KULL THE DESTROYER #23

“Demon Shade!”
Writer: Don Glut
Artists: Ernie Chan & Yong Montano

Kull and Loralei are pursuing the condor that has taken Ridondo. They come upon a demon shadow but it is only the outcropping of a rock formation. They rest and talk and get a little romantic. Loralei puts a stop to it since her only memory is a vow to never love a warrior. Luckily a hideous hunchback intrudes on their drama. The hunchback says he knows of a city that the condor may have went to. His master would know so they follow him back to an old shack. The master is gone so he offers wine. Loralei passes out after drinking. The hunchback says Kull must obtain a flower to save the girl.

So Kull goes back to the rock formation and there in a heart shaped patch of sunlight inside the shadow is a flower. He picks it and the shadow comes to life. Meanwhile Loralei wakes and finds out the mad hunchback was lying to send Kull to his death. He wants Loralei for himself and plans to use a love spell on her. Ridondo is taken by the three hooded wizards to an old city and meets their master. It ends with Kull in the grasp of the shadow monster and his life being sucked out of him.

I am really enjoying Don’s take on Kull. Lorelei is a great idea. I always thought Kull needed a woman and she is perfect. Beautiful and brave. She would make a perfect mate for Kull. Too bad he showed such poor judgement in trusting the hunchback. I wouldn’t trust the guy. Ends on a few cliffhangers for all our heroes so looking forward to the next issue.

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KA-ZAR #11

“Urban Jungle Chapter Four Garden of Evil!”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Ka-zar is reunited with his son Matt and Shanna and Zabu. Things are looking grim. The Savage Land is succumbing to the Antarctic weather. Thanos seems unstoppable. Already he is choking all life from the galaxy. Ka-zar decides to go down fighting and attacks. He manages to lure Thanos to an active volcano and push him in. Then he goes and orders Shield to destroy the terraformer. Thanos comes but he is getting weaker because he is no longer in contact with the inside of the terraformer. Ka-zar shatters the medallion with the map and forces Thanos to go in and try to navigate the maze. Shield then opens fire and Ka-zar knows this will destroy the Savage Land. The result is a huge explosion but the Savage Land is still intact. Shanna was next to the terraformer trying to save animals and absorbed the machines power.

The end of the Urban Jungle storyline. This was an enjoyable story. It gave Ka-zar a foe who was way out of his league but Ka-zar for the love of family found the strength to defeat Thanos. So now it looks like Shanna has some power she absorbed so we will see the aftermath of this in the next issue.

TRESPASSER #3

“To Err is Human, To Forgive…Alien!”
Writer: Justin M. Ryan
Artist: Kristian Rossi

The daughter Maria is quick to figure out what her dad fed her. It causes a lot of tension with her father. The father takes her hunting with him. He doesn’t want to leave her alone. They manage to bag a bear but its contaminated and no good. Coming home they find their dog Belle is back. Only she has a strange implant in her head. When its touched she gets violent. So the dad pulls it out and this kills Belle. Maria is all upset and reveals she too has developed blisters. She runs out and collapses to throw up. Standing next to her is an alien. The father confronts the alien but has more worries as it looks like Maria is dying.

So the story is going to a really dark place. Maria knows what her dad did and her reaction is what I think any of us would react. The aliens did something to their dog and she dies. Finally it looks like Maria is not doing any good which ends on a great cliffhanger. The artwork is dark and rainy which contributes to the dark mood of the story. Enjoying this unique story.

THE WARLORD #89

“Innocence Avenged!”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Rich Buckler

Morgan finds out from interrogating the captain that took Avenel that the boy is held in the palace. Not an easy place to infiltrate but events might give an opening. Lord Sabertooth is in Bakwele because the incompetent governor has let the place become the center of the black market. When he finds out about the capture of Avenel he interrogates him and finds a very reluctant boy. Avenel believes in the legend of the Warlord which really sets off Sabertooth. He decides to make an example of him and have him publicly flogged. So Morgan sneaks into the palace through the sewers and attacks Sabertooth as he tells how much a coward Morgan was before he killed him. Instead Morgan disarms him and forces him to admit to being a coward. Then he swings to the tower Avenel is on and takes him away. Later he leaves to the disappointment of Avenel who though his hero would stay to drive out the invaders. Meanwhile Tinder falls under the spell of a gem in the Evil One’s lair.

The first issue without a back-up story and it was great. There was much more room for the story to develop and not seem hurried. So now Morgan is getting into the fight with the New Atlanteans. Here he establishes his reputation even more. He humiliates Sabertooth and saves the boy. Morgan does have to confront that he can’t be the miracle worker that his legend tells him to be. A bit unfair for Patch to chew him out for leaving instead of leading a revolt to take back Bakwele. It probably isn’t time yet so I can understand. There was some truth in her observation that Morgan is more of an adventurer than one who can do the hard work when the fighting is over. A great issue that had action, humor and some poignant moments.

THE ROOK #4

“Master of the World”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Lee Elias

A space ship crashes in Siberia causing a massive nuclear explosion. Two months later Jules Verne goes to Arthur Conan Doyle for help. Verne’s brother was working in Siberia and has not been heard from since the explosion. He wants Doyle to come with him on an expedition to find him. So the two are in Siberia and come upon a battle between Cossacks and Mongols. Suddenly a flying dragon with fire-breathing breath comes and destroys this army. Doyle and Verne notice that this dragon is a ship in disguise and try to hit the viewports with rifle fire.

Meanwhile in the present Bishop comes up with a plan to take his grandson’s mind off the last mission. He gets him to go on a mission into the old west and find the fate of an outlaw named Al Jennings. When he arrives the Jenning’s gang is robbing a train. Only it is a trap and Pinkerton men ambush and slaughter the robbers along with two innocent engineers. The train leave but one man stays behind. Al Jennings was a passenger and hired the gang to distract from him stealing a vital medicine. He thinks that Restin is a Pinkerton agency and shoots him then rides off. It ends with a doctor in Haiti hiding from a native uprising.

“Bravo for Adventure”
Writer and Artist: Alex Toth

So Bo Bannon shots the mob boss Nico Karpos and tries to escape in an airplane. The plane is hit and he crashes killing himself. Later Jesse find his ex-fiancee Vivi and they have a cup of coffee. But two of Nico’s thugs show up looking for their boss and threaten Jesse. As they lead him away Vivi grabs two water pitchers and hits the thugs over the head. Jesse takes them to see their boss and everything is OK.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar is about to meet a very ignoble death from a plant with thorns. A dark warrior comes to his rescue. It is a follower of the demon-hordes and saved Voltar so he could fight him. Before they can fight a giant snake comes and attacks. Voltar manages to kill it but the dark warrior’s leg is crushed. The warrior is also carrying a plague that now infected Voltar. Voltar leaves him to the mate of the snake.

So this Rook story starts out with an intriguing idea. Having Verne and Doyle join forces and find a dragon ship in Siberia. First H.G. Wells and now Verne and Doyle. I love how they incorporate the classics into the story line. This one seems to be going in two different directions with the old west outlaw Jennings and the mysterious dragonship and spaceship crash in Siberia. Actually three with the doctor in Haiti. A very intriguing set up that I look forward to in the next issue.

The Bravo story was another dude like the first one. A whole lot of nothing went on and took over 24 pages to tell.

The Voltar story is another thing. A beautifully drawn story with a fascinating story idea. So Voltar now is infected with a plague and must avoid other people. The demon-horde is a formidable enemy and look forward to continuing adventures.

KULL THE DESTROYER #22

“Talons of the Devil-Birds”
Writer: Don Glut
Artists: Ernie Chan & Y Montano

Kull and Ridondo come on a beautiful woman who is about to be burned at the stake by three hooded men. Kull decides to save her. Before he can the three men conjure up a large raven that attacks the woman. So Kull goes and kills it. The men flee and Kull frees the woman. She can not remember her name but straps on a sword and calls her horse. So the three continue on and Kull starts to enjoy the company of the woman who he names Lorelei. The hooded men after consulting with their sinister master go back and conjure up a condor. Kull battles it but the condor grabs Ridondo and takes him off. Kull vows to go after it and Lorelei will go along.

So in this issue a new character is introduced. A love interest for Kull. There is obviously chemistry between the two. Lorelei has a mysterious past but is a warrior in her own right. She does remember that she used to love a warrior and vowed that she will never love another. Another one of those warrior women who have a vow. Ridondo seems a bit jealous but handled himself well. The mysterious hooded men will make a good villain for Kull. I am enjoying the new direction Don is taking this title.

KA-ZAR #10

“Urban Jungle Chapter Three Outgrowth”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

The Savage Land is freezing over with the terraforming machine gone. Ka-zar tosses his brother to pterodactyls to get from him how to get to Thanos. So Parnival opens his door and Ka-zar finds that Thanos has Shanna and Zabu in his fist. Ka-zar punches him in the face which startles him enough to drop the two. Shanna and Zabu go back the way they came as Ka-zar taunts Thanos. Stealing back the medallion he leads Thanos throughout the universe where every planet seems to be under the terraforming machine. Shanna gets out of the machine and finds Shield about to destroy the machine. Instead she convinces them to take it back to Antarctica. Ka-zar’s chase ends in the frozen Savage Land with Thanos victorious.

The action is picking up with this installment of Urban Jungle. Thanos is now destroying the entire universe with the power of the machine. Ka-zar manages to free his wife and friend but now faces the wrath of Thanos. One positive development is Parnival getting his comeuppance. Thanos gets tired of his talking and leaves him on some alien world. An exciting issue with a cliffhanger that makes you wonder how Ka-zar can succeed.

TRESPASSER #2

“Buried Secrets”
Writer: Justin M. Ryan
Artist: Kristian Rossi

The father is burying the alien’s suit and gun in the yard. So after that he goes back with his daughter and they get on with life as best they can. The father is starting to develop blisters all over his body. One night Belle the dog starts barking. The daughter sees an alien outside. This gets the father to go out while the daughter locks herself in her bedroom. The dog runs off and disappears. The daughter sees the alien outside her window. She runs outside and finds her father passed out. She helps him into the house and into bed. The father gives her the shotgun and passes out. The daughter hears someone inside and shoots through the door. This wakes the father and both go to the living room. On the floor is the bloody alien suit over some strange crop circle type hieroglyphics.

So the second issue continues the dark moodiness that was established in the first issue. At first it seems everything will go OK. The two talk about how the father met the daughter’s mother. But the strange blisters that the father is developing and the weakness might hint that alien is not a good food to eat. It seems the alien had a friend and he is playing games with the two. This issue does a good job of building up tension and mystery.

THE WARLORD #88

“A Dream Rekindled….”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan and Scarhart have gone into the occupied city of Bakwele. They plan to meet up with the local head of the black market for supplies. While walking along some New Atlanteans try to impress them into carrying the litter of the governor. So they have to kick some butt and leave after knocking the governor into the mud. So they find the leader a beautiful woman named Patch. She has an eye patch courtesy of the New Atlanteans and a young son who has no father also courtesy of the invaders. The son Avenel has a naive belief that the Warlord will come to free them all. So they meet at the docks to conclude their transactions when a patrol ambushes them. They manage to escape but the young boy Avenel is taken prisoner. Meanwhile Tinder and his new friend Chakka find the old dwelling of the Evil One.

“The Judgement of D’Roz!”
Writer: Gary Cohn
Artist: Ron Randall

Jinal and the captured Qlov are taken to D’Roz. The ancients submit both to extensive exams. When they are finished both make their case to the ancients and both are denied aid. This really angers Jinal who vows that she will take what she needs even if she has to conquer the whole planet.

This issue we get to see the effects of the occupying New Atlanteans. Obviously they are very brutal. We also get some storytime with Scarhart. I didn’t care for the character but this issue I am starting to warm to him. Both him and Morgan make a good team. Patch is an interesting character and her son serves to remind Morgan of the dream that he started. A very poignant scene where he gets some tears after hearing the optimism of Avenel. Morgan’s dream as outlasted Morgan and now he must come to terms with what he started. We will see more of this in the next issue.

The Barren Earth comes to a conclusion in the Warlord. A short story but sets up for the new mini-series. A great development for now both series will have more room to develop.

THE ROOK #3

“The Original Master of Time!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Lee Elias

Restin and his grandfather Adam are reunited. He finds out that his grandfather faked his death so as to distract the Morlocks. Now the Morlocks are determined to wipe out the Eloi. Adam tells about how this world came about that at the end of the twentieth century there was a nuclear war. He shows Restin the missiles that are left over. Apparently they malfunctioned so that is why this place survived.

Meanwhile in the past Bishop and H.G. Wells are talking to Quarb. They find out he is the first human. A product of alien manipulation and he is also immortal. He shows the two images of his past and the future. He implants knowledge into the two and sends them to the future. Bishop manages to save Restin and Adam after they go to recover Restin’s stolen time machine. Then Bishop detonates the nuclear missiles and destroys the Morlocks. Wells brings Adam’s wife Louise or as she is nicknamed Weena to the future so that the two can guide the Eloi.

“Bravo for Adventure”
Writer and Artist: Alex Toth

Jesse Bravo is a stunt pilot in 1935 who also owns an air charter service. One day a mobster named Nico Kardos visits. He runs a gambling boat and is looking for a stunt pilot that owes him $10,000. He finds out that the pilot died and someone else is impersonating him. So Nico goes and finds out the man he is looking for is Bo Bannon. He is at a shoot to the north so Nico and his goons drive up.

Meanwhile Bravo is also there and they find out that the daughter of the studio exec plane is overdue. The plane she was on had to make a landing and it was left in the road. Nico’s car runs into it and he is the sole survivor. Nico steals a car and makes his way up north to confront Bo. Bo is exposed as a cheat and loses his fiance and Bravo and him get into a fight. To be continued next issue.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Magog and his goblin army continue to ravage the countryside. Voltar and a friendly goblin named Minorca leave on a quest. Voltar doesn’t believe he is the one who is prophesied to save the world. Minorca is to guide him to the goblin land where he hopes to find the true savior. They are attacked by living thorn vines to the entrance of the goblin lands. Minorca is killed and Voltar is left weakened as a dark figure on a horse comes.

The final entry to the Wells inspired story ends and it was good. So we find out about the mysterious Quarb and the fate of his grandfather. Interesting that Quarb was the one responsible for the Morlocks. He created the underground shelter to save humanity but those he saved degraded to the cannibalistic Morlocks. A good story to start out the new series.

The Jesse Bravo story I didn’t really care for. It seems to drag a long time and have a convoluted plot that also dragged on. It didn’t even finish and will take another installment. Not a real favorite of mine.

The Voltar entry is an excellent sword & sorcery story. It was short but the artwork of Alcala is enough to keep my interest going. We have the makings of an epic quest with an epic hero.