Category Archives: 90s Marvel

Flight of the Darkhawk

I remember being in Junior High. I normally had a miserable time in school, but this new, bigger environment was far worse as I have several mental disabilities. But I hadn’t yet been concretely diagnosed. People just thought I hated school. In truth, I was suffering from agoraphobia and severe social anxiety. My only happy outlet was when my grandpa would visit and take me comic book shopping at the local grocery store. At that time, I only collected horror comics and wrestling magazines. But one day, I spied a copy of “Darkhawk” #6. Intrigued mostly by his look, I brought it home. This character was about my age and had a lot of pressures resting on his shoulders. Way worse things than I was going through. I guess you could say he inspired me. More superhero comics followed soon after. But he was always my first. He was special to me. The rest, as they say, is history. Presented below is the story from “Darkhawk” #1. I hope this tale takes you on a trip back through memory lane and happier times as much as it does me. Enjoy!

It was a occurrence that New Yorkers had grown way to accustomed to. The thing you would hear first was always maniacal laughter. What followed was the sight of a bat-like glider as it burst through the clouds, a crazed goblin riding atop, and a stream of smoke left in the creature’s wake. That was if you were lucky! The goblin in question this time was the infamous Hobgoblin! And lucky for the people below, he was way to preoccupied to notice them this day. Like a missile, the Hobgoblin rockets up to an open window in a nearby skyscraper. He hovers there while the man in the office swivels in his chair to meet the goblin’s intense gaze. The man, Phillipe Bazin, never flinches as the impatient monster demands the whereabouts of the item he was hired to locate for him. Phillipe states that the Egyptian pottery was found, but nothing like what the Hobgoblin desires. The hovering supervillain enters the office window then. He fires a bolt of energy from his fingertip and shatters the ancient bowel! He moves so that his hideous face is even with Bazin’s and threatens that he’s in danger of putting him in a bad mood. (This Bazin guy’s cool as a cucumber under pressure. I mean, showing no fear at the sight of a being with a snake-like tongue and demonic eyes! I’d be terrified. I have actually. I went to a strip club once. Scary!)

Later that night, at the ruined wreckage that was once a popular amusement park, two thugs dressed in expensive suits are physically threatening a poor homeless man. They demand to know the location of a certain item. The man replies fearfully that he has no idea what they’re talking about. But before the men can get more violent, someone from a nearby limo tells them to stop. They do so immediately and enter the car. The man inside looks to the old bum and throws a wad of cash out of the car window. It splashes into a puddle. He remarks that the money is in case his memory should improve. Phillipe Bazin then orders the driver to leave. (Man, for the money needed to create a wad of cash this big, I’d be Bazin’s best friend for life. What? I gots comics ta buy!)

Our attention is then turned to the courthouse where Assistant DA, Grace Powell, rushes through the hallway, on her way to eat a very late lunch. As she rounds a corner, she’s surprised by the sudden appearance of a peculiar man dressed in a suit and wearing sunglasses. He pulls out an envelope from his inner jacket pocket. (The sunglasses are what makes this guy peculiar. We all remember the Unabomber, right? For all we know, the envelope could have exploded like on an episode of “Inspector Gadget”!) He offers it to her. She sees that it’s filled with a large sum of money. All she has to do is leave well enough alone and drop her case involving Phillipe Bazin and no-one gets hurt. Grace knocks the envelope to the ground. She replies that she can’t be bought at any cost. The man picks up the scattered cash and leaves. Grace then crawls into a corner and sits, shaking visibly. The obvious threat had left her frightened for her family’s safety.

Speaking of Grace Powell’s family, things didn’t exactly improve for her mental state upon returning home. Her two youngest boys were fighting while her eldest son, Chris, tried to tear them apart and calm his mom’s frazzled nerves at the same time. To top things off, her husband, Mike, was a beat cop and he was extremely late for supper. Chris tried to talk calmly to his mother, to make her feel better. But it turned out, this wasn’t needed as Mike came in through the backdoor. Grace threw her arms around her husband in an instant relieved. She confided in him that she was threatened at work by one of Bazin’s goons. He replied how they should both just give up their jobs, move out of the city. If the good guys only had a type of edge against all of this crime….. Chris exclaimed how he wished he could help out somehow, but this conversation was cut short by the twin boys’ growling stomachs. (Trust me, these two kids don’t need a reason to start another fight. Seriously, I lost track of how many times this happens in just this single issue! As if brothers really fight that much. I mean, there was this one time with deuling pistols at dawn as kids…..)

The meal was pretty uneventful except that one of the twins asked their father to take them to see the abandoned amusement park before it was demolished completely over the weekend. He agreed that he would have the time that coming Sunday. The kids were both overjoyed. But as Sunday came, their father and mother were both too busy with work to take them. They implored Chris to take them instead, but the teen youth had promised that the three of them would stay inside for safety. Of course, this rule went out the window when a couple of Chris’ friends arrived and wanted him to accompany them to get some sodas. (“Sodas?” What decade is this anyway that he’s so horribly tempted by a soda at their local malt shop? What’s next, a trip to the pictures to take in the newest Bela Lugosi movie? Sheesh!) The twins are less than pleased, but agree when they’re promised milkshakes upon his return.

Chris arrived home much later than expected. But instead of finding his brothers, he was greeted by the frantic face of his mother! The twins were missing! After the initial shock wore off, Chris came to the realization that they had to be at the amusement park. He calmed his mother as best he could and then set out to find his younger siblings. It didn’t take long before he located the place. Spying a homeless man, he questioned him if he’d seen two boys in the area. He replied that he had and pointed in the general direction. Chris heard his brothers’ hushed voices upon entering the remains of the funhouse. He began to scold them after they were discovered, but the sound of male voices below caught his attention. Carefully and quietly, he crept to get a better look. What he saw were men that identified themselves as associates of Mr. Bazin. They handed over a large sum of money to someone seated across from them…..Officer Mike Powell! (Man, this Bazin dude has cash coming out of his ears! I bet he never pays with a check in a supermarket. No. Only the truly ancient hold up the line with this archaic practice. Monsters!)

Mike looks at the money. But one of the gangsters decides to get a bit too mouthy, causing Mike to strike out with his fist! A shot is fired and the crooked cop ends up being clubbed in the back of the head by the butt of a pistol as he turns towards the sound. The criminals decide then to just kill Officer Powell! They aim downward to fire when a child’s voice cries out in terror! The gunman spies the cause of the sudden noise and pulls one of Chris’ twin brothers from his hiding place! He aims the weapon at the boy’s head and prepares to pull the trigger! Chris leaps from the shadows, knocking the gun flying and freeing his sibling! (Talk about an action-packed scene! I’m on the edge of my seat! And it’s not just because I slept goofy last night and my back’s out! Gotta love being in your 40’s!)

There’s a brief struggle and Chris tells the twins to run. He then throws the bribe money in the gunman’s face and quickly follows. The three of them don’t get far, however, as the floor beneath them gives way! They fall onto another level. After checking for injuries, they take in their surroundings. It appears to be a type of storage for the Hall of Horrors exhibit. The three brothers make their way through the maze of mannequins dressed up to look like gruesome fiends and monstrosities, as the gangsters make their way downwards. When they finally do appear, guns drawn, Chris thinks quickly and shoves his twin brothers into a nearby locker. He throws every item at his disposal at the enemy to distract the men until only another metal cabinet remains. Chris tears it off of the wall, using it as a barricade/shield. He then turns and spies a strange amulet sitting on a pedestal in a hole in the wall where the cabinet had been! (Things are warming up here, folks! I sense an origin story coming on! Plus, who wouldn’t stop to admire strange jewelry while their life is in mortal danger? No-one, that’s who!)

Chris grabs the strange amulet. Maybe he could use it as a weapon. He thinks about how these men want to murder his brothers. He wants to protect them. Then, as if in response, Chris Powell is no more and a strange, armored being stands in his place! (I tried this with several pieces of my mom’s jewelry as a teen. The only result was that I looked fabulous!) The villains break through just then. Wanting nothing more than to protect his family, a blast of eerie energy shoots from his chest, knocking the criminals flying! Guessing that he must be dreaming, Chris lifts the cabinet overhead, as if it were made of tissue paper, and tosses it at the men as they try to recover! Shots are then fired, but Chris dodges the bullets almost as if they’re in slow motion! The men keep getting back up and rushing him, but he throws them as simply as darts through the air!

While Chris is preoccupied, one criminal pulls loose an electrified cable from the rotting wall and tries to attack him! Instinctively, Chris dodges and hits the fuse box to the park! He drops dead moments later. Never seeing a corpse in his life, Chris pauses. ( Wussy. I remember my days, back in the ‘Nam…..) He then uses some discarded rope to tie up the remaining, unconscious goons. Chris sees his reflection in a cracked mirror while he binds the gangsters. To say he’s shocked is an understatement. His thoughts are interrupted by the twins as they cry out from the locker. His brothers can’t see him like this, he thinks. And then, in a flash, the being is gone and Chris is back! That’s when he remembers his father. Climbing back up through the hole in the floor, he finds him in a nearby room.

As his father turns to him, Chris pleads that he tell him that this isn’t as it looks. Mike looks ashamed as he replies that he can’t. He continues by asking his son to look after his mother and brothers. He leaves then without another word. Chris returns to his twin brothers and frees them. They’re less than pleased about being shoved into a musty, old locker, but he gets them home safely. He holds the amulet as he does so. The next day, Chris returns to the site only to see it demolished completely by the city. He thinks about how he’ll never know more about the amulet now as he stands there in the debris. That’s when he hears the old bum’s voice tell him that the power must be used, not abused, by a Darkhawk. Chris turns but he’s alone. (Good God! I know who the old, homeless man is! He’s Batman!)

Grace receives a call when the boys are all home. The voice on the other end tells her to leave Bazin alone or she’ll have one less mouth to feed! Enraged by this, Chris goes to his bedroom and concentrates upon his other form. He quickly transforms once again. He then vows that he will be the edge that justice needs. He will be the Darkhawk! Phillipe Bazin gets off of his phone at this exact same time and turns to the perching nightmare that is the Hobgoblin. He tells the goblin how the item was found, along with the body of one of his men, but it was lost when the amusement park was bulldozed over that morning. The men did report being attacked by a strange being. Hobgoblin swears that whoever has the relic he desires will suffer greatly before he dies.

End.

Dedicated to my brother, Eric James Miller. He’s dealing with some tough medical problems right now and I wanted him to know just how much I love him. Take good care of yourself, bro. I’m always here if you need me. Always.

Beacon of Hope

Hello, boys and girls! Are we all ready for storytime? You are? Good. Gather around and sit down crisscross-applesauce. I have a story that’s perfect for children. It’s about a colorful and cheery alternate dimension. It was called the “Age of Apocalypse”. Doesn’t that sound fun? Great! Well, I have your permission slips, so let’s begin……

In a reality of darkness and misery, a tyrannical mutant madman, Apocalypse, ruled all. Humanity either lived their lives in servitude to the mutant race, or in the death camps. Death was a luxury that didn’t come soon enough. Legion, the son of Professor Charles Xavier, had slain his father by mistake. Since this was done through the use of time travel, the timeline had become this living nightmare. (Sounds like a trip to your local Wal-Mart, doesn’t it?) On this particular stormy night, Nathaniel Essex, also known by the name Mr. Sinister, stands at a window, deep in thought. The setting is what appears to be your average out-of-the-way family home in Omaha, Nebraska. But appearances can be deceiving.

Sinister is one of Apocalypse’s elite, a so-called Horseman. You’d think he would revel in that fact. But even one as cold-hearted as he is knows that this madness must end. He turns and strides to a hidden elevator. He enters and rides it down countless levels until he stops at an emense, high-tech laboratory. The Horseman smiles to himself as he approaches a large tube near the lab’s end. He then punches in a numerical code known only to himself. With a hiss, a young boy emerges! Yes, Mr. Sinister has been preparing. He has collected the right DNA samples, tweaked them as he saw fit, and created Apocalypse’s downfall. The child is his greatest achievement. A living weapon. (Is anyone else relieved that the shadowing conveniently covered up the boy’s no-no bits?)

The child cautiously and nervously looks around at his surroundings. He stops in front of Sinister and peers up at the imposing man. The boy is not greeted with affection, but instead, Mr. Sinister turns to his monitors and studies the boy’s readings. Satisfied, he turns back and notices that his young creation is shivering. Sinister replicates a pair of pajamas and the child quickly dresses. Scratching his chin in contemplation, the Horseman ponders what to call this young mutant boy. After a moment, he states that he will be called Nate Grey. “Grey” as in the last name of the boy’s “mother”, and “Nate” from Mr. Sinister’s own natural first name. He is the only father this boy will ever know after all. (It could be worse. Sinister’s first name could be “Fifty-Shades-Of”. I know that doesn’t make sense! Stop judging me!!)

This moment is interrupted, however, by the large screen upon the wall flickering to life. Sinister hastily hides Nate behind him as the Beast’s image becomes clear! The furred mutant wastes little time for pleasantries. He remarks that he has detected a sudden power surge where Sinister now stands. Sinister says very little in his defense and the Beast disappears with an evil smirk. Then turning to check on Nate, he discovers that the boy is missing! Nate wanders, looking in wonder at the strange and sterile corridors. He enters a room by chance and his mind shows him that mutant children were once housed and taught here. They were captives and orphans like himself. Merely kept alive to test their future potential. Those chosen would use their abilities in order to serve Apocalypse. Those that were not chosen…..The scene disappears and Nate continues onward. (Reminds me of grade school. The parallels are uncanny! At least we had recess though, right?)

Angered and perhaps a bit frightened, Sinister tore through room after room as he called out the boy’s name. And as he did, he grew more and more frantic. Finally, energy exploded out of the Horseman’s raised arms, nearly destroying the kitchen area! (Damn! Well, someone’s not getting a “World’s Best Sort-Of-Dad” coffee mug on Father’s Day with that attitude!) Nate’s tiny voice came from behind the villain. Obviously afraid, he apologized and claimed that he had gotten lost. Later, Nathaniel Essex would show Nate Grey the horrors of this Apocalypse-ruled world from the relative safety of a lab monitor. Nate stared at the pens in particular. But before Sinister could finish his sentence, the two of them disappeared!

Mr. Sinister stood with a look of utter shock and disbelief upon his pale face! They were both now in a different place entirely! They were standing upon a catwalk above an area used to sort out humans from mutants. The strong from the weak. The pens seen earlier from the lab monitor in fact! A terrified young woman hunched near them attempts to stop armored guards from taking her aunt from her! Sinister reflexively tries to shield Nate with his own body! But shockingly, the guards run right through them as if they were no more than spirits! Nate however, grabs one of the armored goons by his belt! Anger flashes across the boy’s face as he utters one word, stop. Realization then hits the Horseman. The boy was doing all of this with his mind! Even more impressive was that he didn’t even know he was doing it! (Whoa! Talk about power! Sinister had better be careful how he disciplines Nate after this! He may just end up on the business side of a spanking instead!)

Mr. Sinister was prepared however. By concentrating, they reappeared within the lab. Nate whirled his head to his “father” then in rage! He demanded to know why he had returned them! Sinister had very little to say in response as a look that somewhat resembled fear crossed his face. (I don’t know what’s more shocking here. That Sinister was at a loss for words, or that he looks like he may have just wet his metal pants!) Nate looks back at the screen. He looks at the girl from earlier. Mr. Sinister notices how she holds a patchwork teddy bear. He fabricates it with the merest tap of computer keys. Nate looks at the bear lovingly and embraces it. Nathaniel Essex observes this scene in silence.

Mr. Sinister would return young Nate Grey to his growth chamber that night. He would explain that this was because the boy was not yet ready. Sinister whispers a goodnight to his creation. But as the metal doors seal to the pod, Nate whispers to the Horseman a sweet goodnight back. Sinister takes a moment before he realizes that the boy’s mouth didn’t move! A weapon he had created, yes. But a weapon against whom? Sinister visibly shudders as he ponders the possibilities.

End?

Avenging Hero…..in a Tutu

What’s hideously deformed, smells of toxic waste, and wears a ragged pink tutu? Yo mama! Ha! I kill myself sometimes! Ahem. Seriously though. If you answered, “The Toxic Avenger”, you’d be right on the money. The Toxic Avenger was created in 1984 as a black comedy/horror/superhero film for Troma Entertainment. Though the movie was low-budget and highly ignored upon it’s release the following year, it is now considered to be a cult classic. It spawned three sequels, a comic series by Marvel, and even a cartoon series, “The Toxic Crusaders”. That’s just to name a few of it’s major accomplishments. I first saw Toxie at home, on a rented VHS tape, when I was just a little boy. (And I turned out to be a completely well-adjusted individual. Kinda.) I’ve watched and re-watched it over and over again since and a large movie poster even adorned my bedroom wall. He was a large part of my childhood and is thusly held in high regard in my heart to this very day. That said, on with the story…..

Carrying only a mop, the creature crawls through the disgusting refuse of the barren junkyard. Confusion taints his every thought. Where is he? Who is he? All he remembers with clarity is excruciating pain. He happens upon a beaten-up, old car. Looking at his reflection in the vehicle’s broken window, he sees a grotesque monster looking back at him! He lets loose an unearthly roar that echoes throughout the garbage dump! Not far away, a trio of street thugs jump at the frightening sound. Leaving the warmth of their flaming barrel, they check their guns and go to investigate. The monster’s body is suddenly bombarded with an intense tingling. He somehow knows that evil approaches. (I get that buzzing feeling too. It’s usually caused by too much caffeine and followed by a sugar crash that involves me snoring away for hours. The only evil that follows is a stomachache and a mad dash to the bathroom.)

The punks round the corner and spy a humanoid form in the shadows. They waste no time in leaping from their hiding place and firing semi-automatic rounds into their intended prey! The three slowly approach their bullet-ridden target. It’s then that they realize that it was only a discarded mannequin. They question one another as to who cried out then. Their answer comes from a monstrous growl from behind them. The creature stands there revealed, spinning his mop like a weapon! (I totally did this move with a broom once. No lie! I mean, I quit after I nailed myself in the junk and went up a whole octave, but I did it!)

With a swift swipe of the mop, the trio are simultaneously disarmed! Another swipe takes all three off of their feet! The nameless monster lifts one of the thugs effortlessly over his head and shoves him into a nearby stack of tires! He then kicks the screaming man off of the peak of the junk pile, sending him crashing below! He’s then seemingly crushed to death by the tons of hastily stacked trash that topple down from the force of the impact! Seizing this moment as an opportunity to attack, another of the punks breaks a large chunk of wood over the creature’s head! He quickly turns, completely unharmed and now slightly irritated. The thug is thrown down into a festering pool of toxic waste! The man-beast then runs toward the bubbling chemicals (Probably 7-up. Hate that stuff unless I’m sick. Great! There goes my sponsor!) and reaches in to finish the fight. What he pulls out is nothing more than a charred and smoking skeleton! The monster turns then to see the last of his attackers run off, screaming into the night!

The evildoer leaps into a car and speeds off! The monster, in hot pursuit, runs after the car and into traffic! The creature then hails a passing cab. The driver pulls over, takes one look at his prospective passenger, and exits from the vehicle’s opposite door as fast as his body allows! The beast gets into the driver’s seat and floors the gas! He follows the thug’s car throughout the busy city streets until the creature hits a ramp at such a high speed, that he sails through the air until the cab crashes onto the roof of a nearby shop! (Man! That’s really hard to do! I only did it once or twice as a teen. Yep. Pretty rare.) The monster crawls, unharmed, from the wreckage. It then hears the terrified cries of the people down below. They’re scared of him. He leaps down from the roof, roaring in outrage! The concrete shatters where his feet impacted the ground! The people run away in a panic! Confused and frightened himself, he runs too.

We now shift our attention elsewhere. The scene is the Tromaville Home for the Blind. A scantily clad young woman with spiked hair and white facepaint covering half of her features speaks to the owner of the building. She asks him, with an obvious lack of tact, if he’ll sell the building to her boss for the purpose of tearing it down to make room for a toxic waste dump. Understandably angry at this, he orders her to leave the premises immediately. Amused, she does so. When she gets outside, she gives a loud whistle. Trucks full of gasoline begin driving in! (Awww! She’s sorry. She’s going to make up for her bad attitude by throwing a large barbecue! Oh! I do hope there’s weenies!)

Men exit the trucks, attach hoses, and begin dousing the entire building with gas! When it’s sufficiently drenched, the girl lights a match and tosses it onto the walkway to the entrance! There’s a large explosion as the Home for the Blind is engulfed in a firey inferno! (Okay. Everyone be calm. It does now appear that there will be no weenies.) The drivers then pull out guns and begin picking off the survivors that run from the burning facility! A load roar is then heard! One of the gasoline trucks is suddenly lifted and hurled at the shocked gunmen! The monster walks through the fire, towards an armed survivor of his awesome attack! The man panics and grabs the nearest fleeing blind person. He holds a sawed-off shotgun to her temple, threatening to take her life if he isn’t allowed safe passage out of here!

The creature implores him to let the poor girl go. Touched by this show of chivalry, the blind girl introduces herself as Claire. But before the man-beast can reply, she ducks down and rams her elbow into the henchman’s ribcage! He drops the gun! The monster seizes this opportunity. He punches a hole nearly clean through the villain’s head! (Umm. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think the guy in the picture above is gonna make it. I mean, I’m no doctor…..) The monstrous hero suddenly feels something strike him in the head. He turns and sees that the city’s denizens are pelting him with stones. Scooping up Claire in his powerful arms, he flees the scene as quickly as he can.

While this is going on, a sinister businessman orders his henchmen to dump more toxic waste into the filtration system of the pools at the Tromaville Health Club. When one of these goons dares to question why, the man replies that he wasnts to impress his uncle when he arrives. Meanwhile, the strange monster and Claire sit at the city dump. Things seem to move rather quickly between the two as she suddenly professes her love for her hero and desire to live with him. Overjoyed, he decides that his appearance and current encounters with the people of this city will unfortunately force him to reside right where the two lovebirds currently sit. Claire surprisingly agrees and the man-beast begins the hasty construction of a makeshift shelter. (Wow! Chicks. You show women the slightest bit of interest, and they immediately want to move in together. Am I right, fellas? Sheesh! Oh, if you happen to be a female that’s reading this, I immediately recant my previous statement. )

The two new lovers hold one another in the confines of their junkyard shack. Claire suddenly kisses her man. It’s then that he springs to his feet as his memories all suddenly flood in at once! His name is Melvin Junko! (Whew! Thank God! I was getting so sick of trying to find synonyms for the word “monster” and then alternating them! Though calling this huge guy “Melvin” isn’t much better!) Claire is understandably concerned. She asks Melvin if he’s okay. He replies that he is and that he now remembers how all of this happened to him. She begs that he tell her. He agrees and begins his tale.

Melvin Junko was your average, nerdy, ninety-eight pound weakling. He was the local janitor at the Tromaville Health Club, a place where only the beautiful and popular would congregate to show off ther perfect bodies. Needless to say, Melvin stuck out like a sore thumb. There was a girl that frequented the club that had always caught Melvin’s eye. Her name was Linda. Linda was living proof that beauty on the outside could definitely mask pure ugliness within. One day, as poor Melvin was mopping up around the pool area, the owner watched him with obvious disgust. He called Linda to his office and a nefarious plot to humiliate Melvin was concocted. (Man! That’s messed up! As an obsessive comic book fan, I call to all of the nerds of the world to rise up against our popular oppressors! The time for retribution is nigh! Or we could just complain the injustice of it all a bit and then play our Dungeons & Dragons in defiance. Dibs on the Drow elf!)

Linda approached Melvin that afternoon. Acting apologetic about her past dealings with him and aroused by his mere presence, she asked him to meet her in a back room later to be romantic. Overjoyed, Melvin agrees. There’s one catch however, it seems she’s only turned on when men kiss her in pink ballerina outfits. Too excited to question this strange request further, Melvin speeds off to change while she waits. (One might question Melvin here. Did he not suspect a practical joke? Need I remind you that she’s a sexy blonde, sporting a bikini, and he’s your average dumb man? I thought that might clear things up.) A few fumbling moments later, and with his prized mop in hand, he emerges to find the girl of his dreams waiting for him. Grabbing his pile of clothes suddenly, she runs out into the common area of the health club! A very panicked Melvin Junko gives chase! But what he finds when he exits the door is the laughing faces of literally everyone in the club! Even his boss chuckled and pointed!

Poor Melvin did the only thing his embarrassed and horrified mind could think of. He ran away. Unfortunately for him, the amassed bulky bullies gave chase until Melvin jumped from the nearest window! The fall wasn’t too bad height-wise. It was what he landed in. A truck that was hauling toxic waste had stopped directly underneath that very window! A bolt of lightning then struck the very barrel he was inside! Moments later, the young man slowly tried to crawl from the industrial byproduct! His flesh burned and bubbled as he did so! His hair ignited and fell out as his muscles grew and swelled with each painful step! No-one tried to help. What could they possibly do even if thry had been that compassionate? The monstrous form that was once Melvin Junko then sought refuge in the only place he could, the garbage dump. (The flashback has now ended. I now return you to your regularly scheduled movie adaption comic, already in progress.)

The monster now turns to Claire and announces that Melvin Junko died that night. From this day forward, he would be known as the Toxic Avenger! With this dramatic proclamation, he suddenly feels his body quake like it did earlier! Evil is near! That’s when a tank, driven by the punk that escaped him earlier, busts through the shack wall! Well, that’s the end of issue numero uno. If you were intrigued by my narrative and wish to find out what happens next, go buy a copy of issue two yourself! (I can’t do everything for you after all! Ha!)

Some items that I, your humble Symbifan, possess: (A Toxic Avenger novel signed by his creator, Lloyd Kaufman, and a figure of Toxie that my son just presented me with tonight, bought with his very first paycheck.)