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‘Madman’ comics fans are in for a treat next year

Michael Allred’s “Madman” comics are getting the premium library edition treatment from Dark Horse Comics. The first volume of six is scheduled to hit store bookshelves next March.

Courtesy of Michael Allred and Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics is producing a set of premium library edition hardcover books collecting all of Michael Allred’s creator-owned “Madman” superhero comics, with the first of six planned volumes set to be released next March.

Frank Einstein, a.k.a. Madman, first appeared in “Creatures of the Id” in 1990, and over a three-decade span the character and his supporting cast have since appeared in series which include “Madman,” “Madman Adventures,” “Madman Comics,” “The Atomics,” and more.

The oversized hardcovers will be packed with material, including all stories from the “MADMANiverse,” as Michael Allred dubs it. The first volume will be more than 650 pages in length, collecting issues produced from 1990-96, plus pin-ups and bonus artwork, including material from revered artists such as Jack Kirby and Frank Miller.

The description for the first volume pre-order on reads: “From Madman's first appearance through his mysterious origins to his adventures throughout time, space, and pop-art absurdity; follow Frank Einstein's superhero alter ego Madman as he adventures through Snap City and encounters many zany and timeless characters and villains in this true homage to superhero fiction, metaphysical philosophy, 1950s science fiction films, rock and roll pop music, and much more in this truly humorous and heartfelt comic book classic!”

Listed for $99.99, the first library edition seems poised to become an instant collector’s item for fans of Michael and Laura Allred, and their “MADMANiverse” creations. The Allreds are Eisner Award winners and Laura is highly regarded for coloring Michael’s work. The married couple pack a one-two punch which generates an easily identifiable and stylized product that boasts a retro flare with a swath of rock ‘n’ roll that's packaged with elegant pop-art sensibility.

“Our goal is to create as definitive a library of all my creator-owned work as possible, and to make everything top-notch as well,” Michael Allred told me. “Most of my earliest work has never been collected at all, like my ‘Graphique Musique’ and ‘Grafik Muzik’ series, and most of that was in black and white, and will now be in full color for the first time as well.”

Frank Einstein is a superhero who was stitched back together by scientists after dying in an automobile accident. Madman got his first series in 1992 and has appeared in comics, off and on, in various series released from multiple publishers. “Madman Atomic Comics,” a 17-issue series published by Image Comics in the late-2000s, was the last series the character saw print in.

“I always get a big kick every time I return to my universe of creations, and gratified to always build on that readership,” Michael Allred said. “Most of my solo creator-owned work is interconnected, and this library series will make those connections as clear as possible.”

While the Allreds haven’t played or created much in the metaphorical “MADMANiverse” sandbox this past decade, that doesn’t mean the world isn’t important to them, or to their fans that have been clamoring to see these comics back in print and remastered.

Michael Allred detailed how the “Madman” books remain important to him, even though most of his recent artwork has been on display in the pages of work-for-hire books at Marvel and DC Comics.

“They are never too far from my memories,” he said. “I always have a massive outline I constantly revisit. But the ‘MADMANiverse’ is a mostly ‘spare time’ affair since I’m always juggling collaborations where I get to play with my favorite fellow creators.”



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