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Word Balloons: 'Secret Weapons' and the return of a 'Fighting American'

The cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment]

The cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment]

A team of misfit heroes is brought together in "Secret Weapons," a new comic out this week from Valiant Entertainment.

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer, originally from Norman, is set to bring the movie scripts of "Harbinger" and "Bloodshot" of the Valiant Comics universe to life.

He's also getting to put his mark on the comics themselves, with "Secret Weapons" #1 from the publisher, written by Heisserer and drawn by Raul Allen.

In the comic, the "technopath" called Livewire is investigating the ruins of a secret facility in Oklahoma City. The facility was once run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and Livewire's former mentor.

In his quest to improve the world by his standards, Harada attempted to activate the powers of other potential superhumans. Those who survived the process, but were surplus to Harada's needs, were sent to this facility. Livewire believes she can take these superhumans deemed useless and make them into a team of "Secret Weapons."

"It's like the superhero version of the island of misfit toys," Heisserer told

Characters in "Secret Weapons" have offbeat powers, including being able to talk to birds and making inanimate objects gently glow. Some of the characters you'll see in "Secret Weapons" have their origins in Heisserer's role-playing past.

"I was a fervent tabletop gamer back in the day," he told "I played a lot of Champions. One of the things I would do in between games was, I would just create characters. I always looked for the fun and quirky ones that were not a carbon copy of some major comic book brand. And I wound up with a little rag-tag group of characters who I kept thinking about as I got older in age. It was the perfect spot to draw from."

"Secret Weapons" has been solicited as a four-issue miniseries, but Heisserer told he'd like to return to the characters in the future as well, if possible.

"I would write a hundred issues if they'd let me," he said.

'Fighting American' returns

With July 4 on the horizon, the publisher Titan has revealed the planned return to comics of an America-themed hero.

"Fighting American," originally created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1954, will return to comic shops on Oct. 11, Simon's birthday. Simon, who died in 2011, and Kirby, who died in 1994, previously had created Captain America for the company that became Marvel Comics.

The Fighting American started as a Communist-bashing All-American hero in 1954, but as the series went on, he became more of a precursor to Adam West's Batman, with lots of goofy gags and camp elements.

A 2011 collection from Titan collects all the “Fighting American” stories by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, including the previously unpublished second Harvey issue, “The Mad Inker.”

The cover for the first issue of the new series is by artists Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson. The series will be written by Gordon Rennie (“2000AD,” “Starship Troopers”) with artwork by Duke Mighten (“Judge Dredd”).

Related Photos
<p>A variant cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment]</p>

A variant cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment]

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - A variant cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment] " title=" A variant cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment] "><figcaption> A variant cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Eric Heisserer " title=" Eric Heisserer "><figcaption> Eric Heisserer </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - The cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment] " title=" The cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment] "><figcaption> The cover to "Secret Weapons" [Valiant Entertainment] </figcaption></figure>
Matthew Price

Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s... Read more ›