Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Classics - Warp #1

   One of the earliest mainstream comics companies to materialize in the early '80s was (appropriately enough) First Comics, and its (ahem) first title got its start in a unique way.

   That's because Warp was based on a play!

   The original show was a series of three plays staged in Chicago, all based around comic book-based concepts (though all original). It enjoyed quite a bit of success, thanks in no small part to its originality and some design work by none other than Neal Adams.

   In 1983, First made an adaptation of the play its premiere title - and they rolled out top talent to tackle it.

   I think the selling point for me was artist Frank Brunner (who also managed the adaptation). I had become a big fan of his work after his classic run on Marvel's Dr. Strange and Howard the Duck, so I would eagerly pick up anything he worked on.

   It paid off well with this issue, as Brunner created original characters (including manly heroes and sexy heroines), dynamic layouts and powerful action sequences - it "felt" equal to his excellent Marvel work.

   The script was by Peter Gillis, another talented craftsmen who creates strong characters and sets up the plot with great efficiency.

   The only failing in the series is the concept itself, which even by the '80s was pretty well-worn material. The ancient wizard who summons a hero to stand against an evil force - but first the hero must be trained by the beautiful heroine (who happens to be a great warrior).

   But if it's all a bit familiar, it's also a lot of fun - and the art is wonderful!

   Alas, it wouldn't last. Eventually Brunner moved on and the series faded - but it was a great start!

Grade: A


1 comment:

Reno said...

I haunted a lot of back issue bins to get a complete run of this series. One of my favorites. It became a bit convoluted in the end, but the later Jerry Bingham art more than made up for it.