Comet Man made his debut in his own limited series in 1987, created by writers Bill Mumy and Miguel Ferrer, drawn by Kelley Jones and Gerry Talaoc. And, yes, it was that Bill Mumy, the child actor who played Will Robinson in Lost in Space, and it turns out he’s a huge comic book fan.
Jim Shooter green lighted Bill Mumy’s pitch on Comet Man. It piggy-backed on all the hype surrounding the return of Hailey’s Comet. The basic idea is that Dr. Stephen Beckley meets up with a powerful alien named Max who destroys him and his ship. However, this Max re-creates Beckley and decides to give him some super-powers. Guess he felt bad about the killing bit. Beckley returns home and finds himself the target of a secret government organization who actually want to bring in Max. Max on his side wants to destroy humankind to prevent its violent nature from spreading. Fortunately, Beckly convinces Max not to do that. The secret government organization is run by Beckly’s brother who’s done everything he can to make Beckly’s life miserable, including nuking Max’s ship at the end of issue #6. Interestingly, the limited series ended with that cliff hanger and it isn’t resolved or explained until three years later.
According to a radio interview with Bill Mumy, the series actually sold half a million copies.
I have to admit that the purchase of Comet Man #1 was one of pure impulse based on Sienkiewicz’s breathtaking cover. You can get the occasional glimpse of Kelley Jones’ art underneath Gerry Talaoc’s heavy inks. Overall, I had a terribly difficult time getting into the series, now and as I recall back in 1987.
Comet Man subsequently appeared in Fantastic Four #315-317 (June-August 1988), Marvel Comics Presents #50-53 (May-July 1990), and Captain Marvel vol. 5 #7 (July 2000). As well, he was a minor character in the recent Civil War event.