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Random Comics Review: Sabre #7, 1983



Sabre was an independent comic published by Eclipse Comics in  the 80’s. The character was created by Don McGregor  and drawn by Paul Gulacy initially. The art in this arc is by Billy Graham. The series was set in a post apocalyptic near future. Sabre is a poetic believer in passion and free will  who fights against oppression and for the love of the lovely Melissa Siren. The series is very much Don’s ideas of romance and personal integrity and satire. The comic is full of grand adventure and overly colorful characters.

This issue is the fifth part of a six part story called “An Exploitation or Everything Dear”. Sabre finally makes it home just in time for the birth of his and Melissa’s child if government forces on his tail. There’s chaos as violence erupts between freedom fighters and government troops right as Melissa goes into labor. The main story ends on a cliffhanger as Melissa appears to be giving birth to twins while the main villain draws a bead on Sabre.

The writing is typical Don McGregor. Overwritten and very passionate. The dialogue  and the captions are very wordy. Extremely wordy. Wordy wordy. Characters have names like Wilhemina Divine, Joyful Slaughter, Midnight Storm, Summer Ice, Blackstar Blood, and other over the top monikers. Sabre seems to be the continuation of some of the ideas McGregor began in his Killraven series for Marvel Comics. In fact that’s probably the biggest drawback in this comic. This issue should be edge of your seat excitement with the childbirth and all the confrontations, but it drags due to all the speeches  and narration pointing out the importance of individual freedom and passion and self determination. Those ideas ARE important, BUT there’s a robot lizard SHOOTING PEOPLE over there!! Let’s get a move on! Also notable, there’s a gay kiss in this issue and it’s not made a big deal of. Risky move for 1983. Billy Graham’s art is interesting here. It’s very fluid and angular and almost underground comix-ish in couple of spots. I prefer the work he did or Marvel in the 70’s, but this works for me as well.

The back-up story about Melissa Siren  has lovely art by Kent Williams. The story is a flashback to Melissa’s escape from a government lab. The visuals are dark and moody with nice placements of shadows and very realistic anatomy. The tale is “meh” but the art is top notch. There’s an interesting editorial on the letters page by Don(?) that criticizes Marvel without mentioning them by name. Basically stating that Marvel’s practice of flooding the market with re-prints caused the distributors to cut back 10% across the board. The big publishers could handle this but the independents could be hurt.  Only three ads in this comic. Two for other Eclipse comics and one for a Sabre T-Shirt.

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About ed2962

I don't want to drink my whiskey like you do. I don't need to spend my money but still do.

2 responses to “Random Comics Review: Sabre #7, 1983

  1. philbyday ⋅

    We r certainly of two dif minds on this one, Ed. I can’t comment on McGregor’s writing because Graham’s artwork took me outta the story. When I 1st purchased the 1st ish of Sabre, it was due 2 my fondness of Gulacy’s work on M.O.Kung fu, & when I saw it, I wasn’t dissappointed, then that ended, w/ me wondering wether it would ever continue, and not more than a year later (I think) came a regular series, and I was stoked!

    When I went 2 my comic shop, and saw it, I purchased it w/o so much as even thumbing thru the comic. At that time; Biggest MISTAKE Of My Life!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever been so dismayed by a comic….ever!!! Not prior 2 that comic, nor subsequent 2 it. Like u, I preferred Graham’s work over at Marvel, in particular, his Jungle Action. Though his work I found 2 be fairly derivative, I also thought it was servicible, and at that time finding out he was Black also… did my heart wonders.

    Looking thru his take on Sabre, I woulda given anything 2 have that derivative servicable artist back as opposed 2 these taffy-like drawn ppl that he put down on paper The only thing I could compare it 2 would be a goofier looking version of comics veteran, Joe Staton’s art…whose art I never liked as well.

    My apologies 4 goin on a bit on this topic, Ed. Sabre was just something I was looking so 4ward 2 re-emerging, and when its execution didn’t meet my expectations (uh-ph….I felt another rant creeping up on me) Anyway thx 4 posting this, it was 4 me quite cathardic. 🙂

    peace out

    • ed2962

      Thanks for responding! Yeah, I think I ended up excusing the art partly cuz it was an alternative title I felt like “Well, there’s no one set why it HAS to look yet.” The next arc had more conventional art by Jose Ortiz, but for some reason never finished getting all the issues.

      I like that phrase “taffy-like drawn people” (smiley face)

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