Acclaim Action Zone: The Boss
Acclaim Comics (1997)
This series is like Saban’s Powerhouse, only instead of being about Saban characters, this anthology features Acclaim’s characters and not limited to the Valiant Hero acquisitions.COLORING: Twilight Graphics LETTERERS: Kenn Bell & Graphic Planet ASSISTANT EDITOR: Omar Banmally EDITOR: Lynaire Thompson ACCLAIM YOUNG READER GROUP EDITOR: Evan Skonick Ninjak: “The Boss” WRITER: Robert L. Washington PENCILER: Steven Butler INKER: Thomas Florimote Turok:”While The Cat’s Away” WRITER: Fabian Nicieza PENCILER: Kevin West INKER: Charles Yoakum Troublemakers: “History, Herstory–Whose Story Is It?”
WRITER: Fabian Nicieza PENCILER: James Fry INKER: Rodney Ramos Megastar: “Secrets” WRITER: Dan Slott PENCILER: Paul Pelletier INKER: Larry Mahlstedt The Bad Eggs: “No Place Like Home” part 2 WRITER: Bob Layton PENCILER: Don Perlin INKER: Gonzalo Mayo
We start with Ninjak’s story. There’s not much to it. Ninjak jumps around quipping like Spider-Man trying to avoid “the boss”, which turns out to be Ravenswing. He defeats him, and Ninjak hurries home before he gets in trouble with his mom. I may have this misplaced since it takes place before Denny’s mom knew he was Ninjak and when Denny still used the video game catchphrases to transform. As the credits said, this is a young reader title and it shows, but at least it’s fun.
Then we get a pretty good introduction to the Acclaim version of Turok–despite the game being closer to the original Valiant concept so I don’t get that. Here Turok is the title of a young man who protects the citizens of the Lost Land. However, he’s got a cold so his kid nephew takes the supplies to the farmers and meets a cyborg dinosaur named Bok (I think we were still calling them Brotosaurus back then but now the eggheads went with apatasaurus for some reason.) When they find the village under attack they think the “light burden” (RPG players would call it a “bag of holding”, basically a magic bag that holds everything) is carrying weapons for them, but it’s actually carrying manure, which the raider leader gets buried in. It’s a fun story but I think it’s mostly to introduce the series to younger readers.
The Troublemakers story is definitely for kids, as Crunchtime gives Rebound a quick history lesson about how not everybody has the right facts and he has to read all versions to find the one he believes is right. It’s part trivia, part “reading is fundamental”. It’s short and…exists, mostly.
Here’s the comic I’ve been waiting for. Some time between Dial H For Hero and Ben 10 was Megastar, a teenage girl whose belt buckle and the command “Star Turn” transforms her into one of five superheroes, which she used (in a flashback) to save her father. In the story proper Shelby (we don’t get a last name this issue) tells her secret to her best friend (and story narrator) Kay Webber because friends tell each other everything. However, Kay has her own secret…she’s diabetic and if Shelby didn’t use “Dynamax” to find out and save her, Kay’s driving lesson would become a funeral service because her blood sugar is dangerously low. I love this character, the fact that she tells her best friend so she has some support in this crazy life she’s now in, and with a history of diabetes in my family I appreciate that there’s a quick lesson about Type 1 at the end. I really want to see more of this character, but I think she was exclusive to the Acclaim Action Zone digests so I have some hunting in my future.
I wish they had ended on that. Instead we get the “bad eggs”, two punk kid dinosaurs trying to find a new home. If they weren’t such jerk they might succeed. Just ignore this one.
This may be part of Acclaim’s “Young Reader” series but the Ninjak story was decent, the Turok story okay, and I want to see more of Megastar. Pick up a copy if you see it.