Happy June! Happy Summer! Happy Atari Force Month!
All month long here on Comics Matter, I'm going to be focused entirely on the bizarre and fun-tastic 1984 sci-fi adventure series from DC known as Atari Force. Technically it'll be the second volume of the title, because the first was a five-issue series of mini-comics that were given away with old Atari games and had stories based on the same. The original Atari Force was, therefore, little more than a marketing ploy, a fun little freebie comic designed to sell more video games. These initial five issues are not easy to find, even online, and have such a thin connection to what followed that it matters very little for my purposes. The second volume moved away from the video game tie-in strategy in favor of telling original stories that work on their own, and did so with an almost entirely different cast of characters than volume one. It's not an amazing series, nor is it especially horrible, but it is a book that's a bit unlike anything else, with some great new characters and thought-provoking science fiction concepts.
I plan to publish one post every day in June about Atari Force, beginning with daily reviews of each issue. Once I get through all twenty issues, there is a three-story special from 1986 that I will probably split into three days worth of material, and after that...I don't know. There'll be five or six days at the end of the month left over to look at the series as a whole, and I'm not sure yet what those'll look like. I'll have to cross that bridge once I get there.
Why am I doing this? I'd love to give you a concrete reason, but there ain't one. I like Atari Force but haven't looked at it in a while, so I wanted an excuse to reread it. Also I was looking for something different to do on the blog for a bit, just to shake up my writing schedule. Therefore, Atari Force Month it is!
Before I delve into the meat of the series myself, though, let me direct your attention to someone else's attempt to do the same. Though it no longer seems to be active or updated, the Atari Force Headquarters website is still online and has a lot of good information in its archives. Summaries of every issue, articles and interviews on the series from back when it was first being published, a timeline of everything that happens in the book, creator bios, etc. It's not the best-looking or most well-organized thing in the world, but if you take the time to click its many, many links, you can learn a lot about the details of this series.
Tomorrow, I kick things off more officially with a closer look at Atari Force, volume two, issue #1.