Bob Burden’s Original Mysterymen Comics #1–4 (of 4)
[Dark Horse Comics #1–3 $2.95 US $4.50 CAN/#4 $3.50 US $5.25 CAN]
Written by Bob Burden / Illustrated by Various
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Mysterymen Comics #1Each issue of this four issue mini-series contains a done-in-one tale and spotlights various Mysterymen characters most of whom first appeared in Flaming Carrot Comics. Issue one is beautifully illustrated by Stephen Sadowski (pencils) and Christian Alamy (inks) and follows The Strangler, Metro Marauder, The Spleen and The Hummer as they attempt to subdue a monster at the local junk yard. The story is typical Burden fare—loopy yet with dialogue and characterizations that ring true and emphasize the blue collar nature of these heroes.

Issue two is illustrated by the same team but the story is considerably more dull. Lance Fortnight is a corporate scientist working on a hovercraft project. He’s also engaged to a fellow employee and lawyer who is stringing him along while she plots to take over the company. While remodeling his new apartment Lance stumbles upon some discs hidden in a support column. They are of alien origin and after they download enough information from his PC to become "aware" Lance sees the potential in the discs and uses them to become The Amazing Discman. The pacing and dialogue in this issue are stiff and don’t quite work with the serious tone of the story.

Issue three showcases Screwball, the most Flaming Carrot like Mysteryman, with art by Chris McLoughlin. I enjoyed this story probably because like Flaming Carrot Screwball’s adventures were filled with the same rambling, innocent goofiness and surrealistic plot. This was also the only one of the four to have a ‘to be continued’ blurb at the end. The bulk of the issue is still a single story, however.

Issue four is also illustrated by McLoughlin and ended up being my favorite of the four issues. In it a former villain, Jimmy Corey (aka Tennessee Thunderbird) who now earns his living by making comic book convention appearances, relates the final fate of his accomplices in crime, Yellow Rider and Sexfly. Burden has a real feel for the amoral attitudes of these characters and that made the story great fun.

Overall these issues were worth the money but I’m a fan of Bob Burden and will buy just about anything he writes. Heck, I even bought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Flaming Carrot mini-series. I would have enjoyed these Mysterymen issues more, however, if Burden had illustrated them as well. There’s something about his loose and sketchy style teamed up with his offbeat stories that can’t be topped.

If you can’t find these issues on your local retailer’s shelves then order direct from Dark Horse Comics, Inc. 10956 SE Main Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222 or visit their web site at www.darkhorse.com. You can also visit www.mysterymen.net for a glimpse into Bob Burden’s wacky world.