Saturday, January 17, 2015

Catching up with: Armor and Silver Streak

While there has been no lack of projects involving Canadian characters and/or creators to support of late, from time to time I take an opportunity to fill gaps in my collection.  A Mile High Comics Christmas sale presented that opportunity and my little bundle of joy arrived yesterday, just in time for the weekend.

I included issues number 9 and 10 of Armor, from Continuity Comics, in my order.  I've only mentioned Jack Keaton and his brother Jacques (Silver Streak) once in the past but I always intended to eventually collect their past appearances (Neal Adams' Continuity Comics no longer publishes).

Turns out the brothers are included in more books than I thought, however. Yet again, in a vain attempt to organize my collection, I recently found the first issue of another book by Continuity called Samuree.

I have no memory of buying this thing. It does guest-star Armor and Silver Streak though so I ordered the second issue of that book as well .

Armor first. I have no idea what idea what happened to this book. The first story, involving the boys being abducted by aliens and being given their abilities, was pretty cool. Sure, the dialogue was often quite stupid...

Whoa!  Ease up on the language there, cowboy!

...but some of the action scenes were pretty wild. When substance failed, style took over.

The story seemed poised to reach its final chapter, the big showdown between Armor and the primary villain, in issue eight. And then...Nothing. In that 8th issue, the boys are suddenly in New York city busting up a coke ring.

So surely the resolution will be shown in number nine then.  But no. Nine and ten are about a criminal clown named Kracky who sells fried chicken to fund a drug operation which poses as a rehab center.

If only I was joking...

Oh well.  Maybe I'll finally get my big scrap in issue 11, whenever I happen to acquire that one.  I can only imagine how infuriating it would have been for a fan at the time. Issue seven was published in January 1990, and number 11 in August 1991. At least 18 months not only without resolution, but with brutal filler in the meantime.

A couple of pleasant surprises were included though. With the action taking place in New York, I believed that the boys' Canadian roots would be ignored going forward, but that's not the case. Writer Peter Stone does make reference to it while the guys try to return to a normal life and enroll in school.

On to Samuree.

Her origins are a little vague in the early issues of her book, but we know that she struggles with the English language, is all of 16 years old and "so much in love". It's the 16-year old thing which makes some of the art a little...awkward.

Are you into teenage girl wedgies and crotch shots? Just answer the question in your head, please.  No need to leave a comment. But if the answer is "yes", then this is the book for you. The images above are but a small sampling. Very small.

The story is sparked by a hostage situation in a museum. The hostages happen to be of interest to Samuree (for a reason that is unrevealed) and Silver Streak, who believes his father is among them.

That's news to me, because I assumed he and Armor had the same parents. I don't recall a mention of being half-brothers, step-brothers or any such, though Streak did seem far closer to his mom when she died in issue one.

Okay,well...I guess we all react differently to sudden trauma...

By the way, here's an indication of how times have changed. You're unlikely to hear a couple of Avengers or Justice league members have this conversation any time soon. It's from earlier in that same issue.

Back to Samuree's book. After the standard hero fight only to realize everyone's on the same side, the foursome (including Megalith, more on him later) team-up to deal with the terrorists. When a few of the hostages are abducted by another group altogether, the team follows the trail.  Once they've caught up to them, it is revealed that writer Elliot Maggin also recognizes Armor's Canadian background.


As for Megalith, I don't know much about him but he seems cut from the same cloth, more or less. I gather he's also a teenager though like the rest of the Continuity characters, he doesn't at all look like one. He had his own book for a while which also included guest appearances by Armor and Silver Streak.  Probably at some point I'll check those out too, but I expect the same degree of quality, so it may be a while.

It's too bad because these characters had potential. At the core, there are some good ideas but the overall execution was unfortunately quite poor.

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