Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008: The Golden Age Revival

Although companies that "pick up the mantle" of public domain super-heroes is nothing new (see AC Comics and Malibu's Protectors), last year there just seemed to be a sudden boom in Golden Age revivals and re-imaginings.


Dynamite Entertainment started the year off with a bang with PROJECT SUPERPOWERS. Pulling nearly every public domain character imaginable out of obscurity and thrusting them into a world they never made. Dynamite started their own super-hero universe and continuted to build on it with mini-series featuring THE BLACK TERROR and THE DEATH DEFYING 'DEVIL (formerlly Daredevil). 2009 sees PROJECT SUPERPOWERS 2 with even more Golden Age heroes being added to the mix.


Erik Larsen at Image Comics began the NEXT ISSUE PROJECT. Picking up where many Golden Age titles had been cancelled and continuing on with their "next issue." 2008 only saw the release of one next issue, FANTASTIC COMICS #24. And although Larsen played the book up as if it were to be a continuing series, there hasn't been much talk of the next NEXT ISSUE one year later, and one doesn't appear to be on the horizon.


Marvel Comics got in on the fun as well. Mining a dozen forgotten characters from their own Golden Age history and flinging them into the present for dark murder mystery. Then even released a THE TWELVE #1/2, which featured Golden Age stories reprinting adventures of Firey Mask, Mr. E and Rockman.


Marvel Comics also team-up with PROJECT SUPERPOWERS' masterminds Jim Krueger and Alex Ross to bring some of their more well-known Golden Age heroes to the present. In a mysterious time-travel adventure, the Golden Age heroes compromising The Invaders are flung into the future; causing a confrontation with not only current Marvel Heroes, but also their contemporary selves!


Over at Drunk Duck (a free Webcomics community), writer Jason Derr and artist Simon S. Andrews began a re-imaged revival of the Fletcher Hanks' character STARDUST. While completely different from the original, it still had it's own sense of bizarre. Unfortunately, after only 5 pages, there have been no further updates. It appears that Derr and Andrews have (pardon the expression)... given up the duck!
Drunk Duck


Dark Horse Comics took a different route. Rather than present new-re-imagined heroes, they simply re-presented the original tales. Using a high-quality format, similar the the DC Comics Archives, they began reprinting GREEN LAMA's self-titled series in it's entirety.
Dark Horse Comics


  1. Yes, it's been exciting (to me at least) to see so many of these great characters come back or be reimagined. And while I'm not really a fan of the way so many writers like to make the old characters *grim and gritty*, by and large, I've enjoyed both Superpowers Project and The Twelve. Superpowers Project especially is good if you get in the collected edition, where Dynamite has done a great job putting in all the extras!

    Great post Tony!

  2. Thanks Jim!

    I'd been thinking about picking up the Superpowers collection. Now maybe I'll have to go and do it!

  3. I did just pick up the trade hardback of Project Superpowers. Haven't had a chance to read through it yet, though. :-(

  4. I didn't know about the Green Lama collection!
    thanks for the tip!
    Here's my custom Black Terror action figure:
    Mego should've made this one!

  5. Loved me some Project Superpowers (it was my best series of 2008). I hadn't heard of the Twelve, though.... is it finished? I know Avengers/Invaders isn't finished yet, and I like to read these things in one swoop.

  6. The Twelve still has 3 issues to go, I think. A hardcover collecting the first 6 issues came out a couple months ago.

  7. Actually, the second collection of the Green Lama is also out, which completes the 8-issue run of the series.

  8. Looking forward to the trade paperback of THE TWELVE...I guess that will be out in 2011 sometime, huh? :)

  9. I really really Hate The Twelve. More of the same depressing crap from Marvel. House of Ideas my ASS! I was excited about Superpowers but so far I am unimpressed by the majority of it. The story and characters are just NOT engaging. Doesn't anyone know how to tell a story anymore? I did love all the Alex Ross charcter pages though.