Monday, August 6, 2012

Spotlight: X-Ray (1986-1988)

X-Ray is a character that began life in a comic called B-Movie Presents, which was published by B-Movie Comics out of South Bend, Indiana in 1986. Created by Mark Paniccia (now editor of Marvel Comics and Tokyopop), you'll need to think of a poor man's Cyclops...then throw in a dash of The Crow, and we're close to getting to what X-Ray is all about.

The setting is Chicago in the near future, where overpopulation, unemployment and pollution have all caught up with mankind. It must be 1998, I'm guessing. Anyways, all the police are quitting or getting killed due to the insane amount of violence in the city. The government decides to approve a genetic experimentation program to enhance natural senses and strengths, and the Alpha Cop is born.

One of the early Alpha Cop testers had so many chemicals and radiation injected into his body, that when his wife gave birth to their son she died, and the boy's genetic structure had also changed, giving him these strange, mutated black eyes. Hence, X-Ray was born.

X-Ray grew up and became an Alpha Cop himself, and after his Father is killed by a group of thugs, X-Ray has quietly vowed revenge against a drug called Metracaine, which has taken over several sectors he's been assigned to. And with that, we enter the World of X-Ray:

X-Ray captures the bad dudes and brings them back to HQ. He tells Shockwave, a fellow Alpha Cop, to keep a better eye on his beat, as the bad dudes were smuggling Metracaine into his sector. Maybe Shockwave has other plans?

Soon, X-Ray finds more Metracaine getting smuggled into his sector...

X-Ray follows various leads all the way to the underground sewer system, where the Metracaine-addicted Shockwave had been using the sewers to smuggle the drug.

X-Ray kills Shockwave accidentally during the battle, which makes him question his actions at the deceased Alpha Cop's grave site.

X-Ray's next appears in B-Movie Presents #2, this time in a story called, "Crimson Tear". It's a revenge tale as his origin is revealed, and the thugs that killed his Father have resurfaced.

X-Ray appeared in his very own comic in 1988. B-Movie Comics had changed to Pyramid Comics where Paniccia was now the Publisher, and this time around Jim Frost got a hand in writing/drawing the character.

Unfortunately the story is all over the place and pretty convoluted, but here's a few pages anyway:

And there we have it. X-Ray is trapped in the Force Field with a giant, mutated Alien bug thing and is never heard from again. He looks pretty doomed in that last panel. Send me a message if you've seen this character in other comics. So far, I've found zilch. But as lame as the whole idea might sound, you have to give Panciccia credit...he did premiere this character in a B-Movie Presents, after all.


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