Tag Archives: Comic Books


Rekt PlanetWhat the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were to the 20th Century, CyberFrog has been to the 21st Century! Rekt Planet, the next installment of Ethan Van Sciver’s CyberFrog saga is now available.

Comic book legend Ethan Van Sciver continues blazing new trails in Independent comics. As the Van Sciverization of the world scorches along unabated Ethan has proven once again to be Mozart, with only a few jealous Salieres denying his genius.

Be there to help take back the planet as CyberFrog, his gal-pal Heather Swain and their ally Salamandroid continue battling giant alien wasps and other menaces on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


For this superhero-crazed world Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of B.C. Boyer’s neglected 1980s superhero the Masked Man. For Part One click HERE 

Masked Man signing autographsECLIPSE MONTHLY Vol 1 #2 (September 1983)

Title: Herbie

Villain: The enigmatic crimelord known only as “Frankie.”

Synopsis: A mentally challenged street informant named Herbie gets caught in the middle of the feud between our favorite masked vigilante and his archenemy, who is part Professor Moriarty, part Kingpin and part Octopus from The Spirit.

This fourth Masked Man story, written AND drawn by B.C. Boyer, featured the return of the hero’s mysterious crimelord nemesis known only as “Frankie” on the streets. The former boxer worked and killed his way to the top of one of the Five Families and he’s determined to stop the Masked Man’s interference with his criminal empire.

(I’d be obliged if anyone could tell me if Boyer named the crimelord “Frankie” as a shoutout to Frank Miller, who by 1983 was two years into his legendary run on Daredevil. The Masked Man’s adventures have a certain air of urban danger that often reminds me of Miller’s work. And Miller DID do some free-lance artwork for Eclipse Comics in the early 80s.)

Masked Man 2 panelsIn this issue of Eclipse Monthly, the Masked Man (Dick Carstairs) once again shared the large book with stories featuring Steve Ditko’s superhero Static and other Eclipse characters. Our hero’s friend, newspaper reporter Barney McAlister relates another of the superhero’s adventures, like Watson did with Sherlock Holmes.

Running low on leads regarding the next big cocaine shipment rumored to be hitting town soon, the Masked Man sought information from 28 year old Herbie Wilcox, a big, blonde, mentally challenged inner-city figure with a Rain Man ability to pick up on the criminal meaning of conversations taking place around him on the street. After all, why watch your mouth around such an obvious non-threat, the criminal element apparently feels.   Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of B.C. Boyer’s neglected 1980s superhero the Masked Man. For Part One click HERE  

Eclipse Monthly 1ECLIPSE MONTHLY Vol 1 #1 (August 1983)

Title: The Bank Robbery

Villains: The Incognito Gang

Note: With so many other sites covering the way the BBC has decided that the Doctor “was born a poor black child” as Steve Martin once said, I am instead proceeding with this series of reviews.  

Synopsis: This 3rd Masked Man adventure was one of 5 features in the debut issue of Eclipse Monthly. B.C. Boyer’s massively underrated hero shared the gigantic magazine with the legendary Steve Ditko’s superhero called Static, Doug Wildey’s iconic gunslinger Rio and others.

The Masked Man (Dick Carstairs) wound up being the most popular character in the monthly publication and eventually graduated to his own solo series. As always, Boyer wrote AND drew the story.  

Masked Man faceThe Bank Robbery opens with a little boy named Delbert being scorned and bullied by a bunch of other boys his age. They look down their noses at Delbert until, in a desperate bid for acceptance, he tells them he “helped” the Masked Man stop a bank robbery the previous week.

We learn that the boy’s father is dead and his financially struggling mother picked him up after school the previous Friday and then took him to the bank to cash her paycheck. While she was at the counter doing just that, the six-man Incognito Gang entered, guns drawn, to rob the bank.

Each of the gang members wore colorful masks fitting for supervillains in a comic book, except for one, who wore a Groucho Marx mask. Boyer’s fun ability to blend action, dark urban danger and occasional laughs makes me wish he had written the script for the 2008 movie about Will Eisner’s hero The Spirit.      Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of B.C. Boyer’s neglected 1980s superhero the Masked Man. For Part One click HERE 

Eclipse 8ECLIPSE MAGAZINE Vol 1 #8 (January 1983)

Title: Frankie

Villain: Frankie the crimelord.

Synopsis: Once again the underrated B.C. Boyer writes and illustrates a tale that toys with narrative structure and with superhero themes in a way that puts the reader in mind of Will Eisner’s iconic creation The Spirit. Or in mind of the brilliant and innovative work of Ethan Van Sciver, Richard C Meyer and Jon Malin today. 

In this second story featuring the Masked Man (Dick Carstairs), his newspaper reporter friend Barney McAlister is still serving as the hero’s Doctor Watson – publicizing the figure’s adventures like Watson did with Sherlock Holmes. The masked crimefighter has been adding to his reputation by clobbering and corraling many of the city’s most violent criminals.

Masked Man pic 2Like an old west gunfighter, the Masked Man’s fame has motivated plenty of would-be tough guys in the criminal ranks to try making a name for themselves by killing him. Even a few random wackos try their hand at bumping off our hero, convinced that it will bring them notoriety and a fortune when they sell the book and movie rights to their story.   Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


Vestige Cover by Ethan Van SciverVestige is one of the most exciting and original graphic novel serials to come along in years. It is currently InDemand on Indiegogo so you can still reserve your own copies.

The tale told in Vestige is set in the 1890s and involves assorted weapons which have been wielded by legendary figures over the years. Those weapons contain a certain residual aura or “vestige” of their heroic owners and endow their subsequent owners with preternatural abilities.

The course of history and the fate of the world hinge on the character and courage of a handful of individuals caught up in the adventure of their lives. Steam-Punk meets the supernatural in a historical adventure that will thrill you to the core! 

Vestige interiorAn all-star collection of independent comics creators are bringing Vestige to life. ROHAN KUMAR PALL is running the Indiegogo campaign, DONAL DELAY handles the interior art, KYLE RITTER is the colorist and GAT HANZO handles the story.

The incredible cover artwork (top left) is by none other than ETHAN VAN SCIVER, the comic book industry Mozart/ Leonardo da Vinci himself! All this plus the FIRST ISSUE appeal make Vestige a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

Killraven in his glory daysKILLRAVEN GRAPHIC NOVEL (1983)

Chapter Four: Let It Die Like It’s The Fourth Of July

SYNOPSIS: February, 2020, or 37 years in the future, like it would have been to readers in 1983. Killraven and his Freemen continue their guerilla war against Earth’s alien conquerors.

Their current target, as this four-chapter story comes to a close, is Cape Canaveral. The site has been upgraded with alien tech and serves as both a fortress for the aliens and as a hub of the High Overlord’s Project Regenesis. The High Overlord himself is currently inside the Cape personally overseeing the final stages of this project.

With him is Keeper Saunders, the human quisling who separated Killraven (Jonathan Raven) from his brother Joshua Raven when they were children.     Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


ExpendablesSylvester Stallone and the Expendables franchise join forces with independent comic book giants like Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Richard C Meyer! As the promo says, “The creators of ROCKY and BANE tell a story of supernatural combat.”

The Expendables Go To Hell graphic novel is sort of like The Expendables Meet Army of Darkness with a little of Clive Barker’s Scarlet Gospels thrown in for good measure. (And yes, wouldn’t Bruce Campbell make a great addition to the ranks of the Expendables someday?)

The Expendables Go To HellAnyway, per Sylvester Stallone’s own story, Barney Ross (Stallone) and his badass mercenary buddies wind up in Hell where they battle dark supernatural forces as well as some of the most vile figures from history in a joyously over-the-top action extravaganza! And it’s all presented by some of the boldest, most daring and iconoclastic talents working in comics today! Continue reading


Filed under Pulp Heroes, Superheroes