THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT #1 ANNUAL

“See-Ta the Savage”
Writer & Artist: Mike Wolfer

See-ta the outcast Ga-lu woman notices that the plains are dying. The smaller animals are eating all the grass. She comes on a Weiroo talking with a Sto-lu. She finds out that the Sto-lu under the directions of the Weiroo are destroying the eggs of the T-rex. This is causing the smaller animals to come from the mountains and overeat the grass. This is killing off the food that the Sto-lu eat which are the little horses. See-Ta confronts the Weiroo and finds out they want the T-rex gone so more Sto-lu can come up and produce Ga-lu females which are the only way the Weiroo can reproduce. A flashback revels that See-Ta was an offering for the Weiroo and the only female to resist. For this she was banished from her tribe.

So she exposes the Weiroo and gets the Sto-lu to revolt. Later a Mahar comes and tells her that they are behind the plot to eliminate the T-rex. Seems they are the only danger to their planned conquest of Caspak. A Sto-lu chops the Mahar’s head off. Thus the balance of Caspak is restored.

An interesting story. This one gives us some backstory to See-Ta and why she was banished by her tribe. A beautiful drawn issue with a minimum of words. Wolfer shows himself a talented artist as well as writer. The Weiroo look very much frightful creatures. The alliance with the Mahars is also revealed. I see he does take some liberties with the Mahars as others who have adapted them in comics. They are able to communicate telepathically with humans when Burroughs made it clear that they communicated through an unknown language beyond human understanding. An excellent story that gives more insight into Caspak.

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RED SONJA TARZAN #1

“Untitled”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani

1921 Australia. Eson Duul is hunting rare thylacine dogs. He exterminates every species he hunts so others can not top his accomplishments. One of his two henchmen kill a guide that questions this. In Hyrkania Sonja comes from the desert carrying her saddle and a bad mood. She beats up some fool drunks and at the tavern cauterizes a wound on her arm. Back in 1921 Tarzan goes to see Eson Duul. He informs him that he has bought up all the land surrounding his friend Paul D’Arnot’s lands so Duul can no longer use it for a hunting estate. He also wants the captive gorilla that Duul keeps in his private zoo. Back in Hyrkania Sonja visits the witch for her help. In a flashback we find that Duul’s female accomplice picked a fight. Even drunk Sonja was more than a match for her. This angered Duul and after shooting her in the arm with an arrow, he killed her horse and stole her sword and braid. Now Sonja looks for revenge and the witches magic for help. So back in 1921 Tarzan gets a delivery. It is the severed foot of Tantor and a tortured and dying gorilla. A note says this is Duul’s response to Tarzan and he wants very much to be his enemy. He is immediately visited by Sonja who is now in the twentieth century. She warns that Duul is going to Africa to hunt Tarzan’s family.

So another cool crossover that I never thought I would see. So far it starts off strong. Eson Duul is a grade A asshole that you can’t wait to see killed. He also is very mysterious since he has existed with his henchpeople way in the past. Such a crossover also clearly would involve some sort of time travel. The first story raises many questions that you want to find out. This is one awesome crossover.

GREEN ARROW #27

“Enter…”
Writer: Mike Grell
Artist: Dan Jurgens

A mysterious man at a bar at the waterfront in Seattle is menaced by a man with a mohawk. Tries to knife the stranger but gets the knife driven through his hand. Later he is attacked by a gang with baseball bats. Finally a car stops with some thugs. The head thug wants to teach him a lesson and tries to have him thrown off the bridge. This is a mistake as the head thug’s goons are easily dispatched. The head thug tries to run the man over but the man pulls a pistol and shoots the car. Then he questions the thug. Later Oliver Queen is awakened by the doorbell. Outside is a white-haired man who looks just like him. The white-haired man slugs Oliver for all the trouble he caused him.

So it has been pointed out that Grell’s Oliver Queen looks just like Travis Morgan. So since Grell was doing Green Arrow he decided to have some fun and introduce both characters. I had to get Morgan’s appearance in this title since I am a huge fan of Warlord. The story is simple and Oliver Queen is reduced to a guest in his own title. That’s fine since it was a joy to see Morgan back in the hands of his creator. The story is told with a minimum of dialogue. The atmosphere is dark and rainy as Seattle should be. A great joy to see my favorite character back.

PLANET OF THE APES #19

“Demons of the Psycedrome”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Mike Plogg & Tom Sutton

Jason and his friends with professor Lightsmith are traveling east. Behind them is Brutus and his mixed army of gorilla terrorists and mutant drones. Both groups are searching for the Psychedrome. A pre-war place that is supposed to have vast amounts of knowledge. For Lightsmith it is a repository of knowledge and for Brutus a way to advance his goal of conquest. Lightsmith and friends find a settlement of pueblos inhabited by a mix of humans and apes. The group is peaceful and their shaman tells of a place that Lightsmith thinks is the Psychedrome.

Lightsmith manages to blow the steel door open using his boom sticks. Inside they are attacked by bat-winged apes. They take Lightsmith and strap him in. So they start to brainwash him. Meanwhile Brutus and his army arrive and start to attack the pueblo settlement.

“Simian Visions: The Written Worlds of the Apes”
By Jim Whitmore

A review of all the movie adaptations and the TV series book adaptations. A very informative look at the books. I will have to read them sometime in the future.

“The Savage is King!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Armando plunges to his death instead of reveal the secret of Caesar. So governor Breck must now find the intelligent ape. Caesar is devastated at the loss of his foster father. He starts to organize the apes for rebellion. This overloads Ape Management with uppity apes. Inspector Kolp finds out about the shipment from Indonesia that had a chimpanzee when there are no chimpanzees in Indonesia. So they have discovered Caesar. McDonald decides to help Caesar and he reveals that he can speak.

So we finally get another installment of the terror story. Poor old Lightsmith gets his idealistic dream of the Psychedrome shattered. I love the mind control technique. “A good person always says yes. It is good to be a good person.” Moench did have a flare for the satire.

The book review article was very interesting. I know that these books were recently re-released and I am interested.

Finally the adaptation is continuing strong. The story is told effectively with a minimum of dialogue and quite effective.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #29

“Two Against Turan!”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story “Two Against Tyre” by Robert E. Howard
Artists: John Buscema & Ernie Chua

Conan has arrived in Aghrapur the capital of the Turanian Empire. While walking the streets a procession comes of the wooden figure of Tarim. Conan makes a disparaging remark which triggers the crowd. They try to kill Conan for his blasphemy. He manages to hold them off and a door opens. Going inside a man leads him to safety. They go to a bar and Conan finds out the man is Ormraxes. He has a job for Conan but suddenly Turanian soldiers burst in looking for Eithriall and go after Ormraxes. Conan is knocked out in the fight. He wakes to find a hooded man has been watching over his unconscious form. This man wants Conan to rescue Ormraxes. Conan agrees since he owes him. So he breaks into the dungeon and fights the guards killing them. Then takes a weak Ormraxes back to the hooded man. The hooded man reveals himself as a twin of Ormraxes. In truth Ormraxes was a corporal form that was created by Eithriall. When the two merge they will be invincible and conquer Turan. Conan knocks the jewel that was uniting them and the morning sun destroys them. Turanian soldiers come and decide to offer Conan a chance to join the Turanian army. Either that or the dungeon. So he enters Turanian service.

Another non-Conan Howard story adapted to Conan. I just love Howard’s work and it just easily flows as a Conan story since all this characters were basically the same type. This one was full of action. Conan slew hordes of men and single-handedly knocked out a horse. Not to mention save Turan from a wizard. So now he is in the Turanian army which is a dangerous move since he is wanted by prince Yezdigerd. Only someone as badass as Conan would try this.

THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT #3

“Prisoners of Caspak”
Writer: Mike Wolfer
Artist: Giancarlo Caracuzzo

Abby and the others manage to escape the pterodactyls at the plain of fire and meet up with See-ta and Ethan. At a cave the group plans their assault on the German’s camp. They use blood from a dinosaur and throw it at the U-33. This causes the saurians in the river to attack. Abby and her group manage to steal back the mini-subs. Only Von Schoenvorts fires a torpedo at them. It misses but closes off the underwater passage. So Abby and the survivors find a place to settle down.

The third was a quick story. Tyler finds out that they are from the future but still doesn’t know about Abby’s heritage. A story that I think moved too quickly but good news in that Caspak will continue. So leaves open more exciting adventures. Curious how this will affect the future.

RED SONJA #25

“The Sounds of Music”
Writers: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham
Artist: Carlos Gomez

Sonja is cooking a rabbit when she hears pleas for help. An old man is about to be killed by brigands. Luckily Sonja manages to save him. The man named Tariq is a musician traveling to Khambuja. He offers Sonja gold if she would escort him there. She decides to delay her return to her homeland and so sets off. At the sea they find a pirate ship and Sonja tries to barter for passage. Only the pirates are unreasonable. Tariq plays an Argosean lullaby that makes the crew start crying. Sonja takes advantage of this to dispose of the crew and set sail to their destination.

Well the final issue of Volume 4. A strange issue with a lot of philosophizing about the power of music over violence. It seems a bit unreasonable for music to have such an effect on pirates. I guess we did have to wrap up this run. I am hoping that the next upcoming volume will reinvigorate the series. A series that started strong but sort of fizzled out and tanked at the end.

THE WARLORD #133

“The Death-Knell of the Universe!”
Writers: Michael Fleisher & Jan Duursema
Artist: Jan Duursema

Morgan, Aoife and Ishum manage to rescue a human fleeing from a demon. The man Gueron Darkmoon is a thief and will come in handy in stealing the golden horn. Time is getting short as the worm Anu is starting to destroy the universe. Jennifer and friends back in Skartaris are battling it with no luck. Morgan and friends manage to reach the god Yk’kphat’s place and steal the horn. They also bust out Tara and the greatest warriors in the universe from his pearl necklace. Aoife covers their escape.

They reach Skartaris and battle Anu with their new found warrior friends but it is hopeless. The horn they took has been snatched back by Yk’kphat. Fortunately Aoife comes back with it after making a deal. Ishum starts to use it but is turned to stone. So Morgan manages to blow the horn correctly and send Anu back. Aoife must go back to Yk’kphat and take the escaped warriors as payment. So at the end Tara is put back in her body and they have a happy reunion.

So the final issue. Apparently things were moving fast on cancellation since they kept on as if the series was going to continue until the end. The letters page two issue ago even mentioned that issue 134 was already written. Whatever the direction this series would take is lost to history. Sadly this was a horrible way to end the series. A very convoluted story that had not a shred of what made this series so great. In some ways I wasn’t upset when the series was cancelled. Sort of like a good friend on life support that finally gets the plug pulled and mercifully put out of its misery. Warlord is the only series started in the seventies that was still being published in 1988. That says a lot about what Mike Grell created. The only thing they got right with this was reuniting Tara with Morgan.

So a sad moment in Warlord history. Fortunately Morgan and friend’s story was not over as we shall see in future reviews.

PLANET OF THE APES #18

“Rites of Bondage”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Milo and Armando run away after the incident with the police. Armando decides to have Milo sneak into a shipment of apes and blend in with his own kind as he tries to work things out with the police. So Milo enters the slave workforce and is processed at Ape Management. There he sees the brutal conditioning that apes go through to be taught simple tasks.

“What Do Raymond Hamilton & Chief Medical Officer Zoran Have in Common?”
By Jim Whitmore

The second part of the Planet of the Apes glossary from H to Z. The answer is the first and last entry in the glossary.

“To Serve the Slayer”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

So Milo continues his training and passes. He is sent to auction where he is bought by Governor Breck. It is here that he chooses his name from a book offered by Breck. So he is now Caesar. Armando is about to be interrogated using the Authenticator. A machine that detects a lie. He panics and jumps out a window to his death.

So the dreaded deadline mean once again they doubled up the movie adaptations. The adaptations continue to be very well done. I am not sure about the economic feasibility of having ape slaves. Seems like a lot of expense to train someone to do simple tasks. An effective story but not realistic.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #28

“Moon of Zembabwei!”
Writer: Roy Thomas based on story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: John Buscema

Conan has arrived at a swampy rainforest just south of the Vilayet. While getting a drink he is attacked by a giant snake. Both get knocked into the quicksand when the snake’s head is cut off. Thutmekri a traveling Stygian saved Conan’s life because he hates snakes. Unfortunately he also hates barbarians and refuses to help him out of the bog. Conan gets angry and throws the severed head at Thutmekri. After the Stygian leaves Conan manages to grab a dropped knife and with the snake’s body manage to drag himself out. Then he goes after the Stygian for revenge.

He catches up to him and finds Thutmekri strung up and some of his servants killed. He finds out Dalboor a witch-doctor from far off Zembabwei did this. Thutmekri has a golden statue of their gorilla god Zemba. So Conan goes after the witch dancers and finds one of the porters. He leads him to the captive slave girl Helgi who is to be sacrificed to Zemba. Only the porter is controlled by Dalboor and leads Conan to a hidden pit. But Conan can climb out and must battle a carnivorous giant ape with saber-teeth. He manages to maneuver the ape so it kills Dalboor. Then the serpent venom that Conan coated his knife takes effect and kills Zemba.

Another adaptation of a Howard story that was slightly altered for Conan. This definitely feels like a Howard story. You have the various beasts in this case a giant snake and ape. A supernatural element. An exotic sinister and dangerous jungle. An evil adventurer and his beautiful slave girl that needs rescuing. Plus plenty of kickass action. This was an awesome story.