Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Classics - Warrior #1

There are comic books in my collection that stick out in my mind - I could tell you exactly where I bought them: which newsstand I bought Thor #188; the drugstore where I found New Gods #2; the convention where I picked up Aztek #10.

But there are other comics I own that I don't remember buying - or at least I can't remember where they came from.

This issue of the British magazine Warrior is a good example. Published in 1982, it's a black-and-white anthology comic that made history - but where did I get it? I have several issues of Warrior in my collection. Did I buy them from the (excellent) mail order service Westfield Comics? Did I pick it up at a convention, or my local comics shop? Is this a reprint of the original series, or from the original run? No idea.

But I'm glad to have them! The issue includes the historic first (re)appearance of Marvelman by Alan Moore and Garry Leach. (When Eclipse brought the comic over to America, they changed the title to Miracleman to avoid clashes with Marvel.) It's an outstanding short story, and brings the comical hero over to the "real" world.

The other landmark is the first chapter in the V for Vendetta series by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The story was adapted into a film and the mask designed by Lloyd has shown up recently as a symbol in the "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

Those are the standouts, but the book is loaded with great stories and art. Pedro Henry and Steve Dillon create another old favorite, Laser Eraser & Pressbutton, about a murderous duo - a beautiful woman and a strange cyborg.

There are additional stories by Steve Moore and Steve Parkhouse, and art by Parkhouse, Dave Gibbons and John Bolton - a killer lineup!

Simply an outstanding magazine, and it's sad that (as far as I know), only the V for Vendetta story is easily available. You might be able to track down the Laser Eraser stories that were reprinted by Eclipse (and others).

The Marvelman stories may not be long in coming - Marvel Comics finally secured the rights from Mick Anglo, the creator of the character. The stories are dark, intense and well worth tracking down (although the eBay prices are extreme).

Or you could check your collection - maybe Warrior will show up by surprise in your collection, too.

Grade: A


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