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It’s the second episode of ULTRAVERSE PODCAST: PRIME OF YOUR LIFE!
In this episode, co-hosts the Irredeemable Shag and David continue their coverage of #1 issues, featuring: Firearm, Prototype, Solution, Night Man, Sludge, and Solitaire! Plus, we read some of your Ultra-Feedback on the air!
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Thanks for listening!
Next week: The second episode of THE NIGHT MAN PODCAST!
I recall driving down a winding road on my way home from work, sun shining, “Malibu” playing on the radio. Positive associations there.
I had a complete set of Firearm, which I read one time and sold off. Liked it okay, but no strong feelings or memories there. I wasn’t into Cully Hamner at the time, but he grew on me over the years. I think I got into the title via The Rafferty Saga and collected backward, probably more because I’d wished I’d been able to collect all the Scourge of the Underworld tie-ins back in the day but settled for the Handbook of the Dead than because Malibu’s version was in any way exceptional. Disposable income in youth (i.e. whatever was left after rent and groceries) will land you in spots like that. Never caught the Bruce Willis riff, and it wouldn’t have helped one bit if I did.
I hated armored/tech-based characters as a kid, so Prototype was a non-starter with me. Came off as a total Iron Man rip-off when I had no use for Iron Man, either. Ugly armor, but I did think the dismemberment angle was novel (as did Geoff Johns.) I was starting to keep up with creators at this point, and took note of an editor/owner/management type writing the book, which set off alarm bells. I like corporate intrigue when it’s well done like the Profit TV series from a few years after this, but not comics’ thin, ignorant reworkings of OmniCorp as the new Nazis.
The Solution sounds like the worst. The Worst.
The only Valiant book I followed with my own money early on and long term was Shadowman, who looked great but his early adventures tended to suck. It wasn’t until Bob Hall took over that the title found its groove. Then Shadowman co-creator and author of those early stories Steve Englehart did a self-swipe analogue (an established predilection of his) with a much, much, much worse costume/look and name. Johnny Domino is the kind of name a screenwriter who never read comics would name a “comic booky” character. I saw an episode of the show that reaffirm my every prejudice regarding the character and then some.
Speaking of writers who fall so deeply in love with their own concepts that they schlep variations from publisher to publisher across years like a pathological ragman on the TLC series “IP Hoarders,” Steve Gerber’s Man-Sludge-Thing-Nevada-Duck. I wasn’t enamored with Ultraverse’s writers’ universe, but I also had problems with the line’s “look” revolving around a specific style of coloring and a stable of developing artists who were not to my taste (Hamner, Robertson, Dodson, Lopresti) and combined looked like fluorescent Tupperware to me (whereas Image looked like QVC Ginsu knives, Marvel like cracked old butter knives, and Valiant like sporks.) I think the mob killed proto-Sludge because he said he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut if anybody killed the other crooked cop, which made him an even bigger liability than the cop he was supposed to kill.
I haven’t quite finished listening to the episode, so more tomorrow…
…Whoever knows fear burns at the touch of Shag’s giant-sized man-thing. Or is it that his man-thing burns from a touch of something fearful? Is Sludge an issue?
I’m reminded that I tried and disliked the first issue of Wonder Man (my brother had bought it) by Gerard Jones and Jeff Johnson, so between that and the polybag I dismissed Solitaire without reading a single issue. However, I came to appreciate both of those creators on other books, and the description makes #1 seem especially edgy for 1994. Hell, even 2014. I suspect that I should have made this my series-length Ultraverse commitment instead of Firearm. I wish this creative team had done a Martian Manhunter book.
Having listened to the Night Man podcast, which ran about half as long as this one covering 1/6th as many books, I still really don’t want to read that book.
I’m not off my meds. I just seperate them by color and play Connect Four with my imaginary friend until someone wins and I eat all the pills used in that day’s game. Taste the Rainbow!
Tekno Comix do not get a bad rap. They have a rap sheet. Don’t do the crime if you want any aftermarket value from a nostalgia audience when you bomb out after just a couple years. Are you guys listening to the Lightning Comics Podcast? Of course you’re not, because it doesn’t exist, because there is literally no one on the planet called Earth who misses Lightning Comics, and Hellina’s right nipple (from one of her many topless variant covers) was better developed than 87% of Tekno properties.
I do my own podcasting, so I thought about which Ultraverse show I could contribute to your network, and then I remembered that I only ever read the (much wiser) creator-owned boutique line Bravura. I’ll leave you my phone number, and you guys can just call me when you’re ready for The Power & Glorycast (little known fact– the mini-series was tangentially connected to American Flagg!) Or if you expand your scope to Aircel, I might still have some of the books with the plain brown wrapper outer covers.
But seriously, I’d listen to a Genesis/Protectors podcast. Somebody get on that, huh?
I enjoyed a few of the Tekno titles. And Hellina! Wow, I was just thinking about Hellina and Everett Hartsoe’s Razor the other day.
Power & Glory set up the ‘Plex!