For this special Thanksgiving edition of Heroes and Villains, we’ll be doing things a bit differently, and looking at comics currently on Kickstarter in a way of giving thanks to friends in the field who will give thanks if you give. Meet me after the jump for some thoughts on The Atomic Thunderbolt, Super!, Lazarus the Forever Man, Squirt: Heroes Come in All Sizes, and more… check it out!
I’ve talked about Kevin Powers before, and his amazing project Patriot-1, but when we at Nerdfect Strangers interviewed him a little over a year ago it was another project that really caught my interest – the Atomic Thunderbolt. This is a revival of a real classic Golden Age character, albeit obscure and lasting only one issue back in the day, but returned to greatness with new adventures.
I love these kind of stories, but the problem is usually when the characters are revived, the modern day world is not so nice any more. We have seen it so many times before, public domain heroes in the grim and gritty world of today, from The Twelve to Super Powers to Doc Strange to Captain Midnight, it is rarely what we really want to see, and is usually a disservice to those great old characters. Kevin Powers has done something different with the Atomic Thunderbolt. This is a real hero, and one in the traditions of the Golden Age, even when confronted with modern writing and art, the Atomic Thunderbolt remains unchanged, and I dig it.
Last year Powers, along with artist Matt Gaudio and colorist Donna Gregory produced a new Atomic Thunderbolt #1 through Kickstarter, telling the tale of government agents seeking out the hero after World War II to ask for his help in rounding up the last of the Nazis. The story had heroics, charm, mystery, and a real Golden Age feel. Included in the comic was the original appearance of this superhero so one could contrast and compare, yeah, they got it right, and I loved it. Obviously I’m not the only one who wanted to see more as now there is a Kickstarter running to produce a second issue, check it out here. This is a winner.
I met writer Justin Piatt and artist Zachary Dolan several years running at the Camden Comic Con as part of The GAR! Podcast. While Piatt has moved away from the company, Unlikely Heroes Studios is still an amazing comics publisher that just finished a Kickstarter for their new post-apocalyptic series The Surgeon, which was covered by friend and fellow Biff Bam Popper Eric Henson right here. While I agree that The Surgeon is pretty awesome, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Super!.
Super! is a slowly building superhero universe from the mind of creator Zachary Dolan, and just as the Atomic Thunderbolt above conjures the Golden Age, the characters of Super! represent some of the best and most fun of the Silver and Bronze Ages. I almost immediately fell in love with heroes like Blitz and the Furious Fire-Ant, with their retro-vibe and Marvel Age style. This is a great comic, period. You can purchase Super! right here, and I hope we get more soon from Unlikely Heroes Studios. You can also support them at Patreon. In the meantime, definitely check these great comics out.
I have talked about the work of Julian Darius before here at Biff Bam Pop!. Not only is he an author at Sequart, but he is also the founder and publisher of the organization, and we’ve talked about the comics scholar’s own Martian Comics a few times, and at least once on Kickstarter here. These comics are among the great science fiction comics being done in the last decade or so with a cool retro feeling of old traditional scifi, it’s great stuff. Currently Darius is running a Kickstarter for his latest book Lazarus the Forever Man #1, a massive volume that spins out of his Martian Comics universe. Imagine the Biblical Lazarus raised from the dead once more, but by Martian Jesus, wow. There are some awesome pledge rewards on this one, check out the Kickstarter here.
Friend of The GAR! Podcast Mark Poulton, best known for Koni Waves, A Cat Named Haiku, and Savage Hawkman, has a new project on Kickstarter right now as well, it’s called Squirt: Heroes Come in All Sizes. It’s an 88-page teen comedy graphic novel written by Poulton and illustrated by Mark Yoon, superhero action for teens with a mix of manga and sentai and an anti-bullying message. From the pages I’ve seen this one is a lot of fun for all ages and worth the support. You can check out the Kickstarter right here, check it out.
As long as we’re on the subject, there’s still time to support the Kickstarter of The Space Heists of Vyvy and Qwerty that I talked about last time, and you can always help out my friend Chris Wisnia on his Patreon for Doris Danger. For the folks still going to the comic shop instead of watching football or eating turkey this holiday, there’s the return of the Watchmen in Doomsday Clock, you can meet Wonder Woman’s twin brother Jason in her title, and Doctor Radar debuts from Titan Comics. Enjoy the holidays, I’ll be back next week!