KULL THE DESTROYER #27

“The World Within!”
Writer: Don Glut
Artist: Ernie Chan

Kull and Ridondo are climbing a cliff to the monster’s castle. They have to fight off a giant lizard that is climbing up after them. Fortunately Kull knows what to do and tosses a huge boulder on it. Meanwhile Lorelei has become the captive of the monster named Gasshga. She is rightly terrified but Gasshga seems an easy going talkative sort. He is interrupted by the giant lizard from before that has entered from an underground passage. He fights it and comes back exhausted and tells Lorelei his story. Kull and Ridondo use the same passage the lizard used to get in. They come upon the sleeping Gasshga and Kull is about to plunge his sword into his heart. Lorelei comes and stops him. The noise also awakens Gasshga who is looking for a fight.

This issue was OK. I mean there wasn’t a lot really going on. Kull and Ridondo have a lot of snarky comments between them as they search for an entry to the castle. Lorelei does a lot of cowering with Gasshga. Kull and Gasshga fight the same giant lizard. At the end Lorelei seems to have Stockholm Syndrome since she is siding with Gasshga. Oh and Gasshga is awake and looking for a fight so the next issue should start out with a bang.

KA-ZAR #15

“Jungle Book”
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Kenny Martinez

Ka-zar has been befriended by the woman from the subway named Jameke. She takes him to the doctor who is able to rig a microphone to his ear so he can at least talk to someone. The doctor recognizes Ka-zar and calls the police who come and surround the place. Ka-zar with the help of Zabu and his new friend Jameke manage to escape. He calls Matt Murdock’s law firm and gets help from Foggy Bottom a partner at the firm. He puts Ka-zar up in Matt Murdock’s apartment while Matt is out of town. Meanwhile the Punisher has taken an interest in hunting down Ka-zar. Shanna and Zira are finding the inhabitants of the Savage Land are now very hostile to Shanna. Some of the Man-Ape tribes attack and they burn down the treehouse home.

So we have Ka-zar blind and mostly deaf with the cops and the Punisher out to get him. His friend Jamake is a mysterious woman who seems to really want to help Ka-zar. Not sure what her deal is. Ka-zar is spending time at Murdock’s place and finding leftover signs of his past relationship with Shanna. A nice realistic touch to the story. Finally in the Savage Land the native tribes are now turning against Shanna which shows how fickle people are. The new writer/artist team is working out.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES #3

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

Colonel McCullough’s men are searching for survivors throughout the Pacific Northwest. Some survivors have banded together and started hunting the apes. Caesar comes to the rescue on one incident. He shows mercy and lets the captives free. He doesn’t want a fight and is looking to move his people to a safe place. He plans to destroy the power plant in the hopes that it will keep humans busy while his apes escape to someplace safe.

Meanwhile in Atlanta the mutated strain of the Simian Flu has reduced the humans to unthinking animals. Only one scientist is left and feels he is the last man on Earth. The ape army in Georgia continues to advance. In Reno Bad Ape finds himself in charge of the zoo after all the humans are killed. McCullough finds the gorilla that will help him against Caesar.

The third issue continues to explore the untold story between the movies. Continues to fill in some blanks. Caesar is the most sympathetic character in the story. He shows a humanity that humans don’t show. We are seeing the start of the mutation virus turning people into dumb animals. A brilliant idea to explain what I am sure is the future installment where apes will be in charge.

THE WARLORD #93

“Devil’s Wings”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Ron Randall

Morgan is training his men when a rider comes with news. Lord Sabertooth is bring an army to reinforce Shamballah. With these reinforcements their plan to take Shamballah will fail. So he gets together a small strike force to lure the New Atlantean army away. Morgan is using himself as bait. It works perfectly as they manage to lure Sabertooth’s army into the Demonwing Valley. A valley inhabited by winged bat creatures. This further angers Sabertooth and he will have his army on a wild goose chase in the mountains.

Meanwhile Jennifer continues to try and find a way to control the gem of the Evil One but it seems to be taking her over. She has Ashir keep Tinder occupied which he does by teaching the boy how to pick locks. The Vashek assassins slaughter the camp that Morgan set up to trade with Captain Hawk and are waiting in ambush. Finally at the end Tinder manages to steal back his watch from Tara while she is swimming.

So this issue is another one that sets up some multiply threads that will start to come together in future issues. Morgan is loving his role as a guerrilla fighter and it was amusing to see him get the better of Sabertooth. A confrontation with the Vashek assassins is coming soon and so is the return of Captain Hawk. The Evil One is also looking on making a comeback soon. The only question is who will be end up possessing. Tinder is also foreshadowed to play a big part in the future stories. And finally the Tara/Morgan relationship is coming to another melodrama. A very enjoyable issue.

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.

KULL THE DESTROYER #26

“Into Death’s Dimension!”
Writer: Don Glut
Artists: Ernie Chan & Rudy Nebres

Kull is in his chambers thinking about being king of Torranna. Lorelei joins him and soon after he tells her of his plans and also asks her to be his queen. The proposal is interrupted by Ridondo who stumbles into the room. He has recovered and found a secret passage that lead to Kull’s room. Kull has a policy to always find out where such passages lead. So the three go exploring and come to the dungeon where they rescued Ridondo. Norra and Gar-nak are having a lovers spate. When they leave the three enter. Soon they are discovered by the palace guard who has orders to kill any intruder. Kull easily manages to keep them at bay until Korr-Lo-Zann comes and puts a stop to it.

So there is a feast with the nobles. Next day Kull and a reluctant Ridondo are sent through the portal to recover the crown from the demon. They find a strange world full of dinosaurs. A castle in the distance seems like a good place to start their quest. Meanwhile Lorelei convinces the three wizards to also send her after Kull. They agree and she ends up right in front of the demon.

So Kull is in love and asked Lorelei to be his queen. I really love this woman and she has consistently shown she is a brave and capable woman. Ridondo does bring up that something is off about the city. Kull is oblivious to it but he has a point. The city is weird and I think there is something sinister. Korr-Lo-Zann and his companions are clearly in service to the creepy master with the fortune cookie riddles. So for now next issue promises a fun time in this kooky other dimension fighting a giant horned demon.

KA-ZAR #14

“Revolution”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Ka-zar is losing his wife Shanna and son to the High Evolutionary. So he goes around and tells the people of the Savage Land that the High Evolutionary is taking their beloved Earth Mother. So Ka-zar shows up with a huge army to confront the High Evolutionary. Shanna is starting to have second thoughts and wants to leave but the Evolutionary uses his creations to keep her prisoner. So a big fight starts. Ka-zar riding a pterodactyl and the Evolutionary a mutated dragonfly. Ka-zar then threatens to release the stolen Isotope E and super evolve everyone on Earth unless Shanna is released. The High Evolutionary agrees but Ka-zar is knocked off his pterodactyl. Shanna uses her power to grow plants to cushion his fall. This has snapped Shanna back to reality. She rejects her powers and the High Evolutionary. This impresses the High Evolutionary that Ka-zar has such stamina and leaves them. Ka-zar gets better and lives happily with his family.

“Ka-zar the Savage”
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Kenny Martinez

Ka-zar is on the subway in New York surrounded by two guys with pistols. Ka-zar attacks and the pistols going off both blinding and deafening Ka-zar. He still manages to take out the two thugs and a policeman who in his state he doesn’t recognize as a cop. Zabu who was following busts in and with the help of a woman stranger take Ka-zar away. Through flashbacks we learn that Ka-zar and Zabu are back in New York to take care of the hotel room they were renting. Shanna is depressed after losing her nature powers and recommends that Ka-zar go alone as she works out her problems. While riding the subway he got into a fight with some thugs. So now he finds himself at the woman’s apartment blind and deaf. Also he is a wanted man.

A big double size issue with flip covers. The first was the conclusion to the High Evolutionary story and the swan song for the Waid/Kubert team. An enjoyable issue that sees Ka-zar use his smarts to get back his wife. The High Evolutionary is also shown as not evil but misguided. He sees his mistake and leaves with dignity and a newfound respect for Ka-zar. Shanna has her powers taken away and now the Plunder family is living a happy life. A good ending for the Waid/Kubert team who had done an excellent job on this series.

So as a bonus you flip the book and get the start of the new storyline from the new writer/artist team. Starts out right in the action in New York. At first you are dumped right in the middle of the story but through skillful flashbacks the reader is brought to speed on how Ka-zar came to his predicament. This new team shows great promise and the New York adventure they are starting looks intriguing.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES #2

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

The group from the safari zoo in Reno run into a little trouble at the market. A bunch of men think that the safari should share their food and a fight breaks out. They make it back to their zoo and continue to fight. During this we find out that the little kid is actually a small chimpanzee. The daughter calls him Bad Ape. It looks like they have beaten off the attackers when the father is hit in the chest with a bullet.

Caesar is preparing to move his people far away from humans so they can live in peace. He also has plans to groom his son for leadership. Some of Koba’s followers are ambushed by the army and they get a captive gorilla. The apes from Florida are heading toward Atlanta and massacre a human farming community. The research centers in Portland and Atlanta are working to analyze the simian flu. They find it is mutating and effecting human’s cognitive abilities. Colonel McCullough arrives at Portland and he thinks the scientists are not doing enough about the plague by keeping apes. He has the apes killed then the scientists. He then plans on moving to San Francisco to take out the apes.

Well a lot of different storylines are going and the writer manages to keep them going and interesting. We are seeing the origin of Bad Ape and Colonel McCullough and his little kooky genocidal plans for both apes and those humans he blames for the plague. Filling in a lot of story that was not told in the movie.

THE WARLORD #92

“Evil in Ebony”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artists: Alan Kupperberg & Pablo Marcos

Morgan and company ambush a patrol of New Atlanteans. He needed their armor so him and Krystovar can scout out Shamballah in disguise. They also take Shakira who will scout out the palace as a cat. When they arrive Morgan gets into a fight with a New Atlantean who was stealing fruit from a defenseless vendor. When Krystovar stops to bandaged the man’s severed fingers this cause some tension between the two. So they complete the mission and are heading back to camp but have not gone unnoticed. Saaba the witch follows in the form of a crow and brings to life an Earth elemental. Morgan and Krystovar manage to roll a boulder on it destroying it. But Saaba has overheard their attack plan for Shamballah and knows where their base is.

Meanwhile Tinder almost falls under the spell of the gem. Jennifer stops the Evil One from taking over his body in time and forbids Tinder from coming into the Evil One’s old lair until she can safely destroy the gem. The Vashek assassins have tortured the information from Captain Hawk’s first mate Pegleg. They now know where Morgan is to meet Hawk.

Well a lot happened in this issue. We see Shamballah under occupation and Morgan is starting to come up with a plan. I loved the tension that Krystovar’s act of mercy caused between the two. Morgan is angry because he thinks the enemy deserved to have his fingers cut off. Krystovar thinks it was needless cruelty. Both have strong convictions and refuse to back down. But both work together well and are still great friends.

There was some humor as Shakira while exploring the palace runs into a guard with some lizard dogs. He releases them and one comes running back in fear and the other is stabbed with a spear. Just a little black cat is in the room and he goes out shouting about a demon cat. The Evil One seems to be asserting himself and has targeted Tinder to be possessed. The Vashek assassins are coming closer to meeting Morgan. Finally Saaba is going to tell Lord Sabretooth where Morgan is so future issues are looking to be full of excitement.

THE ROOK #7

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

On Io a moon of Jupiter a young woman is comforting her dying mother. She plans to get the old spaceship running and bring back her father. So with her pet giant cat with a big horn growing out of its nose they take off. She lands in Cottonwood Arizona 1981 and being in a furkini with a giant horned cat does attract attention but she manages to evade the police. She manages to throw a knife in Restin Dane’s car tire with a message with coordinates to meet her.

So Restin and Bishop head off in their alien space and time machine to Io. There they find a swamp world with deadly alligators and snakes. They meet the old woman who shortly after dies. The furkini girl Coral is there also. She is Restin’s daughter and feels that he abandoned them to this world. She destroys their ship and steals their guns so they can’t defend themselves. They battle one giant snake and kill it but another is coming.

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

In 1937 young Clark in Smalltown, Illinois has an illegitimate child with Amelia Earhart. This causes his father a heart attack and Clark goes off to the Bigtown. Amelia leaves the child at a monastery in Indiana. The child grows up to be Joe Guy a superhero for hire. He has easy financing and takes all major credit cards. He works from JGI headquarters in Bigtown, Illinois. Two Soviet journalist coming to interview him are exposed as robots working for his archnemesis Jellyfish.

After defeating the robots an alien probe comes looking to hire him. A dangerous criminal named Glink has come to Earth. They offer 1 million Yahooties for his capture. Joe agrees and goes off in his Wotta Car to the Rockies. One condition is him and his partner a dwarf must wear Audio Refractors or ear plugs so they are not distracted by Glink’s lies. They find Glink who is a cute goofy alien and they pull out the ear plugs and find that Glink is an escaped slave. The ear plugs are explosives that were to eliminate our heroes. Glink is allowed to remain in the caves as our heroes return home.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala
Voltar is dying from the plague and Magog’s assassins decide to bring him back. They want to show the conquered humans their hero as a captive and hope the plague will spread. So they bring Voltar to the captured castle and he is thrown in the dungeon. An old man named Sadducees heals him. Voltar then notices the dungeon is full of warriors and wonders why they were captured so easily. Seems their savior who is nailed to an x outside convinced them that the only way to salvation was to accept their lot with dignity. Voltar rejects this and vows to fight on. At the end the assassin who brought him is is the king’s estranged son.

This was a good issue. The Rook story was a hoot with them going to the jungle world of Io. Not sure how life could exist on Jupiter’s moon but it is a cool idea. Restin’s daughter is a hot chick in a furkini but you wonder about the paradox of having him never meet her mother. How would she be born to prevent Restin from meeting her mother. Interesting to find out next issue.

Joe Guy is a not so subtle parody of Superman. Still it is a goofy story. Interesting that back in 1980 the world is described as full of pollution, energy shortages, nuclear proliferation, terrorists, pimps, mobsters and politicians who are more crooked than any of them. Sounds like nothing changed in the last forty years.

Voltar continues on. The stories are short but interesting and I love the artwork.