KULL THE CONQUEROR #10

“While Valusia Sleeps”
Writer: Alan Zelenetz
Artist: John Buscema

Kull and Gonra are out hunting boar. They get some very aggressive boars and Gonra shows that he is indeed an equal to Kull. So after a feast two unsavory characters manage to convince drunk Gonra to pull out the sword that seals King Eallal room. They hope to get treasure. What they find is serpent-men and the evil spirit of Eallal. Gonra fights the serpent-men but the spirit goes to Kull’s room. It manages to take over the guards and have them kill each other. Kull knows the proper words to make sure Eallal is banished. He runs to the room and finds Gonra and the door open. As he goes in Gonra locks the door and he is confronted by serpent-men. Kull easily kills them then Gonra who was a serpent-man in disguise. Gonra comes to the rescue with the palace guard. Kull plans to cleanse the room with fire and seal it with bricks. Meanwhile Brule is captive of the evil shaman who has taken over his tribe. The fair Daphna is still in a love sick coma. A wizard manages to stabilize her but only the love of Kull will wake her.

So this is the final issue in the third and last run of Kull for Marvel. It ended on a fairly dull note. The story was mediocre. It also seems unfinished. What of the fair Daphne and her lovesick coma? What was the fate of Brule? Does he free his tribe from the evil shaman? Unanswered questions. Perhaps it was continued in the Savage Sword but I can’t remember. When we get to those issues maybe we will find out. For now it is over. This series started out so strong it is a shame to end on such a dull note. This would be the last that Kull ever got a series from Marvel. Although he did appear in the black and white Savage Sword of Conan. He also made an appearance in Dark Horse and just recently for IDW so Kull is not forgotten.

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KONG ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #4

“Untitled”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Carlos Magno

The apes have captured Kong and bring him ashore. They also brought a bunch of raptors that Ursus wants to train as weapons. Ape City is falling apart. The chimpanzees are protesting wanting humans to have rights. Zaius believes that Kong will show all apes that they are the chosen ones. Zira is banned from the council for her opposition and seriously thinks her life is in danger. Ni’Ta is held captive with the other humans. Things are not going well with training the raptors. Two apes have already been killed. Ursus insists on continuing and shoots a gorilla who resists him. In the scuffle the raptors are released and descent on Ape City.

So Kong is back in the land of talking apes and seems broken. You really feel sympathy for the guy. He looks so sad. Zaius weaves a fanciful tale of liberating Kong from evil humans. He truly believes that Kong will unite the apes around his vision of ape superiority. Ursus has actually killed an ape and has a one track mind in developing trained raptors. He also wants to mount another expedition back to the island to eventually colonize it. Ends in a disaster with starving raptors set free. Another excellent entry in this unique crossover series.

RED SONJA #16

“Hell or Hyrkania”
Writers: Amy Chu & Erik Burnham

So the gang is all together and confronting Kulan Gath. Gath incinerates professor Wallace. Then in his megalomaniacal way is about to kill all the inhabitants of Meru. Thus he will absorb incredible power. Only Wallace was not killed but a clone. He rallies the citizens of Meru and they fight Gath’s followers. Then the beast of Khuran and his mate comes and with their fire-breathing breath join the resistance. Gath is incinerated and the people of Meru are free. Sonja, Max and Wallace hitch a ride on the beast and go to the spot where Max entered Hyrkania. The old Wonder Wheel is there and Max uses his magic to open a portal that him and Wallace can return to the future. Sonja decides to stay. At the end a mysterious figure steals the cursed amulet of Gath.

The final issue in the Kulan Gath saga. It felt rushed as if the writers just wanted to get it over with and move on. In some ways that was probably a good idea. The story was dragging on and putting it out of its misery was a wise move. So now Sonja is back to being a wandering adventurer in the Hyborian age. Complete with her trademark chainmail bikini which I have to admit I was missing.

THE WARLORD #107

“Bride of Yaug!”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

Morgan, Shakira and Daimon are crossing a desert when they are attacked by sand squids. The squids take the pack horse but the three manage to get to rocky ground. They then have to weather a sandstorm but come upon a city. When they enter the city looks abandoned but they are attacked by green bald men. The leader stops the attack and welcomes the travelers. They are given a meal and place to sleep. Morgan wakes up from the aftereffects of the drugged food and finds Shakira gone. He wakes up Daimon and follow the chanting of Yaug. The men are the sons of Yaug and sacrificing Shakira to a bull-man. Morgan battles Yaug as Daimon frees Shakira. Morgan throws a flaming cauldron which starts the stone? building to burn. Soon the whole city is on fire as the three race away. Meanwhile Machiste is subjected to watching Mariah be executed by the wizard-priests of Unmschall. it is an illusion but this breaks Machiste. Mariah manages to ambush her guards and with a captive guard free Machiste. They force the captive to assemble the skeleton crew and boat but as they leave a giant water man attacks them.

So this issue starts out intriguing. It has a feel of the old Grell days. But it soon just turns into a hackneyed cult that sacrifices women to a bull-man. And what the hell kind of stone is the city made of? It bursts into flame like dry brush. There is some moments like the dream where Morgan had of discovering his daughter aged and the final panel where he is worrying about her. Its about time he started to be concerned for Jennifer. So far he just wanders around without a care in the world. There should be a sense of urgency to his quest which has been lacking.

The subplot with Machiste and Mariah continues to show potential. This weird island that likes to torture people has great possibilities. The way they broke Machiste was believable and I loved to see Mariah back to her old bad-ass self.

THE DESTROYER #8

“America is Worth a Life”
Writer: Will Murray
Artists: Lee Weeks and Brett Blevins

Late at night Dr. Smith the head of CURE is working when the computer system is penetrated. Someone now knows about CURE. Smith assigns MacCleary to find Remo and give him the assignment to track down the culprits and kill them. MacCleary finds Remo hiding in a closet from Chiun who wants to cure him of his fear of heights. Going to jump out of an airplane without a parachute. Remo refuses the assignment because he has some morals that won’t have him kill someone blindly. So MacCleary goes to do the job as Remo gets to jump out of an airplane.

MacCleary finds the house and when he enters falls through a trap door in the floor. The place is run by Cuban intelligence. Now Dr. Smith is facing the prospect of closing down CURE to protect the President. That means killing himself and everyone involved with the agency. He sends Remo and Chiun to find MacCleary and if necessary kill him. So the two go to the house and indeed find it full of armed Cubans. They take them out with easy and rescue MacCleary who is wounded and Remo allows him to kill himself with his own hook. The place is destroyed and the agents killed thus saving CURE.

“The So-Called Destroyer Solar System”
Writer: Will Murray
Artists: James W. Fry and Bill Sienkiewicz

A letter from Chiun explaining what this is. Seems someone was asking why the Destroyer isn’t in the Official Marvel Universe Handbook. Short answer the master of Sinanju does not associate with individuals who wear their underwear on the outside. So he compiles a Solar System of the Destroyer since there are only four characters. A drawing and fact sheet follows for Emperor David the First, Chiun, Reigning Master of Sinanju, The Late Conrad MacCleary and Remo Williams. Can’t understand the question of First Appearance and has Remo munching down fast food.

So in this issue Remo gets to meet Emperor Smith the head of CURE. Actually a doctor and an unassuming old man who according to Chiun secretly rules America. We get some more antics with Chiun teaching Remo to overcome his fear of heights. Appears Sinanju masters don’t need a parachute when jumping from a plane. This is the end of MacCleary. A somewhat amoral character with a heavy drinking problem. But as Chiun states in the profile a friend to the House of Sinanju for bringing the proper payment. I wonder if this happened early in the book series. Remo continues to grow as a Sinanju master and should be interesting to see the dynamic with Emperor Smith.

KULL THE CONQUEROR #9

“The Sword of Gonra!”
Writer: Alen Zelenetz
Artist: John Buscema

Kull is bored with the loss of his friend Brule. Daphne though has a plan that she got from the old crone that lives in a cave. The crone tells her the location of the sword of Gonra. Gonra was an ancient king of Valusia. If Kull can retrieve the sword then it will waken Gonra from his long slumber and Kull will have a companion of strength. Kull jumps at the chance but to the disappointment of Daphne the king is still completely uninterested in her romantically. Kull takes Ridondo along and he does find the sword in the alter of the scorpion. This wakes up Gorna who is real pissed at being disturbed. The two battle with Kull eventually pinning Gonra. Gonra yields and Kull now has a worthy companion. Meanwhile Brule is heading home when he and his escort are ambushed by a giant snake. The snake is an illusion. Daphne is so brokenhearted that she falls into a coma. A coma that could lead to death unless her love for Kull is returned.

So this was a quirky issue. Several things are going on and it ends with several threads left hanging. Always a good sign to have the story leaving the reader wanting more. Daphne really has it for Kull and the gold she paid the crone isn’t delivering. It is interesting that Kull would embrace what is obviously something supernatural. He must be real bored to dabble in it. Nothing good can come of this. I have a feeling the old crone is working with or is Thulsa Doom. Brule is also heading toward a showdown with sorcery. A good set up to a big conclusion next issue.

KONG ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #3

“Hell Hath No Fury”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Carlos Magno

It has been 24 days since Zira, Cornelius and Zaius were introduced to Kong. They have been studying Kong who is quite peaceful. But the peace is destined to not last. The human chief wants the apes to leave. Meanwhile during this time General Ursus has been capturing animals. Finally the barge arrives from the apes in Africa. Now Ursus goes on the offensive and kills many of the humans and capturing the female Ni’ta. This forces the scientist apes to flee along with the gorillas. This gets Kong angry and he goes after them. At the ship Ursus manages to shoot a cannonball that hits Kong’s skull and knocks him out. The automatic guns of the gorillas are way superior to the arrows of the humans and forces them to flee. Now the apes head back home with a captive Kong.

So they capture Kong. The girl Ni’ta was used to lure Kong and Ursus has some grandiose plan to show ape superiority with the captive Kong. So far this is basically a retelling of the classic King Kong story only with apes instead of humans. They are even going back to New York. Very interested to see where the story is going.

MR. CRYPT #3

“On Vacation…Welcome to the Jungle!”
Writer: Troy Vevasis
Artist: Alexandar Jovic

As Mr. Crypt goes to work he finds an envelop on his doorstep. Its from the mayor’s office and has a ticket with a letter telling Mr. Crypt that he deserves a vacation. The ticket is for a visit to an uncharted tropical island. Mr. Crypt is all ready for a vacation. With Baron Rat’s help he gets his vacation look which is a flower pattern shirt, straw hat and of course his mustache.

So he finds himself on a boat as the only passenger. Indeed there is only one crew member a Captain Bartholomew Candlewax. Candlewax lied about the vacation. He needed help in stealing a golden skeleton from the natives and heard of Mr. Crypt’s reputation as a vampire hunter. So his vacation is turning out to not be all that great. He worries about Baron Rat that he might be lonely. Far from it as the rat is partying with all his animal friends.

So on the island the two find a doll and this springs a trap that captures Candlewax. Crypt hides as the natives come and take the captain away and start to burn him at the stake. Mr. Crypt finds the golden skeleton only its a regular skeleton with gold paint. He gets the idea to paint himself gold and scare the natives. This works but the cheap paint fades quickly and the two run for their lives. Safely on board the two depart and Mr. Crypt arrives home needing a vacation from his vacation. The place is a mess and Baron Rat is passed out with a cowboy hat. At first Crypt thinks someone robbed the place and forced Baron to wear the cowboy hat. Then he hears about the party and is relieved. Baron Rat cleans up the place.

The final issue in the limited series was as lovable as the first two. I really do enjoy this series. It just makes you feel happy. I still get a kick out of how nobody recognizes him as a walking skeleton just because of the mustache. I know that Baron Rat is getting a one-shot special later this year so I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last in the adventures of Mr. Crypt.

THE WARLORD #106

“The Secret of the Crystal Skull”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

Morgan and Shakira are in the town of Shalmander the furthest town on the known map of Skartaris. While there Morgan rescues a woman who is being robbed. The noble woman Ladah Panar is grateful and invites the two to her palace. Morgan needs rest and Panar offers to have her servants haggle for the supplies. So they get a tour of her collection of art which includes a rare diamond rumored to fit into a crystal skull. The other diamond is owned by the magistrate Imag Grann. So while they sleep a black cat comes and steals the diamond. Morgan thinks its Shakira but she denies it. Shakira does know who did it and finds a man named Daimon at the home of Grann. Daimon and Shakira have a romantic past and Daimon can also turn into a cat. Shakira convinces him to return the diamond but Grann comes and shoots an arrow into Daimon and takes the diamond.

Morgan comes and helps Shakira with the wounded Daimon. Then goes and confronts Grann who took the diamond to power up a crystal skull. With a helmet he also unearthed he now has powerful psychic abilities and attacks Morgan. Only Morgan manages to draw his pistol and put a bullet through his forehead. He then helps Shakira with the wounded Daimon. Meanwhile Machiste and Mariah are taken by the skeleton barge to the island of Unmschal. The warrior-priest there like to take survivors of the shipwrecks they cause so they can torture them.

This was an interesting issue. The big news is the introduction of a romantic interest for Shakira. Someone who comes from the same people as Shakira and turns into a black cat. A rogue who can be persuaded to do the right thing by Shakira. The story ends with it being uncertain if he will survive his wounds. At this stage I was neutral about the character. Neither liking or disliking him. I give Fleisher marks for trying to establish some sort of origin for Shakira but I think only Grell could do that story justice. The side plot with Mariah and Machiste has some interesting developments. What I didn’t like is the whining of Mariah. This is just not her character.

THE DESTROYER #7

“Stone Killer”
Writer: Will Murry
Artists: Rik Levins and Chris Ivy

In the jungles of Peru a college activist meets with the Shining Path rebels. Things aren’t going good for the Maoist world revolution. Recruitment is way down. The activist only collected $69 dollars to give them. That is after the airfare for our college activist. While here the guerrillas give her a juice from a leave that causes stone to liquify for a brief period of time. This will be used to strike back at the corrupt Capitalists and wake up the people to the need for a revolution.

So they use it on the Statue of Liberty only it just turns the base to mush. Didn’t work on copper. Seems the C.Y.L.T Communist Youth Thought League didn’t know that copper isn’t stone. They haven’t been going to class and their leader orders them to start so they know stuff. Here Remo and Chiun try to infiltrate the group. Remo says that Chiun is the twin brother of Ho named Ho Chi Mung. The dolts believe him but it all falls apart when Chiun takes exception to him being recognized as Vietnamese and not a Korean. Luckily Remo gets him out of the way by reminding him is soap is about to start. Later Remo finds out they are going to attack Mount Rushmore.

Remo and Chiun find them spraying the juice on Washington then Lincoln. Chiun and Remo manage to hold up the images from sliding down until they solidify. Then they chase the commies onto a ledge where Chiun goads them by disparaging Mao. This gets them mad that they lose their footing and fall to their deaths.

“Destroyer Gallery”
Artist: Lee Weeks

Four full page drawing of Remo in action.

Well this was another funny story. Now this was a ridiculous satire back in 1990. Sadly there are Antifa thugs out there that think just like this. Universities are just popping these dipshits out like an assembly line. I think the guy who wrote this didn’t realize how prescient he was. I really do love this series. I must check out the books sometime.