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.

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