Tuesday, June 28, 2005

MS MYSTIC DEATHWATCH 2000 #1 Continuity Comics, 1993

Holy cats, Ms Mystic sure is in trouble on that cover! She’s being attacked by a pterodactyl and a swarm of bees!

Oh, wait. Actually, that’s a special optical illusion cover, not a swarm of bees. If you stare at the two dots on the cover long enough, the big blob of bees congeals into a shape that approximates Ms Mystic’s body. Or so they tell me; I’ve never been able to make the damn thing work.

Comic book artist/living legend Neal Adams created Continuity Comics, a small publisher that put out books like Toy Boy, Valeria the She-Bat, and Ms Mystic. The books weren’t all drawn by Adams, but they were drawn by other artists in a Neal Adams “house style,” so they all had a consistent look to them. The other thing the Continuity books had in common was their total, utter suckiness. I mean, come on: Toy Boy?

Ms Mystic is no exception. This particular issue leads up to a big crossover that nobody really cared about called Deathwatch 2000, which unfortunately had nothing to do with David Carradine. Adams wrote the overall story, but Peter Stone did the dialogue and pencillers Dwayne Turner and Ernesto Infante handled the art, turning in their best faux-Adams artwork.

It is awful.

Ms Mystic is the type of heroine that only a man could have created. She flies around in a zipatone bodysuit worrying about the Earth and all it’s innocent creatures, and although we are told that she has incredible elemental powers and “almost precognitive intelligence” we have to sort of take their word for it, because she can’t seem to take care of herself and acts, well… stupid.

A big chunk of this comic involves Ms Mystic getting molested by a pterodactyl. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’m not sure how this advances the plot to the big Deathrace 2000 storyline.

Here’s Ms Mystic in the grips of Big Bird:

You see how I have refrained from an obvious and tasteless joke? Do you marvel at my restraint, reader?

Ms Mystic talks like that through the whole issue, in weird disjointed phrases held together by the most ellipses I’ve ever seen in a comic book. Here’s some sample dialogue as the pterodactyl drops her in its lair:

“My sword! Can’t hurt it…”

“…it’s still an innocent creature… just surviving…"
[she gets bitten in arm] " MY ARM! It knew the sword was a threat… and twarted it! HUARG!”

No, that’s not a spelling error on my part. It really reads “…and twarted it! HUARG!”

Ms Mystic gets knocked into the jungle below by the pterodactyl, where she is conveniently rescued by a big Swamp Thing/Toxic Avenger guy, who takes her to a cave to recover. Then the Toxic Avenger guy’s brother Arky Conde (really, that’s his name) shows up and stumbles upon the unconscious Ms Mystic. Where is she anyway, The World’s Smallest Jungle?

Apparently Ms Mystic has had a prior relationship with this Arky cat, who from all accounts is No Damn Good. But he’s sooo cute! Here’s Ms Mystic acting as a role model for all the young girls out there (click to enlarge):

“You hurt my… planet.”

Girl, have some respect for yourself - the guy’s obviously an asshole! What happened to Ms Mystic’s precognitive intelligence? You see what I mean when I say this must have been written by a guy? You’d never catch Gail Simone writing a scene like that.

It gets worse.

I have to admit, I sort of started to lose focus and didn’t read the rest of the comic as thoroughly as I should have – gimmicky optical effect comic book covers will do that to me. One scene did stand out, however: The Toxic Avenger/Swamp Thing guy meets Devilspawn, whose cause… and curse… is to save this planet from… DEATHRACE 2000!!!! Behold:

Somewhere buried in this crappy comic there is a message about CFCs and the ozone and pollution and the sanctity of all life on Earth, but man, you really have to dig for it. Reading this makes me want to find that issue of Toy Boy I have rotting around here in one of these boxes. I mean, it can’t be any worse than Ms Mystic Deathwatch #1, can it?

Can it?


Kevin Church said...

I am now going to have to go to the Special Talking Doctor as you have given me issues, Campbell.

What're you doing with this comic, anyway? Sterling's got an excellent guide to packing books like this and sending them to people. I think it's time for you to look at eBay with the idea that there's always some Fucker In Iowa who needs this book.

David Campbell said...

I have no idea why I even have this book. I think chicks in zipatone are hot? I don't know...

John said...

I love this blog and by extension, you, David, but it's "Neal".

John said...

Also, can you believe someone who had a background in advertising graphic design like Neal would have dialogue leading into a logo like that???

Art Directah, please. You know headlines never read into logos! That's Design 101!

David Campbell said...

Thanks John, I'm going to edit the post so I don't look like a jackass.

Yeah, the whole text-into-logo thing NEVER works. EVER.

Anonymous said...

!!!!! THE PAIN !!!!!

kelvingreen said...


Some of us English chaps like to use the term "twatted" to refer to the kind of over-the-top beating the Hulk or Hellboy gives some nasty beastie; "I twatted him really hard with my cricket bat" for example.

Much as I'd like a comic character to be using such slang (or a panel of Hellboy twatting some zombie with a rock and a big TWAT! sound effect), I doubt that's what they were going for here, and that makes them even more dumb.

montag said...

It's a sailboat!

naladahc said...

*sigh* I so love this site.

You remind me of the long long ago when comics where fun and I didn't feel like my money was ill spent.

Thank you David Campbell. Thank you.

David Campbell said...

No, thank you!

gorjus said...

Well, wasn't Armor kind of cool? And Megalith? I mean, come on guys, right??


Man, this SUXXIT.

Dr. Pants said...

I've got at least one or two Continuity Comics sitting around somewhere thanks to my local comic shop's Good Grade Grab Bags I used to pick up around report card time.

That said, what a crappy gift to give a kid for learning.

"Here, Billy, for all your hard work and commitment to learning, here's a copy of Zero Patrol #1."

"I vow never to study again."

Dr. Pants said...

Even these explanations of Deathwatch 2000 make no sense.

I wonder if these writers even got together to plan this thing.

Mark Hale said...

Ow, my planet!

Anonymous said...

I think I have every issue of Armor in my long box. And you have completely missed the travesty that was Samuree.

Anonymous said...

I have a few issuses of Armor myself, this guy on my block used to hand out comics on Halloween and if you were lucky you got an Atlantis Attacks Annual from Marvel
(or Acts of Vengence, or insert crappy 90's crossover of choice); if you were unlucky your ten year old brain got sucked in by one of the cool looking covers on a Continuity Book.

Yail Bloor

Polly said...

I was at a convention Diamond Comics put on in Atlanta when this was pre-solicited. I met Neal Adams there for the first time and he was pitching this monstrosity. It just dumbfounded me. It seemed that Neal was just ridding along to make a buck off his name when the market was dedicated to buying 3 of anything with a different cover (1 reading copy, 2 to sock away...this always amazed me. 'reading copy?' what do you do, dip your hands in gravy before you turn a page?? anyway...).

This was more like a baseball card collector type thing. who CARES who's onthe thing...how much is it WORTH!?! (how soul crushing is THAT to hear from a 10 year old?). anyway, during their presentation, the publisher went on and on about the cover, as opposed to the other selling points...like...say...Neal Adams art!!

The covers were supposed to not only have neat optical crap but were supposed to be nearly indestructable and comparable to shipping envelopes.

I remember hearing that and thinking "jesus, you must not know anything to try and sell me on covers being made of shipping envelopes".

This was also the season of WARRIORS of PLASM and the Issue #0 made of Trading Cards...dear jesus.

Anonymous said...

Those were Dark Times...

Anonymous said...

Hey, c'mon. There was that one cool issue of Armor in which Sacraman yapped Attenborough-style about the hunting styles of four different alien species, and then uploaded their skills right into Jack's brain.

That alone cancels out maybe an issue and a half of Crazyman.

Dan Coyle said...

Believe it or not, I have the Dark Dominion #0 trading card set w/the album. I should dig it out and reread it, to see how it holds up.

Ah, Continuity Studios. Proof that massive quanities of premium grade weed and superhero comics do not mix.

Augie De Blieck Jr. said...

I own an issue of something I think was called "CyberRad." It was the last thing left on the newsstand I hadn't read, I guess. It's bad.

But this blog entry is pure gold.

And, yes, they did later have a special cover enhancment which they claimed was an indestructible cover stock. I think it was made of Tyvek or something.

Nik said...

Anyone remember "Skateman"? That was the gold standard for these comics. He's a superhero, see, and he skates! America, fuck yeah!

I kid not:

gorjus said...

Yikes!! I think it was Tyvek!


Anonymous said...

Skate Man. Holy. Shit.

Scott Harris said...

I always had a sneaking liking for Megalith and his origin patterned after the story of Milo of Croton - lifting the same calf every day while it grew up until he was strong enough to heft a full grown bull... but yeah, Continuity seemed to be mostly dreck.

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