Sunday, November 27, 2016

MISC. MANGA, *Danger Girls

No relation to the Danger Girl(singular)title that would later come out through Wildstorm, Danger Girls(plural)was a series that only lasted two issues from the independent manga-styled 90s publisher, AniMagic Ltd. Written by Chris Troutt and Gregory Lane, the two had also produced another anime-styled comic, Mecharider, and the Thundercats-inspired Kimber-Prince Of Feylons for Antarctic Press. Gregory Lane also worked on some Robotech comics, and Robo Dojo with Marv Wolfman. This particular comic was heavily influenced(if not blatantly ripping off)by the Dirty Pair anime, on Earth in a less distant future.

JoJo and Kim are part of a secret group called Project Z, and are given the classification of "Danger Girls". The D.G.s are hired by a strange fellow named Mr. E, who is really part of a race of aliens that all resemble Elvis Presley that crashed on Earth in the 1920s, and have tried to assimilate themselves into human civilization as peacefully as possible. But a rogue group of these alien Elvises brock off, and tried to take over the bodies of those in political power by basically teleporting themselves into the bodies of their intended victims. The Danger Girls are normally selected due to their genetic resistance to being possessed by the rogue Elvis clones, and fight the ones that go wrong in their attempts to take over which are mutated abominations known as morphs. One of these morphs turns out to be a Danger Girl on a space station that was planning on quitting Project X, and soon infects the entire satellite with the Elvis virus. JoJo and Kim manages to stop the outbreak, but the possessed Danger Girl ends up escaping and heading to Earth with our heroic duo in hot pursuit.

Since the series intended to be ongoing, it ended on a cliffhanger in the second issue, making it slightly disappointing. Like a lot of manga-styled 90s indy comics, this one got slightly lost in all the "bad girl" titles that were also coming out at the same time. But it is very nostalgic for those who dug fan service-filled romps from the Golden Age of anime!

R.I.P. Tammy Grimes

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

MISC. MANGA, *The Double Life Of Miranda Turner

This series premiered on Comixology through Monkeybrain Comics(who also helped create The Venture Bros.)has been collected into a trade paperback by Image Comics. It takes the classic Golden Age heroine Black Cat and reinvents it as a modern day anime-styled supernatural-meets-superheroes comic.

Miranda Turner is a model that has taken up the mantle of the masked crimefighter, The Cat, after her sister Lindy who was the former Cat was murdered. The problem is that the magical necklace that gave Lindy her superpowers went missing, supposedly taken by whoever killed her. Miranda has plenty of moxie and fighting skills, but her crimebusting adventures are aided by Lindy's ghost who still parades around in her slinky supersuit. The new Cat investigations lead her to a murderous make up artist, and a quartet of demons, all while trying to steer clear of Lindy's old superhero crew, The Guild.

This comic works as an homage to old pulp comics of the 40s, while mixing in modern day superhero comic sensibilities. Fans of Deadman, Blue Beetle, and The Incredibles should get a kick out of it!

That moment you realize there's going to be a robot Trump in the Hall of Presidents

Saturday, November 5, 2016

MISC. MANGA, *Emeraldas

Unlike the current American reprint of the original 70s manga, Emeraldas was a comic book mini-series spinoff of the Captain Harlock line by Eternity Comics in the 80s. As part of Malibu Graphics, Eternity had adapted other anime and manga titles for an original American publications, such as Lensman and Robotech. This was a self-contained story that takes place in the Captain Harlock U.S. comics.

Pirate Queen Emeraldas flies her space zeppelin to the world of Eden, and rescues the runaway Miantir, who is going back to her scientist father that terraformed the planet which is currently being becoming less and less inhabitable do to their engines breaking down. Aside from having to contend with rival pirates, and the possibility of being captured by the Illumidas race who control the Earth, Emeraldas must conflict with her own scorn towards men, while learning to trust others in return.

Even if you hadn't read any of the American Captain Harlock comics, or the original Japanese source material by Leiji Matsumoto, Emeraldas does stand on its own as a decent space opera. It was written by Eternity Comics regular Robert W. Gibson, and drawn by Ninja High School creator Ben Dunn along with Tim Eldred. There is currently no collected trade paperback of this particular comic, and hard to say if Marvel still owns the rights to it when they bought out Malibu in the mid-90s, but still worth tracking down for a look in your local bargain bin.

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