THE ROOK #14

“The Dane Curse!”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin meets the last descendant of Lucinda and he is in bad shape. He blames the Dane curse and the strange goo that is exploding out of the family crypt. Yet there is no time shard for him to latch on to in 1781. But he brings Ambrose Pierce from the past. Pierce is apparently an expert on the theory of time travel. He comes up for a way for Restin to go back to 1781. He has to stand outside his time castle and he will be deposited while the machine comes back. It works and Restin is back in 1781. He rescues a man being taken by soldiers. The man has a sick son who found Restin’s test kit with the goo. This and a book and computer were sent back with him but the first two didn’t make it to the same place. He rescues Lucinda who was being tortured for being a witch and with his silver pen for some reason manages to scare off the soldiers.

“A Study in Scarlet”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Noly Panaligan

Holmes continues to search for the murderer. He puts an ad in the newspaper that Watson found a wedding ring on the road. The killer should come to claim the ring. An old crone comes claiming it belongs to her daughter. Holmes follows her and she escapes in a cab. The crone was an actor disguised as an old woman but really a young man. Holmes later uses the pills found at a second murder and help from his paid street urchins to find the murderer. He is revealed as the cab driver and is arrested. The revel of how all this came about is to be continued.

“The Goblin!”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Lee Elias

Bishop Dane uses the magic book to turn himself into the Goblin and break out of jail. They go to the owners place and find a secret basement where Phinneas Smudge was going to hide the book until the human race was ready. A ghost of Smudge appears thanking them for doing this as it is revealed to him in the afterlife that the book will do great things in the future.

“Fighting Armenian in Heroes”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Rudy Nebres

The Fighting Armenian is patrolling the city and notices a hole in the roof of a scientific installation. He finds an old man dressed in a costume robbing the place. He is the Grasshopper Man. Back in WWII he was infused with grasshopper DNA giving him enormous strength. Only he didn’t like fighting and became a medic. After the war he refused to work for the CIA. Seems the side effects were that he would always eat houseplants and no woman would want a guy who rubbed his legs together in a mating call. Then he finds an accountant sneaking out with the secrets of DNA bio-engineering. The three decide to work together to stop this abuse of science.

“Eagle”
Writer: Colin Dawkins
Artist: John Severin

Chief Eagle comes to the rescue of the wagon train being attacked by the Blackfeet. He convinces the Blackfeet to flee by having one of his warriors take over the signal position and send a signal that the cavalry is coming. The wagonmaster is grateful and apologizes for not listening to Eagle.

So this is the last Rook issue. Now the Rook will continue on only in the pages of Eerie where he started out in. So the conclusion to the Dane Curse will be in an Eerie issue that I will review next Sunday. Interesting enough while the Rook is cancelled the Goblin will be starring in his own series. This series I believe only lasted three issue. Someday I will have to check it out.

The Sherlock Holmes story was a bit rushed and confusing. I still don’t get what happened. Whats more all the answers were to be in a future story. Possibly in one of the anthology issues that Warren did.

The Fightning Armenian was another fun issue. A Grasshopper man who was fighting the abuses of bio-engineering. Of course Sergei is as dumb as a brick and the addition of the accountant was another odd addition but I find this character charming. He too was supposed to live on in the pages of Eerie.

Finally Eagle came to an abrupt ending. A fun story but seemed a little rushed. In fact all the stories were a bit rushed to get them done. I loved the Rook and someday I will get the reprint collections to Eerie.

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THE ROOK #13

“The Dane Curse!”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Luis Bermejo

In 1781 Connecticut a woman named Lucinda Cendrillion writes of a horror that she and her family must contain. Only the man from the future Restin Dane can save them. Back in 1981 Restin is in Connecticut to visit professor Duncan Conneally. The professor sent an unknown goo that was living and wants his help. Strange things are happening. First the limousine that was taking him to the mansion suddenly speeds up and crashes into the gate and explodes. Only Restin and the drive were able to jump out in time. The professor believes only Restin can save the world from some goo that is seeping from the grounds of the old Cendrillion mansion. He plans to go back but finds there is no time shard in 1781 but will visit Ambrose Bierce in 1914.

“The Goblin!”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Lee Elias

Restin and Bishop are arrested for the murder of Phinneas Smudge. The police need a scapegoat for the people they killed and they are chosen. They are locked up with the book they recovered and find that it can summon forth a netherworld spirit to right the wrongs. Bishop plans to use it to escape. In the present Coral Dane does some investigating in Harlem. She is accosted by some thugs but the mysterious Goblin rescues her. She is about to get the story of the Goblin from an old lady.

“A Study in Scarlet”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Noly Panaligan

1878 a Dr. John Watson who was wounded in the Afghan war is looking for a place to live. A friend introduces him to Sherlock Holmes who needs a roommate for his place on Baker Street. He finds out that Holmes has a natural ability to solve problems and is frequently called on by Scotland Yard. He gets to accompany him on a case. A man who died with no visible wounds and might have been poisoned. Only the word Rache which means revenge in German was written on the wall in blood.

“Air Whale Express”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxamana

Joe Guy has been hired to bring Giganto a huge mutant whale who has developed a taste for human flesh to a secret government facility in Alaska. Naturally his manager Putnam will charge triple since its the government. Seems the government wants to find a way to control Giganto for its own purposes. So Giganto is loaded on a cargo plane in a tank of water and off the two go. Over Minnesota Giganto tries to eat Putnam when he is feeding him and causes the plane to break up. Giganto manages to swallow Putnam in mid-air. Joe Guy comes up with a plan to gather all the parachutes and gently bring the whale down. Only he can’t pull all the cords at the same time and they hit the ground. This was a nightmare by Putnam and he cancels the job. Now they have to send Giganto by Greyhound Express.

“Fighting Armenian”
Writer: Bill DuBay

Restin is visiting his friend Sergei Baginski the Soviet defector who is the superpowered Fighting Armenian. Only he is not having much luck in his superhero career. Seems nobody is taking him seriously. Just then a robot breaks into the apartment. Glorioski the Soviet death machine has come to punish Sergei for defecting. Luckily Restin is a master of robotics as well as time travel. He opens a panel and reprograms the robot to capture the Soviet agents.

“Eagle”
Writer: Colin Dawkins
Artist: John Severin

Eagle the chief of the Crow continues to follow the foolish palefaces that ignored his warning and went into Blackfeet land. His scouts have detected a party of Blackfeet warriors who are about to attack the wagon train and Eagle is setting up an ambush.

The first Rook story is intriguing. It has a very Gothic feel to it. A strange blob like substance that is coming out of the ground. Only the death of Restin can save the world.

The second continues the story of the Goblin. We get some answers to the origin.

The Sherlock Holmes story is the origin of how Watson and Holmes meet. An interesting backstory for Watson and feels like a good Victorian Holmes story.

Joe Guy was hilarious. I love his comment that it was a good thing the breakup happened over Minnesota and not a civilized part of the country because there’s nothing below to damage. There was all sorts of humor in the story.

The Fighting Armenian was also another humorous story. The Russians talk with thick accents and talk about the evil capitalists. Makes me nostalgic for the cold war days.

Finally Eagle continues with beautiful artwork and an interesting story.

So the format seems to be a bunch of short stories and I liked it. Half were to be continued but I like having a good cliffhanger ending. Also a good mix of variety.

THE ROOK #12

“The Goblin”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Lee Elias

In New York a strange four foot tall blue skinned goblin creature is terrorizing a slum lord. At this time Restin and Bishop are on vacation wandering around Harlem This is when they encounter the Goblin. While chasing him he disappears down an alley. Restin believes he remembers reading about this Goblin. So at the library they discover that in 1917 this Goblin was around. So they get Coral to bring the time castle and the two go back to Harlem 1917.

During this time a cult is attacked by the local police as being devil worshipers. The leader uses a satanic book to turn himself into the Goblin to save his followers from the police. When the police lieutenant starts shooting his followers then the Goblin picks him up and bashes his brains against the wall. Restin and Bishop witness this and follow the blood trail to the cult leader who is dying. He says that the book he uses must be destroyed. After he dies the police burst in.

“The Bat”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Nestor Redondo

A bat-man type creature is loose in New York on a dark stormy night. It is drawn to a house in the suburbs. There it remembers its past life as a man. A brilliant biochemist with a son who was born without the use of his legs. The scientist blames himself for he may have contaminated his newborn with one of his experiments. So one night the scientist is fired and a lab accident creates the Bat.

“The Protectors”
Writer: Bill DuBay
Artist: Ruby Nebres

Restin is time traveling and lands in the prehistoric past. He lands in a swamp and his time castle sinks in. As a T-rex shows up a voice tells him to run to a cave. There he is told that the fungus is deadly and if he touched it and brought it back to his time he could wipe out the world. A sabertooth attacks and falls in so we can see the effects of the plant. His daughter comes with the spare castle because she was guided by the mysterious voice and rescues her father.

“Dagger Marshmallows don’t Weep!”
Writer: Don McGregor
Artist: Bill Draut

It is 1933 and the Great Depression is going strong. A group of men are at the back of a ritzy nightclub to salvage the garbage to feed their families. Dagger comes and gets his old friend Angel to offer him a job. He works for a small motion picture company and their big star has run off with the heiress to the marshmallow fortune. The father has send some thugs to bring his daughter back. They fly off and come to a sky tram in the Sierra Nevadas. The thugs are in the tram with the star and heiress. Dagger jumps in and in the fight the heiress is shot and killed.

“Eagle”
Writer and Artist: John Severin

Eagle is the war chief of the Crow. A wagon train is going through his territory and he warns them not to go into the territory of the Blackfeet. The wagon master scoffs at the warning and continues on. Eagle decides to follow because his tribe is at war with the Blackfeet and he plans to use the wagon train as bait.

Well the main Rook story is interesting. A mysterious Goblin creature who is terrorizing the slum lords. It leads to the past an another strange cult and police brutality. I loved that there were two white guys with pistols on their hips dressed as cowboys strolling through Harlem. Good thing they were armed. Why I love this old series.

The Bat was a good story. A bat creature has some promise as an interesting continuing series. Had a good backstory and very moody art.

The Protectors continue to be these mysterious aliens. They manage to save Restin and show him the dangers of time travel.

Dagger had a nice authentic depression era feel to it. A bit on the goofy side for a plot but interesting nonetheless.

Finally Eagle was excellent. A good old western with beautiful artwork. The only weird thing was that it was drawn horizontally so you had to hold the magazine sideways. A minor quibble for an excellent series. A good balance of diverse stories for this issue.

THE ROOK #11

“The Rook”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Rudy Nebres

Bishop manages to wound the bounty hunter known as the Undertaker. The bounty hunter is taken into custody while Restin goes off to intercept the train that has Kate. Bishop decides to find his estranged son who he hears is located at a base he knows of. Meanwhile Castle takes the captive Kate to his base which is a town in a box canyon. There Kate finds that Castle is using the money he steals to feed orphans. She falls in love with him. Bishop arrives and it looks like Castle is ready to kill his own father. Still hasn’t forgiven him for getting his mother killed and running out on him. They meet in the street and draw with Kate running out to stop them. Castle didn’t aim for his father and Bishop just killed the Undertaker who was on a roof gunning for him. They all get together and forgive each other. Later Bishop finds Restin back from an unsuccessful trip and takes him back to 1981. There he shows him that Kate married his great-grandfather Castle. So in effect Restin was sleeping with his own great-grandmother.

“The Protectors”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Rudy Nebres

The aliens in New York looking for Restin decide to pursue a side mission. Two of the aliens go to the junkie Julio who is at that moment in a heroin induced high. The aliens go into Julio’s mind and battle the demons there. They defeat the main mind demon freeing Julio from his addiction to heroin.

“Uncle Zorro”
Writer: Bill Dubay
Artist: Jose Ortez

It is 1836 Los Angeles and Zorro rescues a young woman from the Federales He jumps forward to 1961. There a young Chik Lucas finds out his uncle is the famous Zorro. Zorro goes back in time and causes trouble for the Federales. He hangs a sleeping guard over the outhouse pit. He puts laxatives in the food and pees a Z on the commandante while he sleeps. Then leaves while throwing money that he stole back to the peasants. This causes the commandante to retaliate and kill the young girl’s father. When he gets back to 1961 he tells her and the two go off to get revenge. Only when they arrive they are killed in an ambush. Now Chik has figured out the time travel device in 1981 and plans to go back and rescue his uncle.

“Kronos”
Writer and Artist: Lee Elias

The partisan raid was a success but now there will be retaliation. The partisans decide to step up their resistance. Kronos comes up with a plan to free his love Nadya. He takes over the watch officer assignment. Then kills the guard and has Nadya put on the uniform. As they escape they run into his old friend Klaus. A shootout ends with both Klaus and Nadya dying. Kronos then has his right arm paralyzed and gets killed by a sniper. He wakes back in 1980 but with an arm no longer paralyzed. Seems this hypno-regression worked.

So this Rook story went by fast which is good. Everything worked out great with Bishop reconciling with his son and Kate finding true love. The only problem is Restin now found out he was in love with his great-grandmother. I suppose that is the dangers of time travel. Have to make sure you don’t go having sex with your ancestors because that is something that can be a bit disturbing.

The Protectors was also a short but interesting story. So these aliens are here to guide humanity to a more enlightening future. Would like to learn more about them.

The Uncle Zorro had to be the best take on Zorro that I ever read and was the best of the stories in this issue. The idea of a time traveler being Zorro was a unique take. Also having the nephew take up the mantle and try to save his uncle has some great future potential.

Finally Kronos comes to an end. It started out kind of boring but really picked up steam when it got to the past live in WWII. Don’t really believe in the reincarnation stuff but it made for an interesting story.

THE ROOK #10

“A Time for Love Lost!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Rudy Nebres

Restin comes back to 1981 with his daughter Coral and Bishop after their adventures fighting the dictator in the future. He finds out his love Katie McCall has left to go back to 1874. A daughter for Restin means they have no future since she can’t have kids. Restin with Bishop jump back into their time castler and go back to get her. Meanwhile some aliens in the New York subway save an old woman from muggers then go into a secret base that is located their. There are other aliens and a human dressed as Buffalo Bill. They are there to stop Restin who apparently is about to cause the destruction of the human race.

So back in 1874 Katie is on a train and meets Castle Dane the son of Bishop. He is a bitter man because he blames his father for killing his mother. When he was a kid back in Philadelphia while is father was visiting a man tried to gun him down. The bullets instead killed his mother. Castle is also now known as Kid Castle and robs trains. He takes Katie hostage and with his gang steal the gold being transported. Restin and Bishop go to the saloon in town hoping to find Katie. Instead they run into a bounty hunter who thinks Restin is Castle. At the end two of the aliens are going to save the mugger from overdosing on heroin.

“Dad!”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxama

Joe Guy goes to visit his dad at his fortress at the North Pole. It is huge place run by beautiful female robots and filled with stuff from his dad’s adventures. His father who is a parody of Superman has the powers and background but they skillfully omit his name. Seems that dad was traveling to the future and saw his own death from an interdimensional being. It scarred him so much that he hid in his fortress when he got back to 1962. He used a robot to impersonated him. He wants his son Joe to fire a weapon at the creature that will transport it back to its dimension. Only trouble is Joe’s Wotta car blew a rod in its nuclear reactor and he can’t get back. So his father has to fly him. There in the city the monster appears but it was the robot double that was destroyed and not his father. The father decides to retire and run a hotdog stand.

“Kronos”
Writer & Artist: Lee Elias

Kronos is a German lieutenant in the Wehrmacht in his past life under hypnosis. The general being send to their sector had his plane shot down. The SS commander believes it was one of the girls that they were dating that informed the resistance. So the SS commander has them arrested to be interrogated. Kronos is in love with the woman Nadya but his old friend is a ruthless Nazi fanatic bent on torturing the information. The resistance stages a raid that frees the friend but leaves Nadya behind. Now Kronos has to find a way to rescue the woman he loves.

“The Singular Case of the Anemic Heir!”
Writers: Will Richardson and Kevin Duane
Artist: Anto Caravana

Holmes and Watson get a strange visitor one day. A man claiming to be the illegitimate son of a nobleman needs Holmes help. A diary contains a will that is more favorable to him and relatives are determined to stop it. Holmes is not interested in the case. After he leaves the landlady screams. Seems she saw a bat. Later the proprietor of a bookstore is murdered with a message to Holmes. Seems the heir is actually a vampire out to get Holmes because in one of his cases he claimed that vampires were absurd. They get the vampire to meet them at the crystal palace where the sunlight concentrated from the mirrors kills the vampire.

Well after the grim futuristic anti-christ storyline we are back to going into the past. More specifically the old west where the Rook got his start. The story with Katie being upset about learning Restin fathers a child in the future is a realistic plot. In the west we meet Bishop’s son who is an outlaw. Not to be outdone in weirdness we have these mysterious aliens out to save humanity for the universal consciousness. A great mix of the old west and futuristic intrigue.

The Joe Guy story was just full of Superman references. His fortress is obviously based on the Fortress of Solitude. In this instance the dad who is Superman but not named is a bit of a coward. Still this convoluted plot works and is a fun read.

Kronos continues to get better. It started out so slow but now has my interest. Kronos is showing signs of questioning what he is fighting for. Some realistic scenes that are historically accurate make this a joy to read.

Finally we get a Sherlock Holmes story. It felt like a Sherlock Holmes story and the characters seemed real. An offbeat and enjoyable mystery.

THE ROOK #9

“To Checkmate a King!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin and his daughter Coral are captured by General Tavyl. Billy Dane is beaten and left for dead. Billy though manages to get up and go back to his hospital. There with Bishop Dane he finds the Rook time machine and they go to confront Tavyl. Tavyl has taken Restin and Coral to his mansion that is surrounded by an army. Yet the time machine has no trouble in setting down right in the room they are in. Billy and Bishop bust out guns a blazing and take out the bodyguards. Tavyl knowing the Restin is too good and won’t shoot an unarmed man refuses to order his men to stand down. Indeed they use tanks to shell the mansion and come charging in. The four Danes manage to hold them off. At the end they are saved when the people rise up and overwhelm Tavyl’s mercenaries by sheer numbers. The people are free and Tavyl has died in the attack.

“Cardinal Synn Archfiend of the Universe”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxamana

A mobster makes a pilgrimage to Tibet to see Cardinal Synn the Emperor of Villany. Synn is disappointed that American mobsters aren’t making their tribute payments. Seems Joe Guy is putting a serious dent in the crime operations in America. So Synn decides to go to Major City and put a stop to Joe Guy. Joe Guy is coming back with his team from another mission when they see a giant squid attacking their headquarters. It is found out to be an illusion. Later a giant Roc comes and takes Hoffa away. They follow in the flying Wotta Car to the Cardinal building. A helicopter was disguised as the Roc. Joe jumps out and through the skylight. He beats off some of Synn’s monks but a glass cylinder is dropped and filled with poison gas. Joe could break it but the poison gas would go into the room and his girl Hoffa is prisoner in the room. Joe seems to collapse and the gas is drained and the cylinder is raised. But hold on Joe comes to and opens a can of whop ass on the monks. If Synn read his Playboy interview he would know Joe can hold his breath for an hour. His two teammates Hotwire and Bantam set off an explosion that destroys Synn’s illusion machine and causes a fire. Joe gets his teammates to safety and tries to put out the fire. He doesn’t succeed but escapes by jumping out a window and having his fall cushioned by a parked car. At the end he gets a letter from his father requesting a meeting at the North Pole.

“Kronos”
Writer and Artist: Lee Elias

Victor Kronos goes under hypnotherapy and is regressed to his past life. In 1943 he was a lieutenant in the Wehrmacht stationed in Russia. One day a beautiful young woman named Nadya comes because her brother is scheduled to be executed in retaliation for partisan attacks. Kronos seduces the woman with the promise to save her brother’s life. Later he get her to bring a friend for his friend. In a drunken state he tells them that the general is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. The friend reports this to the resistance who then arrange for fighters to be in the area to shoot the plane down. The commander orders the two girls to be arrested.

“Voltar”
Writer: Uncredited
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar is brought to the throne room of the evil warlord. He is defiant and manages to break free and kill the warlord. He dons the warlord’s armor and impersonates him to get the goblins to release the human captives. As they march to freedom one goblin notices the hole in the armor and deduces that Voltar is an imposter. Voltar manages to fight the goblins and die while giving the captive humans time to escape.

Well this was another fun issue. The Rook story ends the futuristic tale of the mad anti-Christ General Tavyl and his United Nation-State. A bit melodramatic but still a fun story. Fascinating to read about how they viewed the future of the ’90s back in 1981. Seems a nuclear war was always inevitable in the ’90s back then. Thankfully we survived that decade. Interesting that Restin knows his own future and how he will die. A bit of a paradox with this story. Still the Rook writers made many contradictions with the character and didn’t seem to mind.

Joe Guy is just another satirical farce that I love. The evil oriental who has to put the Occidentals in their place. The corny dialogue and situations just make it a hilarious story.

Kronos was a big surprise. It took a 180 from the last story and makes it into a World War II story in occupied Russia. Kronos was not a good person in this past life. Casually he discussed with his friend the greatness of Hitler’s genocidal policies. He also takes advantage of a young girl. Some great depictions of partisan warfare. They use a wagon with boots on the wheels to make false trails in the snow. A great improvement from the last issue. This story starts out slow but is picking up to be very interesting.

Voltar comes to a conclusion. A bit hurried is the only complaint. Otherwise Voltar dies a heroic death in saving the humans of the kingdom. A good conclusion to a story that will be missed.

THE ROOK #8

“The Coming of Billy Dane!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Luis Bermejo

Restin is fighting a giant snake on Jupiter’s moon Io with only his grandfather’s Bowie knife. His grandfather Bishop is already bitten and lies dying. When it looks like the end a horned tiger named Taboo comes to the rescue. Coral decides not to leave her father to die. The snake is killed and Restin passes out. He comes to on the old spaceship as its headed toward Earth. They land in the early twenty-first century in his town of Cottonwood, Arizona. Only now the town is a huge polluted city. They take Bishop to a hospital and there find out the story from a doctor that recognizes Restin.

Seems back in 1996 a nuclear war occurred that destroyed most of the planet. A general named Alexander Martinson Tavly gains power. He forms the United Nation-States. Soon he is rounding up all the undesirables and minorities and using the bodies as fuel for his power plants. Restin was a senator who opposed him. One day Restin attempted to free the inmates of a concentration camp. It resulted with Restin, Bishop and his followers fighting off the military might of General Tavly in his Rook mansion just like the Alamo.

At the end of the story he is introduced to Billy Dane. He was the only survivor of the battle and took Dane as his last name to honor Restin. He pledges to help Restin overthrow Tavly. They head out to his old place and find it destroyed. But there is his underground cave with the alien artifacts. He finds that intact but General Tavly is waiting with a giant robot.

“Joe Guy America’s Foremost Hero!”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxamana

A meteor brushes the atmosphere of Venus before heading to Earth. It crashes into a mansion in Bel-Air. Later the attorney for Capriccio arrives. Capriccio is the greatest clown artist who ever lived. He was sent because his boss’s behavior is erratic and hopes that Joe Guy can help. So with his secretary Hoffa they go to California and Capriccio is indeed a bit nuts. He wears a mask and is pretending to be Robin Hood after watching an Errol Flynn movie. Later he is Groucho Marx and Don Corleone. It is found out that Venusian creatures called Fleyes which are flying eyeballs have taken Capriccio over. They got trapped on the meteor and want to turn the Earth’s atmosphere into one they can breath. Joe confronts the Fleyes who are now Dr. Strangelove and defeats them. Seems TV corrupted them and that is what saved the Earth.

“Kronos”
Writer and Artist: Lee Elias

Vic Kronos is leaving the theater with his girlfriend when they are accosted by muggers. When one takes his girl to get raped he jumps one of the muggers and kills him. The other flees. Later Kronos has a nervous breakdown and is hospitalized. He recovers but his right arm is paralyzed. He had this back in Vietnam after an ambush. It was psychological so he is sent off the the V.A. There he meets his doctor who is Korean-American. A lot of talk about being surprised an Asian could be a psychiatrist. Dr. Young will put Kronos under hypnosis to find out his trouble.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar learns the story of the savior who happens to be the king’s eldest son. Back when they were boys the king sent his two sons and wife into exile to protect them from the coming endtimes. They went to live with the wise old Essenes in a cave. The Essenes teach the boys. The elder Judah becomes adept at healing. The younger brother Taraval instead is drawn to the black arts. This forces the Essenes to banish the young Taraval. He later sneaks back and kills his teacher and steals all the dark scrolls. When he grows into adulthood he comes back with an army of Goblins and slaughters all the Essenes. Then he leads the army to victory which is where Voltar is at the present.

Well we managed to survive the 1990’s. No nuclear war or the rise of an anti-christ. I just love reading what the future was supposed to be like. So it is interesting that a guy with a time machine never bothered to check on his own future until now. It sounds like a very grim future but he finds out that he didn’t abandon his wife and daughter but sent them away to be safe. Now Restin has a chance to avenge his own death which is an interesting conundrum.

Joe Guy is a tongue in cheek parody of Superman and I find it amusing. Joe has the power to see through wood or plastic. Of course TV and its corrupting influence save the day.

Kronos was a bit of a bore. A lot of talking and not much else. It reminded me of the old newspaper strip Mary Worth. In fact the artwork bore a striking resemblance to the strip. Only instead of a few panels you get eight pages of boredom.

Voltar continues to excel. We get the story about the two brothers who seem to be destined as savior and destroyer of mankind. An enjoyable sword and sorcery tale.

THE ROOK #7

“The Coming of Coral Dane!”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Luis Bermejo

On Io a moon of Jupiter a young woman is comforting her dying mother. She plans to get the old spaceship running and bring back her father. So with her pet giant cat with a big horn growing out of its nose they take off. She lands in Cottonwood Arizona 1981 and being in a furkini with a giant horned cat does attract attention but she manages to evade the police. She manages to throw a knife in Restin Dane’s car tire with a message with coordinates to meet her.

So Restin and Bishop head off in their alien space and time machine to Io. There they find a swamp world with deadly alligators and snakes. They meet the old woman who shortly after dies. The furkini girl Coral is there also. She is Restin’s daughter and feels that he abandoned them to this world. She destroys their ship and steals their guns so they can’t defend themselves. They battle one giant snake and kill it but another is coming.

“Joe Guy America’s Foremost Hero!”
Writer: Jim Stenstrum
Artist: Abel Laxamana

In 1937 young Clark in Smalltown, Illinois has an illegitimate child with Amelia Earhart. This causes his father a heart attack and Clark goes off to the Bigtown. Amelia leaves the child at a monastery in Indiana. The child grows up to be Joe Guy a superhero for hire. He has easy financing and takes all major credit cards. He works from JGI headquarters in Bigtown, Illinois. Two Soviet journalist coming to interview him are exposed as robots working for his archnemesis Jellyfish.

After defeating the robots an alien probe comes looking to hire him. A dangerous criminal named Glink has come to Earth. They offer 1 million Yahooties for his capture. Joe agrees and goes off in his Wotta Car to the Rockies. One condition is him and his partner a dwarf must wear Audio Refractors or ear plugs so they are not distracted by Glink’s lies. They find Glink who is a cute goofy alien and they pull out the ear plugs and find that Glink is an escaped slave. The ear plugs are explosives that were to eliminate our heroes. Glink is allowed to remain in the caves as our heroes return home.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala
Voltar is dying from the plague and Magog’s assassins decide to bring him back. They want to show the conquered humans their hero as a captive and hope the plague will spread. So they bring Voltar to the captured castle and he is thrown in the dungeon. An old man named Sadducees heals him. Voltar then notices the dungeon is full of warriors and wonders why they were captured so easily. Seems their savior who is nailed to an x outside convinced them that the only way to salvation was to accept their lot with dignity. Voltar rejects this and vows to fight on. At the end the assassin who brought him is is the king’s estranged son.

This was a good issue. The Rook story was a hoot with them going to the jungle world of Io. Not sure how life could exist on Jupiter’s moon but it is a cool idea. Restin’s daughter is a hot chick in a furkini but you wonder about the paradox of having him never meet her mother. How would she be born to prevent Restin from meeting her mother. Interesting to find out next issue.

Joe Guy is a not so subtle parody of Superman. Still it is a goofy story. Interesting that back in 1980 the world is described as full of pollution, energy shortages, nuclear proliferation, terrorists, pimps, mobsters and politicians who are more crooked than any of them. Sounds like nothing changed in the last forty years.

Voltar continues on. The stories are short but interesting and I love the artwork.

THE ROOK #6

“Master of the World”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Lee Elias

Restin Dane finds himself captive of Robar the Conqueror along with Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. Robar is an alien who was fighting in a war that had lasted thousands of years. Tired he deliberately sabotaged his ship. It damaged his body which is why he is more machine that man. He was the only one to survive the crash and decided to build his dragon ship to subjugate the people of Earth and force them into peace. Meanwhile his friends down in Haiti are about to be overrun by hostile natives when Bishop and Manners come back in a time machine they found in the alien cave under Restin’s home. On the dragon ship Restin manages to defeat Robar and with the help of Sherlock Holmes who is real and was disguised as a crewman they escape before the ship explodes. At the end the dean who came to write a book will write about the two Mexican henchmen that accompanied Jennings. Cisco and his sidekick Poncho in The Adventures of the Cisco Kid.

“Viking Prince”
Writer & Artist: Jose Ortiz

Sigfrid, Sampson and Freya are attacked by a horde of giant cyclops. Sigfrid is knocked into a river while his companions are captured. Sigfrid has to fight a giant sea snake that is in the river and barely manages to escape. He tracks the cyclops to their cave and rescues his companions from an evil wizard named Saraveg. Saraveg wants revenge against King Olaf and plans to take it out on his daughter. Sigfrid comes and frees them. He then has to fight a giant lizard and the horde of giant cyclops. Luckily King Olaf arrives and rescues him. Now he finds out Freya who he had feelings for is his half-sister and he was saved by the man he wanted revenge on.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar is in the caves with illusions from the plague he carries. He sees his beloved Elysium fall to the hordes of goblins. He decides to try and cure himself with the writing of the scholars who were murdered. But they wrote in a language he can’t read. He then sees the savior that he is looking for come with a raised sword to kill him. Only its the plague induced fever that makes him see this. In reality it is another assassin from Magog come to kill him.

So the Master of the World story ends with all sorts of goofy action and coincidences. Out of nowhere comes his grandfather and robot who conveniently find the alien time craft. Also convenient is there is a real Sherlock Holmes who is there to help out. I really loved this story. Just fun with tons of action. It started out and ended in a totally different way that I could never have envisioned which I think is an awesome way to write a story.

The Viking Price was another just chock full of wild action from beginning to end. You don’t have time to think as it just goes forward full speed. So now poor old Sigfrid finds out the woman he was attracted to is his sister and his enemy saved his life. Gets real complicated being a prince raised as a peasant. And wow is medieval Scandinavia full of giant monsters. You can’t go 100 feet without running into one.

Voltar was the shortest but still an enjoyable tale. The artwork is just beautiful and the story still moves forward and ends on a cliffhanger. A very solid issue.

THE ROOK #5

“Master of the World”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Lee Elias

Doyle and Verne wake up to find themselves on the dragon ship. A sailor with a pistol takes them to a hatch with ropes hanging out of the ship. He informs them that they will be over an island and they should lower themselves to the ground. Verne doesn’t want to leave until he finds out more about the ship. They explore and find some grotesque humanoid locked in a room. It comes after them and they jump onto the ropes. Meanwhile Restin Dane finds himself in a wagon with his time machine. The two Mexicans are working from Jennings and take Restin to a mine where the scientist is working. Jennings had discovered a bacteria on a meteorite that when processed can cure practically any form of illness. Unfortunately the dean of his university was a drunk who went away to Haiti to recover. Now Jennings stages robberies to get his own chemical back.

After he accidentally blows up the lab he finds the explosion properly processed his chemical. Now he has to go to Haiti. His old dean says a plague has broken out among the natives and now the natives blame white tourists and there is going to be a bloodbath. Restin takes Jennings and his two Mexican helpers in his time machine to Haiti. There he run into Jenning’s friend being chased by native. While fighting them off they run away at the sight of the dragon ship. Restin notices the rope with two men on it. He jumps on the rope and climbs inside with Verne and Doyle. They meet the master of the ship a bearded man that seems part cyborg. He calls himself Robar the Conqueror.

“Viking Prince”
Writer and Artist: Jose Ortiz

Baldar the Viking rides through the forest with a newborn baby. He has been tasked by Olaf to kill the heir of the kingdom of Thorvald. Baldar instead leaves the baby who is later found by a peasant woman. Baldar is shot with an arrow by Olaf the general who plans to usurp the kingdom by marrying the queen Sybil. Baldar manages to survive long enough to reach the peasant family that adopted the young baby. He tells them that the baby is Sigfrid the rightful heir before dying.

Sigfrid grows to a young man. He meets a dwarf while crossing a rope bridge and gets into a fight. The dwarf Sampson and he break the bridge and become the best of friends. While going home he comes on raiders that have stolen sheep from his father. After defeating them he goes and finds his father dying. The father tells of his true heritage that is in the trunk. The trunk was stolen and the two go after it. They come upon a young woman being pursued by a giant cyclops. They kill the cyclops and will take the girl to safely. He doesn’t know that the woman is his half sister. It ends with other cyclops stalking them.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar is wandering the caves to the netherworld in the fever of the plague he just contracted. He finds the bones of the scholars that lived there and were killed and eaten by the goblins. A vision of one of the scholars comes to him and says to seek out the savior. Later another assassin to Magog shows up and they get into a fight. Voltar manages to kill the assassin. Weak from the plague he vows to continue the search.

The Rook story is coming along nicely. It was interesting how such different storylines were so successfully brought together. I love the Verne and Doyle characters. The weird Robar character was in some type of armor with pinchers for hands. Interesting how this series hints that the old classics are actually real life events that were made famous by the authors. Looking forward to finding out how it ends next issue.

The Viking Prince is a much better replacement for the slow Jesse Bravo. This story takes the typical lost prince growing up with peasant parents and puts a unique twist with it set in medieval Scandinavia. It also gives him a cool sidekick in the dwarf Sampson. Interesting that the author makes the damsel in distress Sigfrid’s sister and daughter to the man who killed his father and tried to kill him. A lot of complex stuff is coming up.

Voltar also continues to not disappoint me. Alcala’s artwork is just beautiful. The story is dark and moody with a real epic save the world feel to it. I also look forward to see how this turns out.