Jim Nastics #1 1984 $1.50
Redstone Comics Fairhaven, New Jersey by William Mitchell and Alan Larsen
So, going in I had no idea this would be a gymnast noir comedy. I mean, seriously. Has that ever been a genre of an anything? If so it's news to me.
But our story opens with our man Nastics finishing up his gymnast workout in his darkened office just as Ms. Ellen Faunt walks in to inquire about the secretarial position there. He hires her on the spot with Ellen kickstarting the comic by telling Nastics she wants to know everything about him first.
And that's just what he does. Origin story! Jim's tale begins with the skinny on Hillary Landon.
"Hilly" became Nastics's lover. They were a perfect match... until Dr. Jefferson McCarthy destroyed everything! He stopped them after a performance one night and made a bizarre offer. He claimed to be doing research for the Olympic Council in the areas of stamina and endurance. He convinced them to let him perform his tests on them, explaining that once they submit to testing they would be blessed with abilities many times their current ones, thus out-performing their communist rivals!
McCarthy lives up to his name with the fervor of his plans to vanquish Communism. But will his plans succeed?
Hell yeah they do! Lookit the way Hilly shoots around like a giant bouncy ball! And Nastics can do the same! They're like rubber legged daredevils now!
Hilly takes part in the next Olympic Games and with her new abilities she wins it all! But Nastics, man of integrity that he is, can't sit idly as she undeservedly takes the gold.
He spills the beans and Hilly becomes hopping mad. She and Dr. McCarthy are arrested right then and there with Hilly vowing to get her revenge for this betrayal.
Flash forward to the present where Nastics gets a mysterious phone call that alerts him to the possibility of a friend in trouble! It's Phylis Meyers (aka Phil), the US gymnast who found herself as leader of the womens events after Hilly's arrest.
Just then we cut to little Auf Auf giving those foreign kidnappers the what for!!
And we also get a glimpse of Hilly's present predicament in the government hospital where she resides.
...but they get away. It's not a total loss though as Nastics nabs one of their cohorts who was left on the runway. He threatens the kidnapper until he lays it all out for Nastics. They weren't foreigners at all, but Americans working for General "Bull" Dozer to kidnap Auf Auf and take him to Washington D.C.! Nastics and Phil go back to his office to process this new intel... but who should show up on the last page of the comic? It's Hilly! She had decided to make amends with Nastics but gets the idea that Phil is trying to replace her in every facet of her old life... not just as the top US Womens gymnast but also as Nastics's lover! Hilly is pissed and once again vows her revenge!!
And this is how issue one ends. Will Hilly have her reckoning? Will Nastics ever find true love? What are those US agents doing with Auf Auf in Washington?!? All these questions and more answered in issue 2 of Jim Nastics: Hero or Heel! I hope. I've never seen issue two but apparently it does exist as the series has two issues listed on comics.org
So what a weird and cool comic! I liked it lots. Here's my drawing of Nastics.
Please be sure to check in again next time when we delve into the amazing looking treasure known as Future Beat!