MARVEL PREVIEW# 23 BIZARRE ADVENTURES 2

comics

“Shandra”
Writer: Lynn Graeme
Artists: John Buscema & Joe Jusko

On a world that is perpetually frozen are a group of domes. Inside live the Mu a race of bald big-headed people. Outside are the Shakora or normal humans. Once both peoples lived in equality inside the domes but due to shrinking resources the Mu expelled the Shakora. Now they hunt them for sport and will let in a few occasionally to serve them. Shandora a Shakora woman infiltrates the domes to rescue her brother who was taken for medical experiments. She is helped by a sympathetic Mu.

“Annie Mae: A Love Story”
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artists: Gene Colan and Alfredo Alcala
Photography: Eliot R. Brown

A couple is forces to stay at a dump in New York. The man decides to pass the time by telling a love story. A Neanderthal sees a beautiful woman who he falls in love with. In later reincarnations he continues to see this woman. Finally far in the future the human race has evolved to a higher plain and leaves one behind. This man creates a woman who is the one that he sees throughout his lifetimes.

“The Whole Tooth”
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Ned Sonntag

A medieval wizard casts a spell that transports him to a dimension where he gains cosmic awareness. Then sent back he finds himself in the twentieth century. He burns up on reentry into the atmosphere and all that is left is his tooth. He grows the tooth and decides to adopt a smiley face pin as his face. Everyone thinks he is in a costume. An agent gets him to represent a toothpaste commercial. He gains celebrity status and wants to get on a talk show to tell everyone the universal truths. Unfortunately a jealous man who thinks his girlfriend has dumped him for the tooth shoots the wizard. Police cover up the body with a blanket. When the detective arrives he finds a quarter under the blanket.

“Final Warning”
Writer: Lynn Graeme
Artist: Frank Miller

In 2034 New York a man tries to escape the telephone company over an overdue bill. In the future unpaid bills result in the execution of the offender.

“Fantasy Gambit”
Writer: Roger Stern
Artist: Steve Bissette

A woman receives a call from her friend. The next thing she knows is that she is transported to a restaurant. The friend has developed powers where anything he thinks happens. At first he develops a messiah complex but decides that he will become Absurdman. Absurdman will make the world safe for absurdity. The woman wakes up and we find out that she is the one with the powers and was sublimating her imagination through her childhood imaginary friend.

“The Way of Heaven”
Writer: Mike Barr
Artists: Gene Colan & John Tartag

A man in New York is getting mugged when he transforms into a big man and scares the muggers away. A woman believes that this man is tied into The Way. The Way is the philosophy of Chinese Tao Te Ching. The mugger decides to recruit an old woman who knows magic and she casts a spell that switches the Way to the mugger. The mugger is killed because he doesn’t see that the people he’s mugging are really tough gang members.

So another batch of Bizarre Adventures and they are truly bizarre. Shandra was a fascinating idea and it was left open for future stories. I don’t know if any were ever done but I would have liked to read more on this world. The Final Warning story was also fascinating about a world were the utility companies would execute you if you didn’t pay your bills on time. And the other ones were really out there. All the stories were interesting and I look forward to reading more Bizarre Adventures.

SHEENA #1

comics

“Sheena!”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Gray Morrow

A missionary couple are investigating the miraculous healing properties of the dirt on the sacred mountain of the Zambuli tribe. A cave-in kills the couple and orphans their young daughter. She is taken in my the shaman because of a prophecy and named Sheena. Sheena grows learning the secrets of communicating with animals and becomes the protector of the jungle.

One day the shaman goes to the capital city because of a vision that the kings life is in danger. It turns out she was right for the brother who is now a football player for the Washington Redskins is conspiring to assassinate his brother and assume the kingship. He will then gut the Zambouli land to get the valuable titanium. He has the shaman framed for the murder but Sheena comes with her animal friends and frees her. Following in pursuit is an American reporter.

I couldn’t end the Sheena reviews without doing the adaptation of the ’80s movie. A smash hit as the cover proclaims is probably not an accurate description. Its one of those forgotten movies because it was neither real bad or real good to be remembered. I liked the movie and Marvel did a good job of adapting the film. The exciting conclusion in the next issue.

KA-ZAR #8

comics

“Down Into …The Volcano!”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: John Buscema & Alfredo Alcala

Zabu has been captured by a high priest from the city of Gondora. Gondora was started by a mysterious man with power to kill with his staff. He had the local farmers build a city next to the volcano where they would have monthly sacrifices. The inhabitants are now a decadent and evil lot. Zabu is scheduled for the monthly sacrifice. Ka-zar manages to infiltrate the city and with the help of a kindly old man and his family. The fight reveals that the leader is an overweight old man with glasses from the outer world. He developed a laser but was fired by the army so decided to head out and form his own empire in the Savage Land. Ka-zar frees Zabu and with the old man and his family flee the city before the volcano erupts.

Another great story. Once again we are treated to a mysterious civilization. This is what Ka-zar should be about, exploring this Savage Land and adventures with the inhabitants. This story seemed to get its inspiration from the bible and the story of Sodam and Gomorrah. An evil city with one good family. The wife at the end stays too long out of curiosity to watch the eruption and gets caught in the blast. She is an ash covered statue. Lots wife? With the Moby Dick inspired story from last issue Conway is influenced by some great classic literature.