SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #8

“Untitled”
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo
Artist: Maria Sanapo

Sheena wakes up to find herself locked in a cage at a secret research facility of Cadwell Industries. A beautiful scientist explains how they plan to use her to open the ancient temple doors. They plan to do this by using her friends Chano and Lirio to force Sheena to help. This gets Sheena angry and she breaks out of the cage. But Cadwell himself is there and uses the electro shocker on her wrist to subdue her. Lirio decides to end this by stealing a knife and using her knowledge of the ancient’s magic manages to open the temple doors. From them emerge Mapinguari.

The series is really picking up now. Sheena finally meets the CEO of Cadwell who does a good job of playing the evil CEO. Sheena shows she is one tough chick. Her friends are reunited and ends with another cliffhanger that the nasty monsters have been let loose. I have to say I really love this artists version of Sheena. I don’t think I ever seen her drawn so beautiful before.

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RED SONJA HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

“Curse of the Wolf”
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Tom Garcia

Sonja arrives in a village during the festival of Valahiei. A time when the barrier between the spirit world and the real world is at its thinnest and spirits come through. Sonja just wants some ale and rest. At the local tavern she is approached by an old woman needing help. Her son is a prisoner to a monster and Sonja agrees to rescue him. So with a local man she sets out into the forest. Here she is confronted by the spirit of Kulan Gath. He distracts her enough for a werewolf to kill her companion. Sonja manages to kill the werewolf. The old woman shows up and reveals that the werewolf was her son. Now her spirit can rest and she fades away.

“Hail Halcoose!”
Writers: Tom Defalco Anthony Marques & Liam Marques
Artists: Anthony Marques & Avery Marques

Sonja is attacked in a tavern by hooded men. She has such contempt for them she beats them up with a leg of lamb. She finds out they serve Halcoose and took a little girl that was there also for sacrifice. So Sonja goes and kills both the leader of the cult and the monster Halcoose.

So this seems an appropriate issue for Halloween. Two stories with a scary vibe to them. Both were enjoyable with our heroine saving some innocent from a monster. The first one had a twist ending with the mother being a spirit. The second was shorter but fun. Nice light entertainment for the holiday.

THE WARLORD ANNUAL #6

“When the Gods Make War!”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Pablo Marcos

Darkseid is assembling an invasion force to conquer Skartaris and seize its minerals. The minerals will increase the destructive power of his weapons one hundredfold. Lightray a captive overhears and manages to escape to the New Gods. They decide to assemble their own force to defeat Darkseid. They sent Lonar with his Motherbox to warn Morgan. He arrives and warns Morgan but the internal moon of Skartaris interferes with Lonar’s communications home. Then the invasion force strikes.

Meanwhile Tara just freed from the dungeon comes on Y’smalla in her disguise just about to stab Machiste in the back. She fights her and defeats her but Y’smalla manages to run away. Not much time to explain things as Darkseid’s forces are now attacking Kiro. Lead by Desaad they are like everywhere else overwhelming the primitive defenders. So Tara manages to climb a tower with Machiste and jump on the flying sled that Desaad uses to survey the battle. They force him to call off the forces attacking which he does.

So the battle is going bad for Shamballah. Morgan finally manages to get a message to the New Gods and they arrive. Quickly they defeat the forces of Mantis and split up to liberate the other cities. Morgan manages to defeat Mantis and drive him out. The New Gods leave with a warning to Morgan to watch out for Darkseid is a sore loser and his world has a valuable mineral.

The final annual and probably my least favorite. Now it was a good story. It had plenty of action and flowed quickly. I loved seeing Tara get her revenge on Y’smalla. She proves to be one tough woman who can handle herself. I guess my main complain is it seems more a superhero book. Morgan is given stuff to do and does it well but he is still sort of playing second fiddle in this issue. Skartaris and its medieval armies are obviously no match for the technologically advanced hordes of Darkseid. So most of the heavy lifting is the New Gods. Now I know this was winding down the DC superhero crossovers but I think the damage was done. This series just never got back the feeling of wonder and adventure that Grell created.

PLANET OF THE APES #7

“Beneath the Editorial Line”
By Don McGregor

The editorial that tells about the demiss of two titles and how it was originally written for Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu but was recycled and put here.

“Beneath the Planet of the Apes”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Taylor and Nova continue on after finding the remains of the Statue of Liberty. They come on the ruins of New York but every time they approach something blocks their way. Fire shooting up, a thunderstorm, fissure from an earthquake and finally a wall of ice. Taylor goes to the wall and falls through leaving Nova alone. She rids away and we then cut to Brent who survived the crash of his ship. He finds Nova and the dogtags of Taylor. Nova takes him to Ape city. There he listens to the fiery speech of General Ursus who plans to invade the Forbidden Zone to take the resources and also kill all the humans. They hide from a patrolling gorilla guard.

“Exclusive Interview with Marvin Paige”
By Susan Monshower

Marvin Paige is the casting director for the Planet of the Apes TV series. We find out that to be an ape requires brown eyes and a certain height. Also actors who can handle the masks.

“Natalie Trundy: Monkey Business of the Planet of the Apes”
By Sam Maronie

An article on Natalie Trundy the wife of producer Arthur Jacobs who was cast in the four subsequent movies. First as a mutant in Beneath. Then as the animal behaviorist that befriends Zira and Cornelius in Escape. Finally as the wife of Ceasar in Conquest and Battle. Has a biography of her life.

“Man the Fugitive”
By John Warner

A review of the novelization of two episodes from the TV series by George Alec Effinger. A overall positive review with the complaint that the first episode seemed to start without any explanation.

“Enslaved”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Brent and Nova manage to elude the guard and go to Zira and Cornelius’s home. There they help Brent and give him food, maps and proper human attire. They warn him to never talk. So Brent and Nova start out but get captured. They are scheduled to be taken for target practice by the army. Luckily Zira manages to unlock the cage on their wagon and they manage to escape. They find a cave which leads to the ruins of an underground subway station in New York.

So this issue they start the adaptation of the movie Beneath the Planet of the Apes.Considered by many to be inferior to the original. Still I enjoyed it. I remember being captivated with it as a kid on Sunday afternoon. The adaptation is accurate with some minor changes probably from changes in the original script.

The articles were once again interesting. They are starting book reviews which I find interesting since they have released all these books recently. Thinking of checking them out. They must have been slow with the Terror story since they put two adaptations in this issue. Don’t really mind since I enjoyed the final result.

MARVEL PREMIERE #38 WEIRDWORLD

“The Lord of Tyndall’s Quest”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Mike Ploog & Alex Nino

Tyndall of Klarn has been send by the dwarves he was living with to find the Heart of Evil in the Realm of Shadow. A land that has a ring shaped island floating in the sky and casts a permanent shadow. Inside the light ring he finds the skeleton of a behemoth and inside an egg. The egg hatches and out comes Velanna a beautiful elf woman. Tyndall is overjoyed since he thought he was the only one of his kind. They start out of the place and have to fight the swamp serpents.

They are unaware that an old wizard named Grithstane is watching. He creates from candle wax creature to go and capture the young elf duo. Grithstane needs Tyndall to go to the floating island and bring back the blood of a dragon so he can regain his youth. You see he has a beautiful elf girl captive he wants to be young for. With Velanna’s life is danger he has no choice but the be transported to the island. There he finds some tribe about the sacrifice a young elf girl to the dragon. He tries to save the girl but she is a swamp serpent that can change shape. The dragon comes and battles the swamp serpent and kills it. Then Tyndall kills the dragon and takes its blood. Luckily as be comes back he finds out that Grithstane was eaten by the captive elf girl who was really a swamp serpent in disguise. Good for him since Grithstane planned to kill him when he got back. The two young elves continue to search for a place to live in Weirdworld.

So this was I think the first Weirdworld comic that was done. I really loved the concept and am disappointed that nothing really was done with it. After the excellent Warriors of the Shadowrealm nothing except for a few appearances ever came from it. You know they are always reviving stuff from the past and this concept looks to have great possibility. You never know.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #16

“The Frost Giant’s Daughter”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Barry Smith

A reprint from Savage Tales #1.

“The Sword and the Sorcerers!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Barry Smith

Starr the Slayer is battling Trull the wizard. As he battles we cut to a man waking up screaming. It is Len Carson who writes the popular adventures of Skarr the Slayer. He has nightmares and decides to kill off his character to end them. Only as he walks to mail the manuscript the real Skarr is somehow transported to his world. He kills Carson to save his own life.

So this issue reprints the classic REH story that appeared in Savage Tales. Since that issue had a low circulation this probably was not read by many people. It received a new splash page and some alteration to make it more suitable with the comics code.

The second was a fun story idea. Having a Conan like character appear in the real world to save himself by killing his creator. A unique idea and an enjoyable back up to this issue.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #7

“Untitled”
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo
Artist: Maria Sanapo

Sheena and her friend Lirio are confronted by the mysterious huntress. She is anxious to find out if Sheena has a mark on her wrist. The three get into a fight and the huntress finds the mark. She reveals that she is Sheena’s grandmother. That her daughter was taken with other young children by outsiders. She searched for her daughter and finally found that she died in a plane crash. But she has heard of the blonde haired girl who has defended Mother Forest. She also claims she is not responsible for the blight that is affecting the forest.

Meanwhile at Cadwell industries a group is trying to break into a temple but some power always disintegrates the men trying to break in. Cadwell is very impatient and threatens his chief of security who comes up with the idea that Sheena could open the door. So he goes out and captures Sheena and Lirio.

So Sheena has a grandmother and I have to say she has really aged well. Doesn’t look like a grandmother at all. We also find out that the evil Cadwell corporation is once again up to no good. Messing around with stuff they shouldn’t be messing with. So Sheena and her friend get captured and her grandmother is once again real angry. Also a nice glimpse into Sheena’s past.

RED SONJA #21

“The Blade of Skath”
Writers: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Skath wake up from his drunken stupor and finds the village deserted except for an old blind man. The man tells how Sonja has taken everyone to depose Sandak. Feeling ashamed that he let everyone down, Skath goes to the castle. At the moment Sonja has fallen in the moat and must battle a great white shark. Skath challenges Sandak in public. This challenge is too public and his men will not back him. So Skath easily defeats the wimpy Sandak. Then throws him in the moat where the shark eats him. Then Sonja kill the shark and a great celebration ensues. Only it is interrupted by Sonja’s evil doppelganger that Gath created appearing. She has been following the amulet of Gath that Lera was carrying. So a fight ensues which Real Sonja wins by throwing the amulet over the castle wall. The phony Sonja jumps after it to her death. Sonja decides to leave alone.

So the Blade of Skath story comes to a close. A fun ending with Skath finally getting his revenge and reclaiming his castle. Sonja shows how badass she is by punching a great white. An unexpected development in having the evil double appear. So all ends well and we will have Sonja continue to wander on her own. Which is probably a good idea for this series since she has like Conan been at her best wandering and adventuring.

THE WARLORD #121

“Clouds of War!”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artists: Art Thibert & Pablo Marcos

Morgan leads the Shamballahs in opposing an invasion by their former ally Khaambuka. Morgan manages early on to subdue the general and get a truce. He learns they blame Shamballah for a devastating catapult attack on their city. Later Morgan wanders alone and comes on some advanced group of men mining. They shoot at him with lasers and cause a rock slide that knocks him out. Jennifer and Kara review the tapes in Arion’s monument and find out that the demon they faced is named Azmyrkon. He was defeated by Arion and locked in a crystal. His power scepter was broken up into three pieces. Now the demon is attempting to recover his scepter. The first stop takes them to a volcano and the demon kicks the two girl’s ass. Machiste still resists going to war with Shamballah never suspecting that the Tara he keeps company with is in fact Y’smalla and the one responsible for all the attacks. The real Tara manages to escape from her dungeon. Redmond steals the cure for the condition that turned him into a beast and kills some innocents along the way. At the end Desaad introduces a new power element to power Darkseid’s weapons. The source is located in Skartaris.

So once again multiple subplots abound. I did find the issue went fast and I can understand what’s going on so the multiple subplots seem to be working. It is also interesting and I especially loved how Tara managed to escape by grabbing the whip of her abusive jailer. Also Jennifer and Kara are a good fit for a team and this plot has my interest. Unfortunately the big war is coming to a close in the next annual. It involves Darkseid and the New Gods so we are still getting into way too much superhero action in this series. Good news is most of the subplots are coming to a close.

PLANET OF THE APES #6

“Editorial in a Zone Forbidden”
By Don McGregor

An editorial on his time at the Academy of Comic Book Arts. How beautiful the main story looks and rambles on about other stuff.

“Malaguena Beyond the Zone Forbidden”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Mike Ploog

So Gunpowder Julius and Steely Dan agree to take the Lawgiver, Jason and Alexander back home on their riverboat Simian.Along the way they have to fight off giant mutant frogs. They come on a settlement of gypsies composed of both humans and apes. At first they are greeted with suspicion but are invited to dinner. Things go fine until a jealous chimp named Grimaldi hits Jason for flirting with Malaguena a human girl. The gypsy leader Mama Lena has the two fight with knives to the death. Jason defeats Grimaldi but refuses to kill him. Then a laser blasts Grimaldi for Brutus has arrived with the mutants.

“Urko Unleased”
By Chris Claremont

An interview with Mark Leonard who plays General Urko on the TV series. Talks about how he got the part and working long hours in ape makeup.

“Ape for a Day”
By Samuel James Maronie

An article on how Maronie was able to be cast as a mutant extra in the Battle movie. It talks about his time on set and observing the ape makeup process.

“The Secret”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: George Tuska & Mike Esposito

Taylor, Zira and Cornelius are showing Dr. Zaius what they found in the cave. The evidence doesn’t point to a pre-ape society until Nova sets off the human doll that talks. Taylor decides to take off with Nova after a philosophical conversation with Zaius on the nature of man. He rides down the beach and finds the truth. That he is back on Earth for there is the remains of the Statue of Liberty.

Well another good issue. The terror series continues to get interesting with the find of a gypsy camp. A glimpse back to Ape city shows that humans and apes are on the verge of open warfare. Seems that apes and humans get along fine everywhere else. The relationship between Grimaldi and Malaguena is just wrong. Apes and humans should not get together. That is just weird. Ends on a cliffhanger as usual.

The articles were good. Another interview with someone involved with the TV series. The one about his experiences at the water treatment plant for the scene from Battle was also interesting and showed what it was like filming there.

Finally the movie adaptation comes to its end. This was one of the most brilliant endings for a movie and set the standards for twist ending.

The big reveal.

The trailer for the movie.