Alien Legion is a comic that was originally produced by Epic Comics imprint under Marvel Comics in 1984. It was created by writers Carl Potts and Alan Zelenetz with artist Frank Cirocco. Potts described the story “The French Foreign Legion in space”.
The original series ran for about 18 issues and was relaunched with writer Chuck Dixon and artist Larry Stroman. This series would be cancelled after a year but Alien Legion would make sporadic appearances as prestige miniseries through the 1990s.
My exposure to Alien Legion was Chuck Dixon and Larry Stroman’s run on it. I enjoyed their stories very much in the 90s when I read them. I bought some Trade collections that were put out by Titan Books in the early 2000s. Tonight, I am reviewing a re-read of the story Alien Legion: Tenants in Hell by Dixon/Stroman.
Tenants in Hell was a fun re-read. As I mention in the podcast, it felt like a very 90s comic: references to Cyberpunk and Corporatism. Grim and Dark situations and characters. Total Nihilism and hope is for losers. I enjoyed these stories in my youth but they seem a bit rote in my re-read. These are still entertaining stories by they are reminders of a different time and seem antiquated now.
I keep the review mostly spoiler free but this is only a 2 part miniseries. There are plenty of Alien Legion stories out there if you want to read more.
A few weeks ago Jon and I reviewed the Marvel Original Graphic Novel (OGN) God Loves, Man Kills and that got me thinking: What other OGN do I own? It turns out – quite a lot. At least 15 of them. I pulled one from the pile and felt compelled to review it for nostalgia and oddity reasons.
This week we are talking about Iron Man: Crash OGN. It is written and drawn by Mike Saenz and it came out in December of 1987. What makes this comic (or graphic novel) so unique is that is was all drawn on a computer – a Macintosh 2 computer. It is the first computer generated graphic novel. If you are not familiar with that computer, let me put it to you this way – imagine if you had to draw 72 pages in MS Paint? How great do you think it will look? It is a product of it’s time but the art has not held up that well over time. Here are some same pages…
As you can see, the main image is greatly detailed but the background are sparse – this is due to the limitations of the tools. This was also the first time the lettering was used. Comics now use computer generated lettering as the standard.
Also, here is a sample of Tony Stark explaining to the reader how he puts on his Iron Man suit…
There are 3 PAGES OF THIS!! WHY IS THERE 3 PAGES OF THIS?!! I just don’t get the reason we needed all this detail about the armor.
The story is very vanilla and very confusing. We talk about the plot points in the podcast.
Is Iron Man: Crash a good OGN? No. Do we recommend you read it? Yes. Why? Because it is a comic time capsule. It is heavily influenced by Cyberpunk culture and we count the many Cyberpunk tropes/cliches it uses. It is a vision of the future which is now stuck in the past. It let’s you know that if you don’t learn from history, you are then doomed to repeat it.