Saturday, February 4, 2017


In 1986, Eclipse Comics, one of many independent comics companies that proliferated during that decade, rebooted a Golden Age hero named Airboy. The character had originally appeared in AIRBOY COMICS and AIR FIGHTERS COMICS, published by Hillman, in the 1940s. Eclipse's version focused on the adventures of the son of the original Airboy (who was killed in the first issue of the new series) along with such other Golden Age stalwarts as Skywolf, the Heap (a precursor to Things Swamp and Man), master villain Misery and Valkyrie.

What set this series apart was it's bold innovation of an initial bi-weekly publishing schedule. That's right, a new issue every other week. Of course, this limited the page counts for each issue but it was a novel experiment that gave the comics the feel of an old movie serial. The title eventually went to monthly status (and a longer page count) with issue #34.

The first five issues of AIRBOY were reprinted in a handsome trade paperback entitled THE RETURN OF VALKYRIE in 1989. It's a terrific story, combining the best elements of pulp fiction, Golden Age comics, men's adventure magazines and '80s action films. Scriptwriter Chuck Dixon is aided by solid artwork from Timothy Truman, Tom Yeates, Stan Woch and Will Blyberg. To top it all off, the volume sports a gorgeous movie poster style cover by the great Jim Steranko.

THE RETURN OF VALKYRIE is a great set-up to the series and a reintroduction of some venerable, second-tier Golden Age comics characters. Fast paced and action packed, it's a fun read. Recommended.

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