Guns of Mars, cover by Judith Hunt and Ricardo Villagran
|Publication date||1984 - 1989|
|Writer(s)||Chuck Dixon & Judith Hunt|
|Letterer(s)||Ed J. King|
|Creator(s)||Chuck Dixon and Judith Hunt|
Evangeline is a 1980s comic book co-created and written initially by then-husband and wife team Chuck Dixon & Judith Hunt, with pencils by Hunt inks by Ricardo Villagran. Letters were by cartoonist and letterer Ed J. King of the Star Wars comic strip.
The art for the first few issues of Evangeline were unusual for the time period, in that they were not printed using process color, but instead each page was hand-painted by Hunt and then color separated. This method was introduced by the newly formed independent comic companies and was encouraged by the cheaper printing methods of the 1980s. Cover paintings were also illustrated by Hunt and Villagran.
The title character has been described as "a sexy killer vigilante nun" taking her instructions directly from her mentor, Cardinal Szn, a politically powerful figure in the hierarchy of the Roman Curia/Vatican during the 23rd-century. However, co-creator Hunt would describe her skilled but naive feminist character as created "to explore the infinite conflict between good and evil and the powerful religions which would be involved in manipulating the politics and economics of the future".
A short introductory story in Comico's Primer, and two issues, Guns of Mars (loosely based on the spaghetti western film genre) and Hate Boat, were published by Comico Comics in 1984. An ownership dispute in 1985 led to Evangeline leaving Comico, resulting in a 1986 special from Lodestone Comics, and then a 12-issue run from 1987 to 1989 published by First Comics. Hunt co-wrote and illustrated only the first few issues of the First Comics series, leaving to pursue her design and illustration licensing work for HA! Henson Associates and MacMillan Publishing on Raggedy Ann and Andy. In an interview with the Comics Buyer's Guide, Judith Hunt said that (after she left), "The comic [Evangeline] lost its original complexity and feminist standpoint and became just another excuse for depictions of gratuitous sex and violence."
The first three issues have been made available at EvangelineTheComic.com, with announced-but-delayed plans to continue with new material which would continue on after issue #3, not following the continuity of the later First Comics issues. The announced writer for the new material is Ben Dixon, Chuck Dixon & Hunt's son, with announced art by Hunt for one story. However, no new material has been added to the website since January 2009, and the "News" section has not been updated since July 2009.
- "Evangeline Caught in Ownership Dispute," The Comics Journal #97 (April 1985), pp. 13-14.
- "Changes at Comico: Evangeline and Next Man Out, Elementals In," The Comics Journal #103 (November 1985), pp. 11-12.