BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR #4

“Warriors of Zandar”

Writers: Christopher Paul Carey and Mike Wolfer

Artist: Alessandro Ranaldi

Victory, Hucklebuck and Tii-laa get rescued by a male Ki-vaa. He is the protector and plans to deliver an ultimatum to the king of the Keelars. He won’t though free his people as that violates some sort of religious belief. Fortunately, Victory and Tii-aa have no qualms and break out her people. The pheromones that Tii-laa releases turn her people into protectors and they start to fight the Keelars. Victory goes to the throne room where Zo-vaa has come to deliver his ultimatum. Victory tries to bluff herself off as a higher being with her anti-grav boots, but the king is unmoved. His ego refuses to acknowledge that anyone can defeat him. Victory does and this demoralizes the Keelars. They need three kings and when one dies then they can’t function. The Ki-vaa are free and Victory will stay with them for a while.

The final issue comes to an interesting conclusion. The Ki-vaa are free and the Keelars defeated. We still don’t know anything about the ones that gave them the technology to suck life forces from the Ki-vaa. I like this new character that has been created. It has great potential and nice to see them explore an ERB creation that never was fully developed as it should be. I hope to see more of Victory Harbin in the future.

BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR #3

“Warriors of Zandar”

Writers: Christopher Paul Carey and Mike Wolfer

Artist: Alessandro Ranaldi

Victory Harbin’s friend Tii-Laa has come in killing the Keelars. The Keelars also turn on Victory when she sides with Tii-Laa. Hucklebuck grows to a huge size but gets bitten by a Frozah whose venom is deadly. Victory gets very aggressive and attacks but the Keelar numbers capture all three. Later they are taken to a dungeon and Victory finds out the Keelars are gathering life force for the Ones from Above. In return the Ones protect the Keelars from creatures from the Land of Terrible Fires. When the king leaves, Hucklebuck shrinks to a small size and escapes the cell. This also expels the venom in his system so he will not die. Hucklebuck finds and brings back another protector of the Kii-Vas.

This issue we find out some interesting stuff. Like that the Keelars are taking the life force for the Ones from Above. That Tii-Laa is a protector of her species. It also makes her an outcast of the pacifist Lii-Vas. Sounds like in the next issue we will get to see who these Ones from Above are. A strange issue but I am enjoying it.

BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR #2

“Warriors of Zandar”

Writers: Christopher Paul Carey and Mike Wolfer

Artist: Alessandro Ranaldi

Victory Harbin with her pet creature Hucklebuck and the alien Tii-laa have arrived at the Keelar city. Tii-Laa is impatient and jumps in the river to swim to the walled city. Victory instead crosses by having Hucklebuck grow to huge size and jump the bridge. She is met by the Keelars but her pistol scares them. They talk of someone from above and wonder if Victory is also from above. Victory plays along and convinces them she is this powerful being. She finds out this other visitor left a machine. A machine that sucks the lifeforce out of people. They are using it on peaceful Ki-vaas. Just then Ti-laa comes and fights her way into the room demanding that her people are freed.

So, there is some interesting developments in this issue. We find out that Victory has had an adventure with Tangor the Earthman from Poloda. We get a nice explanation about the system of Omos and its eleven planets. There is some other alien at work on the planet of Zandar from the planet of Banos. Tii-laa is a protector of her people and has some amazing physical strength. An enjoyable story so far and makes me want to read the novels.

BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR #1

“Warriors of Zandar”

Writers: Christopher Paul Carey and Mike Wolfer

Artist: Alessandro Ranaldi

The planet Zandar lies in the Olmos system some 450,000 light years from Earth. It is one of eleven planets that circle the sun equidistantly. Victory Harben comes on some strange creatures with their faces in their chests killing some blue people. She chases them off with her pistol. A blue woman comes and attacks thinking Victory killed her people. Victory manages to convince her otherwise. This woman named Tii-Laa is of the Go-Vass and the Keelars took some of the children. So, the two go off to rescue them. Along the way they are attacked by a Frozah but Victory has a creature friend called Huckleback who can grow to huge size. Huckleback saves them and Tii-Laa is a bit suspicious of Victory but allows her to accompany her. At the Keelar city they are already preparing captive Go-Vass for supper.

The first in an original series. Victory Harbin is the daughter of Gretchen Harben from the last Pellucidar series. She has her own series in the new novels that ERB Inc. is putting out. She was also in a short backup story from a previous series. Some stuff is a bit of a mystery to me. Which shows I should read the new books which someday I hope to do. The Olmos system was created by Burroughs in his one book Beyond the Farthest Star, but he sadly never got to explore the other planets of this system. Fortunately for us ERB Inc. is doing that. This story has some great potential and I look forward to finding out more.

PELLUCIDAR #4

“Across Savage Seas Part 4”

Writers: Christopher Paul Carey and Mike Wolfer

Artist: Miriana Puglia

Omlot who was set adrift on a raft is attacked by a beast. Nadok the guy who was taken by a pterosaur manages to free himself and drops on the beast and the two kill it. Omlot finds out that Nadok is not the bad guy but the one they trusted Toran is. The humans on the island are not slaves but voluntarily work for the crab-men in exchange for valuable powders.

Gretchen is captive of Toran who has been taken over by the Azlaks an octopoid race that takes over the bodies of humans. They attack the crab-men with many human bodies they managed to take over. Gretchen after escaping meets up with Omlot and Nadok to defeat the possessed Toran and the other Azlaks. Later the Flavonia finds her and rescues her. They also take Nadok who has fallen in love with Gretchen back to Sari. Twenty years later Gretchen finished narrating the story to their daughter Victory.

The final issue for this series comes to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. We find out a lot of stuff that wasn’t clear. That the humans and crab-men are allies. Toran managed to deceive Gretchen and Omlot about Nadok. I have to say the writers did an excellent job of misdirection. I thought the humans were slaves and Nadok the bad guy. Yet at the end he ends up marrying Gretchen. The crab-men are good and ends with introducing that Victory is Gretchen’s daughter. Which will take us into the next ERB story.

PELLUCIDAR #3

“Across Savage Seas Part 3”

Writers: Christopher Paul Carey and MIke Wolfer

Artist: Miriana Puglia

The crab-men are examining the pistol of Gretchen’s when it goes off and kill one of them. This frightens them and they order Toran the Tall to take the pistol and toss it into the sea. He leaves but not before recruiting other humans to go with him. Gretchen and Omlot are wandering around waiting for Toran. Instead Nadok finds them. They start to question him about the crab-men when a thipdar comes and carries him away. They later find Toran with his group and Gretchen goes to follow. Omlat takes a nap and wakes to find himself a prisoner of the crab-men. They set him on a raft. Gretchen follows Toran and finds that he has allied himself with some octopus creatures called Azlaks. They have taken over the minds of Toran and others to defeat the crab-men. Now they plan to take over Gretchen.

This was another exciting issue. We find out that Omlat ended up on the island because he was disillusioned with serving the Mahars after their defeat. He sympathizes with the enslaved humans which is why he agreed to help Gretchen. We also find out what these weird octopus’ creatures are. Ends with an exciting cliffhanger in the tradition of Burroughs.

PELLUCIDAR #2

“Across Savage Seas Part 2”

Writers: Christopher Paul Carey and Mike Wolfer

Artist: Miriana Puglia

Gretchen lands on a beach after parachuting out of the Flavonia. She is attacked by a giant crab but gets rescued by a Sagoth. She can understand the Sagoth whose name is Omlot. They dine one giant crab but are soon captured by crab men. They are taken to the crab men city for trial in the death of the giant crab. The Krataklaks as this race is called is using captured human slaves to dig their city. Surprisingly the Krataklaks decide to banish Gretchen and Omlot from the island. Gretchen though vows to stay and free the humans. One of them seems to be her friend while another an enemy. The friend though at the end has some type of dealings with aquatic creatures.

This was an enjoyable story. The Krataklaks are very much a Burrough’s type creature. Gretchen has made a friend in the Sagoth Omlot. She also seems to have one in the Gilak (Human) named Toran. She also seems to have an enemy in the Gilak Nadok. Yet I feel that there is something not revealed with either of these guys. So far loving this story.

PELLUCIDAR #1

“Across Savage Seas Part 1”

Writer: Mike Wolfer & Christopher Paul Carey

Artist: Miriana Puglia

Gretchen Von Harben is a young 22-year-old who just graduated from college with an anthropology degree. Before heading off to graduate school she jumps at the chance to visit Pellucidar. On The Flavonia a new dirigible with Jason Gridley she gets her wish. A thipdar or pterodactyl manages to crash through the double insulated glass windshield. It wrecks the controls before being killed. At this time some of the new structure of the ship collapses and traps Gretchen in the rear observation bubble. Before they can cut her out, another thipdar attacks the rear. Gretchn has to parachute out over the Sojar Az or Sea. She lands on an island and faces a giant crab.

Another Pellucidar story from Wolfer. He really understands Burroughs. This was based on a story idea from the director of publishing at ERB Inc. It uses an actual character that Burroughs created from Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion. One of the very few stories he wrote that I haven’t read. Sister to Erich Von Harben the inventor of the miracle alloy Harbenite. So far, this story was brilliant. It established the main character and her predicament. Feels just like something Burroughs would have written. A young women forced by extraordinary circumstances to get lost in the vast expanse of Pellucidar. Plenty of adventure awaits in this series. Just love these new Burrough stories.

STARRING SONYA DEVEREAUX #1 SCREAM QUEEN SUMMER CAMP MASSACRE

“Scream Queen Summer Camp Massacre”

Writers: Todd Livingston & Nick Capetanakis

Artists: Brendon & Brian Fraim

Sonya Devereaux is having a party with her friends Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Tiffany Shepis and Michelle Bauer. Fred Ray Olen comes along dressed in a pink bunny suit. They are watching the movie they were all in together called Scream Queen Summer Camp Massacre. The movie starts with Sonya driving to Camp Hackaway for a convention. Camp Hackaway is the real-life camp where Ragface killed people for decades and inspired all the horror slasher films. The other girls hid in her yellow VW bug to scare her.

At the camp they meet the director Frank Orson Reed who directs and produces hundreds of films. Anyway, the girls have to get cleaned up and there is only one shower to share. While in the shower some guys steal their clothes, so they have to be naked. The girls instead find young children’s uniforms to put on which are a little tight. The convention begins with Frank introducing the girls with a display of all the knives used in his films. They spring together and kill him. Looks like Ragface has escaped and is on his killing spree again. A sheriff comes to tell them a mudslide blocked the road and knocked out the cell towers. He is killed while inspecting the knifes which were poisoned.

The girls can’t get along because they hate each other but decide to continue their roles as camp counselors for the guests to keep everyone calm. They start off a canoe race that has one of the canoes boobytrapped. They then think that the actress Janie Lynn Burgess is the killer when they find her removing bandages from her face. Only she just had plastic surgery and after being locked in her cabin, it is a trap that kills her.

Some guys come along and invite the girls to make out. Sonya is the odd one out and goes to a shed to build something to fight Ragface. The girls and guys are ambushed by Ragface. He kills the guys with a chainsaw he built out of legos. Then he stalks the other girls. Sonya builds a mechanical exoskeleton and captures Ragface. Only Ragface brings her to where he has all the other girls. He rescued them and tells his story. That he was a bully and sent to camp as punishment. An accident at the nearby turkey slaughterhouse mutilates his face. In anger he starts killing people. Later in prison he watched the slasher movies he inspired and develops sympathy for his victims. He gets his degree in hotel management and buys Camp Hackaway. The real killer is revealed to be the producer/director Frank Orson Reed. He did it to save his career for nobody would watch slasher films if Ragface was a good guy. It is also then revealed that it was all a movie he was filming, and everyone was actors. He also can’t pay the girls and they chase after him. Cuts to the apartment where Fred Ray Olen and another guy visitor fell asleep and are awakened by the girls in scary makeup.

I loved this series. This one was obviously a parody of the horror/slasher films. It has real life people as guest stars which gives it some real-life charm. We get the typical tropes of these films. Beautiful women in tight fitting clothes and some gratuitous shower scenes. Plenty of kooky booby traps and stereotypical scenes. This series lovingly pokes fun at beloved B-movies that we all grew up on. The next one advertised is Alien Queen’s Revenge which looks like a Star Trek ripoff. Can’t wait.

THE MOON MAID #3

“The Three Keys”

Writer: Mike Wolfer

Artist: Mirana Puglia

Loh-ee-nah manages to convince the Va-gas to stay and defend the city of Groethe from the Kalkars. They man cannons that fire poison darts but the Kalkars use gourds filled with explosives and poison gas. The male Va-gas die fighting and it looks like the two girls don’t have long. So Loh-ee-nah goes to a vault and opens it with three keys. This is where she hid when the Kalkars came and killed her family. This vault protects them from the weapon that is activated. As the sunlight comes through the crater it unleashes lighting that destroys the Kalkars. We find out at the end that Loh-ee-nah was preserving a library that had the last books on Va-nah. Now she and her companion are all that is left to preserve the knowledge for future generations.

So ends this series of The Moon Maid with a new character. A fun and enjoyable story with a likable character fighting against the evil Communist Kalkars. I was a bit confused by the ending with the sunlight turned into deadly energy. It wasn’t really explained how that happened. Loh-ee-nah and Voh-nay are interesting and likable characters. I hope to see future stories with then. Also interested in how this is tied in to the Burrough’s books. We learn from the Kalkars that Or-tis is already in charge so this must take place in 2050. I would love to see how this is tied in to the canon universe that American Mythology is creating.