|The Elementals Fight Saddam Hussein, Elementals #17, May 1991, script by Jack Herman, |
pencils by Mike Leeke, inks by Dan Schaefer, colours by Julia Lacquement, and letters by Pat Williams
The first complete superhero RPG, Villains & Vigilantes, was the creation of school friends Jack Herman and Jeff Dee.
The first edition of V&V came out in 1979, followed by a revised and improved edition in 1982.
Around that time, Jack and Jeff were onboard to create a back-up feature for Bill Willingham’s Elementals, when it was coming out from Texas Comics, but the company dissolved and Bill moved Elementals to Comico.
In a 2011 interview with Ain't It Cool News, Jack explains that his feature would have been based on "my first original V&V character, a superhero-versus-supernatural-horror sort of thing".
When Elementals took off at Comico, Bill Willingham started looking around for in-universe support features. Jack's submitted a story which was turned into a full-length issue and he began writing for the title regularly.
Again, quoting the 2011 interview, Jack said: "So, here's this guy who is now rightfully recognized as one of the best comics writers in America, and I was writing scripts for him!"
Jack went on to also write for a number of Comico's Robotech titles, which led to him teaming up with Neil Vokes and Rich Rankin to work on Eagle.
- Neil Vokes is now supplying the art for Jack's Mighty Protectors supplement Abomination Realm, one of the unlocked stretch goals in the Kickstarter campaign;
- While not directly connected to the Kickstarter, don't forget that Bill Willingham will also be producing new RPG material for The Mighty Protectors through his Patreon drive.
He's also known for writing for the computer games industry, with games such as Ultima VI, Wing Commander II Special Operations 2, Serpent Isle, Bioforge and Super Hind - Explosive Helicopter Action on his résumé.
In 2010, Jack and Jeff established Monkey House Games, in order to release V&V 2.1: a re-publication of the '82 second edition with some corrections, new material, and all-new artwork.
Now in 2016, they have taken to Kickstarter to raise the funds to publish a Third Edition of Villains & Vigilantes, which bears the sub-title of The Mighty Protectors, in honour of their very first campaign (which also inform the default setting for the game).
The countdown clock is ticking on the fundraising campaign as it enters its final hours, so make sure you don't miss out!