“Dead Men of the Deep”
Writer: Alan Zelenetz
Artist: John Buscema
Roc the Lemurian pirate has kidnapped some Valusian senators who were on a fact finding mission. When Kull hears of this he decides to go after Roc himself. He has a score to settle with the pirate. Years ago he suffered as a galley slave on his ship. He managed to escape and vowed revenge. Kull finds out that his former friend is a slave on the ship that was carrying the senators. He frees him and finds out where Roc’s base is. Meanwhile a Count Dal Sendor is plotting with the priest of Anu to kill Kull through supernatural means. So he is attacked while enroute by a flying bull. The bull is no match for Kull who stabs it with his sword.
So he gets to the base and attacks. From prisoners he finds out that Roc is holed up with the hostages in a nearby ice cave. Kull and company go there and after a battle Kull buries his ax in Roc’s chest. So with the newly liberated senators they head home. Only the curse of the priest of Amu strikes again. This time a horde of sea-men come out and swarm over the ship. Luckily his councilor Tu was following on another ship and rescues the crew as they set fire to the ship taking out the sea-men. Count Sendor kills the priest of Anu to cover his tracks and plots anew while sucking up to Kull.
Another excellent issue. We get a glimpse into Kull’s past as a galley slave. He manages to rescue his friend and take out an old foe. The senators see the wisdom of his proposal for a strong navy. Although the senate unanimously votes down his proposal to eliminate galley slaves. Kull was a man way ahead of his time. Zelenetz has a real good feel for the character and I have consistently enjoyed his well plotted stories. Combined with Buscema who was a natural for Robert E. Howard stories and this new series shines. Helps also that it was published bi-monthly so there was more time to work on it.