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New York City Outlaws - Issue 1-5 - Outlaw Comics Print E-mail
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Written by Richard Taylor   
Thursday, 16 February 2017
Severed Cinema Comic Review of New York City Outlaws (1-5) from Outlaw Comics

New York City Outlaws Issue 1 on Severed Cinema

Comic: New York City Outlaws
Issue: 1-5
Created by: Steve Kapelonis
Written by: Bob Huszar
Art by: Ken Landgraf
Year: 1984-1987

Published by: Outlaw Comics

New York City Outlaws was a 1980s cult action hero comic book which has been given extra attention recently as it has been said that Canadian director Jason Eisner (director of Hobo with a Shotgun and Treevenge plus executive producer on Turbo Kid) has plans to bring the short lived five issue comic to life in a motion picture. Once I heard this and saw the cover artwork for issue two I instantly fell in love with the look and idea of the comic. Copies can still be bought but you may pay high prices for them, and depending on a site such as eBay or Atomic Avenue you can get them for different prices -- some more reasonable than others.

The five part series was released in a very sporadic manner, meaning that it took long periods of time for each issue to come up so inconsistency was obviously a key factor in the comic’s short life. Five issues of a comic book spanning four years is a long drawn out (no pun intended) journey. The books are black and white format pages with the exception of issue two which went for bizarre red inked pages, something similar to those old 3D books you could buy, minus the 3D but similar in appearance.

The first couple of issues were exciting/campy crime fighting action fare but issue three to five sort of dropped the ball, and went into bizarre territory introducing underground C.H.U.D.-like dwellers, aliens, cyborgs and mystical ninjas. The New York City Outlaws as they name themselves consist of stereotypical characters Thunderclap Jones, who plays the strong loose cannon token black hero. Titan: Johnny Apollo, the Greek mythical almost Thor-like hero. Whamo Kung Kll, the Chinaman warrior. Pollymixin Daniella Marques, the sultry, sexy and deadly female member of the group. Zebra Hector Rodriguez, the Latino member of the group, Patch Dinero who joins the group after his brother is killed in the first issue, and Issac Bernie Swantzman, the brainiac inventor of the group.

Like I mentioned before the first two issues were entertaining and gritty with cheesy dialogue but entertaining characters, and action as the group try to take down a crime lord named Shark. Thunderclap Jones doesn't actually join the group until the second issue as he begins as a henchman for Shark. In the third issue things start getting a bit less Warriors movie-like with that gritty urban crime theme and start crossing over into more uninteresting territory as the team shacks up in this tranquil ninja fortress in the middle of a secret and untouched forest in New York.

By the time the fifth and final issue comes around I found myself losing interest in the story as it jumped around too much and focussed on more supernatural themes instead of that team beat-'em-up attitude that made the earlier issues so good. Plus there was no real conclusion as if they might have had plans to continue with further issues.

I can see this being the type of material Eisner could make movie gold with by using crazy color schemes, and retro visuals with larger-than-life characters, and showing off his penchant for extreme violence at the same time. The comic itself is very thin material-wise as each issue always had other short comic stories in the back accompanied by ads for such hair metal bands as Battalion and Thor. Overall, I would recommend seeking the series out. It’s definitely a rare cult and nostalgic throwback to an era of independent comic companies doing things themselves and making a cool collectible product.



New York City Outlaws Issue 2 on Severed Cinema

New York City Outlaws Issue 3 on Severed Cinema

New York City Outlaws Issue 4 on Severed Cinema

New York City Outlaws Issue 5 on Severed Cinema

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