Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Maui Mighty Comics!

Although that singular focus has shifted over the many years of this blog, I began it with a special emphasis on Charlton Comics. The defunct publisher created some of my all-time favorite characters as evidenced by my "nom de electron". Mort Todd among others attempted a revival of sorts of Charlton with the Charlton Neo brand. That project always seemed to be waiting for the next thing and as far as I can tell didn't live up to promises, though they did produce some tasty comics which hearkened back to Charlton's heyday. The final E-Man stories by the late Nick Cuti and the great Joe Staton were published by Charlton Neo. Now Charlton Neo has risen up with a rebranding as "#1 Comics". The first publication titled Maui Mighty Comics is a charity tie-in for the Maui which as suffered deadly wildfire damage of late, and it reprints many stories from the Charlton Neo run. 

"The Dream Weaver" by Roger McKenzie and Steven Butler features Mr. Mixit, a hero who is created as an homage to Steve Ditko. Mr. Mixit is a blend of various classic Ditko hero looks with Blue Beetle's general shape and costume design, Spider-Man's crazy poses, Captain Atom's chest symbol, Doctor Strange's cape details, and the Creeper's signature shaggy cape-piece. 

This story is reprinted from 2017's Charlton Arrow #1 from Charlton Neo.

"Captain Mercury" is a polished re-colored reprint of "The Mercury Man" by Joe Gill and Rocke Mastroserio from the pages of Charlton's Space Adventures #44 from way back in 1962. The new colors help make the hero pop as he encounters mankind for the first time. The wing-eared alien comes to Earth to find that humanity is about to destroy itself with deadly nuclear weapons. He intervenes. If you'd like to read the original check out this link

"Ms. Molecule" is by Renee King Thompson and Sandy Carruthers and this story is reprinted from Charlton Neo's Unusual Suspense from 2015. Ms. Molecule is really Maxi Molin, a graduate student in the sciences who during a treatment to shrink a cancer is herself given the power to shrink. With the help of Dr. Spaulding and technician Oliver, she helps people with strange medical problems and animals like the horse in this adventure which takes her to the Kentucky Derby. 

"Yang - The Sea of Blood" is by Roger McKenzie and artist Ben Torres and is a reprint from 2016's Charlton Arrow #5. It's 1895 and we meet Yin Li, the man known as "Yang" or the "Light" as he prepares to return to China aboard the clipper ship Sattler. But the warlord Chao Ku gets word and transforms himself into a dragon. We learn a secret of Chao Ku's daughter who is the Ying to his Yang. There's a confrontation and an explosion and this might be Yang's final adventure. 

Yang by Joe Gill and artist Warren Sattler and its spin-off House of Yang by artist Sanho Kim were remarkable if relatively brief additions to the Kung-Fu craze of the 70's. 

There is also a one-page Nature Boy gag strip by Gary McGinnis and artist Mort Todd. I wonder why Nature Boy gets no respect. 

Oh, that's why. Never mind. 

This second Mr. Mixit story titled "Reflection" is by the McKenzie and Butler team for Charlton Arrow #2 from 2016. Our hero is learning to use his new powers gained when a box of comic books exploded in the basement of Mr. Oktid's comic shop, and he stops a crime and saves a kid before changing back to his nerdy self. But the cliffhanger portends great danger four our hero. 

Part of me wants #1 Comics to succeed, though I am sad that Charlton Neo is now a memory. Good luck to Mort Todd and the gang. And good luck to the folks in Maui who are recovering from the deadly disaster. For more on that check out this link

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  1. Interestingly stuff. I saw that comic on sale in Forbidden Planet in Glasgow and wondered why it looked familiar now I know . Like yourself I had hoped for Charlton Neo to succeed it had some fun strips

    1. Charlton Neo was full of promises and announcements, but I had a hard time keeping an eye out for stuff that didn't happen. It's hard to do this kind of thing without great funding, save as a boutique operation mostly online.