“Time Out of Mind!”
Writer: Steve Englehart
Artists: Sal Buscema and Mike Esposito
Skull and his group have arrived in the ancient Egypt part of the time tower. They battle robotic Egyptian soldiers and are taken prisoner. They find out that an alien named Slitherogue is the pharaoh of this place. Slitherogue tells the group about the origins of this place. His alien race from the planet Scorpius had perfected robots. Only these robots constantly needed to be occupied or they would deteriorate. So they brought them to Earth in our prehistory. They set up a vortex in the Bermuda Triangle to pull back people so they would know about Earth’s development. The big plan is to build enough robots to take over all of time. To demonstrate his power, Slitherogue shoots a ray from his eyes and disintegrates poor old Jeff.
The surviving three are put to work building a pyramid. Skull notices that the robots don’t move well in sand and makes a break for it with Ann and Corey. Only Ann breaks her leg and Skull leaves her behind. The robot guards kill both Ann and Corey. Skull makes it to a door and gets pulled through. He finds himself prisoner to Merlin and his Black Knight. Skull manages to defeat the Black Knight and makes an alliance with Merlin to defeat Slitherogue. Meanwhile Morgan Le Fay has contacted Slitherogue to enter into an alliance to destroy King Arthur and Merlin.
Wow did a lot happen in this issue. First we find out the origins of this land and the alien race that created it. Then all three of Skull’s companions get killed. That was a bold move. Skull is shown as a very cynical and pragmatic guy because of his life experiences. He meets up with what seems to be Merlin and an alliance is formed.
Now I don’t know if this is really Merlin and Morgan Le Fey or some facsimile. Nor do I know if his companions are really dead. That is what I love about this series. I have no idea where it’s going. It just keeps getting better and better. Steve Englehart would just write this one because of his other duties. I don’t know who the new writer will be but Marv is the editor of the series and probably already has a plot in mind. So I feel that the future of Skull is in good hands whoever is chosen as writer.