By Gary Carlson
BIG BANG COMICS #25 is another one of those issues that I had very little to do with overall, merely acting as editor-in-chief and assembling the book with stories done by other creators of the Big Bang Gang. Regulars like Chris Ecker, Jeff Weigel, Mike Worley, Terrance Griep, Jim Brozman and Tim Stiles did the heavy lifting this time around, assisted by Doug Mabry and Jim Woodyard. And yet, with so little on my plate I managed to goof up one major thing. We were proud to have published 25 consecutive issues of the title at Image Comics and solicited the book as a “Silver Anniversary” Special. Jeff Weigel created a gorgeous front cover featuring the top BB heroes celebrating the moment. But somewhere between submitting the book to Image and receiving copies from the printer, the 25th ISSUE type disappeared along with part of the logo. Oops.
Other changes between the original and printed version show that the printing date changed from May to June, the price went up from $2.95 to $3.95 and the logo colors changed a bit. I imagine the price change was the major thing, but when I received the printers proof to okay the changes, I didn’t even notice that they had lost the big 25 burst. My apologies again to Jeff Weigel for the mistake.
Beyond that, it’s a fun issue. It’s always great to have a Knight Watchman story written and drawn by his creator Chris Ecker. In “Father Flamingo And The Boys Of Bad Town,” young Jerry Randall (aka Kid Galahad) wipes out on his bicycle and hits his head on a rock, losing his memory. He falls in with a gang of young toughs who commit crimes and pick pockets for the nefarious Pink Flamingo.
When Jerry doesn’t come home, his uncle Reid Randall heads out as the Knight Watchman to find the missing boy. During his search, the KW crosses paths with the bad boys and recognizes Jerry in their midst. Jerry helps the gang to escape, but during their celebration he receives another bonk on the noggin which restores his memory just as the Watchman arrives. The Flamingo tries to pass the blame on to the boys’ new leader – Jerry. KW says that Jerry was working for him “undercover” and arrests Pinky and arrange for the boys to go to an orphanage.
Next up, Thunder Girl’s vacation out west is interrupted by “The Interplanetary Cattle Rustlers!” by Doug Mabry, Mike Worley and Jim Woodyard. Cows are disappearing every night from the ranch that Molly Wilson is staying at, and it turns out that the thieves are aliens in a flying saucer, using a shrinking ray at night to shrink and steal the cattle.
Molly catches the aliens in the act, but they use their shrinking ray on her. She’s trapped in their ship until she locates her necklace and ring and shouts the magic word Alakazam. She transforms into Thunder Girl although she is still tiny, but manages to knock some sense into the aliens who restore her and the cattle to their correct sizes on Earth and leave, vowing to never return to the solar system again.
The final story stars the Silver Age Hummingbird who meets a faery named Lady Pellinore, who warns him that his world is in danger from those in her faery realm. She warns that her people long ago turned their backs on magic in favor of very advanced science. A rogue sprite named Garlon has recently used mind control to enslave his people and now seeks to bewitch all humans on Earth also.
“The Shattering Showdown With The Super-Science Sprite” was written by Terrance Griep and drawn by Tim Stiles and follows the Hummingbird down into the mythic “Olde Realm.” The evil Garlon is a nasty little despot who uses his people’s advanced sciences to torment and attack our hero, but the pint-sized paladin uses his size changing abilities and the “sweet science” of boxing to defeat Garlon. Freed from his mind control, the sprites lock up their fallen leader and ask the Hummingbird to be their ruler. He declines and heads for home after finding out that the Lady Pellinore, who enlisted his aid, had ruled there 10,000 years ago!
All in all, another fun issue that we’re all proud of. It and back issues for most Big Bang’s are available for purchase for $3 at our back issue store:
Next time: Jerry Acerno’s Shadow Lady Returns!
Big Bang Comics and all related characters are © and TM Gary Carlson and Chris Ecker. Knight Watchman is a registered trademark of Gary Carlson and Chris Ecker.