Takion #1 (1996)

Birth Pains
Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Penciler: Aaron Lopresti

So, golly, it’s been a long time since we’ve tackled a FIRST ISSUE comic book review around here. I was surprised to find this particular issue in my collection. “Takion”?! Very surprising to me, because I apparently picked this up in the midst of my 1996 “glory days”– when my lesiure time revolved around either reading comic books, buying comics, driving to comic books stores or jerking off to comic book broads. Not sure what spurred me to buy this. I may have gotten “Takion” mixed up with “Firebrand”, another short-lived DC title that debuted around the same time. I remember I wanted to follow ONE of those titles, just out of curiousity. Looks like I did just that– I followed “Takion” for all of one issue!

Turns out, Takion is a blind guy named Joshua Sanders who gets randomly zapped by the all-power Highfather of the New Gods. Highfather’s always been a little creepy to me, because he’s sorta’ “DC God”. Joshua’s new purpose as Takion is to umm…avenge something that happened in the late 80’s “New Gods” title, I guess. He’s now Highfather’s “Chosen champion of the integrity of the Source” and pretty darn powerful. Like most of the other New Gods, the spelling of his name is a phonetic adjustment. I only mention this because, back in 1996, I had no idea that “Takion” was actually a play on the word “tachyon”. Darn you, hypothetical particle science, with your words that confuzzle me! There’s actually an entire TEXT page in the back of this issue, talking about what tachyons are. Musta’ been too busy to read or remember any of that. Oh, and Takion’s costume is sort of like a combo of Firelord and the Silver Surfer… with a strategc racing stripe or sash that starts on his left shoulder and wraps around to cover his junk.

So this is all fine and dandy, but why should we give a squirt about Joshua Sanders/Takion? Well, he was born blind and now, as Takion, he can finally see. This leads him to immediately spill the beans to his co-worker, Nancy. All the while, he receiving bulletins in his head from around the cosmos. A new start has just formed, while another has blown up. Important crap, like that. I’ll give the writing team credit for not messing around with any “Secret Identity Games” and letting the Love Interest immediately know who the hero is. Or so it seems… there’s a little switcheroo with Highfather, so the scenes with Nancy could all just be in Takion’s mind.

Takion tries to get some

But hey, we want some figthin’! Then toss in a random appearance by Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner). I was a big GL fan at the time, so that might have been why I picked this up. Or maybe it was tossed into my “hold box” by the local comic shop, due to their weird character crossover service, since I subscribed to “Green Lantern”. Yeah… I’ll go with that. At least I’ve solved the mystery of how this book came to me.

Takion vs Green Lantern

GL and Takion fight, until Highfather pops up again and an aircraft carrier (the USS Intrepid) is lifted into the sky and dumped on a building. Yes, that happens. End of book!

Takion vs USS Intrepid

That pesky TEXT page then explains some of the hopes and dreams for Takion, the character and title. It’ll supposedly tie up the loose end of the “tainted source” (huh huh…you said “taint”) from New Gods #2 back in 1989– a series that I’m sure less than 12 people were pining for the return of. I know they’re popular amongst comic creative types but, to me, the problem with the New Gods has been that they’re so hard to relate to. They work as guest stars or bad guys, but as the main antagonists or characters in a title, they’re a tough sell. There have been multiple attempts to scale-down and humanize them (like the “Mister Miracle” title of the late 80’s), but they usually run out of steam and revert to the cosmic idiocy of the New Gods and what’s basically magic.

I have no idea what became of Takion, both the title and the character. Sure, I know that the title lasted for all of 7 issues, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the character of Takion, since. He wasn’t even around in the big “Final Crisis” junk of 2007, so that’s saying something. Considering how that series/event liked to dig deep and pluck (fairly) obscure references and concepts. I obviously wasn’t impressed with Takion in 1996 to pick up another issue and my curiousity is the only reason why I’m even thinking about him, today. If this story and character had spun out of Green Lantern or another title, it might’ve had a longer life. Just throwing a new character out there, on his own, right out of the gates is a risky gamble. I give DC credit for at least trying to go this route.

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