Strike Force Legacy
Comic0/Arpad Publishing (October, 1993)WRITERS: Bill Willingham & Jack Herman PENCILER: Mike Leeke INKERS: Mike Chen & Dan Schaefer COLORIST: Julia Lacquement LETTERERS: Kurt Hathaway & Pat Williams
In the first story, Vortex, the wind-controlling member of the Elementals is sent to recruit a group of paranormals trained by his old…you know, I’m not sure if Ratman is supposed to be his friend or not? I’ve never really followed the Elementals. Anyway, one of his teammates for this new “Strikeforce America” assumes command and calls the others to kill Vortex, who is willing to fight them to see what they can do.
What they got right: The art is fairly good, and we get a proper introduction to all parties (except one Elemental, Monolith, who tries to get permission for Vortex to increase the paranormal ranks to prepare for an alien invasion–we’ll meet him properly in the next story).
What they got wrong: Superheroes seeking the kill on another superhero? I don’t care if you’re the 90s, that’s just wrong!
In the second tale, it’s October, 1990. The Elementals are on a talk show when ABC News interrupts the broadcast with a report that David Golden, father of Fathom and liaison to the team, has been captured from Jerusalem and brought to Iraq, forced to denounce the US. The team head there, teaming with FISH (some group that handles paranormal people, I guess) to attempt a rescue. After learning where David’s being held (too far into the desert for Fathom, whose power requires water), Vortex, Morningstar (who commands fire), and Monolith (turns into a rock person) effect a rescue, after insulting Sadam Hussein during an attempt to spin the situation in Iraq. However, Sadam has two paranormals of his own under his control, but Vortex is able to fly everyone to the ocean, where Fathom is waiting to take them down. Sadam swears revenge.
Let’s be honest, this was a propaganda piece for Operation Desert Storm. I have no problem with that, blunt as it may occasionally be but anything I say beyond that will be lost if you’re ticked off by that. Propaganda itself isn’t bad. It’s the message being sold that you have to decide on.
What they got right: This was the first time I had seen the Elementals in action. Until this point all I knew about them was in ads and promos from the Robotech comics produced by the original Comic The Comic Company. They actually work pretty well together and have some cool powers and costumes. Especially for the EXTREEEEEEEMEEEEEE 1990s. I also like the little touches, like the signs at the US military base.
What they got wrong: Why is Peter Jennings being used for exposition? It’s kind of blatant. Just have the Elementals watching their recorded appearance on the talk show and have them called to be told of David’s kidnapping.
Recommendation: A decent enough set of tales, but if cursing, “heroes” trying to literally kill each other (I’m not even kidding, check the Friday Night Fight I did with the first story), and propaganda aren’t your thing you may not get into this book.