RED SONJA #11

“Backroads”
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Professor Wallace takes Sonja, Spike and Holly on his private jet to Palo Alto. On the trip he explains that he was a magician in Meru. When Gath was destroying it he saw young Max casting an escape spell so he added the needed power to it. Thus he ended up in the future just like everybody else. So the plan is to infiltrate Livermore Labs and use the magnetic fusion generator with a magic spell. The four infiltrate the complex and open a portal to the past.

Meanwhile Gath and his followers are trying to get Max to send them to the future. The portal opens and Gath and his followers go through. Wallace splits himself and Sonja into two. Their doppelgangers manage to push Gath back.

This story just keeps getting more interesting. So Wallace seems to be an interesting character. A sort of middle aged overweight friendly looking guy who can split himself into several bodies at once. Max is still in the past and now confronted by Kulan Gath who has a new army of followers. It ends with what looks like Sonja being split in two. One going back to the past and the other stuck in our time. Sounds like an interesting story ahead for this title.

THE WARLORD ANNUAL #3

“Full Circle”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan is trapped in the void with the others. Another ship crashes into his and releases chronal energy that sends both ships into the real world. They crash and are immediately attacked by lizard birds. Luckily some men on triceratops call off the birds. They are from the Atlantean city of Challa-Bel-Nalla and its king Daemon. Daemon looks just like Deimos. So much so that Morgan tries to kill him. Shakira stops him at the last minute and they become guests.

Daemon is the ancestor of Deimos and just as evil. He is in league with the Red Moon Gods. He gives them experimental subjects in exchange for technology. Daemon also practices dark magic and finds out that Morgan is from the future and killed his ancestor. So he tries to arrange an accident during a hunt to kill Morgan. It backfires and later Shakira is captured and taken to the Red Moon.

Morgan with Krystovar uses one of their ships and goes to the Red Moon. Morgan finds out they are the same aliens that he met back in issue #18. He frees the experimental subjects and chases Daemon who stole his ship. The ship crashes and it transports Daemon into the void. The Red Moon ship is destroyed and the people are free. Later with the left over technology they are able to retrieve the other trapped ships. At the end Morgan, Krystovar and Shakira come face to face with their past selves who were retrieved from the void. Their presence causes the chronal radiation in Dr. Reno to go off and sends the three back to their own time.

So the third annual ends the Paradox story. It perfectly bookends the second annual that started this story. It tied up all the loose ends and we finally know the whole story. The Atlantean technology is the fusion of leftover alien tech and the knowledge of personal from the future. We see the origin of the beastmaking technology. Nice to see Jurgens incorporate the aliens from issue 18. They fit perfectly into this story. There was also some great drama with the Daemon character. A very poignant scene at the end where Morgan has the chance to end the threat of Deimos by killing his newborn son. Of course he couldn’t kill a baby.

So now the gang is back in their time and must continue the fight.

WARREN PRESENTS THE ROOK

“The Making of a Comic Book Hero!”
writer uncredited.

An article on the origins of the Rook. The owner Jim Warren decided that westerns were the next big thing and ordered his staff to come up with a western story. The writers didn’t really want to do a western and thought the next big thing was the future. So they compromised and came up with the Rook. A man from today who goes back to the west.

“The Man Whom Time Forgot!”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin Dane brings back his great great grandfather from 1874 to his place. He has three robots who look after Bishop Dane as Restin goes back. Bishop recovers and finds out he is in 1977. His great great grandson is a genius who invented a time machine. His goal is to go back to the Alamo and save his ancestor Parrish Dane. Restin lands right in front of the Alamo and comes out armed with a MP5 submachinegun. He joins the defenders but even his modern weapon is not enough to halt the numbers of Santa Anna’s troops. He does manage to save a boy. That boy is Bishop Dane.

“The Day Before Tomorrow”
Writer: Bud Lewis
Artist: Luis Bermejo

A day before Restin arrives one member of the Alamo Gat Hawkins decides to desert. He sees Restins machine land and gets caught up with it when it takes off. He finds himself in 1874 in a small Arizona town. There he makes his way and kills the sheriff and takes over with the help of the corrupt deputies. He wants to kill Bishop who is now a famous gunfighter and coming to town with the carnival. He enlists the local brothel owner Kate McCall. She finds she likes Bishop and warns him of Gat’s plan. Bishop escapes and kills one of the deputies.

Meanwhile Restin has wandered off exploring and comes on a mine. In the mine he finds robots left over from an alien civilization that was observing humans. He gets their help in getting a teleporter that rescues Bishop from Gat who has him trapped with a Gatling gun.

“Yesterday, The Final Day”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin after dropping off Bishop in the future then goes back to kill Gat. He goes to the bar but is ambushed and left for dead. He has survived and Kate and January two prostitutes ordered to dispose of the body instead take it to the mine. There the alien technology heals Restin. He gets a hang glider to infiltrate the saloon. Meanwhile Bishop and the robot Manners come back from the past and join up with the revolting townspeople against Gat and his hired thugs. A fight ends with Gat killed, the town liberated and Restin and Bishop going back to 1977 with the two girls Kate and January.

“Lost to the Land of Nowhen”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin decides to go back to 1875 and explore the alien cave. He gets there but accidentally sets off an explosion that destroys the cave. Meanwhile in 1977 Manners is worried that Restin is late. Apparently he travels to time shards which have a limited time then he could be trapped when the shard runs out. So Bishop and Manners go back just in time to see Restin turn to dust along with his machine. Bishop buys the property around the mine so his future grandson will have it.

So this was a special that reprinted some of the Rook’s early stories from Eerie. I loved the idea of this guy in a leisure suit from the seventies traveling in time. This one was a crazy idea of going back to the Alamo and changing time. This got me interested in the Rook magazine. It was confusing since this issue seemed to end with Restin being turned to dust. I assume that his return was in some Eerie story I never read. Still a great character and was my introduction to the weird world of Warren comics.

KULL THE DESTROYER #18

“The Keeper of Flame and Frost!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Ed Hannigan & Alfredo Alcala

The city of Atlantis is under constant attack by flying creatures. Kull leads the defense. On one raid one of the flying demons grabs him and he is forced to kill it in mid-air. Tired of these raids he decides to attack the creatures at their source the Swamp of Mists. Kull and Ridondo set out with a regiment of men. They see a spectre flying to the swamp at night and half the men desert. The others then are attacked by Lorkars. Only these ape like creatures are intelligent and when they realize that the demons are also Kull’s enemies they join forces.

So they make it to the cave and find out that Khor-nah is responsible for the demons. He survived the Kraken and found a mystical gem that gives him power. He set a glob type creature at Kull and also resurrects Shemenon the god of flame and frost. Kareesha lands not too far away and turns into the sorcerer Sarna.

So this was a real fast moving story. We jump right away into the action with the attack on the city and get filled in while the action is going. The story moves forward and we get Lorkars that talk and resurrected gods. Khor-nah who we knew from the end of last issue did survive,but he has also found some power gem and is responsible for all this. And another kooky reveal at the end is Kareesha is the evil sorcerer Sarna in disguise. Wow. Doug keeps the story going and expertly explains the plot without slowing down. Plus the ending leaves a whole bunch of unanswered questions so you look forward to the next issue. This revived run of Kull is going strong.

KA-ZAR #7

“The Savage Land”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Shanna wakes up lying in the trash in some back alley. She struggles to remember what happened. A flashback shows how she is questioning whether her and Ka-zar are growing apart. She needs to get out so jumps out and starts swinging around New York. Parnival’s mercenaries are waiting for her and attack which is how she ended up in the alley. The mercenaries are still here and out to kill her. Luckily Ka-zar arrives with the entire Bronx zoo charging behind them. The animals make short work of the mercenaries and Ka-zar and Shanna reconcile.

Meanwhile we find out that Parnival’s real plan was to lure Ka-zar and Shanna out of the Savage Land so his men could recover the machine that created the Savage Land. His men now bring it to New York where they will active it.

This was an issue that highlighted Shanna. We see that she has issues with Ka-zar and his fascination with technology while she totally rejects it. Yet she comes to realize that she still can count on him and loves him. That is what I always liked about these two. Their relationship always seemed real. It has ups and downs but still strong. We also get the real reason that Parnival went after Ka-zar. He needed him out of the Savage Land so he could successfully grab the old alien tech that created the place. Now we will get to see what the plan is and how Thanos fits in with the next issue.

MOTHER RUSSIA #3

“Ballroom Blitzkrieg”
Writer & Artist: Jeff McComsey

Morning and Major Steiner and Svetlana are ready to make a break for the tower. They have loaded themselves with guns, grenades, satchel charges and an M-42 machine gun. Basically Steiner uses the satchel charges and machine gun to clear a path for Svetlana and the boy. They blow a hole through the zombies. Steiner manages to save his dog Hilde. Svetlana makes it to the tower and finds another German soldier already there. She gets into a fight and bashes his head in with a can of pork and beans. She then lifts the dog Hilde to safety as Steiner keeps the zombies at bay. He is overrun and sets off a grenade. Svetlana, Hilde and the boy are happily safe.

The final was everything you could hope for. There was plenty of action as they take out zombies the only way that is effective, with automatic weapon fire and explosives. Steiner has shown a noble spirit in sacrificing his life to save his dog. You have to have a dog to understand. It ends with Svetlana, Hilde and the boy all one big happy family. An epilogue showed some Soviet soldiers trapped on a roof waiting for the cold that would slow down the zombies so they could leave. I think that we may have not seen the last of Svetlana and this zombie Stalingrad. I would love to see more of her and maybe other adventures around the world in the WWII zombie apocalypse.

THE WARLORD #85

“The Price of Change”
Writers: Cary Burkett & Daryl Reinhold
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan is getting ready for the big plan to go back in time and prevent the nuclear war from ever happening. So the time ships go back to just when the missiles are launched. Using the chronal intensifiers they age the missiles to dust in seconds. They run into some opposition with Soviet fighters and one crashes into Morgan’s ship. He is soon rescued and the ships appearance have forced the Americans and Soviets into an alliance fearing an alien invasion. They menacingly fly in formation around the world several times to re-enforce this narrative. The close presence of these time ships open a temporal portal that sucks the ships into a place outside time. Meanwhile in Skartaris Tinder rescues a monkey creature from a giant spider but trips and ends with him at the spider’s mercy.

“Confrontation!”
Writer: Gary Cohen
Artist: Ron Randall

Jinal and her companions are going to capture a Qlov. They find them where the ancients said they would be only they are being attacked by sand pirates. The advanced weapons easily repulse the pirates. While observing the battle a Qlov comes up behind them and a fight begins. It is soon apparent that their weapons are useless against the Qlov except for Jinal’s energy blade. Ends with a sword fight to be started between Jinal and the Qlov.

So this issue is winding down the paradox storyline. It seems a success except now Morgan and his crew are trapped outside time. This was a very complex plot that is paying off. I give Burkett high marks for keeping it straight. Next is the annual which will resolve all the hanging plot threads to the paradox story.

The Barren Earth was short but also winding down their story. Interesting cliffhanger to see how Jinal manages to capture one of these fearsome Qlov.