Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Lost History of Sun Strike

Playing with cover sketch for D'n'A #1 still.

Sun Strike’s first comic came out in 1974, with an April cover date. There were four comics cover dated 1974, with #5 arriving in stores that year bearing a January 1975 cover date.

At the time, it’s one of four comics launched by Broke as A Joke, who sustained this and three of their titles in some form until suspending the company in 1982 upon its sale to Marvel.

Marvel published the comic again after a nearly two year hiatus, returning with #86 in fall of 1983.

The Sun Strike comic book begins its run in black and white, going color during its bimonthly run in 1975. It features the exploits of Clay Reaves, taken to the dimension of Luxitica to gain the powers of Sun Strike. He becomes a champion of rebel forces battling a conquering empire from the stars. The solar-powered world of Luxitica remained the setting until #41, the end of a graphic novel of sorts, if not a trilogy.

At this point, outlawed even after the end of the war he fought to end, Sun Strike returns to Earth, to pick up his interrupted life. Fitting in nowhere, he becomes a drifter and soldier of fortune over issues 41 through 47, which contains his battle with DRagonvayne and the origin of Valkyrie Maiden. With the comic’s fiftieth issue, she becomes his partner in the title, and so remains for the rest of the incarnation, whether published by Joke or Marvel, through 1985. SUNSTRIKE AND VALKYRIE MAIDEN #100 features their wedding; the title is brought to an end by its returned original creative team in #95 under the Epic imprint, through its last, #108. An issue #109 was published three months afterwards by the team that had resurrected the series two years before. The license for the characters remained unused for years while the original creative team worked at other personal ambitions, such as black belts, small businesses, and forays into music and film.

Finally, in 2009, an idea to center a new series around the two retired-from-publishing heroes led to a treatment developed by Lue Lyron, who pitched a cameo for Sun Strike, Valkyrie Maid, and their two twin children, now grown, in his story introducing Sylvane, “Hour of Terror and Pity,” adapting what became Sylvane’s appearances in PORTAL IMMORTAL #10-15. The intention was to find them as they existed without a break in publishing, but soon ways of combining them with Marc Kane’s thoughtful Viking spiritual adventures and Lyron’s science fiction work assured that the partners in peril will be found resuming the careers, bit by bit, left behind as eloquently as possible by the last nine issues of the original series.

P.s. it's true that finding issues of SUNSTRIKE in Uglyland is to be blessed with a personal religious experience. Anything dating back before the creation of their conscious existence is game for a faith-based piece of the puzzle of their creation.
Thus, things dating before their creation in the 80's began to give them clues...ah, but we'll get into that impressionable way of assembling one's beliefs in STUCKWAYZE #1, which has stuck around on the drawing board long enough to become more satisfying in its absurdity.

That their theology should be no more serious than a deeply entertaining comic book speaks to the way they view their hung-up lives without depression.

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