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

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

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.

Elektra – Assassin (1986)

Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz were at the height of their popularity when this series was released, shortly on the heels of Miller’s hugely successful Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Miller & Sienkiewicz’s Marvel Graphic Novel Daredevil: Love and War.

As with Ronin and Born Again, Miller wrote the series with the full script method.

As with Daredevil: Love and War, Sienkiewicz illustrated Elektra: Assassin using watercolors as opposed to the traditional pencilling/inking method. His exaggerated art was unique amongst mainstream comics of the time, bringing to mind the illustration style of adult-oriented comics magazines like Heavy Metal.

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.

Optic Nerve (1995)

Optic Nerve is a series by cartoonist Adrian Tomine. Originally self-published by Tomine in 1991 as a series of mini-comics (which have later been collected in a single volume,32 Stories), the series has been published by Drawn and Quarterly since 1995.

Tomine’s style and subject matter are restrained and realistic. Many are set in Northern California. Many of his stories for Optic Nerve feature Asian American characters, including “Hawaiian Getaway,” “Six-Day Cold,” “Layover,” and “Shortcomings.” Adrian Tomine is Asian American and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Many topics of his stories are at least partly autobiographical.

In the initial self-published issues, as well as the first eight Drawn & Quarterly issues (1995-2001), Optic Nerve was typically a collection of short stories. After an extended hiatus, Tomine resumed the comic in fall of 2004 and began his first multi-issue storyline, “Shortcomings,” with #9. The most recent issue, #13, was published in July 2013.