I'm still working on the review for The Night Man #4, but while we wait let's take a look at the two page bonus material in the back of the issue that includes the origin of another Malibu character, Firearm!
Aside from Prime, Firearm is probably the character I remember most from the Malibu Ultraverse. The funny thing is, however, is that I don't own a single issue of his title.
This was the Malibu title penned by James Robinson, and while I had read and enjoyed The Golden Age earlier that year, it wasn't until his Starman run that I would become a real fan of his work. So it was only years later that I discovered that he had written this series, and by that time I was done with the Malibu line and never got around to getting any back issues.
So it may be 15 years too late,but let's get our crash course in Firearm history courtesy of James Robinson and Howard Chaykin.
Our narrator speaks to us from inside an old bookstore, immediately clarifying the differences between Swan (a.k.a. Firearm) and himself, as there's obviously some history between the two. Where he is educated and cultured, Swan was lacking. They are both English, but hail from different ends of the class spectrum.
Swan was a member of the British Forces, who worked in the S.B.S. like Van Gogh worked paint on a canvas.
That brought him to the attention of the Lodge, or the dirty tricks squad of the British military. It was there, fighting amongst the paranormals and ultrahumans that he earned the nickname Firearm. His many exploits were too much for a couple of ultrahuman double agents within the Lodge. Together, they set him up as a pawn in an operation that was supposed to leave him dead, but instead he was the only survivor.
He then resigns from the military and comes across the Atlantic to set himself up as a private detective in America. It's just his luck that all of the strange encounters that had dogged his career in the military have followed him over.
Our narrator then shows a hint of compassion, as he implores us to wish Swan luck, as he will surely need it.
Reading my mind, the narrator answers my question of just who he actually is. "Don't worry," he says, as we'll find out soon.
So there you have it, a short and sweet introduction to Firearm. I've actually heard quite a bit of good word of mouth on this title. The two page origin was entertaining enough, that if I ever found a collection for a reasonable price I'd more than likely pick it up.
James Robinson has long since earned a free pass so that I at least try everything he writes initially, so I don't see why that rule shouldn't work backwards in time as well. Besides, the title had some artwork from the likes of Cully Hamner and Gary Erskine which is just icing on the cake.