TITLE: Ultraverse – Vol. 1, Issue 1
YEAR: October 1993
COMPANY: Ultraverse/Malibu Comics
Written by Steve Gerber
Penciller: Aaron Lopresti
Inker: Gary Martin
Letterer: Patrick Owsley
Color Design: Paul Mounts
Editor: Chris Ulm
Interior Colorists: Violet Hues
Comic book writer Steve Gerber is known for co-creating “Howard the Duck”, his works on Marvel’s “Daredevil”, “The Defenders”, “Omega the Unknown” (to name a few) but most popularly for “Man-Thing”.
Gerber’s written work would be seen in TV series such as “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “G.I. Joe”, “The Transformers”, “Thundarr the Barbarian” and in the ’90s for his work on “The New Batman/Superman Adventures”.
But in the early ’90s, Gerber became one of the founders of Malibu Comics “Ultraverse” and was known for co-creating “Exiles” and “Sludge”.
While the “Sludge” series would only last for 12 issues and one special, it was one of the more darker, violent, edgier series in the Ultraverse.
The series revolves around a corrupt NYPD detective named Frank Hoag. When he is asked by mob boss, John Paul Marcello, to kill a fellow cop, Hoag refuses. Angered by Hoag’s refusal, Marcello orders his men to kill Detective Hoag, who ends up falling on a bunch of chemicals.
Shot many times, his body is throw in a pool of sewer sludge and while the chemicals helped heal Hoag, with the combination of the sewer sludge would transform Hoag into a huge mass of slime and had become a new monster.
With this new body, in constant pain, Hoag…now a slime monster, uses his anger and pain and takes it out on the criminals.
But now as Sludge lives in the sewer, no doubt he will want his revenge on the people who made him to what he became.
From the first few pages of reading “Sludge”, it’s a much different story compared to other series not just because of its character but also because of the violence. Innocent people including a baby gun down by a gang known as the Fang. And what happens when they encounter Sludge.
Sludge shows that he can not only regenerate after being impaled or shot but anything he touches, his sludge makes people melt and he has enormous strength.
Needless to say, “Sludge” has similarities to Marvel Comic’s “Man-Thing”. Sure, both have different settings and Sludge is evolved from the sewer as opposed to the swamp. But the concept is similar, design is different but for the most part, I enjoyed “Sludge” for being a different type of Ultraverse storyline with it’s action and violence.
Definitely a Steve Gerber comic book series worth reading!