Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at one of the last Crossgen series, but also one of their best – Chuck Dixon and Steve Epting’s El Cazador..
One thing to note about Crossgen’s art department, besides the fact that they employed many of Marvel’s current top artists (Steve Epting, Jimmy Cheung, Greg Land, Jackson Guice, Mike Perkins and more!), is that they also had some of the VERY best colorists in the business. Besides the amazing Laura Martin (who was already a “name” before Crossgen, they also had up and coming colorists like Frank D’Armata and Jason Keith, who have both gone on to become two of the very top colorists in the business.
I mention this only because both D’Armata AND Keith worked on El Cazador, and boy – their skills mixed with the great Steve Epting (who was a good artist before he went to work for Crossgen, but by the time he was done – hoo boy, he was amazing) to make El Cazador an absolutely stunning visual treat.
Sadly, the book only lasted a half-dozen issues before Crossgen just crumbled into dust, but boy, what a cool six issues they were!
As this was towards the end of Crossgen, the titles were allowed to split from the whole “alien planets that are just similar to Earth at different points in Earth’s history” shtick and just be plain ol’ set whenever. This series was set in the late 17th Century in the world of pirates.
A ship from Spain was headed to the Americas when they were beset by pirates…
That page is half of a double page spread – the whole “the way I taught you” is in reference to a line where he says, “get rid of the excess crew/cargo.”
check out the detail of that last page – how amazing is the sharks eating the “excess crew/cargo”??!
Later in the issue, we meet the star of the series, as she is discovered by the pirate captain…
She then takes control of the ship, with the purposes of catching Blackjack Tom, the captain of the other ship, who has taken her mother and her younger brother hostage for ransom purposes.
Dubbed Lady Sin by the crew, she is quite a character…
Naturally, some crew have issues with being led by a woman, but she quells the mutiny with flair…
Dixon really embraced the spectacle of classic pirate films like The Sea Hawk and swahsbuckling films like The Adventures of Robin Hood (not to mention action films like The Four Feathers).
Here, another major character, an English privateer, is saved from hanging by the French…
He escapes only to return to his ship and, naturally enough, attack Lady Sin’s ship. The battle is intense – Epting and Dixon really choreographed the battle well…
This only takes us to issue #3 – there is tons more action and adventure in the next three issues. Well worth seeking out. I can’t imagine that the back issues cost THAT much, but I dunno, maybe they were in such low supply that they ARE hard to find! In that case, Disney – make a trade collection of El Cazador, consarnit! It’s drawn by one of Marvel’s #1 artists!!! It would sell!!!
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