Tuesday, 5 May 2015
E-Man, if you've somehow yet to meet him, was Charlton's brief early '70's foray into superherodom, following the demise of the Action Heroes line in 1968 or thereabouts.
Writer Nic Cuti's original inspiration was Plastic Man, but I always looked at E-Man more as a groovier Captain Marvel ( the Shazam one ), being a light, bright, whimsical strip full of something sadly lacking in, well, just about every comic these days. Charm.
E-Man is a literally cosmic energy being with unlimited powers, who comes to Earth, likes it, and decides to stay, and the strip is just a hugely fun romp, ever so slightly satirical and completely irresistible.
E-Man is the ultimate nice guy, an innocent abroad who delights in every aspect of his new home. While as a counterpoint you, and E-Man, also get to meet his girlfriend Nova Kane, a sassy, intelligent female lead right up there with Beverly Switzler.
Again, your favourite stuff is all about when you first encounter it, and E-Man always feels like long, warm summer holidays to me, when comics were delightful.
Like the comic book version of a souffle, it takes a deft hand to make this work, and E-Man always teetered on the precipice of satire without quite falling over, until later writers missed the point entirely and went completely down that route ( Ford Fairmont's The F-Men anybody? ), so best to start with the original series. Cuti and artist Joe Staton are an absolutely perfect match here, as always, with the first issue.