Monday, July 11, 2011

Retro-View: Fantastic Comics #24 (Image)

On the surface this comic may not appear to have collected enough dust to qualify as "retro", but looking past its fairly recent publication will reveal a clear sheen of 1940's magic.

In February 2008, Image Comics released the first one-shot in a proposed anthology series known as “The Next Issue Project”, spearheaded by Images own Erik Larsen. The premise being that Image would take established golden age comic book characters that had fallen into the public domain and continue their original series with the same numbering as the last time they had been seen decades earlier.

First out of the gate was Fantastic Comics #24, originally published by Fox Feature Syndicate, and featuring the work of Larsen himself on the lead story starring Samson; plus Flip Falcon by Joe Casey and Bill Sienkiewicz, Golden Knight by Thomas Yates and Bryan Rutherford, Yank Wilson by Andy Kuhn, Space Smith by Tom Scioli, Captain Kidd by Jim Rugg, Professor Fiend by Fred Hembeck, Sub Saunders illustrated by Ashley Wood, Stardust the Super Wizard by Joe Keatinge and Mike Allred, and an original prose piece featuring Carlton Riggs by B. Clayton Moore with Jason Latour.

Beyond simply continuing the name and numbering of each classic golden age title used, Fantastic Comics #24 adopted a similar physical size and page count that mirrored the original books era, both larger than a currently published comic.

I didn’t purchase this book when it came out a few years ago, but I really enjoyed it when I picked it up recently off of eBay. The only strip that “felt” out of sync with the original golden age era was Ashley Wood’s offering. A second “Next Issue Project” one-shot continuing from Lev Gleason Publications' Silver Streak Comics, was released in December, 2009, and a third volume is still pending. If you want something that’s a bit out of the norm, but steeped in good comics of old, then seek this book out.


Mike D. said...

who is the guy on the cover..Atlas>? Samson?

Mike D. said...

never mind...disregard both's Samson