TITLE: Shaman’s Tears #1
YEAR: May 1993
COMPANY: Image Comics
Writer/Illustrator: Mike Grell
Art Assistant: Brian Snoddy
Color Separator: Digital Chameleon
Lettering: Steve Haynie
Editor: Mike Gold
There’s no denying that Mike Grell is one of the most talented surviving comic book writer/artists that is still active and in high demand.
With accomplishments from his work on “Green Lantern/Green Arrow”, “The Warlord”, “Green Arrow”, “Jon Sable Frelance” and “Starslayer” (to name a few).
So, back in 1993, when word that Mike Grell is coming aboard with Image Comics, the haven for creator-driven work, needless to say people were excited for a new Mike Grell series.
And as the first issue features a lengthy introduction from editor Mike Gold and like Gold, many people had high expectations of the comic book series, something happened.
I am not sure what happened but what we know is that after issue #4, “Shaman’s Tears” was going to jump ship to AXIS Comics. But “Shaman’s Tear’s” would eventually stay with Image Comics and in 1995, there was anticipation of the “Shaman’s Tears/Turok the Dinosaur Hunter” crossover (Image Comics/Valiant-Acclaim Comics) but no one knows what happened with that, only that it was solicited but nothing came out of it. In fact, the only thing that is available are actual unpublished page art floating around the Internet.
But a dozen issues plus an issue #0 were published and while the first half are easier to find, the second half can be a bit difficult. Fortunately, there’s eBay.
The series begins with a Russian cosmonaut working on the space station and we watched as he is killed by an American astronaut who sneaks into the space station to see what kind of laboratory studies the Russians are working on.
The astronauts are immediately attacked by beasts.
We learn that there are new life forms created by the gene splicing techniques of Circle Sea Enterprises and for one scientist, he is shocked to hear one of the beasts saying a word. As Circle Sea introduces to the military of their engineered specimens, they meet Banner, they see a human with a DNA of a badger giving him super strength; Docket, a bright mechanic with prehensile tail and feet; Sigil, half human and half bat; Cujo, who has highly developed sense of hearing and can navigate in absolute darkness; Blazon, who has maximized strength, cunning and survival and is a leader and more.
The storyline then shifts to Medicine Hat Reservation where Joshua Brand once lived.
Joshua is half-Sioux and half-Irish and he hated living in the reservation. He ran away from the area and with now he’s returning after hearing his mother is sick.
When he arrives, he sees an old friend named Sadie who socks him in the face and calls him a bastard.
When Joshua’s sees his Irish mother, she is sick and near death. She asks him to promise her that she will let a Vision Quest guide him and he promises. Meanwhile, the tribe has selected Joshua as the Chosen and at first Joshua wants to refuse but his mother’s dying last words is that he must keep his promise, so he does.
The issue concludes with Joshua undergoing his tribe’s ritual.
Overall, it’s not a surprise that the storyline that involves gene splicing with human and animals probably may not end well but how life will change for Joshua will be interesting as the storyline goes on.
Another Mike Grell comic book series worth reading!