Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Comet #1 - Comics From The Basement

Hello Dwellers and Welcome to COMICS FROM THE BASEMENT!

So people are still mad at me for being in favor of the Star Trek Fan Film guidelines… but hey, it could be worst, at least I’m not talking about the fact that every four years America because a bunch of lemmings… and I’m not talking about watching the Summer Olympics… but to hell with that… lets talk about comics book heroes of the lower tier...

There are many different Superheroes in the world of comics, but only a few really enter into pop culture and become icons, from Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman… to Captain American, Iron Man and Spider-Man… there is certainly a certainly a glass ceiling that is impossible to crack… and many Superheroes while creative and unique in their own ways who just end up on the sidelines … some of these characters would not be seen for decades if at all until someone remembers them and decides to do something with them. Hell at best they end up in the back ground or in a random group image for no apparent reason, or at worst, used to enhance the body count of an event comic just because ‘no one cares’.

Which brings us DC Comic’s ‘Impact Comics’ inprint. Impact Comics was an in-house label for DC to use characters licensed from Archie Comics, these included severial characters from the Golden and Silver age of comics… with the intent to aim these characters at younger readers, some of the heroes include The Shield, The Fly and of course the star of this week’s comic, The Comet.

The original Comet was created by Jack Cole, who is best known for creating Plastic Man and the Betsy and Me comic strip. Orignally debuting in Pep #1 which was published by MLJ Magazines (which would later become Archie Comics) in 1940, a young scientist John Dickering discovered a gas fifty times lighter than hydrogen which he injected into his bloodstream which gave him the ability to make giant leaps through the character, shoot twin disintegration beams from his eyes… the character would be shelved in 1941 and revived in the 1960s and then again in the 1980s… until DC Comics licensed the character and others from Archie for their ‘Impact Comics’ imprint in 1991…

So history lesson over lets get to this week’s comic, The Comet #1… and outside of the name, and power similarities (ability to fry and shoot beams from his hands)… it’s very much a new character. In this comic we are introduced to Rob Conners, who narrates his adventures in a past-tense perspective, so it reads like his memoirs. It starts off with him stopping a robbery of a University Computer lab, while at the same time a stalker / serial killer named Applejack has struck again and there is a letter, writing on the victims flesh, to his girlfriend, a reported named Victoria Johnson…

Then it switches to tell an origin story, telling a possibility of The Comet’s origins, we learn that Rob is the son of two scientists, and all the wanted to do was play Baseball… as he returns from a supply run, he finds out his parents are missing from their Alaskan lab complex, and everything looks like has been abandoned and unattended too for weeks… except he was only gone for half a day… or at least he thinks it was half a day… checking an antenna tower, Rob ends up getting pinned beneath it because it has been weaken to the point of insability… things look bleak, but then he discovers he has powers!

After not getting any help from the military, Rob returns home to get some support from Victoria… but it turns out it’s been 10 weeks since she last heard from him, even though he wrote every week. The difference in time is not explain in this issue, but you can see it’s a plot point. He learns about Applejack and determines that since he has the power, he should do something about it. After some convincing, Victoria lends her support, and together they create the Comet name and costume… which leads to the beginning of this issue.

We see Victoria asleep and Applejack sneek into her bedroom to leave a note for her, and we learn that he killed the police officers who were stationed at her home, and being a reporter, she goes on the air, calling the man a menace...and the comic ends with us seeing Applejack… looking very much like one would describe Jack The Ripper… and him declaring that now has to punish Victoria because she’s afraid of him!

This comic is… pretty damn good in my opinion… it relaunched a hero from the golden era in then modern times, gave enough of the origin to get to know the hero while also being told in a very different approach. Most comics are told in the ‘in the moment’, but not from a retrospective point of view, which makes this stand out. The artwork, despite being from the early 90s, is pretty detailed and not over the top in anyway… which is probably helped thanks to the fact that The Comet was a character from the 1940s, and characters from that era are generally treated with more respect with how they are drawn than say characters who came along in the 1970s and 80s, or at least that is how it seems to me.

So I say this track it down, and I know you can find it at and there is a chance you can issues on the re-sellers market on eBay, probably won’t be able to find it on, and for sure you won’t find it on, due to the issue being published by DC but it’s an Archie character, as I’ve found nothing under the Impact Comics label on that site.

Next week… how about something that involves a girl… and a freaking tank…

Till then my friends, and you are my friends… have a good one!

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