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John Jakes' Mullkon Empire, Tekno-Comix
scripted by Kate Worley; pencilled by John Watkiss
GCD

A six issue limited series from 1995-96, based on a concept by John Jakes. It's set in 2490, and details certain events in the dealings of a trash disposal business, run by the rich and powerful Mullkon Family. The head of the family is "Ganny" Mullkon, who is apparently a few centuries old (the family tree gives date of birth as "2150?"). But no other information is known about Ganny, including his/her gender. Apparently, he/she periodically engages in some kind of secret rejuvenation process, which involves the use of vital energy provided by younger members of the family. Until recently, it seems as if Ganny's closest aid and daughter, Lucretzia, has been providing that energy. (The exact nature of how that energy is obtained is unclear, but it seems as if sexual energy is absorbed by a crystal. Or something). Lucretzia takes her grand-niece, Karma, to the galactic capital of Zanadu, to marry her off to someone named Consul Gorbaz, for political reasons. Karma is not at all happy about this, as she'd rather marry for love. (And I really don't think she has any idea that Lucretzia plans to use her as a replacement source of the energy Ganny uses.)

Meanwhile, Karma's father, Rafaello, captain of the Verona, was overseeing the dumping of trash into a black hole, when suddenly asteroids began hurtling out of the singularity at high velocity, causing the destruction of one of the tug ships. Not long after that, disaster strikes in the Vegan system, apparently a result of the incident at the black hole. I guess. Anyway, Raf believes all dumping into the singularity should be stopped, but his father, Kai (figurehead of the family, and chairman of the company) doesn't want to do that. He sends Raf's son, Joss (Karma's fraternal twin brother) to Rugash, a planet that's used as a garbage dump, where there have been disasters recently that were apparently caused by sabotage. (I don't think this was related to the problem with the black hole; it seems to be more of an issue of unfair labor practices.) But Joss has his own ideas of how to deal with the problems there, as well as a problem that subsequently arises. So he ignores the orders of his grandfather, who sends Raf and Azore to Rugash, to try to get Joss under control.

Azore (Lucretzia's son), had been working on a history of the Mullkon family, for propaganda purposes. This is partly to convince the Arcadian system to accept Mullkon Empire's services. Azore, it should be noted, is half Azorian- that is, some kind of alien race. So he stays in the background, not wanting the general public- and particularly the Arcadians- to know the Mullkon family includes a non-Terran. Meanwhile, Gambina Mullkon has recently graduated from Vale University, on Cygnus 5. We learn that both she and her boyfriend, Colin, were students of someone named Sirrac (who is Vegan, I guess). She is also involved in the Interplanetary Ecological Alliance, in which Bambina and Colin also get involved. Bambina had been using her mother's maiden name until this point, keeping secret the fact that she was a Mullkon. But after she learns that the death 14 years ago of her father, Karl (Kai and Lucretzia's brother) may not have been an accident, but internal family politics led to his murder, she tells her friends the truth, and hopes to use her position as a Mullkon to draw public attention to all the dangerous and possibly illegal business practices of her family. (This will lead to the secondary problem on Rugash.)

Anyway, there's a lot going on. I hope I'm not leaving out any important plotlines, but I'm certainly leaving out a lot of details. (And I'm afraid I've said some things quite out of order.) It was a fairly interesting story, even if I found parts of it a bit hard to follow. There are unanswered questions (such as just why the black hole is behaving the way it is). And there are loose ends. So it would've been nice to see the story continued. But for what it was... basically, a particular chapter in the long Mullkon saga... it worked pretty well. It's just a shame that it's the only chapter we get to see. (Aside from a flashback to the 1990s, in issue 1.)


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