“The Frost Giant’s Daughter”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story written by Robert E. Howard.
Artist: Barry Smith
Conan is fighting the last survivor of the Vanir that attacked the Aesir he was with and kills him. Conan is seriously tired and falls into the snow. He is later awakened by a beautiful woman naked except for a thin gossamer veil. She taunts Conan who finds the strength to get up and chase after her. The woman leads him into an ambush. Two giants that are her brothers are waiting to kill him for sport. Conan isn’t one to go out meekly and kills both the giants. The girl panics and after Conan grabs her veil she calls on her father Ymir to rescue her. She is transported away in a beam of light and Conan passes out.
The Aesir find him and he thinks its a dream. An old man named Gorm tells that he saw the woman when he was young. She is Atali the Frost Giant’s daughter and she likes to lure men for her brothers to ambush. Everyone thinks its just a myth but Conan is grasping the gossamer veil.
“Fury of the Femizons”
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Romita
It is the 23rd century and woman rule after some sort of apocalypse. The United Sisterhood Alliance and its creed of Sexuality! Solidarity! Superiority! are enforced in the New USA. Men are meek and subservient. Lyra the queen’s sister is approached by a man named Mogon who is from a tribe of men still free. He discovers that Lyra has forbidden history tapes and the two join forces to overthrow the Sisterhood. The evil Syrani who heads the secret police discovers the plot and Lyra is forced to kill Mogon to keep it from being exposed.
Writers: Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas
Artist: Gray Morrow
Ted Sallis is a chemist who is working for the Army to perfect a super-soldier serum. Unfortunately his girlfriend sells him out and he finds some thugs that are there to take his serum. He escapes and injects it into himself to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. His car goes into the swamp and this turns him into the Man-Thing. The Man-Thing gets revenge on those who were after him.
Writer: Sergius O’Shaughnessy
Artists: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer
A woman is being sold for money by her father. This is stopped by the arrival of Joshua who is governor of Potonga a province of the newly independent nation of Orbia. Joshua is a real hands on governor who opposes the central governments plan to sell out his province to foreign interests. These interests manage to have a reporter try to seduce him and they get pictures of it. The pictures of him with a white woman cause outrage among his people and force him to flee.
“The Night of the Looter!”
Writer: Stan Lee
Art: John Buscema
A Ka-zar story reprinted in Astonishing Tales #14.
This is the first of the black and white magazines that Marvel started publishing in the seventies and as such is rare. I just spent $172 bucks for it but figured it was my birthday and it would complete my collection. It didn’t succeed because an editor didn’t want to get into this market and let it fail. Fortunately Roy Thomas manged to resurrect the idea when the editor left and so we are blessed with the many magazines that came out.
It starts with a Conan story written by Robert E. Howard and this was in the early days when Conan was already becoming a runaway success so its not surprising that Conan was chosen to be the main feature for this series. He was so successful that he moved on to his own magazine The Savage Sword of Conan. It features the original team of Thomas and Smith who made the Conan character the success it is today.
The Femizon story was a fun story. I always love these futuristic post-apocalypse stories. I read somewhere that this is being considered as a possible movie to be developed. Nothing probably will come of it but you never know.
The Man-Thing story was the first one and has his origin. Now Man-Thing has gone on to be a successful second tier character in the Marvel universe.
Black Brother was an interesting idea. Sort of like Shaft as a governor of a province in Africa. A bit dark but this magazine didn’t have the comic code so it could explore more mature themes. This and the Femizons looked like they were meant to be regular features for this series. To my knowledge nothing further was done with either stories.
Ka-zar was reprinted in Astonishing Tales and you can follow the link above to read that. Ka-zar would replace Conan as the main feature for this series when Conan moved on.
I definitely loved this series. A great mix of adventure stories and R rated in showing nudity and violence. Set the stage for all the magazines to come later.