Review: Vanguard Illustrated #6

Vanguard Illustrated #6 cover
Cover by George Pérez

Vanguard Illustrated #6
Published by Pacific and © Pacific and the respective creators below, except “The Struggle’s End,” which is © the Joe Kubert School, June 1984

Title: “The Trains Belong to Us!”
Synopsis: A police officer’s efforts to stop a gang of graffiti artists is thwarted by a demon. 

Writer: Joey Cavalieri
Artist: George Pérez

Review: This simple, dialogue-free tale is only four-pages long, but serves as a fantastic showcase for George Pérez’s visual storytelling. The legendary artist uses multiple panels and angles to control pacing and deliver emotion. One knock: The coloring, by Phil Phillipson, is subpar and doesn’t serve the story well.


Title: “The Struggle’s End”
Synopsis: Crystal Tipps, an employee of Special Inter-Stellar Control, uncovers an alien plot to take over the Earth via emotional impulses.

Writer: Rex W. Lindsey
Artist: Lindsey

Review: While the story offers little more than basic B-movie sci fi, the art is quite polished and shows professional promise.


Title: “The God Run”
Synopsis: A starship captain transporting missionaries winds up stranded in space, pondering the absence of God.

Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: George Freeman

Review: Peter Milligan’s story is solid but doesn’t quite reach the poignancy it seeks. George Freeman’s art is excellent, as usual.


Title: “The Legend of Hump Hammersmith, Buttkicker at Large”

Synopsis: A professional butt-kicker and his manger are hired to recover 10 Miss Universe finalists who’ve been kidnapped.

Writer: Bill DuBay
Penciler: Vince Argondezzi
Inker: Rick Bryant

Review: While this humorous tale provides a nice change of pace tonally, its racist stereotypes and casual sexism haven’t aged well.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Cool factor: Awesome art by George Pérez, and George Freeman should have been a star.
Not-so-cool factor: Our changing social mores make the final story a bit cringe worthy.

Notable: The letters page includes an LoC from sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury.

Character quotable: “Allow me to satisfy that curiosity – permanently!” – Sovran, the Master (because what generic big bad doesn’t explain their plan in detail?)

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

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