Ride The Demoncycle Straight To Hades!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, my blog that covers all types of fun stuff in the world of comic books and beyond and as well things from my past, present and future.  On this quick update I want to talk a little about bicycles! That’s right, we all have so many great memories of bike riding around the neighborhood with friends in our youth or even maybe taking our bike on a trail and seeing nature all around us! And here at Rotten Ink, we are all going for a bike ride together…a bike ride from HELL as we take a look at The Demoncycle and his promo comic that tries to scare readers into bike safety! So grab your water bottle, put on your sweatband as I am ready to head out on a ride around the comic stores and want to share the chilling tell of The Demoncycle!!!

Growing up I had a bike that was blood red and had white handlebar grips with a silver sparkle seat. On the back reflector I placed a Michael Jackson sticker and on the wheels I had some cool reflectors that I got from cereal boxes. I can remember three of the reflectors I had on the wheels: one was Garfield, one was a robot and one was Tony The Tiger. My bike was super old and if I remember, my parents got it for me from a thrift store or possibly a garage sale and while super old, it was pretty cool looking. I can remember the training wheel days and then learning to ride on two wheels….and well I really stunk at riding a bike and crashed so much and so often that it lead to lots of frustration for me. And because of that frustration I never rode the bike around and missed out on all types of cool adventures as I grew up in a small town and it would have been a great time to ride around, but I missed out doing so all cause I sucked at bike riding. The older I got, the less I even wanted to ride a bike as driving a car was more my thing. My old bike was donated to one of my dad’s friend’s kids and I never have owned a bike since, and at this point being in my very early 40’s I doubt if I ever get one. Bikes are very cool and I wished that I would have rode mine way more often as they are a great way for people to get around. Sadly I do not have any pictures of my old bike, but I did find some pics of the reflectors so check them out, and no they are not the exact ones I owned but look just like them.

While in school at Waynesville we had so many safety classes that would have us learning about Stranger Danger, Say No To Drugs, Fire Safety, Bike Safety, Halloween Safety, Tornado Safety, 911 Use and even War Time Bomb Safety! And man some of these things was so much fun to watch as who doesn’t remember “Cartoon All Stars To The Rescue” an amazing animated special that brought together so many animated characters together to warn you about the dangers of drugs…and man it has stuck with me for all these years as who don’t want to be told to Say No To Drugs from the likes of Daffy Duck, The Smurfs, Muppet Babies, Alf, Garfield, Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Bugs Bunny and Alvin And The Chipmunks to name a few! I can also remember Count Floyd and The Smoke Detectives teaching me what to do during a fire. Plus who can forget the go under your desk in case of a tornado, go single file into the hallway in case of a missile being dropped and cover our heads as well as watching episodes of Rescue 911 and being told that is what you need to do during an emergency. And of course there is the amazing Safety Pup that graced the milk cartons at lunch that gave us tips. And who can forget that promo safety comics that had heroes and comic characters like Spider-Man, Supergirl and Andy Capp teaching us a life lesson in what to do and what to avoid. In other words growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I was bombarded with safety lessons and I wonder if it’s the same today for kids in school?

Safety is very important and coming off the virus crisis of 2020 it’s super important to educate the youth of America of ways to stay safe. And speaking of being safe, that brings us to our review of this very cool promo comic that was released by “Highway Safety Division Of Virginia” as a way to try and save lives of kids by educating them on the right things to do while riding their bikes. I want to thank a seller on Etsy for having this comic in stock and making this update possible. And like always, I need to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if your ready and your blood don’t turn to cold from fright we have to take a wild ride with The Demoncycle!

Danny And The Demoncycle # 1  **1/2
Released in 1955     Cover Price FREE    Commercial Comics     # 1 of 1

Danny Skooter is a kid with a bad attitude and once he jumps on his bike he is a real terror to all those around him! While riding his bike recklessly one day, he ends up causing car wrecks as well as hurts an old man walking with a cane, and Danny doesn’t care as he just wants to be a daredevil biker rider! Well his carelessness ends up hurting him as he crashes into another bike and is thrown from it and gets a concussion and is take to the hospital, and when he wakes up he finds that his Doctor is really The Devil who gives him a new high speed bike that is also a demon! The Demoncycle makes it that Danny can not remove his feet from the peddles or his hands from the handlebars and the creatures takes off with the boy forced to take a joy ride from Hell. The Demoncycle takes Danny into many dangerous routes that includes the highway, closed roads, train tracks and bridges, all the while the Demoncycle is being wreckless and scaring Danny, and finally on the bridge the pair lose control and fall into the ice river below it. Danny once more wakes up in the hospital and the Demoncycle and The Devil Doctor were just a dream and Danny tells him parents that he learned his lesson and will follow all the rules of the road from now on, and grows up a biker rider who follows his dreams and the law.

Okay, let’s all just say it first The Demoncycle and The Devil Doctor are awesome and turn this safety promo comic almost into a Horror Comic! The plot of The Devil making a promise to an uncaring human who is selfish is true stuff of Silent Horror Cinema! The plot has a young kid who loves to ride his bike, but follows none of the rules of the road and ends up hurting others and himself and winds up in the hospital and has a nightmare about a demon possessed bike that leads him on a path to death…and of course once he wakes up he changes his life and wants to follow the rules from now on! Our youngster and rule breaker is Danny Skooter, a brat of a kid who cares nothing about others and for the most part don’t even care about his own wellbeing, but of course he has a change of heart when he has a terrible nightmare that scares him into a caring person. Danny is that kid that we all knew growing up who had everything handed to them and yet still treated everyone around them like they did not matter and somehow the world owed them. The Demoncycle is also cold and don’t care about the safety of Danny or other people and only cares about speed and being always on the go! I love the fact that when Danny is begging for it to stop the Demoncycle just keeps on going with no care of safety at all! The Devil Doctor is sneaking around the hospital and just looking to make some deals with the sick, injured and dying…somehow I could see this being used in an episode of the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits or even Tales From The Darkside! Plus The Devil has so much happiness as he watches the The Demoncycle ride off with young Danny on it and having no control on where it goes! The cover for this promo comic is amazing and very eye catching and I am sure had people thinking it was a Horror Comic, really this would be such an amazing old Horror Comic and who knows maybe one day if it’s possible Blood Scream Comics will make an issue or two based on it. I am not sure who did the interior art but it’s well done and very fitting for the time. Over all Danny And The Demoncycle is a well done safety promo comic that does have a good message as well as brings in horror elements that will please fans of classic style spooky stories of The Devil, check out the artwork below to see the style.

I hope that everyone reading this has learned two very important lessons that this comic tried so hard to teach us: don’t take a gift from The Devil and never, ever get on a Demoncycle as you will have no control of your fate…oh and I guess I should say the message is be safe while riding your bike. All joking aside, if you are a bike rider be safe while on the roads and for those in cars you as well be safe and watch out for bicyclist as they have rights on the road to. But all this safety talk is driving me crazy as I am starting to feel like Smokey The Bear or Safety Pup telling you my readers all about it so for my next update we are leaving safety behind as well will travel to the station SCTV and take a stroll around the set of Monster Chiller Horror Theatre and take a look at a Horror Host Icon that howls like a werewolf but is a vampire and I am talking about Count Floyd! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you in a few weeks as this is one Horror Host that I cannot wait to chat about.

American Hero: Bob Belcher

Every year here on Rotten Ink, we take a break from our cook-outs and fireworks to honor an American hero for our Independence Day update, and this year is no exception.  Hi everyone! It’s Juliet, back in the blogger’s seat to tell you about an all-American hero of TV and comics; he’s a humble man, a burger man.  That’s right, this year we’ll be spending the Fourth of July with Bob and the entire Belcher family 

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Known for his work on celebrated animated shows Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and Home Movies, Loren Bouchard created Bob’s Burgers to fit into Fox’s animation brand in the mid 2000s, the most successful shows of the time focusing on families. He teamed with King of the Hill writer and producer Jim Dauterive to develop the concept with the aim of showing being able to explore some workplace comedy tropes while keeping with the family theme.  There was one aspect of the original concept, however, that only made it into the finished product as a joke:  Bouchard actually wanted the Belcher family to be cannibals, something that gets used as a plot device in the pilot episode but only in the form of a rumor Louise starts at school.  Another switch is that there were originally two Belcher sons, but before production began, Daniel became Tina and given her popularity, that was most definitely the right choice.  

Bob’s Burgers premiered on Fox in 2011 on Fox with a special preview airing the prior Thanksgiving on the network.  The first season was met with shaky reception, but really found its stride with critics by the second season.  In 2017, Fox announced the development of a Bob’s Burgers, which, as many fans (myself included) rightly guess, would be a musical.  However, we’re still waiting to see this movie because several things happened: in 2019, Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, which wasn’t initially going to interfere with the film’s slated summer 2020 release, but then the coronavirus pandemic happened.  Like so many films, the Bob’s Burgers movie shifted around the release schedule for a while when it wasn’t certain when movie theaters would be safely reopened (and moviegoers would feel safe visiting).  Right now, it’s been delayed indefinitely, which I’m hoping is just a product of the studios having to completely redo essentially two years of release schedules.  It’s still super disappointing, though. 

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Despite being told by numerous people that I’d like Bob’s Burgers, it took me several years to give the show a try.  In fact I was rather stubbornly set on not watching because I was convinced that it was yet another show trying to be a Family Guy clone (and that’s unappealing because I’m NOT a fan of Family Guy), but what I learned is that it’s quite the opposite.  Somehow Matt convinced me to give Bob’s Burgers a try….or maybe he just put an episode on in the hopes I’d sit down and watch it, which I did, and I absolutely loved it.  In addition to being very dryly funny a lot of the time, Bob’s Burgers appeals to me because all of the characters are genuinely good people that are trying hard (even though they sometimes fail epically).  The family feels like an actual family — totally quirky but absolutely ready and able to have each other’s backs no matter what.  Unlike so many other animated and live action shows, Bob isn’t a lazy, bumbling idiot who somehow impossibly has a fairly cushy job; we get to see him as a businessman who genuinely cares about what he does (sometimes a little too much).  And then there’s Tina, who is me and I am her. It’s so great to see an utterly dorky teenage girl who isn’t a punching bag.  In fact, her family celebrates and affirms the fact that she’s into horses, writes erotic friend fiction (one of my absolute favorite details about her) and is boy crazy.  The show also has some amazing side characters from Teddy to twins Andy and Ollie to Marshmallow, who could easily be the butt of every joke as a Black trans woman but is instead celebrated and admired.  So despite my initial hesitation, Bob’s Burgers has become one of my favorite shows.  It’s utterly hilarious and is one that I both look forward to new episodes and can rewatch over and over again.  

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As Bob’s Burgers has increased in popularity and become more universally well-known, naturally, there’s been an explosion of merchandise.  The show is available on DVD (the early seasons were given proper retail releases with the latter seasons being released as “on-demand” DVDs available through Amazon).  You’ll see the Belcher family on a variety of shirts, hoodies, socks (yes, I’m the proud owner of Tina Belcher socks) and even an amazing pair of high-top sneakers made by DC Shoes.  There are Bob’s Burgers coffee mugs, a full set of Funko Pops and a variety of board games including Clue and Trivial Pursuit.  Two soundtrack albums have been released along with an awesome cookbook, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book and its smaller companion The Bob’s Burgers Burger Box.  Check out the image below for a look at some of my Bob’s Burgers collection.

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In the summer of 2014, Dynamite Entertainment began releasing a short-run series of Bob’s Burgers anthology comics.  Each issue would follow a formula with stories and features led by/highlighting each member of the Belcher Family.  That series lasted five issues, but fans wouldn’t have to wait long for more as Dynamite released a special Bob’s Burgers issue for Free Comic Book Day 2015.  That was immediately followed by another short-run (7 issue) series that began in July 2015.  Dynamite would also continue releasing Bob’s Burgers issues for Free Comic Book Day through 2019, and I can’t help but wonder if both the coronavirus pandemic and the Disney acquisition, both of which also delayed the movie, caused the delay of further comics.  Hopefully we’ll see more Bob’s Burgers comics (and the movie!!) from Dynamite, or perhaps even Marvel, in the future. 

Today on the blog we’re going to look at that first series of Bob’s Burgers comics released by Dynamite.  Matt and I have had our copies for quite a while, but I think the majority of them came from Bell, Book and Comic here in Dayton.  As a reminder, here on Rotten Ink we grade comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and are looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, their entertainment value and their art and story. So grab another Hit Me With Your Best Shallot Burger and get another helping of fries (NOT sweet potato fries though, as according to Bob, they’re not real fries) and let’s visit Ocean Avenue and get a booth at our favorite family-owned restaurant.

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Bob’s Burgers #1  ***1/2
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite    #1 of 5

This anthology comic features the following stories:

Tina’s Erotic friend Fiction Presents: My So-Called Life as a Horse showcases Tina as “a horse in a people world,” going to school and spending time with her human family.  However, Tina Belcher the horse aka Tinasus Belcher has a secret life as a member of the Equestranauts, and the team needs her as their secret weapon against the evil Xander, who’s stolen the Electric Leash of Doom, retrofitted to control horses. 

Burger of the Day Ideas: TV Catch Phrase Burgers & Hits of the 80s Burgers brings us a pun-tastic look at possibilities to grace the famed Burger of the Day board. I think some of these did actually make into the later years of the show

Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities: takes on Picture Day as Louise tries to avoid having her brain stolen by an alleged alien photographer.

Letters From Linda: this one-pager features a modest proposal from Linda about a new wine pairing system: pairing the quantity of wine with an activity.

Gene Belcher Presents: The Boy in the Burger, a Musical: After Gene passes out from hocking samples in his burger suit on a hot day, the suit fuses to his body. Unsure of what his life will be as a burger boy, Gene disappears into the suit ala a turtle until a wintery day when his sisters need help for some snow fun.

Each member of the Belcher family gets to shine in this inaugural issue of the Bob’s Burgers comic with the kids getting longer stories and Bob and Linda each getting a one-pager.  I think this formula works well though I’d love to see Bob and Linda get featured just a tad more in future issues.  Tina’s story was, perhaps predictably, my favorite of this issue because I felt that of all stories, it was the closest to something you’d see on the actual show.  That’s not to say, however, that others weren’t good.  The entire comic is extremely well-done, and the fact that writers from the show worked on this really shows in terms of the quality of each section and the attention to getting each character’s voice spot-on.  The interior artwork also fits with the look and feel of the show, making this a quick, fun read for fans.  The exterior covers (there are several variants) get a little more experimental in terms of style, but keep the spirit of and vibe of the Belchers while being very eye catching. A special bonus for this first issue were some joke ads for businesses in the show, and a cut-out that would allow you to recreate the Bob’s Burgers Food Truck from season two.

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Bob’s Burgers #2  ***1/2
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite   # 2 of 5

Following the same formula as issue 1, we get 3 main stories from the kids and one page features from Bob and Linda.  The book opens with Battleship Galac-Tina, another installment of Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction Presents that features Tina as the admiral of a starship during a robot war.  After an epic space battle, a robot hostage helps teach Tina and the rest of humanity how to dance.  Louise seeks out a fellow history book defacer in Louise’s Legacy and ends up discovering that her unseen partner in crime was librarian Mr. Ambrose.  Gene’s story, Genemadus, the Musical, pits him against Peter Pescadero in a keyboard battle ala Salieri and Mozart in the classic film.  For their features, Bob explores The Ten Commandments (well five of them at least) in burger form, and Linda pitches a raccoon playground turned disco turned apop turned reality show in a letter to her local trash collection service.

This is another really solid, fun installment of the Bob’s Burgers comic that showcases each character well and once again feels as if it could have been part of an episode or two of the TV show.  My favorite story this time around was Gene’s, which is surprising because in general he’s my least favorite of the Belcher family.  However, the way they took on Amadeus and twisted into a story for Gene was really smart and funny.  I also loved Linda’s letter this time around because the escalating absurdity of it was perfect. This time around, we see many more of the supporting cast including Andy and Ollie, Regular Sized Rudy, Daryl, Peter Pescadero, and of course we get several sketches of Little King Trashmouth in action as part of Linda’s letter. The cover and interior art are once again fun and well-done and fit into the vibe of the show.  This time around, we didn’t get any fake ads, but there was a nice pinup in the middle of the book.

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Bob’s Burgers #3  ***
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite   #3 of 5

We begin this issue with another installment of Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction, entitled Trick Shot Tina that has the titular character teaming up with another gun slinger, Jazz Hands Jimmy Jr., to win back a shiny belt buckle. Bob’s Burger of the Day Ideas is an attempt at a Fortune Cookie Burger, while Linda writes to Smellopolis.com to suggest new fragrances including Pinot Noir. Louise builds the ultimate cardboard box fort in Who Forted? In Guys & Frogs, Gene adopts and promptly forgets about a bunch of tadpoles, while six weeks later overrun the Belcher’s apartment and the restaurant. 

As with so many great series, this one lost a little steam with issue #3, but only a little.  There were some super fun touches like the Uncle Pennybags (aka the Monopoly Man) cameo in Tina’s story.  Once again, Linda’s letter was great because you could absolutely read it with her voice in your head. This time around my favorite story was Louise’s, although it took a more bizarre turn than you’d normally see in the show, it felt like a sequel to the season two Halloween episode Fort Night (though that episode isn’t referenced at all, which I felt like was a missed opportunity).  Some of the interior art in this issue strayed a little bit from the style of the series, but still fit the overall vibe of each story so it was distracting at all.  

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Bob’s Burgers #4   ***1/2
Released in 2014    Cover price $3.99     Dynamite   #4 of 5

It’s a (mostly) Halloween issue this time around as Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction presents Franken-Butt, the story of a girl scientist and her creation…but who’s really the monster of this tale?  After her science teacher warns of the dire consequences for doing an experiment wrong, Louise of course plans to capitalize on those consequences and turns herself invisible.  She wreaks havoc on her family and the restaurant, but then realizes she doesn’t know how to make herself reappear.  The Belcher kids go on a hunt for a chupacabra and meet the mystical creature only to learn that it wants to be a children’s magician.  So Gene, Tina and Louise set out to make their new friend’s dream come true at the restaurant.  In our non Halloween features, Bob creates a list that explores “If Heartwarming 80s Movies Were Burgers,” which includes the She’s Having a Bay Leaf Burger (cooked with bay leaf, comes with baby romaine), and Linda writes to the president of Super Sounds Records to inform them that she’s ready to record her long awaited sola album “Appetite for Lin-struction.”

Issue #3 may have been a slight disappointment, but issue #4 absolutely delivered.  Bob’s Burgers is known for its stellar Halloween episodes, and this issue delivered that spirit in comic form.  All three of the main stories felt like they could have been part of an anthology episode of the show, and the artwork and writing supported that.  It’s hard to even pick a favorite story because they were all so solid and each was special in its own way, but if pressed I’d choose Louise Is Invisible.  The other two elements, though not Halloween themed, were extremely well done too making this such a great entry in the series.

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Bob’s Burgers #5  ***1/2
Released in 2014     Cover price $3.99     Dynamite    #5 of 5

In a world filled with 14 to 16 year old boy zombies, Tina is the last person on Earth or so she thinks until she meets and saves the life of Jimmy Jr.  Together they realize that the zombies aren’t actually out to make them part of the hordes of the undead; they just want to play ping pong. Louise tries to get to the bottom of a boy band conspiracy in The Faux Boo Boo, and Gene takes a musical journey to Robot College. Bob works on ideas for Book Burgers including the Brine and Bunishment Burger, and Linda writes to Ginger about her revelation that somewhere in the world there’s another Linda whose family runs another restaurant.

What a fabulous way to wrap up this first run of Bob’s Burgers comics.  This issue’s stories are stellar with The Faux Boo Boo being my favorite (Louise’s obsession with Boo Boo is so funny), and Robot College being a delightful expansion of a tiny scene in season two’s “Bob Day Afternoon.”  Like the prior issue, everything in this one feels like it could have come right from an episode with great writing and artwork.  We also get a bit of bonus content with several pages of pinup artwork wrapping up the issue.  

Comics based on TV shows are super tricky.  It can be hard to translate beloved characters to the page and capture their voice and humor, but this series proves it can be done well.  If you’re a fan of the show and looking for a quick, fun read, check out this miniseries.

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Well it’s time to shut down the grill for the night and get ready to watch some fireworks.  I hope you had a safe and happy July 4th, however you spent it.  I’ll be handing the blog back to Matt for our next update which will focus on Satanic bicycle safety…..yes, really.  In the meantime, read a comic or two, make a delicious burger (meat or veggie depending on your preference) and support a family-owned restaurant.  Join us next time for Danny and the Demoncycle.

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Horror Host Icon: Baron Von Wolfstein

The state of Indiana is filled with a rich history of Horror Hosts that rivals that of Ohio, and the state’s most popular and iconic host hands down is Sammy Terry whose legacy spawned a whole generation of horror fans who have gone on to work in the world of Horror Hosting, Horror Comics and even Horror Movies. But in a short time in the late 1970’s Sammy Terry was off TV and another host rose in his absence from TV lasting only a few months. But while very short lived, he left an impact on viewers and fans as he was unique and classy with fantastic effects and top notch side characters, and I am of course talking about the werewolf Baron Von Wolfstein and his show Saturday Night With The Monsters! This proper speaking werewolf is even one of the major inspirations of A. Ghastlee Ghoul, the Horror Host I covered here in 2020 who is also a major icon in Hosting. So it’s with great honor that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: Baron Von Wolfstein, an update that I have been looking forward to doing for many years now. So sit back, relax, and le’ts chat about this amazing Host and his legacy.

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Baron Von Wolfstein is a werewolf who lives in a castle that is surrounded by woods as well as a large cemetery. He is very soft spoken and proper and is by no means evil or sinister. He sits in his castle and reads from his books about the night’s film to entertain his viewers, who are looked at very much as his friends and houseguests. Baron Von Wolfstein loves to show the films as he enjoys the tales of classic monsters like The Blob, Frankenstein’s Monster and Count Dracula. By all accounts Baron is a gentleman and enjoys sharing the horrors of the cinema as well as facts about those who make them. Baron Von Wolfstein loved also getting letters from his viewers as well as getting artwork drawn by them that he would show off on the show. Baron was also always so nice to his friends that lived in and around the manor, but while super nice and friendly, one could also pick up that Baron Von Wolfstein also had a darker side, a little beast to his gentleman. After Saturday Night With The Monsters went off the air Baron Von Wolfstein vanished and fans were upset and wondering what happened to him! But in around the early 2000’s Baron showed back up in the world of hosting as he had cameos on such shows as “The Ghastlee Movie Show” and “Monster Madhouse”! Even in modern times Baron is still gracing fans with his presence as he is showcased on The Late Night Eerie Radio Show giving his insight on not just Horror Hosting but also films and history. Who knows when Baron Von Wolfstein will appear again and if he will have his own show or cameo on others…only Baron for sure knows!

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Saturday Night With The Monsters started on April 1, 1978 on WTTV Channel 4 in Indiana and was a show that was a way to fill the void of Sammy Terry who at the time was off the air. And viewers in Indiana and parts of Ohio were happy as they had a new show to watch Horror Movies on and a new Host to guide them along the spooky journey of the film. The show would only run for 8 months before being canceled and would go head to head with Saturday Night Live, and in his market out draw it for viewers. The station’s biggest mistake is when they wanted to move the show to a different time slot and later in the night, and this was the downfall that lead to the show’s end. While Saturday Night With The Monsters was very short lived, its mark was made on the Horror Hosting world as its fans remember it very fondly and spoke of it throughout the years. I know I would love to see new episodes of Saturday Night With The Monsters as the world needs more Baron Von Wolfstein and his amazing sophisticated and calming way of hosting. I know there have been some rumors of new episodes, but only time will tell if this iconic Indiana Horror Host shows returns.

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The side characters of this show are fantastic and each brought their own touch and style to the show. First we had Robin Graves, the British kindhearted gravedigger who is close friends with The Baron and tells cheesy jokes and ushers in the commercials. The Vampire Cousin is a bloodsucker that is related to Baron Von Wolfstein and is very sinister and uses his evil powers to take over the Wolfstein Manor and wants to fill it with pure evil. And my favorite is Carlyle The Invisible Wizard, a ghostly wizard who watches out for the Manor as well as his friends The Baron and Robin. The thing about the co-hosts and sidekicks of this show is they are very much a major part of the show’s atmosphere and lore making each and everyone of them very important. And each had their own fan base and my favorite of the trio is Carlyle The Invisible Wizard as he is awesome and I need to say it again.

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I first truly found out about Baron Von Wolfstein thanks to my friend A. Ghastlee Ghoul who would talk about how he was one of the Horror Hosts that helped make him want to become one himself along with Dr. Creep and The Cool Ghoul. Then I was lucky to get to meet the man himself at several Horror Conventions like Cinema Wasteland and Scary Camp, as well he moved to Dayton, Ohio for some years and was a staple on The Ghastlee Movie Show as well as just the gatherings of the areas Horror Community. And after a few meetings, I no longer just saw him as Horror Host Baron Von Wolfstein but as Tim Herron, a friend who would take his time to chat with me about goofy shot on video films I was making as well as always told silly and cheesy jokes to get a laugh. Watching fans interact with Baron Von Wolfstein was always something to behold as he was so great with them and you could see the respect and love his fans have for him. He would be around as well in other Horror Media like the films “Abe’s Tomb” and “Joe Nosferatu: Homeless Vampire,” both shot in Ohio. And at several points during the years I have spoken to Baron Von Wolfstein about a return to Horror Hosting with new episodes of Saturday Night With The Monsters as I think his fans and a new generation of fans would love to see it. The good Baron also in 2020 became one of the co-host on the Eerie Late Night Radio Show alongside Halloween Jack and The Bone Jangler, two iconic hosts in their own right. Who knows what the future has in store for Baron Von Wolfstein, but one thing that is for sure, he made a major mark on the art of Horror Hosting and had a loyal fan base as well as inspired many.

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On March 21, 2015 at Horrorhound Weekend for the Horror Host Hall Of Fame Baron Von Wolfstein took his place of honor among many of his peers, and he 100% deserved to be inducted in my opinion as his look, show and storylines were unlike any other before him. While A. Ghastlee Ghoul was supposed to induct him, he sadly could not make it and Captain Crypt of the Horror Dungeon, a fellow Indiana Horror Host, stepped up and did so with honor and much respect. It was great to be there and watch Baron Von Wolfstein get this honor as he is a true legend and such a wonderful person. In the 2015 Class he was joined by other inductees like Dr. Gangrene, Rhonda Shear, Gilbert Gottfried, Joel Robinson, Sir Cecil Creape, Superhost and Misty Brew to name a few. A great class of names to be inducted with, don’t you think! Plus at this Hall Of Fame, Baron Von Porkchop got to meet Baron Von Wolfstein and that was something very cool to see.

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Baron Von Wolfstein was a Horror Host who made his mark with his own show, but as you can see went on to guest star and even co-host along side other Horror Hosts from all over making his mark on the history of this genre and locking his place in the hearts of fans. So sadly besides some raw footage of the segments, no full episodes have survived and the episodes I will be covering are Fan Reproductions done by myself, and yep I even added some classic commercials. As always I will not be giving these episodes a star rating and the movie write up will be coming from our pals at IMDB and the Host segment parts will be written by me. So let’s spend some time with the Monsters and The Baron himself.

Saturday Night With The Monsters Dracula DVD

Saturday Night With The Monsters: Dracula (1931)
Starring – Bela Lugosi & Helen Chandler     Not Rated     1931

Host: We open up at Wolfstein Manor and Carlyle The Invisible Wizard welcomes us and says that The Baron will be with us very shortly. And we see Baron Von Wolfstein in his chair writing the monster family history, and then he notices the viewers and welcomes us to take a seat as he introduces himself as well as talks about Vampires as well as Dracula who is the topic of the night’s movie and then takes us to the first part of the night’s film. We next see Baron as he invites us to come closer to him, and as he holds a film strip in his hands, he asks a number of questions and then snaps the film and to a commercial we go. He next greets us from the commercial break and then back to the film. Baron then talks to us mentally and then sends us to more commercials. Once back he phases in holding his Dracula book and tells a Dracula spoiler joke and sends us back to the film. After the movie is over, Baron chats about Dracula and the film and mostly about blood and wooden stakes and then wishes us a good night after telling us next weeks film will be Universal’s Frankenstein!

Movie: After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina’s health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina’s fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.

Note From Matt: This episode is a fan reproduction done by myself, in order to showcase the feel of the episode as I even added commercials from 1978.

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Baron Von Wolfstein is one of those classic Horror Hosts whose show was not aired on TV for very long but had made a big mark on the lives of those who watched him in 1978. And Hosts like Baron Von Wolfstein also shows just how important Horror Hosts are to the local culture of the states they air in as because of him we also got the likes of A. Ghastlee Ghoul and his The Ghastlee Movie Show as well as other creative minds that he helped inspire. For me personally he also shows that in my opinion Indiana has some of the best and most interesting Hosts, only outdone by my own home state of Ohio. I also have so much respect for Baron Von Wolfstein and the man behind the fur Tim Herron as he really is a one of a kind Host who has such an original and awesome characters. Plus the shows use of chrome key effects is amazing and really does add to the spooky nature of the show. Well our time at Wolfstein Manor has came to an end and it’s time for me turn over Rotten Ink to Juliet again as this time she is going to cover our America Hero July 4th update, a man who knows what it means to make that perfect hamburger, a man who works hard for his family and a man who talks to his food…that hero is Bob Belcher from the cartoon series Bob’s Burgers that airs on Fox. So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time as I saved us all a booth at Bob’s Burgers for the 4th!

Bobs Burgers Preview Logo

The Original Thunderbolt Of The DC Universe!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink.  For this update I decided to once more take a look at a DC Comic series of a hero that seems to not get the respect of the likes of Superman and Batman so I decided to choose Peter Cannon Thunderbolt, a character that in 1983 was sold to DC by Charlton Comics and would last a small amount of issues for them and deliver a classic style hero in a 90’s comic style and fashion. While DC Comics right now are on my bad list for their push for digital comics, I still must say I respect their classic heroes and their push to try and bring back and create new ones that started in the 70’s and ran throughout the 90’s. So sit back relax and let’s take a heroic journey with Thunderbolt!

As a young boy, Peter Cannon lost both of his parents, as they battled as medical workers the black plague, and was raised in a monastery in the Himalayan Mountains and trained his body and mind to become a super athletic and perfect person…and while studding the monks scrolls he figured out that we as humans don’t use all our brains and he figured out how to tap into those parts and became a superhero named Thunderbolt once he moved to America. As the masked Thunderbolt he would fight crime as well as still try to learn and discover more of what the mind and body can do! His first comic book appearance was in 1966 as Thunderbolt # 1 was released by Charlton Comics and was created by Pete Morisi. Thunderbolts run at Charlton Comics would last for 11 issues and his run came to an end in 1967 as many of the companies superhero titles were cancelled. Thunderbolt would next end up at DC Comics in 1985 as part of the “Crisis On Infinite Earths” even series, as DC had bought all of Charlton Comics superheroes in 1983. Thunderbolt would not get his own series again until 1992 and would last for 12 issues before being cancelled again. During his time at DC he also had a brief run with the Justice League and was used to try and draw interest in classic heroes. And lastly he was in a 10 issue run at Dynamite Comics that started in 2012. For many long years now, Thunderbolt has not been seen in the pages of comics and while it looks like he has been sent to the long box in the sky, I don’t think you can count him out and I am sure DC or another comic company in time will dust him off for more adventures.

Growing up I knew nothing of the classic era of Thunderbolt as I never read any of the Charlton Comics (nor the Crisis On Infinite Earths story) and to be honest I never even seen one of his classic issues I didn’t even know he was around until 1992 thanks to DC Comics bringing him back to comic book shelves. And as odd as this sounds I rented out issues from the local library to read. And while he was not a must read comic for me I did find myself enjoying his adventures. It’s crazy that in 2021 I will be reading some of these comics again that I have not read sense the 90’s! And to be honest I am looking forward to doing so as it will be interesting to see if me in my 40’s will find a new respect for the character and if he will become one of my classic golden age heroes. Oh and while looking up history of Thunderbolt I learned that the character creator Pete Morisi only created the character after he tried to buy the rights of the original Daredevil, but the creator wanted a share of all profits and this made Morisi just create his own hero!

Really quick I would like to talk about the CD release of “OMG I Love Jazz” by Robyn Adele who is one of my favorite female vocalist going today along side Jewel, Iggy Azalea, Poppy, Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga! I want to also say that while I have nothing against Jazz music it is not a genre I normally listen to so this should be very interesting, but Robyn’s voice is what brought me to buy and try this CD off her official website store. I choose a snowy, grey-skied day in January 2021 to listen to this album and was working on a few projects that included updates for here at Rotten Ink as well as a few comic projects for Sparkle. OMG I Love Jazz is 15 tracks and really does have a big band jazz sound and is mixed with Robyn’s golden voice, and I know this sounds weird but for some reason this CD reminds me of the 1990 Dick Tracy movie and the songs done by Madonna for the soundtrack. My top three favorite tracks on this release are Ain’t Misbehavin’, Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) and Bye Bye Blackbird as I feel all three have a great sound and Robyn’s voice on all three tracks is on point! If I had to pick my favorite track it would be Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) as it’s a upbeat song and has that classic Jazz and Swing sound that can put a smile on your face. To wrap up this quick look at OMG I Love Jazz I would say that its not for everyone as it has a very old time sound, but for those who love fun natured Jazz music song by a majorly talented female vocalist I would say go and get a copy now! And for those who are not familiar with Robyn Adele look her up on YouTube and give some of her cover songs a listen to as she really is super talented and has a wonderful voice.

So as you longtime readers and friends know I grew up in the village of Waynesville, Ohio and I have heard the news that my old elementary and middle school are being torn down and a new school is being built. And while I am super happy that the next generations of Spartans are getting new classrooms and long overdue updates, I am still a little bummed out that the school buildings that meant so much to me as a kid will be gone forever lost in memories. I mean at that school I can remember talking to friends like Fred Marion, Jeremy Patton, Todd Osborne, Joanna Fields, Wes Coffman and many others about Movies, Comics, Cartoons, TV Shows, Wrestling, Horror Hosts, Video Games and normal school topics. I can remember the cool movie days in the gym were we got to watch Home Alone or Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. In that same gym I remember listening to the Gettysburg Address being given by an actor dressed as Abe Lincoln, as well as doing the Arnold Schwarzenegger fitness challenge and watching episodes of Slim Goodbody in gym class. I remember the cafeteria pizza, the milk cartons that had Safety Pup on them and trading food with fellow classmates. I remember crushing on Tina Manning and never getting the nerve to ask her out. I remember the numerous book fairs that came through and the Garfield, U.S Acres, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and WWF books I would buy. I can remember being in a Christmas play as a Newsboy talking about a talking Snowman. I can remember playing basketball in the gym during intermission and being pretty good. I can remember watching Star Trek IV, Olympics and O.J Trail in Mr. York’s science class. The orange steps, the pencil machines that had NFL, WWF and Halloween pencils in them as well as the erasers that would sometimes be the heads of Looney Tunes characters. And just the over all bond and fun times that my classmates and I had and shared together at those school buildings.

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On May 23, 2021, Juliet and I headed to Waynesville so that I could at least walk around the old building before they are gone as I have heard the 1915 part is soon to be torn down and those hallways will never have young minds walking around them to get to class again. It was really cool walking around that old school building taking pictures as well as telling Juliet old stories about my school days as well as trying to remember where so many of my classes uses to be, sadly we could not get inside as I missed the reunion day that allowed past school students to do so one last time. But still just walking around the old school building and back to the old football field was lots of fun and flooded me with memories as well as oddly enough kind of made me feel young again in my old age. So really I guess I just wanted to share these pictures I took as well as share a few of those memories and I also want to say “Thank You” to all my fellow classmates that made my school time at Waynesville a very awesome time and  plus thank you all again for being apart of my life and help shaping me into the creative person I am today.

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Well on May 29, 2021 they opened up Waynesville Elementary and Middle School one more time for school alumni and Juliet and I showed up around an half an hour early and to our shock the doors were already open so we walked in and for a pretty good time we had the schools to ourselves to tour! The first place I headed was the gymnasium, as I had to see it one last time and the first thing once walking up the old concrete stairs I noticed was that many of the old basketball hoops was taken down and the ones still up where from my time going there! Sadly the old wooden bleachers were gone and all that remained of them was the bases, a little bummed, as I would have loved to sit on them one last time. The old scoreboard was still hanging and seeing it brought back lots of fun memories. The gym floor still looked good and while it was clearly not the same as when I was a kid it still was neat to see. The stage was a sight for sore eyes and seeing it was awesome and walking across it also felt so cool and flooded me with so much memories of gym class. This was so great to so walk that gym again and I almost wish that I would have jogged around and did one final lap.

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Once we left the gym we walked around the halls and past all the sadly now gutted class rooms, but seeing the old chalk boards, tube TV’s with VCR’s still hanging on the walls brought a big smile to my face. The hallway floors were torn up and it was sad seeing the destruction and dismantling all around as even some fixtures where missing or stacked in the halls. But seeing the old PA speakers that use to give us the morning announcements from still hanging as well as the old pencil sharpeners still bolted to the walls and chalkboards was great to see. While walking the hallways it was also cool seeing the changes that was made to the building after I was no longer a student like they added an elevator and the massive stairs that I remember where now way smaller and divided up. I got to walk into the old cafeteria, see the old music room, went to the school library, walk into Mr. York’s old science classroom again as well as see an old shelf that had one of my old teachers names still on it! Walking down those hallways I had a rush of memories and felt like a kid again even as my pride of being a Waynesville Spartan filled my being I knew that while this chapter in Spartan history was coming to an end the new School building would build the next legacy and memories for the future generation. Also when walking downstairs of the 1915 building I had to snap a picture of the old stairwell as I can remember some of my fellow classmates as well as myself hiding under there and jumping out to scare each other as well as we used that spot to hide things, but when I was in school they did also store stuff under there.

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Waynesville is known for its ghosts and even when I was walking the halls of Waynesville Middle School we all heard the tales of the school being haunted, and when walking around one last time before it was to be tore down one thing written on a blackboard made me smile and that was a message from the ghosts of the third floor saying they are not going anywhere! I like the idea that the old ghosts of the school found some old chalk and wrote the message to the living, letting them know that they will forever be roaming and haunting that land…building or no building. But I also like that a student wrote this humors and “spooky” message for people to see, also glad to see that the Horror Spirit of Waynesville youth is alive and well.

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It’s time now for us to dive into the 12 issues of Thunderbolt released by DC Comics and as I stated before I am looking forward re-reading this and I am going to do something a little different as after the review I am going to give my ideas of what DC Comics could have done with Thunderbolt if they would have kept him in their universe! I want to thank Game Swap Kettering and Lone Star Comics for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I want to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready let’s see what Thunderbolt has in store for evildoers.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 1  ***
Released in 1992     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 1 of 12

Thunderbolt is fighting some thugs off in a New York ally as they just robbed some antiques from his alter-egos Peter Cannons exhibit when things go bad real fast and he is almost beaten to death by a metal suited bad guy named Trydan who leaves him for dead. But thankfully he is found and rescued by Green Lantern who rushes him to the hospital and saves his life. Once awaken Peter finds himself doubting his ability to be a superhero in this modern world filled with Superman, The Flash and Wonder Woman, even his best friend Tabu and Green Lantern come to visit and can not cheer him up after his defeat. Peter Cannon just sees himself as an orphan who was trained by Monks and scrolls in a monastery in the mountains of the Himalayas who is an outdated hero in a world filed with super powered ones. Peter and Tabu take their antiques and teachings to London and are flying around on a blimp filled with the rich and elite when Peter starts chatting with the beautiful Cairo DeFrey as news woman Anne-Marie Brogan talks with Tabu about setting up a interview with Peter when a group of masked men rush in calling themselves Crimson Dawn and claims they are going after Cairo due to her families crimes again the environment. As panic runs through the guests as the gun caring Crimson Dawn takes Cairo away to the cockpit and holds everyone one else hostage, when Tabu pushes Peter into becoming the hero again…and after fighting it Peter makes a mask and rushes to save Cairo and this ends issue one.

This is a great way to bring a classic hero back to the pages of comic books and sometimes I think DC Comics back in the 90’s had a gift to do so. This issues plot has much time jumps and takes us to Tibet to New York to London and shows Peter’s rise and fall as a hero, plus his rise once more as he fears that time has passed him by and that the villains of this modern times are getting bigger, badder and stronger! And when all seems lost for Peter to ever be Thunderbolt again he is forced to once more be the hero he was trained to be. Peter Cannon is a man who has had a hard life as he lost his parents while a infant and is raised in Tibet and trained to be a hero called Thunderbolt, and once set out into the world he still feels he needs to always be a hero. And when he gets his but kicked by a super villain and left for dead his ego and courage is bruised and this makes him question his ability to fright crime as well as life. Peter is a very interesting character because he has layers to him while he is a hero he also has some mental depression. Tabu is Peter’s best friend and also works as his agent in the world of arts and was raised with him in Tibet, he is very loyal to his friend and is also the voice of reason to try and let him know that he is a hero that’s needed in the world. Cairo DeFrey clearly is not only part owner of a massive business but is also more then she appears as she has got the attention of someone who wants her dear or at least to pay for expanding the business into places she shouldn’t! The Crimson Dawn is a bunch of red masked, gun caring terrorist thugs who while dangerous also seem very un-prepared for what they are doing. This really was a great way to bring a classic hero into the 90’s world of over powerful superheroes and does make you smile as you watch Thunderbolt meet Green Lantern who saves his life by getting him to the hospital in time. The cover is eye-catching and has a classic comic feel with a 90’s DC Comic look. The interior art is done by Mike Collins and its really great and I also have to give him credit for the story as he wrote it! Over all I think this is a really great first issue and has me hooked on wanting to re-read this series again after all these years.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 2  ***
Released in 1992     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 2 of 12

Thunderbolt knocks out the members of the Crimson Dawn and saves the life of Cairo DeFrey, but during the fight the blimps control is damaged and worse one of the Crimson Dawn members damages the gas line and Thunderbolt and the blimp Captain have to emergency manually crash land the blimp into London! During the landing Thunderbolt remembers back to his training in Tibet when a fellow young man in training got his face burnt trying to save the lives of his fellow kids when a plane crashes and catches fire and he rushes to remove the bombs so they don’t explode and kill everyone near. Once they land the blimp reporter Anne-Marie Brogan is on it and Thunderbolt turns back into Peter Cannon while Detective Inspector James Flint alerts Cairo that the Crimson Dawn seemed to be just hired local thugs hiding behind the masks of being environmental terrorists, she blows off the information and invites Peter to join her on her boat the next day as Tabu alerts his friend that he does not trust her. While in London a masked costumed robber uses powers to rob an ATM, Crime Boss Johnny Wheeler is out with his son to see a movie at the theater and when his son goes to get the car it explodes and kills him and lastly at the London Museum a Egyptian Coffin is opened and one guard is dead of shock as a being named Evila has returned.

This second issue is packed with lots of plots all going on and starting! As we get Peter Cannon finding the courage to become a hero again and help land an out of control blimp while chaos and crime is running randomly throughout London! Peter Cannon quickly remembers why he was chosen and loved being a hero and seems to be back in the game after kicking some terrorist butt, he also seems to be way to trusting of a pretty face and seems to always second guess his best friends words as Tabu seems to be the one who pays more attention to the actions and behaviors of those around. Tabu also is clearly the one who pushes for Peter to become Thunderbolt once more as he is doing so not only for the legacy of his temple but also for the mental health of his friend. Cairo DeFrey the rich business woman while coming off like a sweet woman who cares about her family business also comes off like she is hiding something and I think she clearly knows more then what she is saying when it comes to who sent the Crimson Dawn. The masked ATM robber and Mr. Wheeler I am sure will be coming into play in coming up issues and its clear that what ever Evila is she is dangerous and deadly! I also think the burnt face young man from Peters past will also come into play as when we see the flashback of the trials that Peter had to pass in order to become Thunderbolt…the scared face youth was not happy at all as it’s clear he thought his bravery would make him the chosen one. I really dig that this story this far is taking so many twists and truns and we are going from present day to the pass to show the whole story. Also they have a cameo from Justice League Europe member Elongated Man that is pretty funny as he is on the news denying that they had anything to do with the landing of the blimp. The story for me this far feels like a blend of Classic Comic Hero and Spy Stories and that’s a good thing as it is keeping me guessing on what is coming up and who is to be trusted. The cover of this issue is ok and while cool they should have not focused on one the trials from his past when he had to face a snow leopard in an arena. The story and art is great and done by Mike Collins again. A great first read and really does make me look forward to reading the rest of this series for the first time. So with that lest see who all the new plots and characters in this issue play out in issue three, shall we?

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 3  ***
Released in 1992     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 3 of 12

At the London museum two security guards are dead by the hands of the evil Egyption Queen called Evila who animates statues into her army as she wants revenge on Thunderbolt who defeated her many decades back when she first was brought back to life. Meanwhile at the posh flat of Peter Cannon he is being interviewed by Anne-Marie Brogan for a paper article as rain pours down outside and Tabu sits backs and listens. Detective Inspector James Flint heads to the hospital and talks to a friend who works for Mr. Wheeler to show respect for the hit on his son who is in the hospital and dying, the man alerts Flint that a gang war is brewing that will take place in London. Mean while at a mansion we meet Victor Cypher who is throwing a dinner party and introduces them to the half face masked Andreas Havoc who he claims will be their main muscle. While Peter Cannon rushes to the museum for his lunch date with Cairo DeFrey who informs him they will have to go another day as the mummy of Evila has came alive and is on the loose and killed two security guards, Peter Cannon is not happy to hear his old enemy is back from the grave…again! At a Disco the ATM Robber who’s name is Tekk is holding up the owners for “protection” money as he is working for Scorpio the mob that is at war now with Wheeler’s mob, when they don’t pay he uses his power and blows out all the light bulbs in the building and says he will be back for the cash after they clean up. Peter returns home only to find that the Museum is now surrounded by a force field, so he changes into his Thunderbolt costume and heads back to find that the police can not make it past the force field, and with Inspector James Flint blessing Thunderbolt gives it a try and makes it through! Once inside Thunderbolt is attacked and knocked out by Evila and her statue turned to like henchmen.

This third issue has so much going on and so many plots and characters are thrown at you as you try to keep up on who, what, when and were and I have to say that’s what makes this comic series so good! The many plots of this issue has Thunderbolt learning that his old villain Evila is back from the dead and has killed some innocent people, while mobster Mr. Wheeler is dealing with his son who is dying in a hospital from a hit his right hand man warns James Flint that a war is about to pop off! And we also have the costume goon Tekk bulling local business for protection money and we meet a rich man Cairo DeFrey who is clearly up to no good. Peter Cannon has found his want and love for being a costumed hero and as well as Thunderbolt really wants to smash and stop crime in London, England. I think Inspector James Flint wants to find who set the car bomb that has a local mobster’s son on his deathbed, while Flint is a good man of the law I think he is also loyal to his close friend who is working for the mob family. Evila shows that she is super powerful and has dark forces and powers on her side, plus she clearly lets Thunderbolt know she will not be tricked again! Our other series baddies Tekk, Victor Cypher and Andreas Havoc are around and while they have done some bad things this far have not become the full threats you know they will become. The over all fast pace and introduction of so many characters and stories is what keeps this Thunderbolt series interesting as they are talking a classic hero and showing that you don’t have to fly nor have mutant powers to be a complex hero. I will say that the cover is pretty great and has that 90’s DC Comics charm and the art by Mike Collins is top notch. At this point being three issues into DC Comics Thunderbolt I have to say I am a fan and very much looking forward to what issue four has in store for us, as well as how this over all story will play out!

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 4  ***
Released in 1992     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 4 of 12

In side the force field at the museum Thunderbolt is hurt by the beating he has taken as Evila informs him that she plans to kill him and then raise an army of the dead to take over earth, and oddly enough she seems to know more about him this time and his life in Tibet. Thunderbolt fights back hard and challenges her to fight him once more on another astral plane the place she lost their last fight on and she in a fight of anger and out of ego agrees. Meanwhile reporter Anne-Marie Brogan heads to interview Maude Grymes on old lady who is a fortuneteller and she during the interview tells Anne-Marie she has a message for Peter Cannon. Meanwhile in the astral plane realm Evila tries and uses Thunderbolt’s fears against of defeat, but he is able to conquer it when he greatest fear attacks her and that’s being buried alive. As she explains her backstory and her true power to Thunderbolt as she gets bound by mummy wrappings doing so, back in normal life hero The Crusader stops a robbery and is around as well. Back to the fight Evila informs Thunderbolt that she set him up and was never facing her fear what she was really doing was giving her statue soldiers orders to attack Thunderbolts body in the real world and this forces him to break the bound on the realm and causes stress on Evila’s power and they both are back at the museum. While across the world Victor Cypher and Andreas Havoc are talking about big plans and Havoc talks about his past destiny being taken away from him and its clear they want to take control of Tibet and that this half masked man is the kid who saved lives in Peter’s past from the helicopter crash. Thunderbolt ends up making Evila drain all her dark magic and she appears to kill herself and sends her spirit into the wind, and this confuses Thunderbolt as she would rather die again then face defeat. In the end Mr. Wheeler’s son has died and now he alerts his men it’s a gang war.

The plot of this issue has a showdown between Thunderbolt and Evila who have a bad history against each other and are very bitter enemies and fight in our world as well as a astral plane as they truly want to stop each other from winning. And during this epic fight so many questions of Thunderbolts goes unanswered as Evila seems to have returned knowing way to much about him and would rather die then to be defeated again! Thunderbolt clearly by this issue has gotten over his near death defeat in New York and is ready to be the hero London needs and will push himself to do so! Evila is powerful but her ego causes her to crack and she pushes herself way too much and looses her powers because of her push. While at the end of the issue it looks like Evila is dead I am saying she is not gone for good as I think she left the fight to regain her powers. And it’s clear as day to me that Andreas Havoc was one of the kids from the Tibet temple who was burnt and now wants revenge on the monks and Peter who he feels took away his true calling in life. Victor Cypher is clearly a man who is greedy and wants power and money and has set his sights on Tibet, his homeland. I am wondering who Maude Grymes is and what message did she give Anne-Marie to tell Peter Cannon. Plus Mr. Wheeler has lost it all and I think this war for the streets is going to be bloody and the bodies will pile up if Thunderbolt and/or James Flint don’t step in and stop it. And now we have another hero in town called The Crusader who I am sure will be a good hero friend to have during all this tension in London that is about to go down. Great story and the pace moves fast as the fight of Thunderbolt and Evila takes up much of the issues and all the side stories fit nicely in-between. The cover is ok and showcases Evila and the art is once more done by Mike Collins and is fantastic like before. Another good issue and DC is going a great job with this classic comic character, so lets see what’s next in this story!

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 5  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 5 of 12

Krater The Demolishing Man is a new super villain who is looking for a hero to beat up and even kill and he rules out Superman, Batman, The Flash and Elongated Man and after seeing the paper he sets his sights on Thunderbolt to build his name on. Meanwhile Peter Cannon and Cairo DeFrey are out on her yacht talking about their crazy lives as well as their blooming relationship, and then start to head in as they have a press conference coming up to showcase his Tibetan artifacts. We then join Mr. Wheeler and his mobsters in a meeting and they call for a kill or be killed warfare. The press conference goes well as the press only wanted to chat about Evila and not the exhibit and Peter and Cairo go their separate ways as she has work to do, Peter meets up with Tabu and they talk about the mystery of Evila and what she knows. Meanwhile Anne-Marie is out for lunch with a friend at a fast food burger joint when Krater attacks and is screaming for the head of Thunderbolt! Meanwhile The Crusader stops a hostage situation and take down the drug pushers who were responsible, while back at the Museum Peter and Tabu watches on TV as Krater calls out the hero while rampaging in the streets. Thunderbolt shows up and the pair fight with Krater showing his power comes from a force field he is able to put into place before he can be punched! But with the help of the mascot at the burger joint Thunderbolt is able to place the mascots costume head over Krater and beat him down, and with that he is arrested with the help of the Special Unit police and Thunderbolt is thanked and starting to be respected by the London police. We show that Andreas Havoc is mad when he finds out that Thunderbolt is back and fighting crime again as he truly thought that the defeat had broken him all those years back. In the end Peter Cannon meets back up with Cairo DeFrey and the two flirt as on the subway a man is killed by an unknown attacker.

This fifth issue shows that Peter Cannon is back and while having a slight issue still by almost being killed is pretty confortable with being hero Thunderbolt again and knows that while he does not have superpowers he does have skill and the heart to do the right thing and protect those who can not protect themselves. Thunderbolt also shows that if his highly skilled hand to hand combat force don’t work he has a cleaver mind to problem solve and to over come the threat at hand. Tabu is clearly both proud of his friend as well as disappointed in his friend as he feels that he still has fear of defeat and is hiding behind a false wall of heroism. Reporter Anne-Marie who has a message to give to Peter Cannon, but after an awkard run in with Cairo and being in the middle of a super villain attack she has not had the chance. I also want to say I think Thunderbolt made a big mistake in his fight with Krater as he shouts out Anne-Marie’s name and I think she will link that he is Peter Cannon! Cairo DeFrey is trying so hard to flirt and get Peter Cannon hooked, but I don’t trust her as she seems like she is playing games and has a very sinister side. Andreas Havoc is 100% the youngster who was burnt who thought he should be the chosen one, and it shows that he stole scrolls from the monks and now its clear that he himself is or at least sent Trydan. And our issues main villain is Krater a man who got his powers from a bomb that went off in the DC universe and allows him to use a force field as protection as well as a way to cause destruction, but once Thunderbolt figures out his powers he is no threat and is easily brought down. The one downside that this issue more then others have shown is that events that are spoken about take place in other comics from DC and that causes you to not get the full story of what they are talking about at times, a shame really…but all comics do it even at Sparkle Comics we have done it. The end of the issue also alerts us that another “super” villain type is in London and I am sure he as well will be looking for Thunderbolt’s blood! Its crazy to think that in only five issue we have been introduced to so many villains, lets count them down Evila, Tekk, Krater, Andreas Havoc, Mr. Wheeler, Victor Cypher and I am telling you Cairo DeFrey will be a baddy by the end of this series! The cover for this issue is pretty good and the art by Mike Collins is great like before. This issue of Thunderbolt has lots of action and as well moves the story along and is a solid 90’s DC Comic series. Lets see what issue 6 that is the half way mark for the series has in store for us.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 6  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 6 of 12

Peter Cannon is having a terrible nightmare that has many of his villains as well as his Lama, and he gets a clue of the armor Trydan is wearing looks very much like old armor from England. When he wakes up he talks with Tabu and they start their fight training, that is until Cairo shows up at their apartment flat and is looking for a lunch date. While Peter gets ready Cairo confronts Tabu about not liking her and tries to use her charm to tell him she cares for Peter. Meanwhile Tekk takes down two of Mr. Wheelers mobsters as they head to collect protection money who is now under the protection of Tekk employers the Scorpio family! Also on a London highway a crash frees a super villain called Shard a monster looking man who’s body is made from shards of glass! While on a walk Peter and Cairo are interrupted by Anne-Marie and her newspaper friends, as Cairo leaves after getting an emergency call Anne-Marie talks about her need to cover Thunderbolt when a radio message goes out saying the Special Unit Police need the help of Thunderbolt and all break away to get to the scene requested. Meanwhile we learn that Mr. Wheeler hired Mac The Knife to kill the man on the train, and that Mac is a gun for hire who will kill anyone if the price is right. Meanwhile after busting some more criminals The Crusader goes to a local pub and is having a drink when they get the news of Shard and the cops calling on Thunderbolt for help, the other people in the pub cheer and egg on The Crusader to head down their and show the world the Britain has the best superheroes…and in anger he agrees. Thunderbolt shows up to the highway and the place Shard was set free and he is holding hostages and proves he is super dangerous as just his touch shreds skin and Thunderbolt must use a metal door from a truck in order to hit this baddy, once knocking Shard down he saves some hostages but while doing so the villain us able to sneak attack the hero and hit him from behind leaving him on the ground hurt.

This sixth issue’s plot has Peter Cannon dealing with his bad dreams of defeat, his awkward relationship with Cairo, his mistake of talking to Anne-Marie as Thunderbolt during his fight with Krater in the last issue, and of course his want to be the hero that London needs. As Thunderbolt he is finding that he is way more stronger and skilled then he ever thought and also seems to be getting weird powers he don’t understand like moving things with only a thought. I like that we get that Tabu does not trust Cairo as he thinks that something is off with her and that she is using his friend for some kind of gain, and at this point in the series I don’t think he is wrong as something about her is off as she seems to always be rushing off after phone calls and other emergencies. This issue we also get a look at the backstory of Inspector James Flint who we learned use to work for Mr. Wheeler and that is why he is placed on the Special Unit as they don’t want him near the old crime family he once worked for as they think he could go back, very sad for him as he is a good cop and they know it, but his past is keeping him from reaching his dream jobs. Plus I am starting to think that reporter Anne-Marie is starting to get a crush on Thunderbolt and while she does want to interview him for the paper, she also wants to get to know him…oddly enough did I miss something as she also does not tell Peter the message from Maude Grymes when she had the chance! We see that Mac The Knife a killer for hire is in London and took his first job from Mr. Wheeler, but also lets him know that if someone hires him to kill him he will take the job if the money is right…in other words he is a scumbag who money talks to. And Shard is super dangerous as his whole body is made of sharp glass and just a light touch will cut deep, and to top it off he has a crazed mind and don’t mind hurting, killing and scaring. The cover is pretty awesome and the art by Mike Collins is great as always. Oh man I should also say I like the opening nightmare part as well as it adds more things for us readers to think about as well as for Peter to try and uncover. Lets see what issue seven has in store for us and see if DC and Mike Collins can keep up the great work on this series.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 7  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 7 of 12

Thunderbolt wakes up bleeding and hurt of the highway and just in time as Shard is about to go in for the kill and he is able to dodge the attack. With the help of people on the highway that were hostages Thunderbolt is able to clear his head for a bit and get Shard to chase him and allowing the people to get to safety. Meanwhile Andreas Havoc is fuming over the return of Thunderbolt and with his magic he learned from the stolen scrolls he brings Evila to his castle and alerts her if they work together they can stop Thunderbolt once and for all. Thunderbolt is having a hard time with Shard, as he cannot touch him without being cut, but with his newly discovered mind powers he is able to use metal from the cars that crashed on the highway and capture him. Meanwhile Mr. Wheeler buries his son and is ready for all out war, while a Tibetan Monk shows up at Peter Cannon’s home in America looking for his help and is sent to London by the old woman watching over the home. The Crusaders arrives at the Highway after Shards been defeated and this enrages the hero as he thinks he is being made a full by the American hero. In the end Peter Cannon arrives back at his apartment in London and gets a visit from a Government worker who informs him to keep his opinions on China to himself or something might happen and worse he gets a call from Cairo just as armored forces show up to take her hostage!

In this issue Thunderbolt has to face and enemy he cannot use his hand-to-hand combat skills to bring down and must use his newly discovered mental powers to bring the baddy down! The issues plot also shows that Andreas Havoc is only helping Victor Cypher because he thought Thunderbolt was gone from the hero business, and he also clearly does not really care about helping him. We also get that something bad is going down in Tibet as a Monk has travled very long and far to find him to get help, we also see that The Crusader is mad that an American hero is saving the day and taking away his glory of being a superhero and we see that Mr. Wheeler is now 100% ready to make those who killed his son pay! Peter Cannon aka Thunderbolt knows that that he is even more strong and skilled then he ever knew as not only can he knock out a villain with his kicks and punches now he can use his mind and move object! I am not sure how I feel about Thunderbolt having the powers of “Carrie” as I liked him as the classic style hero who did not have superpowers. Cairo DeFrey has found herself once more on the end of a plot that will have her kidnapped and this time the people coming for her seem way more with it and better armed! Not sure now if I am right about Cairo DeFrey as at first I thought she was up to something sinister, but now I am not sure and think that she might be a secret agent or working with some very powerful people. Shard was a pretty cool bad guy and was super dangerous, and he was only defeated when Thunderbolt used his “Carrie” powers on him. I am interested in what The Monk is needing help with, but if I had to guess I would say it has to do with Andreas Havoc and his evil ways, and let me not forget what terrible plan does Andreas Havoc have in mind now that he is teaming with Evila! As always this issue is keeping me entertained and showcasing that not all heroes have to have superpowers…oh wait DC now did give him powers…but the cover is pretty good and eye catching and the interior art by Mike Collins is great as always. Lets see what issue eight has in store and find out the answer on who is kidnapping Cairo.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 8  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.25     DC Comics     # 8 of 12

At the office of Cairo DeFrey the cops lead by Inspector James Flint are looking into her kidnapping and he speaks to Peter Cannon who is as well there as he was on the phone when the attacked happened. While people are being questioned Peter’s hidden mental powers flare up and let him see the act of the kidnapping happen and learns the Scorpio Mob is who has done it as he hears that name! Meanwhile Evila and Andreas Havoc discuss a plan that will get ride of Peter Cannon aka Thunderbolt once and for all as they both hate him and need him out of the way. Meanwhile after the cops have left Peter and Tabu get into an argument, as Peter wants to change into Thunderbolt and save Cairo and his friend Tabu says he can not use the ancient powers for his own personal interest, and this fight leaves Peter walking to the buildings roof were he sees the armed men placing Cairo into a helicopter and he just in times jumps and hides on the helicopter to find out where it goes. Meanwhile the Justice League Europe team is alerted to the kidnapping and Green Lantern takes notice when Thunderbolt is mentioned as he remembers helping him some years back from dying, while across town a shadowy figure under the disguise of working for the Government of England gives The Crusader an order to fight and beat Thunderbolt in a fare fight in order to prove England has the best home grown heroes and they don’t need the Americans help. Peter Cannon once they helicopter arrives at the hideout changes into Thunderbolt and takes out the kidnappers one by one until he and Cairo come face to face and she is happy to see the masked hero and alerts him that she knows he really is Peter Cannon and gives him a kiss. Also The Monk is now on his way to England to find Thunderbolt and alert him to what help the temple needs.

Well Peter Cannons secret of being Thunderbolt is out of the bag as the woman he loves has figured it out super quick! The issues plot is very simple Thunderbolt follows kidnappers to get his lady love back and then throw in some drama with the police, JLE and Crusader and you have this issue in a nutshell. Thunderbolt is a hero who is now also torn as his training says that he should only use his powers and skills to benefit and protect mankind and that he should never put personal issues on his hero to do list, but he feels different as he knows that he can save the life of a woman he cares about. Thunderbolt is also very confused over his new mental powers, as they only seem to appear when he has extreme stress or anger. Tabu is so stuck on the ways of the Temple that at times he seems to forget what it is to be human and only cares about rules. Inspector James Flint is trying to put pieces together like a puzzle as he wants to solve why Scorpio has moved into town and why Thunderbolt seems to be around when things turn bad. Cairo DeFrey proves that she is not some weak business woman and has skills of her own to get out of trouble, plus its interesting that she knows Peter is Thunderbolt and makes one wonder did she figure it out on her own or is she working for someone who alerted her to this? Evila and Andreas Havoc’s sinister plan to stop Thunderbolt I am sure will start next issue and by the mindset of those two, I am sure it will be very deadly. The Crusader while a hero is being played for a fool as he is being pushed to be annoyed by Thunderbolt and pressured into a fight for some unknown reason to cause tension between the heroes. I like the idea of a shadowy criminal organization using tricks to turn superheroes against each other as so many heroes have egos and could easily be pushed to turn on each other. Also great to see more cameos from Justice League Europe members as this time around we not only see Green Lantern but also The Flash and Crimson Fox and by the looks of it I think they might get a bigger role in a future issue! The cover is pretty great and has a direct to video action film look to it and the interior art by Mike Collins who is still doing the story as well. Another solid issue that has a few way to long talky parts, but is solid and keeps up the great work of the series and makes me look forward to the next issue.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 9  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.50     DC Comics     # 9 of 12

Thunderbolt is shocked that Cairo DeFrey knows that he is Peter Cannon and she tells him that she has known sense he saved her on the blimp! As the goons around them start to wake up they make a run for the exit only for them to be cut off by Tekk who wants Cairo. Meanwhile Anne-Marie is looking into the past of Cairo and finds something very interesting that she wants to investigate as well as says she might want to tell Peter Cannon what she has learned, what it is we will have to wait. Tekk and Thunderbolt start to fight and are going hand-to-hand, when Cairo watches she is likes that two super-beings are fighting over her and says to herself at some point she will tell them they are on the same side! While at the store of Maude Grymes she gets a visit by the wizard Arion The Immortal who warns her not to meddle in the world of Peter Cannon, but she tells him she knows what she is doing! As Thunderbolt and Tekk are fighting The Justice League Europe (Green Lantern, Power Girl, The Flash, Crimson Fox and Elongated Man) show up as they are looking for the kidnapped Cairo as well and join and help Thunderbolt in the fight, but finally Cairo alerts them that Tekk is her bodyguard and was their to rescue her as well. As The JLE and Thunderbolt are cleaning up the area after Cairo leaves for home questions start to pop up as Inspector James Flint also shows up and backs up the feeling that something is not right with this kidnapping. We then see Mr. Wheeler about to pull in and being mad as its clear he hired the goons to get her and at Cairo’s office she tells Tekk that its time for them to ruin Mr. Wheeler and to get ride of him and his men. While Evila and Andreas Havoc use a spell and bring Dinosaurs to London and our heroes have to rush off to try and stop the rampage. Meanwhile Anne-Marie is waiting for Peter at his apartment and in China a superhuman being is beating up protesters.

The plots of this issue are coming at the reader fast and hard as we learn so much and get new mysteries shoved our way…and were to start! I think the biggest news is Cairo DeFrey being the head of Scorpio and while acting like a sweet businesswoman she is really a calculated mobster who puts hits out, has her goons strong-arm small businesses for protection money as well has Tekk a super villain under her control. I knew it all along that Cairo was not to be trusted as she always seemed to act a little off and very sneaky, worse thing is that she knows Peter Cannons secret and could try and use it for her own gain. Tekk is shown to be Cairo’s chuffer, bodyguard and muscle and almost seems to enjoy the bad things he is sent to do as his suit gives him big powers. We also see that Anne-Marie is digging deep into who Cairo really is and it’s clear that she has found out just how corrupt she is and wants to warn Peter as she knows he is getting way to close to her, plus poor Maude Grymes is in trouble with other magical beings for trying to deliver a message to Peter…that still has not been delivered. Plus it appears that the JLE and James Flint have also started to catch on that Cairo is a wolf in sheep clothing and are starting to question her…now if only Peter Cannon would catch on. I love that Andreas Havoc and Evila’s idea to cause issues to try and defeat Thunderbolt was to let dinosaurs loose in the city, its like they read Jurassic Park and got ideas. And one new mystery we get is who the heck is the muscle in China that is beating up the protestors and when will he tackle Thunderbolt as we knows it has to happen. Oh and I should also say that Mr. Wheeler has made a big mistake as he has been marked as a dead man now and by trying to kidnap Cairo he has also doomed his whole crew. The cover for this issue is well done and eye catching and the interior art by Mike Collins is still A+ 90’s DC Comic work. Another great issue and I can not wait to read the next issue as we are getting to the end of this series and things are starting to wrap up.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 10  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.50     DC Comics     # 10 of 12

Thunderbolt and the JLE are rounding up the dinosaurs that are rampaging in London and are trying to keep the people safe as well as the creatures as they know they are just scared and not causing the chaos on purpose. While at Peter’s apartment Anne-Marie is telling Tabu about what she found and the message she was to deliver that all points to Cairo using and lying to him, and as they talk the monk who is Master Tsong arrives. As Thunderbolt and the JLE are tangling with the dinosaurs, he shares that he thinks that this mess was created by Andreas Havoc who is in turn being played by Evila who wants his power stone as she knows its true power and plans on using it against those who cross her. Meanwhile all around London Scorpio is attacking and shutting down all of Mr. Wheelers businesses and the war is on and gearing towards the end. The Crusader ends up joining the fight and helps round up the dinosaurs and they all watch as Thunderbolt uses his mind powers to bring down the massive T-Rex and his fellow heroes are impressed. As the JLE leaves Thunderbolt is attacked from behind by Crusader who in turn is attacked by someone from behind as Evila and Andreas Havoc are mad as they were behind making Crusader turn on Thunderbolt due to rage. We find out that a Checkmate Knight is the one behind the attack on Crusaders and has showed up with both heroes knocked out to Peter’s apartment and informs Thunderbolt about who is behind sending The Crusader and that’s Andreas Havoc and Master Tsong backs that up and says he must come back to Tibet in order to fight a man who killed the last Thunderbolt!

This issue is pretty fun even though most of the time is spent with the heroes rounding up dinosaurs like they are cattle. In this issue Peter Thunderbolt learns that he is a man that is neck deep in all types of trouble as he has a target on his head from Andreas Havoc, his lady love is a crime boss who has been a terror to so many, he has angered England’s hero The Crusader who has been pushed to attack him and he needs to now go to Tibet and fight a person who has killed the last Thunderbolt! In other words Thunderbolt has lots of hero work to do to make things safe for not only himself but everyone around him. Evila and Andreas Havoc while they are working together are clearly not friends as Evila has an idea of turning on him in order to steal the power stone to use in her own ways. Mr. Wheeler is loosing everything as he not only had his son murdered by his rivals but now all his crime empire is falling. The powerful fighter in China is Dorje and it sounds like he does not want to go to Tibet and I am guessing he is the one that killed the last Thunderbolt. Cairo DeFrey is truly an evil woman who is given orders to ruin and take lives and all the while is playing the victim and sweet person, she is a true mobster who has bad motives. The Justice League Europe are very helpful as they make the dinosaur capture way easier and even offer Thunderbolt a place on the team, plus seeing The Flash and the others in action is always a fun DC Comic reading experience. The Crusader has to feel like a tool now that he knows he has been played for a fool and pushed to attack a fellow hero by a criminal organization. Cover is great and fitting for the time and Mike Collins art his great as always. Like before a solid issue of Thunderbolt and really does prove that old heroes can find new life generations after their final issues. Oh and I still have to say I still am not a fan of Thunderbolts mental powers, as it makes him feel like an X-Men member.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 11  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.50     DC Comics     # 11 of 12

Thunderbolt is gearing up to fight with Andreas Havoc and is surprised when he finds that he will have his own help going into this battle as Tabu, Power Girl, Anne-Marie, The Crusader, Master Tsong and Checkmate Knights all come to his aid. At first Thunderbolt is a little lukewarm on letting Crusader come along that is until he sees that the hero is upset that he has been played a fool and wants revenge. As The Checkmate Knights fight against Havoc’s men Thunderbolt, Power Girl and Crusader storm his castle and things start to look good for our heroes as Evila has her handsful with Power Girl and Crusader and Thunderbolt is holding his own against Andreas Havoc…that is until he gets blasted with a powerful energy blast that knocks Thunderbolt from the castle and we see that his attacker is Trydan the man who almost killed him years back! Thunderbolt finds his inner strength and uses all his skills to take down Trydan once and for all, only to fin the man in the suit was a drooling mindless fool, and as Thunderbolt starts to fight again with Andreas Havoc he learns that Trydan was just a paid assassin in a stolen suit from Lexcorp and that his brain was fried and he was a mindless tool of destruction. The fighting is going back and fourth and the Checkmate Knights get the call to pull back and return back to base, as this happens Tabu and Master Tsong rush into the castle and cause a distraction that allows Power Girl to grab the power stone and for them also to get the stolen scrolls…Thunderbolt uses the stone and his powers to transport himself and his friends to Tibet as Evila and Andreas Havoc stay in the castle that is now crumbling. In Tibet Thunderbolt and friends are by the monastery and find that it is under attack by a Chinese soldiers as Power Girl and Crusader attack the soldiers the others watch over the power stone as Thunderbolt rushes to check on the Lama only to find that he is face to face with Dorje, and worse Thunderbolt learns that Dorje is the real Thunderbolt who never dies those years back. Also during this time Mr. Wheeler heads to the Scoprio base and finds that his own right hand man has turned on him and that Cairo has hired Mac The Knife to put a dagger in his back!

So this is a bombshell as we learn that Peter Cannon has been living a lie for all these years and he is not the true Thunderbolt and protector of the order as his predecessor never really died and is back this time helping China to find the mystic powerful items that are hidden in the temple. So Thunderbolt as we know him is not the Tibetan hero we have followed, but he is a hero and a chosen one for sure as look at all he has been able to do and learn and I feel that Dorje is a man who at one point who was chosen to be the protector who now has turned his back on the job and is using his powers and skills to help with greed. Its great to see Power Girl and The Crusader lending their powers to help take down the evil magic of Andreas Havoc as both of their lives were in danger. And for that matter good on the Checkmate Knights as well for all their work in the battle. As for Andreas Havoc and Evila they are powerful and strong and if not for being distracted for a short amount of time they could have easily won the battle with our heroes…but I also feel that the defeat of Andreas Havoc, Trydan and Evila is very rushed feeling as they are the main bad guys we have spent so much time with, and now its changed to Dorje with just one issue to go. Poor Mr. Wheeler is in a bad way as it’s clear that the odds are against him and his time is running out as Cairo and her goons have his number. And speaking of Cairo she has surrounded herself with not only heavy armed foot solders but also skilled killers like Tekk and Mac The Knife…she is dangerous and I will guess will get what’s coming to her in the next issue. News lady Anne-Marie is getting the news story of her life as she has been along for the ride as Thunderbolt clashed with Andreas and also has seen China attacking a temple in Tibet! This is a great issue but again I do feel as if things are being rushed to have an end as they had to know that the series was being canceled and that they only had two issue to wrap it all up. The cover is great and showcases our heroes and villains and as always Mike’s work in the interior art is good stuff. Well let’s see how the DC Comic series of Thunderbolt ends as we are going to look at the twelfth and final issue.

Peter Cannon Thunderbolt # 12  **1/2
Released in 1993    Cover Price $1.50     DC Comics     # 12 of 12

Peter Cannon faces off with Dorje who sees Tabu holding the power stone and informs them all that he wants the stone as he needs to give it to China, and Peter can not allow this and fights Dorje who is older but more skilled and is showing his fighting skills. Tabu and Master Tsong watch in shock as Tabu is confused as he has pledged his life to help the true Thunderbolt, but he is best friends with Peter! Anne-Marie takes action and grabs the power stone and runs off with it trying to keep it safe and out of the hands of Dorje only to by accident giving it to Evila who is disguised at Power Girl and Andreas Havoc is also there who is now mad that Dorje is still alive as this makes his war and feud with Peter Cannon void! The Crusader and Power Girl arrive in the temple and after hitting Evila from behind the power stone falls to the floor as a fight between Thunderbolt and his friends against Evila with Andreas Havoc as well as Dorje who is fighting them all in order to get the stone. During the fight Andreas Havoc is thrown against a wall leaving him brain damaged as Dorje gets the stone and uses its power to kill Evila as well as himself in order to keep the temple and all inside it safe from her want to become the ruler, all the heroes gather as he tells them of his past years of being missing. With the fight over Peter Cannon is Thunderbolt again and the Lama sends Power Girl and The Crusader home and then sends Anne-Marie and Tabu to Peter’s apartment…as for Thunderbolt is gets a change of outfit and is sent to the Scorpio base as he needs to have words with Cairo. Once at the base he finds Mr. Wheeler who dies in front of him from his stab wounds and has to fight Tekk who uses all his power to try and stop the hero, but thanks to water and electricity Tekk fails and is left knocked out. In the end Thunderbolt faces Cairo and she alerts him that she is related to Evila and that she just wants power and order and begs Thunderbolt to join her, he rejects her offer and walks out telling her goodbye and both are heart broken as good and evil can never find love.

The final issue of Thunderbolt does a pretty great job of wrapping up all our characters and stories and allows now Peter Cannon to be Thunderbolt and not have to 100% follow the teachings of the Lama and temple as he is not the reborn spirit of the passed warrior…he is just his own warrior. Thunderbolt learns so much about himself that all his powers and skills are unlocked by his own will and training and that he is a hero no matter what label is placed on him. It’s also clear that he will always do what is right and fight on the side of good and that his friend Tabu will always be his pal and help him in life and in heroism. You have to feel bad for Thunderbolt as well when he learned that the old Thunderbolt is still alive and making his whole past being a lie, plus he has to face heart break as he must break it off with Cairo a woman he loves. To be honest Dorje the old Thunderbolt does nothing for me and seems like a waste to the story as his turn from being apart of the raiding Chinese forces to becoming the Temple hero again before his death seemed super cheesy. Evila finally meets her end thanks to the power stone and poor Andreas Havoc is left in a coma just like Trydan and both will spend their lives at the Temple in Tibet. Mr. Wheeler meets his end at the end of a knife and its cause of his own pride and want to fight that leads him to his death, well and the fact his own friend set him up! I do feel that Inspector James Flint does not have any real payout and only shows up for a second in this final issue to tell Wheeler’s men to start looking for new work, again his story seems rushed and like a wasted character. Anne-Marie is clearly a reporter who is stronger then she thinks and is clearly in love with Peter Cannon so who knows what could have been with those two. The series did do a great job of using other heroes from the DC Universe as the Justice League Europe, Checkmate Knights and The Crusader all seem important and add to the story as it unfolds. Cairo DeFrey is a killer and a woman who craves power who is from the same bloodline as Evila and while bad, I don’t think she sees her actions as evil as she just wants to lead and make the world follow her order. Mike Collins who did the interior art and the story for this series did fantastic work and really did bring a classic comic hero into modern times and made Thunderbolt fit right into the DC Universe, he also added onto the characters legend and story and did a great job of also using his classic rouges gallery while adding new baddies into the mix. It’s a shame that this series only lasted 12 issues as it was some of the better stuff DC was doing at the time with their smaller time heroes. From what I gathered low sales is what got the book canceled and Thunderbolt from here would be apart of other comics like Justice League Europe. The cover for this issue is also really cool and for some reason reminds me of Batman or even The Phantom. I have to say that I truly enjoyed Peter Cannon Thunderbolt and think that if you enjoy classic comic heroes and have not check it out yet, you should as its well done and while flawed in spots (looking at you mind powers) it holds a great classic comic feel. Check out the artwork bellow to see the style of Mike Collins.

If I worked for DC Comics around 1993 as a writer and Peter Cannon Thunderbolt was thrown my way in order to breath new life into the character after his final issue was released. I would have kept him in London for awhile and have him join The Justice League Europe for a short awhile and would have had him and Power Girl hitting it off and even dating. During this time Thunderbolt would have mastered his mental powers and this would have elevated his superpower statues, and the JLE would also hire Tabu to work their headquarters to keep all their missions in order as well as to alert members to crises. But Thunderbolt and Tabu would leave London and the JLE after Power Girl and he split up as he is still in love with Cairo DeFrey who has been spotted in New York causing him to return home to find her, and here is were I would change him up and take a really chance with him as when in New York and with his new more powerful mind powers I would have Cairo make a deal with the returning Evila and together they place a classic curse of Thunderbolt and turn him into a raging madman who is running amok in the streets and is attacking innocent people and as well as doing battle with Superheroes like one time friend Green Lantern, Batman, Hawkman, Plastic Man, Green Arrow and even Superman. I would then have Dr. Fate along with Zatanna be the ones who break the curse of Evila as well as end his mental mind powers of Thunderbolt and from there I would write him out for awhile by having him be placed in a asylum. After a year or two away I would bring Peter Cannon Thunderbolt back as a skilled fighter normal hero who has to earn the trust of the people and his fellow heroes. And from there I would just have Thunderbolt appear in other comics as a guest hero and would still be doing that to this day.

Thunderbolt over the years has been dusted off by other comic companies with his latest bigger run being with Dynamite Comics 2012 and later 2019 and would bring the hero into modern times. But for me I think he should have stayed put in the DC Comics universe. But DC is such a mess in modern times and are cutting comics, creators and even making a push for digital comics so in other words they are a shell of a company and sadly have been ran wrong for many years now and with AT&T owning them and not caring about print comic books I am not sure what their fate holds in the future. But lets not harp on the fate of DC Comics and why they let Thunderbolt slip from their fingers as for my next update I will be taking a look at another Horror Host for the celebration of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame being around for 10 years as I will take a look at Indiana’s own Baron Von Wolfstein! So until next time read a DC Comic or three, watch a superhero film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for a trip to Wolfstein Manor.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Snakes On A Plane

In the year 2006 horror cinema was alive and well with many films hitting theaters as well as video rental shelves, and all styles of horror were covered from slashers to horror comedies and of course the horror action thriller had its fair share of releases. I mean hell, even I released my shot on video film The Sadness that year! And one film that was released that year had a whirlwind of online press, a catchy name, a big name star attached and was an animal run amok action, thriller horror film, and I am sure you guessed that I am talking about Snakes Of A Plane! And back when the film was released in 2006 comic company WildStorm that was a branch off DC Comics who is owned by Warner Brothers who owns New Line Cinema released a two issue mini series based on the film and that’s what we will be reviewing here for this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update. So if you are ready to take the frightful flight of your life that not only has Samuel L. Jackson on board but also a whole lot of snakes, so stock up on anti-venom and let’s take to the skies of Horror Comics.

Lets first take a look at the Snakes that took over a plane and killed numerous passengers that was in their site. The Snakes are of many breeds that include King Cobras, Rattlesnakes, Pit Vipers, Coral Snakes, Pythons among other snake species and are in high numbers on the plane. The Snakes are very sneaky and can hide in small areas as well as use said small areas to travel around and target their prey as they attack not only singly but also at times attack in packs making them even more dangerous. The snakes are made to be super aggressive by pheromones and this makes them act as if anyone in their sight is really the enemy and drives them mad. The Snakes have many different ways of dealing death with many of them having venomous bites that can leave people dead in a matter of minutes to hours while others will squeeze and devour those foolish humans that could not escape. The snakes are just animals that have been made to be aggressive and because they are just living creatures they can be killed by any normal means such as being shot, burned with fire, cut and stabbed by a knife and even smashed. And because they are just creatures does mean they are not as deadly as some of the killers and creatures we have chatted about on a From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update, but with that said they still are very deadly and can make those poor souls stuck with them on a plane meet the Reaper.

So now that we have talked about the killer snakes from the film and their death dealing ways its time that we talk about the film they are from. As always I will be taking the films plot from out friends at IMDB and I then will write about the films production as well as my thoughts on the film. So if you are ready lets take a Plane trip with some very dangerous snakes.

Snakes On A Plane (2006)

While practicing motocross in Hawaii, Sean Jones witnesses the brutal murder of an important American prosecutor by the powerful mobster Eddie Kim. FBI agent Neville Flynn persuades him to testify against Eddie in Los Angeles. They board the red-eye Flight 121 of Pacific Air, occupying the entire first-class section. However, Eddie dispatches hundred of different species of snakes airborne with a time-operated device in the luggage to release the snakes into the flight with the intent of crashing the plane. Neville and the passengers must struggle with the snakes to survive.”

At University of Pittsburgh back in 1992 an administrator by the name of David Dalessandro was working on a film script that he called “Venom” that was originally about a brown tree snake loose on a plane before becoming more about tons of snakes loose on a plane that caused issues for the passengers. He shopped the film around for years and its rumored that by 1995 over 30 Studios rejected the script! In 1999 he finally found a producer at Paramount took interest in the script and New Line Cinema took over the production, that’s right the studio called The House That Freddy Built was now involved in “Venom”. When originally looking for a director Ronny Yu was on tap and from early on actor Samuel L. Jackson signed to be a lead in the film because he loved these type of films as a kid and thought the title was great that was changed to “Snakes On A Plane” after a brief time of it going to be called “Pacific Air Flight 121” and Jackson was not having it and made New Line change it back to the title that was getting tons of internet buzz. The film brought on David R. Ellis to direct with John Gutierrez and John Heffernan coming in to touch up the script. The casting of Samuel L. Jackson also attracted a few more names that fans knew including Julianna Margulies, Nathan Phillips, Sunny Mabrey, Kenan Thompson, Rachel Blanchard, Lin Shaye, David Koechner, Tom Butler and Kevin McNulty to name a few and the buzz from bloggers made New Line Cinema think they had something very big on their hands even ordering days of reshoots in order to turn the film from PG-13 to rated R thinking that they were giving the online world what they wanted. The film opened on August 18, 2006 and was the # 1 film for that weekend but quickly dropped and under performed at the US Box Office only doing $34,020,814.00 on a budget of $33 million for New Line Cinema and causing it to be one of their biggest misses for a Cult Thriller Action Horror Film in some time. While the film did ok with critics and fans the film just did not draw at the theater and it was over all a bomb with it really building a cult following once on Home Media. This was an example of a Hollywood studio trusting the online community and it backfiring. On a side note it’s said that at a screening of the film in Arizona someone let two rattlesnakes loose, lucky for moviegoers no one was bitten or hurt. The film was the # 93 grossing film of the year and did beat out such other Horror films as The Decent, The Wicker Man, Stay Alive, The Black Dahlia, Pulse, An American Haunting, Black Christmas, See No Evil, Slither, The Return, Turistas, BloodRayne, Basic Instinct 2, Hard Candy and Night Of The Living Dead 3-D showing that while it was not a hit, it still beat out some great Horror Titles.

Snakes On A Plane was one of those films that when released I was so annoyed with as all my friends would go around in bad Samuel L. Jackson impersonations talking about “Being Sick Of Mother F’N Snakes On This Mother F’N Plane” and it made me want to stay clear of seeing the film at the theater, so I was one of those who did not watch on the big screen. And to be honest it was one that it took me a very long time to get around to watching as it was not high on my radar of must see films, and while it would be on at friends houses during hanging out I never did truly sit down and pay attention to it, that was until 2021 when I made myself sit down and watch it on DVD that I truly got to soak the film in. And after watching the film I found it to be a fun silly rides that was filled with your normal style disaster movie characters, lots of CGI snakes attacking and was a more modern day animal runs amok film set on a plane that gave the film a Closter phobic feel. I think Samuel Jackson is great in his role as FBI Agent Neville Flynn and plays the role pretty normal for almost the whole film and does not yell and scream his lines until the end and seeing Julianna Margulies as flight attendant Claire Miller was cool as well as seeing here in a fright flick again after the 2002 film Ghost Ship. But while I found it to be a good watch I also did have some issues with the film as the CGI Snakes look terrible and in most shots ruin the scene with how bad they standout, and the cussing comes into play at the very tail end of the film and feels tacked on by New Line Cinema to get the R rating and to play up on people wanting to hear Samuel L. Jackson drop the F-Bomb. Plus we have the films bad guy Eddie Kim who beats a man to death with a baseball bat and then also is the mastermind of releasing the snakes on a plane that kills man gets his justice off screen. I would also say I can see why it dropped so hard after opening weekend in theaters as the hype train that was around the film built it up so big in the eyes of viewers who were a little underwhelmed once seeing the film and that letdown word of mouth helped it tank. New Line Cinema use to be a great company for Horror Films and they use to take some chances under the run of Bob Shaye, but now under the watch of AT&T they are a shell of what they are in the world of Horror with only The Conjuring universe being the bright star. Over all Snakes On A Plane is a silly movie with a silly title that was very fitting for the time of Horror at the cinema.

Now that we have talked about The Snakes on the plane and the film about them being on said plane I think its time we get to the two issue comic mini series that is about it all. And once more proves that any and all Horror Movies or even films with Horror elements can and should be turned into a comic book. I would like to think Game Swap Kettering for having these comics in stock and would like to also remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets see if we can survive these killer snakes.

Snakes Of A Plane # 1  **
Released in 2006     Cover Price $2.99     WildStorm    # 1 of 2

Sean Jones is riding his dirt bike around Hawaii when he witnesses the murder of a Prosecutor from LA at the hands of feared and violent gangster Eddie Kim who ends the mans life with a baseball bat, and Sean is able to escape just in time as Kim and his men spot him leaving and track him down thanks to DNA he left behind on a energy drink can. Eddie Kim wants Sean dead and sends two very dangerous goons to his apartment to put a bullet in his brain, but lucky for Sean also in his apartment is F.B.I Agent Neville Flynn who makes out the hired killers and talks Sean into going to LA in order to testify against Kim to send the crime lord to prison for life. The plane is flight 121 and crewmembers aboard are Tiffany, Ken, Grace and Claire who is on her last flight as she is leaving to become a lawyer. The pilots on this plane are Captain McKeon and Rick and its also filled with some odd passengers like rapper Three Gs and his bodyguards Troy and Big Leroy, socialite Mercedes and her pet dog Mary-Kate, Young kids Curtis and Tommy, Chen a kick boxer, mother Maria and her infant baby daughter Isabella and a handful of more and for all of them they now have to ride coach as first class is now taken over by the F.B.I as Sean is escorted by Agent Neville and Agent John Sanders on the flight and that area gives them also a phone in order to contact to Special Agent Hank Harris who is working the Kim case. As the passengers get the news of their seating class change they are also all given leis and welcomed aboard. During the flight a clock counts down and once at zero tons of angry venomous snakes are let loose from boxes in the luggage hold! A young couple having sex in the bathroom are the first humans to die from the snakes bite and then the Captain while fixing a issue in the belly of the plane falls victim, the snakes even kill a poor cat who was in the hold! When Rick finds that Captain he calls for the help of Agents Neville and Sanders and they all think he has past from a heart attack. As Rick takes over the flight all hell breaks loose as the Snakes come out to play their deadly game both in the cockpit as well as the rest of the plane!

The first issue of Snakes On A Plane is a very quick read and sticks pretty well to the film its based on making some changes mostly in the way of flow, and by that I mean it moves at a very faster pace and lands us pretty much in the middle of the films plot in just one issue. They speed up the boarding of the plane and cut much of the interactions that the passengers have with each other as well as even the moments of friendship that the crew have with one another, and we also skip much of the moments of Sean and Agent Neville starting up a friendship and talking about surfing and such, plus they get to the snake attacks and invasion of the plane way faster. The major downside to this speed up approach is that I feel they make Claire feel less special and they also don’t quite capture the scary moments of the turbulence and death of the Captain that well. But they do a better job really showing and speaking about just how much of a scumbag Eddie Kim is as he enjoys dealing death and they even talk about how he in the past feed an eyewitness against him to pigs. I also like that Agent Harris is talking about being in a bidding war against a kid for a Billy Idol velvet painting, I would totally buy a Billy Idol velvet paiting. Now that I am writing this I feel that almost all the characters are not flushed out and that hurts the reader to get a bound with any of them, and while the film didn’t do a great job of doing so the comic does even less. Agent Neville Flynn is a guy who is good at his job and wants to bring down Eddie Kim and will do what it takes to protect the states star witness. Sean Jones is a young guy who likes dirt biking and surfing and is caught up in this murder case and is not fully ready for all this danger, but wants to do the right thing has a price is on his head. The snakes are really mad and are dealing out death to anyone in site and by the end are all over the plane ready to attack. None of the other characters really stand out and are hard to talk about. The cover for this comic is very fitting for WildStorm Comics circa 2006 and is eye-catching if you liked the film and the interior art done by Gordon Purcell and is pretty good stuff as he does a good job of capturing the likeness of the actors with out being to specific on their looks. Over all a good issue that was a fun read and as I have stated while the story and characters are condensed I still very much enjoyed the comic, so lets see what issue two is like.

Snakes Of A Plane # 2  *1/2
Released in 2006     Cover Price $2.99    WildStorm    # 2 of 2

The Snakes are now biting passengers and panic is running wild, as Agent Neville armed with a stun gun rushes to coach to try and help people, he tells them to head toward the front of the plane and to try and use baggage to make a wall to keep the snakes in the coach area. During the madness many people are bitten and some die youngster Timmy and Big Leroy are bitten and Agent Sanders is bitten and dies! As the passengers build the wall of bags they are scared and at each others throats, as Rick is worried that the snakes could cause electric issues and cause the plane to crash and Agent Neville has the duty to called Agent Harris to inform him of the attack as well as the death of Sanders. While the bitten and wounded are treated Agent Neville and the others find what they can to use as weapons that include broken bottles, golf clubs and fire extinguisher and get ready to fight off the attacking snakes. Meanwhile in LA a plan is in the works to get snaked expert Dr. Price ready with some anti-venom for those bitten, but Agent Harris finds out that this will be way more hard as each snake has its own cure shot and the serum is harder to get for the snakes that are not from the US. All the passengers rush to first class and come up with the idea to use Mercedes phone camera and send the pictures of the snakes to Dr. Price via email, but as they work on this Rick is bitten by a snake while flying the plane causing it to start to go down! While Claire and Agent Neville try and get the plan back on track, Sean tries to help the people that are being knocked around and things get worse when a giant Python crashes down from a light and an old bitter passenger throws the dog Mary-Kate for the snake to eat, but also finds himself being killed by the massive snake. Once the plane is taken out of the nose dive Rick wakes up and takes over the flying as now Agent Neville has to go to the cargo hold and reseat the planes air and while down there he figures out that the snakes were brought aboard via flowers and as he fights of the snakes Agent Harris in LA finds the mane who used pheromones on the snakes to make them aggressive and also raids his anti-venom case as he is a snake from around the world collector. New gets to Agent Neville that they have the shots ready for them when they land, but things get bad again when Rick this time is dead from multiple snake bites and Agent Neville and bodyguard and video game player Troy have to try and land the plane at LAX! But before they do so Agent Neville has everyone buckle in and then shoots out a plane window that sucks out all the snakes and causes the landing to be even harder, but the pair do so! When they land Sean is attacked by a snake but is once more saved by Agent Neville and all the bitten are given their shots. In the end Agent Neville and Claire start a relationship, Sean is ready to help put Kim behind bars as well as hooks up with Tiffany and Sean and Neville end up going surfing.

The second issue continues to cut and cram as much of the movies plot into the pages of a comic book and to be honest the cuts in this second issue really does take away the Horror and Drama and just delivers a very water downed story with one dimensional characters that as a reader I could not connect with any of them as they had zero personality and even Agent Neville seemed very plan and paint by number like taking away the edge and coolness he had in the film. Many characters that meant something in the film are thrown away and have zero impact to the story like Maria and her baby as well as Grace who gives her life in order to save the baby from the snakes, this was a big moment in the film that is removed for this comic. The drama of some of the passengers freaking out on each other is also removed and so many characters are just wasted background bit players who could have been removed and it would not have affected this comic series. I feel that even the friendship between Agent Neville and Sean is none existent and the love that Neville and Claire build for each other also makes no sense in this mess of a comic. While I enjoyed this first one pretty well this second issue is not as good and for the most part skips around like a ball in a pinball machine. The snakes that are the creatures of death in this comic series also seems to be none factors over all as they are barely seen and used as the death venomous death machines they are in the film. And that really sucks as I would have liked to see more Snake mayhem in the comics as the comic has no blood and no major scares. And I wish that the creative team behind this comic took the adaptation a little more serious and delivered a better comic series then what we got. I also wish that WildStorm would have chosen to do more Horror Comics based on New Line Cinema Horror Films from 2005 and 2006 as we could have gotten ones based on such films as Final Destination series. The cover for this one is good and eye-catching and the interior art by J.R Klebs is good stuff and is fitting for the time of release comic art for DC and WildStorm comics. Over all I would say that Snakes On A Plane is a very lackluster Horror Comic adaptation that is a cool read for fans of the film who would like to see just how WildStorm could water down a films plot to fit into two issues. Check out the artwork bellow to see the style of Klebs used in the second issue.

Now that we have landed this Horror Comic plane and we found out that WildStorm just filled it with rubber and garden snakes I want to say that while I was not a big fan of this comic adaptation it does not mean you wont find the faster pace better then the films, so I would still say check it out if you are a fan of the film or just like comics based on films. But now that we are off the plane we will be leaving the snakes behind and will be taking a look at a classic comic character that got the DC treatment and that’s Peter Cannon aka Thunderbolt! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update as we take a look at a classic hero.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Meathook Massacre III First Hunt

Welcome back to Rotten Ink.  For this update we will be having another look at a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” and will be talking about the film Meathook Massacre III and the comic based on it! That’s right, an indie film that was smart enough to understand a comic book is a great way to promote the film and helps add extra excitement for fans and can also add to the lore of the film and its characters. So if you are ready to dive deep into the world of the Meathook Massacre, we should put on a butchers apron to avoid the splatter and see what this killing family and this comic have in store for us, as this will be a first time watch as well as read for me and I am looking forward to both! So let’s sit back and look at the first comic based on Bubba Fleisher and the Meathook Massacre film series.

Let’s first take a look at the Fleisher Family and their ways of killing people off before we get to deep into this review. The Fleisher Family are cannibalistic backwoods hillbillies who kill innocent people in order to harvest their meat in order to eat and survive. Pa Fleisher is a man who cares about his family very much and while he doesn’t like the killing he has to do all that much, he will do what he has to in order to put meat on their dinner table for them to eat. Pa seems to really enjoy his chainsaw when it comes to dealing death to his victims. He also has a short temper and has a killer instinct when it comes to people messing with his family. Sister Fleisher is one mean young lady as she seems to enjoy the killing of others and almost gets off on it. She is also very loyal to her family and will use her stunning good looks to draw victims in and then use her trusty switchblade knife or kitchen knife to end their lives. Bubba Fleisher is simple minded but once he got the taste for killing, he loved it and can not stop, Bubba wears the skinned faces of some of his victims and this tends to freak out people before he makes the kill with his choice to deal death being meat hooks. The Fleisher Family as a whole are very odd people and use their hunting styles in order to hunt, stalk, lure and slaughter their targets and besides Bubba when wearing a human skin mask, none of them look like they are about to cut your belly open. While Ma is a killer as well, she lets her family do most the killing unless she is pushed or feels as if someone has wronged them. The Fleisher Family do have weaknesses as they are just normal humans and can be killed with any kind of weapon from gun to a knife. They also at times seem to be in their own world and if you are smart enough, you can escape them as well as even in return fight back against them. While The Fleisher Family might not be the most dangerous killers we have ever covered here on a From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update, they are hands down still very skilled in the art of killing and should be taken very seriously.

So now that we know about The Fleisher Family and their ways of dealing death, let’s take a look at the film they are from and that’s the third in the Meathook Massacre series…also keep in mind Bubba is the series’ main killer and has been in all of the films. I will be taking the film’s write up from our pals at IMDB and will then write about the film’s production as well as my thoughts on the film. So sharpen your knives and let’s dive into The Fleisher Family tree and try dodging all the knives, hooks and chainsaws coming our way.

Meathook Massacre III (2017)

Meat the whole family and see where it all began as Pa takes Bubba on his first hunt!”

The indie series Meathook Massacre started in 2015 and was brought to life by filmmaker Dustin Ferguson who was known for his films “The Legacy Of Boggy Creek”, “Terror At Black Tree Forest”, “Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival” and “Demon Dolls” before he made the first film that built a cult following. Dustin would go onto make Meathook Massacre II in 2017 and director Jim DeVault made Meathook Massacre III the same year! What set DeVault’s film apart is that it acts as a prequel and broke away from Ferguson’s style of filmmaking of flashbacks of past films. Jim DeVault was coming off of making such other Indie Horror films as The Sisters Four (2008), Jebadiah’s Axe (2013) and the Blood Reunion film series. Meathook Massacre III was the only film I know of that Jim did with Dustin and this film is well liked among the fans of the series.

The Meathook Massacre series was an indie film series that has always been on my radar as I have seen images of the film as well as trailers and even a NES Video Game based around it, and when finding out a comic was made about one of the sequels I knew I had to track it down and cover here as I have always said more Indie Horror Films need to use comic books as a way to promote their films! I have to say that after watching Meathook Massacre III: The First Hunt I understand why this series has a cult following as its very low budget but has a Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Wrong Turn feel to it, and you can tell that the makers of the film put their heart and soul into the production. Now a few things that did throw me off is at times the editing was a little off and scenes seemed disjointed as did the story at times, plus characters seem to always make very dumb decisions that always leads to them dying when they could have easily gotten away, but welcome to indie horror. I will also say the digital gore effects are a little off as is some of the practical, but they did not take me out of the film. The acting is your typical low budget fare as at times you can see actresses trying not to laugh or smile as they are talking to each other about murder. The two best actors in the film hands down were Robert Lankford who played Pa Fleischer and the shining star was the beautiful Leah Gradney who played Sister as she was good in the role and just easy on the eyes…I say more Horror Filmmakers should be casting her. I also like that in this film Sister is so good in bed that a young man helps the Fleischer family kill his own mom and sisters…this guy is a goof! Not much more to say about Meathook Massacre III besides it’s a fun and cheesy indie slasher film that makes for a good watch on a late Saturday night.

It’s now time to have dinner with the Fleisher family and I heard they have meat on the menu…wait I am sure the meat they are serving is not the kind we would want to eat! So maybe we should just order a Pizza. But I want to thank Creamy Rat Studios for having this comic in stock and would like to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s hang out with Bubba as its suppertime!

Meathook Massacre: First Hunt # 1 **1/2
Released in 2017   Cover Price NA   Creamy Rat Studios   # 1 of 1

Pa Fleisher, the owner of a Gas Station, is talking to his young son Bubba who is a mongoloid that the family is running very low on meat and that today he will be come a man as it will be his first kill! Pa gets out all types of weapons used to slaughter and Bubba grabs himself a meat hook as Sister Fleisher is in the background hurling insults at her younger brother and his intelligence. The family heads to a lake and Pa tells Bubba not to attack anyone if there is a group of more than two people, and Bubba with hook in hand heads into the woods looking for a kill. A young woman is naked near the lake as someone is watching her, she calls out and Bubba comes walking out with a goofy grin on his face and he also shows off his two meat hooks! The woman then knocks Bubba to the ground and starts beating him up when Pa comes from out of nowhere and helps his son and they kill the woman as Pa goes to get the truck Bubba skins the woman’s face and wears it like a mask. Pa returns and is proud of his son and they load her into the back of the family pickup truck. When they get home Sister Fleisher has captured a man who was sneaking around the station and they decide to keep him as meat for the future as well as to allow Sister to have some fun with him.

The story of Bubba and the Fleisher family comes alive in this comic that also acts as the first part of the movie…well give and take a few moments that is. The comic’s plot is that we get to see the first kill that Bubba ever made as well as get to see his family and understand why they are they way they are. This Indie Horror Comic based on a Indie Horror Movie is a super fast read and is sure to please fans of the film. The differences between the comic and the film is that the first kill is a naked white lady in the comic and a bathing suit wearing Asian lady in the film also Bubba in the comic his more deformed and in the film he is just a strange acting kid. Bubba in the comic is a young kid who enjoys pain and likes to kill once he gets the taste for it, he also likes to wear faces and eat human meat. Pa Fleisher is a man who takes pride in his family and wants to keep his family feed and the only way he knows how is by hunting humans and turning them into dinner. Sister Fleisher is also very sinister and loves killing and also likes picking on her younger brother. The comic has some pretty gory moments as chainsaw and meat hooks slaughter the woman who becomes meat and the blood pours out from her wounds. The comic does a great job of capturing the characters of the film and just the whole universe in the Meathook Massacre film series. The one thing I will say as well is that I wish it was a bit longer and almost a full 22-36 page comic that was a full adaptation of the film as it reads so fast leaving you wanting more, but on the other hand it does a great job of making you want to see the film…so I guess it did its job! The cover is pretty eye catching and has the family posing with a person they caught by a lake as if they are a fish, the interior art by Joe P. is good and has a cool raw style to it making it feel truly like a indie comic. This comic feels like a true promo comic that does what it can to add to the world of the film its based on and for that I would say check it out if like the Meathook Massacre film series. Check out the artwork below to see they style of Joe P.

While Meathook Massacre III might not be a household name when it comes to Horror Movies it proves that even cult films and low budget ones can benefit from having a comic book or series based around it! I am sure when Dustin Ferguson first created Bubba and The Fleisher Family, he never fully dreamed it would become a shot on video cult classic series that has entertained thousands of people all over the world. And something also has to be said for director Jim DeVault who made a great sequel that helped build the story of Bubba. But our time with The Fleisher Family has come to an end and supper is over, so as we make our way out of the house I should tell you all that the next update we will be staying with the From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update and will be taking a look at Snakes On A Plane! Also before I sign off I want to once more stress that if you are a Indie Filmmaker and are working on a Horror Film and want a great way to help promote your film do a comic book…I can not stress this enough! So until next time read a Indie Horror Comic or three, watch a Indie Horror Film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a trip with some damn snakes on a damn plane.

UPDATE: I was told by Creamy Rat Studios that the comic came before the film and that the film was really based on the comic! Very Cool!

Horror Host Icon: M.T. Graves

Over the decades so many amazing Horror Hosts have graced TV and computer screens worldwide, and in Florida back in the late 50’s and early 60’s young and old would tune into WCKT-TV Channel 7 at 4pm to watch The Dungeon with Host M.T. Graves who was super popular and would deliver both chills and humor with his goofy hosting style. I would say that M.T. Graves in fact might be the state’s biggest host maybe only rivaled by Dr. Paul Bearer, and that’s saying something as over the years Florida has had a great amount of great Horror Hosts that have had their own style. So with this being the 10th year of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame and me doing a Horror Host Icon update a month, I think that this is the best time to bring to you my readers and friends Horror Host Icon: M.T. Graves, a host who has been long overdue for an update.

M.T. Graves was a strange looking man with bucked teeth, bushy eyebrows, a hook for one hand, big feet and a massive scar on his face! He is a prisoner who’s locked away in a dungeon cell with a coffin for a bed and was forced to watch horror and science fiction movies that The Warden has selected…M.T. calls them the Warden’s “Home Movies”. When the show was going on, M.T. would find ways to amuse himself like conduct a fake orchestra or even talk to fellow prisoners or guards all the while enjoying the night’s movie with the viewers. Sometimes The Warden would allow M.T. Graves to make public appearances as well and he had to be accompanied by guards and people would rush to get to meet M.T. who was a true icon of Florida TV and proved just how important local Horror Hosts can be to their community. M.T. started hosting his show The Dungeon on Saturdays starting in the 1950’s and by the late 1960’s he was set free from his prison and the show ended, and this was a truly heartbreaking day for viewers as they watched their favorite inmate walk out a free man ending his time with them and sharing the Warden’s movies. Some people think that once freed from his Dungeon Cell M.T. went on to be blasted into space along side his old cellmate and he changed his name to M.T. Space…while others say that they are from the same family tree but different Horror Hosts all together. Say what you will about M.T. Graves but this strange looking prisoner sure made being stuck in a dank cell fun for all who watched.

Charlie Baxter was the actor behind M.T. Graves was born on March 29, 1925 in Toledo, Ohio making him an Ohio boy! After school he joined and survived the United States Marine Corps as well as lent his voice as he became the announcer for the Toledo Mud Hens baseball team. Later he moved to Florida and started working for WCKT-Channel 7 and later WKID-Channel 51 and was a major TV personality as he and the characters he created for both Horror Hosting and Kid Show Host like M.T. Graves, Captain Kidd, Professor Klinker and M.T. Space all became household names and must see TV. Charlie was super kind to his fans and was on TV from the 1950’s-1970’s and after this he started to work on shows for schools from Broward Community College. After this he decided to retire and in the mid 80’s he moved away to Nashville, Tennessee where he spent his time watching movies, reading books and listening to music, but he also loved to still keep in touch with his former co-workers as well as fans. Sadly Charlie Baxter passed away on October 3, 2007 at the age of 82 and in one last kind act he wanted his body donated to Nashville school Vanderbilt University School Of Medicine. Charlie Baxter will never be forgotten as M.T. Graves will forever live on in the hearts and collections of Horror Host fans.

Like all great Horror Hosts M.T. Graves had his fair share of cohosts and sidekicks that helped add to the laughs. Off screen The Warden and The Guards would interact with M.T. and while they most of the time were nice to him they also seemed to get joy messing with him! The Warden also howled like a wolf and this would be M.T.’s cue to start the movie or go to a commercial break. Reginald was his cellmate a monster who lived in the walls and would chat with him and even deliver messages from The Warden. And lastly there was Count Down The Vampire who as well would pop in from time to time to spend some time with M.T. and the viewers and get into some sort of adventure. Each and every one of these characters added to the show and made for so many funny moments and kept M.T. Grave on his toes. Check out the pictures below to see Count Down in all his glory.

In 2011 at Horror Hound Weekend for the first class inducted into The Horror Host Hall Of Fame the iconic M.T. Graves received the honor. He was inducted by Victor Von Scary and joined the likes of Dr. Creep, Vampira, Sammy Terry, Ghoulardi and Sir Graves Ghastly to name a few. It was great to hear the crowd erupt with cheers and claps as his name was said and it was clear that he truly was a very impactful Horror Host not only to his home state but also to the genre as a whole. It was truly a great moment to see, and I hope that M.T. Graves in that great Dungeon in the sky got a smile on his face knowing that he is remembered and still very much well loved.

I have been a big fan of Horror Hosts since I was a youngster and read about many of them in magazines and later on the internet and one I knew about was M.T. Graves as his image always stuck with me, and what’s funny way before I seen any skits of his I always imagined him to be a little more sinister and have a way different voice then what he had once seeing him in action. Plus his name always cracked me up; as it’s a nice play one words and sounds as if you are saying “Empty Graves” when you speak his name. But for years and years I searched for an episode of his and knew that one of the only ways I was ever going to see an episode was by finding a fan reproduction…and several times I did…and each time the DVD would not work. I would get the episode in a trade or buy it from a Grey Market site and every time I would try and play the disc the it would not work and this was the start of what I called The M.T. Graves curse, and I say it every time now I get a Horror Host DVD and it does not work! But finally thanks to Horror Host Dr. Pureblood I was able to get a M.T. Graves disc that worked and made this update possible. And after finally seeing M.T. Graves in action I can say I am a fan as his style and humor is fantastic! So do yourself a favor and check out clips of M.T. Graves on YouTube and enjoy his zany personality and the real strangely cozy nature of his Dungeon cell.

So like many Horror Hosts of this time almost every episode and inch of footage is gone as stations would tape over them, they would be recorded live or over the years they would just throw away the tapes! So the one episode I have here is a fan reproduction that took some of M.T.’s found footage to build a viewing experience. So as you readers know, I will not be rating this episode of a star scale like I do the comics and will be taking the hosted films write up from IMDB and will myself write about what the host does during the episode. So if you are ready, let’s head to The Dungeon and see what M.T. has in store for us.

The Dungeon: Revenge Of The Creature
Starring – John Agar & Ricou Browning   Not Rated   1955

Host: M.T. Graves starts the episode in his dungeon cell with the gate opening and is playing with a yo-yo and is talking about how we are all in our own dungeons and sends us to the night’s warden home movie. We next join M.T. who is reading a book about hypnotism and wants to use his newly learned skill on the Warden in order to escape, instead he finds that he is the one being hypnotized by Warden who figured out his plan to escape. After snapping out of it we next see him portending to conduct an orchestra that plays the Lone Ranger them that causes and earthquake! M.T. Graves is banged up after the earthquake and a man on a horse rode through, and worse this horseback madman knocked out the air conditioning leaving them all burning up. The episode ends with the air conditioning being fixed and is quickly becomes super cold and even starts snowing and the cell gate lowers.

Movie: The Creature from the Black Lagoon has been captured by scientists and transported to an aquarium in south Florida. Once there he becomes attracted to the lovely female scientist and manages to escape and kidnap her, and heads to Jacksonville, with her real life love in pursuit.

Note From Matt: This episode is a fan reproduction as they used what little footage of M.T. Graves is out there for fans to see.

Classic Horror Hosts like M.T. Graves truly are something special as they are the pioneers of this genre we all love and lead the way for all the hosts that have followed all the way up to this very day. Horror Hosting is alive and well and with outlets like Facebook, YouTube, Public Access TV, Broadcast TV and Streaming Stations the world is filled with so many options of Hosts to choose from that fans are so lucky. Again I want to stress this Horror Host Icon update was long overdue and if not for defective discs this update about M.T. Graves would have happened way before 2021! Well for our next update we are leaving The Dungeon and the world of Horror Hosting and will be heading to the world of Horror Comics again that is based on a film as we take a look at Meathook Massacre III and the Creamy Rat Comic one-shot issue that was released in alongside it. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update for a meaty spooky good time.

Who Remembers Gold Key Comics Forgotten Superhero Tiger Girl?

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. One thing I have noticed in the golden age of comic books is how so many characters were created and lasted only a small amount of appearances before going to the long box in the sky and for the most part forgotten, and to me that’s a shame as I think so many of them had so much more to deliver to readers. I have covered many of these heroes here on Rotten Ink from the likes of Rottweiler, Black Bow, Hammer Girl, Blood Bath, Drastik, Super Green Beret, Holo-Man, Red Demon and so many others! With this update we will be taking a look at another Forgotten Hero as we take a look at Gold Key Comics character Tiger Girl. So if you are ready, this update will be fast paced as sadly Tiger Girl made no impact and very little is released about her.

So let’s start by taking a look at Lily Taylor who was a woman that worked at the Dingaling And South Circus based in Ralston City as an aerialist, and oddly enough she also has a mental link with Kitten the circuses Bengal Tiger and the two have a friendship. Her fellow circus performer family knew of her superhero life outside the tent and they as well tried to watch out for her with the some even having crushes on her. She often teamed with an agent of W.A.A.V. (War Against Arch-Villainy) by the name of Ed Savage and they clashed with a baddy named Wolf Hound. Tiger Girl was a super skilled fighter and was a brave as the day is long. The character was made for Gold Key as the comic company wanted to cash in on the superhero craze of the 60’s and created a line of comics with newly created heroes as well as returning ones from the past like The Owl. For Tiger Girl they brought in Jerry Siegel to write it, as he is one of the creators of Superman and on art they had Jack Sparling who is known for working on many DC Comics! But even with these two names on this title it only lasted one issue and Gold Key’s whole superhero line was short lived and cancelled before readers could really bound with the characters, making this one of the quickest and half hearted attempts at creating a hero line of comic books. And like before the likes of Tiger Girl good old Gold Key just went on to make comics based on Cartoons, TV Shows and Movies. Could Tiger Girl have made an impact on readers if given time, no one can really tell…but I do think they should have allowed her to last more then one issue as that seems like they just didn’t truly give her a fair chance.

As you can see, there is very little about Tiger Girl and while looking up her history I was shocked to see that Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel was involved in the creation of this comic and makes me even more excited to read this comic. I want to thank an Ebay seller for having this comic up for sale and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready, let’s go on a superhero adventure with Tiger Girl and her partner Kitten!

Tiger Girl # 1  **1/2
Released in 1968     Cover Price .15       Gold Key     # 1 of 1

The Growler is a super villain who is robbing a jewelry store in Ralston City and makes quick work of government W.A.A.V. agent Ed Savage who tried to stop the crook, as The Growler is about to shoot Ed he is stopped cold in his tracks by the light tiger signal of Tiger Girl who springs into action and with the help of Kitten they are able to bring down The Growler and his henchmen! Tiger Girl returns to her normal life as Lily Taylor a performer at the Dingaling And South Circus were she is well loved and respected by her peers as well as the circus owner Mr. South, her two best friends are Titan The Great the strong man and Laughing Boy the clown who know of her double life as a superhero and from time to time will help in her crime fighting adventures. Meanwhile the bad guys of I.N.F.A.M.Y. are made over the arrest of The Growler and hire Wolf Hound and his pet wolf Wolfbane to bring down Tiger Girl! Later Wolf Hound takes over a TV stations and issues a challenge to Tiger Girl and she along with Kitten rush to the location that is in a park by a cat statue, this of course is a trap that leaves Tiger Girl falling into a pit and Wolfbane about to rip her apart that is until Kitten takes action against the giant wolf and gives Tiger Girl the chance to get out of the pit and have a quick fight with Wolf Hound who escapes once the police start to show up at the battle field. After his escape Tiger Girl, The Police and Ed Savage come up with an idea to trick Wolf Hound into their trap by acting as if Tiger Girl will be at this science lab, and this super villain takes the bait and after fighting with Tiger Girl he is taken down and arrested as his goons are taken care of by Laughing Boy, Titan and Ed Savage and Kitten fights off a pack of tigers to save his friends life when she is down. With Wolf Hound behind bars the evil doers of I.N.F.A.M.Y. are made and swear revenge.

I want to start off saying that Tiger Girl is not perfect and by all accounts is a very cheesy and standard fare for superhero comics of the 60’s, but with that said it was one heck of a fun read and showcases that even indie superhero’s have something to offer to readers. The story is simple and has superhero Tiger Girl getting on the bad side of a crime syndicate after she brings down one of their hired goons that was robbing a jewelry store and for this they hire a skilled villain to bring her down only for he himself to fail in the end. Lily Taylor aka Tiger Girl is a woman who is strong willed and a skilled fighter, and she uses her skills to entertain people on the trapeze at the circus and as a masked fighter against crime. Her best friend is a tiger she calls Kitten and some how she and the great cat have a link that is not explained…it’s as if she can talk to him and he understands. Her friends at the circus Mr. South, Laughing Boy and Titan The Great all respect her with the later two knowing that she is as well the crime fighter. Titan is clearly in love with Lily, but lacks the nerve to tell her, but does have the nerve to help fight crime when needed. Agent Ed Savage of W.A.A.V. is pretty much a cocky ass hat who at one point tells Tiger Girl she should be in the kitchen making eggs, even after he failed at stopping a criminal and was about to be killed, when she came to his rescue. In other words Ed Savage is a cocky government worker who is all bark and no real skill. I like the idea of I.N.F.A.M.Y. as comic book bad guys as they are a group of masked men who hire other masked villains to commit crimes…they remind me a little of a watered down version of Hydra from Marvel Comics and even the E.T.A. from the Sparkle Comics universe Read Adventure Man # 1-3 and Black Jack # 1 to see what I mean. The Growler and Wolf Hound are some great cheesy masked bad guys who fit right in superhero comics of the 60’s with each being overly self confident and both having sneaky plans that they hope will lead to the death of Tiger Girl. The writing of Jerry Siegel is fun and while simple really did capture that era of comics as good always win and the bad guys in the end are always cowards. The cover art is eye catching and showcases Tiger Girl and Kitten well, with Jack Sparling’s interior art being well done for the time. Over all this was an enjoyable read and one I am glad I found and covered here on this update. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Sparling.

So if Gold Key Comics was to continue with Tiger Girl, I would have liked to see her continue on with fighting against the baddies I.N.F.A.M.Y. who would bring in more animal inspired supervillains for her to beat down, I would like to have also seen Ed Savage get put in his place or even beaten up so bad he would have to retire from W.A.A.V. and allowing a better more interesting agent to take his place. I would like for Tiger Girl to date Titan who would as well become a superhero and take on a lion inspired costume and hero name. It would have also been cool to see her team with The Owl as well as other Gold Key heroes like Magnus Robot Fighter and Doctor Solar. They could have explored her past and explain her link to Kitten as well as her drive to become a hero. But sadly like so many comics before her she ended up in the long box in the sky before she could really grow as a character. For the next update I will be once more taking a look at a Horror Host to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of The Horror Host Hall Of Fame and will be talking about a true icon of hosting named M.T. Graves! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a superhero film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Oh and I am not sure who did the art below of M.T. Grave but I have to say great work!

Horror Host Icon: Commandant Gore

Horror Hosts have always been an important part of Dayton, Ohio culture with Channel 22 bringing Shock Theatre with host Dr. Creep to viewers starting back in 1972 and many amazing hosts followed in the good Dr.’s footsteps like A. Ghastlee Ghoul, The Creeper, Baron Von Porkchop, Iris & Retina, Rayne and Dr. Freak to name a few and all made impacts with viewers. But one host here in Dayton never reached a cult statues with viewers and faded away into obscurity with very few ever speaking his name and I am talking about Commandant Gore and his show Gorevision that haunted airwaves on MVCC Public Access here in Dayton. With this I have searched the VHS vaults and trade lists high and low to bring you this Horror Host Icon(?) update based on the one and only bringer of the gore, the master of splatter, the duke of mayhem Commandant Gore. I should also note that this update will be a fast one as there is not much to say and or information about this show and host out in the world. On a side note due to some timing issues Juliet’s look at Horror Host Stella Desire has been pushed to a later date.

Commandant Gore 1

Commandant Gore is a shape shifting dead nazi who is upset with the living and is seeking vengeance and revenge on the them and he figures what better way to get what he seeks then to host classic horror movies as well as showcase death metal bands from the area on a public access show! He would host the show via the studios of MVCC as well as in the basement of an apartment complex from the Kettering, Ohio area. The Commandant was not a fun joking kind of host and hosted with a snarl and a sinister tone. He also really liked the gore and violence from the movies and embraced all things evil. His appearance would change from episode to episode as would his body size making viewers wonder just what the Commandant was up to as sometimes he would look like a zombie while others he would have grease paint smeared on his face. The show Commandant Gore hosted was called Gorevision and started in 2000 on Centerville, Ohio public access station MVCC and only lasted a handful of episodes before the show faded away and was not even shown in reruns, and this happened around 2003-2004. In 2005 Commandant Gore tried to bring the show to the Internet, but that never happened and that marked the final end to the show. The show did become the subject of lots of public access urban legend as to why MVCC pulled the plug on the show and booted it from air with some claiming it was because some of the subject matter they showed while others talk about how by accident they put peanut butter in one of the editing machines causing hundreds of dollars in damages and that was the nail in the shows coffin! Even word is that all the master copies of the show have been destroyed and that Gorevision can only be found in the collections of diehard Dayton Horror Host collectors as well as those who were apart of the Horror Host Underground who might have gotten the episodes to play on other Access stations. While Commandant Gore might not be a household name I am sure some fans remember his show and enjoyed his bloody antics. I should also note that many people including Rick Ammon as well as many of his friends played Commandant Gore, and he as well made a small amount of public appearances mostly at Cinema Wasteland Convention as seen below in this pictures, he is the one behind A. Ghastlee Ghoul in the first two and is almost cut off in the third.

Commandant Gore 2Commandant Gore 3Commandant Gore 4

Growing up I watched lots of shows on MVCC with host shows like The Ghastlee Movie Show, Moraine Playhouse Theater, Cult Theater and New Shock Theater being must watches! Not to mention oddball shows like Eat More Carp, Media Only and Neon Maddness were enjoyed as were music shows like Metalmania and Zoo World. And yes I do remember when Gorevision hit the airwaves and while I enjoyed seeing movies like the Blind Dead I was never a mega fan of the show and didn’t watch that often. While I have always been a huge fan of Horror Host shows Gorevision for me was just lost in the sea of other Dayton area hosts who brought shows and antics that I found to be way more enjoyable. Plus I had always found the show to slightly lack focus when it came to presenting the host Commandant Gore as he needed to be the main attraction of the show and not random title cards and local metal bands. But while I might not have been a fan I can still give credit that Commandant Gore and his Gorevision is apart of Dayton, Ohio Horror Host history.

Commandant Gore 5Commandant Gore 6Commandant Gore 7

Gorevision also spawned other Horror Hosts or should I say Horror Host personalities who claimed the mantel of being a host and yet never produced or made a show in the case of one! As these hosts were Dr. Horrific and even a Dr. Creep Jr. emerged after the disbanding of Commandant Gore’s short time on TV. I have only heard rumors of Dr. Horrific having a show or two and I had heard zero of Dr. Creep Jr. ever having one. So I don’t want to spend too much time on these two as they have no legacy of Hosting on TV, but I do sadly want to say that Jeff Ammon who played Dr. Horrific passed away in 2020 and Lonnie Ray Lynch who played Dr. Creep Jr. passed away in 2014. And I do make this promise if any episodes of either of these “Hosts” are found I will give them the honor of having a full Horror Host Icon update, as I have always said all Hosts mean something to their viewers and no Host is two big or small to be given these update respect.

Dr Horrific 1Dr Creep Jr and Dr HorrificDr Creep Jr

Gorevision and Commandant Gore was very much a more underground Horror Host here in Dayton and with that comes episodes that are hard to find and if not for the likes of A. Ghastlee Ghoul and the late great Andy Copp this update would have not been possible as they both had episodes to share. I want to remind you that I will be taking the movies plot write up from our friends at IMDB and will myself write the breakdowns of the Host segments. So if you are ready put on your glasses as its time to see the world in Gorevision!

Gorevision American Nightmare Pt 2 DVD

Gorevision: American Nightmare (1983)
Starring – Lawrence Day & Lora Staley     Rated R     1983

Host: Commandant Gore does not make an appearance in this episode and we start the show with a few songs from a local metal band.

Movie: A man investigates the disappearance of his sister with the help of her roommate. He uncovers a trail of prostitution, incest, blackmail…and murder.

Note From Matt: This episode has the second part and final part of the 1983 film American Nightmare.

Gorevision Itchi The Killer Ep 0 DVD

Gorevision: Itchi The Killer: Ep 0
Starring – Chihiro Suzuki & Takashi Miike     Not Rated       2002

Host: A Title Screen off center welcomes the viewers to Gorevision, and no appearance from the shows host or characters.

Movie: A masochistic mobster meets his match in the dark streets of Tokyo. His nemesis, Ichi, is a psychopathic killer with an unrelenting thirst for bloodshed. A horrifying secret burns in his mind, and his hands deal death without mercy. At last, the shrouds of mystery are parted to reveal the origin of the monster. The city will know its greatest fear at the unveiling of Ichi the Killer.

Note From Matt: This episode is very poorly put together and is Episode 3 from them. And I think they forgot that the Host is what makes an iconic Horror Host show and that he needs to appear in your episodes!

Gorevision Return Of The Evil Dead DVD

Gorevision: Return Of The Evil Dead
Starring – Esperanza Roy & Tony Kendall     Not Rated     1973

Host: Commandant Gore opens the show sitting in the studio with red and black grease paint smeared all over his face. He informs us this is another of the looks he takes on and talks about the nights film and then ushers us in to it.

Movie: 500 years after they were blinded and executed for committing human sacrifices, a band of Templar knights returns from the grave to terrorize a rural Portuguese village during it’s centennial celebration. Being blind, the Templars find their victims through sound, usually the screams of their victims. Taking refuge in a deserted cathedral, a small group of people must find a way to escape from the creatures.

Note From Matt: The movie has bad audio at the start of the film and has a hiss throughout.

Gorevision SS Experiment DVD

Gorevision: SS Experiment
Starring – Paola Corazzi & Mircha Carven     Rated R     1976

Host: The only Host segment for this episode is a title card of center that says the night’s movie is presented in “Gorevision Sytle”.

Movie: Near the end of WW2, prisoners of war are used in experiments to perfect the “Aryan” race.

Commandant Gore 8

Commandant Gore is one of those hosts that I think had potential of being a creepy host if only he had direction and scripts. They should have kept the same actor in the role and showcased him more in the episodes, as there is no reason why he should not be seen in every episode and he should be shown more than once per episode when he did appear. Over all while he was not the cream of the crop when it comes to Dayton, Ohio Horror Hosts, he still has his place in the area’s history and as I said before I am sure he had his fans. And here at Rotten Ink I made a promise to myself to cover any and all Dayton, Ohio Horror Host from the past and present and I am sure many of you are learning about Commandant Gore for the first time! For my next update we will be walking away from the world of Horror Hosting and will be heading to the world of Forgotten Heroes as we will be taking a look at Tiger Girl from Gold Key Comics! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie of two and as always support your local Horror Host! Say do you think Gold Key Comics Tiger Girl is related to Atlas Comics Tiger-Man?

Tiger Girl Preview Logo

From Horror Movie To Horror Comics: Blade The Iron Cross

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and another “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update series. For this one we got something very fun that I have been looking forward to covering on here since it was announced as I am a fan of the character, the film series he is from, a fan of the production company as well as all the comics that have been released around his universe…and this pint size terror is the main star for many of the fans of the films as he is very cool looking and is one badass dealer of death to good and bad people depending on who’s pulling his strings! And if you have not guessed it yet, I am talking about Blade from the Puppet Master film series created by Charles Band and his Full Moon Entertainment! And Full Moon Entertainment understands that comic books are an amazing way to promote films and even opened their own company to release them! So if you are ready, let’s head into the world of Puppet Master and chat about everyone’s favorite tiny knife handed killer Blade!

Let’s take a look first at Blade and his was of dealing death to foolish humans that cross his path or set as his target. Blade is 1’9” tall puppet that wears a black hat as well as a black trench coat and shoes. He has a white face with spiked bullet eyes and white hair. His left hand is a hook and his right hand is a razor sharp knife and all this above is part of his tool to set up the kill as it puts fear into the hearts of those who see him. Because of his small size, he is super fast and can use it to rush in for an attack as well as can use it to hide from those he wishes to get away from or be undetected. His hook and knife hands are booth sharp and he uses them to cut, stab and slash human flesh and are the main tools of his death dealing. He also has two tiny blades in his eyes that can cut and stab through human flesh. The soul that resides inside Blade is that of Dr. Hess, a surgeon who was forced by the Nazi’s to use his skills in order to try and create super soldiers, and when his kidnappers killed him, his soul was placed inside one of Andre Toulon’s puppets. Blade is also very much a pack hunter as while he kills on his own he is also kills alongside his fellow Puppets and when they kill together he is very much more dangerous. The fact that while Blade has a soul it for the most part don’t effect his personality as what really does is who controls him at the time, and because whomever is the Puppet Master at the time brings us to one of Blade’s weakness…the fact he can be controlled and told what to do as via all his movie appearances Blade has went from a good guy to a bad guy several times. Another weakness of his is that he needs a serum made of brains to survive as that is what makes his puppet body and gears come alive, but if he don’t have it he will become weak and at some point just stop moving and go into a freeze state. His small size, while a good for attacks and hiding, also can be a weakness as people can knock him around if they get their hands on him. Blade can be broken as well and stuff like gunshots, fires and dismemberment can stop him and cause him to have to be repaired…stopping his killing spree cold. While Blade is pint sized, he is super dangerous if you become one of his attended victims.

Now that we know just how deadly Blade is, I think we should take a few moments to talk about the film this one shot comic is based on! The film’s write up is coming from our friends at IMDB and then I will write about the film’s production and history as well as my thoughts of the film. So if you are ready, let’s talk about this film in Full Moon Entertainment’s Deadly 10 film releases.

Blade: The Iron Cross (2020)

“In 1945 a psychic war journalist gains a telekinetic link to a murderous puppet and uses its help to sabotage a top secret Nazi experiment that involves using a Death Ray to transform people into zombies.”

In 2019 Charles Band, the owner of Full Moon. made a major announcement that sent shockwaves through fans of independent horror films when he talked about the “Deadly 10” film releases and showcased the 10 films on the list. Fans were super excited when titles started to be announced as new titles like Grim Rapper, Hourglass, Shadowheart Curse and Weedjies peaked interests, but the sequels were what drew everyone in as we finally were getting new films in the worlds of Subspecies, Necropolis, Sorority Babes In The Slime Bowl-O-Rama, Head Of The Family, Femalien and of course Puppet Master with it being a solo Blade film! Full Moon teased fans with not only the titles but also posters of the titles as well with the bombshell that the only way to see them first was to subscribe to their streaming service called “Full Moon Features Streaming” and that they would be released over the next several years. The film went into the filming stages and as always Full Moon did a fantastic job of showing clips and on set images to build up the release of the film. They also released a comic book based on the film to promote it and many Horror Websites covered the film coming out and kept building the hype for the film. The film had John Lechago as the director who had directed many of the companies Killjoy sequels and had such actors and actresses as Tania Fox, Vincent Cusimano, Griffin Blazi, Angelica Briones and Roy Abramsohn in big roles and even indie film director and creator Dustin Ferguson as a production assistant, not to mention Richard Band doing the score music! And finally when the fright flick was released in 2020 it was met with mixed reviews with many fans enjoying it and even some critics enjoyed it! After a little time of it being on the streaming platform it was released on both DVD and Blu-Ray for collectors to own. The film was one of three of the Deadly 10 films released in 2020 with the other two being Necropolis: Legion and Weedjies, both who also got comics and will be covered her on Rotten Ink soon! Blade: The Iron Cross was one of the biggest releases for the Deadly 10 films and made its impact on the world of Puppet Master as that is a massive indie horror franchise and this film is apart of its legacy.

When Full Moon announced the Deadly 10 releases, I was super hyped as I have been a life long fan of the company and even a member of the old fan club, I joined it when I was a teenager! I was really the most excited by Subspecies V: Blood Rise as them bringing back Anders Hove as Radu and Denice Duff as Michelle with Ted Nicolaou back as director was something I was waiting for many years now, but a solo Blade movie was also on my radar as the Puppet Master series hands down is Full Moons most iconic movie series. As the film was in production I noticed many websites as well as Facebook groups I was apart of promoting it and then I noticed that even indie filmmaker Dustin Ferguson was on the crew showing that as always Full Moon was helping up and coming filmmakers get their name and experience in film. I of course bought the comic when released and waited for the film to be released on home media before watching it as I am a fan of physical media and theater and not so much of streaming a film as I feel the streaming aspects makes the movies seem disposable. Juliet and I choose to watch the film in January 2021 while eating a good meal from Ajanta a great Indian food restaurant. And the first thing we both noticed was the weird bigger size of Blade as he was way to large and his jaw was weird looking, but Blade looking weird aside the film was an alright watch that had some pretty cool kills and made me more of a mega fan of actress Tania Fox who has played the character Elisa Ivanov in two Puppet Master films, she is a great actress and very lovely. The over all acting of the film as well was good with a few bit part players being way to over the top and hammy, I also would say that the film needed more Blade as the first solo film in the Puppet Master series he sure did seem to take a back seat in much of the plot. But I would say that while the film was flawed it was over all a fun watch on a late cold night, Juliet thought the same as said it was “Ok”. Puppet Master is Full Moons main franchise and Charles Band knows it and this I think will be the start of many more solo films featuring the Puppets to come.

The Deadly 10 is a great concept from Charles Band and allowed Full Moon fans a look at films to come and had films for everyone, while Blade: The Iron Cross was not a mega hit with critics or fans it still is a film that fits into the legacy and story of the series. Now let’s take a look at the comic that was released along side the film a very cool promotional item that helped spark even more interest for the film. I want to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for getting me a copy of this comic and would like to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s see what Blade has in store for the Nazi’s in this Horror Comic one-shot!

Blade: The Iron Cross # 1  **1/2
Released in 2019    Cover Price $3.99    Full Moon    # 1 of 1

The year is 1939 and Andre Toulon and his young apprentice Peter are about to go to bed, but they first welcome Blade to their puppet family. You see Blade is really German Dr. Hess a man who was working on a project that would bring dead soldiers back to life for the Nazis, you see while he had to work for them he was not loyal to them and was killed when he helped Toulon escape a camp. Once Toulon is asleep Blade gets up and runs out into the streets and towards his old lab and watches as two Nazis are talking about stealing the dairy and notes of Hess and sealing them to the Americans so that both sides can kill each other off! Once inside they find the notes just as Major Vogt enters and takes the notes from them as he wants the glory for turning them into the Reich. As the two soldiers grab more from the lab Blade ends their life by slitting ones throat and then rips another out with a hook! As Vogt and another Soldier enter they as well fall victim to Blades vengeance as he slashes the belly of the soldier, and then massacres Vogt by cutting his eyes and removing both his tongue and head! But Blade is not done and also kills the Nazi truck driver before returning back to his new home with Toulon and his fellow puppet brothers. But the solider with the belly slash is not dead and has the notes and escapes into the night.

What a fun comic based on Blade of the popular Puppet Master film series! The story has Blade trying his best to get rid of loose ends from his human life and he wants to stop the tests to try and bring the dead back to life as well as deal good old fashioned death to some Nazi scum. The issues main bad guy is Major Vogt who serves the Third Reich and wants to be the one who gets the glory of finding the notes of Dr. Hess so that the tests and project of re-animation can continue, he clearly was a man driven by ego and greed and that’s why he gets the most gruesome death in the issue! The Nazi soldiers as well are spineless worms who are looking out for themselves and would sell away secrets that will coast many of human lives for their own gains, and that’s why its nice to see them pay…well, all but one maggot that is able to get away. Andre Toulon and Peter are just trying to hide and get some sleep in a war stricken building, and deep inside I think Andre Toulon knew that Blade was going to go and massacre some fools that night as when the puppet returns its as if Toulon was waiting for him. Blade is on a mission in this comic as he heads to his lab, listens to plans, sizes up how many targets he has and then takes his shot and brings them all down super fast and super brutal. He is silent, tiny, deadly and focused and shows that while the puppets from Puppet Master can be pack killers they are just as deadly on their own. The comic is pretty violent and is filled with blood and gore as a head is removed, blood is pouring out of massive slash wounds and a tongue is ripped from a skull, great stuff for a Horror Comic like this! I should also note that this comic is opened and closed by The Gore Collector from the Bunker Of Blood series that was released by Full Moon that showcases clips from their most popular films. The story was written by Shawn Gabborin who is a great writer for Horror Comics is the man behind the stories for Action Lab comic series like Puppet Master and Black Betty to name a few and his story for Blade: The Iron Cross fits really great into the world of the films and shows that Shawn understands the Full Moon world he is writing in. The cover I have is very eye catching and has Blade standing on a mountain of skulls with the Charles Band Deadly Ten logo at the top, very cool! The interior art for the Blade segments is done by Yusup Idris and is fantastic stuff and he is super skilled in the world of Horror Comic art, I would love to see him tackle more comics based on spooky films. Over all Blade: The Iron Cross is a great comic book that is well written and fits like a glove in the cinema world created by Charles Band. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Idris and you will see just what I am talking about when I say I want to see him do other Horror Comics based on films.

I am glad that Charles Band has opened up Full Moon Comics and has the likes of Shawn Gabborin who was once the main man at Action Lab Comics on staff. As Full Moon has so many great characters that would make for great comics like Castle Freak, Killjoy and Tourist Trap all films that have never gotten the comic treatment. Blade is the most popular puppets in the Puppet Master series it was cool seeing him not only get a solo film but also a solo comic adventures and I hope more of these type of films and comics are released in the future as I am looking forward to a Jester ones if they every decide to do them. Well for our next update I will be turning over Rotten Ink to Juliet and she will be covering a Horror Hostess that she loves as she will give Stella Desire the Horror Host Icon treatment! So that should be a great update for Horror Host fans like myself and until next time read a Indie Horror Comic or three, watch a Full Moon film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a update with Stella and her show Saturday Night Deeeeaaaddddd.