Probably my favorite comic this week.

§ October 25th, 2017 § Filed under this week's comics § 6 Comments

Got in really late this evening, so my post is just going to be a plug for Rick Veitch‘s newest release in his “King Hell Heroica” line, Boy Maximortal:

Yeah, okay, it’s been a while since the last installment (this Bratpack/Maximortal special, I believe?), but Veitch includes a brief recap of What Had Gone Before in the original mini, and you really should own all that stuff anyway. …There’s not that much, just the Bratpack mini (which has appeared in paperback with a slightly altered ending, if I recall correctly), and the previously linked Maximortal and Bratpack/Maximortal specials.

As for this book: it’s 100 pages long, in black and whie, with the “Boy Maximortal” material taking up the first half, and the rest of the book filled with a text piece about the history of the Heroica line, commission pieces and the like. Swamp Thing fans take note: some of the featured commissioned art has Swamp Thing in it.

The Maximortal story itself continues the peculiar yet effective mix of “superhero deconstruction” with a somewhat fictionalized and not terribly flattering history of the comics industry. Some of the players are only just barely disguised versions of actual figures from the business…you can probably guess who “Stanley Burr” and “Jack Curtis” are supposed to be. Veitch also incorporates a couple of anecdotes/character details into his story that may not necessarily be common knowledge, but hoo boy it was rough to see ’em just straight up presented here. It’s like how the story about Jerry Siegel working as a delivery boy after leaving Superman, and having to take something to DC’s offices, made its way into the first Maximortal series. It’s on that level.

The book is, I believe, Print-on-Demand, like his Rare Bit Fiends volume I mentioned a while back, and you can get your own copy here:

It’s a high-quality product, squarebound with crisp printing and a nice slick color cover, in case the “print on demand” thing has you worried. It’s also slightly smaller in size (in actual physical dimensions) than your standard comic book/trade paperback.

Anyway, it’s good to see Veitch returning to this material and advancing the story. It’s been 20 years, and I hope the folks who read these comics back then can find their way to this new release. But even more, I hope new readers discover this book and seek out Bratpack and that original Maximortal, and get their minds pleasantly twisted by what they find.

6 Responses to “Probably my favorite comic this week.”

  • Thom H. says:

    Cool! I was fascinated/grossed out by Veitch’s Heroica work back in the day. I’ll need to get this.

    And if you don’t mind spoiling a 20-year-old story, what’s different about the ending of the BRATPACK trade?

  • John says:

    I’m dating myself here, but that logo reminds me strongly of the short-lived DC sci-fi anthology series TIME WARP. I don’t believe I ever bought a copy, but I saw so many house ads for it, the logo was indelibly imprinted on my mind.

  • Pal Cully says:

    Just ordered mine. Neither shop near me was going to order it. They suck

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    Being super-nitpicky here, but the story is usually that it was Joe Shuster who was working as a deliveryman (after his eyesight became too bad for him to continue drawing).

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    “Swamp Thing fans take note.”

    Yes, but what are the odds any of them read this blog?

  • JRC says:

    Glad to see this getting attention, mine is on the way. Veitch’s work always unsettles me, but I also love it. He’s one of the most insightful and consistently great comics voices.