Z-Man (2 Issues, cancelled)
Back in the 5th grade I drew this comicbook called "Z-Man," a rather cheap Superman knock-off wearing wrap-around sunglasses.1 I don't even remember what actually happened in the 1st issue2, but I do (clearly) remember that the 2nd issue was nothing less than the Death of Z-Man (or Zed, as he preferred to be called in private).
His death was engineered, for reasons still unknown, by a mysterious suit at a table, who instructed the then young and impressionable H-Man ("Hydrogen-Man", as in "Man with the Power of a Hydrogen Bomb") to Take Zed Down.
Therein followed the sort of frantic I-can't-draw-this-fast-enough battle royal only the mind of a 11 or 12 year old can produce. They flew. They punched. They zapped. They tossed each other through mountains. Then, each them beaten and bloodied, Z seemed unbeatable, H-dude maybe thinking of begging off, fightin' 'nother day.
Then, the True Power of HydrogenBombMan Unleashed.
Flash of Light.
Z-Man is No More.3
I recall only character designs from thereon out. H-Man, some power-twins pair w/ positive and negative charges, a Cap. America knockoff, all together in some sort of super team (which was formed by the gov't to counter too-powerful rogues like Z). One thing for sure, I re-imagined Thor as younger and sleeker and put him on the team, too. Fun times. However, big problem: no villains. No villians means no story, basically. No story means no new issue. Thus the end the first run of the long and troubled history of Dauntless Comics.
But the seeds of the Versiverse were veryily sowed!! A Universe of Versions, populated by every character ever featured in a Dauntless publication: from Niveck thee Ever-Bleeding to the alien soldier-priests of the Char'r Empire to the samurai who died seeking his princess to El Humidor the Smoke Mentalist Sky Pirate to that survey team from the future that got eaten by a dinosaur in the center of the earth to the whole gang that hangs out at the Buttery Toast Bowling Alley and Lounge.
Many versions of many questions have yet to be answered: WHY is the Rose here, in the present, and what does it have to do with the liberation of earth 150 years from now? WHO did order the death of Z-man? WHY is the Buttery Toast the center of a "confluencing of improbable imagined histories"? WHO really is bounty hunter and airship captain Jonias Spicer, and why is he so protective of the monkey-girl Taroh?
Will the Versiverse reveal its secrets (at last)?
1 It was 1987 or so, after all.
2 8.5"x11", stapled, no spine.
3 Thing is, no one went to the funeral...
Labels: Dauntless Comics