POWER COMICS

TITLE: DEMON’S BLOOD #1 (1987)
PUBLISHER: ODYSSEY PUBLISHING
ART BY: CHRIST SHORT, STORY BY: JEFF BENNETT
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A dark shadowy figure roams the streets in search of demon possessed human flesh and finds it gurgling deep within a hopeless salary man. A ghastly transformation occurs, a behemoth serpent emerges tongue-first from within its victim’s mouth. A flinging pair of retractable blades pierce through the horror’s astral form courtesy of Ravage, Demon Hunter. With his 18 year-old female counterpart Scavenger, he proceeds to a forest clearing where a group of satanic worshipers plan a moonlight sacrifice. This must be stopped. The equally frustrated creators bookend this issue with a bitter prologue and epilogue half apologizing for hindrances and condemning the then independent comic trends. -EH

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: 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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AFTER APOCALYPSE #1 (1987)
PUBLISHER: PARAGRAPHICS
STORY BY: CLIFF BIGGERS, ART BY: MARK BAGLEY & DAVE JOHNSON
B/W
COVER 4.5/5
ART 4/5
STORY 4/5
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FLICKR

A nuclear war has hurdled the United States into a post-apocalyptic dark age. Hideously deformed victims of radiation roam the streets in search of sustenance. A nameless motorcyclist rides into a bombed-out ghost town on the outskirts of the desert to locate a secret cache of heavy-duty artillery. He radios central command for an immediate EVAC. The weakened, desperate local savages greet the armored transport with explosive hostility and suspicion - will our heroes escape alive? Includes the bonus post-apocalyptic side-story “Unwelcome Visitor.” -EH

Happy 2012…if there is one!

MACABRE (1988)
ISSUE: #2
PUBLISHER: LIGHTHOUSE PUBLICATIONS
STORY & ART BY: ANGELO DeCICCO & JOHN RIGITANO
COVER 4/5
ART 3/5
STORY 4/5
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FLICKR

In “Twinkle, Twinkle Brightest Moon,” six convicted murderers escape confinement in a hijacked space craft and land on planet Sar seeking tranquility and salvation. The local inhabitants seem hospitable at first, but after the ex-cons discover a series of foreboding relics depicting anthropomorphic wolf creatures deep within an ancient monument, they begin to suspect the natives’ horrifying, shape-shifting intentions. A mind-altering insect infects a well-to-do family man in “Lend Me Your Ears,” degenerating him into a domestic homicidal maniac. Despite some often hilarious crude artwork, the Canadian published Macabre #2 features two inspired fantastical one-off stories. -EH

BLACKMOON
ISSUE: #1
YEAR: 1986
PUBLISHER: US COMICS
STORY & ART BY: JAMES CHALLETT
B/W
COVER 4/5
ART 3.5/5
STORY 4/5
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FLICKR

A Soviet nuclear attack on the US obliterates everything in an instant. Stationed deep within Mount Fuji is American scientist/ex-espionage agent Frank Johnson who is determined to restore his home country. After finalizing his experimental time-displacement wristwatch, Frank suits up as silent assassin “Blackmoon,” and travels back through time to prevent the apocalypse. His target: greedy political tyrant Monroe - the man responsible for the annihilation. Stealthy air duct maneuvering, laser torches, flash bombs and a silenced machine gun bring Blackmoon face to face with his target - can the future be changed forever with a bullet? -EH