Published in 1985 by First Comics, this probably should have been something that I wrote about during the “Fighting the Independents” series, but it wound up being forgotten and I picked it up to read and review on its own. I guess that’s how these things go.
Anyway, this is space pirates created by Mike Grell and written by John Ostrander (in fact, my copy is signed) with pencils by Hilary Barta and inks by Mark A. Nelson (who I believe would go on to draw the first Aliens series for Dark Horse). Characters have escaped the spaceship Jolly Roger after it was commandeered are now making their way through the sewers of a city while above grown its captain and other members of the crew fight off what appear to be generic-looking bad guy soldiers (and while I’m sure that there were anonymous stormtrooper characters prior to Star Wars, I don’t think we can deny the influence that it had on other sci-fi action stories). The main bad guys scheme while watching the battle on monitor screens (as main bad guys are wont to do) but they are eventually knocked around by our sewer-faring heroes. In the end, the Jolly Roger’s crew gets their ship back and is able to take off to their next planet.
There’s also a backup story called “The Black Flame” that is written by Peter Gillis with art by Tom Sutton (of DC’s Star Trek series) and Don Lomax (who wrote the last year or so of The ‘Nam, which I am currently wrapping up in “In Country”). While the costumes and setpieces are still very much of their time, it has the feel of a more classic pirate fantasy story and involves legends/ghosts in a way that reminds me of a 1970s DC horror book.
Both stories were pretty entertaining. The main one was nicely action-packed and the backup was a tightly written backup with very solid artwork (and we all know these indie books can be hit or miss on the art). I’m not sure how often I may come across this in a back issue bin, but there are 34 issues across two companies of this series (#1-6 was published by Pacific and #7-34 were published by First) and Valiant had a miniseries in the mid-1990s, so there’s definitely something out there to collect and read.
Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?