THE HYBRIDS AND MIKE DEODATO!
Anyone who reads Marvel Comics knows who Mike Deodato is...but how many people know who The Hybrids are? And that Mike Deodato worked on them for a number of excellent issues?!
The Hybrids - a group of alien/human clones who have the abilities of aliens that mimick that of superheroes here on Earth. They were also the first series of characters I worked on the creation process with Neal on. He needed a group of characters for a story he wanted to tell and (I suspect) he wanted to see if I had any aptitude in that direction. For days I remember going back and forth about the surfaces of various alien planets and how it would affect life forms living there. Heavy gravity, magic, cybernetic beings, intense and dangerous weather. Neal and his writing partner at the time, Elliot Maggin, came up with the names but I spent days writing backstories about each one of these characters, who quickly became my favorites.
Larry Stroman was the first artist to draw these bad boys and he (as I've said previously) did an amazing job for about 70 pages. Malcom Davis and Rich Buckler continued that initial storyline but then, when we were looking for new pencilers, a series of bright, shining stars appeared. Luke Ross, Ed Benes and a couple others that went on to greatness at Marvel and DC Comics. Mike Deodato Jr. was perhaps the most professional of the bunch and he was the obvious choice for our team book. There was an energy to his action, a total lack of fear when drawing a giant emotional close-up and a page design that was eclectic and full of life.
My original plan with the Hybrids was to tell an overall, multi-issue story but to inteject flashbacks to the various characters' pasts on their home planets to illustrate how miserable they were there. My first forey into this was Mite, the female bug-girl whose planet worshiped insects. She had to leave her home planet because during an epic battle with a power-hungry insect warrior, she was tricked into killing her own mother...hence the deep-seeded anger within her. Although only a few pages, Mike Deodato turned in some spectacular work. Although it has yet to see print, I live with eternal hope that fans will one day be able to see the blossuming of a terrific artist who now is a mainstay of Marvel Comics...and rightly so. Thanks, Mike for the work and the energy and for remembering your all too brief time at Continuity with Neal and myself. It was a pleasure to see your pages.