THE ROOK #8

“The Coming of Billy Dane!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin is fighting a giant snake on Jupiter’s moon Io with only his grandfather’s Bowie knife. His grandfather Bishop is already bitten and lies dying. When it looks like the end a horned tiger named Taboo comes to the rescue. Coral decides not to leave her father to die. The snake is killed and Restin passes out. He comes to on the old spaceship as its headed toward Earth. They land in the early twenty-first century in his town of Cottonwood, Arizona. Only now the town is a huge polluted city. They take Bishop to a hospital and there find out the story from a doctor that recognizes Restin.

Seems back in 1996 a nuclear war occurred that destroyed most of the planet. A general named Alexander Martinson Tavly gains power. He forms the United Nation-States. Soon he is rounding up all the undesirables and minorities and using the bodies as fuel for his power plants. Restin was a senator who opposed him. One day Restin attempted to free the inmates of a concentration camp. It resulted with Restin, Bishop and his followers fighting off the military might of General Tavly in his Rook mansion just like the Alamo.

At the end of the story he is introduced to Billy Dane. He was the only survivor of the battle and took Dane as his last name to honor Restin. He pledges to help Restin overthrow Tavly. They head out to his old place and find it destroyed. But there is his underground cave with the alien artifacts. He finds that intact but General Tavly is waiting with a giant robot.

“Joe Guy America’s Foremost Hero!”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxamana

A meteor brushes the atmosphere of Venus before heading to Earth. It crashes into a mansion in Bel-Air. Later the attorney for Capriccio arrives. Capriccio is the greatest clown artist who ever lived. He was sent because his boss’s behavior is erratic and hopes that Joe Guy can help. So with his secretary Hoffa they go to California and Capriccio is indeed a bit nuts. He wears a mask and is pretending to be Robin Hood after watching an Errol Flynn movie. Later he is Groucho Marx and Don Corleone. It is found out that Venusian creatures called Fleyes which are flying eyeballs have taken Capriccio over. They got trapped on the meteor and want to turn the Earth’s atmosphere into one they can breath. Joe confronts the Fleyes who are now Dr. Strangelove and defeats them. Seems TV corrupted them and that is what saved the Earth.

“Kronos”
Writer and Artist: Lee Elias

Vic Kronos is leaving the theater with his girlfriend when they are accosted by muggers. When one takes his girl to get raped he jumps one of the muggers and kills him. The other flees. Later Kronos has a nervous breakdown and is hospitalized. He recovers but his right arm is paralyzed. He had this back in Vietnam after an ambush. It was psychological so he is sent off the the V.A. There he meets his doctor who is Korean-American. A lot of talk about being surprised an Asian could be a psychiatrist. Dr. Young will put Kronos under hypnosis to find out his trouble.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar learns the story of the savior who happens to be the king’s eldest son. Back when they were boys the king sent his two sons and wife into exile to protect them from the coming endtimes. They went to live with the wise old Essenes in a cave. The Essenes teach the boys. The elder Judah becomes adept at healing. The younger brother Taraval instead is drawn to the black arts. This forces the Essenes to banish the young Taraval. He later sneaks back and kills his teacher and steals all the dark scrolls. When he grows into adulthood he comes back with an army of Goblins and slaughters all the Essenes. Then he leads the army to victory which is where Voltar is at the present.

Well we managed to survive the 1990’s. No nuclear war or the rise of an anti-christ. I just love reading what the future was supposed to be like. So it is interesting that a guy with a time machine never bothered to check on his own future until now. It sounds like a very grim future but he finds out that he didn’t abandon his wife and daughter but sent them away to be safe. Now Restin has a chance to avenge his own death which is an interesting conundrum.

Joe Guy is a tongue in cheek parody of Superman and I find it amusing. Joe has the power to see through wood or plastic. Of course TV and its corrupting influence save the day.

Kronos was a bit of a bore. A lot of talking and not much else. It reminded me of the old newspaper strip Mary Worth. In fact the artwork bore a striking resemblance to the strip. Only instead of a few panels you get eight pages of boredom.

Voltar continues to excel. We get the story about the two brothers who seem to be destined as savior and destroyer of mankind. An enjoyable sword and sorcery tale.

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