Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Luke Malone, Manhunter

Luke Malone, Manhunter was buried in the back of Atlas' Police Action, backing up Al McWilliams' Lomax, NYPD, although it was actually the better strip.
Tough talking cop Sam Lomax was fine, in a Dirty Harry does ABC Mystery Movie kind of way, but private eye Malone drips with atmosphere, crackles with rat-a-tat dialogue, and is written and drawn by Mike Ploog at the peak of his powers. OK, he's inked by Frank Springer, but you can't have everything.
The story, and who did what to whom and why, is, like all the best detective stories, kind of irrelevant. It's all about the atmosphere.


  1. Hey Pete, I love all things Atlas since it was a much welcomed and needed respite from the big 2! Much of their work is not necessarily memorable but I still get jazzed recalling those thrilling days!

  2. I'll always have a soft spot for Atlas ( even the truly awful ones like IronJaw & Phoenix ) as they arrived like a bolt in our town, and for a while, seemed like an exciting alternative.
    Yes, they were derivative, but there were some gems, as I always aim to prove here on the blog.

  3. I get a PETER GUNN vibe from this, but more in a sense of "trying to capture the flavor" than flat out imitation, which makes it an original by Atlas standards. And as long as we are noting inspirations: Lomax's name was obviously chosen to suggest Kojak.

  4. Never thought of either of those, but of course, they make sense.

  5. Atlas got a bad rap. Their comics were at least as good as DC at the time and Marvel as well. Also had a grittier, more streetwise feel distinct from either of them. At least until the terrible and hasty directive to change all the titles to be "more like Marvel." The Cougar was especially fun.