“Bring It on Home”
Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tom Yeates

Rosa Winters is writing in her diary and she decides to talk about the past. She grew up in Los Angeles during the earthquakes. Communist coups in Mexico and trade embargoes from South America cripple the US economy. Also pollution, nuclear plant disasters and overfarming start to take their toll. Most of the rich after the quakes leave for Tucson and Colorado. Rosa grows up in the gangs that have taken over L.A. A right wing government takes over and starts rounding up children for military training. At Camp Falwell in Carlisle Pennsylvania she meets fellow recruits Scout and Vaughn. She and Scout become lovers but Scout is a loner and decides to desert after getting transferred to Arizona. Winters goes on to an illustrious career.

Writers: John K. Snyder III & Chris Fauver
Artist: John K. Snyder III

Frances and Roxanne have a duel with pistols and Frances wins. Dr. Cruel releases her along with the captive Johnny Mars. The rest of the FIA crew must deal with the robot Johnny Mars.

This was an important issue in the Scout story. We finally get some background on the main characters and some history on why America is all messed up in 1999. An interesting premise that didn’t come true at least in the 1990’s anyway. A good story that gives insight into the character of Rosa Winters and Scout.

The Fashion in Action is still just chunking along going nowhere.



“Home is a Four-Letter Word!”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell

Morgan finds himself on the surface world and stumbles into a camp he sees down the mountain. It turns out to be a team of Archeologists at Macchu Piccu. He finds out that it is 1977 and eight years have pasted when it entered Skartaris. He tells his story to them and agrees to help them translate the writing on the walls of an underground temple they discovered. The temple turns out to be the tomb of Tikal the cat-demon. They open it and find a giant statue of a cat-man. Just then a helicopter arrives with armed men. Professor Lakely had found Morgan’s dog-tags and notified the Air Force of Morgan’s presence. The Air Force thinks he sold out to the Russians and a CIA squad lead by Stryker is to bring him home. In the ensuing fight sunlight strikes the eyes of the statue bringing it to life. The statue kills the CIA men and Morgan defeats it by covering it’s eyes. He returns to Skartaris with a Russian archeologist Mariah Romanova. He finds Tara gone and his helmet covered in cobwebs hinting he was gone longer than he thought.

This was an interesting choice to bring Morgan back to the surface world. It was funny to see the reaction of eight years passing and the realization that Morgan is now 51 year old. The story shows the time discrepancies that exist between the surface and Skartaris. It also highlights that Morgan doesn’t belong on the surface and he is very anxious to return to the woman he loves. And we also have a new character in Mariah Romanova. A fellow surface world dweller that will travel the strange and savage world under the crust. So once again Morgan has another quest.



“Night of the Wraith!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Keith Pollard & Jim Mooney

The Hulk being a temperamental fellow is in one of his tantrums. So angry he even hits his friend Rick Jones. He then gets in an argument with Bereet. It is here that when Bereet reaches into her spatial distorter bag that a wraithlike being emerges. The Soul Shade is an amalgamation of the lifeforce from all the dead techno creations that were in the bag. Being a wraith means that the Hulk can’t smash it which makes him even more angry. The Soul Shade can occupy solid objects and proceeds to take over a giant statue and some circus animals. The only thing that will stop the Soul Shade is a gun that shoots love which Bereet and Dr. Banner fashion from left over parts from the spatial distorter.

“Among the Great Divide!”
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artists: Jim Starlin & Bob Wiacek

The Man-Thing is shambling around aimlessly in the Everglades when it comes upon a corpse. Suddenly it is attacked by a wild woman. The attacker leads him to a young fifteen year old girl. The girl has a multiple personality disorder. What makes this unique is that each personality can physically manifest itself. Man-Thing uses his empathic abilities to destroy the manifestations and restore the young girl to one personality.

The Hulk story was an interesting change of pace. Once again it takes a side trip to a whole new place. The Soul Shade was a strange and surreal story but shows that all three of our heroes have anger issues that have to be resolved. The Man-Thing story was a replacement for a late Bloodstone installment. I think that the Man-Thing story complemented the main Hulk story. Both were weird and surreal and dealt with dark personalities surfacing. A nice filler issue before the next one which will resolve both the Krylorian and Bloodstone storylines.



“Groo vs. Conan Part III”
Writers: Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier
Artists: Sergio Aragones & Thomas Yeates

The man that told the people in the tavern that Conan defeated Groo has been found to be greatly exaggerating the story. The reality is that at first Conan could not believe such a man as Groo could be a threat to anyone. Groo though shows his extreme stupidity in grabbing for the hot coals at the bakery thinking they were fresh baked buns. The fire nearly burns down the bakery and his attempts to cool his hands result in the water tower being destroyed and the villages only source of water. Conan attempts to destroy Groo but Groo’s incredibly stupidity gives him an edge and he defeats Conan.

Meanwhile in the real world Sergio is arrested after stealing a horse and wrecking a renaissance fair. While in jail a sleeping Sergio is taken away by the escaping inmates. And the evil lawyer continues to plot to make the comic store into a strip mall.

I thought that it was way too easy the way Conan defeated Groo. Groo is a force of nature and its kind of like trying to defeat a tornado or hurricane. I’m really enjoying this strange ride of combining Conan and Groo.



“Back to the Savage Land”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Barry Smith

Ka-zar hears the story of the Petrified Man. Five hundred years ago he was a sailor on a British ship exploring the Antarctic when the ship was sunk in a storm. He survived and washed up in the savage land. While there he drank the water at the temple of Garokk the Sun God. He was forced to flee and eventually made his way home. But the water had an effect of longevity and turned his skin to stone. Now he has mental images of the Sun Empire making war on all the Savage land. Ka-zar, Zabu and the Petrified Man make it back and find that his premonitions are correct.

“Doom Must Die!”
Writer: Larry Lieber
Artist: Wally Wood

Doom is able to mentally link up with his Doomsman android and take control over him. He thus defeats the Faceless One and then proceeds to defeat the rebels under Prince Rodolfo. The Doomsman proves too dangerous so Doom exiles him to another dimension. His grip on power is secure.

The Ka-zar story has introduced an interesting character in the Petrified Man. The army of the Sun God lead by the beautiful Zaladane looks to set up a real exciting story for the next issue. Its good to get back to the Savage Land. I always thought that is the place where Ka-zar should have his adventures and we’re finally settling down there.

The Doctor Doom story continues along fine. Doom is able to defeat his enemies and ends up sitting pretty. But you know that there’s some threat over the horizon. And we still have to find out who the Faceless One is.



“House Burning Down!!”
Writer & Artist: Timothy Truman

Scout is recovering from his wounds in a ventilation shaft in the Astrodome. He has one more monster to slay before taking on President Grail. At first he thinks its Bill Loper the President’s chief of staff but it soon turns out that the Antelope Monster is really a giant robot. A giant Antelope robot that shoots lasers from its eyes. After defeating the robot he confronts President Grail and kills him. Meanwhile Rosa is forced to kill her friend Sgt. Vaughn when he tries to assassinate the Vice President. The story ends with the characters going there separate ways and Scout heading off into the desert.

“Look Sharp!”
Writers: John K. Snyder III & Chris Fauver

The F.I.A. girls are getting ready to assault the wedding party to stop the robot Johnny Mars. Frances Knight fights the crazy Roxanne.

So the final confrontation occurs. I didn’t see the giant robot coming but this was an exciting conclusion to the storyline. It leaves a lot of stuff still up in the air. Rosa looks like she will be allying with the Vice-President now President Carver and maybe help her off her drug addiction. Bill Loper is still a sinister figure who is part of some evil conspiracy. And obviously Scout will be back.

The Fashion in Action is still eight pages of nothing. Can’t believe it takes two people to write so much nothing.



“The Secret of Skartaris”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell

Deimos is defeated and Morgan has rescued Tara. Now the mighty army has disbanded and most have went on their way. Including Machiste as he leaves for unfinished business in his home of Kiro. So now Morgan and Tara with a few followers make for Tara’s home of Shamballah. After a fight with a T-Rex opens a secret passage in a mountain, Morgan and Tara discover a giant computer. The computer is still working and tells them the history of Skartaris. Skartarians are descended from Atlanteans who were fleeing the destruction of their home. In Skartaris they found a lust world and built a technologically advanced society. But a war broke out among the various city states. In 7.39 minutes their civilization was destroyed and society reverted to barbarism. Further exploration finds what looks like an underground shuttle. Morgan enters and triggers its launch knocking him unconscious. When he awakens he finds himself on the surface world.

So this book reveals the history of Skartaris. There have been hints of an advanced society and now we know why. This is what I love about this book. The mixture of advanced science, dinosaurs, primitive society and sorcery. It provides endless story possibilities. Also this brings Morgan back to the surface and he is not happy about it. He has definitely found a home in the new world of Skartaris. A world he will have to find a way back to.



“…And All the Sea, With Monsters!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Keith Pollard & Tony DeZuniga

The story begins with the Hulk and Rick Jones looking for a way to rescue their companion Bereet who was kidnapped by the Sub-Mariner and taken to Atlantis. After fighting off one of the Krylorian’s mutant sea-beasts they are able to recover breathing apparatus from a destroyed Krylorian ship. Just then the Banshee mask ship that Bereet sent comes to pick them up and take them to Atlantis. There the Hulk fights Namor in a trial by combat. The two seem evenly matched and the fight goes back and forth with neither gaining the upper hand. During the fight the Krylorians attack with their mutant sea-beasts. Hulk and Namor join forces to fight off the attack and save Atlantis. Bereet is set free and the trio continue on their quest to stop the Krylorians.

“Conspiracy Ascendant!”
Writer: John Warner
Artists: Allen Kupperberg & Sonny Trinidad

Bloodstone takes out the Conspiracy goons at the hotel where they tried to kill him. Then its off to the UN where Bloodstone petitions that his island be recognized as a sovereign entity. The meeting is interrupted by another attack by a creature from the Conspiracy. A giant demon called Sharzan comes out of the East River and is able to kidnap Bloodstone and transport him to his master Kaballa’s cavern. Bloodstone is given the choice of serving or death.

So the Hulk/Namor storyline comes to an end. It’s mostly fighting between Namor and the Hulk. But there is some beautiful full page drawings and that kind of makes up for the threadbare plot. The Namor story probably didn’t need two books and it did drag down the story. Fortunately the story will pick up in the next issue.

The Bloodstone story is coming along great. We get some interesting developments and it ends with an interesting setup for the next story.



“Groo vs. Conan part II”
Writers: Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier
Artists: Sergio Aragones & Thomas Yeates

Sergio is still in his crazed delusion that he’s Conan. He falls in with a group of homeless and tells them the story. Conan decides to go and defeat the mighty monster known as Groo. Groo meanwhile is having a hard time in thinking about what is right in destroying the village’s bakery. Thinking takes a lot of energy and he hunts up some quail for dinner. At this time Conan arrives and is invited to join him. Groo hears about his quest and asks to join him. When they reach the village a fight breaks out with Conan triumphing over Groo. In the real world Mark and the hospital staff find Sergio and overmedicate him. And the evil Spencer Spade’s lawyer continues to try and shut down the comic store.

Oh no! Is Groo defeated? Is the bakery saved? Will the comic store be saved? Will Sergio get competent healthcare? Will Mark Evanier get paid? So many questions that have to be answered in the epic conflict between the worlds mightiest barbarian and the worlds most stupid barbarian.



“Frenzy on the Fortieth Floor!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Jack Kirby

Ka-zar has come to an upscale hotel in search of Kraven. Because the guy doesn’t wear a shirt he has some problem with the hotel staff. But soon Kraven comes to confront him. Using his various gadgets like a bolo net and knockout gas he can still not defeat Ka-zar. Kraven is forced to retreat leaving Ka-zar to rescue his friend Zabu who was kept prisoner with booties over his claws. The two are confronted at the end by the Petrified Man with a warning that he must return to the Savage Land or die… and the Savage land will die with him.

Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Wally Wood

Dr. Doom is going after the rebels of Prince Rudolfo. He soon finds out that the captive Rudolfo is actually a robot of him. The real Rudolfo is still free and has allied himself with the Faceless One. The Faceless One has given the rebels powerful guns and force fields to defeat Doom’s robot army. The Faceless One has also found the wandering Doomsman, the android that Doom created. The Doomsman is now allied with the rebels and is capable of defeating Doom.

Another great issue. Ka-zar shows what a badass he is in kicking Kraven’s braggart butt. And still refuses to wear a shirt or shoes but does have a nice pair of slacks he must of picked up at J.C. Penneys. It ends with an intriguing character in the Petrified Man who indeed looks very petrified.

The Doom story is really picking up steam. A lot of stuff happens with robots, laser guns and multiply villains who love to brag and issue melodramatic threats. Thomas is a master of storytelling that just makes such goofyness an enjoyable read.