Barbarella and friends are trying to get a ship working to escape the planet. Barbarella decides to broadcast a giant holographic image of herself. She explains to the approaching soldiers about her and that there are other genders in the galaxy. This confuses the one gender inhabitants, and the soldiers decide to break off their attack to absorb this new info. They get a ship working but with the inclusion of George the dinosaur it crashes. George decides to leave, and the others make it to the spaceport. There they meet up with two from the Tortuga organization she works for. They get on the ship and are rescued by George who tears up a tank and burns it with his fire breath. He jumps on the ship, and they continue on their way to find the Lady.
This was a fun issue. The first part was I suppose a sly take on the current gender confusion that is going on in the Western World. It also looks like George the dinosaur is joining the crew as well as the two that rescued them. Once again, the artwork is spectacular. An enjoyable fast read.
Hercules and Xena come on a village being pillaged by the army of the false Hercules. They defeat the soldiers and find out the shapeshifter has gone to Hercules village. At his village of Thebes, the false Hercules manages to lure Alcmene his mother away. Hercule’s friends defeat the army, but the false Hercules gets away. The real Hercules and Xena come and agree to split up. Hercules and Iolaus figure out the logical location of the shapeshifter. On a mountain some strange guy that is grey has created a formula to turn lead into gold. The shapeshifter comes and we find out that he is the twin brother of the other smaller guy. The evil shapeshifter takes the formula and manages to enhance his powers. He turns into a giant Chimera which is a half lion and flying dragon. The Chimera goes after Hercules.
This was another fun issue of Hercules. We find out a little more about the evil shapeshifter. He has a brother and some formula that can both turn lead into gold and give people more power. The evil shapeshifter has plans to kill the real Hercules and take over the world. What’s new. All the characters are in character just like from the TV series. Thomas does an excellent job of giving us a fun story that due to budget constrains couldn’t be shown on TV.
In the city of Khartoosh in Koth an evil cult has captured a wizard of Mitra and his young daughter. The daughter has power that this cult of Drakka wants. The father manages to sacrifice his life so his daughter can escape. Luckily, she runs into Conan who decides to take her into his protection. From a fellow thief he gets the story of young Najia’s life. He takes her to her mother and along the way has to battle some mercenaries. At the end he fights the cult’s dragon and young Najia discovers her powers and destroys the evil cult.
“The Endless River of Blood”
Writer: Sandy Plunkett
Artists: Sandy Plunkett and Dave Cockrum
In the borderlands of Aquilonia Conan gets a vision of a Mitrian angel. The image spooks his horse and it falls into a pit. Conan grabs the edge and sees a statue with gems in the eyes. A woman manages to save Conan. She is a captain and offers Conan a job which he accepts. Only he later deserts to go get the gems from the statue. He arrives there and finds the captain doing a ritual. She is secretly part of the cult of Yog. The woman manages to cause a cave in. Only the angel of Mitra saves Conan and gets him to be the champion for Mitra. He battles the woman on the supernatural plain and defeats her.
This was an interesting issue. Lots of cultists. The first story was fairly straightforward. Conan saves a young girl from a cult. Battles mercenaries and a dragon. There were some fun sly humors in the story. The young girl was jealous of Conan and cast a spell to make him impotent. He punishers her by spanking her. The second story was a bit out there with its supernatural elements. Yet I found it interesting. A decent issue with some interesting stories to kill time.
Conan has come to the ruins of the City of Shadows looking for the Jewels of Abu Dhaak. He fights some giant birds before a giant robot type creature comes. This creature can shoot lasers from its eyes. Conan manages to damage it and the creature opens a hole in the ground. Conan falls into the subterranean part of the city and has to kill a giant spider. He continues on and gets attacked by a giant lizard. The robot comes and gets into a fight with the giant lizard. Conan uses the distraction to cause a cave in. He continues on and finds the jewels only they are the size of buildings. The robot comes and uses the jewels to recharge. It gets into a fight with the giant lizard again. Conan pushes the robot between the jewels, and it gets too much power and blows up. The big jewels shatter and the city slides into the Vilayet Sea. Conan finds himself trying to stay afloat.
OK another story that just takes Conan on one long and wild ride. He has come to this deserted city for some jewels and ends up fighting all sorts of creatures. The jewels turn out to be too huge to carry. Ends up destroying the city and floating around pissed and without any treasure. Another long action filled story that doesn’t give the reader any breaks to think. A fun story.
We are introduced to a new villain in the story. A man in shadows who is sending out hunters to kill Sheena and the giant leopard. An added bonus is to get Sheena’s animal friends who are being held captive. Ransom starts to realize that this new player is up to something and warns Sheena. The first group of hunters arrives but Sheena and her shapeshifting friend manage to take out this group although they suffer some wounds. The shadowy villain has hired a professional assassin because he really wants Sheena dead.
This wasn’t a bad issue. Had some fun fight scenes. The art is beautiful to look at especially Sheena. The big reveal is this new villain. Someone high up in the Cardwell corporation. Some who is identified as a Cardwell. He seems to have a personal interest in Sheena’s dead. This character does intrigue me and look forward to the reveal of him and his motives.
Barbarella arrives at the home world of the Lady. Only she finds that a gravity well is there instead. The ship gets sucked in and the next thing she wakes up in a cage with Vix. Barbarella and Vix are in a zoo. She manages to pick the lock and the two escape into the jungle. There they find dinosaurs and Barbarella finds one with a thorn in its foot. She plucks it out and gets a friend. They name it George and ride it looking for a spaceport.
They come on one of the inhabitants and he turns out to be friendly. He confirms the Lady does come from this planet and still rules it. Barbarella gets a compass and directions. She then comes on an alien archeologist who tells her about this world. Its inhabitants are only one sex and lay eggs. He directs Barbarella to a place with old spaceships. Once there she manages to activate a power source and bring back Taln. Only reactivating the power has brought some ships to investigate.
This was an interesting issue. Barbarella finds herself in a zoo and has to escape. The aliens on this world are weird as well as the animals and plants. The main revelation is that they are getting closer to finding the Lady. Ends on a cliffhanger. Enjoyable story and still beautiful artwork.
Xena and Gabrielle come to the home village of Xena and find it in ruins. Some soldiers have Xena’s mother hostage. They claim to be forming an army and try to blackmail Xena into joining to save her mother. She also sees that the commander is none other than Hercules. Naturally Xena makes short work of the pathetic army and they run off. They do leave behind a ruined village and an old friend of Xena’s killed. So, she goes off to seek revenge. Xena arrives at Hercule’s home to find everybody there for Alcmene’s birthday party.
A fight ensues between Hercules and Xena. Eventually Hercules manages to convince her it wasn’t him. The two go on to find the imposter. An old woman directs them and later we find out that old woman was a shapeshifter.
“Hercules, Xena and Me A Personal Perspective on Mythology and Television”
By Roy Thomas
An article on how Roy got a writing assignment for an episode of Xena. It was the one about Troy and this was a very informative article on writing a TV episode.
This issue introduces Xena as a guest star. She was already becoming a popular character after her guest appearance in the first season got her own spinoff series. This story does a great job of introducing her and Gabrielle. It has the feel of an episode. Also sets up the villain. Plus, beautiful art that portrays the characters just as they appear in the series. A great series that supplements the TV series.
Conan is at a tavern in Turan when a man comes in. He gets in a fight with the locals and kills them all. The man introduces himself to Conan as Aniki. He claims to come from Cimmeria and offers Conan a job. He wants to rescue a colony of blind craftsmen who are being held by some evil merchants in Vendya. Conan agrees and they rescue the craftsmen from a fortress on a rock formation. Aniki is doing this because he fell in love with one of the women that form this group. They take the group to a magical spring that will heal their blindness. The merchants try to stop them with their men and trained apes. Both are killed by Conan and Aniki. Then at the springs a monster summoned by a wizard the merchants hired attacks. Both guys easily defeat it. They go back to the fortress and set up the craftsmen operations. Aniki goes to find some merchants to sell the crafts to. While gone the blindness comes back to the craftsmen. The evil merchants also try to get back the craftsmen, but Conan and Aniki make short work of them. Conan goes off with a bagful of gold.
“Red Sonja Quells the Song of the Siren”
Writer: Marie Javins
Artists: Steve Buccellato and Alfredo Alcala
Sonja is hired to take a princess to a monarch. He wants Sonja to make sure she arrives with her innocence intact. Sonja takes a ship and finds out this is harder than it looks. The princess is a flirt and constantly coming on to the sailors. During a storm they pass rocks with sirens. The siren’s song drives the men to jump overboard. Sonja persuades the princess to sing and get them back. She eventually does when Sonja appeals to her vanity. The sailors come back but the princess jumps overboard to be with the sirens. She always wanted to be one.
This was a good issue. The first story introduces this fascinating character. It is hinted that Aniki is a possible lost brother to Conan. This is still a mystery, but it is left open that this character will come back and maybe shed some light on this mystery. An enjoyable story with some beautiful Chan artwork. The backup Sonja feature is also an enjoyable story. Deals with this vain princess who decides to join the sirens. Sonja doesn’t get her money, but she seems find with it. A good enjoyable issue.
Conan arrives at a Turanian city and decides to steal from the Zeddite Cult. He finds their sacrificial blade and figures the gold is worth his time. The Zeddites sic their hound after Conan. What follows is a non-stop chase through the city. Conan kills many Zeddites and their hound. He arrives back at the temple and sets it on fire. He also kills the leader.
So, it seems the new writing team are big on non-stop action. I like the idea. Conan is just from beginning to end in a constant state of movement. He is fighting against impossible odds and winning. True there is little character development or a deep plot. Sometimes the non-stop action is enough. It’s a fun read and a welcome distraction after a hard day’s work.
Sheena continues to track the giant leopard. It takes her to a camp, and she gets knocked out. Coming to she finds the woman who did it. She is a Haitian, and they discuss what is really going on in this biodome. That it isn’t environmental tourists but hunters that are hunting rare and exotic animals. Sheena also finds out the Haitian is really the giant leopard. She can use voodoo and mystical Navajo magic to do it. Sheena manages to knock her out with a curare arrow. They do decide later to join forces against Cardwell Industries.
This issue was a bit of a slow one. Lots of talking and exposition. People getting knocked out and fighting each other before they decide they are on the same side. It does give us the answers to what is going on. The mystery of the giant leopard. The next issue promises to pick up the action now that both women are going after the same foe.