Monday, May 1, 2017

Brainglo #1

Brainglo #1 1987 $1.75 U.S. $2.50 Canada
PSI Comics Munroe Falls, Oh. by Michael Mallory and Mike Walters

   A muscular young man works on professional level exercise equipment while a mustached man watches closely, pocket watch in hand. The young man finishes his routine and towels off. 
   Just then an elderly butler looking fellow named Marcus enters the room and informs our main character, Brian, that it is time for another test. Brian seems as if he is weary of these "tests" but follows Marcus into a large room with some sort of high tech chair in the center.

   The kooky old scientist who seems to be in charge ushers Brian over to the chair and harnesses him in. The lab assistants silently mock how crazy the "Doc" is as they think this will be yet another failed test. But once they engage the power we soon see otherwise!
   But we suddenly cut to another planet entirely where a lone figure has just launched his ship. Some sort of malfunction is causing him to attempt to shut down the power... but too late!
   Back to Earth where the Doc is forced to shut down the test. Brian is carried outside where a helicopter awaits to take him to the hospital while the Doc stays behind to study the data generated by this latest test. Truth be told Doc seems not at all concerned for Brian's condition and instead completely enamored with the test results as they print out of the computer. 
   At the Metro General Hospital Brian is unconscious in his room. Mr. Drumm, the guy with the cool hair and moustache, is summoned out into the hallway by doctor to discuss Brian's condition. A nurse stays behind to monitor Brian. The doctor begins to inform Drumm of Brian's current state. Apparently he is in stable condition but they want to keep him for observation. Just then Mr. Drumm and the doctor notice a bright light emanating from Brian's room and rush in to see...

   Brian has manifested super powers! He is levitating above the bed and he somehow knows he can fly. He lands on the ground, excited and jumps out of the hospital window! But he begins to fall and Mr. Drumm yells at him to "Concentrate!!!" which Brian does and actually begins to fly! He soars around the city for a bit and stops to grab a cat out of a tree for a kid. The child inadvertently names our hero when he says, "Look Mommy, his brain glow!!"
   Brian flies back to the farmhouse where he apparently lives with Mr. Drumm and the Doc. He tests out his powers in their expansive backyard while the others look on with a mixture of amazement and trepidation. The Doc is excited by the latest results but Mr. Drumm thinks letting Brian use his powers without proper testing first could be dangerous!
   Well, ole mustache is soon proven right! Brian shoots one of his finger blasts into the sky ad it ends up disintegrating a Soviet satellite. The Soviets realize the source of the blast originated in the U.S. and enter a yellow alert! 

   A moment later that spaceship we talked about earlier is orbiting around Saturn. The pilot begins scanning for a nearby life supporting planet and realizes the only one in the vicinity is Earth. He teleports his ship next to Earth and ends up accidentally destroying another Soviet satellite in the process!

   The alien's computer conducts scans of Earth and informs the pilot that it has detected the presence of nuclear explosive devices on the planet. The alien seems distressed but decides to land...almost out of a sense of duty as opposed to a survival instinct. 
   Back on Earth the U.S. government, aware of the Soviet satellites' destruction, track the alien ship entering their airspace. They mistake it for a Russian air strike, assuming the Soviets are retaliating for the satellites that were obliterated by those mysterious blasts from the U.S.
   The U.S. launches missiles toward Russia and the Soviets in turn launch toward the U.S! 

   At the precise moment this is all going down the alien ship lands in the farmhouse yard where Brian is relaxing at an outdoor table. He sees the ship and yells for the Doc and Mr. Drumm to come outside and see for themselves! They rush out to check out what the commotion is all about and see the door to the spaceship open. And out walks the pilot!

   And that's how this one wraps up, ladies and gentlemen. I'm noticing a popular motif in these late '80's comics is a fear of impending nuclear holocaust. Both Brainglo and (last month's) New Beginning feature the launching of nuclear missiles in their premiere issue. Oh, how far we've come in the last forty years, right? Just today my phone showed me headlines about North Korea's nuclear weapons and the possibility of them being launched our way. I guess us humans are never going to learn anything about not trying to destroy one another. But before I go any further down that dreary path here is a drawing I did of our hero Brian "Brainglo"!

   I liked this comic. It was a fun and enjoyable read and it had decent artwork as well. I would read a second issue of this book but sadly none exists. It seems all to often these intriguing books fold after only one issue...probably due to poor sales. Well, for any comic creators out there reading this, I say keep at it! Sales are important, it's true, as they pay for printing, art supplies, etc... but don't give up on your work if it's not an immediate success. Here it is thirty years after the publication of Brainglo #1 and we're checking it out for the first time! Who knows how many people out there would love to have seen it continue? If you have an idea then keep at it, folks! What else you gonna do?

   Well, that's it for this month's Bewildering post. Join me next month when we'll check out another lost gem of independent comics known as Shadow Warrior!