Review: The Action Heroes Archives, Vol. 1

The Action Heroes Archives, Vol. 1
The Action Heroes Archives, Vol. 1 by Joe Gill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Steve Ditko. Those two words always mean a reader is in for some great and very iconoclastic comic book reading. The Charlton Action Heroes were no exception, as shown in this volume.

This book reprints Ditko’s work (ably assisted by the scripts of the prolific Joe Gill and later inking of Rocks Mastroserio) on the original Captain Atom feature in Space Adventures and the first few issues of his own comic, right up to the introduction of Nightshade.

The stories are a reflection of their times, as many of them are beset with Soviet or Eastern Bloc-ish foes. It is from these early stories that you can definitely see Captain Atom as the politically-controlled inspiration for Dr. Manhattan of the Watchmen.

The tales, besides their jingoism, are solid comic tales. Ditko didn’t have the same creative leeway he did with most of his sci-fi and horror tales, but his personality comes through in his artwork, particularly in the Space Adventures issues where he inked his own work. Rocke’s a great Charlton inker but Ditko inking Ditko is an unbeatable combination.

I can’t see a single reason why any proper comic fan would NOT want this book in their library. Charlton Comics reprints are few and far between the way it is, so grab this Archives before the price starts going into orbit!

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