Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Case Files #25: X

"I hope you didn't need that window!"
“I hope you didn’t need that window!”

Last week I covered Night Man, a hero from the now defunct Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse line.  Malibu was hardly the only comic publisher to try out a superhero line in the mid 90s.  Dark Horse got involved with something they called “Comics Greatest World”.  At a time when a single issue would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.25, Dark Horse offered weekly introductory comics for $1.  Each week for four months, there would be a new issue continuing the storyline in one of four fictional cities, namely Arcadia, Golden City, Steel Harbor, and Cinnibar Flats.  The last of those locations was where a mysterious Vortex had opened up after an alien scientist was caught doing advanced experiments in a place that humans were conducting simultaneous atomic bomb tests (oops).  The Vortex caused weird mutations and eventually superpowers for select individuals.  Now, granted, these $1 comics tended to be shorter than most comics, and when the regular line started for some of the featured characters, the prices went up, but as an introductory offer it was a good idea.

At any rate, each city had its own feel and distinctive characters.  Golden City, run by the superhuman Grace, the most powerful human hero on Earth (and a woman, Jenny), was a veritable utopia of advanced science.  Steel Harbor was a down-on-its luck blue color city with an industrial feel.  Its best known resident was a woman named Barb Wire that appeared in a movie played by Pamela Anderson.  Cinnibar Flats had sci-fi weirdness going on.  And Arcadia, the first city featured, was a festering cesspool of corruption on every level.  This place made Gotham City look like Disneyworld.

That was where the man called X decided to call the shots.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Case Files #25: X

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Case Files #24: Night Man

"I am the Terror that Flaps  in the Night...wait, no, I'm not!"
“I am the Terror that Flaps in the Night…wait, no, I’m not!”

While DC and Marvel are the best known of the different superhero producers, they haven’t been the only ones.  In 1993, Malibu Comics attempted a superhero line of its own.  Called the “Ultraverse,” the books featured a series of characters called “Ultras” who did the superhero thing.  There was a Hollywood Superman type called Hardcase, a kid who grew a giant muscled body in some sort of gooey version of Captain Marvel called Prime, and a superhero team made up of seven strangers who were all riding a San Francisco trolley when a mysterious energy beam gave everybody onboard superpowers.  That team was called The Strangers.

The most popular of the bunch was arguably Night Man.

Continue reading Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Case Files #24: Night Man