One more step along this week long nostalgic look at my old, favorite comics brings me to another independent that I really liked: DNAgents!
I picked this one up and started reading it early on – I think maybe with the first issue. It was different, and I liked different.
As with Starslayer, it dealt with more adult themes and situations but that was all right – it was also a lot of fun.
The DNAgents are a group of super-powered synthetic humans, manufactured (in test tubes) and owned by Matrix Incorporated. They see each other as family, all siblings and they act like it, usually fighting a lot over stupid stuff but still getting the job done.
They are given the powers of gods, the bodies and knowledge of teenagers, and the experience and wisdom of newborn babes. The team is made up of: Surge, the handsome group leader with electrical powers; Sham, who can make himself look like anybody but feels like a nobody; Amber, the spunky lass who flies magnetically; Tank, inhumanly broad and strong and quite humanly attractive to women; and last but not least Rainbow, the sexy siren with a psychic brain beneath her multi-colored hair.
They are awkward, like teenagers – especially in social situations. That’s the human quality that made them so appealing.
Published by Eclipse comics, I don’t have any idea how many issues they ran – but I do know that I have the last issue boxed away somewhere. They had a sister comic of sorts called ‘Crossfire’ and the main character in that, Crossfire, was Rainbow’s love interest. the Matrix Corp decided to mothball the DNAgents for some reason, and Crossfire tried to free them but failed. I recall them being put back in their test tubes and that was that.
I don’t recall seeing them again, but I’ve read a bit online and I see that there was a oneshot done a few years ago, and a reprinting/repackaging of the original series started in 2006.
What sticks with me was the idea of genetic engineering – like so many things that come from scifi and fantasy, it was a ‘far off’ thing, scary and elusive – we didn’t really know much about it at the time, which made it perfect fodder for great storytelling.
I think the stories hold up really well today, and that’s the best compliment you can give.