BIZARRE ADVENTURES #33

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“Tales of the Zombie: Damballah’s Deeds”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Dave Simons

Simon Garth was once a rich and successful man. He was the most successful coffee magnate in Louisiana. One day one of his employees murdered him because he was treated like a slave. Then using voodoo he resurrected him as a zombie and made him a slave. Now Simon Garth is drawn to New York because that is where the amulet of Damballah is located. He hides in a crate of coffee bound on a freighter for New York.

In New York a woman purchases the amulet from a shop. Her husband is dying from a bad heart and has six months to live. He hates his wife and plans to give half his fortune to his niece. The wife does the voodoo ceremony and a zombie comes out of the ground which gives her husband a heart attack. This was the plan and her lover was dressed as a zombie. She then poisons him so the inheritance is all hers but the real zombie shows up and puts an end to her scheme.

“Vault of Evil: Slayride”
Writer: Bruce Jones
Artist: Bob Hall

A rich man brings his wife to a remote cabin in Alaska for a vacation. The wife decides to leave him and gets into an argument which results in her knocking him on the head with a frying pan. The guy awakes and vows to kill his wife. Wolves decide to attack and kill his sleigh dogs but he manages to capture one. He ties it to a sled and uses Spam thrown out to get the wolf to go forward. When he runs out of Spam he starts cutting off his fingers. Then his arm and feet. When he reaches civilization the wolf turns on him. In the end his spirit manages to take over the wolf and it waits to attack his wife.

“Haunt of Horror: The Survivor”
Writer: Marc Dematteis
Artist: Jeff Isherwood

A man is slowly being possessed by the twin sister that died in childbirth. He eventually slits his wrists which drives off his sister’s spirit.

“Tomb of Dracula: The Blood Bequest”
Writer: Steve Perry
Artist: Steve Bissette

Vlad Tepec is fighting a losing battle with the hordes of Turks invading his country. He is captured and gets turned into a vampire. He fights the king of the vampires Nimrod and defeats him. The original vampire Varnae anoints him the ruler of all vampires.

“Bucky Bizzare!
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Steve Smallwood

Bucky rescues a baby at the turn of the century from an old hag who was going to uses the baby’s blood to bath in. He decides to go to the ’60s. There he meets a hippie chic who claims she is a witch. Bucky gives her a ride in his time machine and dares her to prove she is a witch by turning him into something. So she grabs the wheel and turns the machine into a wall. Unfortunately Bucky survives.

So this is a horror themed issue. The zombie story was an enjoyable one. It was when zombies were voodoo creations through supernatural means and not viruses. A standard one where the bad guys and girl get their comeuppance for their evil deeds.

Slayride was a pretty gruesome story. The guy was one real nut job.

The Survivor was ok. Nothing really special but it wasn’t bad either. Sort of so-so.

The Dracula one I didn’t care for at all. It was just way too confusing. I couldn’t really tell you what was going on.

And finally Bucky Bizzare was another stupid dud. Absolutely hate that character. So it was a mixed bag for this issue. Some good. Some Ok and some really just awful.

BIZARRE ADVENTURES #31

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“The Philistine”
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artist: Frank Miller

A warrior arrives at an art museum. It is after some apocalyptic event known as the Shift. The curator welcomes the warrior and offers him food. Then the pictures come alive and attack the warrior. The curator goes on about how the people are common pigs and not worthy of the art. The warrior defeats the apparitions then impales the curator with his sword onto a piece of art. The curator derisively says what else could he expect from a Philistine.

“Dr Deth with Kip and Muffy”
Writer & Artist: Larry Hamas

It is after the apocalypse and a group of cannibal mutants bring a young girl named Muffy back to an old diner. They plan to make her into a meal. They didn’t count on Dr. Deth a young cigarette smoking boy with a Mac-10. He already rescued Kip another beautiful young woman. Together the two wipe out the cannibal mutants.

“The Hangman”.
Writer: Mark Gruenwald
Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz

A movie reviewer is at the latest gore movie. A man sitting next to him dressed as a medieval hangman asks about the credits and the reviewer gives him a copy of the press release for the movie. Later the director is killed by the Hangman who is on a crusade against perverse filth of such movies. The reviewer calls the police who don’t take him serious. Neither do the various actors and staff on the movies. He goes to the filming of the latest movie “Splatterday” and manages to use a scythe to kill the Hangman. His perspective on slasher films becomes more positive.

“Violence Wears Many Faces”
Writer & Artist: John Bryne

A preacher gathers his followers and march on the local public library. They take all the books they find offensive and burn them.

“Recondo Rabbit”
Writer: Larry Hamas
Artist: Mark Armstrong

A tale of a rabbit working at a boring job. He tells a story of him being at a firebase in Vietnam and how he fights off the VC.

“Let There Be Life!”
Writer: Tom Defalco
Artist: Herb Trimpe

It is 1979 Afghanistan. The Soviets have launched their invasion. A group of Soviet special forces known as the Pravda Patrol are assigned to open a road for the main invasion. They get into a fight in a local village until the troops arrive and level the village.

“A Frog is a Frog”
Writer: Steve Bissette
Artist: Steve Perry

A young boy Wally is concerned with his friend Boomas. Boomas has trouble telling reality from make believe. He ends up killing a young girl.

“Bucky Bizarre!”
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Steve Smallwood

Time traveling Bucky lands in the 1930’s at a brewery. The brewery is being fought over by three rival mob gangs. The gangs end up wiping themselves out and a beautiful girl is excited that she now owns the brewery. All the gunfire has weakened the walls and the brewery collapses. The girl wonders how she’ll run the brewery with the roof collapsed. Bucky remarks that at least “You’ve already got the lowest overhead I’ve ever seen.” Groan!!!

Well this issue lived up to the title. The story were definitely bizarre. The editor decided to do an issue on violence and asked for the writers to write a story about violence. Any violence and they sure did.

“The Philistine” was a bit weird and maybe a little too weird for my tastes.

Dr. Deth was a very gratuitously filled story of people getting shot, stabbed and hacked to death. All set in a post-nuclear landscape with cannibal mutants. My kind of story.

“The Hangman” was an interesting story. The reviewer hated gory movies but at the end found out that killing wasn’t so hard and had positive things to say about the latest slasher film. Somewhat disturbing.

“Violence wears many faces” was a short two page story that had a very simple and effective message.

“Recondo Rabbit” was weird. It was told as a straight Vietnam war story but all the characters were rabbits except the VC who were ducks. I like that it substituted pellets for shit. Such sayings as “scared pelletless” or pellet-head. It was kind of funny.

“Let there be life” was a short but enjoyable read. The invasion of Afghanistan was fairly recent when this issue was released.

A Frog is a Frog” was just plain weird and make no sense at all.

Finally the “Bucky Bizarre” was another stupid waste of time with a stupid pun at the end.

For the most part I enjoyed the stories. Some more than others and Bucky Bizarre must be some ongoing feature. I’m pretty sure that they all were one big waste of time.

BIZZARRE ADVENTURES #30

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“Paradox: Saturn’s Secret”
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists:Mike Vosburg & Joe Jusko

The servant races in the outer colonies are planning to revolt. They are stockpiling food and starting to grow their own in direct violation of Terran law. Already twelve Interplanetary Security Agency agents have been killed. It looks like a high placed mole in the agency is leaking ISA secrets. Thus the ISA turns to his best agent the shape-shifter Paradox. Paradox is to head to Titan and link up with a team of specially engineered agents. The rebels are planning to assassinate the emperor as he visits Titan. This will signal a system wide rebellion. Paradox links up with the team but ends up betraying them. He is the mole and heading the rebellion.

“Silhouette Assignation At Madstar”
Writer: Peter Gillis
Artist: Gene Day

In the future captain Rorik of the cargo ship Shakti tries to make a living. He is part of the Clementine State which seems to be a theological run empire. One day he is kidnapped by the famous criminal Silhouette a beautiful woman who controls the Madstar. The Madstar is an ancient star-system that an ancient race created. It can produce a rare element. Silhouette needs the Shakti to smuggle the elements into the Clementine state. A assault by the Clementine fleet results in Madstar being destroyed.

“Honor”
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artists: John Buscema & Bob Wiacek

A man with no memory and a splitting head-ache escapes from a hospital. He is later assaulted by a mob for his body parts in the street. A woman takes him in and he finds out that he is on a world that the military uses to fix it’s soldiers. Those not cost effective to fix are put out and they constantly are fighting to take the body parts off people to sell to the hospital. The man goes back to the hospital and remember who he is. He had a brain tumor and the doctors wanted to use his body to transplant the brain of a general into his body.

“Bucky Bizzare!”
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Steve Smallwood

Bucky travels in a time machine. He arrives in the future and is in the middle of a fight between a Bo Derek looking girl and slime creatures. The girl is a Rairie and she fights the evil Groobles. Just then a wooden space ship descends. It is Ronnie Raygun who looks like Ronald Reagan. He gives the girl a Willkie button. At the end she says that “He certainly came a long way to tip a Rairie!” Groan!!!

Well this issue of Bizarre Adventures dealt with the theme of the future. The Paradox story was another fascinating look at a unique future. It was a surprise twist that Paradox was the mole. Apparently he fell in love with the Lunarian woman from the last story. She was skinned alive in prison by the guards so he has a vendetta against natural born Terrans.

The Silhouette story was another fascinating future that could make for continued stories. Rorik was one of those lovable rogues and the Clementine State which seemed to be a religious theocracy has great potential for future interesting stories.

Honor was a bit weird but interesting. My least favorite was Bucky Bizarre. It was supposed to be funny but just dumb and the bad pun it ended on should get the writer a well deserved beating. This feature sounds like it became an ongoing series for this title. I can only hope it gets better.

BIZARRE ADVENTURES #25

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“The Black Widow: I Got the Yo Yo, You Got the String”
Writer: Ralph Macchio
Artist: Paul Gulacy

Natasha Romanova the Black Widow is assigned on a mission by SHIELD. They want her to go to a secret fortress in South Africa and assassinate Irma Klausvichnova. Irma trained Natasha when she was in the KGB. Now she has to assassinate her former friend because she is in charge of a weapons depot used to support Marxist revolutions. When she gets there things go wrong from the start. She doesn’t meet her contact and the train that arrives at the fortress is attacked by British special forces. She finds Irma but she is killed by her contact who is the real traitor. Irma was a Shield agent named Stacy Cromwell who assumed Irma’s identity. Natasha is saved by her old lover who was using her to flush out the double agent.

“Lady Daemon: By Virtue of Blood!”
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Michael Golden & Terry Austin

The Daemon sisters grow up at their clan’s castle in the early twentieth century. The two practice the black arts and get their parents killed. The older one Alisabeth goes off leaving the younger Megan in charge. Megan with her friend a British Army officer uncover a plot of Alisabeth in conducting human sacrifices at Stonehenge. When they arrive they are captured and the next thing they find themselves on the Hindenburg. Alisabeth continues to use her powers with help from powers drawn from Megan. She draws demons from the dark dimension. A fight results in the famous Hindenburg disaster.

“Daughters of the Dragon: Safe Streets”
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Marshall Rogers & Bob McLeod

Misty Knight and Colleen Wing are private investigators for their firm Nightwing Restorations. Misty is a former cop who has a bionic arm. Colleen is trained as a samurai. The two investigate the murder of a NYPD cop. It takes them to a childhood friend of Misty. Seems she was turned into a vampire. The neighborhood she lives in made a pact with a vampire. The vampire would get a safe place to live if it got rid of the criminals. The vampire’s price is that every year a volunteer is turned into a vampire.

This is the first of the newly renamed title for the old Marvel Preview series. Bizarre Adventures does have a ring to it and the idea of truly bizarre stories does have an appeal. This issue was titled Lethal Ladies or as I like to call it the Hot Chicks who can kick-ass. The first with the Black Widow was excellent. Plenty of action and plot twists. I liked the old cold war themes that were still fresh back then. Also beautiful artwork by Gulacy made this a treat.

Lady Daemon was also intriguing idea. We get another conspiracy behind why the Hindenburg blew up. Some of the story I did find confusing but it has a lot of potential.

The Daughters of the Dragon was the best. It was pure ’70’s with its kung fu/samurai action. Throw in bionic arm and vampires in New York. The whole idea behind these two women is guaranteed to make a fun story.

MARVEL PREVIEW# 23 BIZARRE ADVENTURES 2

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“Shandra”
Writer: Lynn Graeme
Artists: John Buscema & Joe Jusko

On a world that is perpetually frozen are a group of domes. Inside live the Mu a race of bald big-headed people. Outside are the Shakora or normal humans. Once both peoples lived in equality inside the domes but due to shrinking resources the Mu expelled the Shakora. Now they hunt them for sport and will let in a few occasionally to serve them. Shandora a Shakora woman infiltrates the domes to rescue her brother who was taken for medical experiments. She is helped by a sympathetic Mu.

“Annie Mae: A Love Story”
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artists: Gene Colan and Alfredo Alcala
Photography: Eliot R. Brown

A couple is forces to stay at a dump in New York. The man decides to pass the time by telling a love story. A Neanderthal sees a beautiful woman who he falls in love with. In later reincarnations he continues to see this woman. Finally far in the future the human race has evolved to a higher plain and leaves one behind. This man creates a woman who is the one that he sees throughout his lifetimes.

“The Whole Tooth”
Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Ned Sonntag

A medieval wizard casts a spell that transports him to a dimension where he gains cosmic awareness. Then sent back he finds himself in the twentieth century. He burns up on reentry into the atmosphere and all that is left is his tooth. He grows the tooth and decides to adopt a smiley face pin as his face. Everyone thinks he is in a costume. An agent gets him to represent a toothpaste commercial. He gains celebrity status and wants to get on a talk show to tell everyone the universal truths. Unfortunately a jealous man who thinks his girlfriend has dumped him for the tooth shoots the wizard. Police cover up the body with a blanket. When the detective arrives he finds a quarter under the blanket.

“Final Warning”
Writer: Lynn Graeme
Artist: Frank Miller

In 2034 New York a man tries to escape the telephone company over an overdue bill. In the future unpaid bills result in the execution of the offender.

“Fantasy Gambit”
Writer: Roger Stern
Artist: Steve Bissette

A woman receives a call from her friend. The next thing she knows is that she is transported to a restaurant. The friend has developed powers where anything he thinks happens. At first he develops a messiah complex but decides that he will become Absurdman. Absurdman will make the world safe for absurdity. The woman wakes up and we find out that she is the one with the powers and was sublimating her imagination through her childhood imaginary friend.

“The Way of Heaven”
Writer: Mike Barr
Artists: Gene Colan & John Tartag

A man in New York is getting mugged when he transforms into a big man and scares the muggers away. A woman believes that this man is tied into The Way. The Way is the philosophy of Chinese Tao Te Ching. The mugger decides to recruit an old woman who knows magic and she casts a spell that switches the Way to the mugger. The mugger is killed because he doesn’t see that the people he’s mugging are really tough gang members.

So another batch of Bizarre Adventures and they are truly bizarre. Shandra was a fascinating idea and it was left open for future stories. I don’t know if any were ever done but I would have liked to read more on this world. The Final Warning story was also fascinating about a world were the utility companies would execute you if you didn’t pay your bills on time. And the other ones were really out there. All the stories were interesting and I look forward to reading more Bizarre Adventures.

MARVEL PREVIEW #20 BIZARRE ADVENTURES

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“Dominic Fortune: The Power Broker Resolution!”
Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Howard Chaykin

Dominic Fortune is a hard gambling man who is constantly losing his money. He lives on a gambling ship called the Mississippi Queen anchored offshore from Los Angeles in 1938. One day his landlady brings him an assignment so he can pay off his rent. A woman wants Dominic to kidnap her husband. The man owes $250,000 in alimony but he stays in a coastal mansion surrounded by a minefield. She needs him brought to court to get her money. So when Dominic sneaks into the compound he finds it guarded by Japanese soldiers. The husband is making a deal with the Japanese. He will give them plans to American military bases in exchange for getting Texas and Mexico to rule over. Now Dom has to get the traitor and foil his plans.

“Dominic Fortune: The Messiah in the Saddle Resolution”
Writer & Artist: Howard Chaykin

Dominic is hired to stop one Noble Flagg. Flagg was a cowboy star of silent westerns. He now has started a cult that attacks all the vices of southern California including the movie industry. He also has a device that causes earthquakes. He is using it to help the east coast mob take over California.

“War Toy”
Writer: Tony Isabella
Artists: George Perez and Rico Rival

In the future a general has built a robot with independent thought. He hopes to replace losing men in battle with these robots. But the general staff wants nothing to do with this and derisively called it a “War Toy.” So the general gets assigned to an out of the way place with his robot. Then aliens invade and occupy Australia. The general is with the UN forces that are sent there to liberate the country. He is killed but the robot performs a heroic act that wins the war. The robot is then discharged and forced to look for a job in the civilian sector. It eventually gets depressed and commits suicide.

“Good Lord!”

See Marvel Preview #1

“Of Heroes and the Bizarre”
By Roger Stern

A short article on heroes and how this issue came about.

A collection of bizarre stories that served as a filler when they scrapped a Spiderman story. This title will eventually morph into Bizarre Adventures. I think the idea is great because I like Bizarre stories and these stories were Bizarre. I know I have been critical of the Dominic Fortune stories in the Hulk. I will say that I really enjoyed these stories. I guess the right writer does make a difference and if these two write more I would be very interested in Dominic Fortune. Too bad they didn’t do that for the Hulk backups.

The two science fiction stories were also enjoyable. War Toy was a sad and fascinating story. I suppose it was a commentary on the treatment of veterans which is very relevant these days. The second was a reprint I had already read and you can see that in Marvel Preview #1. A surprising good issue.