Union Comics began as an alliance of several independent comics from Union City including Justice Comics, Two-Gun Comics, and Science Comics. All these books focused on narratives pulled from news headlines about costumed adventurers, speculative tales about mystery men, and true-supercrime retellings. Sometimes the writers knew or even were heroes but some were total fabrications based on shady sources or tabloid articles. Union City native Mel Vinn proved to be the greatest prodigy of the art-form to emerge from the early era of Union Comics... At least according to him.
Mel Vinn! The Publisher! The Creator-In-Chief! Mr. Union Comics! MEL VINN!
After getting a Purple Heart Mel came home and returned to Union Comics. He would race around the city in his car chasing fights across the rooftop. He would stakeout banks during crime-sprees and find the haunts of local heroes to press them for details. He was even better at sniffing out the bystanders and civilians who had seen these encounters and getting their stories.
Union Comics made an ongoing agreement with Doctor Tomorrow to get exclusive comic rights to his stories in return for a pledge to donate to Doctor Tomorrow's Public Science Museum and promote scientific discovery in the pages of the comics. This was the start of New Science Comics and the even more out-there spin-ff series Science Squad which was written by Mel Vinn who happened to be drinking buddies with Cactus Jack.
By the time the 1960's rolled around Mel was at his creative peak and he was putting out over half a dozen books a month, including the Glorious Vishnu, Lady Sunbeam, and the Vanguard! He also wrote six episodes of the campy 1966 Green Death TV Series.
Mel became a staple in the super community. He was abducted by Prince Vice but negotiated his own release from Varandova. Mel dated Jet Girl for a few months in 1968 and Ida, Mistress of Vampires from 1975 until the early eighties. He was also almost brought up on charges as Accessory to Super-Crime.
After a series of interviews with King Chrome turned into an odd friendship Mel ended up in the getaway car with the eccentric villain/entrepreneur when he bombed the 1974 Union City Car Show. It was only after a public outcry (led via ads and stories in Union Comics) that the DA dropped all charges against Vinn.
In the 80's Mel kept Justice Comics going strong with classic stories like Doctor Tomorrow and new heroes like Wrangler! Mel at this time was also instrumental in getting Alexander the Great to be accepted as a hero. When Alexander betrayed the Union of Heroes Mel was publicly humiliated but he told the story faithfully in the pages of UC, taking responsibility and getting the extraordinary mini-series the Decline and Fall of the Union of Heroes.
Mel then stepped up from Editor-in-Chief to Publisher, buying out the old owners in a very hush-hush deal that was obscured by the fanfare of Mel Vinn's Union Comics! Mel found edgier writers and more daring artists for a Marid: the Demoness solo series and re-launched Captain Jupiter when Gravity Girl took the mantle of the fallen hero.
Born Melvin Kirchbaum and raised in the lower-class Southbay neighborhood of Brickworks, Mel began working at Stunning Comics in the mid-thirties under his own name but soon came up with Mel Vinn as he submitted Green Death stories to Two-Gun Comics. When World War II broke out Mel enlisted but never disclosed his pen name or other profession to the army.
He kept sending scripts even while serving in the Pacific, including the infamous final issue of Two-Gun Comics featuring the last suicide mission of the Green Death.
All of this put him very much in the public spotlight and he was an occasional character in UC because of this. By this point in the 1970's Mel Vinn was an Editor at UC and brought in big talents to write about new heroes, but not all of them liked the spotlight at first. Komodo, unhappy with his portrayal in UC smashed into Union Comic's Offices and threatened Mel in front of the entire bullpen. By the end of the afternoon Komodo and Mel were smoking cigars and discussing a new limited series featuring Komodo's solo adventures.
With hit after hit Vinn was named Editor-in-Chief of Union Comics. He became close friends with Module Girl and convinced her to agree to a few one-shots but Module Girl had her own ideas, launching M Magazine a few years later.
It was at the point, in the mid-1990's that Mel disappeared for several months. He returned, claiming to having traveled through time to a crisis in the future. Most people considered this a publicity stunt for a series of UC Comics and the launch of a new Green Death series set in the year 2084 and featuring a woman of color in a hologram-mask as the titular hero.
By the 2000's Union Comics was in full swing, a new golden age. After a strike Mel allowed some of the old Union rules to be brought back and creators were able to retain their ownership and control of new titles. This coincided with a renaissance of Heroes, leading to groundbreaking stories about Chessmaster, Rescue Dog, and Captain Jupiter.
There was also an explosive and award-winning miniseries introducing a Trans Woman as the New Lady Sunbeam.
Surprisingly fit and energetic for a man in his eighties, Mel oversaw the Terminal Velocity Rick Rocket mini-series and found new A-List talent from Hollywood and Harmeny Studios to spearhead the Union of Heroes. Mel agonized over this new series, especially conscientious due to his awareness of the damage he helped do to the Union in the 80's. Union Comics moved into the digital age after being the target of an attack by the villain M3GA81T which turned comic characters into 3D tactile renderings and leading an assault against the heroic community of Union City.
A noted author of horror wrote the Miscreant series, leading to rave reviews and the company's first digital-first hit.
Now, in the wake of the events which were basis for the Quantum of Tomorrow mini-series Union Comics has a new hero in the Time-Lost Prince Odysseus! The story started as a blog by Odyssues' girlfriend and Mel got an artist and signed the couple to their own ongoing series.
Union Comics, just like its publisher, are both entering 2020 looking like the best year yet!