First Issue Review #54: Silverwolf Comics’ Stech #1 (1986)

Season 2 – Episode 1: Stech #1 (1986)

Created and Plotted by Kris Silver
Pencils and Inks by Lorenzo Lizana
Written by SP Cook
Published by Silverwolf Comics

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Just some information regarding “Silverwolf Comics”, Kris Silver, “Stech”(which I believe is pronounced “STEK”, as in rhymes with “Mech”) etc.

Silverwolf was the first company to hire Rob Liefeld, who at that time had not been published, to draw “Stech”. “Stech” was a spin-off of SW’s first title “Eradicators” (drawn by Ron Lim on the first issue, who later went on to fame at Marvel comics drawing Silver Surfer). Rob Liefeld, after being hired by Kris Silver, started showing his work to all sorts of companies at comic conventions and was hired to draw a story in a then popular independent book called “Megaton” (which featured early “The (Savage)Dragon” work by Erik Larsen) and right after that he was hired by DC, then Marvel.

So that is why Rob Liefeld never bothered with Stech.

Silverwolf was infamous for several things: The Macintosh lettering on ALL of Kris Silver’s books, the solid-colored border that surrounded the cover art on every book, and the worst writing ever to appear in comics. You think Stech is bad? Go dredge up the rest of SW’s (which would later be reborn in the late 1980s/early 1990s as “Greater Mercury Comics”. See below for more on that.) and GMC’s books.
Silverwolf’s first book was Eradicators and, this being during the ‘black and white boom’ of 1986, it sold out and got a second printing of it’s first issue (again drawn by Ron Lim) and the series lasted 4 issues (different artists on #s 2 – 4). SW would probably have not gone anywhere beyond this but for Kris Silver hiring another artist who would become a cult favorite: Tim Vigil (famous for “Faust: love of the Damned”) who drew “Grips”(lasted four issues at SW but see below), “Nightmaster”(lasted one issue) and “Dragon Quest” (lasted 2 issues).
Reportedly Ron Lim actually drew the first issue of Grips but Tim Vigil was hired to re-draw the whole book as he was a much better artist at the time than Ron was. Tim’s art on Grips (particularly the first two issues which he drew before realizing Kris Silver was not one to trust in regards to paying artists) got a lot of attention. The Comic Buyers Guide monthly IIRC, identified the character “Grips” as a cross between the Punisher and Wolverine.
Not only did Silverwolf publish comic books but they also published a few terrible role playing and war games: “Holocaustic Dungeons” and “Arena”.
Silverwolf closed up shop in late 1987 or early ’88. In 1989 a guy named Dale Quick got some investors together to start a company called “Greater Mercury Comics” that would continue Kris Silver’s line of books, with new titles, artists, etc., which Kris would write all the books. Mr. Quick and his investors quickly figured out what kind of individual Mr. Silver was and wanted out. A deal was struck where Kris Silver would take over the company’s operation and the copyrights to his characters.

I could go on for days telling you details about these books and the people behind them but I will stop here.

Ack! Just wanted to add that Tim Vigil had finished Grips #s 5 and 6 as well as Nightmaster #2 before departing for greener pastures. These would later be published by Greater Mercury Comics as “GMC Action” but it continued the numbering from the old Silverwolf title “Grips” (since GMC were publishing new “Grips” titles by then). GMC #5 was the original Grips #5 (vol. 1) but with issue #6 GMC Action changed to an anthology format, featuring three separate stories of 6-7 pages each. in GMC Action #6 is the first chapter of Grips vol. 1 #6, a summarized retelling of the SW “Edge” vol. 1 #1 and a summarized recap of SW “Nightmaster” #1.
GMC Action #s 7, 8 and 9 featured the rest of Tim Vigil’s Grips #6 as well as his Nightmaster #2 and Gary Shipman’s SW “Edge #3”.

a chapter from the completed-but-never-printed “Edge” (SW vol. 1) #3 by Gary Shipman (also now an accomplished illustrator),

Wow! Thanks for all of the information! If I can dig up any other SilverWolf comics, I’ll have to add them to my now large collections of first issues, for review!

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