KULL THE DESTROYER #29

“To Sit the Topaz Throne!”
Writer: Don Glut
Artists: Ernie Chan & Ricardo Villamonte

Kull now confronts Thulsa Doom in the throne room of Torranna. Doom then transports Kull to his homeland in far off Grondar. There the evil Doom tells Kull of this plans. Seems he wanted the Atlantean to suffer and not just be in exile. So he hears of the cursed city of Torranna and hatches a plan. He will manipulate Kull to accepting the crown. Only a scar faced stranger who risked his life to save another can sit the throne. Once he does then the curse is lifted and the inhabitants can leave. Only catch is the one who is king is now trapped in the cursed city for all eternity. Kull fight him and manages to cut a scar with his ax on Doom’s face. Well this enrages him so he brings back Kull to the throne room of Torranna. Only now Kull uses the opportunity to take the crown and place it on Doom’s head. Doom is a scarred stranger who now sacrificed his life to save Kull. The curse is broken but because Doom is already dead the inhabitants turned to mummified corpses and the city collapses. Kull and Ridondo manage to escape with the crown of Valusia. Kull makes it back to the City of Wonders and reclaims his throne.

Well this is the final issue in this series. They manage to go out with a bang. Kull defeats Doom in a very clever way. He also gets to go back and reclaim his throne so all the loose threads are tied together. Which is a good thing when you end a series. Kull had some ups and downs but this was generally a solid series. Not as good as Conan and it struggled to break out from his shadow. Still Kull’s adventures would continue in the Savage Sword issues and he would years later get another crack at his own series.

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KA-ZAR #17

“Misery”
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Kenny Martinez

Foggy Bottom gets one of the hotshot lawyers to get a plea deal for Ka-zar’s charges. Ka-zar meanwhile is waiting when Jameka comes to tell him the good news. Only the gang members he beat up are now after him. He beats them up again but this attracts the police and once again Ka-zar has to flee the police. The gang members take Jameka hostage. Ka-zar then goes to the Avenger mansion and finds Black Panther the only one there. He agrees to help after delivering a message from Shanna telling them of her predicament. So they go back to Jameka’s apartment and find the gang waiting for them. Seems Jameka as an infatuation for Ka-zar. She drugged Zabu and was about to knock him out and tie him up. Naturally these gangbangers are no match for both Black Panther and Ka-zar. Black Panther arranges transportation back to the Savage Land as he takes care of the captured goons and Ka-zar’s other animals.

So this issue had a lot going on. Ka-zar managers to get his charges dropped. We find out Jameka was helping Ka-zar because of a very unhealthy obsession. Of course we have to deal with the gang that started this. The gang members were pretty dumb so it was more amusing than any serious threat for Ka-zar. We get a guest appearance by Black Panther who is very popular these days. Shanna and Zira are fleeing for safety and must go into some forbidden land. This was an exciting issue and it is good that we will have Ka-zar back in the Savage Land. The New York adventure has run its course and I think there are much more interesting stories to be told back in the Savage Land.

YARS’ REVENGE

“The Quotile Ultimatum!”
Writer: Hope Shafer
Artists: Frank Cirocco, Ray Garst, & Hiro Kimura

A new Yars recruit comes for his meeting with the leader. The leader tells this young recruit the secret history of the Yars. They were common houseflies from Earth. They were on the first interstellar ship that later crashed. The flies were the only survivors and the environment of the new alien world transformed them. They became intelligent and able to fly in space. They also could eat anything and convert it to bursts of energy that could dissolve anything.

So the Yars build a civilization on the third, fourth and fifth planets in the Razak system. Then the Quotile came and destroyed the fourth planet. Now the Yars must destroy their base on planet Epp. The Zorlon cannon is not complete and needs a Yar to use themselves as a target to hit the base. They also must first destroy the shield by eating or shooting a hole in it. They can hide in the neutral zone, the destroyed remains of the fourth planet. This protects them from the missiles but not the deadly swirls. So the brave recruit goes off to save the Yars and apparently we can help him.

Does this bring back some memories. This was included with the Atari video game Yars’ Revenge. It was a game where you played a giant space fly that would eat or blast a shield to get at the Quotile. Then guide in the shot from the Zorlon cannon. Avoid the missiles and swirl. Fun game and the comic does a good job of giving a creative backstory about what is going on and the basic rules. I know Dynamite is doing Atari games as new comics and I think there are plans to do a series for Yars’ Revenge. It has so much potential for an exciting series.

THE WARLORD #95

“Dragon Doom!”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Adam Kubert

Morgan and Shakira are trapped in front of a waterfall. A Vashek assassin jumps on them and knocks the three over the falls. Morgan and a pissed Shakira manage to survive the fall and continue on the trail of Hawk. They catch up to him and Morgan is ready to fight him but the Vashek assassins show up. It looks grim as they are surrounded and outnumbered. Luckily the knights of this island come riding to the rescue on huge tricorns. They send the Vasheks packing. Taken to the lord of the island they find he is grateful for the return of the petulant princess. He gives Morgan a gift of the tricorn steeds and Hawk two chests filled with gems. Lord Kaldustan would pledge his knights in Morgan’s fight against the New Atlanteans but the sea dragon that attacked them last issue terrorizes the island. Morgan has a plan and with Shakira and the greedy Hawk who is promised two more chests they set sail. A giant crossbow with a diamond tipped spear. Things don’t quite work out as planned but the sea dragon is killed. At the end Morgan is back and gets his people that Hawk freed. Hawk gets his gold and also steals the chest of gems that was given to Morgan.

Looks like Burkett has a love of things Japanese. The Vasheks are clearly ninja inspired. The island that Morgan found himself on had a very Japanese flavor to its people and culture. The knights looked like samurai and bushido and saving face were clearly in their culture. The Vasheks were shown that they could be defeated. Morgan gains a new ally. Hawk the greedy scoundrel makes off with more wealth than he deserves. Oh and the Evil One gem was stolen and everyone thinks its Tinder. This all sets up events for the next Warlord annual.

THE ROOK #10

“A Time for Love Lost!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Rudy Nebres

Restin comes back to 1981 with his daughter Coral and Bishop after their adventures fighting the dictator in the future. He finds out his love Katie McCall has left to go back to 1874. A daughter for Restin means they have no future since she can’t have kids. Restin with Bishop jump back into their time castler and go back to get her. Meanwhile some aliens in the New York subway save an old woman from muggers then go into a secret base that is located their. There are other aliens and a human dressed as Buffalo Bill. They are there to stop Restin who apparently is about to cause the destruction of the human race.

So back in 1874 Katie is on a train and meets Castle Dane the son of Bishop. He is a bitter man because he blames his father for killing his mother. When he was a kid back in Philadelphia while is father was visiting a man tried to gun him down. The bullets instead killed his mother. Castle is also now known as Kid Castle and robs trains. He takes Katie hostage and with his gang steal the gold being transported. Restin and Bishop go to the saloon in town hoping to find Katie. Instead they run into a bounty hunter who thinks Restin is Castle. At the end two of the aliens are going to save the mugger from overdosing on heroin.

“Dad!”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxama

Joe Guy goes to visit his dad at his fortress at the North Pole. It is huge place run by beautiful female robots and filled with stuff from his dad’s adventures. His father who is a parody of Superman has the powers and background but they skillfully omit his name. Seems that dad was traveling to the future and saw his own death from an interdimensional being. It scarred him so much that he hid in his fortress when he got back to 1962. He used a robot to impersonated him. He wants his son Joe to fire a weapon at the creature that will transport it back to its dimension. Only trouble is Joe’s Wotta car blew a rod in its nuclear reactor and he can’t get back. So his father has to fly him. There in the city the monster appears but it was the robot double that was destroyed and not his father. The father decides to retire and run a hotdog stand.

“Kronos”
Writer & Artist: Lee Elias

Kronos is a German lieutenant in the Wehrmacht in his past life under hypnosis. The general being send to their sector had his plane shot down. The SS commander believes it was one of the girls that they were dating that informed the resistance. So the SS commander has them arrested to be interrogated. Kronos is in love with the woman Nadya but his old friend is a ruthless Nazi fanatic bent on torturing the information. The resistance stages a raid that frees the friend but leaves Nadya behind. Now Kronos has to find a way to rescue the woman he loves.

“The Singular Case of the Anemic Heir!”
Writers: Will Richardson and Kevin Duane
Artist: Anto Caravana

Holmes and Watson get a strange visitor one day. A man claiming to be the illegitimate son of a nobleman needs Holmes help. A diary contains a will that is more favorable to him and relatives are determined to stop it. Holmes is not interested in the case. After he leaves the landlady screams. Seems she saw a bat. Later the proprietor of a bookstore is murdered with a message to Holmes. Seems the heir is actually a vampire out to get Holmes because in one of his cases he claimed that vampires were absurd. They get the vampire to meet them at the crystal palace where the sunlight concentrated from the mirrors kills the vampire.

Well after the grim futuristic anti-christ storyline we are back to going into the past. More specifically the old west where the Rook got his start. The story with Katie being upset about learning Restin fathers a child in the future is a realistic plot. In the west we meet Bishop’s son who is an outlaw. Not to be outdone in weirdness we have these mysterious aliens out to save humanity for the universal consciousness. A great mix of the old west and futuristic intrigue.

The Joe Guy story was just full of Superman references. His fortress is obviously based on the Fortress of Solitude. In this instance the dad who is Superman but not named is a bit of a coward. Still this convoluted plot works and is a fun read.

Kronos continues to get better. It started out so slow but now has my interest. Kronos is showing signs of questioning what he is fighting for. Some realistic scenes that are historically accurate make this a joy to read.

Finally we get a Sherlock Holmes story. It felt like a Sherlock Holmes story and the characters seemed real. An offbeat and enjoyable mystery.

KULL THE DESTROYER #28

“The Creature and the Crown!”
Writer: Don Glut
Artist: Ernie Chan

Kull is fighting an awakened Gassgha. Only Gassgha had a little too much wine and not very steady on his feet. Kull manages to jump on him and steal the crown off his head. Then he rams the head into the wall and impales the horns. Later has they flee. Gassgha comes after them but falls off the drawbridge into the molten lava pit. This causes Kull, Lorelei and Ridondo to be transported back to Torrania. Later while in his chambers Kull gets into a fight with Lorelei who is not happy that Kull killed poor only lonely Gassgha. She leaves and Norra the female wizard sees her chance. She comes in and seduces Kull. Lorelei comes back having second thoughts but sees Kull with Norra and decides to leave the city. The captain of the guard tries to stop her and becomes a mummified corpse as he leaves the city limits.

So next morning Kull is ready to be crowned king of Torrania. Norra who has fallen in love with Kull warns him not to accept the crown. It is a trap and she pulls off Korr-Lo-Zann’s wax hand as proof. Kull cut off one of the wizard’s hand of the three that were after him. Only now the mysterious master of Torrania appears. He turns Norra into a mummified corpse and it is none other than Thulsa Doom.

Well the action is picking up in this issue. Kull gets the crown and returns but loses Lorelei. I was saddened at that since I really have grown to love the relationship between the two. We of course knew the three were the evil wizards and it was obvious that Thulsa Doom was the mysterious master. Still it was an good reveal. Norra’s betrayal of her colleagues was a surprise. This is the next to last issue. In the letters page they hinted that sales weren’t good but apparently they were very not good. So we are coming to a conclusion of Kull’s exile and his final battle with Thulsa Doom.

KA-ZAR #16

“Punished”
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Kenny Martinez

Ka-zar has stepped out of the apartment of Matt Murdock to get some fresh air. Unfortunately the Punisher is waiting in ambush. Ka-zar still mostly blind and deaf falls off the roof but still manages to land without breaking too much bones. The Punisher is using non-lethal ammunition because he is still unsure if Ka-zar really is a criminal. Well the two fight each other and Ka-zar convinces the Punisher he is not responsible for the shooting on the subway. Meanwhile in the Savage Land Shanna and Zira have to flee the vengeful denizens of the Savage Land. They now blame Shanna for all their troubles since she lost her nature powers.

Well this issue was OK. Nothing really exciting happened. The big Ka-zar/Punisher fight was somewhat of a dud. Shanna is finding out how fickle people are. One day they worship you as a goddess and the next they want to kill you. Her little tussles in the Savage Land in this issue were also so-so. I think it will pick up next issue with Ka-zar trying to get home. This was a mediocre issue.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES #4

“War for the Planet of the Apes”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Jonas Scharf

Caesar plans to raid the power plant at the dam. He has explosives and rocket launchers. Colonel McCullough is waiting in ambush thanks to Donkey and his betrayal. At the Reno safari zoo a group of scavengers attack. Only apes are left lead by Bad Ape. The apes flee and a young ape that Bad Ape was taking care of is killed. In Atlanta the ape army arrives and frees the captive apes. The leader kills the last human alive. At the dam Caesar attacks and manages to destroy the power plant. Donkey though interposes himself between McCullough and carries him away before Caesar could kill him. Caesar then plans to lead his people to a safer place.

Well the final installment to this prequel to the movie. It seemed a bit rushed with several little story threads getting quickly ended. This was a good series. It gives a little background to the movie that was never explained and I now have a greater understanding to the events that lead to the movie. I am sure another movie is in the works and am really looking forward to the continuation to this new re-imaging of the Planet of the Apes universe.

THE WARLORD #94

“Assassin’s Prey”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Mike Chen

Morgan and Shakira go off to their camp at the mouth of the Rampos river to meet Captain Hawk. When they get to the camp they are ambushed by the Vashek Assassins. Quick thinking and action allow the two to fight their way out and escape. They run into Hawk and with the Vasheks right behind them manage to get in the rowboat. Only now the boat is overturned by a fierce saurian that eats some of the crew. Morgan, Shakira and Hawk manage to make it to a boat nearby. On the boat is an elderly slave and a spoiled princess from the nearby island. The new arrivals take the boat back to this island and go on foot to the ruler of this island. While camping Shakira goes to hunt alone and Hawk spikes Morgan’s food to knock him out. Hawk wants to get the huge reward for returning the princess. The Vasheks use hang gliders to reach the island and ends with Morgan and Shakira trapped next to a waterfall. Meanwhile Jennifer was almost taken over by the gem of the Evil One. The gem is locked in a casket but Ashir taught Tinder how to pick locks and his lockpick is missing.

So we get the big confrontation with the dreaded Vashak assassins. Obviously Morgan is more than a match for them and manages to escape. He meets up with Hawk and once again the roguish pirate shows some bravery in fighting the Vasheks and mourning the loss of his men. He also betrays Morgan and leaves him for the Vasheks while he goes to get a reward all to himself. He is a fun character and its good that he’s back. Seem to be going through a bunch of different artists which is interesting to look at but I would like some more stability artwise for this series. Oh and the Evil One is once again getting closer to returning. A solid action issue with fascinating enemies in the Vashaks and the pirate Hawk.

THE ROOK #9

“To Checkmate a King!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin and his daughter Coral are captured by General Tavyl. Billy Dane is beaten and left for dead. Billy though manages to get up and go back to his hospital. There with Bishop Dane he finds the Rook time machine and they go to confront Tavyl. Tavyl has taken Restin and Coral to his mansion that is surrounded by an army. Yet the time machine has no trouble in setting down right in the room they are in. Billy and Bishop bust out guns a blazing and take out the bodyguards. Tavyl knowing the Restin is too good and won’t shoot an unarmed man refuses to order his men to stand down. Indeed they use tanks to shell the mansion and come charging in. The four Danes manage to hold them off. At the end they are saved when the people rise up and overwhelm Tavyl’s mercenaries by sheer numbers. The people are free and Tavyl has died in the attack.

“Cardinal Synn Archfiend of the Universe”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxamana

A mobster makes a pilgrimage to Tibet to see Cardinal Synn the Emperor of Villany. Synn is disappointed that American mobsters aren’t making their tribute payments. Seems Joe Guy is putting a serious dent in the crime operations in America. So Synn decides to go to Major City and put a stop to Joe Guy. Joe Guy is coming back with his team from another mission when they see a giant squid attacking their headquarters. It is found out to be an illusion. Later a giant Roc comes and takes Hoffa away. They follow in the flying Wotta Car to the Cardinal building. A helicopter was disguised as the Roc. Joe jumps out and through the skylight. He beats off some of Synn’s monks but a glass cylinder is dropped and filled with poison gas. Joe could break it but the poison gas would go into the room and his girl Hoffa is prisoner in the room. Joe seems to collapse and the gas is drained and the cylinder is raised. But hold on Joe comes to and opens a can of whop ass on the monks. If Synn read his Playboy interview he would know Joe can hold his breath for an hour. His two teammates Hotwire and Bantam set off an explosion that destroys Synn’s illusion machine and causes a fire. Joe gets his teammates to safety and tries to put out the fire. He doesn’t succeed but escapes by jumping out a window and having his fall cushioned by a parked car. At the end he gets a letter from his father requesting a meeting at the North Pole.

“Kronos”
Writer and Artist: Lee Elias

Victor Kronos goes under hypnotherapy and is regressed to his past life. In 1943 he was a lieutenant in the Wehrmacht stationed in Russia. One day a beautiful young woman named Nadya comes because her brother is scheduled to be executed in retaliation for partisan attacks. Kronos seduces the woman with the promise to save her brother’s life. Later he get her to bring a friend for his friend. In a drunken state he tells them that the general is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. The friend reports this to the resistance who then arrange for fighters to be in the area to shoot the plane down. The commander orders the two girls to be arrested.

“Voltar”
Writer: Uncredited
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar is brought to the throne room of the evil warlord. He is defiant and manages to break free and kill the warlord. He dons the warlord’s armor and impersonates him to get the goblins to release the human captives. As they march to freedom one goblin notices the hole in the armor and deduces that Voltar is an imposter. Voltar manages to fight the goblins and die while giving the captive humans time to escape.

Well this was another fun issue. The Rook story ends the futuristic tale of the mad anti-Christ General Tavyl and his United Nation-State. A bit melodramatic but still a fun story. Fascinating to read about how they viewed the future of the ’90s back in 1981. Seems a nuclear war was always inevitable in the ’90s back then. Thankfully we survived that decade. Interesting that Restin knows his own future and how he will die. A bit of a paradox with this story. Still the Rook writers made many contradictions with the character and didn’t seem to mind.

Joe Guy is just another satirical farce that I love. The evil oriental who has to put the Occidentals in their place. The corny dialogue and situations just make it a hilarious story.

Kronos was a big surprise. It took a 180 from the last story and makes it into a World War II story in occupied Russia. Kronos was not a good person in this past life. Casually he discussed with his friend the greatness of Hitler’s genocidal policies. He also takes advantage of a young girl. Some great depictions of partisan warfare. They use a wagon with boots on the wheels to make false trails in the snow. A great improvement from the last issue. This story starts out slow but is picking up to be very interesting.

Voltar comes to a conclusion. A bit hurried is the only complaint. Otherwise Voltar dies a heroic death in saving the humans of the kingdom. A good conclusion to a story that will be missed.