TITLE: Freak Force Vol. 1, Issue #1
YEAR: December 1993
COMPANY: Image Comics
Creator/Script: Erik Larsen
Plots/Storytelling: Keith Giffen
Pencils: Victor Bridges
Inks: Karl Story
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Colors: Gloria Vasquez
Color Separations: Olyoptics
Film Output: Kell-O-Graphics
Erik Larsen has featured many characters, those with super abilities in his comic book “Savage Dragon”.
And in the beginning of Image Comics, as the co-creators were getting started and a few having multiple series showcasing talented artists, writers, inkers, colorists, etc., Erik Larsen set the wheels in motion for a group of superpowered individuals who have formed a group known as Freak Force.
Featuring Mighty Man, Rapture, Dart, Superpatriot, Barbaric, Ricochet and Horridus, these individuals were gathered together (in “Savage Dragon” issue #4), as the Chicago Police Department wanted to recruit them to combat the growth of super-powered villains.
These individuals were not all good people (ie. Dart is a vigilante, Rapture was a super-powered prostitute) but you have heroes such as Might Man and World War II patriotic hero, SuperPatriot. While Horridus is a girl with a lizard appearance who was locked in her parents basement her entire life. And you have Barbaric who has appeared on Savage Dragon, learning from the best. Individuals getting an opportunity to do some good, others who were given a second chance to change their lives.
But the big question is if can they function as a team?
“Freak Force” ran for 18 issues (1993-1995) and a second volume three-issue mini-series in 1997 and featured Erik Larsen plotting but for the most part, Keith Giffen (known back then for his work on “Trencher” and DC Comics’ “Lobo”) was the person who helped kick things off. And a lot of other talent came together for this first issue.
The first issue features the group having no home and staying at Mighty Man’s friend, Phyllis’ apartment. A temporary arrangement until the group gets their own headquarters.
Knowing they must beat supervillains to earn money, Dart gets Officer Paul Dragon to give them info. on who has the largest bounty and the group decides to go after Major Disaster. As this would be money that could get them a new headquarters.
And sure enough, they go against the #1 villain with the highest bounty and sure enough, they get their butts kicked around. But can these individuals put away their differences and work together?
I do recommend those who plan to get this series to look out and find “Savage Dragon” issues #1-6 and the “SuperPatriot” mini-series, which segues to this first issue of “Freak Force”. But it’s not necessary, but it does help to understand the context of the characters and why the group was formed.
If anything, this first issue resembles a popcorn action film, a whole lot of action, not much of a story. Aside from the group having to beat their first baddie to earn money for a house, it doesn’t stray far from that, nor is it too deep. So, for those who love action and an easy to follow series.