Tuesday, April 14, 2009
UNEARTHED FROM THE BRONZE MINE: Deathlok the Demolisher
Back in 2007, I interviewed Rich Buckler Q&A-style for BACK ISSUE! Magazine # 25 (see www.TwoMorrows.com). The topic of our discussion: ASTONISHING TALES: DEATHLOK THE DEMOLISHER.
Buckler created the DEATHLOK concept and collaborated on the sci-fi feature with house Marvel writer Doug Moench on it. The 35-year-old futureshock DEATHLOK series was ahead of its time. It was an unusual feature; darker and more experimental and forward-thinking than anything Marvel was putting out at the time. Set in the near-future of 1990, DEATHLOK was loaded with symbolism, a questioning of authority, multicultural complexities, and references to The Doors. After Moench left the book, Bill Mantlo took over as writer. Klaus Janson did his usual excellent inking on some of those issues, in which Buckler played with cinematic storytelling and compositions which predated Frank Miller/Janson’s DAREDEVIL run. Buckler’s DEATHLOK covers were among the best of that era. Unfortunately, due to poor sales and internal tensions, DEATHLOK only ran for 11 issues.
Today primarily a painter, Buckler has largely moved on from comics. You can see his recent art at his Web site, www.RichBuckler.com. And yet, for our BACK ISSUE! article, Buckler had submitted a jpeg of this beautiful recent painting he had done of his signature character, which hung at a Jersey gallery. Since BACK ISSUE! had already commissioned a Bob Layton Iron Man cover long before I conducted my interview, there was no venue to exhibit this painted artwork in full color. Until now…