POWER COMICS

TITLE: VIKON [MAGAZINE] (1982)
PUBLISHER: PLATINUM CANYON PUBLICATION
ART BY: KEN LANDGRAF, CHARACTER DESIGN: KEVIN JOHNSON, LYRICS BY: MIKE APPEL

Drawn with great authority by ’80s independent titan Ken Landgraf (New York City Outlaws, Starfighters), this intergalactic, dimension crossing tale is a full-blown heavy metal concept comic-opera with mostly all its dialog presented in lyric form. One should have the melodies of Manowar or the mighty Candlemass in mind while reading for maximum results. By order of King Kronos, four elite commandos sheathed in leather and spikes must seize the xenon arc death-ray and a stolen crystal-powered chariot from the Dark Prince Belial. -EH

TITLE: GROUND ZERO #1 (1986)
PUBLISHER: ALTERNATE CONCEPTS INC.
STORY BY: DEAN WATTS, ART BY: JOHN LAUCK
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Initially conceived to be central Michigan’s definitive bi-never-ly comic fanzine, the xeroxed Ground Zero was expanded by its co-creator to include original works of hurried hero fiction. Amidst contributed columns rambling frustrations with Superman’s then creative team and various Dr. Who conspiracies lies the all too enthusiastic beginnings of “Meteorman.” A meteoric explosion levels a museum janitor leaving fragments embedded in his skull plate causing a supernatural transformation. Also included in the issue is “The Many Loves Of Cel The Barbarian,” an emotional piece in prose, a nonsensical 1-pager called “Slippery Bob,” an advert for future Alternate Concepts works that may have never been made (each equally salivating), and back page stats for “Puke Man™” whose weaponry includes “two twin tanks filled with a food mixture of hardening fluid - when released [it] quickly solidifies around the victim.” –EH

TITLE: THE ADVENTURES OF B.O.C. #1 (1985)
PUBLISHER: INVASION COMICS
STORY BY: THOMAS PERRY, JAMES PUSTORINO, PAUL MARTIN, ART: J. PUSTORINO
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In another dimension lies a great universe with one great being giving life to all. Within the realm is a rebellious force: the B.O.C., (unfortunately not Blue Öyster Cult), who have been banished to Raybellon, a netherworld plagued by darkness. Now slaves of the Dark Force, our heroes like sleepers awakened, must destroy the evil Citadel and prepare to take siege of the city for their new stronghold. The aggressively ADHD artwork presented here, which seems blissfully hindered thanks to a feverish, basement Mountain Dew binge, adds to the constructed off-world madness. We may struggle to find a power comic that wields more actual power than this one. -EH

TITLE: THÔRR-SVERD: THE SWORD OF THOR #3 (1987)
PUBLISHER: VINCENT CREATIONS
ART BY: JEFF & JOHN VINCENT
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The inhabitants of Ginnungagap are preparing for their first disruption of peace in over a century. Norse ruler Odin is deeply troubled as war with the Uetirian fleet is imminent. And just when all hope seems totally lost, he is comforted by the knowledge that his empire’s greatest defender has returned, his son Thor. The Vincent brothers have taken this familiar mythology and injected their own quaaluded style set on a stoic medieval PlayMobile™ stage. Flip over to the back-cover for a wondrous but frustrated portrait of the kingdom’s fleshy-veined, burnt-hair, yogurt-filled mute. -EH

TITLE: MARCO THE METAMORPHIC MANATEE (1991)
PUBLISHER: VIPER STUDIOS
ART & STORY BY: TONY PIVER
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In VENGEANCE, the first issue of what is arguably the most mysterious power comic find to date, we are introduced to Marco, a shape-shifting manatee with super strength, incredible speed, slightly above average intelligence and supreme aquatic agility. Marco breaks out of a top security area and is followed in hot pursuit by the mysterious “special govt. lab security team”. Retreating to the ocean in search of his family, Marco discovers they have been brutally killed - murdered - by a reckless speedboat. A fate ”..tragic, but not unusual in the world of the manatee.” Marco swears revenge and upon finding the killer’s boat he unwittingly exposes a massive cocaine trafficking operation! Now with double justifiable urges to kill, the manatee engages in a epic shootout between the “high-grade nose candy” dealers, their sketchy buyers, FBI agents and the genetic lab security ending with triumphant Marco graphically murdering his parents’ killer with a boat propeller. -GD

TITLE: GOLDEN DRAGON (1987)
PUBLISHER: SYNCHRONICITY COMICS
ART & STORY BY: MICHAEL A. MARTIN
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According to the book’s creators, the origin of the hero in Golden Dragon emerged from a lucrative, 3 year long “Villains and Vigilantes” role-playing campaign. Ex-military war hero Randall Gold saves the life of an atrophied Chinese kung-fu master from a pack of vicious punkers and becomes his devoted pupil. After rigorous training and a mystical inner-personal journey, Gold is ready for his final challenge, which lies within the dragon realm. He must possess the ways of the grey dragon (the balance between good & evil) and slay the BLACK DRAGON! Awakening from his astral journey, Gold finds his aging mentor missing and heads to San Francisco to transplant his brain into an android shell while his body is suspended in a cryogenic state. Reborn a cybernetic organism, Gold sets out to find his target. -EH

TITLE: BARBARIC TALES #2 (1986)
PUBLISHER: PYRAMID COMICS
ART BY: RAGNE NAESS, BRAD MOORE & JOE CASE
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This tryptic of episodic sci-fi/fantasy character pieces rages out of the gate with ”ESCAPE FROM THE CITY” featuring Ragne Ness’ jaw-dropping illustrations. What follows is 8-pages of meticulous perfection featuring the mohawk muscler Damlog - a fugitive of the future with the Woblac Police on his tale - who was subject of his own Pyramid Comics one-shot. ”SPARTAN - DEVASTATOR REX” follows a inter-dimensional barbarian which adds a clunky mid-section to the book with zzzzz-inducing artwork. The closing story “AKLON - LAST OF THE BLUE TREE ELVES” about an abandoned elf turned champion deity rounds out the book with some head-scratchingly frustrated art. -EH

SHADOW WARRIOR (1988)
PUBLISHER: GATEWAY COMICS
STORY & ART BY: TERRY KROCK, ART BY: BART CIANCONE, DENNIS ROY, BOB CALDWELL, BOB TURNER
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ILIAD II (1986)
PUBLISHER: MICMAC COMICS |
STORY: RONALD MACVICAR, ART: MICHAEL MACVICAR
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In a distant universe parallel to Earth’s, the powerful and great Murnian gods reign on planet Murn. For an unholy sacrifice to the Demons of Malice, evil shape-shifting centaur/goblin god Zadrog decapitates the head of the Murn King’s son and displays it pierced through a crimson spike for all to see. The Murnians are unable to commence a vengeful retaliation as both sides possess the same number of worshippers - their powers are equal. Desperate, the Murn King travels to the “Bear Claw of Vanashu,” to find a new son named Bullon to attack and prevail against the evil. Brought to you by the MacVicar family (President John, Vice-President Ronald and Treasurer Michael). -EH

JONTAR RETURNS (1990)
PUBLISHER: MILLER PUBLISHING CO. 
STORY: BILL W. MILLER, ART & LETTERING BY: THOMAS TARPEY
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In this reboot of Bill W. Miller’s JONTAR (1986) series, a new perverse re-imaging of the leather-clad/sword-wielding elven incarnate is hastily concocted. Young street thug Jontar beats homeless people to death for sport until he discovers his last victim was his widowed mother whom he never met. Guilt-ridden, Jontar turns himself into the police. His wacko cellmate speaks of a another dimention (not my spelling) called “Temple Island” where Jontar is soon transported and rigorous monster-slaying training at the hands of a mystical Elf Lord awaits. -EH