Saturday, July 25, 2015

Before PIXELS...there was ATARI FORCE!

The new flick Pixels plays nostalgia of the first generation of video games for laughs...
...but for those of us who were there, it was an exciting time as a new entertainment medium was born.
Much like the Golden Age of Comics in the 1940s, it was a period of experimentation.
Atari tried to tie the various unrelated games together by incorporating the concepts for the games into a digest-sized comic book series available included in the cartridge packages...
DC Comics produced five issues of Atari Force in this format, with each one using themes from the game they were packaged with as the basis for their plots.
Creators for these never-reprinted issues included Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Dick Giordano, and Gil Kane.
Apparently, they were successful enough that DC then published a regular comic-sized sequel series that featured a "next generation" Force made up of children of the original crew plus new, alien, team members.
That version ran almost three years before being cancelled under murky circumstances, despite being one of DC's better-selling titles.
(Many believe it was due to Atari's being broken up and sold off by DC's parent company, Time-Warner after a major collapse in the video game industry in the mid-1980s.)
Recently, Dynamite Publishing announced they'd be doing licensed reprints of the original comics as well as new stories based on them.
We re-presented the first issue on our "brother" RetroBlog, Secret Sanctum of Captain Video, a while ago.
While we won't run any further tales since they'll soon be available in print again, you can see the complete first issue by clicking HERE.

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