THE WARLORD #40

comics

“The Brotherhood of Death”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell

Morgan and Shakira arrive at the kingdom of Khambuka and meet its king Aram Al Ashir. This was formerly the rogue Ashir that Morgan had his adventure with in the Temple of the Sun. Now Ashir has reclaimed his crown and is somewhat miserable. The tedious affairs of state are wearing him down and worst of all he has to get married. So for some excitement he invites Morgan and Shakira on a royal hunt for the upcoming wedding feast. Things though are not all that peaceful. A mysterious figure is plotting to assassinate Ashir and seize the throne. His first attempt is to plant a talisman on Ashir that causes a sabretooth to attack him on the hunt. When that fails the more direct approach of armed assassins are used. Both fail because of Morgan and Shakira. At the end his future betrothed arrives and it is Tara…Morgans own mate.

“The Book of the Dead”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell

Mongo, Mariah and Machiste are going through Wralf the Wretched’s castle looking for the Book of the Dead. With it Mongo could become the supreme wizard and send Mariah and Machiste back to their own time. Before they can grab it the wizard Zarrgon Fire-Eye pops in and steals it. The trio then head off to the Great Fire Mountain which is the strongehold of Zarragon. There they are attacked by small gnomes on tiny pterodactyls. After beating them off Zarrgon causes an avalanche that buries our heroes.

So Morgan gets involved with palace intrigue in this issue. Also we get to see Ashir the lovable rogue and how he fairs as being king. A good change of pace in Morgan’s journey. Of course the real development is that the woman Ashir is supposed to marry is Tara. A great way to end the issue. Its about time for Morgan to be reunited with Tara.

The other surprise for this issue is the return of Wizard World. From the letter columns its obvious that this was a popular idea. I myself enjoy this crazy world with its martini and cigar smoking wizard Mongo Ironhand. Its great that Grell found time to pen this extra feature.

Advertisements

BIZARRE ADVENTURES #33

comics

“Tales of the Zombie: Damballah’s Deeds”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Dave Simons

Simon Garth was once a rich and successful man. He was the most successful coffee magnate in Louisiana. One day one of his employees murdered him because he was treated like a slave. Then using voodoo he resurrected him as a zombie and made him a slave. Now Simon Garth is drawn to New York because that is where the amulet of Damballah is located. He hides in a crate of coffee bound on a freighter for New York.

In New York a woman purchases the amulet from a shop. Her husband is dying from a bad heart and has six months to live. He hates his wife and plans to give half his fortune to his niece. The wife does the voodoo ceremony and a zombie comes out of the ground which gives her husband a heart attack. This was the plan and her lover was dressed as a zombie. She then poisons him so the inheritance is all hers but the real zombie shows up and puts an end to her scheme.

“Vault of Evil: Slayride”
Writer: Bruce Jones
Artist: Bob Hall

A rich man brings his wife to a remote cabin in Alaska for a vacation. The wife decides to leave him and gets into an argument which results in her knocking him on the head with a frying pan. The guy awakes and vows to kill his wife. Wolves decide to attack and kill his sleigh dogs but he manages to capture one. He ties it to a sled and uses Spam thrown out to get the wolf to go forward. When he runs out of Spam he starts cutting off his fingers. Then his arm and feet. When he reaches civilization the wolf turns on him. In the end his spirit manages to take over the wolf and it waits to attack his wife.

“Haunt of Horror: The Survivor”
Writer: Marc Dematteis
Artist: Jeff Isherwood

A man is slowly being possessed by the twin sister that died in childbirth. He eventually slits his wrists which drives off his sister’s spirit.

“Tomb of Dracula: The Blood Bequest”
Writer: Steve Perry
Artist: Steve Bissette

Vlad Tepec is fighting a losing battle with the hordes of Turks invading his country. He is captured and gets turned into a vampire. He fights the king of the vampires Nimrod and defeats him. The original vampire Varnae anoints him the ruler of all vampires.

“Bucky Bizzare!
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Steve Smallwood

Bucky rescues a baby at the turn of the century from an old hag who was going to uses the baby’s blood to bath in. He decides to go to the ’60s. There he meets a hippie chic who claims she is a witch. Bucky gives her a ride in his time machine and dares her to prove she is a witch by turning him into something. So she grabs the wheel and turns the machine into a wall. Unfortunately Bucky survives.

So this is a horror themed issue. The zombie story was an enjoyable one. It was when zombies were voodoo creations through supernatural means and not viruses. A standard one where the bad guys and girl get their comeuppance for their evil deeds.

Slayride was a pretty gruesome story. The guy was one real nut job.

The Survivor was ok. Nothing really special but it wasn’t bad either. Sort of so-so.

The Dracula one I didn’t care for at all. It was just way too confusing. I couldn’t really tell you what was going on.

And finally Bucky Bizzare was another stupid dud. Absolutely hate that character. So it was a mixed bag for this issue. Some good. Some Ok and some really just awful.

SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL #2

comics

“The Killing Season Chapter II”
Writer & Artist: Frank Cho

It is four months since the soldiers found Shanna and Elsa at the secret Nazis base. They have taken them to the fort they build. Shanna is showing herself to be a remarkable woman. She learns English is no time and has the strength of twelve men. She has no problem with killing dinosaurs with her bear hands. Dr. Elsa has remained secretive about the Nazis base. They do find out that Shanna is a genetically engineered creation. The Doctor of the military men has his concerns. Shanna while intelligent seems to have an emotional coldness. A lack of emotions. Twice she almost kills one of the men. The issues ends with one of the men opening a packet that was taken from the base and releasing some sort of viral agent.

This story does a good job of establishing Shanna. It gives us an idea of who she is and what she’s capable of. Cho does a good job of portraying her as emotionless and dangerous. There is still plenty of mystery about the island, the Nazis base and Shanna’s origin. We also find out how Shanna got her name. The soldiers named her after the comic book character that she resembles. A nice nod to the original character. The viral agent sets up a great cliffhanger. It ends promising more Shanna, dinosaurs and Nazis. What more could you ask for.

KA-ZAR #16

comics

“The Conquest of Klaw!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Val Mayerik

The alien invaders are about to kill Tongah. Ka-zar decides to fight and with Zabu and the others manage to kill a bunch of the aliens. Klaw intervenes with his sonic weapon and forces the group to surrender. Ka-zar with Zabu manages to escape. He traps some of the pursuing aliens than circles back and captures Klaw. He forces Klaw to activate the vibranium mountain so Ka-zar and the others in his group can go to the alien dimension and find some way to stop the invasion.

So there is a lot of escaping and fighting. The aliens seem somewhat incompetent because they have laser guns but still can’t defeat a group of people armed with spears and their bare hands. It ends with the group in the aliens dimension which sounds like one wild place.

SCOUT: WAR SHAMAN #5

comics

“Wooly Bully”
Writer & Artist: Timothy Truman

Scout and his sons accompany the Doodyites to their village. The village they come upon is deserted. They find out that Rosa Winter’s army massacred most of the inhabitants. Scout stays the night to help bury the dead. Young Tahzey gets lured by a flute and comes upon what look like giant demons. Scout comes to the rescue but the demons are actually robots made by a group of Hopi Indians. The Hopi have saved some of the villagers and offer sanctuary in their cave. Just on the horizon Rosa and her army are approaching.

“The Slaying of Owl Man Giant”
Writer & Artist: Timothy Truman

Child of Water goes out with his brother Slayer of Enemies to kill the Owl Man Giant. Child of Water has a bow his mom made and was empowered with bolts of lightning. Slayer of Enemies kills a deer and Owl Man Giants comes and takes it. Slayer of Enemies cries like a baby and Child of Water challenges Owl Man Giant to a duel. They will shoot four arrows at each other with Owl going first. Child picks up a blue stone that makes Owl’s arrows miss him. Then Child shoots and all four find their target. Next Child of Water plans to go after the Buffalo Monster.

“La Duke’s Tips for Real Men”

The real man picture contest winners are announced. The grand prize goes to Paul Rocheleau of Amherstburg, Ontario. There are also three runner ups. Got to admit that only a real man would be able to get a case full of guns in Canada.

The next Scout story was a sedate one. Beautifully drawn it introduced the enemy that Rosa Winters has become. Scout seems drawn to getting involved with this fight. The advanced Hopi society seems like an interesting idea that has potential.

Also the Tales of the Apache comes along nicely. Slayer of Enemies was clearly misnamed. He is a wussy crybaby. Enjoying learning about Apache folk tales.

THE WARLORD #39

comics

“The Feast of Agravar”
Writer & Artist: Mike Grell

Morgan and Shakira have left Aton and continue on their journey to Shamballah on the flying horse Firewing. They get ambushed by some pterodactyls. The pterodactyls were deliberately used against them by a mysterious figure with a box. Later they come upon one of the old Atlantean ruins and Morgan decides to explore. Leaving Firewing with Sharkira he enters and trips an electric eye reactivating the place. Shakira joins him and the two are greeted by a robot named Bogs. Bogs is friendly enough and offers them a goblet of wine. The wine is drugged and the two are tied to an alter. It seems Bogs learned to sacrifice to Agravar from a primitive tribe that once camped here. Agravar is a giant worm and Bogs sacrifices to it to avoid damage to the facility which is his primary programming. Sharkira turns into a cat and escapes. She gets an Atlantean laser gun from the armory and blast Bogs then Agravar. As the two leave Morgan discovers Firewing is gone. Shakira set him free. It ends with Aton finding the wreckage of Jennifer Morgan’s ship on the shore.

“Battle Cry”
Writer: Jim Starlin
Artists: Jim Starlin & Romeo Tanghal

St. Louis Missouri is the scene for an epic battle. The forces of IC&C attack the Vernon Brother occupied city. Omac leads the IC&C mercenaries in this battle. 56,695 men die in this battle. Omac is left sitting on top of a pile of bodies remarking that “its been one hell of a day.”

It seems that Atlantean technology was built to last. This isn’t the first time Morgan found working tech. It also looks as though this tech over time tends to develop a dangerous personality of its own. An enjoyable little story that spotlights Shakira and shows her as the hero. It also saw the end of Firewing. That was probably a smart move. It was a bit over the top to go traipsing around on a flying horse. Morgan had to be brought back to Earth. Finally the development of Morgan’s daughter being in danger hints at another future plot thread to follow.

The Omac story was a fairly simple but effective story. The first two were heavy on exposition and this one was the opposite. It had very little dialogue and told the story through images. Omac is seeing that his quest will be a hard one with much bloodshed. He begins to have doubts if its worth it. A very good entry for his story.

BIZARRE ADVENTURES #31

comics

“The Philistine”
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artist: Frank Miller

A warrior arrives at an art museum. It is after some apocalyptic event known as the Shift. The curator welcomes the warrior and offers him food. Then the pictures come alive and attack the warrior. The curator goes on about how the people are common pigs and not worthy of the art. The warrior defeats the apparitions then impales the curator with his sword onto a piece of art. The curator derisively says what else could he expect from a Philistine.

“Dr Deth with Kip and Muffy”
Writer & Artist: Larry Hamas

It is after the apocalypse and a group of cannibal mutants bring a young girl named Muffy back to an old diner. They plan to make her into a meal. They didn’t count on Dr. Deth a young cigarette smoking boy with a Mac-10. He already rescued Kip another beautiful young woman. Together the two wipe out the cannibal mutants.

“The Hangman”.
Writer: Mark Gruenwald
Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz

A movie reviewer is at the latest gore movie. A man sitting next to him dressed as a medieval hangman asks about the credits and the reviewer gives him a copy of the press release for the movie. Later the director is killed by the Hangman who is on a crusade against perverse filth of such movies. The reviewer calls the police who don’t take him serious. Neither do the various actors and staff on the movies. He goes to the filming of the latest movie “Splatterday” and manages to use a scythe to kill the Hangman. His perspective on slasher films becomes more positive.

“Violence Wears Many Faces”
Writer & Artist: John Bryne

A preacher gathers his followers and march on the local public library. They take all the books they find offensive and burn them.

“Recondo Rabbit”
Writer: Larry Hamas
Artist: Mark Armstrong

A tale of a rabbit working at a boring job. He tells a story of him being at a firebase in Vietnam and how he fights off the VC.

“Let There Be Life!”
Writer: Tom Defalco
Artist: Herb Trimpe

It is 1979 Afghanistan. The Soviets have launched their invasion. A group of Soviet special forces known as the Pravda Patrol are assigned to open a road for the main invasion. They get into a fight in a local village until the troops arrive and level the village.

“A Frog is a Frog”
Writer: Steve Bissette
Artist: Steve Perry

A young boy Wally is concerned with his friend Boomas. Boomas has trouble telling reality from make believe. He ends up killing a young girl.

“Bucky Bizarre!”
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Steve Smallwood

Time traveling Bucky lands in the 1930’s at a brewery. The brewery is being fought over by three rival mob gangs. The gangs end up wiping themselves out and a beautiful girl is excited that she now owns the brewery. All the gunfire has weakened the walls and the brewery collapses. The girl wonders how she’ll run the brewery with the roof collapsed. Bucky remarks that at least “You’ve already got the lowest overhead I’ve ever seen.” Groan!!!

Well this issue lived up to the title. The story were definitely bizarre. The editor decided to do an issue on violence and asked for the writers to write a story about violence. Any violence and they sure did.

“The Philistine” was a bit weird and maybe a little too weird for my tastes.

Dr. Deth was a very gratuitously filled story of people getting shot, stabbed and hacked to death. All set in a post-nuclear landscape with cannibal mutants. My kind of story.

“The Hangman” was an interesting story. The reviewer hated gory movies but at the end found out that killing wasn’t so hard and had positive things to say about the latest slasher film. Somewhat disturbing.

“Violence wears many faces” was a short two page story that had a very simple and effective message.

“Recondo Rabbit” was weird. It was told as a straight Vietnam war story but all the characters were rabbits except the VC who were ducks. I like that it substituted pellets for shit. Such sayings as “scared pelletless” or pellet-head. It was kind of funny.

“Let there be life” was a short but enjoyable read. The invasion of Afghanistan was fairly recent when this issue was released.

A Frog is a Frog” was just plain weird and make no sense at all.

Finally the “Bucky Bizarre” was another stupid waste of time with a stupid pun at the end.

For the most part I enjoyed the stories. Some more than others and Bucky Bizarre must be some ongoing feature. I’m pretty sure that they all were one big waste of time.

SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL #1

comics

“The Killing Season Part I”
Writer & Artist: Frank Cho

For over three years a group of military men have been marooned on a mysterious island. They find a building and enter to find tanks growing embryos. There is a Nazi flag and everything is in German. One tank has a beautiful woman fully grown. Their entrance revives her and they are forced to break the tube to rescue her. Later they find another beautiful woman who speaks German. They don’t have time to find out who she is when a raptor attacks killing several of the men including their leader. Just as the raptor is about to kill someone the mysterious woman that they revived manages to grab the neck of the raptor and break it with her bear hands.

This is a reboot of Shanna and it starts off strong. A mysterious island with a Nazi laboratory. From there we find out that the island they are on has prehistoric creatures and other weird phenomenon. Finally we are introduced to the new Shanna who has incredible strength not to mention being a real looker. This is a new series to me and I already look forward to the next issue. I have a feeling this re-imaging of Shanna will be a real winner.

KA-ZAR #15

comics

“When Shatters the Gateway to Hell!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Val Mayerik

Ka-zar has just chased off Klaw in the Imperial War Museum. Klaw leaves a parting gift in a flying monster he created with his sound gun. The monster picks up Ka-zar and carries him aloft. Ka-zar manages to cut off its wing and they plunge into the Thames were sound will dissipate the apparition. Ka-zar then visits the reporter Tandy Snow in the hospital. She introduces him to her friend Kirk Marston. He is a radiologist and has a theory about the madness that is effecting the Savage Land. He believes that Klaw irradiated the Vibranium with his sonic weapon and that it’s radiation emissions are causing temporary dementia. He agrees to go to the Savage land and Tandy Snow also accompanies them for the story.

Klaw we find out is working for a race of aliens. They need his sonic weapon to activate the mountain of Vibranium in the Savage Land so it will open a dimensional portal and allow their army to invade. Klaw does this and the alien army arrives and starts to conquer the Savage Land. Ka-zar arrives with his friends at Dr. Kloss’s cave and finds Tongah looking for him to warn of the invasion. A messenger from the Fall People arrives and tells of a massacre before a green beam disintegrates the messenger. The leader then descends on a beam of light to talk to Ka-zar. Tongah is driven mad at the thought of his people being massacred and kills the leader with a spear. It ends with the aliens about to kill Tongah in retribution.

This is an interesting development. Aliens from another dimension invading the Savage Land. It was good that Ka-zar was brought back quickly to the Savage Land since that is where he belongs. I just love all the goofy science they use. They make it sound so real. This invasion should prove to be a real challenge for Ka-zar.

SCOUT: WAR SHAMAN #4

comics

“Big River”
Writer & Artist: Timothy Truman

Yuma manages to capture the “Empress Jones.” The Doodyites that were on board managed to make sure the crew weren’t able to arm themselves. Rosa Winters is attacking their settlement and conspired with Yuma to hijack the ship. Now Yuma is a few brick shy of a full load. He stages a fight between Scout and a disgruntled member of his gang. Scout knocked the guys eye out when they were boarding and this guy wants revenge. He is given a flamethrower to fight Scout. Scout though is able to overcome this unfair advantage and set off the flamethrower. The guy then on fire runs into crates of ammo causing an explosion. The New American Army arrives in time looking for their guns. Captain Mary heads off to find a new crew and Scout and his boys continue with their wanderings.

“He Finds Power”
Writer & Artist: Timothy Truman

The second chapter in Tales of the Apache. White Painted woman lays in the falls and gets pregnant with Child of Waters. She is warned that he must be hidden under their fire or Giant Owl Man will eat the boy. She manages to hide the boy and the Giant Owl Man who is dumb as a tree stump can never find him. One day the boy asks for a bow and arrows to kill the monster. He gets hit by lightning to prove that he is the son of Lightning. He is given a bow and will hunt the monsters.

The further adventures of Scout continues. He show that he is a very skilled fighter and a lucky one. Yuma will make a good future villain. He’s obviously nuttier than a fruitcake and will probably want a rematch with Scout. Rosa Winters is shown to be mounting a campaign to reunite this part of the country with her New America. The Doodyites the cult that grew from Doody is also shown to be a main player in this story. A great action story with some beautiful artwork make this an enjoyable story.

The Tales of the Apache comes along just fine. Its obvious that Truman has a love for the Apache and it comes through with his telling of this Apache mythology.