Welcome to the Arktoons roundup. Bounding Into Comics’ weekly look at the comics available on the best independent publisher of webtoons on the internet.
In the mid-1980s, I was looking through the indie shelf at my favorite comic book shop and picked up a new title with a beautiful gun-toting blonde on the cover who was wearing a large crucifix around her neck.
It turned out she was a vigilante nun, named Evangeline. I won’t claim that I knew I was seeing the start of legend, I just knew that this was a much better story than the stuff I usually found on the indie shelf like Grim Jack or The Fat Ninja. And that I should keep an eye out for any new stuff by this writer; Charles Dixon.
Chuck Dixon’s work is now spread across nearly four decades in that time he made his indelible mark on the Punisher titles of the 1990s and is the most prolific Batman writer of that decade. His run on the Caped Crusader culminated with Knight Fall and the creation of the terrifying Bane.
While he made a huge name for himself in the pages of Marvel and DC, he never left the world of indie comics completely. He wrote for Wild Storm Comics and Extreme Studios during this same period.
By the 2000s this writing machine was frequently bouncing between DC and the indies.
In the late 2010s “The Legend” Chuck Dixon joined Arkhaven Comics and set his magnificent mind loose. These works are now available on Arktoons.
Go Monster Go
The way we name towns has always been a little odd in America. On the East Coast most everything seems to be named for something or someone from the old country, New York, New Jersey, Charleston (King Charles Town when founded), King George got a whole state named after him.
When you get to the Midwest it’s either Native American or French names with some stuff from classical literature thrown in: Chicago, Detroit, Cicero, (Seneca, Il is a twofer).
But when you get out West a lot of the town names start to sound like whatever crossed the mind of someone who was just passing through and didn’t intend to stop: Sandy Gulch, Deadwood, Tombstone, and the like.
Caliente Springs, New Mexico seems to be like many another small town in the southwest of the 1950s. A place that had sprung up overnight because of a long-gone cattle or mining boom and had been dying out until it was rescued from oblivion by the arrival of an Air Force Base.
But it’s still largely a place that people just stop at for a bite to eat and something to drink.
Or maybe stop long enough to get drunk.
You see, something is a little different about Caliente Springs, you can almost believe every conspiracy theory you ever heard there.
And things are just getting good there.
Alt Hero Q
Some people willingly take the Red Pill, others are force-fed it whether they want to know the truth or not.
Treasury Agent Roland Dane has made a big mistake so far as the powers that be are concerned, he stayed alive when he wasn’t supposed to. Never mind. That’s a problem that is easily corrected.
Or so they thought.
Roland Dane has served his country with utter devotion his whole life. Now he has entered a world where he may only do so from the shadows.
Chuck Dixon’s background with the Punisher can really be felt with this comic. Fans from his War Zone days are in for a long-awaited treat.
The Batman mythos: the superhero subgenre of a rich man who is a secret crime fighter is, of course, a well-established one.
Marvel’s Night Thrasher, Watchmen’s Nite Owl, Holy Terror’s The Fixer, Myron Fass’ Frankenstein, Bibleman’s Bibleman, and DC’s Green Arrow to name a few. It isn’t hard to argue that Batman himself wasn’t the Batman-type hero, that would be Zorro.
The Legend’s latest superhero; Shade is an intriguing palimpsest of the Batman archetype. A European aristocrat who can trace his family back to Charlemagne and isn’t particularly troubled by crimes against the common man. Nor does he care for the fate of governments since his family is older than just about all of them.
He is the champion of Western Civilization.
Naturally, a champion of tradition would have a man-servant confidant, who knows all of his secrets.
Yet his love of tradition…
Appears to have some very sharp limits.
That’s it for this week’s Arktoon’s round-up.
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See you next week.