PREVIOUSLY: Silver Streak Comics #24
Crack Comics was an ongoing anthology series published by Quality Comics, starting in 1940, until it was canceled after 62 issues. In November 2011, Image Comics published this as the third (and, to date, the last) entry in their Next Issue Project. This 52-page comic featured 9 stories of various public domain superheroes by various creative teams.
1) DOCTOR AYDION…MISTRESS OF THE ATOMUTANTS
Written and drawn by Alan Weiss
This story features Captain Triumph faces the title character, described as “the most gorgeous mad scientist you’ve ever seen.” This is definately a good throwback superhero story, as the villain has an evil lair with monsterous henchmen, and a deathtrap which our hero must escape from. All the ingredients you need for an exciting tale.
2) THE SPACE LEGION IN…A MATTER OF SOME GRAVITY
Written and drawn by Chris Burnham
This story is set on Earth in “the future,” it’s a Jetsons-like society. One day people start randomly floating up into the sky, as if gravity simply stopped affecting them. The members of the Space Legion, lead by an officer named Rock Braddon, must save the people. The stakes rise when actual building also start to float up into the sky. The Space Legion traces the source of these events to the moon, so a squad of Space Legion officers fly to the moon to confront the villain who is responsible. A solid story, in the retro vein of pulp sci-fi like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.
3) THE CLOCK
Written and drawn by Paul Maybury
In this story, The Clock single-handily takes down three criminals, and hands them over the police. But in the end will learn that he may have created an even bigger problem for himself. This was a good retro-style story.
4) MOLLY THE MODEL
Written and drawn by Terry Austin
This is a one-page story in which Molly The Model prepares for her latest modeling job, which we see is not as glamorous as you’d expect.
For just one page, Austine tells quite a good story.
5) ALIAS THE SPIDER
Written by Adam McGovern and drawn by Paolo Leandri
The leader character, The Spider faces off against villain called The Veil, who is behind many nefarious schemes in his city.
This story alright, if not particularly memorable.
Written and drawn by Herb Trimpe
U.S. Fighter pilot Tex Adams is tasked to go on top secret special mission, and given a new experimental hi-tech plane to fly for it. Trimpe puts a lot of detail into this story, it’s like a old war movie, except on paper, full of mid-air dog fights and lots of action. Impressive.
7) SLAP HAPPY PAPPY
By Joe Keatinge
Slap Happy Pappy is approached by a movie producer who offers to buy the rights to his life story for a film. Pappy accepts and flies out to Hollywood, with dreams of wealth and super stardom in his head. But things don’t work out the way he expected. Keatinge packs and emotional punch in this short 2-page tale.
8) HACK O’HARA
By Erik Larsen
Hack O’Hara, the world’s toughest taxi driver (he’d probably working for Uber today) picks up a strange customer, who turns out to be a giant monster from the future. This story is right up Larsen’s ally, and he pulls it off wonderfully.
9) LIFE AT SEA
By B. Clay Moore, Frank Fosco, and Erik Larsen
The man known as The Red Torpedo is now an old man. The story opens with him out in the sea, doing some fishing, when he is alerted of a nearby attack by pirates on a cruise ship. The man immediately leaps into action, getting into his special submarine to arrive at the scene of the crime and battle it out with the pirates. It’s quick but action-packed story, made all the more unique because there is no dialog or captions, this story is totally silent. But the art is easy enough to follow along. Very well done.
So this was another great addition to the Next Issue Project, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Unlike the first two edition, this is issue is available on COMIXOLOGY
Unfortunately, as I said, to date this is the final installment. A fourth issue was advertised, the cover was even previewed in Fantastic Comics #45. It was to be SPEED COMICS #45 (although it was printed as #9 in the issue), advertised as another 64-page issue.
I would like to see this continue, I enjoy reading about these long-lost characters, and seeing updated takes on them. And there are so many more public domain characters just sitting out there waiting to be used by somebody. I won’t hold my breath waiting for this, but you never know?