Sunday, 8 May 2016


Images copyright respective owners

Not an exhaustive cover gallery I'm afraid, only the mags I
actually own.  E-MAN was created by NICOLA CUTI and JOE
STATON for CHARLTON COMICS in 1973 and lasted for only 10
 issues over a two year period.  The title was revived in 1983 by FIRST
COMICS, written by MARTIN PASKO, and, later, Staton and PAUL
KUPPERBERG, until original writer Cuti resumed the reins in ish #24 -
although #25 was the final issue.  In 1985, First reprinted the Charlton
run in a 7 issue series, and over the years, E-Man has been revived by
various companies in one-shots and limited series.  As I don't have
any of the later mags, you'll have to chase up the pertinent info
on them yourselves.  You expect me to do all the work?

Have fun perusing the pretty pictures, and feel free to leave
a comment if you've any memories of the character you'd like
to share.  If not, just make something up - I'm not fussy.

This was the last ish of this series I ever saw - maybe I'll track down
the remaining 20 issues and complete the set one of these days

*   *   *  *

I was thrilled to see this reprint series as I recall reading only the first
Charlton issue, and this let me catch up with what I'd missed

*  *  *  *

The issue that started it all - E-MAN #1


TC said...

In 1977-78, some issues of some Charlton comics were reprinted by Modern Comics. Not sure if Modern was some sort of subsidiary owned by Charlton's parent company, or if it was an entirely different publisher who had some sort of licensing deal with Charlton. The titles reprinted included War, Judo Master, Cheyenne Kid, and E-Man (issues #1, 2, 3, 4, 9, and 10, IIRC).

The Modern issues were sold in bagged 3-packs, or were given away in department stores (e.g., "Buy a pair of shoes and get 3 free comic books"). But they had a 35 cent cover price on each, so I suspect some may have been sold individually. The only ones I ever saw were back issues in the bargain bins in comic book specialty stores in the 1980's or later.

Comico published a one-shot, followed by a 3-issue mini-series, ca. 1990. I believe it was by Cuti & Staton, the original creators.

The original Charlton series was often tongue-in-cheek, but in a subtle way. First's run, written by Pasko, was overtly satirical, maybe even out-and-out farce. It's kind of like comparing James Bond to Get Smart or Austin Powers. Or comparing Maverick to Blazing Saddles. Or, maybe more like comparing Fawcett's Captain Marvel and Jack Cole's Plastic Man to DC's ultra-campy 1970's revivals of those characters. Fans of the original E-Man complained that Pasko's version was too heavy-handed and even mean-spirited.

If you have First's 7-issue reprint series, then you probably have all of the original Charlton stuff, including the Mike Mauser solo strip that ran as a secondary feature in Vengeance Squad.

I'm sure the blogosphere's resident Charlton expert, Rip Jagger, will weigh in with some helpful comments, maybe including more information about the original run and the Modern reprints.

TC said...

Just remembered, there was also a Mike Mauser one-shot B&W issue by Apple Comics in the early 1990's. Like the Charlton solo Mauser series in Vengeance Squad, it was a fairly straight-up detective story/murder mystery.

IIRC, the Mauser solo story in First's E-Man #4 was a spoof of Magnum P.I.

Kid said...

Thanks for all that, TC. First's reprint series was great, but it would've been better if one page from a Mauser story hadn't been printed in b&w (inside back cover) and if the Charlton E-Man covers had been full-sized, colour pages, as opposed to (in some instances)reduced b&w reproductions. I think there's also a book collection of the Charlton stuff, which Rip mentioned in one of his posts a while back.

Rip Jagger said...

Yep. The original Charlton run has been gathered into a handsome trade from First Comics (a new version of the original company).

E-Man is my favorite superhero. (I sit at a computer with the original E-Man poster in all its glory hovering over me.) Cuti and Staton created a masterpiece, a witty send-up of the genre which could also supply sufficient straight ahead action and mystery to satisfy readers of all kinds.

Sadly the First revival lost the blend and allowed the humor to overwhelm the adventure to the detriment of both. It got better when Staton exerted total control and found its beauty again when Cuti returned.

I think Joe Staton and perhaps Cuti now own the property and so we don't see him as much as we should, but when he does show up it's right.

I am properly humbled by the phrase "resident Charlton expert" since there are many with more insider info than me, but I bow to no one in my love for those vintage comics.

For the record Modern Comics was I believe a Charlton brand which was used when the comics were repackaged in bags for grocery stores and such, though some dispute that. For a long time I used Modern reprints to fill in gaps in my collection until I was able to find the originals. Nowadays the Moderns have value all their own.

Rip Off

Kid said...

I'll have to hunt down that collected edition one of these days, Rip. I couldn't say the E-Man is my favourite superhero, but I certainly enjoyed the Charlton strips when First reprinted them. I don't remember anything at all about the Pasko issues, and it's possible that I never even read them in '83, intending to do so later but never getting around to it. I'll sit down and read them one day, and if I have previously read them, I'm sure I'll remember the occasional bit as I go along. Apparently, Cuti and Staton own the rights to the characters, but not to the Charlton or First material itself.

John Pitt said...

What does the E stand for and what were his powers? I've never read any. That third cover is very "Phoenixy-homagy"!

John Pitt said...

Doh! - a closer look at his logo reveals it's "Energy"! Did he have atomic energy powers?

Kid said...

E-Man was a sentient energy being, created when a star went nova. If I recall correctly, he could take on any form, but I'd have to re-read them to fully reacquaint myself with his powers, JP. That cover homage is deliberate by the way.


Hat Tip - Jack Kirby (kidr77) - Imgur hates bloggers and their links

Kid said...

Ha! My blog's taking over the world! Next, the UNIVERSE!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...