KULL THE CONQUEROR #9

“The Sword of Gonra!”
Writer: Alen Zelenetz
Artist: John Buscema

Kull is bored with the loss of his friend Brule. Daphne though has a plan that she got from the old crone that lives in a cave. The crone tells her the location of the sword of Gonra. Gonra was an ancient king of Valusia. If Kull can retrieve the sword then it will waken Gonra from his long slumber and Kull will have a companion of strength. Kull jumps at the chance but to the disappointment of Daphne the king is still completely uninterested in her romantically. Kull takes Ridondo along and he does find the sword in the alter of the scorpion. This wakes up Gorna who is real pissed at being disturbed. The two battle with Kull eventually pinning Gonra. Gonra yields and Kull now has a worthy companion. Meanwhile Brule is heading home when he and his escort are ambushed by a giant snake. The snake is an illusion. Daphne is so brokenhearted that she falls into a coma. A coma that could lead to death unless her love for Kull is returned.

So this was a quirky issue. Several things are going on and it ends with several threads left hanging. Always a good sign to have the story leaving the reader wanting more. Daphne really has it for Kull and the gold she paid the crone isn’t delivering. It is interesting that Kull would embrace what is obviously something supernatural. He must be real bored to dabble in it. Nothing good can come of this. I have a feeling the old crone is working with or is Thulsa Doom. Brule is also heading toward a showdown with sorcery. A good set up to a big conclusion next issue.

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KONG ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #3

“Hell Hath No Fury”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Carlos Magno

It has been 24 days since Zira, Cornelius and Zaius were introduced to Kong. They have been studying Kong who is quite peaceful. But the peace is destined to not last. The human chief wants the apes to leave. Meanwhile during this time General Ursus has been capturing animals. Finally the barge arrives from the apes in Africa. Now Ursus goes on the offensive and kills many of the humans and capturing the female Ni’ta. This forces the scientist apes to flee along with the gorillas. This gets Kong angry and he goes after them. At the ship Ursus manages to shoot a cannonball that hits Kong’s skull and knocks him out. The automatic guns of the gorillas are way superior to the arrows of the humans and forces them to flee. Now the apes head back home with a captive Kong.

So they capture Kong. The girl Ni’ta was used to lure Kong and Ursus has some grandiose plan to show ape superiority with the captive Kong. So far this is basically a retelling of the classic King Kong story only with apes instead of humans. They are even going back to New York. Very interested to see where the story is going.

MR. CRYPT #3

“On Vacation…Welcome to the Jungle!”
Writer: Troy Vevasis
Artist: Alexandar Jovic

As Mr. Crypt goes to work he finds an envelop on his doorstep. Its from the mayor’s office and has a ticket with a letter telling Mr. Crypt that he deserves a vacation. The ticket is for a visit to an uncharted tropical island. Mr. Crypt is all ready for a vacation. With Baron Rat’s help he gets his vacation look which is a flower pattern shirt, straw hat and of course his mustache.

So he finds himself on a boat as the only passenger. Indeed there is only one crew member a Captain Bartholomew Candlewax. Candlewax lied about the vacation. He needed help in stealing a golden skeleton from the natives and heard of Mr. Crypt’s reputation as a vampire hunter. So his vacation is turning out to not be all that great. He worries about Baron Rat that he might be lonely. Far from it as the rat is partying with all his animal friends.

So on the island the two find a doll and this springs a trap that captures Candlewax. Crypt hides as the natives come and take the captain away and start to burn him at the stake. Mr. Crypt finds the golden skeleton only its a regular skeleton with gold paint. He gets the idea to paint himself gold and scare the natives. This works but the cheap paint fades quickly and the two run for their lives. Safely on board the two depart and Mr. Crypt arrives home needing a vacation from his vacation. The place is a mess and Baron Rat is passed out with a cowboy hat. At first Crypt thinks someone robbed the place and forced Baron to wear the cowboy hat. Then he hears about the party and is relieved. Baron Rat cleans up the place.

The final issue in the limited series was as lovable as the first two. I really do enjoy this series. It just makes you feel happy. I still get a kick out of how nobody recognizes him as a walking skeleton just because of the mustache. I know that Baron Rat is getting a one-shot special later this year so I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last in the adventures of Mr. Crypt.

THE WARLORD #106

“The Secret of the Crystal Skull”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

Morgan and Shakira are in the town of Shalmander the furthest town on the known map of Skartaris. While there Morgan rescues a woman who is being robbed. The noble woman Ladah Panar is grateful and invites the two to her palace. Morgan needs rest and Panar offers to have her servants haggle for the supplies. So they get a tour of her collection of art which includes a rare diamond rumored to fit into a crystal skull. The other diamond is owned by the magistrate Imag Grann. So while they sleep a black cat comes and steals the diamond. Morgan thinks its Shakira but she denies it. Shakira does know who did it and finds a man named Daimon at the home of Grann. Daimon and Shakira have a romantic past and Daimon can also turn into a cat. Shakira convinces him to return the diamond but Grann comes and shoots an arrow into Daimon and takes the diamond.

Morgan comes and helps Shakira with the wounded Daimon. Then goes and confronts Grann who took the diamond to power up a crystal skull. With a helmet he also unearthed he now has powerful psychic abilities and attacks Morgan. Only Morgan manages to draw his pistol and put a bullet through his forehead. He then helps Shakira with the wounded Daimon. Meanwhile Machiste and Mariah are taken by the skeleton barge to the island of Unmschal. The warrior-priest there like to take survivors of the shipwrecks they cause so they can torture them.

This was an interesting issue. The big news is the introduction of a romantic interest for Shakira. Someone who comes from the same people as Shakira and turns into a black cat. A rogue who can be persuaded to do the right thing by Shakira. The story ends with it being uncertain if he will survive his wounds. At this stage I was neutral about the character. Neither liking or disliking him. I give Fleisher marks for trying to establish some sort of origin for Shakira but I think only Grell could do that story justice. The side plot with Mariah and Machiste has some interesting developments. What I didn’t like is the whining of Mariah. This is just not her character.

THE DESTROYER #7

“Stone Killer”
Writer: Will Murry
Artists: Rik Levins and Chris Ivy

In the jungles of Peru a college activist meets with the Shining Path rebels. Things aren’t going good for the Maoist world revolution. Recruitment is way down. The activist only collected $69 dollars to give them. That is after the airfare for our college activist. While here the guerrillas give her a juice from a leave that causes stone to liquify for a brief period of time. This will be used to strike back at the corrupt Capitalists and wake up the people to the need for a revolution.

So they use it on the Statue of Liberty only it just turns the base to mush. Didn’t work on copper. Seems the C.Y.L.T Communist Youth Thought League didn’t know that copper isn’t stone. They haven’t been going to class and their leader orders them to start so they know stuff. Here Remo and Chiun try to infiltrate the group. Remo says that Chiun is the twin brother of Ho named Ho Chi Mung. The dolts believe him but it all falls apart when Chiun takes exception to him being recognized as Vietnamese and not a Korean. Luckily Remo gets him out of the way by reminding him is soap is about to start. Later Remo finds out they are going to attack Mount Rushmore.

Remo and Chiun find them spraying the juice on Washington then Lincoln. Chiun and Remo manage to hold up the images from sliding down until they solidify. Then they chase the commies onto a ledge where Chiun goads them by disparaging Mao. This gets them mad that they lose their footing and fall to their deaths.

“Destroyer Gallery”
Artist: Lee Weeks

Four full page drawing of Remo in action.

Well this was another funny story. Now this was a ridiculous satire back in 1990. Sadly there are Antifa thugs out there that think just like this. Universities are just popping these dipshits out like an assembly line. I think the guy who wrote this didn’t realize how prescient he was. I really do love this series. I must check out the books sometime.

KULL THE CONQUEROR #8

“Blade of Justice!”
Writer: Alan Zelenetz
Artist: Sal Buscema

A man is executed for murdering the temple virgins. Everyone is all pumped up about the justice being served except Kull. He feels only true justice is done when you catch the person in the act and kill him on the spot. Not imprison him and then chop his head off while he is all tied up. Apparently this man was not the killer for the murders of temple virgins continues. The mob demands justice and Kull pledges to personally track down the culprit. Going undercover he catches the killer in the act. One of his own Red Slayers who is angry at being rejected by the virgins. So Kull fights and wins. Later Baron Kaanuub is sentenced to death but Kull decides to commute the sentence. Instead Kaanuub is stripped of his citizenship and banished. Meanwhile Brule is heading back home and is confronted by a sea creature that warns him to turn back.

So this issue was good but not great one. We get some insight into Kull’s vision of justice. Naturally it consists of it being administered immediately without any of the civilized formalities. Interesting his mercy for Kaanuub might be more cruel than a quick death. Someone like the weak cowardly Kaanuub may not last too long on his own. The subplot with Brule is looking interesting. Sounds like a wizard is now the chief of his tribe and the monster he confronts is a sign that wizard feels threatened by the return of Brule. Oh and there is another subplot that involves Daphna the noble’s daughter he saved from the goblins. She has fallen in love with Kull and goes to seek a love potion from an old hag of a wizard.

KONG ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #2

“Return of the King”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Carlos Magno

The apes have made it to Skull Island and start exploring. They come upon a ruined temple and are attacked by carnivorous plants. Then they find a huge temple with a giant statue of an ape. After another attack by raptors and a pterodactyl they explore the temple. Then to their surprise they are captured by talking humans. The humans take them to their leader an old woman named Storyteller. She and her young apprentice Ni’ta can speak English. They tell of the line of great Kongs. At the end a ceremony is initiated to call Kong for tribute. It ends with Dr. Zaius going to meet Kong.

The second issue does a good job of setting up Skull Island. We get a good look at all the dangers of the island. General Ursus is his typical kill all humans but Zaius is a moderating voice of reason. So far their adventures have been filled with action and strange creatures. Now with Kong we end on a mystery that the reader can’t wait for. This is a very good series and so far has been quite intriguing.

MR. CRYPT #2

“…Meets Vampires”
Writer: Troy Vevasis
Artist: Aleksandar Jovic

A man named Godfrey comes into the library that Mr. Crypt works at. He is a hunter of the undead and has heard of an evil skeleton terrorizing the village. Mr. Crypt starts to panic but luckily Godfrey is more interested in vampire hunting. He is looking for a book about them. The book tells of a brother and sister named Sofia and Ivan. They are in town. He then wonders why Mr. Crypt has such a familiarity with the undead section. Crypt panics and decides to tell him that he is also a vampire hunter. Godfrey asks for him to meet him at the tavern later in the evening.

So Mr. Crypt goes home and tells Baron Rat about his new friend. Baron offers to give Mr. Crypt a wooden stake but he feels that is too dangerous. So instead Baron give him a whole garlic. Later at the tavern he meets Godfrey and they split up. Mr. Crypt is to go to the clock tower and get Sofia. Along the way another evil skeleton comes out of the ground and chases Mr. Crypt until he shows him that he is also a skeleton. At the clock tower Sofia tries to bite Mr. Crypt but breaks her teeth on his neck. She then starts a spell that will turn the whole town into vampires. Mr. Crypt picks up a gear lying on the floor and throws it. It shatters her ring crystal and this turns Sophia into dust.

Later he finds Godfrey being chased by Ivan and joins him in running away. Ivan turns into a bat and gets ahead of them. Mr. Crypt pulls his garlic and throws it in Ivan’s mouth. This causes Ivan to explode. Later Mr. Crypt receives the key to the city from a grateful town that he saved from the vampires. When he arrives home he is startled by Baron Rat pretending to be a vampire but the rat gives his friend a trophy of a skeleton with the words #1 hero.

The second issue was even more lovable than the first. This comic is just hilarious. Mr. Crypt comes out the hero with his improbable antics and is now an accepted citizen of the town. That is as long as the glue holds up for his fake mustache.

THE WARLORD #105

“Stalkers of Shinnar”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

Morgan and Shakira come upon a man being attacked by lizard-men on giant lizard mounts. Morgan comes to the rescue and saves the warrior who is named J’hundra. Two of the lizard-men ride off and J’hundra insists on going after them. He says they are dangerous and must be stopped before they attack others. Morgan is more than willing probably sensing a good fight. As they ride along J’hundra charms Shakira but Morgan is little suspicious. What do they know of this warrior? They catch up to the two lizard-men and during the fight both are killed. J’hundra is overanxious to take out both lizards. Then he gets some cramps and falls down the hill where Shakira goes to help him. Morgan takes the time to talk to the dying lizard. He finds out that J’hundra is really Melchor a being from another dimension. A being that takes the life force of others and also their shapes. The lizards are agents responsible for bringing him to justice. He fights Shakira who is really Melchor and kills him. Shakira is restored and the two ride off. From the decayed corpse a slug emerges and takes over a caterpillar. Not dead yet? Meanwhile Mariah and Machiste are the only survivors of the ship that crashed against the rocks and a barge of skeletons is coming to pick them up. In Kiro the evil N’dosma assumes the throne and kills the forger who made the false documents that claim Machiste made him the heir.

Well this was a mixed bag issue. The overall story idea was sound. This is pure Grell for Morgan to jump in and save someone only to find out later that person didn’t deserve saving. A cool idea with the lifeforce stealing alien. I do question why the lizard-men didn’t have some more advanced weapons. If they are jumping around the universe and dimensions you would think they’d have some impressive guns. Shakira is also still way out of character. She is the one urging Morgan to save J’hundra when she has normally advised against such rash actions. The subplot with Mariah and Machiste and the usurping of the throne of Kiro has great promise. Definitely a high point in the ongoing story.

THE DESTROYER #6

“Mafia Crossfire”
Writer: Will Murray
Artists: Carmine Infantino and Tom Morgan

A man in a sportscar is pulled over by a highway patrolman. Only it is really McCleary who is posing as one and shoots the man in the head. Later he tells Chiun that Remo is dead and shows him the body. Chiun is upset because this ruins his reputation. His pupil is killed by a bullet that he couldn’t dodge. So he goes back to Korea. Then McCleary tells Remo about the assassination. Remo was given the face of a mob hitman known as the Miami Vise. CURE had plans to infiltrate Remo into the mob. The mob is going to war between rival Dons in Boston and Rhode Island. Remo is to infiltrate and get the evidence to put them away.

So in his new persona he finds out he is to make a hit on the don in Rhode Island. He goes down and does shoot the don and his guards. Later while telling the Boston don he explains they were ready for him and he was betrayed by someone in his organization. Remo gets into a fight and kills the suspected traitor. The don plans to go down and claim Rhode Island. Only the other don is alive. He was wearing a kevlar vest. It is revealed that McCleary was the man who was feeding info to both dons. A fight ensues where both sides kill each other. McCleary’s plan worked in he got the two sides to kill each other. When Remo gets back he finds Chiun waiting for him. He wasn’t fooled by the dead body and promises to increase Remo’s training.

“Why There is No Letter Page”
Writer: Will Murray
Artists: James Fry and Chris Ivy

A letter from Chiun on why the magazine has no letter page. The reason is there is no letters worthy of being printed. They all praise the incompetent writer and artists and in some cases Remo. There is not one in praise of Chiun. A hilarious letter to explain the absence of a letter column.

“Destroyer Gallery”
Artists: James Fry, Chris Ivy and Stan Drake.

Portfolio of Remo and Chiun in various action sequences. One is Remo lecturing Chiun he can’t waste people because they interrupt his soap operas.

This was a real fun issue. This is the first that showcases Remo. The other ones before had him relying a lot for help from Chiun. He is now gaining enough experience to go it alone. A really wild and convoluted plot that somehow works. This also prominently features McCleary and shows his Machiavellian plot to take down the mafia. Also shows a growing relationship between Remo and Chiun. A really fun issue.