Thread resurrection time. Look out, folks, VANGUARD’s comin’ atcha!
Following hot on the heels of Michel Fiffe’s excellent Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies,
a new backup feature begins in Savage Dragon #172: Vanguard!
Featuring the titanic talents of gallant Gary Carlson
on writing duties, fearsome Frank Fosco
on art, and erratic Erik Larsen
on cover inks (and interior inks for chapter one). Colors by diabolical David Seltzer
and lettering by yours truly.
Now might be the time to catch up on your back issue reading, as the story here touches on events from past Vanguard issues as well as the ETHRIAN backup comic (which ran in SD prior to TSDF). But I should stress that while those back issues will give you a larger context, they aren’t required reading by any means. Anybody will be able to pick up SD 172 and enjoy the Vanguard story right off the bat.“So, who the heck is this Vanguard guy anyway, and where else can I read his amazing adventures?”Vanguard
is a Kalyptan from the other side of the galaxy. His homeworld, Kalyptus, is a member of the Grand Alliance, a federation embroiled in war with the deadly Tyrrus Combine. Vanguard has been sent as the sole scout officer to our planet, and it's his job to alert the Alliance of any signs of the Combine coming to Outpost: Earth!
Vanguard -- whose companion in his Earth-orbiting space ship is a floating robotic head named Wally
-- is sworn not to interfere with human affairs, unless it is to stop an invasion by the Tyrrus Combine. Of course, this directive is violated fairly frequently due to unavoidable battles with other
aliens, encounters with Earth’s own super-beings, not to mention Van’s steamy relationship with Earthling reporter Roxanne Wells!
Van’s ship is also populated with synthetic shape-shifting beings called Morphlings, one of whom -- named Lurch
-- always seems to get into trouble.
Vanguard was created in 1983 by Gary Carlson and Erik Larsen, and he debuted in Gary’s anthology title MEGATON. Vanguard was kind of a play on Superman -- a strange visitor from another world, garbed in red and blue, becomes Earth’s protector (and dates a reporter, natch). But unlike Superman, Vanguard looked monstrous -- like an alien should!
(And for those keeping score at home, MEGATON also featured appearances by Paul Dragon (the precursor to the Dragon we all know and love today) and Ethrian! So, the new Vanguard backup feature brings several of these things full circle a bit.)
Vanguard was re-introduced at Image in 1993 (in #2 of the SD
ongoing) and starred in his own series, which lasted six issues.
He then bounced around a bit, popping up frequently as a guest-star in the pages of Freak Force
becoming a member of Brigade
for a time, and appearing for an extended arc in Gary and Frank’s TMNT
1996 saw the Vanguard: Strange Visitors
And, in 2000, Gary and Frank brought us Vanguard: Ethereal Warriors.
So -- if you want to go digging into the back issues, I would highly recommend reading the six-issue 1993 series (you can usually pick ‘em up dirt cheap on eBay), the Strange Visitors mini, the Ethereal Warriors one-shot, the Vanguard story from SD 150, and the Ethrian backup comic (which ran in SD 145-159), and those should get you pretty well caught up to speed. TMNT Vol. 3 issues 10-14 are worth picking up, too (as they feature Vanguard and Roxanne pretty prominently, and continue certain Van-specific character threads, namely Lurch and Johnny Lee Raeburn).But, as mentioned earlier, new readers will be able to jump into Vanguard easily. If anyone has questions for Gary or Frank, ask away!
Gary may be using me as a posting conduit, and Frank just joined the forums himself, so pick their brains! BRAINS...
For more information on Vanguard, check out these entries on the Savage Dragon Wiki
I will post more upcoming covers soon.