“His Name is Remo”
Writer: Will Murray
Artist: Lee Weeks

A submarine comes at night to a lonely village on the coast of North Korea. They are there to hire Chiun a master of Sinanju. Chuin proves his worth when he takes a man’s pistol and throws it at an approaching North Korean patrol boat and sinking it. He is paid in gold and going to America to teach Remo the way of Sinanju.

In Newark, New Jersey a drug dealer is found dead with his head bashed in by a baseball bat. Next to the body is the badge of officer Remo Williams. He is found guilty of murder and sentenced to the electric chair. Instead of dying he wakes up in a sanitarium with a new face courtesy of plastic surgery. He has been recruited by a secret government agency formed by President Kennedy to fight the crime and corruption that threatens to undermine America’s democracy. Known as Cure it has only two members. Remo is the third and to serve as the enforcement arm for the agency.

Remo is introduced to Chiun who doesn’t like non-Koreans especially white men. He proves to be a harsh teacher and Remo decides to flee. Only nobody will believe him that he is the deceased Remo Williams and goes back to Cure. Meanwhile a defense contractor has invented a new weapon. A pistol that fires a small nuclear explosive. Only problem is the pistol has a limited range and using it is the same as suicide. The developer is taking it home to fix when he is hit by a pickup truck. The driver who is drunk flees not knowing the pistol flew into the back of his truck. He finds it and escapes as the police are coming for him.

Cure gets its first mission for Remo and Chuin. They have to recover the pistol before it is used and causes a nuclear explosion. So they track the man to a school where he has taken hostages. While they plan the attack we get some history on Sinanju. A poor village in Korea was always having to drown their babies during a famine. Known as sending the babies to the sea it was stopped when a man came and taught the villagers skills in fighting. Now the village hired out to emperors, pharaohs and czars as bodyguards and assassins. Later one man was visited by a flaming ring of fire and taught the art of Sinanju. Well the two manage to eliminate the man and retrieve the nuclear pistol.

So back in 1989 Marvel decided to resurrect the black and white magazines. Only The Savage Sword of Conan was still going at the time. They choose to use the Destroyer which was a popular adventure series of books. I never read the books but was familiar with the Fred Ward movie. Someday I would like to check out the books. Anyway this was a fun and enjoyable series. The first issue did a good job of introducing the characters and the background to Sinanju. A bit dark with the babies returned to the sea but for the most part was filled with humor. The nuclear pistol and that someone would be allowed to take home a nuclear bomb is absurd. Yet absurdity is an important ingredient to comedy. A strong start for this series.

One thought on “THE DESTROYER #1

  1. Loved the movie at the time, but haven’t seen it since so no idea if it still holds up. Had a ton of the books and loved those too – fun, fast reads. Also have the magazine run as well which I think are pretty great. Glad to see you covering these.

    Liked by 1 person

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