January 11, 2010

Blue Ribbon Comics #12 [1984]

One of the more temporary stops the THUNDER Agents made over the years was over at Archie. The previous year several comics had been published by JC Comics with new and reprint stories, including one cover by Ditko inked by Willie Blyberg. This issue of Archie's anthology adventure title continues from those, apparently to help save a deadline (there's an ad in here with a cover for BLUE RIBBON #12, but with the cover that eventually was on #14).

Anyway, Ditko art is on the 10-page back-up story, "The Making Of A Monster" featuring the robotic Agent with an invisibility cloak, NoMan, inks by Blyberg, story by John Carbonaro and Charlie Boatner. NoMan goes to a remote island after getting a letter from Wildey, an unstable old associate (who isn't aware of his current robotic state). On the island he finds that his old friend has set himself up as a modern Doctor Moreau, creating hybrid beasts in out of control genetic experiments, and buying human slaves to experiment on.

Some really attractive work by Ditko in this one, with Blyberg's inks really bringing the work alive. I especially liked all the strange creatures. That faceless gorilla is just creepy, and that horned cat looks like something out of WATCHMEN a few years later. There are some more freakish chimera later in the story, and good action scenes of NoMan fighting them.

Not a must have, but definitely one of the better examples of Ditko's commercial work in the mid-80s, worth picking up if you see a copy.

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