Tony Bravado

Created by Dave Darrigo

TONY BRAVADO was the star of his own short-lived comic book in the late eighties for a very brief time — if you blinked, you probably missed him. Yet, from the one glimpse I’ve had of Tony, in the 1993 The Detectives anthology, it looks like we all missed something pretty good.

Evidently, the publisher, Renegade, went under before Issue #2 was even shipped, and creator Dave Darrigo had to buy out all the copies that Renegade printed, re-solicit them, and sell them himself. Darrigo then managed to self-publish two more issues, for a total of four issues. No wonder he never caught on, and a few more appearances in shorter comic stories — one in Pirahna is Loose (an anthology published under his own Special Studio imprint), and the afore-mentioned The Detectives — did little to raise him above cult status. And a very tiny cult at that…

Tony was a handsome guy whose cases usually involved the glamourous world of the ultrarich. Of course, it helped that good ol’ Tony was the “trouble-shooter” for zillionaire Lance Palmer, a sorta cross between Ted Turner and Hugh Hefner, who, aside from his high-class porn magazine, Eden, also owned Eden Resorts all over the world; which functioned as a combination of Club Med and Playboy Club. Protecting  Palmer’s interests kept Tony bouncing from one resort to another, each boasting more scantily clad babes than the last. Scripted by ace comic writer Dave Darrigo, it was intended to cash in on the success of TV eyes such as Matt Houston and Thomas Magnum.

According to Darrigo’s own intro:

“Who is Tony Bravado? he’s not a cop — but he’s been one. He’s not a private eye — but he’s got a P.I. license. He’s not a security consultant — but that’s what he calls himself at tax time. Bravado is a bodyguard and very personal agent for multi-millionaire businessman Lance Palmer. Palmer’s business holdings made him famous among Wall Street watchers, but when he developed the Eden concept he became a world-class celebrity. And a lot wealthier.”

Canadian comic writer Dave Darrigo also created the acclaimed indie comic series, Wordsmith (1985-88), which traced the career of Clay Washburn, a struggling young writer and his myriad creations (including a hard-boiled detective or two) for the pulps through the thirties and forties. Anyone with the least interest in the pulps should run out and get this one.


  • “Personally, I always thought it was a shame that Dave never took the Tony bravado concept into novels. The trouble shooter was a nice twist on the standard P.I. theme (not unlike Bill DeAndrea’s Matt Cobb series) and the hedonistic angle would have played nicely, I think.”
    — Christopher Mills


    (1988, Renegade Press)
    2 issues
    Written by Dave Darrigo
    Art by Steve LeBlanc

    • “Dirty Jobs” (August 1988; #1)
    • “The Point Of No Return (Part One)” (December 1988; #2)
    (1988, Special Studios)
    2 issues
    Written by Dave Darrigo
    Art by Steve LeBlanc.

    • “The Point Of No Return (Part Two)” (December 1989; #3)
    • “The All-American Nightmare” (#4).
    (1991, Special Studios)
    Two issues
    A short-lived crime comic (featring a bionic DEA agent), published by Darrigo’s own Brantford, Ontario-based Special Studios. A short Bravado story was a backup feature in issue #2, which was also the final issue.

    • “Fox Hunt” (March 1991; #2)
      Written by Dave Darrigo
      Art by Peter Grau
    (1993, Alpha Productions)
    1 issue, colour cover, B&W inside
    Written by Dave Darrigo
    Art by Peter Grau

    • “Gambling With Hercules” (April 1993; @1)
Respectfully submitted by Christopher Mills and Kevin Smith.

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