TITLE: Megaton Issue #4
YEAR: April 1986
COMPANY: Megaton Comics
Writer: Megaton: Gary Carlson Vanguard: Erik Larsen
Artist: Megaton: Angel Medina
Inks: Megaton: Tom Dzon
Letters: Megaton: Grass Green
Editor: Gary Carlson
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Editor-in-Chief: Axel Alonso
Before Gary Carlson would be known for creating “Big Bang Comics”, he was known for self-publishing his own comic book anthology “Megaton” through his creator-owned comic book company, Megaton Comics.
Carlson is known for giving budding new artists a chance back in the mid-to-late ’80s, he brought Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld and Angel Medina aboard and also featured work from other artists who would go on to have success in the industry.
Carlson would co-create a character known as Vanguard (who would first appear in “Megaton” issue #1) along with Erik Larsen and with issue #3 of “Megaton”, the character Dragon would make his debut and would feature a fight between Vanguard vs. The Dragon.
Unfortunately, I have never owned a copy of issue #3 and nor will I spend an arm and a leg for that issue, but I do have issue #4 and it’s another wonderful story featuring both Vanguard and The Dragon. But also, the main superhero for the comic book series, Megaton.
“Megaton” issue #4 features the return of Megaton who has been gone for awhile. The popular African American actor who played Megaton on TV arrives to his home to see his butler Napier still around.
When Matthew Scott (Megaton) arrives, all his belongings are gone and he tells his story of how he had three months to live and his two hearts that he was born with were beating uncontrollably. But Doc Pomerov who had worked on a super soldier program used a process on Matthew. The other man who also was experimented on was Eddie Manson, a famous college quarterback was given great power but in the process, his mind was warped.
Manson would kill Dr. Pomerov and while he was about to kill Matthew, the injection he was given earlier by the doctor gave him incredible power kicked in and Megaton ended up defeating Manson.
Sporting the Megaton costume given to him by the doctor which was based on the uniform he sported on television.
When Matthew asked what happened to his belongings, Napier tells him that is because he gave power of attorney to his agent Oscar.
But when he goes to pay a visit to Oscar, Oscar tells him that because he has aged, he is no longer popular. Tastes in actors change and right now, everyone loves Michael J. Fox. To make things worse, the newspapers have publicized that Matthew was dying of AIDS.
While playing a superhero on TV, now Matthew is a superhero with his new abilities. But can he change public perception who thinks he has a disease?
For the “Vanguard” storyline, The Dragon has locked Vanguard up at one of the superhero bases. The Dragon wants to clear Vanguard’s name because the alien didn’t do anything, but during the battle and the death of Mighty Man, with many injured during the battle between Vanguard vs. the Dragon, public sentiment wants Vanguard behind bars.
Meanwhile, Vanguard’s human girlfriend, Roxanne transports into the cell where Vanguard is being contained and tries to break him out. But Vanguard doesn’t want to run and Dragon knows that he didn’t do anything wrong. So together, they plan a publicity campaign to show the world he is a hero.
But not long after, a horde of villains have invaded the hero base leaving Dragon, Smasher and Vanguard fighting them all to protect their base. Can the three hold out against the never ending horde of villains invading?
There is a short story titled “Wild Man and Rubberoy”and Wild Man taking a gang of criminals and fearing that his sidekick may be dead.
Overall, “Megaton” is a fantastic anthology series. Unfortunately, Megaton Comics would only last eight issues but the good news was that it would give help establish the work of Gary Carlson and other artists/writers who would become popular a few years later. And things coming full circle as Gary Carlson’s work would be continued with “Big Bang Comics” for Image Comics.
If you have the opportunity to track down these older Megaton (not Megaton Man) comic books, definitely check them out!