TITLE: Ex-Mutants #1
YEAR: November 1992
COMPANY: Malibu Comics
Writer: Tom Mason, Dave Olbrich, Chris Ulm
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Letterer: Susan Dorne
Inks: Ken Branch
Editor: Dan Danko
Interior Colorists: Diane Botta, Anne Chien, Jennel Cruz
Interior Color Design: Joseph Allen
Cover Illustration: Paul Pelletier
Cover Colorists: Anne Chien, Jennel Cruz
Cover Color Design: Paul Mounts
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor in Chief: Chris Ulm
It was to be a new beginning for the series “Ex-Mutants”.
Originally created by writer David Lawrence and artist Ron Lim along with editor David Campiti in 1986, “Ex-Mutants” was first published by Eternity Comics (for issue #1) and then by Amazing Comics (for issues #2-5).
But due to contractual problems, the remainder of the series moved to Pied Piper Comics (issues #6-7 and a one-shot publication) which led to a legal dispute and while the title returned back to Eternity Comics for a different set of issues #6-7. With Lawrence and Lim, no longer involved with the comics, Eternity Comics (now an imprint of Malibu Comics) would release a 15-issue series titled “Ex-Mutants: Shattered Earth Chronicles” along with an annual and special issue.
While the series would end in 1990, in 1992, Malibu Comics’ Malibu Interactive and Sega would release an “Ex Mutants” video game for the Sega Genesis. To tie into the video game, Malibu Comics would release a reboot of “Ex Mutants” in which the setting would remain the same (war decimating the planet), the characters and storyline would be different.
“Ex-Mutants” is set on Earth where the first and last Nuclear War has decimated the planet. And one of the rulers of the land is Sluggo, a large green mutant.
The first issue would begin with a group of humans: Ackroyd, Shannon, Tanya, Bud, Piper and Dillon attacking a carriage driven by Zygote, one of Sluggo’s henchman in search of a power cell.
Unfortunately, Zygote outsmarts the naive Bud and escapes. Unfortunately, there is no power cell and the group returns to the lab of Professor Jonathan Kildare, creator of the Ex-Mutants and a cyborg. He is in badly need of a power cell as without it, the lab computer will shut down and he will cease to function.
The only way they can obtain a power cell is if the Ex-Mutants raid Sluggtown, but that would be difficult as it is heavily guarded by Sluggo’s army.
But the Ex-Mutants decide they must help Professor Kildare as he is the man who rescued them from being killed by Sluggo and also transformed them from mutants to humans (thus the name “ex-mutants”).
The first issue is primarily an introduction to the characters and why the ex-mutants feel indebted to Professor Kildare.
There were two covers of issue 1, one featuring Dillon as the primary character and the issue was sold at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), while the regular version sold at comic stores featured Ackroyd as the center character, which is surprising when he is not the most vocal of the team and he is literally the most cautious person. But I’m guessing it’s because in the video game, Ackroyd and his girlfriend Shannon are the primary characters.
The series would no doubt set the precedence of action and tongue-and-cheek humor along with fan service.
While I did enjoy the series, especially Malibu’s other superhero lineup, “The Protectors”, unfortunately most Malibu Comics series would cease publication as the comics company would focus on debuting what would become the company’s most ambitious and successful comics line, Ultraverse.
And unfortunately, as most people have read or already know, with Marvel Comics purchasing Malibu Comics back in the ’90s, don’t expect to see any of these Malibu Comics characters being revived or featured in the Marvel Universe anytime soon.