SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #2

comics

“Sheena Queen of the Jungle”
Writers: Steven E De Souza & Robert Rodi
Artist: Matt Merhoff

Laura Jeffries is Harrison Cardwell’s right hand woman. She has been for over twenty-one years and is totally ruthless. She has come to the hospital to investigate the captured jungle goddess. Sheena is locked in a hospital room in a strait jacket. Jeffries goes to the environmentalist Kellerman who’s also a patient in the hospital. She convinces him to go talk to Sheena. Pushed into the room he loosens the strait jacket and is immediately attacked. He does convince Sheena he isn’t the enemy and finds out she can speak English. Sheena busts out the window and climbs down using sheets. She also takes Kellerman to guide her through the strange city.

So we get some more info on Sheena in this issue. She can speak English and has a psychic link to animals. It also introduces a main villain in the story. Laura Jeffries is a beautiful yet ruthless woman. We find out that she was responsible for the plane accident that killed Cardwell’s son and family. She is also basically in charge of the company. Harrison Cardwell is old and getting senile. Jeffries also suspects that Sheena is Cardwell’s granddaughter and will stop at nothing to make sure that never becomes public.

Another fun story and Sheena looks so damn hot.

ASTONISHING TALES #17 KA-ZAR

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“Target: Ka-zar!”
Writer: Mike Friedrich
Artist: Dan Adkins

Ka-zar is once again all dressed up and out at dinner with Bobbie Morse. A robbery is foiled by Ka-zar but Bobbie and Ka-zar get in an argument. She thinks that Ka-zar was irresponsible to put the lives of the restaurants patrons by confronting the robbers. The argument is interrupted when a call comes from Nick Fury to attend a meeting on the heli-carrier. Dr. Calvin has perfected the super-soldier serum. During the meeting the criminal Gemini rushes in and steals the formula.

Now Gemini is the criminal Josh Link who can merge and take over his brother Damien Link the NYPD liaison with Shield. Gemini manages to make it to a jet but not before Ka-zar manages to grab on to the landing gear. The plane lands in New Jersey and Ka-zar finds out who Gemini is working for. It is none other than his brother the Plunderer and an alien named Gog.

So a lot of stuff is finally revealed in this issue. The main AIM agent behind all the trouble is Ka-zar’s brother. Its also nice to see they remember the Link brothers from a story back in issue #8. I liked how they brought back these characters and created the villain Gemini. It also looks like the romance between Ka-zar and Bobbie Morse is running into a snag. There is friction over their lifestyle. She loves the city and Ka-zar has nothing but contempt for it.

So the cliffhanger ending sets up a real epic battle in the next issue.

SCOUT #19

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“Houserockers”
Writer & Artist: Timothy Truman

Missy is forced to play for Savage Henry’s band. As the concert starts the Disciples of Soul come roaring in on their pickup truck. They challenge Lex Lucifer and his band to a blues playoff. The epic Battle of the Bands begins and both sides gain a grudging respect for each others talent. Just as Savage Henry is about to get violent the mayor of Las Vegas Mayor Clint who looks suspiciously like Clint Eastwood comes. He tears up the contract and warns Savage Henry to behave. As the group starts to drift away Monday returns with a Senator Craig Creek. An epic battle with the Legion of Man is coming.

“If I Don’t Be There By Morning”
Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Flint Henry

Monday recovers from his wounds. He gets a cybernetic attached shotgun that he can just think and shoot. We learn that he is immortal and has lived centuries. A Senator Creek comes to offer his services to the Samothracians with the coming battle against the Legion of Man. At the end we learn that the Soviet Union is now controlled by the Legion and is using the Mexicans for some move at world domination.

“The Sessions- February, 1987”
A gallery of pictures showing the recording of the flexi-disc insert by the Dixie Pistols. Looks like the guys had a lot of fun.

“Real Man Spot Quiz:”
Writer: Beau Smith
Artist: Tim Harkins

Another satirical quiz by Beau La Duke. You can answer the questions and send in. No prize is mentioned.

This Scout had a flexi-disc insert and had recorded the songs that were played in the story. Truman is a blues lover and has his own band the Dixie Pistols. This was a personal project for the author and a tribute to the blues. I never removed the disc from my comic. Didn’t have a record play back in 1987 but I’m sure its good. Also find out that after the economy collapses Clint Eastwood looks like he moved up and became mayor of Las Vegas. And of course the story ends with a promise to reunite all the major characters in the Scout universe for a climactic battle between two ancient groups.

THE WARLORD #20

comics

“Battlecry”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell

Morgan has now gained an ally in his quest. Mariah and Machiste’s band is now following him into the land of perpetual shadow. The land at where the north polar opening meets the surface world. Here there is no sunlight. Deimos the object of Morgan’s quest is observing this and evens the odds. He creates an earthquake that causes a rockslide that kills most of his men. Then flying demons come and finish off the rest leaving Morgan, Tara, Mariah and Machiste all that’s left.

They arrive at Deimos castle and Morgan goes first. The bridge collapses and the iron grill gate comes down separating Morgan from his companions. He goes alone and confronts Deimos. Deimos is in a form of living death. He must stay out of sunlight or he’ll rot and must drink human blood regularly. He has a champion for Morgan to fight. He reveals Morgan’s son Joshua. Using Atlantean science he accelerates his growth to adulthood. Morgan is to fight his own son.

The quest is coming to an end. Morgan finally confronts Deimos and with his Atlantean machines looks like he will make the father fight the son. Unknown to Morgan Deimos also created a clone of Joshua in case he loses he can use the clone as a bargaining tool. Deimos is one crafty evil bastard. The cliffhanger ending sets up an exciting final showdown with no obvious ending. Its good that Grell doesn’t drag out the quest forever but brings a reasonable conclusion to it.

THE HULK! #20

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“Power Unchained”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Ron Wilson & Alfredo Alcala

Banner is watching TV in a hotel when he hears of a nuclear accident at the Moneghan Point Plant in upstate New York. He knows an old associate who works for the N.R.C. and calls him to offer any help. The man is now head of the N.R.C. and is on his way to the plant and asks Banner to meet him. When he gets there his friend has a long winded press conference with hostile reporters and anti-nuke activists. After that they find out the problem is worse than reported. A mudslide has caused a collapse of a reactor onto one of the cooling pipes. After Banner is asked to brief the press he tells them that a full meltdown is very possible which causes a panic. The panic turns him into the Hulk. The Hulk has a vague idea to stop the meltdown. He breaks into the reactor and lifts the fourteen ton reactor off the pipe stopping the meltdown.

“This Man Tell Hulk What to Do!”
By Steve Swires

An interview with Kenneth Johnson the producer and creator of the Hulk TV series. He didn’t initially want to do any superhero shows but was drawn to the concept of the Hulk. He wanted to make it as realistic as possible and decided that what works in comics wouldn’t work for live action. An interesting interview and I do agree with how he decided to handle the series.

“Lethal Lovelies”
Portfolio by Bruce Patterson

A collection of drawings of some of the women that Hulk has encountered with a brief biography. The women are Bereet, Hellcat, Red Guardian, Valkyrie, Casiolena, Jarella, Harpy and Moonstone.

“A Long Way to Dawn”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz

Moon Knight leaves the hospital where his girlfriend Marlene is in critical condition. He wanders the city and encounters the people that populate it at night. A drunk doorman. A cabbie letting the air out of a competitors cab. A pimp and streetwalker. He rescues a junkie from drowning in a fountain and rescues a bag lady from a mugger. By morning he returns and finds out that Marlene will recover.

The Hulk story came out at the time of the Three Mile Island accident. So this is basically an anti-nuclear story with a lot of the preachy arguments against nuclear power. Not a real good story.

The Moon Knight story is the last that will appear in the Hulk. The series was so good that it got its own book. I will have to check that series out sometime. I really thought that the Moon Knight stores were the highlight of this magazine and were consistently excellent whereas the main feature is spotty like his issue. A backup that will be missed. This story ties up loose ends and was a very poignant and enjoyable ending to its successful run as a backup story.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #1

comics

“Sheena Queen of the Jungle”
Writer: Steven De Souza & Robert Rodi
Artist: Matt Merhoff

A young man named Kellerman is leading a protest to stop Cardwell Industries from plowing down a section of the rain forest in Val Verde. The industrial executive is not impressed and tries to convince Kellerman of the futility of his protest. Suddenly flaming arrows are raining down on the bulldozers setting them on fire. Both the workers and the protesters except the exec and Kellerman remain behind. They see a young blonde woman in leopard skins setting fire to the equipment. When the exec pulls a pistol he is attacked by a panther. Kellerman has a tranq pistol that puts down the panther. Then he has to tranq an angry jungle goddess.

This is intercut with the story of Harrison Cardwell. He moves his company down to Val Verde because of no government regulations. Later his son marries a local girl and they have a daughter. Later a bloody revolution takes place and a General Henriquez takes over vowing to remove foreign corporate influence in Val Verde. But the economy is collapsing so makes a deal with Cardwell. This estranges him from his son who takes his family back to the states. A plane ride that was fated for disaster.

The first in the Sheena series does a great job of setting up what the story will be about. It introduces the main players and Sheena’s crusade against the Cardwell Corporation’s destruction of the rain forest. It also introduces an ally and possible love interest in Kellerman. At the end Kellerman finds a gold bracelet on Sheena’s foot which we saw earlier Harrison giving to his granddaughter. So its very obvious that Sheena is Cardwell’s long lost and presumed dead granddaughter. It all sets up an interesting story. And of course Sheena is just sexy as hell. Must be the leopard skins. Don’t know what it is about leopard skins on a woman.

ASTONISHING TALES #16 KA-ZAR

comics

“To Stalk a City!”
Writer: Mike Friedrich
Artist: Rich Buckler

Ka-zar is back in the loincloth as he stalks the city at night with Zabu. He is looking to finish his fight with the Pusher. The Pusher has the same idea. He uses Vinnie who was let out of jail as bait to lure Ka-zar so he can finish him. He successfully ambushes him but the timely intervention of Vinnie who gains a conscious distracts the Pusher. Vinnie suffers a good beating but gives Ka-zar time to recuperate so he can give the Pusher a big can of whup-ass. The Pusher goes off to jail and Dr. Calvin is reunited with her son.

Round two of the Ka-zar/Pusher fight. Ka-zar has ditched the clothes in favor of his trusty loincloth. The Pusher is shirt and shoes challenged also. Another fun ’70s action filled issue. The Pusher was working for AIM who want Dr. Calvin so the danger from AIM is probably not over. My guess is some more formidable foe will appear next issue.

SCOUT #18

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“Blues Hit Big Town”
Writer & Artist: Timothy Truman

Scout and Monday are in Las Vegas for some mysterious reason that Monday has not yet divulged. He has some business to take care of and leaves Scout alone. While wandering the streets he sees a poster for his old friend Missy who is now the hottest act in town. He visits her and while there a CPA for a Savage Henry comes with the band Blue Scream. He produces a contract that Missy had with Savage Henry’s father for ‘Entertainment Services.’ He demands that she come to the Cactus Kingdom to start her new gig with the Blue Scream. Naturally Scout and the Disciples of Soul have other plans.

“If I Don’t Be There By Morning”
Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Flint Henry

Monday has just split from Scout and is being stalked through the alleys of Vegas by professional killers. Monday is also a professional and manages to ambush them. He then meets up with his old Vietnam war buddy Wizard. He’s part of the Samothracians the group that opposes the Legion of Man.

“The Virtues of Beer; The Pitfalls of Marriage Minded Women”
Writer: Beau Smith
Artist: Tim Harkins

Another installment of Beau La Duke’s tips for real men. This is why real men prefer beer over women.
You don’t have to buy beer dinner.
When a beer gets flat you can toss it.
You can always pick up a beer in a bar.
A beer won’t get mad at you for coming home with beer on your breath.
A beer doesn’t mind cold hands.
You can have more than one beer and not feel guilty.
And most important of all…
A beer won’t get mad when you pass out.

This installment of Scout is sort of an intermission before the big event. Scout reunites with some old friends and there’s going to be a big battle of the bands. Truman is a big blues fan and this will be his tribute. Las Vegas is apparently the only city in America that still is going strong. Indeed I guess the future dystopia doesn’t effect sin city.

The Monday backup gives us some more insight into the character. It has been hinted that Monday is old and we find out he was around for the French Revolution. We also find out that there is another ancient group known as the Samothracians that have been fighting the Legion of Man. At the end we find out that the stolen warhead hasn’t been forgotten and will play a major part of the storyline.

La Duke’s tips for beer. Well what can I say it makes sense.

THE WARLORD #19

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“Wolves of the Steppes”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell

Morgan and Tara are making good time searching Skartaris in the alien rocket sleds. Morgan feels that the best place that describes what the witch Saaba told them where Deimos would be is the area were Skartaris meets the outer world. A land of half-light half-shadow. At this time they are being observed by Deimos in his crystal ball. He conjures up a fierce thunderstorm. This storm disables Tara’s sled and forces her down. It is here that a group of brigands find her. The leader Torgash takes a fancy to Tara and starts pawing her.

She doesn’t care for his advances and chops off his hand. This starts a fight which Morgan and their dog Shadow enter. Just as it seems the two will triumph the fuel tank explodes on the downed sled and knocks them both unconscious. When they come to they are tied to a post at the brigands HQ. The brigands have decided to feed the two to two giant green bears. Morgan breaks free but Torgash gets out of the way in time and a helpless lackey gets pushed into the bear pit. Torgash then tosses Tara in with him. As it looks like this is the end a spear kills one of the bears. A rope descends and a voice tells them to climb out. It is Mariah and Machiste who have returned and are the leaders of this band of brigands.

So the quest is getting closer to finding their son. We get to see Deimos who is forced to drink blood to stay alive. He has a plan to have Morgan’s son kill his father. How that will happen in such a short time is unexplained but he seems confident in some plan of his. We also have the return of Mariah and Machiste. This with an army will be a great help in confronting Deimos.

THE HULK! #19

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“Master Mind”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Gene Colan & Alfredo Alcala

Dr. Sheila Marks is a psychologist with a controversial method of treating multiply personality disorders. Banner has come to her for help in treating his condition. She agrees to try her experimental treatment on him. It makes the Hulk personality come out without the transformation. The Hulk personality is paranoid and delusional. Now Banner runs through the streets of New York striking out at imagined monsters. Dr. Marks must somehow find him and bring back Banner’s personality.

“It’s A Monster!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Gene Colan & Bob Wiacek

An old man is celebrating the world record he set for sitting on a flagpole 60 years ago. People these days think its stupid and that depresses the old man. At this time the Hulk is rampaging through the place. Everything gets him angry cars, loud construction equipment, smokestacks and screaming people. He comes to the flagpole and smiles thinking a man on a flagpole is silly. This brings tears to the old man for someone finally appreciates what he’s doing.

“Heaven Is A Very Small Place!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Herb Trimpe & John Severin

The Hulk is out in the middle of the desert when he comes upon a small town. This town is a slice of Americana. The thing that Hulk notices is that the people don’t go screaming in panic when he arrives. In fact they go about their business as if nothing out of the ordinary. The Hulk likes this and wants to stay in the town forever but its actually a mirage and disappears. This causes the Hulk to hit the ground causing a small tremor picked up hundreds of miles away.

Well three Hulk stories and all of them dealt with the psychological nature of the Hulk. The first with the conflicting personalities of Banner and the Hulk. Both hate and fear each other. The second story about how people and the Hulk have different perceptions about the world around them. And the third was what the Hulk really seeks out. He wants desperately to be accepted as normal. The third one was my favorite. This really captured the tragedy of the Hulk and made the reader feel sympathetic toward him.

So these stories were essentially thinking mans stories and I found it a nice change of pace from battling the various evil no goodniks that the Hulk usually fights.