THE WARLORD #99

“Fire and Sword”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Andy Kubert

Morgan and Machiste are leading their people to a new camp through the great swamp. They have to battle a multi-headed hydra which proves quite hard to kill. Then at the camp Morgan makes a decision to go after Cykroth the Unholy alone. He refuses help but Krystovar and Jennifer explore ways to help. In New Atlantis Cykroth gives the chieftain of the Vashek assassins some of his power. Then a fire-breathing dragon he can ride so he goes off after Morgan. He finds him and the two battle. Morgan manages to get between the dragon and the Vashek. The dragon shoots his fire but misses and hits the Vashek who burns up. The dragon which was linked to the Vashek disappears. He gets back to camp and meets Krystovar who has found a secret entrance to Cykroth’s place. Jennifer has discovered that Cykroth is dependent on his followers for his psychic energy. They plan their attack.

So this is basically a filler issue. I mean to get to 100 you have to publish a 99. So we get some action mainly with the chief Vashek who is charged up and battles Morgan on a fire-breathing dragon. We also get some insight into what the big 100 will be about. Burkett did a go job for a filler issue. It was interesting yet makes you wonder how he plans to have Cykroth defeated when Morgan and his followers are in such a beaten shape.

Oh and a bonus we have Tara tell Graemore that she loves Morgan and will never feel that way with him. The fop with his curly girly hair finally gets the message. Just another little good bonus for this story. Next the big climactic confrontation.

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EERIE #132

“The Dane Curse!”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Luis Bermejo

So Restin with his friend Rogan are fighting off the superstitious villagers of Sarnath in 1781. They use crucifixes to drive off the villagers but the cowardly leader takes children hostage. Thus Restin and Lucinda are put on trail for witchcraft. Restin pleads guilty and asks that Lucinda be spared since she was under his spell. The judge agrees but plans to burn Lucinda alive anyway. While in jail Restin tests the blood of the infected and finds a cure. It is supernatural based and he uses an exorcism to drive out the evil spirit. It succeeds and forms one big demon. Back in the future Ambrose Bierce, his grandfather and others are battling the evil goop coming from the ground. A rip in the time space continuum occurs. Bierce jumps in and this resets the universe. Restin finds himself back in 1981 New England with no memory of what happened.

“The Nu Zud Kamish Hero of the Milky Way”
Writer: John Ellis Sech
Artist: E.R. Cruz

Zud Kamish is some sort of hero for hire. He has lost all his money in a casino but managed to get money for a return trip home for his family using loaded dice. On the cruise ship a pig-headed alien takes hostages because he lost all his money in the casinos. Zud shoots him and saves the day. He is the good.
On an alien world a man named Shoka kills two aliens and the woman who double-crossed him. After breaking the woman’s neck he laughs. He is the bad.
Zud is hired to guard an ambassador with an elephant’s head who started the Zombie Wars. Shoka tries to poison the ambassador but Zud notices and finds it was an acid and not Ambrosia. He throws it in Shoka’s face and he runs off vowing revenge. Later he plants a bomb that kills Zud’s family. This is the dead.

“Space Force: Shipwrecked!”
Writer: Jean-Claude Forest
Artist: Paul Gillon

At the end of the twentieth century aliens invade Earth with deadly spores. A man and woman are sent into space in suspended animation. After a millennium Christopher Savage is revived and he is on Venus. The floating city he is on has run aground. So he leads a party to a military base for help. When he arrives at Anastasia III he finds it was overrun by the alien Evadors. They meet a patrol that survived and search the base. They find one survivor who claims the aliens are the rats and starts shooting them. Then one of the robots attacks but luckily the humans have some sort of creature that can tear them apart. They leave the base to go back to the stranded floating city.

“Haggarth”
Writer & Artist: Victor De La Fuente

Two men are in the jungle when they meet Haggarth. Haggarth needs their canoe to get an injured man to safety. In return he will help them. Haggarth is unaware that the men are looking for Kanthar Rocks which would give them power. Along the way Haggarth rescues an Amazon warrior. This comes in handy since the Amazon warrior is the princess and help when the two men are captured.

I got this issue of Eerie since it had the final installment of the Rook story after his magazine was cancelled. The final Rook story was a bit confusing and went all over the place. Who knew the writer Ambrose Bierce was such an expert of time travel. Still I liked it. There is something charming about these old Warren stories.

The other stories were also quite enjoyable. Zud Kamish was a kooky space opera type story with anthropomorphic type aliens that wore suits and smoked cigars. It was a play on the old western The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Seemed like it was set up for future installments.

The other two were continuations of ongoing stories that would continue next issue. I liked both as one was a good old sci-fi and the other a sword & sorcery. In fact I could enjoy this series and will someday check out the reprint collections. It was sad that the Rook was cancelled but had a good run and there are also many more stories in the pages of Eerie. Of course it didn’t matter much it the Rook was cancelled or not since soon after Warren went bankrupt after losing a lawsuit to Harlan Ellison for plagiarism.

KULL THE CONQUEROR #2

“The Amulet of Ka”
Writer: Alan Zelenetz
Artist: John Buscema

Tu the councilor to Kull was left behind on a state visit. Riding in the rain alone he falls off his horse and is seriously injured. Kull is angry with himself because he let his temper get the better of him and now his friend is dying. He hears of the Amulet of Ka located on a mountain in the unexplored lands to the south. So with Brule, Akeon and another the three set out on a quest. They have to battle blood sucking plants and rogue mammoths. They reach the mountain and find it inhabited by a race of bird-men. Ravian their king tells how long ago they waged war with men and lost. All their females and brood were killed and only a few males live on thanks to the amulet.

Ravian is open to giving Kull the amulet but his nephew Vultus objects. Ravian kill him with a sword. Later Akeon turns against Kull by stabbing Brule in the back while Kull is battling a giant bird. Kull later manages to slay Akeon and use the amulet to heal Brule. They make it back in time to save Tu.

“Reprise…”
Writer: Alan Zelenetz
Artist: John Buscema

Gallus and Talena are to be married. In the garden Gallus goes to pick a pomegranate for her but slips and hits his head on a stone bench. Talena goes to her father who is talking with Kull. They go to help and find Gallus dead. Talena begs for Kull to use the amulet to bring him back. Against his better judgement he agrees and brings him to life. Only the spirit of death inhabits the body and is pissed that Kull would dare try to cheat him. He sprouts tentacles and tries to kill Kull. Kull manages to bash his head in with the stone bench. He then takes the amulet and throws it into the sea.

Well this was another excellent issue. We get a fun quest into unknown lands and battle strange beasts and bird-men. He also has to battle the traitor Akeon who is trying to usurp the throne. Surprising Brule turned his back on him after he tried to push him off the mountain. And we get a small epilogue to show the dangers of such an amulet and the consequences of using it. Beautiful artwork and a fast paced story keep it interesting.

WHAT IF #112 KA-ZAR

“Brave Old World”
Writer: Brian K. Vaughn
Artist: Coy Turnbull

It this alternate timeline the medallion Ka-zar used to get into the terraformer was destroyed by Parnival. Thanos succeeded and New York is now a jungle. It has been five years and Shanna has been alone in the jungle that is now New York. The surviving Avengers lead by Hawkeye are battling a T-Rex. The T-Rex is killed by a returning Ka-zar. He wears the skull of Zabu who died. The two get a visit from Parnival in a hi-tech suit. Parnival has been hiding out in a bunker but the supplies are out. He needs Ka-zar and Shanna to help him destroy the terraformer.

Parnival secretly planted an explosive in the terraformer only the remote control didn’t work. So it has to be detonated manually. The trio go through the subway and battle a herd of raptors. They make it to the terraformer but the explosive must be detonated by two people. The explosion will kill the two. Ka-zar and Plunder volunteer and Shanna makes it to safety. The terraformer is destroyed and New York is restored. But the city wasn’t the only place effected. The whole world was terraformed and only New York is now restored. Shanna promises to go after Thanos.

I love What If and how it explores an alternate outcome. In this instance it is Thanos succeeding with his terraformer. So New York and the world is one savage jungle. Most of the heroes are dead but some like Hawkeye and the Punisher have adopted. I kind of found it a little creepy that Ka-zar would wear the skull of Zabu. I mean I wouldn’t wear the old bones from my dog. Still an enjoyable story that had Parnival redeem himself.

WONDER WOMAN CONAN #3

“The Dance of the Wicked Crows”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

A flashback to when Conan was twelve. He meets up again with Yanna and they goof off. Yanna kisses Conan and he has his first kiss and crush. Back in the present Conan and Wonder Woman are attacked by a great white shark after jumping off the doomed pirate ship. They manage with the chain that connects them to kill the shark and get on a piece of debris. So the two are floating endlessly when Wonder Woman notices two crows and believes land is near. The crows thought transport them to a rainy land with a strange tower in the distance. The crows transform into two woman named Aniva and Lila. They are responsible for bringing together Conan and Wonder Woman. They are bored demi-gods who wager on battles. The wanted the two to battle each other. Conan and Wonder Woman are both not good at orders and fight instead the crow creatures the two conjure up. The sisters as punishment are going to destroy the city that the two met in. Then they find themselves back on the raft. Wonder Woman is going to save the city and Conan who thinks she is his lost love Yanna will go along. At the end we finish the flashback. Yanna didn’t want to be the chief of her village and was going to run off for adventure. Conan was to accompany her.

So the story reveals the reason Wonder Woman is in this time and without memory. The sisters called the Corvidae look to be evil and formidable enemies. Interesting to see a young Conan who has his first love. He seems to really never gotten over losing his childhood love. He still insists that Wonder Woman is Yanna and refuses to give up that delusion. The two characters work well together and this is turning into a fine crossover series.

THE WARLORD #98

“From the Ashes…”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Andy Kubert

It is after the battle. Many of Morgan’s troops lie dead on the field food for the scavengers. Others are wounded. Graemore dies dying because he was accused as a traitor by Morgan and rushed into battle. The pressure gets to Morgan and he heads off to be alone. An earthquake knocks him off his horse. He wakes in the cave of the mysterious old hermit he met in issue #90. The hermit shows Morgan the Eye of Truth which he encountered many issue ago. He steps in and finds himself in Hell. Here his recently deceased friends and comrades mock him. They blame him for their deaths. The hermit admonishes Morgan to look through the Eye of Truth and not his own. His friends turn to demons who Morgan cuts down. The Eye takes him to his true enemy. The wizard-king of New Atlantis Cykroth the Unholy. A giant cyclops with ram horns. Cykroth blast Morgan who ends up back in the real world. His demons are excised and he is ready to rally his troops for the fight ahead.

This was a good story that focused on Morgan and his insecurities with leadership. His anger and him running away was a very realistic reaction. So there was a spiritual fight to cleanse his soul and remove the doubt that was placed by Cykroth. We also get to meet the wizard-king of New Atlantis and he is one formidable baddie. This was a good story to prepare Morgan for the big battle that is coming in issue 100. You already get the feeling that something epic is just around the corner.

THE ROOK #14

“The Dane Curse!”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin meets the last descendant of Lucinda and he is in bad shape. He blames the Dane curse and the strange goo that is exploding out of the family crypt. Yet there is no time shard for him to latch on to in 1781. But he brings Ambrose Pierce from the past. Pierce is apparently an expert on the theory of time travel. He comes up for a way for Restin to go back to 1781. He has to stand outside his time castle and he will be deposited while the machine comes back. It works and Restin is back in 1781. He rescues a man being taken by soldiers. The man has a sick son who found Restin’s test kit with the goo. This and a book and computer were sent back with him but the first two didn’t make it to the same place. He rescues Lucinda who was being tortured for being a witch and with his silver pen for some reason manages to scare off the soldiers.

“A Study in Scarlet”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Noly Panaligan

Holmes continues to search for the murderer. He puts an ad in the newspaper that Watson found a wedding ring on the road. The killer should come to claim the ring. An old crone comes claiming it belongs to her daughter. Holmes follows her and she escapes in a cab. The crone was an actor disguised as an old woman but really a young man. Holmes later uses the pills found at a second murder and help from his paid street urchins to find the murderer. He is revealed as the cab driver and is arrested. The revel of how all this came about is to be continued.

“The Goblin!”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Lee Elias

Bishop Dane uses the magic book to turn himself into the Goblin and break out of jail. They go to the owners place and find a secret basement where Phinneas Smudge was going to hide the book until the human race was ready. A ghost of Smudge appears thanking them for doing this as it is revealed to him in the afterlife that the book will do great things in the future.

“Fighting Armenian in Heroes”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Rudy Nebres

The Fighting Armenian is patrolling the city and notices a hole in the roof of a scientific installation. He finds an old man dressed in a costume robbing the place. He is the Grasshopper Man. Back in WWII he was infused with grasshopper DNA giving him enormous strength. Only he didn’t like fighting and became a medic. After the war he refused to work for the CIA. Seems the side effects were that he would always eat houseplants and no woman would want a guy who rubbed his legs together in a mating call. Then he finds an accountant sneaking out with the secrets of DNA bio-engineering. The three decide to work together to stop this abuse of science.

“Eagle”
Writer: Colin Dawkins
Artist: John Severin

Chief Eagle comes to the rescue of the wagon train being attacked by the Blackfeet. He convinces the Blackfeet to flee by having one of his warriors take over the signal position and send a signal that the cavalry is coming. The wagonmaster is grateful and apologizes for not listening to Eagle.

So this is the last Rook issue. Now the Rook will continue on only in the pages of Eerie where he started out in. So the conclusion to the Dane Curse will be in an Eerie issue that I will review next Sunday. Interesting enough while the Rook is cancelled the Goblin will be starring in his own series. This series I believe only lasted three issue. Someday I will have to check it out.

The Sherlock Holmes story was a bit rushed and confusing. I still don’t get what happened. Whats more all the answers were to be in a future story. Possibly in one of the anthology issues that Warren did.

The Fightning Armenian was another fun issue. A Grasshopper man who was fighting the abuses of bio-engineering. Of course Sergei is as dumb as a brick and the addition of the accountant was another odd addition but I find this character charming. He too was supposed to live on in the pages of Eerie.

Finally Eagle came to an abrupt ending. A fun story but seemed a little rushed. In fact all the stories were a bit rushed to get them done. I loved the Rook and someday I will get the reprint collections to Eerie.

KULL THE CONQUEROR #1

“Eye of the Tigress”
Writers: Bruce Jones/April Campbell
Artist: John Buscema

Kull is invited to the wedding of the prince of Verulia with the princess of Thule. All the other heads of state on the Thurian continent are there. Including Ku-var the leader of Atlantis. Ku-var has conquered the island of Atlantis. He has a beautiful woman named Irainia with him. A woman who betrayed her Mountain-Sea tribe to him. At the wedding the various champions of the monarchs are competing in friendly duels. Kull chooses Brule while Ku-var chooses Iraina. Iraina wins and shames Brule.

Later an old friend from Kull’s Atlantis days the shaman Ram-Os comes to Kull. Seems that one day Ku-var got drunk and tried to rape Irainia. Instead she slew him then all his soldiers. She now controls Atlantis and has an army of women dressed in tiger skins. On a full moon night the army turns into tigers and has been conquering the countries on the Thurian continent. One day Irainia comes to Kull’s palace as a guest. At night Brule sees the shaman Ram-Os go sneak out and go to the army outside. He uses his magic to turn them into the tigers. As he sneaks back Brule ambushes him and gets the story.

Years ago Ram-Os made a prediction that a child born under a full moon would depose the chief and rule the Thurian continent. Twins were left out for the tigers as the chief was afraid to lose his position. Ram-Os saved the girl but the tigers got the boy. He raised the girl in secret and taught her dark magic. Iraina is Kull’s sister. So the tigers attack Valusia and Kull must fight his sister who turns into a huge tiger. Kull manages to break her neck with his bare hands. Iraina’s death turns all the women back to human and Kull’s throne is safe.

So after a year they started up the Kull series again. Wisely they continued the format of the trial run with no ads, extra length and excellent writers and artists. Another fine tale that has an fascinating story filled with wonderful characters, dark magic and intrigue. So Kull has a sister. Kull has to kill his sister. A wild and tragic outcome for Kull. This is the best Kull series that has ever been written.

KA-ZAR #20

“Lord of the Savage Land!”
Writer: J. Felder
Artist: K. Martinez

Ka-zar has defeated Gregor. The Savage Land is still falling apart. Ka-zar goes to rescue the Gorankian village from a lava flow. He has to burn their huts and have them chase him but he gets them to safety. He meets up with a childhood friend Etuban. Etuban is later killed by a T-Rex. He goes back to Shanna and his family. There the Bhadwuans come. They accuse Ka-zar and Shanna for all the problems and will kill them. Luckily Dherk has managed to rally the inhabitants of the Savage Land to come to the rescue. Ka-zar decides to leave with Shanna. Zira also comes along. Zabu decides to stay.

The final issue for this series. A bit of a letdown. When the decision to cancel this series was made the story seemed to be rushed to just get it over with. Even the writer and others aren’t even credited by full name. I still have no idea why Ka-zar and Shanna were the cause of the problems or why they had to leave. This was a sad ending to a series that started out with great potential. It was a last issue but not very spectacular.

WONDER WOMAN CONAN #2

“Blade and Bracelets, Blood and Sand”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Flashback to Conan’s youth and his time with the young Yanna. They are playing next to a deep chasm to hear the echos. Yanna slips and falls but grabs a ledge. Conan reaches down to save her. So to the present and Conan and Wonder Woman are lead to the arena to fight one another. Conan still believes Wonder Woman is his old childhood crush Yanna. He tries to convince her not to fight but the slavemaster has her memories and she fights Conan. Conan manages to knock her out but refuses to kill her. So the two are sold as galley slaves.

On a pirate ship the two are worked hard. One day the crew wants to throw Wonder Woman overboard because they think she is a jinx. But first they want to have a little fun. Wonder Woman smashes the leaders nose in and a fight begins. Soon a Zingarian patrol boat attacks. In the confusion Wonder Woman jumps off the ship and drags Conan with her. They face great white sharks.

Another excellent issue. We get a glimpse of Conan as a boy and his first love. Then the present story has an exciting plot. They go from gladiator arena to a pirate ship with Wonder Woman trying desperately to remember her past. There are two women who can change into crows that are following and seem to be the cause of Wonder Woman’s current situation. Some great unanswered threads to this story that make the reader want for more.