Elementals (Comico Comics)

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Publication information
Publisher Texas Comics, Comico
First appearance Justice Machine Annual #1 (1983)
Created by Bill Willingham

Elementals was an American dark superhero comic book first published in 1984 and created by Bill Willingham, for which he was both writer and artist.

It was a reasonably long-lived comic series, and was published by Comico Comics. Comico's publisher Andrew Rev purchased the Elementals property from Willingham in the 1990s.

Fictional setting

When a centuries-old sorcerer named Lord Saker built a machine called the Shadowspear to harness the supernatural powers of the world, he upset the natural order of the universe. In response, the four elements, unimaginably powerful spirits who together formed the foundation of existence, each chose an ordinary human who had been killed by their element, and resurrected him or her. They granted each control of that particular element, eternal youth, and the ability to heal from any wound (given sufficient time). These four were the Elementals, sent to oppose Saker.

The team consisted of:

  • Morningstar, aka Jeanette Crane, a Los Angeles homicide detective who had burned to death while confronting a serial arsonist; she received various fire-related abilities, including pyrokinesis and an immunity to fire.
  • Vortex, aka Jeff Murphy, a Coast Guard pilot who was asphyxiated in a helicopter crash; he received various air-related abilities, including flight and wind-blasts.
  • Fathom, aka Becky Golden, a flighty debutante who fell off a boat and drowned; she received various water-related abilities, as well as bright green skin and webbed fingers. She was also able to convert her body entirely into sentient water and shoot high-pressure streams.
  • Monolith, aka Tommy Czuchra, a brilliant if introverted teenaged boy who was crushed to death by a landslide; he received the ability to become an enormous super-strong stone/earth golem. Later, Tommy came to follow Saker's view that the supernatural beings were entitled to be in charge across earth, and he quit the Elementals and absorbed some of Saker's 'black' magic, to become one of his generals. Monolith was then re-embodied in a deceased insurance salesman (Donald Ridgeway), who neither wanted the power, nor ever understood fully how to use it or how to integrate with the other three Elementals.

The four eventually defeated Saker and his minions, the Destroyers, a team of six: Shapeshifter, Annihilator, Chrysalis, Behemoth, Ratman (who later changed sides), and Electrocutioner. (The Destroyers and an early version of Saker known as Doctor Apocalypse originally appeared in Death Duel with the Destroyers and The Island of Dr. Apocalypse, two Willingham-written supplements for the superhero roleplaying game Villains and Vigilantes). Unfortunately, Shadowspear, once released from Saker's control, formed a giant malevolent thunderstorm that circled the globe, occasionally transforming animals and corpses into monsters, thus keeping the Elementals busy for many years.

Publication history

  • Justice Machine Annual, Texas Comics, 1983. (First appearance)
  • Elementals #1–29, 1984–88
  • Elementals vol. 2, #1–26, 1989–93
  • Elementals vol. 3, #1–3, 1995–96

One-shots & mini-series

  • Elementals Special 2 issues, 1986, 1989 (lead into v2)
  • Elementals: Sex Special 4 issues, 1991–93
  • Elementals: Sex Special vol. 2, 2 issues, 1997
  • Elementals: Sexy Lingerie Special one shot, 1993
  • Elementals: Ghost of a Chance one-shot, 1995
  • Elementals Swimsuit Spectacular 1996 one shot
  • Elementals: How the War was won 2 issues, 1996
  • Elementals: The Vampire's Revenge 2 issues, 1996


  • Justice Machine Featuring the Elementals 4 issues, 1986
  • Fathom 3 issues, 1987
  • Morningstar Special 1990
  • Monolith 4 issues, 1991
  • Vortex 2 issues, 1991
  • Strikeforce America 1 issue, 1992
  • Fathom vol. 2, 3 issues, 1992
  • Oblivion 3 issues, 1995–96
  • Strikeforce America vol. 2, 1 issue, 1996

Trade paperback collection

  • Elementals: The Natural Order (160 pages, softcover, Comico Comics, November 1988, ISBN 0-938965-08-5) -reprints Justice Machine Annual and Elementals vol. 1, #1–5

External links

  • The Elementals at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016.
  • Comics Should Be Good!'s review of Vol. 1 #1-5
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