Featured Columns

January 30, 2010

Unsung Characters of Comicdom: Steel Pulse

Steel Pulse

Danger, excitement, action, victory, violence, humiliation, and mysterious villains! Do I have your attention yet? Well, all of those words grace the cover of Steel Pulse #1, and when I saw them, they grabbed my attention immediately. After reading this comic, I knew I wanted to feature Steel Pulse in my Unsung column, but I couldn’t do him justice with the amount of information that was available in the first issue. So, I typed up a short draft and contacted Tom Motley, the series’ creator, writer, and artist. Shortly after, I received a generous care package containing all four issues of Steel Pulse. So, I would like to personally and publicly  give a special thanks to Mr. Motley for providing me with the materials necessary to give this character the definitive profile that he deserves.

It’s time to grab yourself an American draft, throw on an easily rippable Hulkamania shirt, and prepare for lots of extreme acts of violence with foreign objects. Join me in the squared circle for this week’s Unsung Character of Comicdom from parts unknown, Steeeeeeel Puuuuuuulse (Pronounced in your best ring announcer voice)!

Name: Roger Pulse
Codename/Alias: Steel Pulse
Powers: Grit, Kick-ass Rasslin’ moves
Most Memorable Quote: The trick is to control their evil, like pet vipers.”
Favorite drink: Mai-Tai’s and Moose Head Beer
Favorite Cartoon: Megiddo Mosquito: Wrestlers Rhapsody
First Appearance: Steel Pulse #1
Affiliations: Universal Wrestling Conference, The UFC Honors Guild

Origin: Roger ‘Steel’ Pulse was a wrestler who was known for his dirty tactics and trademark crowbar that he used to pummel his enemies. All that changed when he met the love of his life, Betsy, who encouraged him to change his ways and fight with honor. From that point forward, Roger embraced a code of integrity, and worked his way up the UCW circuit, earning a championship match against the evil masked wrestler known as Sardonicus. His opponent’s manager, Slick Lenny Malenkovic had attempted to persuade Roger to intentionally lose the match in exchange for an exceptional sum of cash. He refused, and ultimately won the belt. Furious that Roger didn’t cooperate, Lenny rigged a folding chair with a shit-ton of dynamite and gave it to Sardonicus, so that he could finish off Roger for good. He deflected the attack, caught the chair, and then lifted the weapon against his fallen adversary. Betsy begged him not to stoop to the villain‘s level, but Roger wouldn’t listen. He slammed the volatile weapon over his opponent’s head, and the resulting explosion killed Betsy, Sardonicus, and permanently fused Roger’s trademark mask with his face. Consumed with guilt, he retired and swore never to wrestle again. He held that vow religiously until Sardonicus’ eventual resurrection.

Allies: Krush Malone is an old trusted friend of Steel Pulse who was present the day of the tragic accident that killed his Betsy and arch nemesis, Sardonicus. Other than Krush’s tag-team partner, Johnny ‘Golden Boy’ Rizzo, no one from the UWC has heard or seen from  Steel Pulse since his retirement.

Clockwise from left: Chang & Eng, Mockingbird, The Sensei, The Brothers Grimm, The Frontiersman, Big Mac Tucker, Mac Jr., Robert Omega, Mr. No Face III, Sherlock Jones, Christopher Thorne, Verne Ganja, Brother Vesakti, Cholihenandra, Happy Gutenberg, The Man From Mars, (Smiley Garbonzo, and Mort Shell/ not shown)

After coming out of retirement to rescue Krush and Johnny, Steel Pulse went to The UWC Honors Guild for help with his confrontation with the resurrected Sardonicus. Unfortunately, many members of The Guild had called upon him for help, and he silently ignored their requests while he chilled at home drinking heavily. Other than Mort Shell (think of a midget male version of the Bulleteer with a lisp), no one was willing to come to the aid of the hero who had abandoned them so many times in the past.

Babs Dooley and Her Battlin’ Babes, from left to right: Jinx, Tarza of the Alps, Babs Dooley, Bertha, Kimi Modo

On the way out of the Guild’s meeting hall, Mort and Steel ran into Babs Dooley and her Battlin’ Babes. They offered assistance, but Steel Pulse was too proud to accept help from women. That is until, one the femme team’s member’s (Bertha) tied a crowbar into a knot, to which Steel Pulse responded, “We’ll take my car.”

Sardonicus

Antagonists (Sardonicus’ Origin): Shortly after the explosion, a mad scientist named Dr. Frank Einstein teamed with Lenny to bring Sardonicus back to life using weird science. Fifteen years after successfully breaking all the laws of God and  nature, they registered him with the UWC as a mystery wrestler from parts unknown, and scheduled a championship match against Steel Pulse’s longtime friend, Smiley Garbonzo. During the match, Smiley removed Sardonicus’ mask, revealing his hideously deformed and mutated face. This caused the undead miscreant to go insane with rage, as he threw Smiley into the crowd. He then proceeded to mercilessly beat him to death with his own belt. Smiley barely escaped with his life. Subsequently, he was admitted to an intensive care unit in a local hospital (for which he remained until the end of the series). The entire event was filmed live, and Steel Pulse witnessed the whole thing. While the cameras still rolled, Sardonicus addressed Steel Pulse directly, and called him out of retirement. When he didn’t respond, Sardonicus kidnapped his friends, Krush Malone and Johnny Rizzo, and once again challenged him to a showdown on television.

Steel Pulse later decided to raid a pub called the All-Star Bar, a place where all the bad wrestlers hang out (kind of reminded me me of when Rorschach and Marv where fishing for info from inebriated miscreants). After aggressively interrogating one of the wrestlers, he obtained the address of where his friends were being held, but after arriving, he soon realized he had walked directly into a trap and was ambushed by Lenny the Worm’s Wrestling Army. Bab’s girls came to his aid, but they were quickly overwhelmed. Just when our hero was about to accept his defeat, the Honor Guild showed up, and the resulting brawl freed Steel Pulse from the grasp of Sardonicus. While in the hideout, he found the reanimated corpse of his dead girlfriend Betsy, whom Sadonicus had kept captive as his girlfriend as a hideous undead freak since her death fifteen years ago. She begged for death, and Steel Pulse sadly obliged. Armed with the knowledge of how to destroy Dr. Einstien’s zombies, he hunted down Sardonicus and delivered a fatal blow to the detestable creature.

(Front row) The Pooftah, The Sheik: Hassan I Sabbath, Glenn The Barbarian, Vicious Vic Victorio, Hop-Frog, Pa Ubu, Stanislaw Yetinsin, Mr. Anton (Second row) Ketjak, Hyde, Akai Modo, Ahpuch, The Tasmanian Devil (Third row) The Piltdown Man, Elmo 'Widening' Gyre, Pee We Simpson, Jim Babylon (Back row) Max Harpo, Blind Lemon Jackson, Brad Gamble, The Black Death, Thompson and Thompson (The Thompson Twins), Carlos Contra

I was raised in a small town in West Tennessee, so the whole Memphis wrestling scene was a huge part of the local culture when I was growing up. I watched CWA Wrestling (Championship Wrestling Association) with my Grandpa every Saturday morning. I had a variety of WWF and Lucha Libre wrestling toys, and I was a huge fan of the Hulk Hogan’s Rock’n Wrestling cartoon. Hell, I even saw No Holds Barred in the theater the weekend that it premiered. Old school wrestling was a huge part of my life in the eighties, so I have a lot of warm nostalgic feelings concerning the sport. Because Steel Pulse was produced in 1986-1987, it embodies a lot of the charm that made classic wrestling so awesome. Beyond being a worthy homage to the “take your vitamins and say your prayers” era of wrestling, it’s a really great comic. The artwork is refreshingly expressive, and the writing has an appealing, dark comedic tone. Each issue is thick, action-packed, and ad-free. Plus, there’s a bonus story at the end of each book. If you ever see a copy of Steel Pulse in the back issue bins, please pick it up. Modern mainstream publishers just don’t produce comics this awesome.

Josh Jones
josh@comicattack.net

Share/Save





10 Comments


  1. Billy

    Good column Josh. I was a big wrestling fan as a kid but lost interest as I got older. Once and a while I stop on TNA or WWE just to take a peek though.


    • JÖL CLAUNCH

      STEEL PULSE RULES!!!



  2. Great initiative on this Josh, contacting the creator!

    Steel Pulse and I have one thing in common: we both love Moose Head beer!!



  3. @Billy- Wrestling just isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s all roids and silicone now. I really miss all the fat wrestlers from back in the day. Also, I’ll take Miss Elizabeth over Trish Stratus any day!



  4. Steel Pulse definitely was from the old school of wrestling, from back when I was a kid and was glued to the set each Sunday morning. Once Hulk Hogan hit the scene, I really kind of lost interest. I guess I had personal problems with them making former villians into heroes.


  5. Wendy

    Jerry The King Lawler for major!


  6. Craig

    Have to agree that modern publishers don’t produce expressive art like this anymore- a shame, really. especially with comic readers aging fan-base; we could use some fresh, expressive art like this in mainstream funny books.



  7. @Wendy- I would endorse a King Lawler ticket, but only if Prince Mongo serves as Deputy Mayor.



  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joshua Jones, ComicAttack.net. ComicAttack.net said: Unsung Characters of Comicdom: Steel Pulse http://comicattack.net/2010/01/ucc12/ #comics #comicbooks […]



  9. […] How would you describe the process of self-publishing Steel Pulse: Pro-Wrestling Adventures? Would you consider it a successful venture in comparison to your other accomplishments throughout […]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *