Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Dart issue #1 – February 1996 (Image Comics)

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TITLE: Dart issue #1

YEAR: February 1996

COMPANY: Image Comics

Story by Bruce Love, Julie Ditrich

Art: Joseph Szekeres

Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

Film Separations: In Color

Editor/Dart Creator: Erik Larsen

Back in 1992, the character Dart (Jill August) was introduced in “Savage Dragon” issue #2.   Created by Erik Larsen, the character would be a main member of “Freak Force” which had its own comic book series.

She was an interesting character because her past was terrible.  She was abused, her mother was abused and killed by her father and she and her friends were abused by their coach at school.

She was an orphan and for the most part, she is a character that is a hero of Detroit but also a hero trying to keep her emotions and memories in check.  As sometimes they come out while she’s out crime fighting.

In 1996, a “Dart” mini-series was released by Image Comics.  This is before the changes that took place in “Savage Dragon” #103 and the introduction of Jill’s neice, Alison Summers.

The issue begins with toy testers observing how kids react to their superhero toys featuring Blood Chic.

The company owner and millionaire, Mr. Brockman wants to create a new toyline of superheroes and they need a new hero to make an action figure of.

Meanwhile, Detroit sees a couple being pursued by a group of thugs and as she tries to defend them, because they are so many of them, one manages to hit her hard and memories of her past, seeing her mother abused and she getting abused by her father start to come into her mind.

As she is able to fight back, she gets some help by fellow Detroit superhero, Kill-Cat. And as someone is filming this battle on his cell  phone, the footage is given to a news company and Dart becomes a TV sensation, making Mr. Brockman wanting a figure to be created in her likeness.

The first issue has a regular and variant cover and comes with a poster illustration by Colleen Doran.

For such a beautiful cover, Joseph Skezeres has his own style of illustration which works and you get used to it.  The issue has a few typos (primarily missing a letter to complete a word) but if anything, this first issue is more or less introducing the story antagonist but also showcasing Dart’s childhood and the trauma she had suffered.

Overall, a good first issue.  Not great but I think for those who are Dart fans and wanted to see more of a solo story involving her, would not doubt want to check this mini-series out!

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