Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tales From The Quarter Bin--SPARTAN X!!!

There are some things you need, more than you've ever needed anything in your life--even if you had no idea it existed.

Things such as...

Yes, a comic starring a "character created by action star Jackie Chan," written and drawn by Michael Golden?!?

With Jackie fighting death-cult monks on a roller coaster?!?

How the hell did I not already have this comic?!?

Now, this book's back story is a bit confusing. You see, there was a Jackie Chan movie called Wheels On Meals, which in Japan was titled Spartan X...go figure. And that inspired a video game of the same name, one of the earliest "beat 'em ups." It was known as Kung-Fu Master over here, in arcades and the NES.

But that has absolutely nothing to do with the comic Spartan X.

You see...uhhh...

Sorry, I was distracted by Jackie Chan fighting death-cult monks on as moving roller coaster.

Anyway, this comic, Spartan X: The Armour Of Heaven, was quite (quite) loosely based on another Jackie Chan movie, 1986's Armour Of God, in which Jackie is a vaugely-ripped-off-from-Indiana-Jones dude who has to recover the pieces of a mythical mystical suit of battle armor to save his ex-girlfriend.


Sorry, I was once again distracted by Jackie Chan fighting armed death-cult monks why his roller coaster does loops and twists.

So, they kinda-sorta took Jackie's character from that movie, made him dress a little more like a superhero, stuck the plot in Shake 'N' Bake bag and gave it a thorough rearrangement, and borrowed the Spartan X name.

But why does he call himself Spartan X?

Well, duh.

Bonus: His phone number was S-P-A-R-T-A-N-X.

Anyway, the Topps series was cancelled after just 3 issues in 1997, but a few months later it was reborn at Image, but renamed Spartan X: Hell-Bent-Hero-For-Hire (seriously):

Despite the new name, the first three issues merely reprinted the Topps series. And after the 4th issue (and first new one for Image), it was cancelled again.

Having read just the one issue, I'm tempted to suggest that maybe, just maybe, this wasn't the greatest comic book ever.

But then I recall that it featured Jackie Chan fighting armed death-cult monks on a roller coaster, and chasing around the globe questing after mystic armor that can make you all-powerful, and, well, I wipe those crazy thoughts from my mind. It's clearly one of the best 5 comics ever.

And so the Spartan X character has lain dormant, untouched for 14 years, waiting, waiting for some comics company not afraid of dusty, near-forgotten intellectual properties.

Oh, Dynamite, are you listening?

1 comment:

Siskoid said...

I remember Spartan X!

(Maybe from an article in Wizard? I'm sure I don't have the comic.)

Dynamite would be perfect for this indeed!