MONSTERS ON THE PROWL #16

“The Forbidden Swamp”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Marie and John Severin

Kull with Brule and his Red Slayers are pushing into a swamp. They are heading for the serpent-men’s temple. When they start to cross the river the serpent-men priests call up a swamp dragon to attack Kull. But Kull and Brule prove too bad-ass and kill the dragon. The serpent-priests then try a red liquid that kills men but has no affect on Kull. So after the priests are killed Kull goes into the temple alone. He finds a man who can speak the words that no serpent-man can. The man is Thulsa Doom and claims to be from Grondar. He arrived to rescue his betrothed but was too later. Kull sets the temple on fire but doesn’t notice that Doom takes a gem from the body of his dead betrothed. Kull then goes back to the City of Wonders in triumph while Brule has reservations about their new companion.

“Where Walks The Ghost”
Writer & Artist: uncredited.

Big Monk McGak is facing 99 years in prison. He escapes and makes it to his stolen loot. His plan is to don a fake beard and buy a haunted house to hold up in. The milquetoast of a real estate agent that is showing him the house recognizes him when a bat knocks Monk’s fake beard off. When Monk tries to grab the real estate agent, he turns into a ghost. This scares Monk who runs to the police begging them to put him in prison.

“Mister Morgan’s Monster”
Writer & Artist: uncredited.

A scientist in 2090 named Philip Morgan creates the perfect robot. It can do all the menial jobs but is kind of a big ugly looking thing. This disturbs people and they feel the robots are dangerous and could turn on people. So Morgan is ordered to destroy all his robots which he does by ordering them to walk off a cliff. But he keeps one in his basement with strict orders never to leave.

Unknown to him aliens are watching. They come to steal the robot so they can build thousands and conquer the Earth. Using hypno-gas they knock out all the people in the city and go to the basement. The robot refuses to disobey his orders and is forcefully dragged from the basement. It takes so long the people are starting to wake up. The aliens destroy themselves and their ship to avoid detection. Morgan finds the robot out and figures it disobeyed orders and was a danger after all. The end shows the robot shedding a tear.

So there was a gap of a year between the second and third issue of Kull. The powers that be decided to put a story in their monster anthology book. So we get this excellent issue of Kull and Brule going into this dark swamp to confront the serpent-men in their temple. The notable thing that occurred is the introduction of Thulsa Doom. Doom will be Kull’s most deadly adversary. Now the reader gets a premonition of evil from him but he is an unknown at this early stage. Luckily Kull was continued and we will get many more future issues of the Barbarian King’s adventures.

The two other stories were some old reprints from the fifties. They were kind of hokey but they were also fun. A ghost scares a big bad criminal into a sobbing baby. The second one was just kind of funny. What kind of aliens need a human made robot to conquer the Earth. You would think such an advanced species could build their own robot. They are also bumbling in the inept way they carry out the abduction and their suicide to cover their identity from the Earthmen. A rare story where the robots aren’t evil but actually good loyal servants. You kind of feel sorry for the big ugly robot.

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