RICH REVIEWS: The MLJ Companion
Title: THE MLJ COMPANION (TP)
Publisher: TwoMorrows Publishing
Written by: Rik Offenberger, Paul Castiglia, and Jon B. Cooke
Edited by: Paul Castiglia and Jon B. Cooke
Design and Production by: Jon B. Cooke
Proofreading and Published by: John Morrow
Cover Art by: Rich Buckler and Joe Rubinstein
Cover Coloring by: Glenn Whitmore
Price: $ 34.95 US
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Comments: This huge collection starts off with some reprinted comics.
“The Black Hood Man of Mystery” Top Notch Comics #19 [Sept. 1941]. Script: Harry Shorten [as “Cliff Campbell”]. Art: Al Camy.
The way the narrative of the Skull is written he seems like the most dangerous person on Earth. His escape leads to a wild adventure for the Black Hood as he races to re catch him.
The art is from 1941 and still eye catching. It has gorgeous poses and action ones that are thrilling. The story moves along at a good pace and you are involved in and drawn into everything that is going on. The story does have a solid ending.
“Steel Sterling The Man of Steel” Zip Comics #1 [Feb. 1940]. Script: Abner Sundell. Art: Charles Biro.
Steel Sterling’s origin story is presented here. He is a scientist who becomes a muscle bound super-hero. He may be bullet proof but he also has other extraordinary powers. He faces the criminal the Black Knight. After an exciting chase Steel Sterling brings justice to the Black Knight and his gang.
“The Web” Zip Comics #27 [July 1942]. Script: Unknown. Art: John Cassone.
The Black Dragon is illustrated as one evil character. The art does show off some good hard hitting fighting. The story is thrilling as you follow along as the Web goes after the Black Dragon.
“The One and only Shield with Dusty the Boy Detective” Pep Comics #30 [Aug. 1942]. Script: Harry Shorten. Art: Irv Novick.
The Shield has lost his powers but still fights on with Dusty his sidekick at his side. The two battle evil Nazi’s and their henchman the Strangler. He is illustrated as an apish man. The Shield is shown putting up the good fight and sendingthe Nazi’s running.
“The Hangman” by Cliff Campbell. Pep Comics #17 [July 1941]. Script: Harry Shorten or Abner Sundell [as “Cliff Campbell”]. Art: George Storm.
This story of the Hangman focuses on the Comet. This though is the origin of the Hangman. As the Comet dies theHangman is born. He is a dark avenger.
This book supplies you with all you need and want to know about the MLJ Heroes. The art is done so beautifully. Theold style look to it will captivate you. These heroes are ones some of whom you may or may not have heard of but all are inspiring.
There are great interviews within these pages such as with Irv Novick the artist on many MLJ comics. His art is outstanding. Also Gray Morrow. Rich Buckler was interviewed, Gary Burkett, Dick Ayers, Bill DuBay, Stan Timmons, Brian Augustyn, Jimmy Palmiotti, Michael Uslan, Paul Castiglia, Marco Rudy, John Rozum, Eric Trautmann, Brandon Jerwa, Tom Derenick, Alex Segura.
One of Archie’s other super-heroes was Super Duck. He was done as a funny animal comic.
One of the best things you will notice as you go through this comic is all the wonderful art from the 30’s and 40’s. It really is a treat for your eyes.
The Crusaders continued into the 50’s and 60’s. You can notice a difference in the art as it becomes more sleek. In the80’s the heroes got real and gritty. The Red Circle Comics group was formed.
Impact Comics did make an impact. They had lots of talented creators working on the books and the stories may have been for a younger audience but the art was for anyone.
DC comics took over the Crusaders and the various characters of the MLJ. The art makes them look so amazing. They really updated them and their looks.
Dark Circle has now being formed and it continues on the tradition of the heroes from Red Circle. 2015 saw the come back for these characters.
The characters of the Shield, Comet, the Hangman, the Web, Fly Girl and the Black Hood all these and more make up a group of super-heroes the likes of which will keep you entertained and amazed by their exploits and here in this book you learn all about the MLJ super-heroes and the people who brought them to you.
This book is for the Mighty at heart.