Written and drawn by Rick Lundeen
Published by Epoch Productions
This is such a unique and awesome concept, I wish I’d thought of it myself. The idea here is that this issue is a collection of the first 100 covers of a fictional ongoing comic-book series about a superhero team called THE BATTALION. Just the covers, no inside panels. In color, sometimes, but not always, with dialogue. But by scrolling through each of these cover you can learn about each of the characters and it feels like you’re part of an ongoing saga, watching a series evolve over the course of 8 years. As you can see on the cover of this comic, which is also supposed to be the cover for #1 of the series. THE BATTALION is made up of Malator, Mataak, Elof, Whipcord, Rush, C4, and Rockefeller, the apparent leader. As you read the covers you find out more about them.
From what I could gather, MALATOR is a woman named Mala, who discovered some kind of living symbiote named Tor (possibly alien, or supernatural, it’s not clear) which attached itself to her. So she’s sort of like Venom. And it looks like both of them will die if forcibly separated. MATAAK is an alien being, who was given powers and sent to Earth to protect us against another alien race that was going to invade us. Since then it appears that his homeworld has been destroyed. ELOF is a demi-God, son of a human woman and some mythological God. WHIPCORD is a skilled martial artist (and adept with bullwhip as a weapon). RUSH is a super-speedster. C4 is a bomb expert, armed with various explosive weapons. And ROCKEFELLER was apparently born with rare gray rock-like skin, which makes him near-invulnerable and super strong. He’s worked as a Government agent and was assigned with putting the Battalion together (although it’s unclear if they’re a Government-sponsored team).
Over the course of these first 100 issues, two members die and are replaced with new members. And another member appears to quit the team near the end.
Most of their adventures are single-issue stories, although there are several multi-part story-arcs. HOSTILE TAKEOVER is a story that runs from The Battalion #32-37, where the team find themselves lured to the Moon where they get trapped by a group of supervillians. THE UNBEATABLE FOE runs from #45-50, with the team being systematically defeated by The Black Duke, an apparently magical being from another dimension. THE SEARCH FOR THE BLUE BOMBER runs through #74-81, with the team needing to find and seek help form an old retired WWII superhero when one of his arch-enemies re-appears to threaten the nation. And couple of other 2 and 3-part stories. But the most curious story begins in #14. The cover lists it as FATHERS, Part 1 of 7, but it doesn’t run concurrently. Part 2-7 of this story appears in issues 31, 38, 55, 67, 73, and 94. I don’t know what the reason for that is.
Like I said, this is a very clever concept. I would have only changed a couple of small details. The first issue is cover-dated December 2000, and the 100th issue is dated March 2009. So that’s 100 issues without a single missed month?!? In this day and age, I almost find that more unbelievable than actual super powers are. I might have changed the dates to skip a month or two here and there throughout the run, just for an added touch of realism. Also the cover price for each issue is $2.95. I would have raised the price somewhere during this run.
But that’s nitpicking. This is a very good comic, creator Rick Lundeen clearly put a lot of thought into it. I very highly recommend it.