Thursday, March 3, 2016

If You Blinked You Missed: Atlas/Seaboard's The Cougar

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! It's been a while since we visited the wild-n-woolly world of Atlas/Seaboard with its strange mixture of high-powered talent, mid-range talent, high-concept ideas, and total rip-offs. Today's subject, The Cougar (February-April, 1975) manages to find itself firmly in all of those camps with creators such as Steve Mitchell, Gary Friedrich, Dan Adkins, and Frank Springer working together to bring something cool and new to the Groovy Age of Comix--via a mish-mash of then-popular pop-cultural fads: Evel Knievel, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, movies, super-heroes, monsters...and bayou voodoo. The story goes that Atlas/Seaboard publisher wanted the rights to Dan Curtis' cult-favorite Kolchak, but found the price too high. As was his habit, Goodman ordered up a rip-off, er, homage, but Mitchell and company tried to be at least a bit subtle in what they were doing (though editorial couldn't resist putting a blurb with the term "night-stalker" on the cover). The first issue, written by Mitchell with art by Adkins and Springer had a pretty good Night Stalker vibe, though Jeff Rand aka The Cougar was much more action-oriented than Carl Kolchak. He was a stunt-man by trade, after all...
Cover art by Frank Thorne




















The second (and final) issue features the origin of The Cougar....

If you're interested in reading it, just let Ol' Groove know, baby! (What, you thought I'd spill everything in one post? Perish the thought, Frantic Ones!)

12 comments:

  1. Loved Atlas-Seaboard, the meteor of comic book companies. The Cougar was a neat little package that sped up the usual Atlas gimmick by changing artists in mid issue and not waiting for the second.

    Rip Off

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    1. I forgot about the two artists in one issue. I'm sure this was necessitated by Dan Adkins'chronic tardiness with deadlines.

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  2. damn right I want to read it

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  3. Gorgeous art, LOVED the splash page, made me giggle with the reference to the "movie in Las Vegas about the vampire" is it just me or a few times did the vampire resemble Janos Skorzeny, shame this title didn't stick around longer, hope you post the second issue. Thanks for the post Groove, I was and still am a HUGE Kolchack fan and didn't even know about this title, thanks again.

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    1. For me Atlas was always a hit and miss. There were some titles that were fun to read, this one The Cougar I must say I'm unfamiliar with. But I must admit that I love that there is a reference to one of my favorite series from the 70's Of Kolchack, The Night Stalker. and just like Kevin above it still is a fav with me as well.

      The one thing about Atlas comics that just rocked was they had some really great artist that did some of there issues like Neal Adams, Planet of Vampires.... Pablo Marcos, Ironjaw... Mike Ploog, Police Action featuring Lomax the list just goes on and on.

      I must look for these issues now just to enjoy them for what they are and though I have not been around much lately thanks Groove for the post.

      Now to dig out my Kolchack DVD set to watch an episode or two.

      Shane G.

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  4. OK - so what was everyone's fav from Atlas? I am a sucker for Scorpion # 1 with the Chaykin cover. Really invokes the mood of Kaluta's Shadow stories for D.C. for me. Anyone else?

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    1. Demon Hunter, I always loved supernatural titles.

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    2. I'm a sucker for martial arts movies (and comics), so I was partial to "Hands of the Dragon".

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    3. I'm fond of almost all the Atlas stuff, but if I had to choose it's Ditko's Wolverine-Punisher mashup, "The Destructor."

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    4. I loved Scorpion # 1. It had everything going for it that Chaykin was doing at the time. However my favorite Atlas comic has to be Destructor #1. Besides invoking the spirit of the early Spider-Mans, it had a great story by Archie Goodwin and the always eye-pleasing art combo of Ditko and Wood. Like most Atlas titles, Destructor lost its momentum quickly with various creative changes and only lasted 4 issues. But # 1 remains one of the jewels in my collection.

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  5. Great stuff, Groove! Definitely post that 2nd (and last issue). Gee, they didn't believe in giving a book time to catch on, did they?

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  6. I just Picked up a few Atlas books

    Atlas #1, Phoenix #1 & The Destructor #1

    I do plan on scanning them

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