KULL THE CONQUEROR #8

“Blade of Justice!”
Writer: Alan Zelenetz
Artist: Sal Buscema

A man is executed for murdering the temple virgins. Everyone is all pumped up about the justice being served except Kull. He feels only true justice is done when you catch the person in the act and kill him on the spot. Not imprison him and then chop his head off while he is all tied up. Apparently this man was not the killer for the murders of temple virgins continues. The mob demands justice and Kull pledges to personally track down the culprit. Going undercover he catches the killer in the act. One of his own Red Slayers who is angry at being rejected by the virgins. So Kull fights and wins. Later Baron Kaanuub is sentenced to death but Kull decides to commute the sentence. Instead Kaanuub is stripped of his citizenship and banished. Meanwhile Brule is heading back home and is confronted by a sea creature that warns him to turn back.

So this issue was good but not great one. We get some insight into Kull’s vision of justice. Naturally it consists of it being administered immediately without any of the civilized formalities. Interesting his mercy for Kaanuub might be more cruel than a quick death. Someone like the weak cowardly Kaanuub may not last too long on his own. The subplot with Brule is looking interesting. Sounds like a wizard is now the chief of his tribe and the monster he confronts is a sign that wizard feels threatened by the return of Brule. Oh and there is another subplot that involves Daphna the noble’s daughter he saved from the goblins. She has fallen in love with Kull and goes to seek a love potion from an old hag of a wizard.

KONG ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #2

“Return of the King”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Carlos Magno

The apes have made it to Skull Island and start exploring. They come upon a ruined temple and are attacked by carnivorous plants. Then they find a huge temple with a giant statue of an ape. After another attack by raptors and a pterodactyl they explore the temple. Then to their surprise they are captured by talking humans. The humans take them to their leader an old woman named Storyteller. She and her young apprentice Ni’ta can speak English. They tell of the line of great Kongs. At the end a ceremony is initiated to call Kong for tribute. It ends with Dr. Zaius going to meet Kong.

The second issue does a good job of setting up Skull Island. We get a good look at all the dangers of the island. General Ursus is his typical kill all humans but Zaius is a moderating voice of reason. So far their adventures have been filled with action and strange creatures. Now with Kong we end on a mystery that the reader can’t wait for. This is a very good series and so far has been quite intriguing.

MR. CRYPT #2

“…Meets Vampires”
Writer: Troy Vevasis
Artist: Aleksandar Jovic

A man named Godfrey comes into the library that Mr. Crypt works at. He is a hunter of the undead and has heard of an evil skeleton terrorizing the village. Mr. Crypt starts to panic but luckily Godfrey is more interested in vampire hunting. He is looking for a book about them. The book tells of a brother and sister named Sofia and Ivan. They are in town. He then wonders why Mr. Crypt has such a familiarity with the undead section. Crypt panics and decides to tell him that he is also a vampire hunter. Godfrey asks for him to meet him at the tavern later in the evening.

So Mr. Crypt goes home and tells Baron Rat about his new friend. Baron offers to give Mr. Crypt a wooden stake but he feels that is too dangerous. So instead Baron give him a whole garlic. Later at the tavern he meets Godfrey and they split up. Mr. Crypt is to go to the clock tower and get Sofia. Along the way another evil skeleton comes out of the ground and chases Mr. Crypt until he shows him that he is also a skeleton. At the clock tower Sofia tries to bite Mr. Crypt but breaks her teeth on his neck. She then starts a spell that will turn the whole town into vampires. Mr. Crypt picks up a gear lying on the floor and throws it. It shatters her ring crystal and this turns Sophia into dust.

Later he finds Godfrey being chased by Ivan and joins him in running away. Ivan turns into a bat and gets ahead of them. Mr. Crypt pulls his garlic and throws it in Ivan’s mouth. This causes Ivan to explode. Later Mr. Crypt receives the key to the city from a grateful town that he saved from the vampires. When he arrives home he is startled by Baron Rat pretending to be a vampire but the rat gives his friend a trophy of a skeleton with the words #1 hero.

The second issue was even more lovable than the first. This comic is just hilarious. Mr. Crypt comes out the hero with his improbable antics and is now an accepted citizen of the town. That is as long as the glue holds up for his fake mustache.

THE WARLORD #105

“Stalkers of Shinnar”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

Morgan and Shakira come upon a man being attacked by lizard-men on giant lizard mounts. Morgan comes to the rescue and saves the warrior who is named J’hundra. Two of the lizard-men ride off and J’hundra insists on going after them. He says they are dangerous and must be stopped before they attack others. Morgan is more than willing probably sensing a good fight. As they ride along J’hundra charms Shakira but Morgan is little suspicious. What do they know of this warrior? They catch up to the two lizard-men and during the fight both are killed. J’hundra is overanxious to take out both lizards. Then he gets some cramps and falls down the hill where Shakira goes to help him. Morgan takes the time to talk to the dying lizard. He finds out that J’hundra is really Melchor a being from another dimension. A being that takes the life force of others and also their shapes. The lizards are agents responsible for bringing him to justice. He fights Shakira who is really Melchor and kills him. Shakira is restored and the two ride off. From the decayed corpse a slug emerges and takes over a caterpillar. Not dead yet? Meanwhile Mariah and Machiste are the only survivors of the ship that crashed against the rocks and a barge of skeletons is coming to pick them up. In Kiro the evil N’dosma assumes the throne and kills the forger who made the false documents that claim Machiste made him the heir.

Well this was a mixed bag issue. The overall story idea was sound. This is pure Grell for Morgan to jump in and save someone only to find out later that person didn’t deserve saving. A cool idea with the lifeforce stealing alien. I do question why the lizard-men didn’t have some more advanced weapons. If they are jumping around the universe and dimensions you would think they’d have some impressive guns. Shakira is also still way out of character. She is the one urging Morgan to save J’hundra when she has normally advised against such rash actions. The subplot with Mariah and Machiste and the usurping of the throne of Kiro has great promise. Definitely a high point in the ongoing story.

THE DESTROYER #6

“Mafia Crossfire”
Writer: Will Murray
Artists: Carmine Infantino and Tom Morgan

A man in a sportscar is pulled over by a highway patrolman. Only it is really McCleary who is posing as one and shoots the man in the head. Later he tells Chiun that Remo is dead and shows him the body. Chiun is upset because this ruins his reputation. His pupil is killed by a bullet that he couldn’t dodge. So he goes back to Korea. Then McCleary tells Remo about the assassination. Remo was given the face of a mob hitman known as the Miami Vise. CURE had plans to infiltrate Remo into the mob. The mob is going to war between rival Dons in Boston and Rhode Island. Remo is to infiltrate and get the evidence to put them away.

So in his new persona he finds out he is to make a hit on the don in Rhode Island. He goes down and does shoot the don and his guards. Later while telling the Boston don he explains they were ready for him and he was betrayed by someone in his organization. Remo gets into a fight and kills the suspected traitor. The don plans to go down and claim Rhode Island. Only the other don is alive. He was wearing a kevlar vest. It is revealed that McCleary was the man who was feeding info to both dons. A fight ensues where both sides kill each other. McCleary’s plan worked in he got the two sides to kill each other. When Remo gets back he finds Chiun waiting for him. He wasn’t fooled by the dead body and promises to increase Remo’s training.

“Why There is No Letter Page”
Writer: Will Murray
Artists: James Fry and Chris Ivy

A letter from Chiun on why the magazine has no letter page. The reason is there is no letters worthy of being printed. They all praise the incompetent writer and artists and in some cases Remo. There is not one in praise of Chiun. A hilarious letter to explain the absence of a letter column.

“Destroyer Gallery”
Artists: James Fry, Chris Ivy and Stan Drake.

Portfolio of Remo and Chiun in various action sequences. One is Remo lecturing Chiun he can’t waste people because they interrupt his soap operas.

This was a real fun issue. This is the first that showcases Remo. The other ones before had him relying a lot for help from Chiun. He is now gaining enough experience to go it alone. A really wild and convoluted plot that somehow works. This also prominently features McCleary and shows his Machiavellian plot to take down the mafia. Also shows a growing relationship between Remo and Chiun. A really fun issue.

KULL THE CONQUEROR #7

“Masquerade”
Writer: Alan Zelenetz
Artists: John Buscema and Marie Severin

The big masquerade is about the begin. Two conspirators are waiting for their contact who finally arrives. It is Redondo with the costumes the two are to wear. They are the kill Kull at the ball. As Ridondo leaves he is knocked out and his costume taken by a man who wants to kill Baron Kaanuub. Brule has decided to leave for his homeland. He feels he has grown soft in decadent Valusia. On the way out of the city he comes upon Ridondo who tells him of the plot. They manage to get to the ball in time to arrest Kaanuub and stop the assassins.

Well this was a so-so issue. Kaanuub is exposed for his plotting against Kull. Ridondo was a surprise. It starts out with him part of the conspiracy. Of course it was a ruse to expose the plot. It was a poor plot that was uncharacteristic of Kaanuub. He usually is careful to never be associated with any plot. So at the end Brule is still committed to leave for home and Kull now knows that not everything is as safe as he thought. An OK issue but nothing that stood out in what has been a very excellent run for this incarnation so far.

KONG ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #1

“Untitled”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Carlos Magno

It is after the events of the first movie and Dr. Zaius is leading an expedition. He is going to blow up the Statue of Liberty. When they get there they are surprised to find a giant ape wasted on shore. Zaius enlists Zira and Cornelius to perform an autopsy. Soon after Zaius convinces the council to mount an expedition to find the origin of the giant ape. He hopes that this discovery will united the apes who are now fragmented after their experience with a talking human.

So Zaius who has old human newspapers and maps knows the location of Skull island. With Zira, Cornelius, Ursus and twenty gorilla soldiers they set sail. They stop in Kenya and find a peaceful ape village. The village confirms they are on the right path. As they approach the island they are attacked by a giant octopus and pterodactyl. The gorilla soldiers fight off these creatures. In the distance they hear the roar of a giant ape.

This is probably the most anticipated new series this year I was looking forward to. Another off the wall crossover that I was very curious on how they would accomplish this. Actually it seems like a logical idea to combine these two famous ape properties and Boom does have the rights to both. So far it has a logical story and keeps within the apes mythology. Looking forward to see where this takes me.

MR. CRYPT #1

“Introducing Mr. Crypt: The Living Skeleton!”
Writer: Troy Vevasis
Artist: Aleksandar Jovic

1932 in a small village. On a stormy night a bolt of lightning animates a skeleton in the graveyard. The skeleton crawls out and wonders where he is. So he goes into town and immediately the people go ape shit over a walking skeleton. The skeleton is chased and hides out in a clothing store. There he appropriates a coat, tie, top hat and phony mustache. This is enough to fool people so the skeleton adopts the name of Mr. Crypt. He finds an abandoned shack in the graveyard and a giant rat living there. He makes friends with the rat who he names Baron Rat. With a new friend he goes to buy his pet some cheese.

So after buying a huge block of cheese his mustache is blown off and people recognize he is a skeleton. So they chase him to the graveyard which the mob won’t enter because it is creepy. So Mr. Crypt settles in. He finds some flowers growing at another home that he appropriates for his. He has a run in with a dog that takes his hand and he is apparently recognized by the mob with his phony mustache because they chase him again. He takes refuge in a library where the kind old librarian gives him a job. She doesn’t say anything when his hat falls off and Mr. Crypt is optimistic that life won’t be so bad after all.

This has got to be the most lovable character I have come across. Poor old Mr. Crypt just wants to get along. My first impression of a walking skeleton would be that its the work of Satan. So I guess you can’t judge by first impressions. He is so friendly and optimistic you just can’t help loving him. I love that the mustache seems to make a difference in his disguise. He doesn’t wear pants or shoes. Has no eyeballs or skin but the coat, top hat and mustache make him look human. I guess people just don’t look that closely. This was written for young children but I find it quite amusing as an adult. Something a little out of the ordinary.

THE WARLORD #104

“Dragon Skinner”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

Morgan and Shakira come upon three men killing a mother Allosaurus for her skin. They are going to butcher the hatchlings but Shakira stops them. She is helped by Morgan who shoots the ax out of one of the skinners hands. This does not deter the dragon skinners and later they observe that Shakira can turn into a cat while she is taking a swim. So they grab her and get Morgan to give over his pistol. The leader then shoots Morgan but only grazes him. Morgan wakes up and goes after them. He stops at the dead Allosaurus to get a weapon the giant crossbox bolt that killed her. Only the male comes back and thinks Morgan killed his mate. So a big chase ensues with Morgan managing to escape. Morgan finds the group after the leader kills his partners. He takes the gun but the male Allosaurus comes and because the leader took a fang from his mate he eats him. In a subplot Machiste and Mariah board a boat in Bakwele disguised as priests. The conspirators in Kiro pay off the man who claims to have assassinated them but is betrayed himself when he finds a deadly snake in the money pouch.

Well we finally get a permanent artist in Ron Randall and he is an exceptional artist. Unfortunately I have a number of issues with this issue. Shakira is nothing like the feline that Grell established. She interferes with some guys trying to make a living. I mean dinosaurs aren’t an endangered species so what’s wrong with hunting them. Obviously these guys were tools but they were just going about their business. Shakira is also swimming in water which has been established as something she hates. She also goes around wearing a sword.

Morgan is wasting ammo a lot. It was established that he is on his last clip but uses it for some fancy shooting to hit the ax. He also just gives the pistol to a primitive who has no knowledge of firearms. He could have set the safety. Just so many sloppy characterizations. The only interesting thing is the subplot with the conspirators in Kiro. Sadly Fleischer just doesn’t have a good understanding of the characters.

THE DESTROYER #5

“The Fist of Gallah”
Writer: Will Murray
Artists: Lee Weeks and Chris Ivy

The country in on alert because the nation of Ireanistan is upset over a bad book of poetry that basically calls the ayatollah a fink. They have vowed an unstoppable missile with a nuclear warhead in retaliation. Instead of a flying missile it is the Fist of Gallah a huge vehicle that leaves a barn in Mexico with two suicide drivers who are willing to die for Gallah and Bislam. The vehicle plows through everything. Even the tanks of the National Guard can’t stop it. Unfortunately the two drivers are not the sharpest pencils. They forget to bring a map. Luckily for them they manage to ask a passing hippy in his van the way. Then they drive the hippy off the road.

So CURE decides to sent Remo. First he has to be taught by Chiun how to tip a vehicle. Chiun manages to flip over a speeding bus then flip it back. It is all about finding the center. Remo though just doesn’t get it but learns how to jump on top of the bus. So Remo goes out and jumps on top of the traveling vehicle. It is just hours away from Quincy, Massachusetts the home of author William Pierce. Just before they enter one of the terrorists has to go to the bathroom. The other doesn’t want to stop since they will be dead in a moment. The other is insistent since he doesn’t want to enter paradise with wet pants.

So when he gets out Remo knocks him out and takes his place with the head covering. So they drive on until they reach a drawbridge that was lifted. So Remo acts and breaks the crank that was to set off the explosion. He tries to reach for his pistol but the other drives the vehicle into the river. It continues going as the two escape. Remo pushes the terrorist under the wheels which grind him into the riverbed. The world is saved once again.

“How Remo Came to Sinanju”
Writer: Will Murray
Artist: Don Perlin

Chiun is writing his memoirs of his experiences. He has a fanciful take on his training with Remo. That he is forced to take this job to teach a dumb white American the arts of Sinanju. While writing he catches Remo coming back with a bucket of fried chicken wings. Thus another punishment for eating dead chicken and burned cow meat.

This series just keeps getting better with each issue. Now the names are slightly changed I guess to not offend a certain country and religion but its very obvious what they mean so I don’t get what the point was. The Iranian fatwah against Salmon Rusdie was in the news at that time so this was a clear satire about it. There is a lot of humor especially from the dumb suicide drivers One says he would kill the other if they weren’t going to die soon. Also the whole stopping for a pee break was priceless. The continued interactions between Chiun and Remo continues to be the main draw for this series. While Chiun is always acting with contempt we get a brief moment where Chiun is actually admitting to himself that his pupil shows great promise. Remo himself is no longer trying to escape and has learned much already so this relationship is growing.