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Big Bang Comics

Big Bang Comics

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Encyclopedia
Big Bang Comics first appeared in 1994, with five issue mini-series (numbered 0–4), published by Caliber Comics
Caliber Comics
Caliber Comics or Caliber Press was an American comic book publisher founded in 1989 by Gary Reed. Featuring primarily creator-owned comics, in the next decade Caliber published over 1300 comics and ranked as one of the America's leading independent publishers...

. Their second series was published by Image Comics
Image Comics
Image Comics is a United States comic book publisher. It was founded in 1992 by high-profile illustrators as a venue where creators could publish their material without giving up the copyrights to the characters they created, as creator-owned properties. It was immediately successful, and remains...

. Currently their titles are self-published.

Publication history


Gary Carlson
Gary Carlson
Gary Carlson is an American comic book writer, editor and publisher.-Biography:Gary self-published and created the black and white superhero anthology Megaton back in the early '80s, which introduced many new comic book talents including artists Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld and Angel Medina as well...

's first major independent comic occurred in the 1980s with a black and white title called Megaton. Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon
Savage Dragon
Savage Dragon is an ongoing American comic book series created by Erik Larsen, published by Image Comics and taking place in the Image Universe. The comic features the adventures of a superheroic police officer named the Dragon...

, Rob Liefeld's Youngblood
Youngblood (comics)
Youngblood is a superhero team that starred in their self-titled comic book, created by writer/artist Rob Liefeld. The team made its debut as a backup feature in the 1987 one-shot Megaton: Explosion before later appearing in its own ongoing series in 1992 as the flagship publication for Image Comics...

both debuted in Megaton. In the 1990s Carlson wrote Berzerker for Caliber Press; one of the first canonical appearances of a Big Bang Comics character was by the Knight Watchman in Berzerker #1. Gary co-created the Big Bang anthology series alongside artist and writer Chris Ecker.

Until 2005, Big Bang published 35 issues of Big Bang through Image Comics, followed by seven "special" comics.

The company is currently self-publishing Big Bang Presents. Like its predecessors published through Caliber and Image, this is an anthology series featuring a rotating cast of new and established characters in the Big Bang universe, written by Carlson and drawn by Ecker and various other artists.

Influences


The Big Bang Comics titles are designed to be homage
Homage
Homage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic....

s to Golden Age
Golden Age of Comic Books
The Golden Age of Comic Books was a period in the history of American comic books, generally thought of as lasting from the late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s...

 and Silver Age
Silver Age of Comic Books
The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those in the superhero genre. Following the Golden Age of Comic Books and an interregnum in the early to mid-1950s, the Silver Age is considered to cover the...

 comic books. Most stories in the anthologies take place in one of these two ages; Earth-A stories take place in the 1960s, and Earth-B stories take place in the 1940s with characters like Ultiman, Thunder Girl and Doctor Weird.

One of Dr. Weird
Dr. Weird (comics)
Dr. Weird is a Big Bang Comics character who first appeared in Star-Studded Comics #1 . Dr. Weird is a ghost who battles supernatural evil...

's earliest collected appearances was in the 1977, Al Greim published Comic Crusader Storybook #1, in a story by Howard Keltner and Dennis Fujitake. The Comic Crusader Storybook was a trade paperback fanzine anthology which included short stories featuring the work of many independent artists and writers.

Metafictional imprints


In the world of Big Bang Comics, several false imprints were thought up that supposedly existed in the Golden Age and the Silver Age, to give more depth to their characters (a ploy later used in Amalgam Comics
Amalgam Comics
Amalgam Comics was a publishing imprint shared by DC Comics and Marvel Comics, in which the two comic book publishers merged their characters into new ones . These characters first appeared in a series of twelve comic books which were published in 1996, between issues 3 and 4 of the Marvel vs...

).

All of these false covers appeared on the reverse of the Caliber Press miniseries issues in scaled-down shots, and again as full-page replicas in Big Bang #0.
TitleDescription
Deductive Comics A tribute to Detective Comics
Detective Comics
Detective Comics is an American comic book series published monthly by DC Comics since 1937, best known for introducing the iconic superhero Batman in Detective Comics #27 . It is, along with Action Comics, the book that launched with the debut of Superman, one of the medium's signature series, and...

, right down to the lettering. This is supposedly where Knight Watchman
Knight Watchman
Knight Watchman is a fictional superhero from the Big Bang Comics universe, residing on Earth A during the Silver Age of comics...

 entered the Big Bang world along with his sidekick, Kid Galahad.
Hi Octane Comics The supposed introduction of Ultiman
Ultiman
Ultiman is a fictional character published by Big Bang Comics. First appearing in Big Bang Comics #1 , he was created by Gary Carlson and drawn by his partner Chris Ecker, among others. There are two existing versions of Ultiman. Metafictionally, the first is from the Golden Age of comics on...

. However, this was simply a retitled cover of Big Bang #2 of Caliber Press, using the lettering style of Action Comics
Action Comics
Action Comics is an American comic book series that introduced Superman, the first major superhero character as the term is popularly defined...

.
Jolt Comics' The introduction of the Golden-Age Blitz (Mack Snelling). A tribute to Flash Comics
Flash Comics
Flash Comics was an anthology comic book published by All-American Publications and later National Periodicals . The title ran for 104 issues between January 1940 to February 1949. Although the name of the comic book was Flash Comics, the Flash was only one of many different series featured in the...

.
Policeman Comics The supposed starting point of Protoplasman
Protoplasman
Protoplasman is a Big Bang Comics superhero, who first appeared in Big Bang's self-published issue, Big Bang Presents #1, though his metafictional debut was in Policeman Comics , itself a division of Quantity Comics , created by writer Gary Carlson and artist Mort...

, inspired by Police Comics
Police Comics
Police Comics was a comic book anthology title published by Quality Comics from 1941 until 1953. It featured short stories in the superhero, crime and humor genres....

 where Plastic Man
Plastic Man
Plastic Man is a fictional comic-book superhero originally published by Quality Comics and later acquired by DC Comics. Created by writer-artist Jack Cole, he first appeared in Police Comics #1 ....

 began his superhero
Superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

 career.
Quantity Comics Mentioned as being the umbrella-group for Policeman Comics. This itself is a pastiche of the Golden Age Quality Comics
Quality Comics
Quality Comics was an American comic book publishing company that operated from 1939 to 1956 and was an influential creative force in what historians and fans call the Golden Age of comic books....

.
Red Hot Comics A comic that starred Dr. Stellar
Dr. Stellar
Dr. Stellar is a fictional character, a Big Bang Comics superhero who first appeared in Big Bang #4.-Fictional character history:...

, Vita-Man
Vita-Man
Vita-Man is a fictional superhero published by Big Bang Comics. He first appears in Big Bang Comics #1, and was created by Gary Carlson and Mark Lewis. He is based on Hourman.-Publication history:...

, Robo-Hood, The Badge and Stars 'n' Stripes. Red Hot Comics drew the most attention after fans saw the blown-up image in Big Bang #0. Many requests were sent in to see Robo-Hood and Vita-Man in action. Stars 'n' Stripes, however, have never appeared since.
Star Studded Comics
Star Studded Comics
Star Studded Comics is the name of three comics-related publications, including a comic from the Golden Age of Comics, a comics fanzine and a modern comic homage to the previous.-Star Studded Comics:...

Mentioned as being the origin of Dr. Weird
Dr. Weird (comics)
Dr. Weird is a Big Bang Comics character who first appeared in Star-Studded Comics #1 . Dr. Weird is a ghost who battles supernatural evil...

. The title suggests Star-Spangled Comics
Star-Spangled Comics
Star Spangled Comics was the title of a comic book series published by DC Comics which ran for 130 issues from 1941 through 1952. At that point it was retitled Star Spangled War Stories and lasted another 200+ issues until 1977.-Publication history:...

, although the lettering seems to be a reference to All Star Comics
All Star Comics
All Star Comics is a 1940s comic book series from All-American Publications, one of the early companies that merged with National Periodical Publications to form the modern-day DC Comics. With the exception of the first two issues, All Star Comics primarily told stories about the adventures of the...

.
Thunder Girl Adventures Thunder Girl's
Thunder Girl
Thunder Girl is a superheroine in Big Bang Comics who first appeared in Big Bang Comics #2 , she was created by Chris Ecker and Sheldon Moldoff...

 solo title, based loosely on the old Fawcett Comics character Mary Marvel
Mary Marvel
Mary Marvel is a fictional character, a comic book superheroine, originally published by Fawcett Comics and now owned by DC Comics. Created by Otto Binder and Marc Swayze, she first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #18 in...

, with elements of Wonder Girl
Wonder Girl
Wonder Girl is the name of three fictional characters featured as superheroes in comic books and other media produced by DC Comics. The original was a younger version of Wonder Woman...

 thrown in.

Big Bang characters


Some of the iconic characters in the Big Bang Universe (with links to their individual articles) include:
  • The Beacon
  • Dr. Weird
    Dr. Weird (comics)
    Dr. Weird is a Big Bang Comics character who first appeared in Star-Studded Comics #1 . Dr. Weird is a ghost who battles supernatural evil...

  • Knight Watchman
    Knight Watchman
    Knight Watchman is a fictional superhero from the Big Bang Comics universe, residing on Earth A during the Silver Age of comics...

  • Protoplasman
    Protoplasman
    Protoplasman is a Big Bang Comics superhero, who first appeared in Big Bang's self-published issue, Big Bang Presents #1, though his metafictional debut was in Policeman Comics , itself a division of Quantity Comics , created by writer Gary Carlson and artist Mort...

  • Thunder Girl
    Thunder Girl
    Thunder Girl is a superheroine in Big Bang Comics who first appeared in Big Bang Comics #2 , she was created by Chris Ecker and Sheldon Moldoff...

  • Ultiman
    Ultiman
    Ultiman is a fictional character published by Big Bang Comics. First appearing in Big Bang Comics #1 , he was created by Gary Carlson and drawn by his partner Chris Ecker, among others. There are two existing versions of Ultiman. Metafictionally, the first is from the Golden Age of comics on...



Superhero teams in the Big Bang Universe include the Round Table of America, the Knights of Justice, the Pantheon of Heroes, and the Whiz Kids.

Other media


A TV Movie of the Knights of Justice was made in 2000. Although it featured the Golden Age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

 versions of Ultiman and Thunder Girl and used the name of the company's Golden Age superteam, the team also included Knight Watchman and a heroine called Masker (who appeared in BB #21), both of whom are exclusively Silver Age heroes in the published version of the universe. The team's mission was to defeat a supervillain and prove their usefulness to the President or face being disbanded.

The movie is loosely based on the hyperactive Saturday-morning shows of the 1970s that combined special effects with live action, yielding a clearly Silver Age feel to the action. It received several favorable reviews from various websites across the Internet.

The movie is available exclusively from the Big Bang Comics website. It is unclear if any sales will be made abroad despite periodic requests for it to be sold in the UK.

Big Bang Comics RPG


A pen-and-paper roleplaying game has also been released for Big Bang Comics
(Pisces All Media, 2006). The Big Bang Comics RPG
Big Bang Comics RPG
Big Bang Comics is a superhero tabletop role-playing game, written by Chris Carter and published by Pisces All Media in 2006. The game uses a modified version of the d20 System....

 uses a streamlined version of the D20 system
D20 System
The d20 System is a role-playing game system published in 2000 by Wizards of the Coast originally developed for the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons...

.

External links