PLANET OF THE APES THE TIME OF MAN #1

“Armando’s Tale”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: George Schall

Armando takes in baby Milo and raises him. He has to keep it secret that Milo is the talking ape baby of Zira an Cornelius. Young Milo wants to be part of the world and comes up with the idea of being part of the circus by learning to ride a horse. His act is a big success. Later as time goes by we see Armando being offered a job to train apes as they are starting to be sold as pets that can do simple tasks. He finds out in 1991 he has terminal cancer. We end with him taking Milo into the city.

“Man’s Best Friend”
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Carlos Magno

Lucian is a successful orangutan lawyer who decides to buy a young human boy. He is trained and becomes part of the family. He even manages to save the life of his young son who was drowning. The boys grow up and go off to school. One day the boy named Bolo gets sick and dies. Lucian assures his son when he comes home that Bolo has gone off into the country to be well taken care of. In the end two gorillas talk of making a new coat from Bolo’s hide as he is transported in a wagon on garbage.

“Mountain”
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Morgan Beem.

A group of humans are living an idyllic live on a mountain. One day they come on an ape raiding their freshly caught fish. The ape is captured and the group debates killing him. One is the son of Malcolm who was friends with Caesar. The ape escapes and Malcolm stops the woman from shooting him. At the end other apes come but the captive ape named Roman decides to let the humans have their mountain.

This one-shot issue had three stories from both versions of the apes movies. Armando’s tale was in interesting look into the alternate future of young Caesar’s childhood. A short story that deserves to be explored in more detail. The second was a brutal one about how humans have fallen. It really hits home that even a part of the family a pet human still ends up as garbage. The final one takes place farther in the future. Sounds like it is rare for humans to still talk and the apes are well advanced in building their civilization. Also deserves to be developed in more detail. A solid and enjoyable anthology.

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CONAN THE BARBARIAN #19

“Hawks from the Sea!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Barry Smith

Conan and Fafnir are on the Turanian ship headed to war with the city state of Makkalet. They bring up the image of their god Tarim and Conan is not impressed. This angers an officer named Balthaz who tries to stab Conan with a spear. Not a good idea as Conan kicks his butt and throws him overboard to the sharks. Prince Yezdigerd saves Balthaz in time and tells the story about why they are going to war. Tarim was the Lemurian who lead his people in the times of the cataclysm to become the Hyrkanian people. Turan had the descendant who is the living incarnation of the Tarim. Makkalet stole him and now the Turanian’s are going to get him back and raze the upstart city.

So they get to Makkalet and launch the attack. Makkalet’s wizard Kharam-Akkad uses his magic to create nine men that are invincible. They beat back the invasion. Conan goes to help his friend Fafnir who was felled by an arrow and notices something. Conan goes and kills the man in the middle and the others disappear. The Turanians settle in for a long siege.

So this issues is the start of a long epic story that involves the clash between these two feuding states. A religious war with plenty of action and sorcery. This is where Conan starts to learn the way of civilized warfare. Also Barry Smith decided not the quit this series and his excellent artwork will be with us for awhile. So far a good start with Conan already earning the enmity of an officer.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #10

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

Sheena and her two friends Chano and Lirio survive the explosion. They gather up the pieces to the temple face and start to take it back to the site of the original temple. There it will stop the rot that is effecting Mother Forest. First they run into Caldwell and his security man who want payback for their destroyed facility. Sheena’s grandmother comes and saves them with Laura being left behind as Caldwell escapes. Then Sheena and her grandmother must battle a remaining monster and they manage to defeat it together. But the grandmother has a falling out with Sheena because she is friends with Chano a Cowodi. Finally the three make it to the original temple site and Sheena uses her mystical knife to fuse the stone face together and thus stop the rot. At the end Laura wounded is found by the corrupt police captain. She has proof that Sheena is Caldwell’s long lost granddaughter.

So the first series in Dynamite’s take on Sheena comes to an end. I enjoyed it. It had it’s up and down moments but on the whole I found it entertaining. It set up the world of Sheena and her friends. Also her enemies. The big revelation about Caldwell should make for interesting future stories since he just tortured and tried to kill his granddaughter. The rift with her grandmother has some interesting future potential. Not to mention the continuing threat to the jungle from tampering with the mystical safeguards of the First People. I hope they continue with another series in the future.

STARRING SONYA DEVEREAUX #1 NAKED ARE THE DAMNED 2

“Naked are the Damned 2”
Writers: Nick Capetanakis & Todd Livingston
Artists: Brendon & Brian Fraim

Sonya Devereaux is at a convention signing pictures and showing the premier of her new movie “Naked are the Damned 2”. So Sonya plays Camille the scantily dressed young daughter to a farmer and his wife. Things aren’t going good for the family. The evil corporation SynerGenComm is after the family farm. They bought the bank that has the mortgage and raised the interest 20%. So Camille goes to the city to get a job to help out. She applies at a modeling agency for a janitor’s position and instead is given a modeling contract. She finds out later it is taking naked pictures. So she goes to the local voodoo priestess Madam LaRose for advice. She says take the job and charges her forty bucks.

So Camille makes friends with the other models and has pillow fights. She makes enough money to save the farm. The evil CEO Mr. Kane does not like that. So he uses drums that the Devil once owned to turn his employees into zombies. The zombies go and kill Camille’s parents. This angers her and she goes to Madam LaRose for help. She doesn’t get any magical help but LaRose does have crates full of automatic rifles. So the two kill zombies by the truckload. They find Mr. Kane at the farm and Camille chases him to a boat which has an explosive on it. Camille detonates it and later for some unexplained reason becomes the head of the corporation.

“Vampire Revolution 3 French Kiss of Death”
Writers: Nick Capetanakis & Todd Livingston
Artists: Brendon & Brian Fraim

In this movie Sonya plays Simone the Empress of Vampires. She is betrayed by her lover Lord Xofer a warlock and imprisoned in the dungeon with other scantily clad vampires. Luckily they left some old assault rifles there which they use to escape. She hooks up with a young warlock to defeat Xofer. They find the king has been killed by Xofer and his body preserved to use as a figurehead. Well stuff happens. There is a shower scene with girsl making out. It ends with a helicopter chase and Simone killing Xofer with her poison coated tongue kiss. She is declared the Quempress of both vampires and warlocks.

So this series is a parody of really bad movies. You know the ones with paper thin plot, bad dialogue, unexplained endings, gratuitous sex and violence and all around incomprehensible plot. In other words fun movies. So Sonya is a B-actress like Linnea Quigly or Julie Strain who acts in hundreds of these direct to video wonders. I absolutely love this series. It has a tongue in cheek mood to it yet lovingly pays homage to these bad movies and the actresses that act in them. I mean these titles are something I would watch in an instant. This in one cool idea.

THE WARLORD #123

“Incantation to Eternal Night”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artists: Jan Duursema & Tom Mandrake

Deep inside a volcano three creatures who used to be human are casting a spell. The spell will doom Skartaris. The moon eclipses the sun. This causes panic among the population. Redmond has made it to Shamballah but his beast-man condition is getting worse. He remembers dragging an animal into the sewers and eating it. He finds out the animal was a human and goes mad. Busting into the streets he further causes panic among the population. Morgan while out keeping order from the mob is attacked by Redmond. Redmond is completely insane and tries to kill Morgan. The volcano erupts and Morgan is forced to put a bullet into Redmond who falls into the lava flow.

So the Redmond story comes to an end and with it all the various subplots. This subplot seemed the most pointless. Morgan gets the surprise of Redmond finding him in Skartaris. Then the surprise of Redmond turning into a beast-man. He doesn’t have time to figure it out with the volcano blowing so is forces to cap Redmond in the head. A simple but very anti-climactic resolution. I really think the writer just lost interest in Redmond and decided to finish him off. A very pointless subplot. So now there is a new and sinister threat that Morgan must confront.

PLANET OF THE APES #9

“Adrift on the Planet of the Apes”
By Archie Goodwin

An editorial with a new editor introducing himself. Talks about how the new story was originally written for a proposed annual. They decided to split it in two to give time for Terror series to be written.

“Kingdom on an Island of the Apes”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Rico Rival

Derek Zane is a dreamer. He has built himself a time machine. He proposes to NASA that the missing astronauts have traveled to 3975 and wants to use the machine to go there. Naturally they think he’s nuts and kick him out of his interview. His girlfriend also dumps him. So he decides to go into the future. His machine works but he finds himself several stories in the air when his apartment building is no longer in the future. His machine comes crashing down. Now he finds himself in a desert and starts walking. He comes on some humans who are little more than animals. Later armed gorillas on horseback come hunting him. He escapes into the brush but the gorillas take his pack with his equipment. He follows them back to their city.

“On Location: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes”
Words and Photographs by Al Satian andd Heather Johnson

An essay with photos of the behind the scenes on the movie. It shows extras playing cards, smoking and monkeying around.

“The Horror Inquisition”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Brent is taken in front of the mutants council and questioned. They demonstrate their powers of mental telepathy that can cause illusions and force him to do their bidding. They are worried about what the apes plan and find out about their invasion. General Ursus and his gorillas have to remove anti-war protesters on their march. At the end Brent witnesses their church service and the mutants reveal their true images.

So the new apes story is really interesting. A time travel one that takes our traveler to another part of the ape world. This one seems to be similar to the ones in the movie. I enjoy these new stories from the apes universe.

The article was good. Not too long and had some interesting pictures.

Finally the movie adaptation comes along nicely. Very visual with a minimum of words needing to be spoken but tells the story efficiently. Continues to adapt the movie faithfully.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #18

“The Thing in the Temple!”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on “The Gods of Bal-Sagoth” by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Gil Kane

Aala is now queen of Bal-Sagoth thanks to Conan and Fafnir. So she retires to her chambers in the temple with Conan and Fafnir standing guard. During the night Conan is attacked by a demon sent by the deposed high priest Gothan. Conan kills it and then they find another rat-man attacking Aala. Fafnir chases it off while Aala insists that Conan stay with her. Conan refuses and throws her on her bed and chases after Fafnir. This enrages Aala who summons the guard to kill Conan and Fafnir.

Conan comes to the temple and finds Fafnir battling the rat-man. Gothan has been killed by the creature and now is killed itself by Fafnir. Aala comes with her guards and order them to kill the two but their is a great earthquake. A statue topples on Aala and crushes her. Then Ska the puppet king comes but is killed also. Then Conan and Fafnir must fight their way out of the dying city with the mob after them. The city is destroyed by a volcano as the two make it to a raft. Later they are picked up by a Turanian galley with prince Yezdigerd. He is going to wage holy war on a city-state and makes an offer to the two. Either join or continue to swim with the fishes. Naturally the two take up the prince’s generous offer.

The conclusion to the REH story that Thomas adapted. It is an enjoyable story filled with monsters and treacherous double dealing women and priests and puppet kings. Naturally the prophecy is fulfilled and the island is destroyed. This is also the first introduction to Yezdigerd who later becomes emperor of Turan and a major foe of Conan. Gil Kane shows himself to be a good replacement to Barry Smith but we will not need one as Barry decides to come back to the series next issue. Also the beginning of Conan’s mercenary days.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #9

“Untitled”
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo
Artists: Maria Sanapo and Vincenzo Acunzo

Three monsters have come through the temple dimensional portal. Lirio and Chano are locked in the room where the monsters are impervious to gunfire. This angers Sheena so much that she is able to break through the bulletproof but not Sheenaproof glass in her holding cell. Sheena figures out a way to hurt the monsters. Our world’s weapons have no effect but weapons from their dimension would probably hurt them. So she tears off a fang from one of the monsters and uses it quite effectively. As this goes on Caldwell, Laura and his security men are running from one of the escaped monsters. In addition the local head of the countries secret police is coming to investigate. Laura panics and sets off the explosives hidden in the chamber with the temple.

Well this was an exciting issue with lots of action. Sheena is a real badass as she ignores the shocker on her wrist to break out of her cell. Then crawls into one of the monster’s mouths and rip out it’s tooth to kill it. That is pretty cool. Ends with an explosion so you want to read the next issue to see what happens.

RED SONJA #22

“The Blade of Skath”
Writers: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Jonathan Lau

Red Sonja is riding on her horse when a troll pops out of the woods. It knocks her off and the horse runs away. Only this troll doesn’t attack. In fact it is friendly and apologizes for scaring the horse and promises to look for it. Seems this is the troll that Max met and convinced it to be good. So Sonja crosses the bridge and finds the nearest tavern. At the village she finds it crowded and the locals none to happy. Seems the troll is letting everyone it. This is depleting the small spring they depend on. The tavern keeper offers to pay Sonja if she can convince the troll to return to his toll collecting ways. So she goes out and picks a fight. Eventually the troll realizes that it’s nature is to collect tolls. So Sonja gets enough gold to buy a new horse so she can continue her wandering nature.

What is with Sonja’s hair? It looks like Sideshow Bob’s. I don’t think the new artist has a realistic look for Sonja. Otherwise this was a offbeat story. The troll is just so friendly and doesn’t provoke easily. But his inability to police the bridge is destroying the village. An interesting commentary that doing good so you feel good about yourself is not necessarily good for the world. Some people could follow that advice.

THE WARLORD #122

“The Scepter of Doom”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artists: Art Thibert and Pablo Marcos

Jennifer and Power Girl are battling the demon Azmyrkon. They follow him to a desert where the final crystal to his power scepter is buried. Jennifer manages to distract him long enough for Power Girl to snatch the gem. Still the demon is powerful and so Jennifer comes up with a plan. She gives the gem to the demon but after he puts in in the scepter then Power Girl snatches it and uses it to blow Azmyrkon to dust. Redmond has escaped from the snowman valley with his stolen cure. It works at first but he later changes back to a beast. Desaad escapes custody as Machiste and Tara arrive in Shamballah for a gathering of city-states organized by the Warlord. Morgan is overjoyed to be reunited with Tara but Machiste still has hard feeling about Mariah.

So we are resolving all the various sub-plots. It states in the letter column this was their plan. To have several different plots and then bring each to a climax. This issue was the demon that threatened the world that Jennifer and Power Girl were battling. I enjoyed this issue. Both Jennifer and Power Girl are a team that worked. I like the small touches in Jennifer being curious about the surface world. The Redmond story will come to a conclusion next issue and from there we start something new.