How I miss First Comics.
First Comics had a pretty respectable roster of publications. Most were pretty good (Jon Sable; Freelance, Whisper, Tim Truman’s Scout, and my personal favorite: Grimjack), some not so great (I couldn’t get into American Flagg no matter how hard I tried). First secured the rights to publish Lone Wolf and Cub (which they did out of sequence and only for about 60 issues, if memory serves), complete with new covers from greats like Frank Miller and Bill Sienkewicz; they published Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar for a while, and they even got Jon Sable made into an extremely short-lived TV series, Sable, which I have tried in vain to find anywhere in these days of digital streaming.
First Comics went out of business in the late 80’s. Most of their properties were picked up by Dark Horse, at least for a while. I remember being pretty bummed out about their demise. One of their longest-running comics was Badger, created by Mike Baron.
Badger is Norbert Sykes, a Vietnam veteran who suffers from multiple personalities (those of us in the biz refer to that as Dissociative Identity Disorder nowadays). One of his personalities is Badger, an expert hand-to-hand combatant and crimefighter. Badger lives in a castle in southern Wisconsin with a 5th century Druid who he met in a mental hospital. Hilarity and action ensued. I guess.
Badger was too batshit-crazy a book even for me. Despite my love of all things martial arts, I just didn’t dig Badger all that much. Not sure why, but that hasn’t stopped me from making Badger for Forgotten Heroes this year. Here’s how I did it.
It wasn’t hard. I used these two Heroclix: Nighhtwing and a one-armed Fury (don’t know where she lost her harm), both from DC Hypertime.
One quick head swap later, and he’s already starting to look like Badger. I filed off some of Nightwing’s costume for easier repainting. I debated losing the escrima sticks and just going with clenched fists, but Badger is an expert with all martial arts weapons, so why bother?
I repainted him as Badger, and voila! First Forgotten Heroes submission done for 2020! I have another one in the can already, and I’m hoping to get a third submission completed by the end of the month. Check back here in a few days for my second submission!
When I saw the cover at the top of the page I honestly thought the nun was the Badger because badgers are black and white…
My knowledge of comic books amounts to “Batman good, Joker bad” so thanks for shedding light on the more obscure heroes out there!
Excellent job on the conversion!
Thanks, Matt. The conversion wasn’t really hard considering it was just a head swap. Fury’s hair certainly helped. I couldn’t sculpt that myself if I had 3 months to do Forgotten Heroes!
Excellent work Keith, had not heard of Badger, but had heard and read a few First Comics. The model you’ve created is a perfect representation from the art shown, and I think the escrima sticks suit him well
Badger has used crazier things. He once beat a guy up with a barbecue fork, if memory serves. Thanks, Dave!
I have to admit I’ve never heard of “Badger”, and what exactly is he doing to that Nun on the cover of that comic! I’m not a religious man myself but I’ve never kicked a Sister in the face!
Seriously great simple conversion Keith, and as heroes go he is certainly “forgotten” by me at least!
Thanks, Roger. You may notice the artist cleverly concealed the identity of that nun. Turns out it was a bad guy in disguise, but the cover was meant to be shocking. Would Badger kick a nun in the face? Maybe…
Nicely done, Keith. Whilst I am aware of the character, I’ve not read any of his comics. But then again, I’ve not read anything from First Comics – not even Grimjack. Sad, I know…
With this one, I particularly like the non-symmetrical base, as it’s quite unique. Home-made or bought?
Thanks, Jeremy. I’m pondering a re-read of Grimjack, just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I have a lot occupying my time at the moment, but a re-read may be just what I need to paint up your generous gifts soon.
The base is an Armorcast urban base, one of five in the pack, but the only one with an asymmetrical base. I wish I could say I chose it for a purpose, but it just happened to be the closest one at hand.
Nicely done! I never really got into comics until the movies started showcasing superheroes. Too many for my already-overcrowded brain to handle. I kinda like this guy though. Sorta crazy vet.
Thanks! I was initially attracted to the comic because I love martial arts comics. I’m a huge fan of Master of Kung-Fu, Iron Fist, and the Question (mainly because of Denys Cowan’s awesome fight scenes). But I couldn’t get into Badger, even though the fights were cool, because it was just too weird for me. Cool costume, though…