MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 THE COMIC #4

Writers: Harold Buchholz, Joel Hodgson, Matt McGinnis, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe, and Mary Robinson
Host Segment Artist: Todd Nauck
In-Comics Artists: Mike Manley, Jack Pollock and Mimi Simon

Kinga is very happy with how her comic book experiment is going and has Ardy load the Black Cat comic.

“Black Cat The Buddha’s Secret”

Linda Turner is the glamorous Hollywood actress that is the crime fighting heroine Black Cat. She is on the set of “Blood on the Idol” playing a Chinese woman. Back in those days Caucasians usually played Asian parts. After her scene she buys a Buddha statue from Fu Chu who rents out props from his trade company. His son objects because he already sold it to someone in China but Fu Chu could care less and sells it the Linda.

Later Linda sees someone stealing her Buddha statue and takes off as the Black Cat to follow. The man goes to Fu Chu’s Import House and inside she runs into Jonah who is playing around with the fire breathing dragon statue. The two find Fu Chu’s son in a transdimensional temple that is bigger on the inside than the outside. His son is being whipped and Black Cat rescues him after beating up some big Chinese guys. The temple priest Tensin tells that the son stole rubies and put them in the statue to pay off his bookie Rocky. Fu Chu forgives his son but Rocky shows up with his hoods to collect.

“The Clay Coffin”

Crowkeeper tells the story of Hortense a great sculptor and married to Grover. Grover starts having an affair with the beautiful maid. So Hortense drugs the maid and encases her in her sculptor. She wins a prize and uses it to get plastic surgery and become beautiful. Then she gets hired by her cheating husband who starts an affair with her. Only Hortense gets revenge by killing him and planning to make a sculptor of him. Only she slips while dragging the body and falls in the lime pit.

Kinga then turns on Tom Servo but finds the scene is stuck at the mother’s place with the bots enjoying a nice meal. So Kinga comes as some kind of Mary Poppins advertising Totino Pizza Rolls. She created a Totino tornado that is driven by Max. Only Max loses control and ruins her plans to destroy this scene. At the end Synthia comes up with a plan to get thing back on track.

Well another really funny issue. The stories they highlight are incredibly goofy and convoluted making them a joy in riffing. And I also enjoy the host segment that link them. Just like the TV show. A very enjoyable issue.

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MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 THE COMIC #3

Writers: Harold Buchholz, Joel Hodgson, Matt McGinnis, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe and Mary Robinson
Host Segment Artist: Todd Nauck
In-Comics Artists: Jack Pollock and Mike Manley

Ardy has managed to stabilize the Bubbulat-R with a device that can pick which comic to watch. So Kinga starts with Tom Servo Teen Reporter. Tom is with Shelley’s family and finds out her parents were sorry about her ugly duckling childhood. So they indulge her now that she is a big Hollywood star. Over breakfast Tom and Chuck get into an argument over Chuck being a dickweed. Later Shelley takes Tom for a ride in her airplane but forgets to check if there was enough gas. Now the plane is going to crash.

Kinga then switches over to Black Cat and Jonah. Jonah wanders to the castle of the Rook. His henchmen are looking through the contest letters to find a clue of the real identity of the Black Cat. The Rook activates a hidden trap door to throw Jonah in the dungeon. The Black Cat comes out of the moat after crashing her cycle in it. She too enters the castle and gets suckered by the trap door in the floor. Fortunately Black Cat uses the electrical wiring to short circuit the lock on the door. Then she and Jonah grab some guns and take the Rook and his minions prisoner.

“Terror On High”

The final story is Crow as the Crowkeeper narrating a story of two guys who visit a monastery in the Bavarian Alps. They are there because the monks have been preserving the bodies of lost travelers in the cellar for hundreds of years. Some of these travelers were carrying valuables. So the two sneak in and steal the loot. Then they take off. First they come to a cabin and find Kinga and her gang having a Totinos party. Crow comes and breaks this up because he isn’t getting any residuals. Then the two guys find another cabin. Here they are attacked by the bodies of the men they stole from. They fall down into a crevasse and die of hypothermia. The monks find the bodies and put them in the cellar.

So they seem to be getting the hang of this format. The three stories all flow together nicely. The jokes are good and enjoyable. They make a lot of fun out of these bad cheezy comics.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 THE COMIC #2

Writer: Harold Buchholz, Joel Hodgson, Matt McGinnis, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe, Mary Robinson
Host Segment Artist: Todd Nauck
In-Comics Artist: Jack Pollock

Kinga Forrester is happy with the success of the Bubbulat-R. Now she has a Black Cat comic loaded in and it sucks in Jonah and Crow. They find themselves riding with the Black Cat a female superhero from 1946. They are in her motorcycle sidecar when it crashed into a rocket of Totino’s Pizza rolls that Kinga has inserted to shill for her sponsor. She has Max launched on the rocket which explodes and he falls screaming to Earth in a burning parachute.

“Black Cat and Jonah”

An evil kingpin named the Rook plots against the Black Cat. The Rook likes to play chess with live people and is pissed at the Black Cat for taking out all his evil kingpin buddies. So he gets a plan to launch a contest offering $50,000 to the person that can identify the secret identity of the heroine. Jonah is a radio announcer and is approached by the Rook to publicize this contest. Later he follows the truck with all the entries and the Black Cat also follows. They are discovered and shot at. Jonah is run off the road but Black Cat saves him. Then takes off and follows the truck to a castle.

“Tail of Death”

Crow is transported to another comic. This one has a brother named Joe who is a mad scientist trying to make a rat huge. His brother knows that Joe is insane but humors him. One day Joe turns a rat small. The rat bites him and infects him. So he shrinks his clothes and all. The brother locks him up in a parrot cage until he finds a cure. He does and brings him back but Joe is insane and kills his brother for locking him up in a cage. Later he finds out that the salts used were unstable and he shrinks again. He runs from the rat that he experimented on and gets eaten by a cat that he was mean to. At the end Crow is the Crow Keeper.

So now the other two characters are inserted into their own comics. Did they pick some real winners to use. These comics are just bad and it is hilarious to see how they riff on them.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 THE COMIC #1

Writers: Harold Buchholz Joel Hodgson Matt Mcginnis Seth Robinson Sharyl Volpe Mary Robinson
Host Segment Artist: Todd Nauck
In-Comics Artist: Mike Manley

In Moon 13 Kinga Forester has come up with a new diabolical invention. The Bubbulat-R. It takes a comic book and inserts people directly into the comic. She tests it out on Son of TV’s Frank and his lame Funny Animal comic. It works so she sends it to the Satellite of Love. The ship fills with green bubbles and adsorbs the crew. Tom Servo finds himself in the comic Johnny Jason Teen Reporter. He is the title character an 18 year old who works as a reporter for the Green City Journal. His robot companions Gypsy, Growler and M. Waverly are also transported to this strip and will provide their own funny observations throughout the strip.

“Tom Servo Teen Reporter in The Brat”

Shelley Marks is a teenage movie star out on a date with some fop. She is kidnapped by thugs in dinner jackets and forced into a car. Only the car blows a tire and the thugs abandoned their attempted kidnapping. The police and the fop date arrive and think that this was all a publicity stunt. Later Tom Servo is called into the editor’s office with his assignment. He will spend the weekend at the family ranch to find out if this was a hoax. So he arrives and meets the family. There is also the sinister ranch hand who dresses like a Frenchman. He doesn’t like Tom so puts a burr under the saddle when they are horse riding. Tom manages to stay on the horse but needs a change of pants.

Later at night he is awakened by a party. Kinga and Max are there serving Totino’s Pizza Rolls since they are funding this experiment. They also use Tom’s head as a serving tray. Later some punk tries to pick a fight with Tom but he manages to kick the thug’s ass. Shelly and the parents are impressed by Tom Servo.

So I remember that MST3K was talking about doing a comic book years ago. I always thought the idea sounded cool and was glad to see them finally take the plunge. I was curious how they were going to do it. Well they actually insert themselves into the comic and riff throughout. They add a little bubble on the word balloons to denote that this was added in and word balloons without the bubble are original comic dialogue. I really thought the jokes were hilarious and this really bad public domain comic from 1962 is just perfect. I look forward to seeing what happened to Jonah and Crow and their goofy adventures in public domain comics.

THE ONCE AND FUTURE TARZAN

“The Once and Future Tarzan”
Writer: Alan Gordon
Artists: Thomas Yeates and Bo Hampton

It is two hundred years in the future and the Earth has gone through some catastrophe. Most of London is underwater and wild animals roam free. Still life goes on. Tarzan lives in the ruins and one day is attacked by a tribe of women. He manages to make peace with them. Later some mysterious man called George Schultz of a cabal that is after Tarzan comes for him. The man is looking for the Kavuru formula that has extended the lives of Tarzan, Jane and Jad-Bal-Ja the lion. They come to an agreement to go to Africa.

So on the boat they go down the river Thames and battle various pirates and hordes of tigers. They reach the channel and recover an old submarine. The trip takes them to a mysterious island composed of old ships like an aircraft carrier and cruise liner. It is lead by a Dr. Jorgenson who was a friend of Tarzan and Jane. Well it starts to get weird with Tarzan and the others somehow getting transported to Africa. They have a battle with Schultz’s men and are rescued by troops in bright blue uniforms.

So this take on Tarzan was originally published as a series of short stories in Dark Horse Presents. The positives are the beautiful artwork. The sort of serialized adventures that it was written as gives it a feel of the old serials from the thirties. Tarzan and Jane are written as the characters were originally written by Burroughs. Indeed the whole story idea feels like something that Burroughs would have written if he were alive today.

Now for the bad. The story is somewhat overwritten with too much exposition that goes nowhere or poetry quotes. In fact the ending was very weird and not satisfying to me. We did get some idea of what happened to this world. Some was actually plausible. The whole experience was just not as fulfilling to me as I was hoping. Still I would be open to reading more chapters in this unique take on Tarzan so it wasn’t that bad.

WONDER WOMAN CONAN #6

“A Feast of Forbidden Flesh”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Wonder Woman is back in her time and depressed that she abandoned Conan. Her mother makes her promise she won’t go back. But her sister Amazons decide to help out and break into the chamber with the magic mirror. Back in Shamar the Corvidae’s army has the city surrounded. Conan wages a one man war against it but can see it is not enough. So he approaches the sisters and offers a wage. He will fight their best champion without blades. They agree and he faces a monster crow creature. Conan manages to get it in a choke hold with the golden lasso. Wonder Woman and the Amazons arrive and start kicking butt. Soon all the human inhabitants of the city are inspired to fight and the army is routed. Conan and Wonder Woman manage to kill the Covidae. Conan is reunited with his childhood sweetheart Yanna. Only she is married with children so leaves but Conan is happy. He found out Yanna survived the fall into the chasm and is happy. Wonder Woman takes her lasso back and leaves for her time. In the present she is at a coffee shop when a guy in a business suit asks for the honey. He looks just like Conan so she asks him out to lunch.

The final issue tied up the plot nicely. Conan and Wonder Woman get together and kill the evil sisters. They save the city and Conan gets some closure with Yanna. I find it amusing to think of Conan in our time. Conan the stock broker. “By Crom sell high”. This was a cool idea. Putting these two characters together was handled well. They worked well together and had a believable story. The artwork was beautiful and it was interesting to see a young Conan in love. A new side to the character. I have no doubt that some more wild team-ups for Conan are in store for the future.

WONDER WOMAN CONAN #5

“Like Blood from the Sky”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Back in modern times on the island of Themyscira the Amazons have finally found out where Wonder Woman has been taken. Queen Hippolyta assembles five Amazon warriors to go back in time and retrieve her daughter. A crow from the Corvidae confirms where Diana is held by taunting the Amazons. He threatens to poop on their statue but doesn’t reckon with the Amazons skill with a bow and arrow. The Amazons are transported to the city of Shamar and look for Diana. Instead they find the Corvidae and have to battle their crow monsters.

So back to Wonder Woman and Conan who are making their way to Shamar. They meet the Corvidae sisters who have captured the Amazons. They threaten to hang them with her golden lasso. As an added bonus they have found the real Yanna. Conan reluctantly tries to fight Diana to save the life of his childhood love. While they are fighting in a half-hearted way the Amazons manage to escape their bonds. One shoots one of the Corvidae sisters in both eyes. The other sister vows to make them all pay as she disappears with her dead sister and Yanna. The Amazons convince Diana to leave and return back to their time. They disappear but Diana leaves Conan her golden lasso.

Well this was an interesting development. Wonder Woman is getting her memory back and is joined by her sisters from the future. Conan meets the real Yanna and is willing to play the Corvidae’s game to insure her safety. I have a feeling that this is not the end and Wonder Woman will come back to help Conan with the final battle.

WONDER WOMAN CONAN #4

“War and the Wind Rider”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Conan and Wonder Woman manage to swim to a small city. Conan quickly steals a pouch of gold from a wealthy merchant and the two head to the nearest tavern. There Conan orders plenty of ale and barely cooked meat.(My kind of meal.) Wonder Woman can’t handle her ale and quickly passes out. She is barely concious to hear the romantic proposal from the tavern keeper or the various offers to buy her. She wakes up in time to fight a group of soldiers who were trying to take her. The two have no problem kicking ass and ride off on the soldier’s horses. Along the way Conan continues his story about Yanna. When they were twelve the two ran off and encountered some bandits. A fight ensues where Yanna is stabbed and falls over a cliff.

This was a fun interlude for our two heroes. Conan being Conan steals some gold and goes to the tavern to drink and eat. Amazons can not apparently hold their liquor. There was plenty of humor. The crude tavern owner who promised plenty of glorious women work like cooking, mucking out the stables etc. She wonders why she gets offers like that while Conan gets propositioned by the beautiful serving wench. Wonder Woman gets a dream which is really the Corvidae guiding her to the city of Shamar. The other sister is having the slavemaster who is under their control get ready to kill the slaves when the two arrive. The side story with young Conan and Yanna gets better with a cliffhanger literally. This team-up is working out pretty good.

WONDER WOMAN CONAN #3

“The Dance of the Wicked Crows”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

A flashback to when Conan was twelve. He meets up again with Yanna and they goof off. Yanna kisses Conan and he has his first kiss and crush. Back in the present Conan and Wonder Woman are attacked by a great white shark after jumping off the doomed pirate ship. They manage with the chain that connects them to kill the shark and get on a piece of debris. So the two are floating endlessly when Wonder Woman notices two crows and believes land is near. The crows thought transport them to a rainy land with a strange tower in the distance. The crows transform into two woman named Aniva and Lila. They are responsible for bringing together Conan and Wonder Woman. They are bored demi-gods who wager on battles. The wanted the two to battle each other. Conan and Wonder Woman are both not good at orders and fight instead the crow creatures the two conjure up. The sisters as punishment are going to destroy the city that the two met in. Then they find themselves back on the raft. Wonder Woman is going to save the city and Conan who thinks she is his lost love Yanna will go along. At the end we finish the flashback. Yanna didn’t want to be the chief of her village and was going to run off for adventure. Conan was to accompany her.

So the story reveals the reason Wonder Woman is in this time and without memory. The sisters called the Corvidae look to be evil and formidable enemies. Interesting to see a young Conan who has his first love. He seems to really never gotten over losing his childhood love. He still insists that Wonder Woman is Yanna and refuses to give up that delusion. The two characters work well together and this is turning into a fine crossover series.

WONDER WOMAN CONAN #2

“Blade and Bracelets, Blood and Sand”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Aaron Lopresti

Flashback to Conan’s youth and his time with the young Yanna. They are playing next to a deep chasm to hear the echos. Yanna slips and falls but grabs a ledge. Conan reaches down to save her. So to the present and Conan and Wonder Woman are lead to the arena to fight one another. Conan still believes Wonder Woman is his old childhood crush Yanna. He tries to convince her not to fight but the slavemaster has her memories and she fights Conan. Conan manages to knock her out but refuses to kill her. So the two are sold as galley slaves.

On a pirate ship the two are worked hard. One day the crew wants to throw Wonder Woman overboard because they think she is a jinx. But first they want to have a little fun. Wonder Woman smashes the leaders nose in and a fight begins. Soon a Zingarian patrol boat attacks. In the confusion Wonder Woman jumps off the ship and drags Conan with her. They face great white sharks.

Another excellent issue. We get a glimpse of Conan as a boy and his first love. Then the present story has an exciting plot. They go from gladiator arena to a pirate ship with Wonder Woman trying desperately to remember her past. There are two women who can change into crows that are following and seem to be the cause of Wonder Woman’s current situation. Some great unanswered threads to this story that make the reader want for more.