Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review of Gallant Comics' "John Aman Amazing Man"

I read the first two issues of Gallant Comics' John Aman Amazing Man and have to say I found them both to be quite enjoyable.  The comics use public domain Golden Age characters such as  Amazing Man, Miss Masque  and the original Blue Beetle with a flair that harkens back to the glory days of comics.

The Amazing Man John Aman first appeared in issue #5 of Amazing-Man Comics from Centaur Publications in 1939 and was the creation of Bill Everett (who later created Namor the Sub-Mariner and imbued Namor with many of the character traits he'd earlier given to Aman). Aman was an American orphan taken to Tibet and raised by a secret council of lamas who gave him special powers and trained him to be a protector of humanity.He had the strength of twenty men, was telepathic, could fly, and could also transform into a green mist. The book certainly captures a Golden age feel with a hero who acts a bit impulsively and those around him astounded by his unearthly abilities (where super-powered beings are nothing out of the ordinary in some comic universes these days). Another character featured is John's love interest Zoe Henderson,  an investigative journalist and another Everett creation. The villain of this tale is Horace Googer, a character created by Jack Kirby. The characterization and dialogue for all the characters involved is very well done.
Writer, Barry Gregory also includes back up stories or chapters featuring The Hooded Horseman (a character from the wild west) in issue 1 and a tale set in colonial times in issue 2. These asides have been quite interesting as well and I'm waiting to see if they tie into Aman's current storyline. The art by Steven Butler is top notch and I have enjoyed his work in such past indie hits as Badger, Cat and Mouse and his work on bigger properties like Superman and Silver Sable. Butler has a classic style that fits the material well. 

Overall I would recommend these titles and more information can be found at the Gallant Comics website.

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