KULL THE CONQUEROR #7

“Delcardes’ Cat”
Writer: Gerry Conway based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artists: Marie & John Severin

Kull comes on a fight at the front gate of the palace. An unruly man named Kulra Thorr from Zarfhanna was attempting to see the lady Delcardes. He has fallen in love with her but Delcardes is of royal blood and no noblewoman may marry a common foreigner. Kull decides not the put Kulra to death and instead banish him from the kingdom. Later an assassination attempt is foiled by a warning from Delcardes. In thanking her Kull learns that she has a talking cat named Saremes. Saremes can predict the future and Kull takes in the cat. Later the cat says that his friend Brule was dragged into the Forbidden Lake and only the king can enter this lake.

Well Kull is off to the lake and jumps in to rescue his friend. He has to fight a giant octopus, giant swimming spider and a gill-man that can disguise itself as a beautiful woman. A giant snake grabs hold and dumps Kull in the land under the lake. Here he finds a sword in a tree and pulls it out. Then he goes to the city and confronts the inhabitants who are walking dead. Because Kull has the sword they believe him a noble man and convince Kull that they do not have Brule.

So Kull goes back to the palace and confronts Saremes. He finds out that it is Saremes servant who was the real voice. This servant is none other than Thulsa Doom. Doom has his laugh then leaves. Delcardes apologizes for being in on the plan because she wants to marry her peasant. Kull decides to waive tradition and allow the marriage. Kull ends up with a pet cat that doesn’t talk.

So this was an adaptation from the master himself and it is one wild ride. Kull is just bombarded with one threat after another and just keeps on going. This was a really cool story that could be ridiculous if anybody but Howard wrote it. It flowed fast paced and you could really believe that the cat could talk. The story also introduces that Thulsa Doom is still lurking about and wanting to cause trouble. He makes a real good villain for this strip. A very enjoyable issue.

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KA-ZAR THE SAVAGE #32

“He Ain’t Heavy…”
Writer: Mike Carlin
Artists: Paul Neary and Marie Severin

Ka-zar, Shanna and Zabu are heading back home to the Savage Land. While they are traveling both envision their futures in the form of old sitcoms. Ka-zar Knows Best, I Love Shanna, Leave It To Ka-zar and The Honeysavages. Meanwhile Parnival Plunder aka the Plunderer is back in the Savage Land to loot it of its anti-metal. He runs into a tribe and gets the young members hooked on a portable video game. He promises them new batteries if they can find the anti-metal.

Ka-zar and company come home to their treehouse and find Parnival has taken up residence. Ka-zar is not happy to see his brother but Shanna convinces him to let him stay. He is after all family. So Ka-zar agrees as long as he does all the work which Parnival is more than happy to do. He is in fact bidding his time until the natives can find the anti-metal which they do at the end.

So this was an offbeat issue. You have the dream sequences of them in the old classic sitcoms. Sort of an interesting idea. I am sort of neutral on this issue. Didn’t really like it or hate it. Ka-zar’s brother is back and up to no good. I don’t think you can have a Ka-zar series without his evil brother coming around to cause trouble. I love the old portable video games used to addict the tribesmen. Q-bert. This does date the issue but brings back a bit of nostalgia. Those games back then were addictive.

WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #4

“Where The Heart Is”
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: Judit Tondora

Wonder Woman and Jaime visit Paradise Island. Jaime gets to meet all its colorful inhabitants. Meanwhile CASTRA is getting its army of Fembots ready to invade Paradise Island. They also are forcing Rudy Wells and Joe Atkinson the head of the I.A.D.C who we thought was dead to give up classified secrets. After their visit to Paradise Island Wonder Woman with Jaime, Drusilla and Max are searching former islands for the cabal. On one they find their base and get in a fight with some Fembots. Wonder Woman’s bracelets are knocked off making her vulnerable to a shot from Dr. Cyborg. She is hit and it ends on this and an army of Fembots approaching the beaches of Paradise Island.

So the fourth issue mainly deals with Paradise Island and all its characters. True not much goes on in this issue yet there was still a lot going on. Interesting to find out Joe Atkinson is still alive and Rudy is also prisoner. Drusilla the young Wonder Girl played by a young Debra Winger from the first season makes a return. This is just such a fun romp in nostalgia.

THE WARLORD #74

“Home Again Home Again”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan and Krystovar are making their way in a stolen boat after escaping from New Atlantis. The two decide to go to Shamballah so Morgan can be reunited with Tara. So they sell the boat for provisions and trek off to Shamballah. A mysterious black crow starts a fire that almost engulfs them but they manage to escape. So they get to Shamballah and find out that Tara has banned Morgan. Luckily he has friends in the city guards and he sneaks him in. Morgan confronts Tara and she is still angry at Morgan for leaving but Morgan’s charm gets him a reprieve from banishment.

“A Quiet Night”
Writer: Gary Cohn
Artist: Ron Randall

Jinal is enjoying a quiet night contemplating the stars. She is joined by Barasha and the two talk. Jinal has not had time to mourn the loss of her friends and lover from the expedition. She tells Barasha of the war with the Qlov and her doubts of the future. Barasha convinces her that she has accomplished great things and the future is looking bright.

So in this issue Morgan returns to Shamballah and gets a lukewarm reception. I was happy that the new writer understands the relationship between Morgan and Tara. It felt just as Mike Grell would have wrote it. So a quiet story with the hint of something big that will happen. We still have the mystery of the US Air Force markings on the cassette and the advanced weapons in the hidden cavern. There is also the mysterious black crow that started the fire and is still stalking Morgan. Warlord seems to have a new energy and direction that I approve of.

The Barren Earth was also a quiet introspection story. Interesting how that turned out. I wonder if it was planned or just kismet. Jinal gets to have time to morn the loss of her lover and friends. She also contemplates the future and Barasha helps her. This also ends with a feeling of something new and big in the future. Two great stories that set up the new direction that this title is taking.

HOWARD THE DUCK #9

“Do Do That Voodoo!”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Gene Colan & Dave Simons

Howard and Bev are in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. They get into a fight and Bev goes off to talk to other men. During this time a guy in a duck mask has his henchmen kidnap Bev for a sacrifice to a duck deity. Howard gets into a fight with some loudmouth and is rescued by Mammy Tuba. She has a number of animals that can speak and she is a witch. She offers to help Howard by giving him a book on voodoo and some supplies. He then goes after The Dark Talon in Le Mort Bayou. Dark Talon actually wanted Howard and has been waiting for him. Howard uses the voodoo doll to cause pain in Black Talon by poking it with a needle. He also calls up zombie ducks to attack. Black Talon calls up the duck deity who is not happy with Black Talon. He kills Black Talon for all the ducks that were sacrificed.

“Heavy Business in a Mediocre Motel!”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Gene Colan & Dave Simons

Howard and Bev are staying at a dumpy motel. Here both get in an argument over Howard’s attitude. Bev goes into the bathroom and Howard is in the main room. Both have conversations with their image in the mirror. Their mirror images both argue from them to break off the relationship. Howard decides to not take the advice and apologize but its too late. Bev breaks it off and kicks Howard out.

“The Linoleum Lizard”
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artists: Gene Colan & Ricardo Villamonte

Howard is now in Chicago after breaking up with Bev. He gets in the middle of a gunfight and wakes up in the office of private eye Dirk Byrd. A woman comes looking for Byrd and mistakes Howard for him. She drags him off to a mansion. There with here obnoxious sister and creepy butler Howard discovers the murdered body of the real Dirk Byrd. None of the inhabitants think anything of the dead body and Howard is taken to the mother. She wears a Deborah Harry mask and wants Howard to find her sons. She feels her daughters aren’t worth the inheritance. Her sons are one person with two heads.

Howard decides that these people are too weird and plans to get as far away as possible. Then he discovers the Linoleum Lizard Bar. This was a clue that Byrd left behind. After an altercation with a phony two headed guy Howard figures out the whole scheme. He goes back and the creepy butler is actually the two-headed son in disguise. He was there to bump off his two sisters and when Byrd discovered to truth he killed him.

“Howard The Duck: Homeward Bound”
By Steven Grant

An article on Howard’s origin and how he got his own series. I found it kind of interesting.

So this is the last magazine issue for Howard the Duck. The reasons given were many but it was stated that Howard would move back to the color comic line. The magazine run started out with some ups and downs. Bill Mantlo had some preachy and confusing stories in the beginning but was getting better and better. Since the Duckworld issue this series has been consistently enjoyable. Except for the loathsome Street Peeples I have enjoyed it and sorry that it came to an end. Howard the Duck is one really off the wall creation. Yet there was some enjoyable satire from everything about society. I will have to some day check out the color comic series.

KULL THE CONQUEROR #6

“The Lurker Beneath the Earth!”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: Marie & John Severin

At a gladiatorial game the Count Ducalon the dwarf is knocked into the arena with a giant bear. Kull jumps in to save him. Another man also jumps in and saves Kull from the bear. Zarkus is a wanderer who was delivering scrolls to the royal librarian. The librarian believes he has found the lost city of Qar. It is underneath the City of Wonders. Tu the royal councilor tells how an evil mage used the underground to poison the city’s wells. Kull decides there is no reward to finding the city and refuses to mount an expedition.

The librarian uses a flute to call a giant worm to life. Its presence once again poisons the city’s wells and forces Kull to mount an expedition. So Kull, Brule and the Red Slayers journey into the sewers along with the librarian and Zarkus. They find the city and the giant worm. The worm is killed and set afire. The librarian is killed by Zarkus when he finds the librarian playing the flute. Zarkus is killed by the flowers that destroyed the civilization and Kull wonders what happened to the city and Zarkus.

Another interesting entry in the Kull saga. I loved that they traveled under the city to this old ancient city. They find and kill a giant worm thing. A very fascinating and atmospheric story. Zarkus seemed to be a character with possibilities. The writer though decided to kill him off this issue. The city has the possibilities for unexplored mysteries and adventure so maybe it will be back.

KA-ZAR THE SAVAGE #31

“But I Don’t Want To Go Back To The Savage Land!”
Writer: Mike Carlin
Artist: Paul Neary

Ka-zar is throwing a fit because he was banished from the Savage Land. He then notices that some pterons are burning effigies of him and Shanna. So he goes out the window and beats them up. In the struggle a burning torch ends up burning down the couples place. So the next morning he goes to the peace council and presents the beat up pterons. Then he throws another tantrum and stalks off in a huff.

It is now that Dherk reminds the others of the first Pangean War. Centuries ago the Atlanteans found an abandoned cavern full of advanced technology from an unknown race that was creating the Savage Land we know today. They also find specimens of animals preserved from past times. So the Atlanteans create an amusement park. They also do genetic experiments and create the animal men. These animal men are employed as workers in the amusement park.

Well the animal men are treated like slaves. A bird-man named Tilbrok dies while defending a young ape-girl that was being attacked. Later the animal-men are locked up as the Atlanteans plan to automate the park. During the night an image of Tilbrok visits and the animal-men revolt. They win their freedom and the Atlanteans terraform Pangea.

Peace is at hand for Pangea while Ka-zar, Shanna and Zabu head back to the Savage Land. They are ambushed by Phangor the leader of the pterons. Ka-zar gets one more ass kicking in before he leaves Pangea.

This was a fascinating issue with the history of Pangea. I liked the idea of slave labor at an amusement park rising up in revolt. This was a good idea in explaining the history of Pangea and how it came to be populated by such a diverse people. The only thing I didn’t care for was that Ka-zar was such a whinny baby. I have seen two year olds act with more maturity. This was not the personality of Ka-zar that has been established. Hopefully the new writer will move away from this.

WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #3

“The Past Becomes Present”
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: Judit Tondora

A nuclear cruise missile has been launched from the freighter and its up to Wonder Woman and Jaime to stop it. Luckily they have the invisible jet and fly after it. Wonder Woman uses her golden lasso to snag it and destroy it. Then they go back to the freight but the crew has no knowledge to help them. One does turn out to be a Fembot or Manbot.

Meanwhile the cabal known as CASTRA gather together in the South American country of Lauay on Saint Molchan Island. The group consists of experts in bionic and robotics. Villains that both Wonder Woman and Jaime Sommers defeated. They have a plan to create transhuman soldiers to conquer the world. All they need is for Captain Radl to lead them to Paradise Island and the Feminium metal.

Jaime and Diana meet Rudy Wells and Max the bionic German shepherd. They take Max with them on their way to investigate in South American. After they leave the OSI building is assaulted by Fembots and Rudy is kidnapped.

The third issue is one that gives us the rundown on the evil CASTRA cabal. All the villains are introduced and there are convenient footnotes on the episodes they were originally in. A nice mix from both shows. I love how Mangels manages to capture both main characters personalities. They feel just like Lynda Carter and Lindsay Wagner. Plus Max the bionic dog and plenty of Fembots.

THE WARLORD ANNUAL #2

“The Prophecy”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan is riding through a forest when he comes on a man being attacked by a pack of lizard dogs. He saves the man who turns out to be a scholar named Krystovar. Krystovar heals Morgan’s wounded shoulder and tells him about the history of his helmet. Back in ancient Atlantis the helmet was worn by the Knights of the Sea Eagle. These knights protected Atlantis. Over time the kingdom became decadent and its ruler turned to the dark arts. He also used a device to turn men into beasts. One Sea Eagle named Lord Norrad was disgusted with what became of his nation so with his followers head out to find a new land.

They come to a land that is located in a hollow between the surface and Skartaris. Here they build a prosperous settlement named New Atlantis. One day survivors from Atlantis come and are reluctantly allowed to stay. They soon continue to practice the dark arts under Ar-Diamphos. Soon assassins come to kill Norrad but he survives though gravely wounded. He states a prophecy that a man will come wearing his helmet and end the evil reign.

Well the two are later captured by the Brood Brothers men changed into beast-men. Morgan manages to escape and finds a cavern filled with high tech weaponry. He loads up with a bag of grenades and takes a rocket sled equipped with a laser. Morgan goes to New Atlantis and frees Krystovar from being turned into a beast-man. The current king is killed. The two then steal a boat and make their way back to Skartaris. Morgan at the end finds out a cassette he took from the cavern has the insignia of the US Air Force and someones name, rank and serial number. Krystover hints that the prophecy of Norrad has more about the man who wears his helmet.

The second annual was absolutely awesome. Now I am finally getting a good feel for the direction of this title since Grell left. We are introduced to a new people in the New Atlanteans. A new enemy in the Brood Brothers the poor unfortunates that have their heads turned into animals. A new companion for Morgan in Krystovar a warrior scholar. I loved it all. And we get a story behind Morgan’s helmet. Plus it sets up several mysteries. A cavern full of high-tech weapons. Somehow the US Air Force is linked to ancient Atlantis. Things are looking good for the Warlord.

HOWARD THE DUCK #8

“The Grey Panther”
Writer: Bill Mantlio
Artists: Gene Colan & Dave Simons

Howard and Bev are hitchhiking and get a ride from a colorful old man in his modified Model T. He takes them to Miami and when he hears they need jobs takes them to a rest home. The Wake No More nursing home run by Gerry Atric. He gives the two jobs as aids. In reality Gerry Atric is the Grey Panther. A man obsessed with power to take over Miami and put the young people in their place. He kidnaps the under 30 attendants and forces them to play shuffleboard, rock, knit and gum down low sodium slosh. Howard is helped by one of the residents who is secretly working for the Social Security Administration. Appears Atric is misappropriating the residents Social Security checks. In the end the Grey Panther is felled by a heart attack.

“How the Duck Got His Pants”
By Steven Gerber

An article on the myths and facts of why Disney forced some changes on Howard so he wouldn’t look like Donald Duck. This included putting on pants. An interesting article.

“Ducktective Comics”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Marshall Rogers

Howard and Bev are enjoying themselves at the beach when a shark attacks. Howard stuffs a beach ball in the sharks mouth which when he bits down propels him away. Howard is now a hero and a man named Spruce Payne offers the two a job. He sells a Super-Scent that supposedly is the sweat of super heroes. He puts on a show at the Mammoth Mall where Duck-man and Duck-girl battle the supervillains The Jokester, Puffin and Quizling. It is a hit and he sells the potion for $20 an ounce. Later while doing the books he finds out that his supervillains are embezzling from him. They kill Spruce Payne and frame Howard and Bev for the crime. Now as Duck-man and Duck-girl the two battle these villains and the Maller to clear their name.

“Best Friends”
Writer: Lynn Greame
Artist: Ned Sonntag

Something is going on with the Street Peeple. Cheyenne meets a childhood friend and the gang go out to the suburbs for a party. Something happens but I have absolutely no clue whats going on. This feature is pure shit.

I absolutely loved this issue except for Street Peeple. The first with the Grey Panther and his goofy machines that were forcing the young to do what they made the residents do is just hilarious. Maybe I am getting old but I love it when the under 30 get their comeuppance.

The second was a Bat-man spoof and it was obvious what villains the trio were spoofing. There is even equipment like the Duckarang and a Duckmobile. An old VW with a bill in front at looks more like a penis then a duck bill. I think Bill Mantlo is finally getting the hang of what this series should be about. Just sheer goofyness and fun.