published by Malibu Comics in 1992.
Written by R.A. Jones
Drawn by Thomas Derenick & Mike Deodata on inks
The issue opens with an attack on a police station by the Steel Army, a group wearing body armor with energy cannons. Lead by the mysterious Mr.Monday, they kill half the officers there and Mr. Monday leaves a message for Washington - They're next. Next we get a news report explaining the ongoings of the Steel Army as well as an explanation of what's happened to the supranormal heroes that once protected all. In 1986, the town of Brinkston was whiped out with all life during a battle between supranormals.
Next we see the sequestered President being visited late in the night by a a ghostly figure, that figure being the enigmatic Gravestone. The supranormals need to return. From there we met Philip Reinhardt, now a senior but once the dashing hero Nightmask, now visiting Arlington to pay respects to a passed friend. He's summoned away by government agents to see the President at the docked freighter USS Jefferson. There the President enlists Reinhardt to head up a resurrection of the supranormal heroes in a formal government sponsered group. It's revealed that many of the heroes, that had forced to retire after Brinkston, have been kept in arm's reach of the government for a time like this. But many more will need to be found and contacted. The initial members of the team, dubbed the Protectors, bust in on a major drug deal. Man Of War, Arc, Airman and Gravestone make quick work of the criminals. Successful in their trial run, they return to the Jefferson for a review and a meeting with Reinhardt. There they all meet their next member, selected by the President, The new Nightmask, Richard Reinhardt. They begin to talk about their next member of an angry exchange between father and son. The next member will be The Ferret, a supranornal known to Man Of War and not very much liked by him..............
This comic was an interesting one for several reasons. First it was one of the first places that Thom Derenick got started before becoming a bit more of a name and his Neal Adams schooling shows. Crude but there. Next is of course that this came out at the same time as Malibu helped launch the Image line of comics. It wasn't that hard to mistakenly think that it was a part of that line, but, well, paying attention to the indicant on the cover showed otherwise. It helped it's sales at the time without a doubt though. Lastly, for myself was that the title contained new versions of a great many old golden-age characters that had lapsed into public domain. Here, these version were owned by Malibu and as with the present Project Superpower, some sported a new name too. The series ran for 20 issues from that first plus there were a number of one-shots and minis spun out of it, including a shot at a famous GA character, Ms Fury, now simply Fury.
A good deal of it turned to t&a plus it did have the infamous "bullet hole" cover to help sell it. The series it's self wasn't bad and made for some good fluff reading at a time when stories were getting tossed for slick art.
ALSO, as you noticed, the heroes, called SUPRANORMALS, were forced to retire by the government after wiping out a town during a battle. Sound familier? It sure does to me. [size=0]*cough**cough* civil war *cough**cough*[/size] The series has a rather spectacular ending to it all. Pity, I liked a number of the characters. However, Malibu was putting it's money behind the Ultraverse line and shortly, Marvel would own Malibu.
If you like Project Superpower, you may want to check out this old series. It should be cheap out in the back issue bins.
Here's the Wiki entry for more info. = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protectors