MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #13 WARRIORS OF THE SHADOW REALM

“The Soul Shrine”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: John Buscema

Tyndall, Velanna and Mud-Butt are learning the origin of the Darklens Gems. Darklens the evil dark god who was exiled to Weirdworld after challenging the other dark gods. Darklens was not happy and decided to get back in the good graces of his fellow dark gods. So he came up with a plan to destroy Weirdworld so he could impress them. The light gods sent a comet that crashed into him. His followers the Dark Riders managed to transfer his soul into the crystals. The crystals were somehow lost before the solstice.

So Zarthon transports our heroes to the Tomb of Limbo where the remains of Darklens is located. There they are to use the crystals to burn his bones and thus end the threat he poses. So they get there and get in a fight with some savage elves that are guarding the tomb. They convince the elves they are on the side of good and go to the tomb. There instead of burning the bones they find the body taken over by Zarthon who now is evil. The Dark Riders come and get into a fight with Zarthon who turns into Darklens. Luckily the innkeeper comes who is a mage for the light and turns into the giant white wolf and destroys both Darklens and the Dark Riders.

“Encounter At Half-way Earth-Weird”
By Doug Moench

A fictional interview with the cast of Weirdworld by Moench. He comes on them while walking in Pennsylvania and discusses their adventures. Kind of an interesting way to explain the writing of this series.

“Over the Hills and Far Away”
By Ralph Maccio

An article on the history of fantasy in literature. Kind of a dry boring article.

“Polychromatic Effulgence”
By Richard Marshall

An article on the early fantasy illustrations in America. He has examples from cartoon strips that appeared in newspapers around the turn of the century. This didn’t hold my interest.

The final issue in the trilogy. Now the story did seem to fall apart for me at the end. I mean Zarthon was good then evil. That wasn’t really explained well. Also the main characters were reduced to spectators. They just watched what was happening. To be fair thought the main draw for this series is the stunning artwork. Buscema claims this was his best work and I would agree. Once again we get spectacular double page full spreads. In one instance another three page pull out with a map on the back. The artwork is truly some of the best I have ever seen. It is a shame that this concept never was given the series it deserved. The Weirdworld was such a well developed world with endless story possibilities. Maybe some time in the future this concept will gets its day in the sun.

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