Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Forgotten Past of 1989: Street Heroes 2005: Super Cops with Mustaches

Mustache Power
It's hard to image what the future will look like in 16 years. This is a problem that plagues most narratives taking place in the future. You can only speculate and extrapolate on what the future will look like, you can never know. But you know what you can always count on? Mustaches! Here comes Street Heroes 2005. A real look at the real cops of the future of 2005. I found this comic in a back issue bin at Red River Books n Winnipeg, a surreal used book store with an endless supply of back issue bins.

What's it about? We are in the distant future of 2005. Crime and violence runs rampant. The police forces are doing their best to stop it. One night, American mob bosses prepare to ship illegal weapons to Canadian rebels across the northern border. You heard that right. The police jump in and bust the deal.

Waist high
However, they are ill-equipped for what they find in one of the crates: A Super-Villain! This bad guy was just casually waiting to slice through the police forces, crouched in a crate for who knows how long. He shoots everyone, but one cop, our protagnonist, manages to escape, licks his wounds and vows revenge on the man who killed his squad. If this plot feels familiar, it's only because it's been repeated ad nauseam in every single comic published since the mid 80's. It's a superhero deconstruction, and it's not a classic in any way shape or form.

Anyway, our cop gets assigned a new partner, Wyatt Wolverstone. He likes to be called "Wolverstone Warrior", either because this was his "X-treme" superhero code name or he has low self-esteem and picked a nickname for himself. Forget about skills, this guy seems to be all about posturing

Badass Mustache and weird proportions
They reluctantly agree to team up to hunt the bad guy. But it turns out that the hunters are really the hunted, by the original hunter (the super-villain). Lots of hunting in this book. They eventually fight and, surprisingly, both parties end up in rough shape. Our mustachioed super cops retreat to once again lick their wounds. So much happens in this book. Then the super-villain attacks our main protagonist at his house. I'm hooked!

I'll try to track down the other issues. It shouldn't be too hard, there are only 2 other issues. This was published in 1988 by Eternity Comics, a short-lived comic publisher that was a part of Malibu Comics and active for a few years in the late 80's and early 90's. They eventually folded with Malibu when they were acquired by Marvel. 

The awesome cover was drawn by Bruce Jones, a name I was vaguely familiar with because of his involvement in "The Incredible Hulk" in the early 2000's. I will talk at length about another of his books in a future edition of "The Forgotten Past", where I'll be covering his Marvel Comics Graphic Novel "Arena: Feel the Terror". The cover looks really great, and the colours were done by none other than Bruce Timm, he of Batman: The Animated Series and Black Canary & Zatanna: Fishnets Ahoy!.

Would I recommend this? It's nothing particularly exciting. If you've seen any procedural crime show, you know how this is going to turn out. It's pretty simple. It's a "police seeks revenge story" with superhero elements throw in because, well because comics I guess. The art is standard comics fare. Nothing fancy, experimental or noteworthy about any of it. It's competent, professionnal and a little lifeless. And once again, I can't tell any of the mustached men apart, a problem that also happens whenever I read Satelitte Sam. What's up with those mustached dudes all looking the same? Also, weird choices were made with numbering. On two ocassions, I thought it was a narration box. It's the same lettering and it's overlapping the drawings, even if this is placed near actual narration box.

It's no wonder that it fell victim to the longbox graveyard. I'm not sure it would have even been breaking new ground in 1989. 

My verdict: Come for the Mustaches, stay for the competent work!

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