About a month ago, I did a post about my love for the E-MAN comic and character… and my adoration for the work of Joe Staton. After writing about that, I decided to go try to buy a run of those original CHARLTON E-MAN books on eBay. I got a run of the original 10 issues. Although I already have them in my collection somewhere, as I’ve said, it would take an effort the equivalent of searching through the Amazon rain forest to find ’em, so I got a duplicate set. Most of my original copies are in a lot worse shape than the ones I just bought, so that’s another plus.

Looking through them, I was also pleasantly reminded of the fun and quirky back up stories that appeared in the book. There was a wonderful and enigmatic character called KILLJOY (I’ve always loved that name) that was created by the legendary Steve Ditko. These stories were very odd and bizarre and have a feeling (to me, anyway) or flavor of PLASTIC MAN or THE SPIRIT– only weirder. Ditko also worked on a LIBERTY BELLE backup story with writer Joe Gill. LB is more of a traditional, patriotic-styled superhero. It’s fun– but not nearly as much fun to read as KILLJOY. The crown jewel of these backup stories, though, was the ROG 2000 character by Nic Cuti and John Byrne. Anyone who’s a long-time Byrne fan knows ROG 2000 and still has a soft spot in their heart for the character. He was created during Byrne’s fanzine days, and made the jump to professional comics with Byrne. This was the beginning of some wonderful stuff from John Byrne at Charlton– books like DOOMSDAY +1 and SPACE 1999 were some of his more serious efforts at the company– but ROG 2000 was the most fun (at least for me). There are other backups in E-MAN, like Cuti and Tom Sutton on THE KNIGHT– a kind of superspy story– as well as a time travel story called TRAVIS by Cuti and Wayne Howard, who does a pretty decent Wally Wood riff. Those stories don’t appeal to me, however, as much as KILLJOY, LIBERTY BELLE and especially ROG 2000.

This is Entry 299.


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