The Travelers #1

Title: Tony DiGerolamo’s The Travelers #1

Never Turn your Back on a 500 lb Cello

Issue: #1, 32 pages, b&w, $2.25
Writer: Tony DiGerolamo
Penciller: Brian Dawson
Inker: Carmen Imperato
Assistant Inker: Dan Galagher
Cover Colors: Kevin Daily

Distribution: Previews (June ’98), FM International, Cold Cut, SCANS
First shipped: Available in stores since August 1998

First Appearances: Merchant Reynaldo, Merchant Octavio, Bodyguard Tobias, Tibernius the Wizard, Steven, Nunzio, Splintor, Tuscany, Merchant Hymal, Merchant Ricto, the Squirrelmen, Barry, Gib, Eddie, the Assassins, the Dark One

Issue quirks: First full issue, was sponsored by ComicNetInk and had logo on the cover, contained a list of characters in the front and a list of SJRP newspapers articles to date in the back. Full page ad from ComicNetInk on back cover.

Issue Events: First full issue.

Issue Synopsis: Like a senile "Matlock" our adventurers are caught up in a series of bizarre murders in the City of Beastlyville and end up in a battle even more bizarre.Issue opens with two merchants walking home for the evening. One is murdered in the dark by some unspeakable horror. Sgt. T.S. and his guards are on the case hours later. Father Shambles shows up to give last rites. A mysterious cloaked figure invites Sgt. T.S. to lunch to discuss the murders. The group goes to the Conjurers’ Café to meet the cloaked figure, who turns out to be Tibernius, a representative from the Wizards’ Guild. (Due to a previous incident, Locust is search by the Nunzio, the restaurant manager and his golem-like assistant, Splintor. Tibernius, along with his monkey, Steven, explain that there is a horrible monster set loose in the city and that it is killing merchants. One of the merchants is responsible, as the monster is only killing merchants that are up for the position of Grand Vizer.
The group accepts the job to hunt for the monster, but Tibernius is not all of what he seems. Shambles, Locust and Sir Dan shake down an alchemist’s assistant for more information. Cubby, Barbara and Sgt. T.S. go to check on the other merchants, but wind up getting into a fight with the bodyguards. They eventually discover another dead merchant inside.
Eventually, the group goes to check on the house of two merchants, just in time to witness one getting suck down the outhouse hole. Shambles eventually stumbles upon the other merchant, who also happens to be the monster. The merchant, who had been drinking magic potions, transforms, trips and falls out the balcony onto a spiked fence. Unfortunately, he turns back into a merchant and the locals decide to burn out heroes in the house.
Escaping into the sewers, the group must battle ferocious squirrelmen, then escape the sewers before the methane ignites around them. Eventually, they come out of the sewers behind St. Flannigan’s. By this time, Tibernius has sent a group of assassins. They have Eddie the Altar Boy hostage and ambush our heroes. As they battle the assassins, Tibernius and Steven appear in the rafters of the church. They begin using the magic potion to create giant sized items to crush our heroes. Finally, Sir Dan fires his crossbow, hitting Tibernius’s container of the potion. He grows to giant size and fills the church. Our heroes have won, for now…
Meanwhile, the evil Dark One has taken control of one of the merchants and forced him to assume the post of Grand Vizer. Tibernius and Steven are both still alive. The giant Tibernius was merely a simaculum (an illusion made flesh). The evil trio then make plans to undo our heroes next issue!

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