Friday, February 1, 2013

Atlas/Seaboard Comics: John Targitt...Man-Stalker

Starting in June of 1974, the short-lived Atlas/Seaboard Comics line was started by Marvel Comics founder Martin Goodman, who had left the company in 1972 after he sold it in 1968. Wanting to compete with DC Comics and his old company Marvel, Goodman hired Warren Publishing veteran Jeff Rovin to handle the color comic titles and Stan Lee's brother, Larry Lieber, as editor of the black-and-white magazines. Trying to draw the best talent to his new company, Goodman promoted a creators' rights revolution, offering the highest rates in the industry, returning artwork to artists and author ownership to original character creations. Unfortunately, only twenty three comic titles and five comic magazine were produced before the company folded in late 1975. So let me start out this new series of posts with their "Executioner" inspired character. John Targitt was special agent for the FBI whose family was killed by the mob while rival hoods were deposing of another gangster. Leaving his position with the government, John becomes a "one man army" against the mob and other evil villains like Professor Death as the masked vigilante Man-Stalker. With solid cover art for its three issue run by Dick Giordano, Rich Buckler, and Frank Thorne, the uninspired story lines and quirky interior illustrations by Howard Nostrand never found an audience, but that was Atlas Comics in a nutshell.

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