Comic Talkback: Dark Horse Gamera

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Comic Talkback: Dark Horse Gamera

Postby klen7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:44 am

Title: Gamera
Publisher: Dark Horse
Series: Issue 4 issues
Year: 1996
Writer: Dave Chipps
Penciller: Mozart Couto
Inker: Mike Sellers
Letterer: Clem Robins
Colorist: Art Knight
Editor: Randy Stradley
Designer: Mark Cox
Cover Artist: Mitsuaki Hashimoto, Yuji Kaida

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Synopsis:
Issue 1: When giant monsters threaten to destroy your family, when natural disasters endanger your home, there's one big turtle who's watching your back! He's Gamera, the guardian of the universe, and he's returned to save Mexico from the awesome power of the bio-engineered bird-monster known as Gyaos! There's a battle of the behemoths brewing south of the border, and the repercussions are gonna be felt across North and South America!

Issue 2: Gamera's got his giant-turtle hands full dealing with the flying terror called Gyaos! But he'll have to free up a foot or two, 'cause a new player just entered the game: the alien shark creature Zigra! You have to expect days like this when you take on the title "Guardian of the Universe," and you have to be ready to come out fighting!

Issue 3: Dr. Greta Karbone has succeeded in creating her very own supermonster -- the giant squid-beast Viras. But Karbone learns that what you create you cannot always control, as Viras takes over the doctor's mind. It's all part of a monstrous plan to enslave humanity -- a plan that begins in Paris, where Viras must dispose of mankind's bio-engineered guardian Gamera, the giant flying turtle! The City of Lights is about to become a city in flames!

Issue 4: Gamera is supposed to be the Guardian of the Universe, not the protector of life-threatening monsters! So why is he helping a gigantic squid destroy all of Paris? Has the original mutant turtle taken a turn for the worse? Find out in the final issue of this four-issue miniseries! It's giant monster action as you demanded it!
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Postby klen7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:05 am

I was initially excited for this series because of the covers... little did i know the interiors had more in common with the Showa series despite some Heisei ties.

I did like that they worked in so many villains (although they crammed them all into 4 issues.) which is something the Godzilla comics had not given us until IDW picked up the license.

Overall this comic is very 90s. 90s in a comic way... which isn't really a good thing, but i enjoyed it more than some of the Godzilla stuff Dark Horse gave us.
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Postby canofhumdingers » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:11 am

Huh, never knew these existed. Any chance of some interior pictures/scans?
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Postby klen7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:15 am

I will take some pictures tonite... still need to do some Gamera pictures for the toy section as well... but here's the post that the Kaijucast Tumblr posted that had me digging out my copies.

http://astoundingbeyondbelief.tumblr.co ... sue-gamera
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Postby O.Supreme » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:16 am

I purchased them when they initially came out. I enjoyed them for what they were...haven't actually read them in a long time however, maybe I should dig them out of the archives 8-) .
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Postby Pkmatrix » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:53 am

I love these comics! I bought them up as they were being released and was always disappointed Dark Horse didn't follow up on it.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:18 pm

I've been meaning to read these for a while, but I'm only now digging into the Dark Horse Godzilla stuff.
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Postby Hybrid Gojira » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:37 pm

I can't remember if I've even read these. I seem to remember getting the first two issues but never did find the next two.

Side note: Didn't Ultraman have a US comic run back in the 90's? I remember a friend of mine had one and I also seem to remember the fight scene to be really awesome.
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Postby klen7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:42 pm

It had at least one, but I'm not sure how many. I was planning to set up a talkback for the Dark Horse Ultraman Tiga, but i don't have any of the other Ultraman comics so i wasn't going to start any of those
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Postby O.Supreme » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:29 pm

Hybrid Gojira wrote:Side note: Didn't Ultraman have a US comic run back in the 90's? I remember a friend of mine had one and I also seem to remember the fight scene to be really awesome.


It was very brief, and based on Ultraman Towards the Future. I have all the issues, i think there were only 6 (ish).

Also Viz Manga did some Ultra-Brothers TPB's (6 issues) which are really cool if you can track them down, glad I got them when they first came out
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Postby klen7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:14 pm

Heres some pictures of the interiors (click image to make the bigger)

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The monster action is the best part of this comic, some of the human story is a bit silly (90s comic meets Showa Gamera story writing) but they still tie it to Gamera:GotU
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Re: Comic Talkback: Dark Horse Gamera

Postby lhb412 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:24 pm

I have all four issues of this. The covers are really fantastic. Should really get around to reading it one of these days! I dig the idea of an alternate sequel to GOTU.

It was very brief, and based on Ultraman Towards the Future. I have all the issues, i think there were only 6 (ish).


I picked up the first two issues of this from a back issue bin when I came across a little comic shop in a little town while traveling today! Doing a search for info on this board is what directed me to this thread. Had no idea they were based on the Australian show, but I guess it makes sense, as it was likely the only Ultra media readily available in the US and was seen as a reboot/remake instead of a separate Ultra as Tsuburaya later cataloged him.
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Re: Comic Talkback: Dark Horse Gamera

Postby GiganGoji » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:59 am

One of the few comic series that I've actually kept. Love the series, though it did get a little weird with that alien woman. I'll have to read them again as an adult and see if I pick up on different things.
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Re:

Postby lhb412 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:12 pm

Finally sat down a read all four issues. It's quite the trip to read the comic and the editorial stuff in each issue: #1 ends with a short summary of the franchise and then this detailed synopsis of Gamera: GOTU because the film was only in limited theatrical release from ADV at the time, with the home video release (and cable airings - how I saw the film originally) still a few months away. This comic continues directly from GOTU, but many folks hadn't even seen it yet! Probably just as well that this comic takes more after the Showa movies, which MST3K had re-popularized a few years prior, albeit using a few things from the movie, like Gamera's new origin and having Nagamine (and, to a lesser extent, Asagi) as characters.

Gamera is repeatedly stated to be 'programmed' by the ancient civilization to defend the Earth, which really stuck out to me. Seems to prefigure the bio-mechanical twinge he's given in G3.

Gamera is mostly on-model with his '95 design. Gyaos is a bit looser, but obviously based on '95. The artist doesn't capture Asagi at all. She looks almost the same as Nagamine. Gamera has his Showa-era flame breath instead of the fireballs, and Gyaos' distinctive breath weapon is drawn the same as Gamera's!

klen7 wrote:Overall this comic is very 90s. 90s in a comic way... which isn't really a good thing, but i enjoyed it more than some of the Godzilla stuff Dark Horse gave us.


Definitely. The villain seems straight out of a Marvel comic of the era. The alien girl feels that way, too - and speaking of her: she (and the subplot with Zigra) could be excised completely. They don't really have anything to do with the main plot and it would have shortened the series to only three issues, but I don't think getting the story to that pre-determined length was the purpose. I think both her and Lutz (the main character in this story) were intended to be the main characters if the Gamera comic became an ongoing thing. The last issue ends on a teaser with Lutz still having the Gamera amulet and the letters column in the final issue promises another miniseries to come and more Gamera from Dark Horse.

It's a bit amazing the splash GOTU made when it came out. Not only was it the first kaiju movie to play theatrically and get wide exposure in the US in over a decade, but it ended up with a comic tie-in and a brief toyline from Trendmasters. Quite impressive! I wonder what took so long with G2 and G3? You'd think ADV would have released Legion the next year.


PS - The second issue has an ad for Usagi Yojimbo! It had just begun being published by Dark Horse at the time (after a lengthy run at Fanatgraphics and brief color run at Mirage Studios) and still is today!
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