Nostalgia is a funny thing. Besides drawing on personal memories, it also can create a sense of appreciation for the present moment. In the early 1980s, comic book readers found themselves experiencing different aspects of the medium that hadn’t been explored before. Titles like GrimJack, American Flagg, and Judge Dredd challenged the mainstream series published by Marvel and DC Comics. Among these creator-owned properties was Aztec Ace.
Aztec Ace was created by writer Doug Moench. Published while he was writing the Batman titles for DC (largely forgotten now), Moench’s creation followed the adventures of Caza (also known as Ace) who traveled within the time period spanning the Aztec Empire in the 15th Century to the future of the 23rd. His mission was to stop the villain, Nine-Crocodile, who had created time paradoxes that threatened Ace’s Dimension.
Aztec Ace ran for 15 issues from 1984 to 1985. Dark Horse has collected the entire series, and it is a treat. Besides being a time capsule of a bygone-era comic books, it also has fantastic art. Illustrators Michael Hernandez, Dan Day, Thomas Yates, and Tim Sale all contributed to the original run. In addition to the artwork of the tales, there are pin-ups by many modern-day artists including Chris Cross, Paul Pope, Jeff Lemire, and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Aztec Ace: The Complete Collection is great. It brings a sense nostalgia from two directions; one is from the eras in which the stories are set, and the other is from that bygone age of experimental, creator-owned comics. Whichever perspective the reader is coming from, this collection is sure to bring enjoyment.
Recommended – 3 out of 4 stars
Creative Team: Doug Moench (writer), Various Artists
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.