I don’t know why I’m fascinated with the existence of Spanner’s Galaxy

§ December 21st, 2011 § Filed under low content mode, spanner's galaxy § 9 Comments

…other than being a fun oddball superhero sci-fi mini-series published by DC in the mid-1980s. There were a fair number of these from DC at the time, like Atari Force (nominally a tie-in to the video game company, but ended up being an imaginative and exciting adventure series beautifully drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Eduardo Barreto) and Sun Devils (Dan Jurgens’ space opera, characters from which appeared in later Superman comics, if I remember correctly).

No point to this really, other than a brief twinge of nostalgia for when DC would publish comics like these, not under a separate imprint like Vertigo or Helix, not as any kind of spin-off or tie-in to a superhero comic…just short runs of strange sci-fi or fantasy stories (or, rather superhero comics with sci-fi or fantasy trappings) that were here, told their stories, and were gone.

from Spanner’s Galaxy #1 (December 1984) by Nicola Cuti & Tom Mandrake

9 Responses to “I don’t know why I’m fascinated with the existence of Spanner’s Galaxy…”

  • Anonymous says:

    This made me remember Star Hunters.
    Man that was a great series.

  • bl00 says:

    I know I have Spanner’s Galaxy in a box somewhere but all I really remember about it is, of course, the horrible printing. Star Hunters, that was the series with the Irish lead character & the great Don Newton art? Another series that ended on a cliffhanger, was there ever a resolution?

  • Harvey Jerkwater says:

    The mid-eighties were when the last non-superhero comics died, right? Jonah Hex, Sgt. Rock, Arak, Arion, etc.? Maybe Spanner and the like were like a last spasm of genre variety. Not surrendering the company to the capes without one last try?

  • Existentialman says:

    Although I typically avoid them like the plague, I’m going out of my way at my next con to check out the dealers selling sci-fi weaponry to see if they have a Shek replica for sale. If so, and the sellers still have all fingers intact, I’m going to buy one.

    Shek > Bat’leth

  • Jim Kosmicki says:

    but DC always had a fairly strong SF vibe going back to Julie Schwartz and their other silver age editors. Pretty much all of them had some SF background, didn’t they?

    Marvel always appeared to hate their SF/giant monster books history and avoided that sort of thing. There was the occasional Seeker 3000 one-off, but that’s about it.

    Even today, DC always seems to try to have at least one SF/space series going, even if they aren’t ever great sellers, while Marvel seems to take such fun series as Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova and shove them into the corner until they die of benign neglect. Or they force those titles into an unnecessarily complex crossover like War of Kings that is so tied to the godawful craziness that is the mutant books that they lose their own forward momentum.

    And I agree bl00 – that damn flexographic printing made almost everything seem so cheap – as some of that material gets reprinted now, it almost always at least looks better, which translates to the eye as “is better than I remember.”

    Remember the good old days when comics fans had serious talks about paper stock and printing: offset, flexographic, Mando, Baxter, etc.?

  • Jeff R. says:

    Only after Amethyst has been reprinted will it be okay to feel nostalgic for any other 80s oddball DC title.

    Well, excepting Outcasts. Back off, boss Angel…

  • I actually re-read this every few years.

    I don’t think DC has ever seen fit to make a proper remastered trade collection, so I have to be very careful with them.

    The Mandrake art is so fantastic. I love his current work, but he’s so heavy on the blacks these days.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “I don’t know why I’m fascinated with the existence of Spanner’s Galaxy…”

    BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nicola Cuti says:

    I created Spanner out of my love for science fiction and the need to have a character who could get from place to place as quickly as possible. Teleporting himself violated all logic to me(with apologies to Alfred Bester, Spanner doesn’t “jaunte” like Gully Foyle)but the exchange of matter made sense. Spanner “castles”.
    Anyway, so glad so many of you enjoyed Tom Mandrake and my character. I had hoped one day I might continue his adventures but now I’m busy working on the intergalactic adventures of my Starbabe, Moonie, at moonieandthespiderqueen.com. See if you like her as much as Spanner.