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Review: E-Man #3

E-Man #3
Cover by Joe Staton

E-Man #3
Published and © by Charlton, June 1974

Title: “The Energy Crisis!”
Synopsis: When Nova’s friend goes missing, E-Man discovers a greedy plot that’s turning human beings into batteries.

Writer: Nicola Cuti 
Penciler: Joe Staton
Inker: Staton

Review: While not as strong as the previous two issues (see reviews of E-Man #1 and #2), this third outing for Charlton’s energy superhero is still quite fun. Nicola Cuti’s story has a contemporary edge but suffers from plot holes and pacing issues. The cartoony art, by Joe Staton, remains solid.

•••

Title: “The Dragon Killer!”
Synopsis: A time-traveling orphan named Travis gains a robotic guardian, slays a dinosaur and meets a fair maiden.

Writer: Nicola Cuti
Penciler: Wayne Howard
Inker: Howard

Review: Despite all that happens, this backup story is completely devoid of emotional stakes. The Wally-Wood-inspired art is serviceable but flat.

Grade (for the entire issue): B-

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: While a step down for earlier issues, E-Man remains unlike any other comic from its era.

Notable: First appearance of Michael Mauser. … According to Joe Staton, in an interview in Back Issue #13, 2005, the six-issue gap between E-Man #2 and #3 was due to a paper shortage caused by strikes at Canadian paper mills.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a Modern reprint of this issue from 1978.

Character quotable: “So long as you’re paying me, I’ll believe anything.” – Michael Mauser, P.I., with more honesty than integrity

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 24, 2021.

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