Friday, May 2, 2014

The Great Comic Re-read; The Soldier Legacy by Paul Mason

Back in 2010, I went into Comics Etc in Brisbane and saw this:

I was intrigued and interested enough  to grab a copy.
What we get is not one but two stories. The first story features the 1940's WWII adventures of the masked Digger known as The Soldier in New Guinea.  The back up story is set in contemporary Brisbane and features the grandson of The Soldier fighting crime in the same mask.
I went back a few months later to find issue 2 which I quickly grabbed and then issue 3.
Much to my great joy I saw that Paul Mason was going to be at Gold Coast Supernova and I have grabbed issues 4 & 5 as well as the spinoff - The Soldier Legacy's Strange Tales at various conventions since then.
This is a great series.  The WWII Soldier wears a mask in honour of a young soldier Kirby who saved The Soldier's life and Mason has created an interesting character who acts outside the traditional army chain of command to rescue POWs and stop the Japanese.
The modern Soldier similarly works outside the system and is trying to expose the various gangs causing havoc in Brisbane.
Each issue adds more to what we know about both men, with the revelation in issue 5, that the mask was intended for young Kirby and that Kirby was one of a long line of Soldiers dating back to the early militias.  Part of The Soldier's mission is to pass the mask onto Kirby's brother Chris.  Chris Kirby appears at the end of issue 5.
This addition to the back story allows for tales of past Soldiers and Strange Tales reprints the three part Doctor Nikola/Soldier Legacy crossover set in 1887 by Mason and Chris Sequeira which appeared as a back up in Sherlock Holmes: Dark Detective issues 7-9.  This Soldier serves in the Victorian Mounted Riflemen (as can be seen by the VMR on his epaulets) which was the first to wear the slouch hat. (I will talk more about this story later as I finish the original Nikola stories)
This is a series that is worth supporting - even YOUI insurance thought so when they ran this ad
YOUI Insurance Ad   This was a national campaign filmed in King's Comics in Sydney.
If you live in Australia get your local comic shop to order these from Black House Comics.
Internationally they can be ordered through
Mason is a good illustrator with his work appearing in the new Human Fly comic.  His style is slightly cartoon and would work well in an animated format.  He wears his influences proudly Kirby, Ditko, Everett, Buscema, Heck and Romita are all referenced in the first issue. As much as I enjoy his artwork I've found that his writing is just as good.
I look forward to seeing where the two stories go from here and how the Legacy continues.
Photo: We hope everyone enjoys the second long weekend in a row! 

We will be taking a break tomorrow and we hope you will join us in taking some time to pause and remember the REAL heroes. We may love to dress up in funny costumes, play silly games or read cartoon books, but we can only do that because of their sacrifice!

Thanks to all soldiers past & present!

Picture courtesy of Paul Mason and  The Soldier Legacy Comic Book

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