Of course, there are plenty – and I mean plenty – of great comic books that have been produced over the last thirty-plus years. It’s the time frame that gave us the rise of the graphic novel and brought indie comics to the mainstream. During that time, comic books as an art form, broke the shackles of their adolescence and became grown-up, mature, more adult mainstays of literature.
But when I reach deep into the longbox backbins of history, it’s the dusty, forever yellowing bronze-age comics that I hold tightly to, wide-eyed with a smile on my face.
Maybe it’s my age. I grew up and started reading comic books at the tail-end of the aforementioned bronze-age, which historically ran through the 1970’s and into the mid 1980’s. The early 80’s was an exciting time to be a kid on the cusp of becoming a teenager, excitedly tripping through a comic book shop and diving deep into the back issues of Swamp Thing, Star Trek, Jonah Hex, Silver Surfer, Batman, Rom, Atari Force and, if I was lucky enough to look older than I actually was, issues of Epic Illustrated magazine.
A weirdly notable highlight of the bronze-age of comics was the short-lived DC Comics series called First Issue Special. That particular monthly series ran for thirteen issues, each issue highlighting a self-contained story with, generally, a single, obscure DC Comics character. It was a way for the publisher to release cast-off tales that would otherwise not see print. Perhaps one would stick with audiences, bringing some popularity to a creation. Perhaps.
Well, that never really happened. Not with any real and meaningful longevity, anyway. Still, it’s that series that, nearly a half century later, has inspired the brand-new Danger Street.
Danger Street is a twelve-issue miniseries written by the award-winning and fan-favourite Tom King (Omega Men, Mister Miracle, Batman, Rorschach, Human Target), who is accompanied, again, by extraordinary artist Jorge Fornes (Rorschach). Deriving inspiration from the characters that filled the pages of First Issue Special, Danger Street gifts eager readers with dozens of obscure protagonists, including some stalwart and well-known DC heroes and villains, with individual storylines, while still tying everything together with a beautiful big narrative bow. It’s a hard ask of King and Fornes, for certain, who are encouraging readers to follow the exploits of z-list characters like Lady Cop, Atlas, Green Team, Outsiders and Dingbats of Danger Street, sprinkled with c-listers like Creeper, Metamorpho and Warlord.
The first issue of Danger Street sees Starman, Metamorpho and Warlord prove their worth to the Justice League. To do that, they attempt to summon and defeat the greatest villain in the DC Universe – Darkseid. Folly, for sure. What transpires is a crisis that only c-list and z-list characters can ever hope to contain. And that makes for wonderfully unexpected, strangely funny and a wholly entertaining story for old fans of the bronze-age alongside new and curious, early twenty-first century, comic book readers.
King has always taken chances with his writing, especially in bringing obscure characters to the fore. In truth, he doesn’t always stick the landing with his humanistic, emotional, and eccentric tales, but the journey in which he takes readers is always a fascinating and worthwhile one.
Be part of the fun and excitement! Follow the traffic directions to your local comic book shop and cross over to Danger Street #1 today!