Eclipse & Vega Super Sized Special #1 Review

Reviewer: John Babos
Eclipse & Vega “Super Sized Special” is the fifth installment in the E & V series

First Story Title: What I did on my Summer Break
Written by: Chris Yambar (Simpsons Comics & Mr. Beat)
Art by: Bill Jankowski & Mark Gallivan (Ultimate Danger Comics)

Second Story Title: The Origin of Packaging Man
Written by: Saul Colt and James Patrick (Lionxor and Crackurz)
Art by: Bill Maus (ZEN)
Colors & Letters by: Mark Gallivan

Third Story Title: Fantasy Camp
Written by: Saul Colt
Art by: Mark McElligott & John Warren
Letters by: Mark Gallivan

Includes pin-ups by: Andy Lee, Chris Giarrusso, DJ Coffman, Marc Wolfe, Brian Rood & Michael Bridges
Cover illustrated by: Bill Morrison (Simpson Comics)
Cover colored by: Bill Jankowski
Publisher: SSS Comics

This is my first taste of Eclipse & Vega (E & V). Its, luckily, also a perfect place to start! This is SSS Comics‘ first full color E & V offering AND is the first time that publisher and creator Saul Colt lets other talents steer his creations (for 1.5 of the 3 stories anyway).

Its very difficult for indie publishers to get noticed, but hopefully the E & V Super Sized Special #1 and news that SSS Comics is the new home for ZEN… will bode well for SSS.

…But, this is a review of the current E & V offering, so, here we go…

As is my way, I won’t give away major spoilers. If you want that kind of info… you can pick up this book through your local comic shoppe or directly from SSS Comics.

E & V are two super-heroines with the power of light and sound respectively. The opening story tells their origin and explains their powers. Its a tongue-in-cheek humorous telling with elements of Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hanna Barbara, Dante’s Inferno and Girls Gone Wild (except that its all-ages accessible)… an interesting mix to be sure.

I was thoroughly entertained by the opening the story. The art was cute and cartoony with the pacing done exceptionally well. One of my favorite parts was when Packaging Man (more on him later) arriving late for the “action” in a tuxedo – as opposed to his super-hero costume because he came directly from a charity banquet – since there’s clearly no phone booths between here and there to effect a wardrobe change.

The opening arc is a funny, homage-filled, and sophisticated origin tale with lots of action as E & V are pursued by their creators, an extraterrestrial octopus, a devil, and a super-hero. Interestingly, the story and art just work.

Its a guilty pleasure that leads into the next origin tale… that of Packaging Man (PM) [answering readers’ silent question from the first story as to who and what he is]. This second story is a shorter tale that explains that PM is Canada’s Super-Soldier. Its an origin similar to Captain America’s with a bit of the Great White North thrown in with a splash of humor and… mushrooms? Its another saucy tale with solid art by Bill Maus (of ZEN infamy).

The final tale is a touching one about an E & V fan who has the opportunity to go to a super-heroine fantasy camp a la “Make-A-Wish Foundation” and the like. The art, while not my favorite, suits the story well with readers focusing on the travails of this unfortunate fan.

The book ends with this rather serious tale and is a bit jarring – although well done – because it doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of this book’s overall zany and humorous tone. That said, its a really moving story.

This book makes a compelling case for readers to pick up the future exploits of E & V and grab available back issues.

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