E-ManThere’s no character I’ve more reluctantly queued up for this Truly Gone & Forgotten feature more than E-man, because I hate to admit that this bright, colorful character’s time is probably done – not that he ever seemed to fit in any of the venues which hosted him.
Created by Nick Cuti and Joe Staton and originally published in Charlton Comics, he was even an odd fit for a company which produced the Blue Beetle, Spookman and Son of Vulcan. Played for straight superheroics with dashes of light humor and occasional flat-out farce, you had here a comic which involved a hero battling life-and-death stakes but starring characters with punny sobriquets like Nova Kane and Alec Tronn, ominous and recurring menaces rendered in Staton’s breezy style and partnered up with pint-size private dicks and a walking, self-aware koala bear which took it upon itself to routinely break the fourth wall.
|They got websites where you can watch girl bustin' bulbs.|
Gifted with the power to fly, shoot energy bolts and transform his body a la Plastic Man, E-Man made for a light and fun character. The question of why a shape-changing alien entity uncountable eons old would wear the shape of a handsome white male and pick up a relationship with the first human female he meets aside (although that gets addressed in a later, slightly retconned story), he seemed to exist in a world of limitless possibility where light comedy and adventuring heroics could go hand in hand.
After ten solidly entertaining issues with Charlton, E-Man was revived with First Comics during the big indy boom of the Eighties, albeit now under different writers (a royal flush of DC Comics’ roster at the time, featuring Martin Pasko, Paul Kupperberg and a Mike W.Barr guest gig, before Staton picked up the pen) and turning in a distinctly satirical bent. E-Man’s enemies – both recurring and passing – included parodies of the X-Men (and a Dark Phoenix theme that didn’t excuse the creators from its satire), Elfquest, 2001, Pogo and a few more, and entered the annals of “most unexpected crossover ever” by sidling up next to First’s sexy space opera Warp.
|I feel like holding her nose was maybe just plain hurtful.|