Sunday, April 25, 2010
Astonishing Tales Featuring...THE DOORS???
In my conversation with RICH BUCKLER, artist and creator of DEATHLOK THE DEMOLISHER, which ran in ASTONISHING TALES in the early '70s, for BACK ISSUE magazine #25 (Nov. 2007), we discussed at length the connections between this series and the seminal kings of dark pop, THE DOORS.
It was an amazing conversation. Buckler was at his best, articulating his influences on the feature, which comes from all kinds of sources. (I consider this interview one of my crowning achievements for the magazine, by the way, if you haven't read it.)
DEATHLOK THE DEMOLISHER is awash with references to the legendary L.A. group, down to some story titles swiped from song titles, including "Break on Through" and "Five to One." Keep in mind that when those ASTONISHING TALES comics came out, it was the early 1970s, about two years after Doors front man Jim Morrison passed away.
That's the wondrous thing about art of any stripe. You can be influenced from sources that might not be the obvious for a futureshock title such as DEATHLOK THE DEMOLISHER, which was stuffed with ideas and filled with a depth and a vision that was well ahead of its time (and ahead of the year 1990, when this tale takes place).
In turn, Buckler's cyborg storyline (all 11 issues, co-written with the great writer DOUG MOENCH), in which the title character revisits his past and grapples to retrieve his humanity, clearly provided a blueprint for one of the best sci-fi movies of all time (IMO):
(Not to be confused with the two piss poor sequels, TV show, and lame comics this 1987 movie in turn inspired).
Inspiration is a wonderful thing, especially when it informs something indirectly and not so on the nose. It would've been too on the nose if Buckler had also done some cosmic comics based on The Doors themselves back then (remember those KISS comics?). Then again, it probably would've been pretty damn sweet!