Review: Americomics Special #1

Americomics Special #1 cover
Cover by Greg Guler and John Beatty

Americomics Special #1
Published and © by AC, August 1983

Title: “Sentinels of Justice”
Synopsis: The action heroes of the Silver-Age Charlton universe come together to stop the Manipulator and assorted other big bads.

Writer (plot): Dan St. John
Writer (script): Greg Guler
Artist: Guler (with Matt Feazell on backgrounds)

Review: This one-shot offering from AC is more interesting than good. From today’s vantage point, it’s hard not to see this comic through the lens of DC’s Watchmen. This … is not Watchmen. Dan St. John and Greg Guler’s story does little to update these Silver-Age characters for the 1980s, and features interchangeable characterization and little in the way of world-building. Guler’s art is likewise not ready for prime time, though there’s certainly some potential here. Americomics Special #1 would be an above-average fanzine but falls short as a professional comic-book outing.

Americomics Special #1 back cover
Back cover by Greg Guler

Grade: C-

Second opinion: “Odd material created under a temporary license starring discontinued Charlton heroes.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: It’s great to see the Charlton action heroes again …
Not-so-cool factor: … but the experience would be MUCH better in a few more years.

Notable: An editor’s note indicates there would not be a next issue because “the Charlton characters have been sold to another publisher!” … Includes an “AC Comics Portfolio” with pinups by Bill Black, Willie Blyberg, June Brigman and Roy Richardson, Bob McLeod, and Jim Sanders III. … Includes a back cover featuring AC’s Sentinels of Justice by Greg Guler.

Character quotable: “What’s the matter, Captain … don’t you like the taste of my plasma beam??” – The Manipulator, apparently not the next Top Chef

Editor’s note: This review was written July 28, 2021.

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