|Created by||David de Vries|
|Artist(s)||David de Vries|
Cyclone! was an Australian superhero anthology comic book originally published in 1985.
The title featured four ongoing stories:
The initial run of Cyclone! was eight issues, after which the anthology format was dispensed with and it was renamed Southern Squadron.
The Southern Squadron was Australia's first published superhero team. The classic lineup of The Southern Squadron comprises the following members:
The Southern Squadron was formed by the government of Australia, in 1982, to deal with superpowered crime and to give local superheroes guidance, training and legal authority. The Southern Squadron are based in Canberra, Australia. They cooperate closely with their New Zealand counterparts, the Waitangi Rangers. The supervisor/advisor to the squadron is Colonel Ralph Rivers (formerly the Crimson Comet, a winged superhero from the golden age of Australian comics). The squadron is occasionally joined by Flash Damingo, an alien bi-pedal platypus with a cybernetic arm - a former member of the Space Rangers.
The Southern Squadron was also published in America as two four issue mini-series, The Southern Squadron (1990) from Aircel and The Southern Squadron: Freedom of Information Act (1992) from Eternity, reprinting stories from the original Australian stories as well as introducing entirely new material.
The Dark Nebula receives his powers from the two souls occupy the dead body of Colonel Mark Medula, an Australian astronaut, who on returning from a routine shuttle mission, encounters an alien war lord, Cerellus of the planet Caileu. Medula and Cerellus battle and kill each other and when their souls are brought before Death for final consignment they are instead melded within Medula’s body. From Cerellus he receives psionic abilities (telepathy, telekinesis etc.), from Medula he receives the dark fire (a powerful mystical force, which although Medula is unaware of it at the time he is descended from a long line of witches). There is a constant battle for control of the host body with Cerellus constantly attempting to take over Medula's body at every opportunity.
The character debuted in a graphic novel titled The Dynamic Dark Nebula in 1982. The character subsequently appeared in Cyclone! for eight issues before being given its own respective title in February 1989. The Dark Nebula ran for eight issues, with The Golden Age Southern Cross as the back-up feature. The character was then included in several short stories in Southern Aurora Comics Presents.
The Jackaroo is Jack Keegan, a hard-nosed, adaptive bare-knuckles fighter. The character first appeared in issue #5 of Cyclone!, published in January 1989.
The Jackaroo was given his own title in May 1989, whilst it was intended to be a three issue mini-series only a single issue was published. The Jackaroo was also released as a three issue mini-series published by the American company Eternity Comics, reworked from various stories originally published in Australia. The character also appeared in issue #17 of Ninja High School published in February 1990.
In 1989 Cyclone Comics also published a limited run called G.I. Joe Australia, reprinting stories from the Marvel series with some additional Australian material. The Cyclone name returned in 1992 when Gary Chaloner launched Cyclone Comics Quarterly with new characters. It ran for four issues. The first issue included a solo adventure of Flash Damingo, an occasional member of Southern Squadron, and a new character Morton Stone: Undertaker.
The original Cyclone! Characters have undergone something of a revival with the launching of The Dark Nebula[permanent dead link] webcomic in 2006. The website has been operation for a little over two years. This webcomic currently includes Dark Nebula, the Golden Age Southern Cross and The Southern Squadron. The new series of The Dark Nebula, The Southern Cross & The Southern Squadron graphic novels are also available on-line through Web Comics Nation.