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Review: E-Man #2

E-Man #2
Cover by Joe Staton

E-Man #2
Published and © by Charlton, December 1973

Title: “The Entropy Twins”
Synopsis: E-Man and Nova Kane find themselves under attack from lovers who are the personification of order and disorder.

Writer: Nicola Cuti
Penciler: Joe Staton
Inker: Staton

Review: Considering this series is often compared to the Golden Age Plastic Man, E-Man #2 is a surprisingly dark outing. Tonally, this comic is like little else from the Bronze Age: sexy, grim, madcap, adult. Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton hit all these notes – with a dash of poignant, as well.

•••

Title: “Killjoy”

Synopsis: The vigilante Killjoy stops an assortment of entitled criminals, then shows up after the fact sporting different secret identities.

Writer: Steve Ditko
Penciler: Ditko
Inker: Ditko

Review: This pointed political commentary from the co-creator of Spider-Man is well drawn, but is more interesting than entertaining.

Grade (for the entire issue): B+

Second opinion: “Steve Ditko obviously enjoyed himself lampooning liberal ideas by way of excessive exaggeration in ‘Killjoy.’ ” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: This is one weird comic. It reads more like a quirky ground level than something put out by a traditional mainstream publisher. (We are all better for Charlton’s lax editorial standards!)

Notable: The letters page is called “E-Mail,” many years before that term was popularized.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a Modern reprint of this issue from 1978.

Character quotable: “Aw, it’s nothing any form of intelligent energy couldn’t figure out.” – E-Man, a humble form of intelligent energy 
A word from the co-creator/artist: “A very sad ending, that story.” – Joe Staton, talking about the fate of the Entropy Twins, in Back Issue #13, December 2005

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 22, 2021.

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