Published by Charlton and © Emergency! Productions, June 1976
Title: “Hot Cargo”
Synopsis: When radioactive material turns up missing during a fire at a chemical warehouse, paramedic John Gage leaps into action.
Writer: Joe Gill
Penciler: John Byrne (as Byrne Robotics)
Inker: Byrne (as Byrne Robotics)
Review: This comic is one part confusing and one part silly, yet is still strangely enjoyable. Writer Joe Gill does little to introduce the cast, perhaps because he expected a certain level of familiarity with this TV show crew. But, reading this story decades later, the characters and their relationships are unclear. The only cast member with any kind of definition is an overeager paramedic named John Gage, who somehow ends up leading a police investigation into missing radioactive materials. That’s just silly. The art – by a young John Byrne – is energetic and shows potential, but isn’t quite professional caliber yet.
Cool factor: This reviewer has a thing for singer/actress Julie London, so it’s pretty cool seeing her likeness captured by a young John Byrne.
Not-so-cool factor: The oh-so-hip dialogue. And that silly plot.
Notable: There’s also a text story titled “The Victim!”
Character quotable: “Don’t you dig it, man? You’re a walking bomb!” – John Gage, paramedic and ’70s man of action
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 16, 2010.