Comic book reviews: Big Bang Adventures #13


“Remember when comics were fun? Big Bang Comics does. Big Bang is a retro series, honoring the creators, styles, and characters from the Golden and Silver Ages right up to modern times. Enjoy eighty years of faux comics history in the pages of Big Bang Comics!”

I’ve been a fan of Gary Carlson’s fun, enjoyable Big Bang Comics series since it was published by Image Comics for 35 issues from 1996 to 2001. Prior to that Carlson released five issues of Big Bang Comics through Caliber Press from 1994 to 1995. Big Bang Comics is very much a labor of love for Carlson, and in recent years his new series Big Bang Adventures has been distributed through Indy Comics.

The 13th issue of Big Bang Adventures dropped on Indy Planet earlier this month. The issue is topped off by a dynamic cover from artist Ron C. Williams and colorist Glenn Whitmore featuring the beautiful Thunder Girl.

Inside is a pair of stories written by Carlson, with art by Williams and colors by Whitmore. The first sees young hero Megaton visiting his mentor, the now-retired Ultiman who has faked his death and is living in seclusion on a remote island. There are a number of references to events from the Megaton Comics stories Carlson wrote in the 1980s, but he does a fine job of making everything accessible to newer readers such as myself. This story ends on a cliffhanger, and I’m definitely curious to find out what happens next.

The second tale is a Thunder Girl adventure wherein she fights her old enemy Hydro and a giant squid right in the middle of the city of Merivale.

The art by Williams on both of these stories is really exciting, matching the fun quality of Carlson’s writing. Williams has what I would describe as a sort of Bronze Age style to his work, similar to the tone of Marvel and DC comics from the 1970s and 80s. It’s also possessed of a “good girl” style of cheesecake art, in that his women are sexy, but in a playful rather than explicit way.

There are also a couple of great pin-ups in Big Bang Adventures #13, a Thunder Girl & Her Foes illustration on the table of contents page drawn by Luis Lorente, and a Megaton piece by Williams and colorist Allen Forbes II that is a homage to the cover of Megaton Comics #2 published back in 1985.

Finally, there’s “The Babynapping Plot of Madame X,” a roleplaying adventure by Scott Casper based on the story in Big Bang Comics #1 from Caliber Press that was written by Edward DeGeorge & drawn by Randy Zimmerman, with Zimmerman’s original splash page from that issue presented. I’m personally not into RPGs so I can’t say how good this one is, but I guess it’s an interesting feature to include.

I definitely recommend picking up Big Bang Adventures #13, as well as Big Bang Adventures #14 and Anomalies #2, all of which are now available on Indy Planet.

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