Huzzah, It's been a while effendi's!
The past few months have been pretty busy with getting the final awesome, jaw dropping issue of that explosive hero Starbomb out and put to bed. Writing, penciling and inking a 48 page special takes time. Which is why todays review is about DC comics' longest running 12 issue limited series "Camelot 3000"!
Camelot 3000 was cover dated December 1982. It was a limited "Maxi-Series". Meaning it was to only run 12 issues and was slated to be a monthly comic.
Written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Brian Bolland, this comic was seriously GOOD! Early '80's Bolland was a total treat to see. Try finding an entire one issue comic with his art in it now is almost impossible. This comic also showcased the inks of Bruce D. Patterson for the first half and the second half went to inker X-traordinare Terry Austin! I was as surprised as everyone else that Popeye wasn't drawn into the book.
This series is exactly what it seems. It's the year 3000 in England and Earth has been over run with nasty, reptilian like aliens and there doesn't seem to be any hope left for mankind....until the main character Tom Prentiss, runs across an old crypt which houses the man that legend says will arise one day and reunite England in her most dire times.
After awakening King Arthur, the two go on to find Merlin. Merlin gives Arthur the details of what he has to do to save the planet and Tom finds himself in a futuristic version of "The Once and Future King".
This story deals a lot with reincarnation. Along with King Arthur coming back, Merlin is able to awaken 6 reincarnated souls to help Arthur as the new Knights of the (slightly smaller) Round Table!
Guinivere has returned, as has Lancelot, Galahad, Gawain, Percival, Kay and Sir Tristan.
Guinivere is an American Commander of the Allied Resistance, Lancelot is a French Billionaire, Galahad is a Japanese warrior and Gawain is from South Africa. The remaining 2, Percival and Tristan, find that reincarnation may not be so hot, as Percival is an "undesirable" and has been transformed into a 7 foot tall, mute monstrosity with near super human strength, and Sir Tristan is now "Lady" Tristan...not something a knight of old wants to find himself as.
Basically, it's a "Save the world from Aliens" story, with the Arthurian legends as a background. Looking back at it though... I'd say it's simply the second chapter of the classic, "Once and Future King". It is very true to the source material and if Sir Thomas Malory was alive today, (Or then), I think he would've dug it!
As the story progress', we find out the aliens aren't the only danger here. Morgain Le Fay is back as well...and if you've read any of the old King Arthur tales, you'd know that that spells trouble!
This comic was kinda groundbreaking (at least, for American comics) on a few different levels.
First, there was a slight hint of nudity throughout the book. Just look at Morgain Le Fay's outfit and you can guess where a lot of it came from. The comic also featured the first "girl kissing girl" scene that I'd come across in a comic.
Lot's of graphic violence is in the comic as well....but it's no where near the stuff you'd see in today' comics. Everything was mostly hinted at....this wasn't the Authority!
The biggest thing about this comic though, was the time it took to get this made! Like I said earlier, issue 1 was dated Dec. 1982. Issues 2,3,4 and 5 went along smoothly...then, the scheduling of the comic just went nuts! #5 was released in April and #6 came out in July. #7 was in August, so we all thought, "Yay, the wait is over!" Boy, were we wrong. Between August 1983 and April 1985, issues 8-12 were released. Nowadays, when the young kids get all mad and stuff that All Star Batman is a month late or The newest Avengers comic was postponed till the following week, I just look back and let those whippersnappers know we waited a whole 2 and a half YEARS for issue 12 to come out! And we liked it!!
But I guess that's history now, because YOU, o' frantic reader, can run out and get all these 12 gems of Arthurian goodness in a trip to the back issue bin. It's the comic version of waiting till your favorite show goes on Netflix!
I just re-read all 12 issues and I can honestly say...if you like a great story with superb characterization that keeps with the spirit of all the legends that came before it, along with eye popping Brian Freakin' Bolland artwork....you'll love this run!
Originally, the books cost $1.00, and later $1.25. You may pay the same or slightly more for the back issues, but it's well worth it! Go out now...support your local comic book store and buy these issues!
Welcome friends and fanatics, to my first ever unabashed blog of news, notes and nostalgic musings!