THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT #2

“Prisoners of Caspak”
Writer: Mike Wolfer
Artist: Giancarlo Caracuzzo

Abby and the expedition have met her great-great-great grandparents Bowen Tyler and Lys La Rue. Bowen comes up with a plan to escape. Just then dinosaurs show up attracted to the triceratops corpse. The groups scatters with instructions to head west to the Plain of Fire. One gets eaten but the others make it. A Galu woman that was captive of Von Schoenvorts manages to jump off the sub and escape as it is attacked by a dinosaur. She meets up with Bradley. Von Schoenvorts takes the mini-submarines. Abby and her crew debate the ramifications of going back in time and decide not to tell Bowen and Lys that they are from the future. It ends with them being attacked by pterodactyls.

“Inside the Land That Time Forgot”
By Mike Wolfer

An article by the writer on his time as a kid in the seventies. He had to use the power of imagination with his friends in those primitive times. Brings back a lot of memories. Also includes his receipt for a cheese sandwich and a portfolio of alternate covers.

So this issue finds Abby and crew trying to survive the perils of Caspak. They also decide not to tell that they are from the future. My question is did they travel back in time or is Caspak an island that exists outside of time. An enjoyable series so far.

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RED SONJA #24

“The Witching Hour”
Writers: Amy Chu & Alex Chang & Erik Burnham
Artist: Pasquale Qualano

Sonja is trying to shoot a rabbit for supper from horseback. She has missed twice and has one more arrow left. Only as she turns a corner she almost runs into an old hag. The hag has spoiled her hunt. Not only that but the hag has an attitude. So Sonja gets control of her temper and continues on but not before she calls the old hag a crone. Well this upsets the hag. So Sonja continues on and comes to an inn. She stops for a meal and drink. The girl that serves her turns into the hag and also the drink was drugged. So Sonja passes out and wakes up in the woods. She is confronted by a fire demon who says Sonja must confront her past and future. So next a little girl shows up that turns into an older version of Sonja. She loses a fight to the old version and wakes up back at the inn. Looking in the mirror she turns old and the mirror breaks. Sonja decides she had enough and continues on.

So this story felt like a filler. You know something that you write just to fill space. Amy has been just plotting these issues for the past few ones. Now she shares plotting so she has pretty much already moved on to new things. I like the premise of a pissed off old crone who is a witch but sadly this was not handled well. As I said just a filler issue with no substance.

THE WARLORD #132

“The Worm of Heaven & Hell!”
Writers: Michael Fleisher & Jan Duursema
Artist: Jan Duursema

Khnathaiti has summoned a giant worm. This worm over a mile wide is passing through Skartaris right in front of Morgan and Aoife. The worm leaves and some being on a winged serpent manages to close the tears in the universe. Ishum was a servant to the the god Ea. Ea had Ishum call forth the worm to create the universe. But a rival god Tiamat who was chaos killed Ea and banished Ishum to be with the worm. Supposedly a million billion years later the worm would be summoned forth to destroy the universe. Only Khnathaiti has imitated the horn and it has come early. So now the three must recover the real horn to save the universe. The spirit of Tara has been sold to a interdimensional slaver and sold to the god Yk’kphat. A god that also has the horn.

So we are heading into the end. The beginning of the end. This story was just weird and not something that interests me. Sadly Warlord no longer feels like Warlord. I didn’t like the art and the direction this series was taking. So it was no surprise that it was cancelled next issue.

PLANET OF THE APES #17

“Graveyard of Lost Cities”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tom Sutton

Alaric and the Freedom Reaver are going to a Federation of twelve city-ships. There he hopes its leader Grimstark can help him to peacefully free enslaved humans. They find this Federation and Alaric with Starkor and Greymalkyn go on board. They are ambushed by thieves but fight them off. Greymalkyn finds an old friend who tells them about the city. Starkor was seriously wounded and Grimstark is the only one who can help. So they go to the tower in the center ship and find Grimstark. He originally founded the Federation as a peaceful place for all species but it has since degraded to one of superstition.

Meanwhile two disgruntled humans on board the Freedom Reaver decide to take matters into their own hands by rowing over and drilling a hole in the center ship. As the ship sinks the superstitious mob storms the tower. Grimstark escapes in his flying wings but is shot down by arrows. The other three jump overboard and manage to make it back to the Freedom Reaver.

“Glossary of the Planet of the Apes Part I”
By Jim Whitmore

A glossary of people, places and events from all five movies, the TV series and Marvel comics. Contains the A-G.

“Slaves”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

North America 1991. Armando takes a grown up Milo to the city. There he witnesses the enslavement and mistreatment of apes. We get the explanation of the 1982 plague that killed the cats and dogs. How a search for new pets lead to the enslavement of apes. At the end an ape is being beaten and Milo shouts out. Armando takes the blame and is arrested since criticizing government officials is illegal.

So another Future Chronicles story. This one was an interesting idea to have all these city-ships tied together. Graymalkyn the gorilla has started to find common ground with the humans and both groups are set up to continue the exploration of other parts of the Planet of the Apes.

The glossary is a cool idea. Was very good and had many obscure trivia such as the corridor that lead to the mutant city in Battle. The names of minor characters and so on.

The first of the Conquest adaptation starts off strong. Doug lets the pictures tell the story with little need for narration. Also shows that human society in this dystopian 1991 is as much oppressive to humans as apes.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #27

“The Blood of Bel-Hissar!”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on “The Blood of Belshazzar” by Robert E. Howard
Artist: John Buscema

Conan has ridden south of doomed Makkalet. He comes on a huge Khaitain beating on a woman so he intervenes. The man is Turghol a mute. The two start to fight but the arrival of Turanians force the three to flee. They find shelter in a castle that is inhabited by brigands. Their leader is Skol Abdur the Butcher. He is in charge because he holds the Blood of Bel-Hissar. A giant ruby that was found by a pearl diver back in ancient Acheron. The jewel is supposed to be cursed and Skol Abdur plays off the brigands against each other to stay in power. Later at night the girl he rescues drugs his drink and he wakes up on the floor. He goes searching and finds Skol murdered. The brigands think he did it and the arrival of the girl accusing Conan seals their suspicion. So a fight ensues and Conan is rescued by Turghol. They flee the castle and Turghol shows Conan that he has the jewel. The woman he was beating was his wife and she treacherously tried to steal the jewel but Turghol managed to take it. Conan decides the jewel is bad luck and rides off leaving Turghol.

So another story that was a Crusader non-Conan story written by Howard. It fit perfectly in Conan. Once again we see the brilliance of Howard with his unique story of treachery and various hostile factions. The woman was not innocent. Turghol was a character that I believe shows up again in the future. He had potential. A good story to kick off Conan’s return to wandering the world.

THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT #1

“Prisoners of Caspak”
Writer: Mike Wolfer
Artist: Giancarlo Caracuzzo

Abby Tyler the great-great-great granddaughter of Bowen and Lys Tyler is now the head of the family business in 2015. She recruits the great-great-great grandson of Bradley to go on an expedition to find Caprona. Abby believes the island sank and has a ship with modern mini-subs to explore the ocean floor. Everyone is surprised that the island actually exists. All radio and satellite communications cease. So the expedition takes two mini-subs and goes exploring. They find the underwater tunnel and emerge in Caspak. They are startled by a triceratops and are further startled when a caveman jumps out urging them not to fire. Even more startled when the deck gun from the U-33 takes out the triceratops. On deck is Von Schoenvorts who greets Mr. Tyler.

“Inside the Land That Time Forgot”
By Mike Wolfer

An article by the writer on how he became a fan of the series at a young age. What he plans to do. Also a biography of everyone involved with the issue. At the end a sketchbook of the characters.

So a series based on Edgar Rice Burroughs Caspak series. Only it is set in the modern world. With the ancestors of the original cast coming back. It also looks like they traveled back in time and are meeting their great-great-great grandparents. Wow what a concept. I am a fan of the series and am quite intrigued by this story. American Mythology has resurrected some of Burroughs lesser known worlds and I think its about time a comic explored these worlds. Looking forward to exploring what they have put out so far.

RED SONJA #23

“Hyborian Rhapsody”
Writer: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Roberto Castro

Sonja is riding through Corinthia when she is stopped by the goddess Minasha. Minasha is a goddess with few worshipers but a loyal king still preys and sacrifices to her. Sonja has killed his only son in a fight so she has decided that Sonja will perform a task to make up for the lose. The king wants her to bare him a son but Minasha will not allow that so he picks the request to recover his father’s golden ax. A gryphon stole it so now Sonja is dropped outside a cave. First she has to fight a sphinx. She manages to distract it with a riddle long enough to cuts its throat. Then she has to fight the gryphon and manages to use the golden ax to kill it. She has to walk back to the king and delivers the ax. The king still wants to keep her but Sonja convinces him that it would not be a wise idea.

So we are winding down this series of Red Sonja. This was in interesting story. I love the characterization of the characters. The brooding king. The minor goddess that conscripts Sonja. The clever way Sonja used to defeat the sphinx. A simple story but entertaining. I also love the artist for this issue. He really draws a beautiful Sonja.

THE WARLORD #131

“Vengeful Legacies”
Writers: Michael Fleisher & Jan Duursema
Artist: Jan Duursema

So Morgan and Maddox are having a drink and talking about old times. Morgan is curious as to how Maddox ended up in a Soviet gulag. So Maddox tells him and Morgan passes out from the drugged drink. He wakes up chained with Maddox bragging about all the torture he will inflict. He later has Morgan buried up to his head but still can’t get Morgan to beg. Aoife has washed up on shore and is taken to Maddox. He notices her headband matches a symbol in his ship and takes it. Then has Aoife join Morgan in the dungeon.

Mariah is wondering what happened to Morgan and finds him in the dungeon. Maddox has him suspended over a boiling pot of oil with a candle burning through the rope. She tries to save him but Maddox discovers her and knocks her out. So at the alien ship he tries the new headband but instead awakens Garn Daanuth the evil sorcerer from the old Arion title. He is pissed that Maddox and not his true descendant is using the ship. So he calls up an earthquake and tidal wave to destroy the island. Aoife also hears what is going on and calls out for Garn to give her the power which he does. He loathes that his descendant uses the power for good but accepts it. So Morgan and Aoife leave the island and Mariah decides to stay with Maddox.

“Growing Pains”
Writer: Steve Wilson
Artists: Rob Liefield & Jeff Albrecht”

Jennifer finds an orphaned boy named Valdesar and takes him in. Masaq and her servant warn against this. Thus we get a flashback to when Jennifer was a child and took in a stray kitten against her mother’s wishes. Well the two stories parallel each other. Valdesar steals a knife and kills a fat, old merchant. The kitten kills a bird. Both run into the street to be run over by a truck and wagon. Jennifer is left feeling alone.

So Maddox’s Revenge ends. It was an interesting story. Some cool twists in bringing Garn back from Arion. Maddox was a total nut who had a mad derangement for torturing Morgan. He also smacked around Mariah at bit but that was OK. For she knew that he loved her. This was sad to see her character become so pathetic. Also Morgan was once again a spectator more than the main focus of the story. Stuff like this was dooming the series and this trilogy started the nails in the coffin.

We also got a 16 page bonus story. Apparently during this time DC was running this gimmick in their titles. This month Warlord spotlighted Jennifer with new up and coming artists and writer. This was a very good story. It gave some insight into Jennifer with the effective parallel story about her childhood and current events. She seems to be a lonely woman that you feel genuine sympathy for. This was the real highlight of this issue.

PLANET OF THE APES #16

“When the Calliope Cries Death”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Rico Rival

The Presidential commission has decided that Zira and Cornelius’s baby will be aborted and they will further be sterilized. They don’t know this but Cornelius is furious at how his pregnant wife was treated. So angry that he knocks out the attendant who was bringing food to them. So they escape the compound. Later they manage to get in contact with their only friends Stevie Branton and Lewis Dixon. They take them to Armando who runs a circus and is more than happy to take them in. At the circus little baby Milo is born.

“But Who Shall Inherit the Meek?”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Rico Rival

Dr. Hasslein is determined to find the apes. So he orders every zoo and circus searched. This forces Cornelius and Zira to flee. They are dropped off with directions to hide in a derelict ship at the wharf. They are given a map, food and a pistol. Zira decides to abandon her bag which is found. This leads Hasslein to find the apes in the abandoned ship. A shoot out occurs with Zira, Cornelius and the baby killed along with Dr. Hasslein. At the end it is revealed that Zira substituted her child with the newly born chimp at Armando’s circus.

So this issue they ran the final two adaptations of Escape from the Planet of the Apes. They also didn’t include an article so they were probably under the deadline pressure. The adaptation was an accurate recreation of the movie. Nothing really radically different. A sad story with a tragic ending. Sort of a reverse to the first movie only now it is the apes trapped in a human world. It also sets up the next movie which is considered to be the finest.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #26

“The Hour of the Griffin!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema

Conan has defeated Karim-Akkad. Now he has other worries for the Turanians have breached the walls. A traitor has told of the secret passage into the city. So a group of Turanians have opened the gates. Conan finds the guard that helped him still alive and binds his wounds. They run into a group of Turanians with the queen their captive. Conan frees the queen and leads the Turanians away from her. He finds the Living Tarim who is in reality a congenital idiot from centuries of inbreeding. The Living Tarim is killed by arrow firing Turanians. Conan has to fight a giant rat in the secret passage. At the end the queen must leave instead of take up Conan’s offer to accompany him since she is pregnant. Yezdigerd has won and props up the dead body of the Living Tarim so nobody knows that he has been killed.

So the end of the Makkalet siege story. And what an ending. Here is a Conan that is a more visceral one. He is a savage one man army who cuts down soldiers by the dozen. Kills a giant rat with his bare hands. Has a good laugh that the Living Tarim that everyone is fighting over is an inbred idiot. He finds out that the queen was not responsible for the past treachery that almost killed him. Roy did a good job of wrapping up this story. So now Conan once again is a wanderer with further adventures in exotic lands.