JUST JOSHING: G-Man Comics 3in1 #1
Anthologies are always fun books to read. You get to look at up and coming creatives, or something that’s a throwback to simpler times in comics: 8-page stories. Rik Offenberger is currently hard at work campaigning his latest G Man 3 in 1 on Kickstarter as we speak, and I thought I’d do the honors of reviewing the very first one.
G-Man Comics 3 in 1 #1
Written by Various
Illustrated by Gilbert Monsanto
Lettered by Eric N. Bennent
Edited by Various
Publisher: G-Man Comics
Right off the bat, this book reminds me of the old Action Comics run by DC in the late ’80s when you had a myriad of characters with a story run inside it. It’s a fun way to keep readers engaged and give the book an anthology feel. This created a bronze age feel for me starting to read this book, and it didn’t disappoint.
The first story felt very much like an origin story as Sgt. Flag led to the change in the first story of the book. El Jefe uses his connections with his goons to kidnap and hold Maya Santiago, the daughter of the judge about to prosecute El Jefe. With her captured, Flag goes on a rescue mission.
This story is very meat and potatoes. The action is crisp, and fast, as Flag uses his tools to get the job done. The character motivations are what make this story interesting, as the theme of Flag’s thoughts is commitment, duty, and honor, and those are solid characteristics of any hero. A very solid start to the anthology. Writer Rik Offenberger did a nice job with the script and knew exactly the story he wanted to tell. Credit to Monsanto and Bennent for making the story move. That bronze age style definitely shone through.
The second story features the Champion of Liberty² and the Demon Priest in the prison. There is a doubt about the Demon Priest’s convictions and why he has chosen to be in prison. Champion of Liberty² is sent undercover to investigate, and throughout the pages, whenever trouble starts, it’s the Demon Priest that cools things off. This story has a decent amount of action, that kind of borders on hilarity in a few cases. Champion of Liberty² and the antagonist of the story known as blockhead butt heads quite a bit, as people do behind bars. It gave the story a lighter tone than the first one and was a solid second story in the issue.
Credit to writer Jim Burrows for a clever script. Much like the first story, there is a straightforwardness to the whole plot, but the little character details make this story a solid piece. Credit to the art team once again for doing something different and fun compared to the first issue.
The final story in the issue is an American EagleIII tale. American EagleIII battles the Brain Bruiser in a smackdown of epic proportions. American EagleIII makes quick work of the bruiser, but in the process attracts the attention of another nefarious individual, hellbent on putting the American EagleIII into retirement. Permanently.
Bennett not only letters this story but writes it. He gives each character a unique voice and writes the first real cliffhanger in the book. I wouldn’t be shocked if American EagleIII appeared in issue two. Again, a very solid, serviceable script that tells a complete story. None of them feel bad to read, and are good starts to bigger stories.
Monsanto does action incredibly well. Each story had its own psychology and nothing felt paint by numbers. Instead, each character had their own tone and space. Sgt. Flag did most of his work in the background of the night. Champion of Liberty² did his work primarily in jail, and American Eagle III did most of his thing in the sky. Each story felt distinct and fun.
All in all G-Man Comics 3in1 #1 is a wonderful throwback to the comics anthologies of the bronze age. If you like that kind of thing, this book will be for you.
March is going to be double debuts. I’ve ghostwritten a blog for a publisher, and am finalizing a video series that will be debuting on March 9th. I was hoping to have a preview up by the time I got to this column, but that’s not to be. I’m hoping to launch that preview on Monday.
In the meantime, you can check out my blog for the latest happenings and listen to the podcast to hear me talk to my latest guests.
That’ll do it for now. Next column I return to Snow Paw. In the meantime, folks, there are lots of good comics out there. Read them.