Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Big Bang Comics vol. 2, issue #18 – April 1998 (Image Comics)

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TITLE: Big Bang Comics vol. 2, issue #18

RELEASE: April 1998

COMPANY: Image Comics

Writer: Gary Carlson

Penciller: Joe Zierman, Jason Howard, Jeff Weigel, Jason Millet, Joe Cooper, Darren Goodhart

Inker:  Steve Collins, Mike Matthew, Jason Howard, Jeff Weigel, Jim Brozman, Fred Gartner, Darren Goodhart, Patrick Tuller, Joe Cooper

Letterer: Susan Doane

Gary Carlson will be known for his creator-owned comic book work with the ’80s anthology Megaton (which helped launch the career of artists such as Rob Leifeld and Erik Larsen) and in 1994, creating “Big Bang Comics” with Caliber Comics (issues 0-4) and then with Image Comics during the mid-90s to 2005.

These comics were black and white and would feature Gary Carlson as writer but numerous artists contributing pages as penciler, inker and letterer.

Created as a homage to Golden Age and Silver Age comic books, stories would often feature heroes from Earth-A (1960’s) and Earth-B (1940’s) and as Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon would be featured on Megaton, Savage Dragon would also be featured on Big Bang Comics.

In issue #18, Savage Dragon was plucked from his time and sent to another world where the Time Being is trying to kill all superheroes and create a new universe.  As Savage Dragon and Ultiman tries there best to stop them, Ultiman sacrifices his life for Savage Dragon to escape and find a way to stop him.

The Time Being sends Oblivia to jump into the Time Tunnel and stop him, meanwhile the heroes are discovering something is not right on their world and the Time Bomber’s fortress is about to blow up and heroes are killed.

At the Pantheon HQ, the Pantheon of Heroes are discovering that various time zones have been destroyed by an energy storm.  Tele-Girl manages to escape to the past to get help, meanwhile Dragon manages to time jump to Earth 10 years earlier to get help and to stop Grandfather Clock from meeting himself.

And with time zones destroyed and heroes being wiped out, can the surviving heroes manage to get help, go back to the past and prevent disaster from happening?

For the most part, I enjoy “Big Bang Comics” because it feels like a combination of JLA/JSA classic stories that I grew up with and a little Legion of Super-Heroes thrown into the mix as well, but of course, utilizing characters created by Gary Carlson.

It’s cool to see Savage Dragon time jump and visit so many heroes in this comic book but it leads to a lot of mass confusion for those who have not read many issues (or never read any issue) of “Big Bang Comics”.

If there is one problem with this issue, it’s missing a chapter and the editors explain that due to complications, they delayed way too long and can’t wait any longer, so the missing 5 pages of the book will be printed in one of the next few issues.  So, not sure if a penciler/inker procrastinated or what but it sucks to have a missing chapter and the only way to know what has happened is a brief summary in the one-page apology letter.

But while disappointing, I realize it’s Image Comics and I’m prone to disappointment with lateness (“Deathmate”) or non-completions of storylines (“Image United”), so five pages are something I could live with, rather than missing several issues.

Nevertheless, a good issue of “Big Bang Comics” that will entertain fans, especially “Savage Dragon” fans.


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