Big Bang was rolling right along at Image Comics in October of 1996. With issue #5 we were maintaining a monthly schedule of 32 page 4-color comics of all-new material. Granted, we’d had almost a year to load up after leaving Caliber Press, but it was still a big deal for me/us. This was the Big Time and we seemed to be fitting in.
Big Bang was, and is, an anthology book, each issue being a collection of different stories by different creators starring different characters. Why? Why not Big Bang Comics Starring the Knight Watchman (or Ultiman, or whoever) every issue? The answer of course was money. Cold hard cash.
Big Bang Comics #4 was an All-Star issue of Big Bang in more ways than one. Cover dated September 1996 from Image Comics, this story was an homage to DC Comics’ Justice Society of America, the first super hero team, who had starred in All-Star Comics back in the 1940s. An all star team of Big Bang creators worked on this issue, along with top pros Terry Beatty (who provided the front cover), Rich Buckler and comics legend Mart Nodell.
With the third issue of Big Bang Comics published under the Image Comics banner, I thought that we were really on a roll. Ultiman and Thunder Girl made their debut at Image, and our flagship character the Knight Watchman was back for his third consecutive issue.
Big Bang was essentially an anthology series, featuring different characters in every issue because frankly, it wasn’t making enough money to support any of us. Orders for the book on the direct market had improved over what we had been doing at Caliber, but they weren’t really that great for an Image title. Therefore, we were making sure that the Knight Watchman was a constant presence so fans would find a familiar face in each issue and keep coming back.
We felt that our second issue of Big Bang at Image Comics was another very strong one. It featured our flagship character, the Knight Watchman, guest-starred Jim Valentino’s Silver Age Shadowhawk, contained a Golden Age era Badge story with Mark Lewis’ wonderful Simon & Kirby homaged artwork, and concluded with a short Dr. Weird prose story written by Ed DeGeorge.
All of that PLUS a back cover pin-up of the Beacon by Golden Age legend Mart Nodell, creator of the Green Lantern!
Starting over? A new beginning? It didn’t really feel that way after leaving Caliber Press to join Image Comics. Most of the material in the first few issues at the Big “I” was in the works before we left Caliber. The interiors were still in color. Had we hit the big time? I don’t know. We knew that we had the chance to reach a wider audience so we just kept plugging away. (more…)