Friday, September 14, 2007

Codename: Stryke Force #1

I understand first issues of a comic series are awkward. You have to introduce characters, an origin, some kind of conflict...but first issues from Image Comics were really awkward, like this one. Stryke Force was a spin-off of Marc Silvestri's Cyberforce. I believe the character Stryker was leader of both teams with Stryke Force designated for more dangerous, covert missions.

Silvestri wrote this one - I think probably while drinking beer and flipping between a film noir movie and Saturday Night Live. This issue alternates between Stryker trying to sound like a badass and lame jokes. And of course, there is the general vagueness because they haven't actually plotted the comic out more than two issues. I think that's what bugs me looking at these early Image comics now - they were just trying to crank out as many series as they could and make cash money. Just throw some characters together in a situation and we'll figure out a story later.

Try not to be impressed by the cover I scanned in, as my copy is indeed autographed by Marc Silvestri and artist Brandon Peterson who...thankfully, has gotten way better. This issue starts with Stryker providing extra protection for the President at a meeting of world leaders. Stryker decides to go with the old "hat and trenchcoat disguise" because nothing makes you more discreet when you have long hair, huge muscles and four arms than a trenchcoat. Some terrorists or something crash the party, blow shit up and go after all the world leaders. Secret services agents get killed but thankfully President "Bill" is safe.

The mysterious and menacing villain is introduced with the notion that he "is a being comprised of pure evil." See, this is the vagueness because they haven't plotted. Here's the villain - we won't tell you anything about him, not even his name - all you need to know right now is he is pure evil. Wow, I didn't know they still made villains like that. Tremble now, puny human! I didn't scan this page in, but one of the villian's henchmen has to report some bad news and comments that the boss doesn't like bad news. And when he hears it, he offers the henchman a severance package - by severing his head! Bwahahahaha! Get it - "severance" package, "severing" heads! He really is pure evil.

The rest of Stryke Force is forcefully introduced in an awkward page - Tempest, Black Anvil, Bloodbow and Killrazor. Do you think Killrazor, Ripclaw and Warblade are all homies? They totally should be. They should adopt third world superhero babies and give them names like Smashknife and Bloodstab. They just have to dust off the Image Comics Pick Two Badass Words Out of a Hat and Throw Them Together for a Superhero Name Hat.

Oh, right the comic. Does it even matter anymore? The bad guy blows up an aircraft carrier, then launches some torpedoes at our heroes and there's your standard first issue cliffhanger. Will the heroes surive? Nay, the more important question is - does anyone give a crap? I'll grab my trusty Magic 8-Ball and...never mind, I'll answer for you: no. I have no clue how long this series went on but hopefully it found a plot at some point.

1 comment:

Tyler said...

Did everyone in the Ninties have at least one metallic, cybernetic arm? Seriously.