Saturday, September 24, 2011

Unusual Heroes: Nightslayer #1 (George R. Reid, 1983)


As an obscure comics fan, sometimes a cover can easily seduce me, no matter how corny it's contents might be. Such is the case with Nightstalker #1, which I found while surfing through Lone Star Comics' inventory. He's got a gun! He's got an axe! He wears a cape and executioner's hood! And if you are a bad guy...he's coming for you in the dark of the night. I love this cover, it perfectly captures the essence of the hero. And the black and blue coloring really enhances that nightslaying vibe.

This is a self-published comic written and penciled by George R. Reid, which I believe is the only work he has ever released in comic form. Although the comic advertises a second issue, it's status is virtually non-existent on the 'net. Not to be confused with DC Comics' Batman villain of the same name, Nightslayer is your typical cut-and-paste type of crime-fighter.



The premise is that the Nightslayer (we never learn his real name) is on his second date with a girl named Jennifer when she is gunned down late at night on the streets of New York. The killers get away, and instead of looking for someone new to date...the guy trains to fight and designs his own weapons, and somehow creates a bullet-proof costume. Then he begins looking for the killers, while slaying all the other nocturnal baddies in the meantime.





The cops want to find the Nightslayer as the news heats up over his killings, and some douchebag named Phenom decides to get in on the action and find him first. Rambo, anyone?



The pencils are actually pretty good in spots for amateur work if you overlook the Phenom character. But the story is dreadful and feels rushed, and the characters aren't nearly as fleshed out as they should be.



Reid included a second story featuring a hero called Star Angel, presented here:




This is one of those comics that you look at and realize the artist had lots of potential, but he could have used a writer or should have put more originality into the stories he wanted to tell. But it is good enough for an 80's underground release, and I'd say there are only about 500 or less of these babies floating around. Pick one up if you see one, and let the Nightslayer live again...if only for one more night.

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