Written and Illustrated by Jay Piscopo
Last month I mentioned the release of the Commander X All-Star Special, a new comic from the folks at Nemo Publishing. Longtime readers of Infinite Hollywood probably know that I have a soft spot for Commander X, the pulp inspired golden age hero. Jay Piscopo has a way about his work that doesn’t just seem like it’s influenced from the comics of yesteryear, but rather as if it was plucked right out of that era.
This 40 page special edition comic includes three stories and fans of the Commander will recognize these tales from other comics. That’s okay though because they’ve never looked sharper or more crisp than in this All-Star Special. This serves as a great launching point for new fans or kids who are just starting to get exposed to the world of comics. Although the Commander X stories are retro-inspired, there’s enough modern storytelling sensibility throughout that you never feel like you’re reading something that’s been dumbed down or is tongue in cheek. Because Jay keeps it old school, this comic is family friendly and safe for all ages to read. After all, it is approved by the Cosmic Code Authority!
The first story, The Guardian of Tantaus, takes place in Tibet in 1939. If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones and old movie serials, you’ll especially get a kick out of this one. Commander X is sent into the snowy climate to stop one of his old enemies, the Red Octopus, who is working with the Nazis to trap the abominable snowman. The Commander encounters Nazis, Tibetan monks and of course, the one big ol’ mean Yeti!
You may recall that I paid tribute to this story back in 2009, with my own little Commander X Figure Comic, so this one is definitely a classic. It was great reading it again and seeing the story just seemingly leap off the page with each turn. I must admit, this is still one of my favorite Commander X stories.
The second story is called Allies and recounts the time that Commander X first met Sea Ghost, who was going by the moniker Sea Raider during World War II. This story really oozes that classic Jonny Quest, Hanna-Barbera cartoon feel and it’s also heavily influenced by the old Aquaman comics. It definitely has some art nods to Ramona Fradon and Paul Norris, while the story is a fun underwater romp that also serves to make you want to buy the Commander X Undersea Knight toy.
The final story, Wake of the War-Beast, is one part Godzilla movie and one part 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Piscopo manages to weave the genres together perfectly for a highly exciting nautical adventure. While the previous story was underwater as well, this one is all about submarines and naval maneuvers. There’s also a little bit of magic, sci-fi and superstition peppered in for good measure.
All in all, the Commander X All-Star Special is a nostalgic adventure through several Commander X stories all cobbled together into one big book of awesome. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re like me and are tired of the same short modern comics where you have to buy 4-5 comics to get a complete adventure.
At $3.99 you can’t go wrong with this comic. That’s basically 10 cents per page. Not to mention that there’s some beautiful pin-ups (as always in a Nemo Publishing book) and lots of fun, simple and exciting adventures for readers young and old. You can visit the Capt’n Eli Homepage where you can order the comic direct and learn more about the world of Capt’n Eli, Commander X and Sea Ghost.
You can also ask for this book by name at your local comic shop and give them the DIAMOND CODE: AUG12122 so they can order it for their shop. Plus be on the lookout here at Infinite Hollywood, as we’re planning a special giveaway of a Commander X comic coming soon!