one volume in 2001. Its cover, illustrated by Donato Giancola, was awarded the Association of Science Fiction Artists Award for Best Cover Illustration in 2002.

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.