Clearly, Marvel had high hopes for Robert Townsend’s 1993 superhero comedy film METEOR MAN, as they not only published an adaptation of the film, but also agreed to immediately follow that up with an original 6-issue miniseries (Note the “Collector’s Item” blub on the cover of #1), which takes place firmly within the mainstream Marvel universe. The production of this series would have had to begun several months before the film was released, so they were clearly gambling on it being enough of a success to justify this miniseries. Unfortunately for Marvel, the film was not a financial success, so I can’t imagine that this miniseries sold anywhere near what they were hoping it would (although, it being the 90’s, it probably sold more than what most “hit” comics sell today).
The creative team from the movie adaptation returned, writer Dwight D. Coye and artist Robert Walker, this time joined by Bertram B. Hubbard as co-writer. Picking up an unspecified but clearly not too large amount of time after the events of the film ended, Jeff and Mike have just arrived in Arizona via plane, where they’re read that a large green meteor, similar to the one that first empowered Jeff, has crashed in and is being held in some biosphere science research facility. They plan to try to get in somehow and gain access to the meteor to see if it can restore Jeff’s powers.
Meanwhile, we see two Black supervillains, a woman named Malefactor and a man named Ghost Strike, stop a armored truck where Simon Kane, the leader of the Golden Lords, is being transported to The Vault, which is the Marvel Universe’s high-tech prison for supervillains. They defeat the guards who were watching him and take Simon away. Next time we see him he’s in a lab someone being blasted with energy. We learn that the man who had Simon captured is known as Mr. Skyy, CEO of Skyyventures Inc. Mr. Skyy has also sent agents to Arizona to attempt to buy the meteor from the people who run the biosphere, but for some reason they refuse to sell it. So Mr. Skyy tells them to steal it. The men come back heavily armed and break into the biosphere the same night that Jeff and Mike get there.
And here’s where we face some internal inconsistency. Jeff had lost all of his powers at the end of the movie, and it was clearly stated in the beginning of this issue that he had no powers left. But when it comes to time to try to find a way to get into the biosphere, suddenly it turns out that Jeff has a little bit of his powers yet. He’s got enough juice left to hypnotize a guard (but holding a book about how to learn hypnosis, of course) into letting him and Mike into the biosphere. Inside the biosphere, we see him able to break through a wall and to hover in the air for a few minutes. He does mention that doing this takes a lot of effort, because his remaining powers are so weak, but nevertheless I feel it’s a bit of a cop-out to have him retain any powers at this point, just because it’s convenient to the plot.
So in the big climax, Jeff and Mike get to the room where the meteor is at the same time Mr. Skyy’s henchmen do, and both of them run towards the meteor as the henchmen open fire trying to stop them…
I won’t spoil the ending (although since this is #1 of a 6-issue miniseries I’ll assume you can guess that Jeff doesn’t die), in case you’re planning to track this down and get this yourself. But it’s a good dramatic cliffhanger-ending to a decent story. Other than the bit with the powers, I have no real complaints. Again, as with the movie adaptation, this issue drops the humor of the film and just plays this straight, like a traditional superhero, and it works. And, once again, Walker’s art is average, but services the story well. Chacebook rating: 4 STARS
Categories: METEOR MAN