BB Chronological 42: BB #22 – Birdmen and Dr. Insect

The Knight Watchman and Kid Galahad had their hands full in Big Bang Comics #22 when the Pink Flamingo hatched his most nefarious scheme yet! And, to be perfectly honest, my attention was somewhere else – – working on the History of Big Bang Comics which would appear in issues 24 and 27. As such, I don’t recall having much involvement with this issue beyond the Editor-In-Chief credit I received on the inside front cover.

The front cover by Chris Ecker leads right into the Knight Watchman story, “Crime From The Skies” which was written by Mark Schirmer with pencils and inks by Dan Preece, who also provided an illo for the inside front cover.

I dug through my filing cabinets and digital back-ups and can’t find a script for this story, so I’m guessing that it was submitted fully completed and printed as-is. If Dan or Mark are out there somewhere, I apologize if that wasn’t the case.

Either way, it’s a fun story in which the Pink Flamingo builds a machine called his Animal Essence Extraction Device which does exactly what it sounds like. Using the device on one of his collection of exotic birds, Pinky then drinks the serum produced and becomes a human/animal hybrid for an hour. During the tale, the Flamingo metamorphs into an eagle, a falcon and more, to commit a string of robberies.

Knight Watchman and Kid Galahad track down Pinky’s latest lair and find the device. The Knight uses the device on a stray cat that followed them in to become a Cat-man to stop their fowl fiend. The Kid Whiz drinks the “Essence of Sparrow” and together they put the Flamingo behind bars – – in this case, a Dodo’s cage. Mark and Dan did a great job of capturing the look and feel of a 1960ish KW tale.

Dan Reed’s Dimensioneer makes his third Big Bang appearance in the next story, “Dr Insect and His Ant Men”. A new criminal mastermind is on the loose in Silver City and only the Dimensioneer can stop him. Dr. Insect, the Master of Myrmecology, can control the minds of ants to do his bidding, but now he has outfitted his human henchmen with Quantum Fluctuator devices which transform them into gigantic ants, capable of lifting hundreds of times their own weight. Now, the Guru of Greed is using them to steal the Gold from the National Treasury!

Luckily the Dimensioneer is on the job and disrupts the robbery, using his power to fold dimensional space to damage the fluctuators and return the bad guys to their human forms. Dr. Insect transforms into a giant bug and flies away, issuing the chilling threat that soon he will be able to control every insect on the planet.

For lots more of the Dimensioneer, check out Dan’s website at www.dimensioneer.com or pick up the trade paperback containing the earliest stories of the Dimensioneer (including this one) at https://www.amazon.com/Dimensioneer-1-Dan-Reed/dp/1974158195

The third story in this issue is the original unused version of the Agents of B.A.D.G.E. chapter from the Savage Dragon crossover in Big Bang #14. This was written by myself and Chris Ecker, with pencils by Chris and inks by Jim Brozman. As fun as it is, a decision was made at the time that it ought to look more like Jim Steranko’s art style from Agent of Shield.

And finally, there is a Pantheon Of Heroes pin-up featuring art by Darren Goodhart. It was originally a double-page spread from issue 18, but a number of intrigued readers asked who all the characters were, so we provided this key to who was who.

Big Bang Comics #22 was a 32 page comic with b&w interiors, published by Image Comics in September of 1998. Also in the issue were an ads for Knight Watchman Graveyard Shift #4 and the History of Big Bang Comics Volume 1, plus a letters page.

Rounding out the issue on a high note was a gorgeous painting by Dan Reed of his Dimensioneer in action against the Outrageous Animator.

Gary Carlson

4/24/2019

Knight Watchman, Galahad, Pink Flamingo, the Badge, Pantheon of Heroes and all related characters are © and TM Gary Carlson and Chris Ecker. Savage Dragon, Mighty Man and all related characters are © and TM Erik Larsen. The Dimensioneer and all related characters are © and TM Dan Reed. The Sphinx is © and TM Jeff Weigel. ShadowHawk is © and TM Jim Valentino. The Absolute is © and TM Darren Goodhart.

Back issues for most Big Bang’s are available for purchase for $3 at our back issue store: http://bigbangcomics.com/products-page/comic-books/image-comics/

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