Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Comic Challenge 295 Alley Cat #03

TITLE-Alley Cat #03

In every comic collectors collection there is always a stack of comics that they have no idea the when,where or why of how the comics got into the collection. The above issue of Alley Cat belongs to that group.

I kind of remember seeing a few copies of this on the comic shop wall when it was coming out. But at least to me summer of 99 was kind of late for a "bad girl" comic.But I guess at the time either Alley Baggett,a former Playboy Playmate,was enough of a name to get her own comic or it is possible Ms Baggett paid to produce the comic herself.The cover seems to be signed by a DesRian C. Never heard of them,and the inside front cover credits only give cover credits for the what I assume variant Photo Covers.

Speaking of the inside front cover,holy hell do a lot of people get credit for what is  just 22 pages of average kind of Crow/Faust inspired work.
Created by Alley Baggett,Matt Hawkins & Greg Aronowitz
Written by Bob Napton & Matt Hawkins
Based on a Story by Alley Baggett,Matt Hawkins,Greg Aronowitz & Bob Napton

Wait nooo.... they just credited 4 people,all of them at least 2 times,for creating and writing this story???? These four are proud as fuck of this comic.

Set in what was then modern day NOLA,we start off with Alley and a priest roaming the streets.He is known as The Exorcist.No I ain't fucking with you,

All over the city,but only seen by Alley and The Exorcist are demons. Some as you see above just flying around. Others have possessed people all over the city.Seems Alley's outfit has powers and/or a history thanks to the Marque DeSade. It isn't really explained and Alley runs off to save someone named Mark.

Back at Alley's home a group of long coated detectives are trying to puzzle out what has recently happened at this apparent suburban New Orleans home. Thankfully before this scene can morph into Law and Order Cajun Victims Unit,now airing for 28 hours a day on 5 different Universal owned TV stations,it ends.

Time for more of Alley and The Exorcist wandering the city.Then a short time later they are in a graveyard. Encounter the previously mentioned Mark.He asks for help. Alley is willing to give it,but The Exorcist tries to kill him with a cross dagger. I wonder if he got these from the set of The Omen II? Alley subdues The Exorcist.And we find out that the demon inside of Mark doesn't want help.He summons a group of demons who manage to knock Alley Cat out.

When she wakes up,she finds herself in an old abandoned house or building.It isn't really made clear what it is. She wanders and finds Mark's killing room. He has The Exorcist tied up to a chair,and unconscious. And some lady suspended from the ceiling.At the bottom of the page we discover that to add even more sleazy to the comic  this entire room is being recorded.

But before we can find out how Alley Cat can stop all of this,and since it is a 90s comic,time for the double page centerfold poster.
Mark is about to whip the hanging woman and asks Alley to join him.When she snaps and beats him to death. In a fairly violent scene for a comic book that so far has been PG-13ish.
Now it starts to make some sense. Alley's outfit was maybe empowered by the spirit of the Marque DeSade.But I know for sure that DeSade's spirit was possessing Mark. Which is why he had the torture room set up.Thanks to him video recording everything that happened in that room,Alley will more than likely get away with brutally murdering an unarmed man. Because as the story ends,we go back to the Cajun Victims Unit detectives. Here we learn that Alley was under the influence of a powerful hallucinogen. Seems her husband had been drugging her with pills so he could get her to agree to allow Mark to torture her. Plus we find out that The Exorcist has vanished without a trace.

So was he ever really there?Was there really demons and spirits all over the city? Or was Alley just all wacked out on some strong as hell hallucinogens? The final panel hints that all the supernatural stuff was legit.

Then we get a page of text that explains that the original plan for Alley Cat was a 3 issue mini series. But sales are so high it has been promoted to a ongoing series.Well good for them for having the smarts to write the story so if they only got 3 issues it didn't leave any big plots hanging.But also leaving it open enough that it wouldn't be hard at all to make this a continuing series.Following this halfway decent text piece is a few pages of ads for all kinds of Alley Cat comics. Mostly variant covers and special con editions.With the inside front cover being a black page with white text of Alley Baggett's website URL.Just checked and the site is still up. Seems since the big comic book bucks stopped rolling in the site has transformed into what appears to be a softcore porn site.

Now when I first opened the book,well after checking out the credits,I noticed that in the indicia Alley Cat is copyright and trademark of not only Alley Baggett but also Action Toys. The name Action Toys kind of rang a bell. After seeing the back cover I remembered why the name rang a bell.
Back when the figures shipped,the comic shop I went to every week got sent a case of them. They never ordered them. Never got charged for them. And because no one wanted the figures,even when reduced down to $5 each the case got stored in the back.

Around 2005 the owner sold the store to a group of 5 regular customers.2 of whom would run the place and work there full time. The other 3 would help out and get a good discount on their weekly comics.While going thru the back they found the case of figures from Action Toys and since they knew I collected comic book based action figures gave me first shot at them. But even at a hugely discounted price it wasn't worth buying them.

While the story was nothing original or really that intriguing the art was pretty decent.Now I gotta find someone who would want this comic,cause there is no way I can donate it to the children's wing of the local hospital.

Alley Cat #03 gets a borrow.