DC NEAR-MISS: Void Indigo #1 (1984)



Void Indigo #1 (November, 1984)
“Book Two: Spikes and Demons, Part One – Killing to be Clever”
Writer/Creator – Steve Gerber
Artist/Creator – Val Mayerik
Letters – Carrie McCarthy
Associate Edits – Laurie Sutton
Edits – Archie Goodwin
Consulting Edits – Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $1.50
From Epic-Marvel Comics


Void Indigo… again?  Already?  Another DC Near-Miss?  Already?  Can ya tell I’m having a ton of fun with this feature?


First, I wanna thank the folks who reached out after reading our look at the Void Indigo Marvel Graphic Novel the other day.  There, I asked if anyone would be interested in seeing my take on the rest of the short-lived series… and it was “thumbs up” all around!


Today, we’re going to look at the first (of two) issues of Void Indigo released through Marvel Comics’ EPIC Imprint… and yes, this is the issue that was once referred to as “a crime against humanity”.  We’re going to go deep on that… and even take a look at the silly “lawsuit” Bob Ingersoll “filed” against Jhagur in Comics Buyer’s Guide back in the long ago.  We’ll go line by line and address his concerns.  Maybe we’ll agree with his arguments… maybe we won’t!  Maybe we’ll think this would’ve worked as a revamped Hawkman… maybe we won’t!


This review is going to be especially interesting for me, personally… it’s been a very long time since I’d last laid eyes on these pages… and, lemme tell ya, after an initial cursory flip-through… I’m not exactly sure what we’re in for!  I gotta say, I remember liking it back when I was an “edgier” early-twenty-something.  Now, as a forty-year old… I’m wondering how well this “aged”?


I was thinking back to how I came to own these two issues… and I remember, not being as well-versed in things like the “cheap-o bin”… I thought I’d have to pay out the nose for ’em.  I actually asked a fella at a local comic shop if he had them… and, unsurprisingly he’d never even heard of it.  He told me he could order them… and, check this out… quoted me $10 a pop!  Told me for an even $50, he’d throw the Graphic Novel in too!  Whatta pal!


I… did not bite.  Not knowing much of anything, I did consider it though!  Instead I kept up the hunt, and not too long after came across both books in a dollar bin.  Ya know, Void Indigo might actually be, in some part, responsible for the personal-phenomenon that is: my cheap-o bin addiction!


Before we head into the spoilery synopsis I wanna drop in a disclaimer.  Now, even though I alluded to the fact that Void Indigo is wickedly violent last time around, I didn’t actually give a proper “content warning”.  I sincerely apologize for accidentally leaving that out (I’m usually really good about that sort of thing).  That said, this article is also going to be looking at some violent and explicit stuff.  I’ll do my normal best at censoring the naughty stuff… but, still… there’s gonna be stuff not everyone’s going to want to see!


Now, even if you don’t wanna check out the synopsis, I’d definitely  encourage you to take a peek at the “lawsuit” (and rebuttal) toward the bottom of the piece.


Let’s do it!







We open in Hollywood, where it looks like a man is being rather rough on a “lady of the evening”.  It’s downright brutal… she bolts out of the back of his “party van”, after making some sort of “discovery”.  He’s in hot pursuit, and when he catches up (it doesn’t take him but a few steps, he holds a straight razor to her throat.  There’s a skirmish… naturally… and it’s here that we learn that this fella is actually a woman… and this lady of the evening, is actually a man named Larry.  Okay… what’s the point of any of this?




Well the woman… do we call her a potential “Jane” instead of a “John” to this prostitute?  Whatever the case, she laments the fact that all she wanted was a little bit of happiness tonight… and since she ain’t gonna get it here… she slits Larry’s throat… and hops back into the party van…




… only, she’s not alone in there!  Inside she herself is killed by… our main man, Jhagur!  The drumming of “Void Indigo” beats through his head… and he refers to this “Jane” as one of the four Dark Lords he’s here to track down and kill.  He runs past poor dead Larry, and out of the area.




We shift scenes to the Appaloosa Bar, where Linette Cumston works.  She’s getting a lift home from a fella named Jess… who, immediately starts groping her.  She warns him that the last dude who tried anything wound up getting his foot burned clean off.  Yeah, that’s one’a those scenes that’s difficult to forget!




Back at the apartment, Jhagur is cleaning his blade in the sink when Linette arrives home.  He tells her that there’s one more Dark Lord down… to which, she is kind of beside herself at the fact that her roommate/lover (?) just committed murder.  Jhagur doesn’t get why she’s surprised… after all, she sewed him his “warrior’s garb” (which we saw), and helped him find his sword (which we didn’t).  He proceeds to tell her that he “listens to the Void, and does as he’s told”… not sure that’ll hold up in court, but I ain’t about to argue with him.




Across town, we meet the Mulgrew family.  Now, Pete Mulgrew is the construction worker who recovered the bejeweled spike in the Graphic Novel.  He plans on selling the relic in order to cover the balloon payment on his home… and, in fact, has only been able to sleep soundly since he found it!  His daughter, on the other hand, is pretty haunted by the thing… she sneaks into her parents room, and plucks the spike out of daddy Pete’s nightstand.




The next morning, the police are taking a look at what remains of the scene from the open.  They deduce that this woman slit the prostitute’s throat… and was then hacked up herself by a third person.  Pretty excellent CSI work there, no?  Anyhoo, the dead-Jane has a note nailed to her forehead… it reads, duh, “Void Indigo”.  They eventually run the plates on the party van, and discover the wheels belong to another woman altogether.  A detective named Wallerstein is on the case.




Back at the apartment, Linette is woken up by some bad dreams.  Unable to fall back to sleep, she decides to head out to the pool to try and relax.  There, she runs into her neighbor, Delfine… and she sorta-kinda reveals that she’s having some problems.  Delfine’s suggestion is… visiting a psychic!  Ya see, this one time, a physic laid hands on her… and all of her troubles went away.




We rejoin Wallerstein in Beverly Hills… where he’s meeting with a redhead about the situation the night before.  We learn that the dead woman from the open is named Brita… and this new redhead, Amanda, doesn’t know a whole heck of a lot… or, at least she’s playing it that way.  Doesn’t know what Brita might’ve been up to… and certainly doesn’t know what “Void Indigo” might mean (well, I kinda believe her there).  Anyhoo, Wallerstein leaves… and Amanda immediately hops on the phone to call a “Taro” to reveal that they might have a problem.




We now jump to a diner, where Mick Jhagur is bellied up to the counter, having breakfast with Pete Mulgrew.  If you recall, during the Graphic Novel, Jhagur kind of lost his mind when Pete showed him the spike… nearly beat the poor fella to death.  Anyhoo, he apologizes… and warns that the spike is dangerous… it might cause anyone to react so violently.  Ol’ Pete takes this as a threat… and doesn’t want Mick to screw with his pointy-payload.  He jumps out of his seat… and warns our man not to screw with him… and also, that he’s got a gun at home.




Speakin’ of Mulgrews… we rejoin Pete’s daughter, Colleen.  She’s still haunted by the spike… and, in fact, is carrying the thing around with her.  She’s approached by one of her gal-pals and starts talking a bunch of nonsense.  Her friend thinks she’s been reading too many Stephen King books… before Colleen actually produces the bejeweled spike!  Her friend is rightfully freaked out… and then, Colleen reveals that she (that is, Colleen herself) will die by this spike.




Over at the CAL-TV newsroom, a couple of nudnick reporters are… well, being nudnicks.  A lifestyle reporter, Debbie Tokugawa, enters the room… and is roundly mocked… for some reason.  They tell her about the Void Indigo Killer… and she raises an eyebrow before excusing herself to the archives.  She tosses the David Trepper (Koth from the Graphic Novel) tape into the deck… remembering that, when she interviewed Dave’s mother (also back in the Graphic Novel), she mentioned that the phrase “Void Indigo” was among his mutterings.  She makes a call to chat a bit more with Mrs. Sarah Trepper.




So, ya weirded out yet?  Because… you’re about to be.  Linette Cumpston arrives at Raka the psychic’s house.  She is greeted by Raka’s grandmother… who collects the cash-money before ushering our gal into “the dream chamber”…




… where… oh boy… we get to lay eyes on Raka.  She looks kind of like a diseased Poison Ivy… and, frankly, I don’t like looking at her one bit.  This is a page I’d like to cover with my hand… but won’t, because that means I’d have to actually touch it.




Linette strips down naked, and steps into Raka’s pentagram.  She, Raka, claims to have never met a “Delphine” and presses Linette’s hand into her cheek.  She, again Raka, suddenly knows just about everything about Linette… and everything starts to go abstract.  The women embrace… and as they spin, they begin to take the form of the bejeweled spike… they are then hammered into Ath’Agaar’s head!  Raka reveals that Linette’s “position in the cosmos” is “poised between slayer and victim”… which, duh, I think we already kinda knew that.




Linette wakes up… and she’s laying on a nearby beach.  She’s greeted by Raka’s grandmother, who has brought her some tea and cookies.  Linette doesn’t have the foggiest idea what she’d just experienced, and honestly, I can sympathize with her.  Grandma informs Linette that Raka would like to see her again the following Wednesday.  Our gal ain’t so sure.




Back in Beverly Hills, we meet Taro… ya know, that dude Amanda called after her visit from the Detective.  He tells her not to worry… and that everything is going to be okay.  This is, just before he sends a hitman over to her house to kill her.




Back at the apartments, Linette pays her neighbor, Delphine a visit.  Delphine, who is eating like an entire cake one-handed, invites her in… and our gal balls up her fist… and punches the gal right in her cake-hole.




After this, she heads upstairs to chat up Jhagur.  She asks for a bit more clarification on the murder of Ath’Agaar… to which, our man tells her about the bejeweled spike.  I mean, they’ve lived together for over a year at this point… and Jhagur kinda lost his mind upon seeing the spike again… is this really the first time they’re having this conversation?!




Back at the Mulgrews… Pete is tearing apart the house looking for his precious spike, and boy is he ticked off when he finds out his daughter took it!  She appears in the doorway, spike in hand… and it looks as though she’s been possessed.  She refuses to hand it over…




… and in fact, appears to plunge it into her own body, causing a tremendous explosion.




Now… here’s the thing… these last few pages of the issue are almost definitely out of order.  The next page has Colleen-in-Angelic-Form fighting Jhagur… and the page after that has Jhagur arriving on the scene in his “Mick Jhagur” form.  I know there was a month of EPIC books, where the last few pages of each issue were out of order (ElfQuest #2 is another, if I recall right)… maybe that’s what this is?  Or maybe this is all just way too deep for me to follow?




Whatever the case… the battle rages, and our issue concludes with Angelicolleen lunging directly into Jhagur’s blade… claiming that she will consume him, both in ecstasy… and flame!







The Trial of Void Indigo #1 (my “rebuttal” and review in BLUE):




IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO


ROBERT M. INGERSOLL       :       CASE NUMBER OH-RU12?
On behalf of himself and all       :      
others similarly situated       :       JUDGE I. M. PEEVED

Plaintiff
      :      

-vs-
      :      
JHAGUR       :       CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT AND

Defendant
      :       JURY DEMAND







Okay, right off the bat, “OH-RU12” as the case number did get a laugh out of me!




ALLEGATION OF JURISDICTION





1)       Plaintiff, Robert M. Ingersoll, was, at all times relevant to this cause of action, a resident of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.


2)       Plaintiff Robert M. Ingersoll brings this action on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, the class comprised of the Human Race. Class Plaintiff, the Human Race is so numerous, that joinder of all members of said class is impracticable. (And if you doubt that you just try and find a court room big enough to fit the whole human race. Come on, I double dog dare you!)       Further, there are in this cause of action questions of law and fact common to all members of the Human Race. Further the claims and defenses of Robert M. Ingersoll are typical of the claims and defenses of the Human Race. Further Robert M. Ingersoll will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Human Race. (You don’t think I’d sell out my own species, do you? And for those of you who claim that lawyers aren’t really members of the human race, it’s not to late to limit the class a little, you know.)      


3)       Defendant Jhagur was at no time relevant to this cause of action a resident of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. (Indeed, as defendant is a comic-book character, it isn’t likely that he resides anywhere on the planet Earth. As further proof, Plaintiff cites the fact that if Defendant’s world is even remotely like the one portrayed in his comic, he obviously lives on some dark, evil alternate plane of existence far removed from the one wherein the Human Race resides; people who allow the mentally retarded to be killed being called “compassionate,” notwithstanding.)      


4)       At all times pertinent to this action Defendant starred in a comic book entitled Void Indigo, the first issue of which Defendant knew would be distributed in and read in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, that is, unless, Defendant had some sort of Springtime for Hitler thing going and was trying to make the book tank by avoiding one of the major cities in the country.


FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION



5)       Paragraphs 1 through 4 are incorporated herein by reference as if fully rewritten.


6)       In Void Indigo #1, Defendant portrayed the Human Race with several false and defamatory statements, the specific nature of which are set forth more fully in the paragraphs which follow.


7)       Defendant posits that Void Indigo #1 takes place in a world and time of “barbarism and cataclysm.” A world where, “Humans have turned cruel, petty… [and have] forsaken all ideals, except power and survival. Worse, they [the Human Race] lie to themselves, look only to the light, cannot bear to face the darkness of their nature.” (I apologize to the Court for the grammar of the above passage, or lack thereof. I was quoting from the source material so had to do it exactly as written, even if it made me sic.)

If you’ve read my discussion of the Void Indigo Marvel Graphic Novel, you might’ve noticed that this aspect of the story caused me to groan… well, not “groan” exactly… I think my exact words were more along the lines of “oy.”




Yeah, looks like it was “oy”.  Now, this little bit of preciosity really lowered the “stakes” of this story.  I wanted it to be something more than a “social commentary”… especially since so many comic writers seem to be in agreement that the world was pretty damned perfect until January 20, 1981.  This sort of nyoinked all the “magic” out of this series… and, in my opinion, really limited its potential as well.


8)       Defendant Jhagur in his comic Void Indigo # 1, hereinafter “The Work,” furthered his inaccurate depiction of the world and the Human Race by giving specific, depraved examples of “Human” behavior and of “Human” beings. Said examples are described below.


9)       On pages 1 through 3 The Work depicts a male prostitute, who is wearing woman’s clothing and passing himself off as a woman. (Don’t ask me why. No reason was given. I can only conclude that it was felt the inclusion of cross-dressing would make the scene seem more “cruel and petty.”) Said individual is having an argument with a customer over the price of services to be rendered. The customer is a female, who is wearing man’s clothes and is passing herself off as a man, presumably for the same reasons as the man was wearing woman’s clothes. The argument escalates, until the woman in man’s clothes takes a razor blade and slits the throat of the man in woman’s clothes.


Ingersoll posits that the cross-dressing involved in our opening scene might’ve been included to make the bit more “cruel and petty”.  I’m not so sure that’s what Gerber was going for here.  Honestly, I kinda feel like that might be giving Gerber a bit too much credit!  Personally, I think the cross-dressing was included simply for the shock value.  This was meant to get the reader’s attention right off the bat… and let them know they’re reading something very different from anything they might find in a (relatively) mainstream “Marvel” comic.  It also facilitated the “reveal” being the image of a bare boob.




I know we’re in more “enlightened” times now, and such a scene wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) elicit as much of a scandalous reaction.  Gotta take ourselves back to the pre-Grim and Gritty days… and try and imagine how this might’ve been received by a reader of the day.  I mean, “V” for Void Indigo isn’t too far up the alphabet from “X” for X-Men… heck, it’s even closer to “U” for Uncanny X-Men.  These books might’ve been right next to each other on the shelves!  There’s no “explicit content” warning on this book… in fairness, there’s also no Comics Code Authority stamp… but really, I’m not sure who would’ve noticed!


10)       Page 5 depicts an Urban Cowboy who hasn’t yet realized that John Travolta is passe, and who makes rather lewd advances on a female. Specifically, after the female, Linette Cumpston, tells the scuzzoid that she has, “no interest in sleepin’ around,” he still paws her breast, because he doesn’t think she has answered his hedonistic question yet. (It’s not that he won’t take no for an answer, it’s just that he doesn’t understand words with more than one letter in them.)

Yes, this scene did appear.  I’d like to think it was only there to facilitate Linette sharing the story of the “burnt off foot” from the Graphic Novel… but, I still can’t shake the feeling that this was yet another scene included to up the shock-value.  To tell the reader that they’re reading something “Mature”.


11)       Page Six introduces Defendant Jhagur, an amoral “hero” who kills the murderous female in man’s clothes from earlier in the book and justifies his own murder with the following logic, “Those whom I choose to execute, the world will not miss.” No one in the book is capable of making any sort of intelligent reply to the man’s reasoning. (It should also be noted that our “Hero,” Jhagur, killed the woman by gutting her like today’s market-price special, then driving a large nail into her forehead. Subtle, old Jhagur isn’t.)

Interesting and cogent point from Ingersoll here.  Jhagur, who is presumably the “hero” of this story, uses some pretty flawed logic in exacting his revenge.  Like I mentioned in the synopsis, “not sure if that’ll hold up in court”… and I’m not talking the Court of Common Pleas in Cuyahoga County, Ohio either!


12)       Pages 7 introduces the Mulgrew family. Father Pete is a construction worker, who has a balloon payment due on his mortgage. In order to meet it Pete plans to sell an artifact that he found in a construction site, where he worked and with which he walked off without telling anyone that he had found it. The fact that under the law said artifact belongs to the owner of the property where it was found, so Pete is guilty of theft doesn’t seem to cause Pete much concern. (Concern for the law seems a bit too much to expect of any of the sleeze which inhabit this comic book.) Daughter Colleen seems to be the only likable, innocent person in the entire book. Naturally, she isn’t. She is particularly sensitive to the evil emanations of the artifact, i.e. she is inherently evil. By story’s end Colleen turns into a flaming, nude harpy-like monster suitable for cliff hangers but little else. (Subtlety doesn’t seem to be within The Work’s capabilities either. Unfortunately, there is no cause of action applicable for kick-in-the-face writing.)

I’m not sure I follow the criticism here.  At no point is Pete depicted as being morally sound… perhaps altruistic in the “would you steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family” sort of way, but… he’s certainly not a good (or even halfway likable) dude.  As for Colleen, she’s little more than a plot contrivance… really can’t fault her depiction here for that.  She’s the (seemingly) innocent “vessel”… she’s only here to push the plot forward.  That said, I do appreciate Bob’s suggestion that Colleen’s transformation is “suitable for cliff hangers but little else”.  I feel like that’s a criticism we can levy at a whooooooole lot of comic characters!  Might have to keep that line in my back-pocket for future use…


13)       Pages 8 through 10 show the police. They are, to a man, surly, profane, and taken to pointlessly quoting Bob Dylan songs. Not a likable one in the bunch, although their taste in music isn’t bad. (Keep that last sentence in mind. It is the first, last, and only good thing anyone can say about any character in Void Indigo.)

Gotta disagree here… Bob Dylan suuuuuuuuucks.  The rest, however, I guess Ingersoll’s got a point.  This gives me the same sort of “douche-chills” I got when I saw Superman quoting Thoreau during the insufferable first chapter of Grounded. 

14)       Delphine appears on Page 11 and reappears on Page 26. Plaintiff would call her a walking eating disorder, if he felt that her legs could possibly carry her own girth. Delphine would have to drop about two hundred pounds before someone could call her simply “fat.” Her twin sister, Goodyear, gives us those neat aerial shots of the Super Bowl. When Delphine lies around the house, she really lies around the house; which is good, that way she covers up last years dishes, which are still sitting, unwashed, on top of the bureau. Delphine’s house looks like the model for the “Day After the Day the Bombs Fell” issue of Better Hovels and Beer Can Gardens. Delphine also talks with her mouth full, which isn’t surprising; it’s never empty. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for her head. Delphine, if the Court hasn’t guessed by now, is a slob, and would be a less agreeable companion than Jack the Ripper on a blind date.

Yes, Ms. Delphine is… uh, excessively Rubenesque.  Lemme give Gerber the benefit of the doubt here… or, at least try.  Plaintiff suggested (in Point 8 of this “filing”) that a major theme of Void Indigo is human depravity.  Depravity can be depicted in several ways visually… among them, and I mean it’s sort of lazy “low-hanging fruit”, is ugliness.  This woman, Delphine, is depicted as being rather unpleasant to look at.  Another bit of visual shorthand for depravity is a “rottenness”… and, ya know being this large tells us that Delphine is rather unhealthy.  While I don’t much like looking at Ms. Delphine, I can’t really get all that annoyed by her.


15)       Amanda Tower, a friend of the cross-dressing murderer that Plaintiff Jhagur killed earlier, appears on Pages 12 and 13. Ms. Tower has an underworld connection named Taro and does not cooperate with the police to investigate her friend’s death. She seems unconcerned that her friend was used as a body double in a Ginsu commercial. Mercifully, she is murdered by Taro on Page 25. Mercifully for Ms. Tower, that is. At least she has escaped from the Defendant and The Work.




I don’t see what’s the big deal here.  Have comics never featured someone lying to a police officer to protect someone?  This is a very weak point… probably only included to drop the (admittedly clever) gag about Amanda being lucky to escape the work by being murdered herself.


16)       Page 18 features two sexist, racist news men, who delight in making sexist, racist comments about a fellow reporter, because she happens to be oriental, female, and ambitious. They are not nice men. So what else is new?

This criticism I’m wholly on board with… this scene was wayyy over the top with its unsubtle racism and sexism.  Like wildly unsubtle… to the point where it feels like a sixth grader’s attempt at establishing characterization.  :ike it was just crammed in here as a lazy (the laziest) way of telling us these two fellas suck.  Interestingly, Plantiff posits that Colleen Mulgrew was the only likable and innocent character… when, I think Debbie might better fill that role.


17)       Pages 20 through 24 introduce Raza, a nude, tattooed physic healer, who magically disrobes her female clients then embraces them passionately, while telling them to “Use me for the pain.” And that’s in her more lucid moments. Raza isn’t exactly unpleasant, just like walking in the rain isn’t unpleasant, but she is far from being a positive depiction of a homo sapiens.

Yeah, this entire bit was pretty gross.  I find it interesting that Ingersoll describes Raza as being “tattooed”.  In just looking at her, I just assumed she was diseased… maybe she has some sort of flesh-eating bacteria?  She’s really just incredibly disturbing… and the scene overall makes me very uneasy.  It was when I got to this scene, in fact, that I second (and third)-guessed even continuing with this review.


(There is more. Unfortunately, I cannot show it all to you. My word processor threatened to turn it self off, if I outlined even one more scene or character.)


18)       Void Indigo #1 is collage of unbalanced, unpleasant, obscene, dishonest, hedonistic, and basically sick, ambulatory refuse anthropomorphically posing as “human beings.” And those are just the good guys. It paints the totality of the human race in the bleak terms of Defendant’s conception of the cruel, petty, barbaric and cataclysmic world in which he thinks we live. Void Indigo #1 forces the reader to share in Diogenes’s search for even one honest man, but with even less hope than Old Diogenes ever had. It portrays the Human Race as debased and depraved and criminal without even one redeeming or marginally good characteristic or member. (No, really! There ain’t one nice person in the whole stinking book! Not even a cute little dog or something. Cockroaches avoid this book as being unsanitary.)       This one-sided, labored achromatopsia is the Defendant’s written and published description of the Human Race found in Void Indigo #1.


Some big words in that paragraph.  Achromatopsia?  Yowie-Wowie, I bet that got a few high-fives around the office!  That said, however, I’m having trouble disagreeing with Ingersoll… which, ya know, when I started this project, I was about 90% sure I’d be “rebutting” each and every one of his claims.


(Reading the book is not unlike diving head first into an outhouse, and makes anyone who has read it want to bathe immediately. In lye! While I do not mind stories which are unrelentingly depressing and which dwell exclusively on the dark side of humanity, I believe such stories should make a point so as to justify its forcing me to wallow in human excrement. It should not exist solely for the purpose of portraying depravity for the shock value, as Void Indigo does. But what do I know? I also think a story should entertain, which is more than can be said for Defendant Jhagur.)      


19)       The matter published in Void Indigo #1 concerning the Human Race is false and defamatory.


Is it though?  Looks like I actually do get to disagree… at least a little.  I mean, nothing presented here (outside the mystical spike and red-skinned alien resurrection stuff) is completely outside the realm of possibility insofar as human behavior.

  • People Cross-Dress (far more taboo/transgressive in ye old 1984)
  • People Kill
  • People Lie
  • People Steal
  • People Threaten
  • People can be racist
  • People gorge themselves on food
  • People… uh, visit psychics
While I’ll agree 100% that the way these behaviors were depicted in this comic were for pure shock-value… I can’t deny that they do exist.  Whether or not it belongs in a comic book… well, that’s not for me to say one way or another.



20)       At the time of the publication, Defendant knew that the matter was untrue or could have ascertained that it was untrue with the exercise of reasonable car, such as by looking out the window, for crying out loud!


21)       By reason of the published lies in Void Indigo #1, Defendant Jhagur has libeled the Human Race, injuring its reputation and has suffered great pain and mental anguish to its damage in the sum of fifteen fantasticatrillion impossibidillion dollars and thirty-seven cents.


22)       WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgement:


      First, that the rights of Robert M. Ingersoll and all other members of the Human Race in and to the libel of the Defendant be determined.


      Second, that the Court decree that Robert M. Ingersoll and the Human Race are entitled to damages of fifteen fantasticatrillion impossibidillion dollars and thirty-seven cents.


      Third, that this Court direct the Defendant to pay the amount of damages specified and that he publicly apologize for defaming the Human Race in print in Void Indigo #1. (And if it’s within the Court’s power, that it direct the Defendant to trade in himself for a Smurf doll, so that he can never again appear anything even remotely as bad.)      


      Fourth, that Robert M. Ingersoll be awarded out of any recovery the expenses, costs, and disbursements incident to the prosecution of this action, including reasonable attorney fees. (I may not sell out my own species, but there’s no reason that I can’t make a few bucks off of them, is there? Or am I acting too much like a Void Indigo character?)      


JURY DEMAND



23)       Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by a jury of his peers as to all issues in this action. He specifically rejects a jury of the Defendant’s peers, as there is no way he wants to meet twelve people like that.




So, there’s the Ingersoll vs. Jhagur case from Comics Buyer’s Guide… and, ya know… I feel like it was mostly done in fun… though, Bob clearly actually does not like this comic book.  I’m… not sure I can blame him.  In moving from gorgeous painted Graphic Novel to… what looks like watercolors directly from blue-pencil, Void Indigo loses a bit of its special-ness.


Some very rushed-looking art

This no longer feels like “Angry Art”… it now just feels “Angry”.  Kind of like the bark of a toothless dog.  Perhaps it’s just “edgy” for its time… and can really only be fully appreciated back in 1984… perhaps it’s actually just not all that great?  I hate to say it, but… I really didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected to.  There were bits that I appreciated… and I feel like, if we remove all of the bitterness, anger, and attempts at being subversive, Void Indigo might’ve been the sort of story that stood the test of time.


To bring it back around to the realm of this blog’s scope: Couldja see this being a new take on Hawkman?  Yeah, there’d probably be a lot left on the cutting-room floor had DC accepted this proposal!  Still, I will say… as unpleasant as this was… it wasn’t nearly as boring as Hawkman!


Overall, I swear I remember thinking this was some sort of “high concept” genius-level stuff back in the day… unfortunately, I’m just not quite getting that feeling today.  In the interest of completionism, we’ll take a look at the second (and final) issue… along with Steve Gerber’s plot for issues #3-6 real soon.





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