Christopher Smith after a hard day of negotiating peace heads off to the beach. His guest is the beautiful Gerda Hain a world renowned atomic expert. She gets kidnapped by some fish-men. So Christopher Smith must don his Peacemaker suit and go to the rescue. The trail leads to an underwater city and he is attacked by fish-men. The Peacemaker decides to let himself get captured. He finds out the city was built by Enrico Lucetti. Lucetti is this mad genius who has decided to build under the sea and convert people into fish-men so they can survive the coming nuclear holocaust. Not content to wait he has plans to launch some missiles from his sub to start the war.
The Peacemaker after easily escaping finds this out but decides to let himself get captured again. Only now he is in a plastic bubble that resists his laser from his helmet. Fortunately the floor is vulnerable and he lasers his way out. He manages to destroy the controls which blows up the sub. Enrico is eaten by sharks as he tries to escape.
Writer: Joe Gill
Artists: Montes Bache
Granite Gallo goes undercover as Lowell Simms the assistant President. Didn’t know we had one. Anyhoo the plan is for him to be captured by the KGB so they can lead the Fightin’ 5 to the location another scientist is held. This scientist has developed a new advanced atomic jet. Seems everything back in the sixties that was modern was also atomic. Gallo has the plans. Only the Fightin’ 5 manage to break them out.
Joe is getting a bit lazy with the writing. This is a recycled story from the Fightin’ 5. A mad genius turning people into fish-men and planning to destroy the world. Not really complaining since it is such an enjoyable bit of cheeze. The Peacemaker is so cool. He lets himself get captured because he is just so damn good they couldn’t do it for real. This was a full length story instead of two separate small ones. It doesn’t have an East European Commie dictator out to destroy the world but a well meaning nut job. It has the trademark of the series with goofy technology that blows up real easy and hokey dialogue.
The Fightin’ 5 was also a fun little story. Once again they save the world from those damn Commies. We get some fun little interaction with Granite and Sonya. Granite clearly has a thing for Sonya but also still doesn’t trust her. Nice to see that Gill got to continue the Fightin’ 5’s adventures in this series.
Conan is part of a group of mercenaries sent to put down a peasant revolt in the frozen tundra. Only the peasants manage to win. Now Conan leads a small group of mercenaries trying to escape the vengeful peasants and the brutal cold. He has to deal with one guy turning cannibal and attacks from the peasants. They come on a mill and break in for food and shelter. The mercenaries turn their anger on the old man and his family. Some try to rape the woman and others to kill the kids. Conan has promised they wouldn’t be harmed and has to fight his former comrades. He manages to win and takes a sack of grain and heads out.
Writer: Jim Neal
Artists: Willian Johnson and Geof Isherwood
Six panel full page illustration set to a poem. It has Conan go to a crypt to rescue Octavia his woman who has been captured and entombed in the crypt. He has to fight the undead and manages to set them on fire and rescue his woman.
A guest writer and artist for this issue. It was a really good one to. A story without any wizards, monsters or supernatural elements. Only the brutal elements and the angry men that Conan leads. This was a real brutal one filled with some awesome fight scenes. At the end the peasants try to kill Conan who saved him which shows no good deed goes unrewarded. This was Conan at his most brutal. Also he manages to maintain his humanity where his comrades fail. Plus some beautiful artwork make this a story I vividly remember decades after reading it.
The backup story was also good. Some beautiful full page images with a poem that wasn’t too bad. A really good solid issue.
Conan is dragged unconscious aboard the riverboat of Lupos Davalte. A guy with a hook for a hand has captured Conan for some humiliation that he caused Lupos. Later Conan wakes and has to beat up some thug with a whip. He tries to strangle Lupos but is restrained by the crew and tied to the mast. Lupos is about to torture him when his first mate Fhrank makes the suggestion that Conan could man the oars. Lupos agrees and Conan is chained to the oars. He gets in a fight again with the whip guy and this time kills him.
Here we get a flashback to why Conan is a prisoner. Lupos was about to disfigure a woman who tried to lift his purse when Conan intervened. Conan bent his hook and humiliated him in front of the tavern. So he had Conan’s ale drugged so he could capture him. The boat is low on supplies and has to pull to shore. Everyone including Theta the girl of Lupos goes ashore looking for supplies. They come on a skeleton hanging in a web and later one of the crew goes missing with another running away in terror. They come to a dried riverbed and find the missing crewman in a web. Then they are surrounded by giant spiders.
This is a really good story. Conan is in serious peril and a prisoner. We get a boat going down a huge river and pulling over into a spooky forest. The forest has giant spiders. Along the way we are introduced to other characters besides Lupos. The first mate has an obvious hatred of his captain and has saved Conan’s life. There is a girl that Lupos has who is obviously terrified of him. Plus we get Big John Buscema back drawing and inking his work. I never seem to get quite used to other artists drawing Conan. A really excellent issue with a solid story, interesting characters and a cliffhanger ending.
So after the fight where Vampirella takes Blue Baby with her into the volcano, Sonja is a bit depressed. So she goes back to the village and settles down. She meets another woman and they get married and have kids.(Have no idea how that was accomplished.) Because Sonja is a vampire she doesn’t age and her wife dies of old age. We find out thought that vampires do age only very slowly. For many years later Sonja is an old woman telling her story to the witch that is a mouse. The witch takes old Sonja back to her hut and she tells that this was to make Sonja a better person. Now she is going to set things back to before Sonja found the Generation stone. Sonja then finds herself back in her time among her gang. She boldly proclaims that they won’t take women captive and she frees the old witch. Back in 1969 Vampirella has trouble with a cassette player and is investigating the mysterious deaths in Russia.
Good God was this story a heaping pile of shit. I guess if your writing shit you should go out big. What a dumb stupid ending. They just go back like it never happened and why?? Sonja asks why when she is going to lose her memory and doesn’t get an answer. What was sad was this series started out OK. It had a story that looked to have potential. Only it continued to go down hill until this pathetic garbage. Obviously Jordie is not a competent writer which sadly is the problem with most comics these days. Two characters I enjoy were vandalized for no apparent reason.
Spencer Carbutt is visiting his dad at the nursing home. His father a former Marine major is a cantankerous old guy. Spencer is somewhat of a slacker and just quit his seventh job this year. Sadly Spencer faces disappointment as his dad is flat broke. They are interrupted by the doctor coming around and asking if they are interested in a lethal dose of pentobarbital. Naturally the two are shocked but soon find out that Martians have invaded and are destroying everything. Soon they will be there and many residents and staff are opting for suicide. Spencer and the Major decide to get out and head for the nearby military base. Only the Martians have come and already destroyed all the cars. So Spencer loads up his dad in a wheelbarrow and takes off. Meanwhile at the Presidential bunker we find out that the Martians seem unstoppable and are upsetting the President’s daughter.
Mars Attacks is one of those titles I loved from the nineties. The Topps series was awesome and the IDW one was equally awesome. Based on trading cards from the sixties they depict ruthless Martians destroying society. I was a little unsure about this incarnation. It seemed at first a bit too comedic instead of the serious straight way that the previous series were. The art looked cartoony and some of the humor is a bit hokey. Yet I found myself getting drawn into the story. I really like these two characters of Spencer and the major. They seem like real believable characters and I am already rooting for them to succeed. This series is off to a good start.
Christopher Smith is on assignment to a uranium mine in the eastern block. He is inspecting it to see if the Commies are honoring a disarmament treaty. The mine seems inactive but he is suspicious that they have all these weapons pointed at the mine entrance. So he goes in to look around. He gets captured by a race that look like shapeless white blobs. These are former slave laborers that the radiation mutated. These slaves can now change their appearance to look like anyone. They also found a city from an ancient civilization intact. Using the recovered technology they have drilled to all the world’s cities with an underground mole. They plan to assume the identities of world leaders and start a war to destroy civilization. Christopher escapes and changes into the Peacemaker. He is captured again but uses hidden explosives to escape his cage. His laser helmet destroys the mole and sets off a chain reaction that destroys the mine.
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Pat Boyette
Premier Gekk of some Soviet type country is out to conquer the world. He has build up an army and most importantly has a squadron of advanced bombers. These bombers can fly at 3,000 mph, have a recoilless 80mm cannon that fires nuclear shells and rockets that also are nuclear. Gekk gives Christopher an ultimatum to deliver to the President. Surrender or be totally destroyed. Christopher goes to deliver the message but instead changes into the Peacemaker. Using his advanced jet he manages to destroy the squadron and they crash into the army detonating their nuclear shells. Then he unleashed a knockout gas on the rest of the army. Gekk is forced to surrender to U.N. disarmament inspectors.
“The Fightin’ 5”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Bache
The Fightin’ 5 need a new member since the death of Irv the Nerve. Their leader Hank Hennessey is also now without his left arm and eye. The computer choses the Soviet defector Sonya from their last mission. Hank now has to stay behind and supervise because of losing body parts as the four member go off. Their mission is in the artic where the Soviets have captured technicians from a radar site. The Five go looking for them flying around on their jet packs. They find the secret Soviet base hidden behind an artificial fog bank. The group is captured by Soviets on their jet packs firing knockout missiles. Sonya convinces the commander she is with the NKVD and isn’t locked away. She then frees her teammates and the captive technicians. They destroy the base and head on home.
Another fun old hokey issue from the early days of the cold war. The first story was a bit different in having an opponent you can sympathize with. These guys were mutated by the Commies and used as slave labor. Now they just want to get back at the world by destroying it. I can understand that. Still they have to be destroyed to save world peace.
The second is the more typical evil power mad goatee guy dressed as a Cossack leader out to conquer the world. They always look the same. Anyway this guy has some real balls in just demanding the world surrender. Thankfully they have the Peacemaker with his super high tech stuff or otherwise the world would be Commie by now.
Finally is the Fightin’ 5. I don’t remember Hank losing an arm and eye but the story did end kind of abruptly last issue. Anyway we find out old Irv the Nerve had to die so they can replace him with the hot Commie chick. Naturally being a former Commie the other guys don’t trust her. This seems to be confirmed when she goes over to the Soviets. Joe should really pay attention to stuff going on in the world. The NKVD changed over the to the KGB back in the fifties well after this was written. Anyway it all works out in the end.
Another fun issue filled with improbable technology and evil Commies out to take over the world.
In the alternate universe King Konar of Aquiloria is in battle with the forces of Ophit. Konar manages to defeat the king and have him sue for peace. Back in our Earth Conan is with a trollop who is leading him for a roll in the hay. Only the trollop was in the employ of the Brotherhood of the Falcon. This assassin guild is still after Conan. They find that Conan is no easy victim but numbers will wear him down. Yet a mysterious man wearing a wolfs head joins the battle. The two manage to defeat the Brotherhood. Then the wolf head man knocks out Conan. He takes him to the other world because King Konar needs him. The kingdom of Nemeria has kidnapped his wife Zenoria. He needs Conan to go and rescue her while he stays and signs the treaty.
Conan agrees and heads out to rescue Zenoria. He manages to sneak into the palace but is captured. King Olaf of Nemeria thinks Conan is Konar and tries to torture him. When this doesn’t work he brings Zenoria to be tortured. Conan manages to break free of this bonds and kills King Olaf and escape with Zenoria. They run into the Grey Wolf who is secretly working for Nemeria. The two fight and go over the cliff. Zenoria sees that the guy wearing the wolf head survives when he crawls out of the river. She jumps on her horse and goes back to Konar. Konar is fighting off an ambush of Nemerian spies when the Grey Wolf enters. Only he attacks the Nemerians and with Konar defeats them. It is revealed that it is Conan wearing the wolf head. Saving the kingdom for Konar he rides back to his world much richer.
“Men of Shadows Part III”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Gene Day
Bran Mak Morn defeats the shaman. The shaman then tells the history of the Pict people. How they eventually came to Europe and settled. How they had to fight the Norsemen, the Celts and the Gaels.
So Fleisher brings back two ideas from previous issues. First is the Brotherhood of the Falcon still trying to kill Conan. Apparently they were not all killed off in the last issue they appeared. That last issue also featured an alternate world of three suns that had a Conan clone called King Konar. Apparently the portal between worlds is still wide open. Also King Konar has forgiven Conan for impersonating him. This was an enjoyable story. Conan has some fun adventures to showcase his badassness. We get to revisit the cool alternate world that is similar but different from Conan’s world. Plus it has some very beautiful artwork that in many instances tells the story with a minimum of dialogue or exposition.
We also get a continuation of an adaptation of a Bran Mak Morn story. Thomas does a good job with Day giving us some real epic full page illustrations. All around a very good issue.
Conan and Pelija have found Ishe Lon and taken his pendant. Only they find that Ishe Lon is now a snake-man. Conan is forced to kill him. They then have to escape the temple. Pelija manages to work the pendant and cause the roof to collapse on the chasing snake-men. They reach the door and find it blocked. When climbing over they discover that what was blocking the door is Ishiti. Ishiti is a giant snake with a medusa head. She starts to shoot fire from her mouth which starts to turn Conan into a snake-man. Pelija gives him the pendant to protect him but it doesn’t. So Conan jumps into Ishiti’s mouth and down her throat. There he kills her from the inside. This turns him back to human and they reach the place for Ravella to bring them back to Earth. Once there Conan refuses to give him the pendant and he takes Pelija hostage and threatens to kill her. Conan refuses to give in and Ravella cuts Pelija’s throat. Conan uses the pendant to heal Pelija. Then Pelija uses the pendant to conjure a snake to come from Ravella’s throat and choke him. At the end Pelija decides to become a priestess of Mitra and Conan continues on in search of wine, women and adventure.
This was a satisfying conclusion to this story. Conan and Pelija manage to escape Ishiti after killing her. There was some real cool stuff like Conan diving down Ishiti’s throat to kill her. Then the snake coming out of Ravella’s mouth and killing him. A good story and the welcome announcement at the end of the return of John Buscema.
Sonja and Vampirella are wandering in the desert when they hear bells. It leads to a small village. A funeral is taking place in the temple. One of the villagers recognized Sonja and want to repay her for fighting off pirates in his last village. At night Blue Baby takes over Vampirella and many of the children. Seems he has been doing this for some time with the village’s children. Sonja follows the brainwashed group to the fire mountains and confronts Blue Baby. Blue then has the mind controlled Vampirella attack Sonja. Vampi bites her on the neck and this brings her back in control. Vampirella tackles Blue Baby and they go over a cliff.
Another one in a series that seems pointless. The whole plot just meanders aimlessly along. It has some real poor dialogue and very pathetic reasons that Blue Baby is able to mind control Vampirella. So Vampi manages to break the control and tackle Blue Baby. A cliffhanger I honestly have no interest in seeing how it ends but I have the final issue so next week I will find out. See if the last issue somehow redeems this series and ends on a high note. But I doubt it.
Sonja with her friends Elli and the Mitrain priest Sylvan are ambushing the governor of the province. Only it is a trap and they finds themselves fighting a lot more men. Elli and Sylvan are killed but Sonja escapes after throwing a poisoned dagger into the governor. Later she meets up with her employer Yfat. Yfat betrays Sonja and knocks her unconscious. She turns her in for the reward which is how Sonja ends up in the dungeon. The guards come to take her to her trial and execution. She denounces the general and all the men she killed. This divides the crowd for some want her released while others hanged. Sonja is taken to the gallows but Yfat managed to weaken the rope so it breaks. Under the gallows she left a bow and arrows which Sonja uses to kill the general. Yfat rides in and rescues Sonja. Later it is revealed that Yfat was a spy from Shem who was there to stop the invasion of her country. Sonja gets paid off and rides off looking for new adventure.
The final installment of this miniseries ends on an exciting note. It starts out tragically as we lose two characters that I have come to love. A bit of a surprise in Yfat’s betrayal but it was all part of her plan. A nice reveal in that she was a spy from Shem which explains her motives. This was an enjoyable miniseries and filled with beautiful artwork. As I said before it was a nice change of pace to get back to adventures with just Sonja in the Hyborean age.