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The Four Horsemen

On May 24th, 1989 I was 11 and in the 6th grade. I had started drawing that year and my friend Josh and I pretty much spent most of our free time working on our own comics. I was pretty popular so free time was at a premium. Between the pool parties and running seminars on how to be Junior High Cool™, I had to force myself to sit down and draw.

This comic, The Four Horsemen, is the first one I did in ink and so it scanned fairly well. The others, which are in pencil, didn't fare so well but I'm still working on a good way of getting them up here.

The basic plot of this comic is that four soldiers (with the illustrious names of Jake, Joe, John, and George) are ambushed in a laboratory and in the explosion are given super strength and, somehow, better weapons. They kill a couple of the enemies and then decide to let the last one go, I believe in order to track him back to the base. It's not said explicitly, but I assumed the reader would pick up on it. Oh I didn't let the reader off easy.

Turns out the guy they let go (let's call him Lucky Guy) returns to base and receives a beating from his superior. But, being the polite sort, Lucky Guy thanks his commander for not killing him. We also get a glimpse of a mysterious character who shall be revealed later.

The Four Horsemen reach the base in record time. To get in they first try knocking, which I put in as a sly joke. Even more sly is that one of the Horsemen actually has a working keycard! That saved me at least a page of adventuring. Upon getting the door open, they blast their way in but are almost immediately captured, save Joe.

Beginning with an ominous, "Get ready", the beatings and torture of the other Horsemen begin. Joe, meanwhile, is fighting for his life in the complex. He's finally using his super-strength: throwing doctors around and beating their faces into the shape of an octopus. He also runs through a wall.

Quickly dispatching the interrogator after first testing him with a mercy-like game, Joe begins looking for a key to release his comrades and unexpectedly finds a weapons stash. Why you would keep an unlocked box of guns in an interrogation room is beyond me. Notice the new enemy with the sweet skeleton mask. I liked drawing him.

Skeleton-mask tries to get the key, but is foiled by Joe who grabs it and unlocks his fellow Horsemen (not pictured). Newly released, the Horsemen are ready for a killing spree the magnitude of which has never been seen! But Skeleton-mask has other ideas: first a gas bomb, then a giant fan which begins bearing down on the Horsemen.

Shooting it doesn't work so Jake decides he's going to jump through the blades. Oh and he makes it, too, but loses his bandana in the process. It's a heavy price we pay for freedom sometimes. As a bonus, Skeleton-mask is so dumbfounded by this he ends up sticking his own fingers in the fan blades and getting them cut off. In making his escape he's shot in the back by Jake. Justice is served, or so you think.

Gas bomb! Another escape for Skeleton-mask. Tiring of all this fighting, the Horsemen decide to blast their way to freedom. This includes setting a guard dog on fire (I still think flamethrowers make a 'budda-choom-budda-choom' sound).

And now here's the reveal: the big boss is none other than...Roboslop? That's right, fuck copyrights, my boys are taking on Roboslop!

Roboslop quickly tosses the first couple of Horsemen aside and seems about to finish them off, but he's no match for...a moustached dude in a tank? You better believe it! He cancels out Roboslop's missle with one of his own, and then fires off a second to seal the deal.

Fade out on Roboslop's charred and smoking body with the Horsemen declaring, almost truthfully, "We won!".

Lastly, this book is dedicated to Nambo Smith, a character which another friend of Josh's & mine, Jim, created. And killed. Sorta lost track of Jim after 6th grade.


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Copyright © 2005-2013 Graham Cranfield