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American Flagg!

Entry updated 20 December 2011. Tagged: Comics, Publication.

US Comic-book series (1983-1989, 63 issues), published by First Comics, created by writer/artist Howard V Chaykin. Generally considered one of the best sf Comics of the 1980s, American Flagg! is set in a media-saturated USA reduced to Third-World status, and stars Reuben Flagg, drafted into the Plexus Rangers in Chicago in the 2030s (Plexus being a Mars-based mega-cartel planning to sell off the USA piece by piece). American Flagg! is sophisticated fun, featuring cynically humorous writing and male and female characters with large sexual appetites. Except for #27, written by Alan Moore, Chaykin wrote the first 30 issues and drew all but two of the first 26. The post-Chaykin issues of American Flagg! were not well received, and First Comics took the unprecedented step of making #46 an apology for these. Chaykin returned with #47 and continued to #50, the end of the first series. In 1988 a second series, now called Howard Chaykin's American Flagg!, sent Flagg to the USSR; it had 12 issues, with Chaykin editing, writing (with John Moore) and providing art direction. There was also a one-off American Flagg Special in 1986. The first nine issues of American Flagg! have been collected as First Comics Graphic Novels #3, #12 and #20. In 2008, after many years out of print and a four-year art restoration process, the first 14 issues were recoloured and re-lettered using more modern production techniques and released by Image Comics first as a 440-page hardcover and then as two trade paperback collections. [RH/ZB/BF/JP]

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