Star Trek V: What Does God Need With A Starship?

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and one of the updates that I selected to be part of this 10 year celebration of course has to be another of the Star Trek films as they have always been some of my favorite sci-fi flicks ever made. Rotten Ink and Star Trek go hand in hand as the show and movies are truly parts of my past, and I am sure as Star Trek continues on it will as well be apart of my future. As you long time readers know, I have been reviewing all the comic adaptations of Star Trek films that feature the original cast (you know the ones with Captain Kirk and Spock) and this year we have landed on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, a film in the series that was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, but one I am very much looking forward to covering as I have always enjoyed it! So with that, let’s take a look at Star Trek V as well as the DC Comics adaptation as its time to Boldly Go Where Many Comic Readers Have Gone Before and that’s on comic adventures with the crew of the Enterprise.

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Let’s start off by talking about the film itself. I will be taking the film’s plot write up from our pals at IMDB and after I will be writing about the film’s production as well as my thoughts on the film. So if you are ready, let’s take trip with the Enterprise Crew to a final frontier in space.

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Star Trek V: Final Frontier (1989)

“When the newly-christened starship Enterprise’s shakedown cruise goes poorly, Captain Kirk and crew put her into Spacedock for repairs. But an urgent mission interrupts their Earth-bound shore leave. A renegade Vulcan named Sybok has taken three ambassadors hostage on Nimbus III, the Planet of Galactic Peace. This event also attracts the attention of a Klingon captain who wants to make a name for himself and sets out to pursue the Enterprise. Sybok’s ragtag army captures the Enterprise and takes her on a journey to the center of the galaxy in search of the Supreme Being.”

William Shatner was finally given the opportunity to direct one of the films in the Star Trek series with this fifth film that he also helped with the story on, a story that he had been working on even before he was offered the director’s chair. Shatner’s original idea was about a false God that turns into Satan that tries to take the crew of the Enterprise to Hell…what a strange and interesting idea that also seems like it would have been an issue of the Marvel Comics series. Producer Harve Bennett was ready to walk away from the Star Trek film series after three films produced and the feuding he had with Leonard Nimoy, but after a meeting Shatner got him back on board. Then some elements of Shatner’s story needed to be changed due to the concern that the subject matter of God and Satan might not sit well with moviegoers. They changed the depiction of God into an alien being that was faking being God in order gain power and then brought on David Loughery to write the screenplay. This idea and script did not sit well with Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, and the screenplay was put on hold when Loughery was part of the Writers Guild Of America strike, holding up the film’s production. When he finally got back to work and finished it, Shatner was displeased with many of the writer’s changes to his idea and things once more had to be worked out when Nimoy and Kelley had concerns with the script. Once the script was green lit by Paramount, they started the design, production and casting processes and started to film in October 1988. The filming of the fifth film in the series was very stressful as delays, strikes and looming deadlines made it stressful for all involved, but with luck and a hard working crew, William Shatner was able to get the film wrapped and Paramount as well as fans were very pleased to hear that the film was wrapped and would be released in theaters very soon. When the film was edited, composer Jerry Goldsmith was brought in and he made an amazing score that for many is one of the highlights of the film series with tracks like “The Mountain” being a must listen in this blogger’s opinion. The film was released in theaters on June 9, 1989 and was meet with poor reviews from critics who thought it was the weakest in the series, but movie goers seemed to favor it more as with them it was meet with mixed reviews. The film brought in $52,210,049.00 for Paramount at the American box office and ranked # 25 for the year beating out such films as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, The Karate Kid Part III, License To Kill, All Dogs Go To Heaven, A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 5, No Holds Barred and Friday The 13th Part 8 to name a few. While Star Trek V might not be the biggest blockbuster in the series, I for one always enjoyed it and think it’s way underrated and offers some fun and adventures moments.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a film that I first saw on VHS when my parents rented it from the video store and we had a family movie night watching it. I remember that we had microwave popcorn, and me and my brother were drinking Kool-Aid. I remember enjoying and loving the film as the bonding between Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy around the campfire singing songs, drinking whiskey and eating beans was awesome and something that captured the three characters’ friendship so perfect. I liked the idea of them searching for God all because of a crazed Vulcan who is a cult leader by all accounts taking them hostage and brainwashing them to do so. Over the years I have seen the film many times and each time I have enjoyed it, and no joke this film has a line that I say all the time around the house to Juliet and I will get to that a little later. I also remember that my Uncle Thurman loved Star Trek V and can remember talking to him about the film while at my grandparents’ house. While Star Trek V is not my favorite film in the series, it’s not one I dislike and find it to be very charming, It’s one you should watch for the first time or watch again with a clear mind and enjoy it for the fun ride it is. I guess before we get off this part of the review I should also point out some things I didn’t like about the film with the biggest for me being the fact that the film’s semi villain is able to use his powers to scramble the minds of McCoy and the Enterprise Crew with only Kirk and Spock being strong enough to fight it off, and damn it, McCoy should have been able to as well as Sulu! To sum it up, Star Trek V is a great sequel and a fun film that I have enjoyed since I was a kid.

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier has one of the greatest lines in Trek history and one that, as I said, I use around the house and even at times while hanging out with friends. Now to set up this line I need to explain the scene as it has Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones McCoy and Vulcan cultist Sybok breaking through the barrier and beaming down to Sha Ka Ree, the planet that is supposed to house God, well to Sybok and his followers at least. Once there they meet The Creator who demands they bring the Enterprise closer so that he can leave the planet and spread his word among the galaxies. And upon hearing that The Creator wants them to bring down the Enterprise…Kirk asks the best question ever asked in a Star Trek film “What does God need with a starship?”! Hands down, this is an amazing line! Say that phrase out loud but do it in your best William Shatner impersonation and stress the word God…Shatner should have won an Oscar for that performance as it really is something I say so much in my life as I find it to be fitting for many of life’s questions.

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Like all Star Trek films that came before it as well as after, The Final Frontier had its fare share of merchandise for fans to collect and add to their Trek collections. The film had magazines, novels, home media releases, soundtrack, toys, posters, shirts, hats, buttons, comic book, jackets, computer games, trading cards and so much more! Over the years I have owned many items based on Star Trek V like the film on VHS and DVD, the soundtrack on CD, the novel and comic as well as at one time the trading cards. So if you are a Trekkie and love Part 5, the world has many of cool items for you to own.

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Did you old school gamers know that a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) based on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was being made by Bandai that was to release around the same time as the film? Did you know that it was cancelled due to the game not playing well and losing track of much of the film’s concept? Did you know that in 2006 a ROM of the game was released that featured four of the stages? Did you know that the game has also made it way to the grey market and is now on a cart that you can play on your NES? Well now you do, and I am happy to say that I have a cart version of this game and man is it a hard one with unforgiving controls and gameplay. The game is a side scrolling adventure game as well as a space shooter and it’s a shame that the game was never finished as who knows what the level that had you fight The Creator would have been, I am guessing the Enterprise firing at a floating head that spit fireballs. The game is a really fun play for fans of classic NES games, as well as Star Trek fans and if you have a ROM on your computer or have a trusty favorite cart maker, make sure to give this unfinished game a try.

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a super fun film that spawned some great merchandise as well as a fun half finished game for the NES, and we are now at the time of reading and reviewing the comic. I would like to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for having the comic in stock and would also like 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s boldly go where no comic reader has gone before!

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Star Trek V: Final Frontier  ***
Released in 1989     Cover Price $2.00      DC Comics     #1 of 1

On the planet of Nimbus III the Vulcan Sybok is on a quest to get a starship in order to find the planet Sha Ka Ree and is gathering the lost souls of the planet to help him do so by coming up with a plan that will make sure one will come. Meanwhile at Yosemite National Park on shore leave Captain Kirk, Spock and McCoy are having a camping trip and Kirk has decided to climb a mountain. While climbing Spock with rocket boots comes to speak to Kirk and this causes him to lose his grip and fall, and if not for Spock and his boots, he would have crashed to the earth below. Back on Nimbus III the ambassadors (a Klingon, Terran and Romulan) of the planet are taken prisoner by Sybok and his makeshift army, and Starfleet calls the Enterprise to be the peacemakers to help them. Also hearing of the hostage situation is Klingon Captain Klaa and he and his crew are more hyped for the idea of fighting a starship than helping. Once at Nimbus III, they try and trick Sybok when Chekov acts as the Captain and speaks to him about terms of releasing them while Kirk leads Spock, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Uhura and a few other crewmembers on a rescue mission on the ground. But Kirk and crew soon find that this was a set up to get their starship and Sybok has even gotten to the ambassadors who believe in his journey to find Sha Ka Ree. Now the Enterprise is in the hands of a religious madman who is Spock’s brother and also Captain Klaa is on the attack! Kirk, Spock and McCoy are thrown in a cell as Sybok uses his mind powers to get the rest of the Enterprise crew under his spell…all but Scotty who breaks them out of the cell. Kirk makes it to his room and sends a call for help! Sybok catches them and tells them of his want to find Sha Ka Ree and then uses his mind control powers on McCoy and Spock by showing them past pains and freeing them from it. Kirk refuses to get his pain taken away, and then they hit the zone that will lead them to the unknown planet of Sha Ka Ree. As Sybok rushes back to the bridge, Spock and McCoy break the hold and stay with Kirk who has been ordered to stay in his room, that is until Kirk is called back up the bridge as Sybok says the ship needs its captain. Then Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sybok get into a shuttle and land on the planet to meet “God”, and when they land, they meet a powerful being that alerts them that he needs the starship to carry his wisdom away from the planet and the zone. When questioned why God needs the help of a ship, the being attacks Kirk and Spock! And the being shows its true self at being an evil being and Sybok attacks the being just as the Enterprise gets orders to blast it with phasers! As Kirk, Spock and McCoy run to the shuttle, the being now as a rock creature goes on the attack and Scotty is able to beam up McCoy and Spock, but before he can get Kirk, the Enterprise is attacked by Captain Klaa making Kirk stand alone against the rock creature. That is until Kirk is beamed aboard the Klingon ship thanks to the Klingon Ambassador who orders Klaa to save Kirk from that false god and that terrible planet. Once out of the zone and back on shore leave Kirk, Spock and McCoy finish their camping trip.

This DC Comic adaptation of Star Trek V is a great read and captures the adventure and humor of the film really well and even showcases the power of the Fake God even more by allowing him to become a massive rock creature who wants to smash Kirk into the ground! The plot is simple: Spock’s brother hijacks the Enterprise to find a planet that is said to hold the secrets of God only to find an evil being and throw in a young Klingon Captain who wants to make a name for himself by killing Kirk and you have this plot in a nutshell. Captain Kirk goes from a relaxing camping trip to a rescue mission to being a prisoner on his own ship to fighting a fake God to going back on vacation, so as you can see, he had a very busy couple of days! The thing about Captain Kirk is that he is fearless as well as loyal to his ship and crew and lives for his Starfleet command. Kirk really is my favorite Captain in any Star Trek series as he is a rebel, a ladies man, and a great strategist when it comes to battles with the likes of Klingons. Spock in this issue is trying to learn human camping stories and snacks and shows that while he cares about his brother, he is very much loyal to his friends. McCoy as well cares about his friends and we see that he holds lots of pain when he could not help his father with an illness that took his life and a cure was just around the corner. I have to say this again, nothing in the world of science fiction can beat the friendship and bond of Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Spock as they are the perfect trio of friends in any kind of fiction. The False God is pure evil and has been placed in the zone with a force field around it to keep it from infecting the rest of the galaxy with its evil ways, it’s violent and can take the appearance of anyone or thing and is best left on that planet. The Klingon Captain Klaa and his crew are young and crave war and want so badly to make a name for themselves in the history books and think that by killing Captain Kirk they can do so, and they come close until a high ranking Klingon forces them to help Kirk! Poor Sybok, who is the brother of Spock, is not a bad Vulcan at all and thinks that emotions are more important than logic and can even take peoples pain away and mind control them into happiness. All he really wants to do is find Sha Ka Ree, a planet he thinks God lives so all living things can find the answer to life and happiness, but instead he finds a fake and gives his life to try and help Spock, McCoy and Kirk to escape the cursed planet. The best part of Sybok is that he has a strange version of the Vulcan Mind Meld that allows him to fill a being with pure joy and take away their pain. I should also say that Sybok is Spock’s half brother as they share the same father. The comic does a great job of keeping the plot going and taking elements of the film that was cut from the film script like the Rock Creature. The cover for this comic is well done and super eye catching for fans of Star Trek and the interior art by James W. Fry and Arne Starr and is well done and captures the looks of the actors pretty well. If you are a fan of Star Trek V like I am I would say make sure to give this comic a read as I think you will enjoy it as much as I did. Check out the artwork below to see they style used in this comic adaptation.

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Star Trek had to have a place on Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary year as they really are some of my favorite sci-fi films and growing up Star Trek was a big part of my childhood in both TV shows, movies and toys. And while Star Trek V is not one of the most well loved films staring the original cast by Trekkies, it is one that I have always been a fan of. And after reading this update I hope you give this film a watch and sit back and enjoy the silly ride from the mind of William Shatner. For my next update, I am staying in the world of sci-fi but the next topic has a touch of Greek myth and fantasy to it and I am talking about the 1981 classic film Clash Of The Titans! So until next time, read a Star Trek comic or three, watch a Star Trek film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Join me next time as Rotten Ink unleashes the Kraken!

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Have Yourself A Very Mighty Max Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve! I am sure you are like me and are shocked about how fast 2021 has flown by, and after the terrible 2020 I think we are all just happy to have life back to somewhat normal. And like the updates before, for this countdown to Christmas Eve I decided to have some fun and take a look at a comic that was based on a toy series and cartoon from when I was a youngster, a toy that had many playsets released and all of them featured something like a monster, madman, alien and even dinosaurs…and I am talking about the one and only Mighty Max! It’s a very cool toy series that started in 1992 and spawned a cartoon, video games and more and helped bring tiny mini figures with playsets to the boys. And thanks to Game Players Comics, Mighty Max also got a comic book based around the toys, cartoon and video game! So if you are ready, grab some eggnog and let’s sit around the Christmas tree and wait for Santa while we talk of Mighv Max and his adventures in all things nostalgia.

Now let’s talk about the figures in the Mighty Max series as Bluebird really made these figures to cash in on their success with the Polly Pocket line that was super popular with young girls in the UK and later America. You see Bluebird started in 1980 as a toy company created by Torquil Norman with their first major hit being the “Big Yellow Teapot House.” While they had some major hits, by the mid 80’s they started to struggle and it was Polly Pocket that saved them from closing their doors! They had the girl market but they needed something to capture the boys, and that’s when they created Mighty Max in 1992. It was a major hit as it brought the tiny figure playset craze to kids who liked monsters and aliens. And this helped them even more stay afloat and many sets were released. Sadly by 1996 Mighty Max toys came to an end, and by 1998 Bluebird was bought out by Mattel who carried over many of the company’s toys. It’s crazy to think that Mighty Max was so popular when I was a kid and many of my friends had them, but now it’s unknown to modern kids! Growing up for some reason I never had any Mighty Max figures but I really wanted them and can remember seeing them on the shelves at Big Bear/Hearts, very cool figures and a great idea for kids to take on trips. I do remember my Mom saying that the figures were too little and we could lose them easy.

Following the success of the toys, Bluebird Toys teamed with Bohbot Entertainment to deliver to the fans a cartoon series that would follow Mighty Max, a young box who travels trough time to fight evil all the while being stalked by the henchmen of the sinister Skullmaster. During his adventures, Max makes friends with Virgil, a humanoid who has a fowl look, Norman a warrior who will protect Max with his own life as well as his family, friends and pet iguana named Thor. The cartoon was well liked by fans of the toys and brought a story and new characters into the Mighty Max universe with many of them making it into the toy series. But some parents were not as keen on the cartoon as it was filled with reference to death, characters died and at times it had a very grim outlook, and like all annoying parent groups, they had to complain and cause issues for the cartoon. But these sticks in the mud did not bring the toon down as it ran for 40 episodes and a total of 2 seasons. Episodes of the cartoon have been released on VHS and weirdly enough has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray and no official release of the full series has ever been made. You can find the series on the Grey Market as well as episodes on YouTube.

Like any great toy and cartoon series from the 80’s and 90’s, Mighty Max got the video game treatment thanks to Ocean who delivered a fun side scrolling game for systems Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, heck even a Tiger Handheld game was made featuring Max having a pixel adventure! The cool thing about the SNES and Genesis release was that Ocean packed them each with a different VHS episode of the cartoon, making players get more bang for their money spent. I have played the Genesis version of this game as I can remember renting it from K&L Video many years after it was released. The Genesis game had you trying to fight and bring down the evil ways of the Skullmaster and was a pretty fun play. So if you are an old school gamer and enjoy the Mighty Max toys, I would say give the game a play. As far as the Tiger Handheld version, I am sure it plays just like every other Tiger game…and that is both a bad and amazing thing.

Plus like all good toys Mighty Max has had its fair share of other cool merchandise that includes comic magazines, posters, board games, card game, a puzzle and even his trademark red hat with the M was sold to fans! Max even had his fair share of bootleg merch showing and proving just how popular the character was around the world as fake stuff was being passed off to fans. Sadly I never had any of these cool items growing up, but as I have stressed before I wanted them! Oh I should also say that some of this merchandise was released overseas only like the comic magazines.

But in 2020 I finally cracked down and decided that I needed to collect the toys, keep reading for my collection breakdown, and man its going to be a long one. The first Mighty Max playset I want to chat about I own is called “Hammers Ax Man” and this one is really cool and plays up a slasher killer theme! The compacts look is that of a monster with green skin and wooden handles and a blade sticking out of his flesh! He has bloodshot eyes and purple teeth and looks like he is ready to eat your face off. It’s a medium sized playset and is called a Horror Heads release and is from the second series of the lines release. Below is a look at this playset closed and open that is from my collection, give it a look!

The top part of the set has a man chained to a wall and he looks super skinny and while I think he is alive, he could also be a zombie! It’s clear that he is in a dungeon and is being held captive by the sets bad guy and is clearly his next victim if Max fails to save him. The bottom part has a massive blade trap as well as a metal trigger that Max can set off to chop up the bad guy! Also there is a massive wooden pillar and almost all the floor and walls are green. A very cool over all set in the Mighty Max Horror Head series. Take a look below to see the layers of this playset.

The figures that came in the Hammers Ax Man set of course is Mighty Max who is in an almost flexing pose, and he has a goofy smirk on his face. And the sets bad guy is Ax Man aka Spike is a Viking warrior who was buried alive and has now returned with murder on his mind and is armed with an ax and a chainsaw! Very cool figures and Ax Man is badass and one of my favorite figures in the line! Check them out below.

Next lets take a look at the set called “Brain Face” and is from the Shrunken Head series and this set is a little different as its smaller and comes with only one figure and that’s Mighty Max who in this set is holding a pair of wire cutters as he will need those to bring down the playsets villain! The compact is a face one what looks like a surface of a brain and is a light green in color and he has bronze probes on his head and silver teeth! His eyes are red with his pupils being green. When opening the compact we get the sets bad guy who is called Brain Face and he is brownish in color and well has a brain for a head and is wearing a white lab coat as he was a scientist who’s experiment went wrong and now wants to use his knowledge in electricity to fry Max! A pretty cool bad guy and it’s a shame he is built into the set and never got his own mini figure. The bottom of the compact has a trap for Max that has wires connected to a metal floor plate. A pretty cool mini set that showcases a fun scenario for you to try and get Mighty Max to safety and stop the evil Brain Face from frying his brains with his trap. Check out the pictures below to see what this set looks like.

Next up lets take a look at the some of the mini figures I have and two of the loose figures I have are the good guys Norman the warrior who is rocking his green and grey armor and humanoid Virgil who has his purple robe on, these figures are really cool and where sold in figure packs that where tie-ins for the cartoon. These two are really great and if I were a kid they would have been helping Mighty Max on his adventures! Again I really wish I had got some of these when I was a kid. Take a look at Nathan and Virgil’s mini figures below.

The next playset we will take a look at is called “Totally Toy Holiday 93” and was a playset that was given away in McDonalds Happy Meals in 1993! This compact has the face of the Yeti on it and for a fast food toy the design is really cool and is the Yetis face! Once opened the top of the compact has two Yetis on ice and snow and hidden away is golden treasure. The bottom of the compact is Max and a massive Yeti surround by a blue ring of ice that appears to have eyes! This playset is also very different as its figures are both attached to the base as Max runs around the Yeti that’s in the middle. Max is very generic in appearance and is all yellow with a green cap on, while the Yeti is really cool and is all white with a snarl on his face. This is a really cool novelty item for fans of Mighty Max to add to their collection. Check out below to see what this Happy Meal toy set looks like.

I also have the set called “Battles Skull Warrior” and is a pretty cool little playset that’s compact show cases a weird green teethed mutant with a big green eye and a nose and a ears like a bat humanoid, he looks like a comic book bad guy! This is a medium size playset and is form the first set of Horror Heads line. This ones theme is a bounty hunter from space, so basically an alien attacks feel. This was one I was able to get off Ebay for a good price. Here is the compact closed as well as opened to show you the style of this set and what you had to work with during play.

The top part of the compact has gears and a platform for Max to stand on and with some skill you can remove the platform and make it into a flying board for Mighty Max or Skull Warrior to ride! The top part of this set is a little boring and is not all that exciting of a place for Max to battle Skull Warrior! The bottom of the compact is also not all that eye catching as its brown in color and just has a few broken robots on the ground, its clear that this set wants you to take the villain Skull Warrior and place him on his flying board and to chase Max outside of this so-so playset. To sum that up when closed the compact looks really cool…when opened its kind of bland. Check out below to see what the top and bottom halves look like.

The figures in this set is of course Mighty Max who is rocking a purple hat and has a really awkward side pose, but he does have his hands in fists so just looking for a reason to punch a baddie in their eye. The bad guy for the set is Skull Warrior a green skinned mutant cyborg bounty hunter from the Skull Territory who thinks Max is a fugitive and uses his sky board and his pistol to try and deal out intergalactic justice! Skull Warrior by all accounts sounds like a generic throwaway baddie, but I think his look helps bring him to the level of cool. Over all this is not my favorite set, but is a good one to own. Take a look at Skull Warrior and Max below.

The next Shrunken Head mini play set that I own is called “Vampyre” and the Mighty Max figure in this set is holding a massive wooden stake, he is a very cool figure for Max and breaks the norm of his generic posses. The compact has a purpled skinned, red-eyed vampire with bloody fangs! A cool little compact for fans of classic monsters like Dracula as if really does play up on the look of a vampire that we grew up with on cheap Halloween decorations. When opened the top part of the compact is our villain who is the vampire called Von Viesky who looks like Sesame Street character The Count strung out on blood from an addict! Really Von Viesky looks like a pissed off Muppet, and he is awesome for that reason! The bottom of the compact is an open grave, very spooky and once more packs that classic horror movie feel into it. Over all a cool tiny playset that youngsters and collectors of vampire and Dracula merchandise will love. Check out the pictures below to see Max and Von Viesky in all their tiny glory.

The next figures I have that I would like to take a look at is Skull Master and his evil fire henchman! For those who do not know Skull Master is the main villain of Mighty Max and is a super bad guy who wants nothing more than to kill Max! Skull Master’s figure is pretty cool and has him wearing a purple cape and looks like he is ready to jump out and scare anyone foolish enough to enter his Mountain base. He is a living skeleton as well and was created for the cartoon and latter shows up in the play sets as seen here with this figure. I also have one of Skull Master’s Orange Lava Henchmen who is pretty dang cool as he has a sword and shield and is ready to slash Max’s head off! Check out the figures below and see these two villains.

I also have another of the McDonalds Happy Meal Mighty Max releases and this one is called “Totally Toy Holiday 95” and this one is pretty cheesy and hands down the worst of the Mighty Max play sets! The compact has a cool look as it is a blue ice skeleton and really does have a cold horror look to it. The compacts upper layer has nothing, and the bottom has our figures that are built into the set and is an ice maze that has a bottom pit that is filled with stolen Christmas gifts! Mighty Max is in a running pose with as cheesy smile on his face, and also features Ice Creatures that are the sets villains. Over all this one is just kind of blah and wish they would have had mini figures and not things built into the toy. Check it out below and see it in all its lameness!

The next major set and in my opinion one of the most iconic in the series we will be looking at is called “Escapes From Skull Dungeon” and is from series one of the toys. The compact looks like a giant skull with sharp fangs, has one red bared out eye with the other being a yellow and red in color. The color of the skull is grey and looks like concrete and it also has the Mighty Max classic MM logo on its forehead! A very cool looking set and really has a creepy Halloween horror look to it. The theme of the set is Mad Scientist in a creepy castle dungeon and surly is inspired by classic Universal Monster films. Check out the over all look of this set below and see how cool it is, oh yeah and the jaw of the skeleton also opens!

The top inside of the compact has many levels with the top being a study that is filled with a desk, books and lab stuff, the next level has a hidden door as well as a skeleton chained to the wall, and the final level has stairs that lead up stairs as well as the front door. The bottom of the compact is the lab that has electronic equipment as well as the table for the Monster as well as levers and desks. I am missing two parts of this set and it the two rods that go next to the table. Over all a very simple and affective design for this play set that really does bring a classic monster feel to the toy series.

The three figures in this set include of course Mighty Max who is rocking a blue cap, has big bug eyes and is given the arms up victory pose like he just ate a bowl of Wheaties. The bad guys of the set are Dr. Gore a mad scientist who has a hunchback and is wearing a white lab coat, the other is a green skinned Frankenstein’s Monster looking creature that is named Smasher! The figures are really cheap looking and not as detailed as the figures in later sets but this lack of detail also gives them some charm. Check out the picture below to see what the figures look like.

The next Shrunken Head mini play set I want to talk about from my collection is called “Head Case” and the compact has a melted zombie look with two shades of green and purple skin with an eyeball out of socket. When opened the top of the set has the villain known as Dr. Toxin standing among lab items, he looks like a melted green skin zombie, as he loves toxic chemicals! Max from this set is holding a flamethrower and looks like he knows that he is going to torch Dr. Toxin and still have time to go to McDonalds for a kids meal! This Max figure is really cool and one of the best in the series and Dr. Toxin is a great looking villain who reminds me of the 80’s film Return Of The Living Dead! Very cool set and make sure to give it a look below.

The next solo figure I want to showcase is a very cool one as it’s a double-headed orange dragon that was apart of the “Trapped In Skull Mountain” play set! This figure is really cool as beside having orange skin and two heads he also has green eyes and is looking for Max so he can end his adventures once and for all! This was a must have figure for me when I started my Mighty Max collection, check him out below.

Next up is another from the Horror Head series and was called “Survives Corpus” and has a cemetery theme! The front of the compact has two openings and has a face of a zombie with green goo coming out of his noise and worms coming out of his eyes and crack in his skull. The face also has tan skin and brown metal plates screwed into his skull. He also has a weird purple color around one of his eyes and crack in his skull! This one has a creepy look to it and is pretty dang cool over all, check out the pictures below and see what I mean about its creepy cemetery vibe. Wait now looking at it again it also has a generic b-movie Frankenstein’s Monster look as well!

The top part of the compact is a creepy stairwell with a tiny door, boards, a green goblin head, a torch and lots of skulls and bones. This is clearly the steps that lead to our bottom part of the compact that is a crypt! In the crypt are some bones that have been left behind as well as an old wooden coffin that is broken and busted! This graveyard theme is very classic and creepy and will remind you of classic horror movies as well as Halloween ghost stories. Check out below to see this play set open!

This play set as well came with three figures with one being Mighty Max of course with this figure having him rocking a red cap and a weird stance! The bad guys are Mort The Gravedigger a short chubby guy with a shovel who likes to dig up bodies, as well as a massively tall zombie who wants to drag the living into the grave with him. Great figures for Mort and the Zombie as he looks great with purple skin and red eyes! I will say the Max of this set is just ok…but give them a look below!

Let’s take a look at another Shrunken Head set I own, this one is called “Mummy King” and the compact is a purple skinned Mummy with brown wrappings and blood shot eyes and reminds me of old Halloween decorations in appearance. When the compact is open the top part is the bad guy mummy named Thanatos who is in pyramid and is standing with a snake and scorpion and has a true undead look to his face! The bottom of the compact has sand and some treasure and has a very generic Egyptian horror look. The Mighty Max figure of this set is pretty cool and has him holding a torch and ready to use it to not only light his way but also to also use it against the Mummy, snake and scorpion! A very cool set that features a classic monster, check out the pics below and see what this set looks like.

Next up let’s take a look at another loose figure from my collection and it’s from the “Skull Mountain” play set and his name is Rock Monster and he is a henchman of Skullmaster! He is made of solid rock and wants nothing more to bring down Mighty Max and will do whatever it takes to do so! This figure is really cool and has red eyes and looks super mean! Hands down this was a must have figure for me to add to my collection.

The next play set I have is called “Trapped By Arachnoid” and is from series one Doom Zone set! The compact of this set when closed looks like a massive spider with six green eyes, a furry back complete with a batch of purple spider eggs, has two fangs and eight legs. It also has the massive MM (Mighty Max) logo as well. A great and creepy looking compact that surly fits the mood and style of this toy series. This is another of the sets I remember the most being on toy shelves as well as friends having on the playground, with Escapes From Skull Dungeon being the biggest one from my childhood. Give it a look below and see how cool and creepy it is.

When open the top part of the compact has lab equipment that is also covered with purple webs as well as skulls, also a massive circle window is present. Clearly this is where the sets villain does his evil deeds. The bottom of the compact has a stone floor that has well has bones as well as a purple teleporter and a small web cage. Also some blood splatter covers the floors showing that many of people have lost their lives in this lab. A great looking set that fits the theme of this release.

The three figures of this set are of course Mighty Max who in this set is rocking a blue cap and has a go-getter pose, very fun and cheesy Max figure for sure. Next up is Arachnoid a four armed, green-eyed spider person mad scientist, he is pretty dang cool and a great bad guy for this set and he reminds me of a monster from a 50’s sci-fi film. And last is Creep a massive spider and creation of Arachnoid who is also like his bloodthirsty pet! This really is an amazing set with some great figures and leads to some great adventures you could have with Max.

Let’s take a look at another Shrunken Head set I have that’s called “Rat Trap” and sadly is one of my least favorite mini sets I own as it over all feels very lazy. The compact when closed does look great, as it’s a yellowed sharp toothed, dark purple furred rat with red and silver eyes with a patch of red fur on his forehead. When opened we get a look at the sets bad guy the giant rat himself Rat Trap who is standing on a silver shelf and looks awkward and poorly thought out, one of the worst bad guys in the Shrunken Head sets. The bottom of the compact has a dirty floor and is ok looking and the Mighty Max figure of this set is also pretty cool as he his holding a lantern and a sword! So what the best thing about this set being is the Max figure and the compact when closed…the main villain and the rest are at the bottom of the barrel in the Mighty Max world.

Next up I want to take a look at some more loose figures I own and these figure are from the “Takes On Terror Talons” large play set that sadly I don’t own fully. I have from this set Space Aliens # 1-4 with each having their own look and Space Alien # 2 being my favorite as he has a sharp yellow teethed grin! Alien # 3 and 4 are small red guys and are pretty dang cool with one being dinosaur like. Very cool figures and check them out bellow.

The next Horror Head set I will be looking at from my collection is called “Defeats Vamp Biter” and is a creature themed set. When closed the compact has the appearance of a massive grinning bat with razor sharped teeth and red eyes, to be honest he is very menacing looking and a very frightful looking playset. The ears of the bat for this compact are also made up from the bad guy figure from this set. This is a great looking set that once more almost has a classic Halloween feel to it. This is a medium sized set and features two figures so take a look below to see just how cool this set is.

The top of the compact when opened not only acted as a perch for the massive bat, but also has stones, slime and stairs. The bottom of the compact is rocky and has bats as well as a pool of blood! Very cool and fitting for the style of this playset and is what I would imagine a lair of a giant bat would look like! A very cool compact for this set and makes good use of the medium size.

This play set comes with two figures with one of course being Mighty Max and this time around he is rocking a blue hat and a stance that makes it look like he is going to punch you in the face! The sets baddie is the giant bat that is called Nightwing and this massive guy is looking super mean and is flashing a sinister grin with a mouth full of teeth! And his backstory is that Nightwing is not only a blood drinker but also is super smart! While only consider a minor villain Nightwing really is a cool looking bad guy!

Next I want to take a look at a single figure I have and that’s Lava Lord who was from the “Blasts Magus” set and to be honest is the second biggest villain in the world of Mighty Max as he was once a minion who rises up with a goal to overthrow Skullmaster and be the one to capture and kill Mighty Max! Lava Lord is a cool looking figure and is lumpy and red and green in color and looks mean and ready to smash the face of Max, check him out below.

I want to next take a look at another medium sized Horror Head set I own that’s called “Pulverizes Sea Squirm” and this is a cool ocean monster compact when closed and like before the bad guy figures help bring the look of the compact complete making up the creatures tongues, eyes, horns and nose! The blue color of the compact is also very eye catching and to be honest when seeing Mighty Max sets used at toy and comic stores around here in Ohio this is the one I have seen the most showing that it had to be a big seller and a well liked one among Max fans. Check out the pictures below to see what this set looks like closed as well as opened.

When open the top part of the compact showcases a underwater cave look with some sea creatures around the walls, nothing to special and a little bland in look but fitting for the set. The bottom of the compact is like the bottom of the oceans floor and has shells, bones, sea creatures, an anchor, slime and a treasure chest all things you would surly find one any water based floor bed! I like the treasure chest as kids could use it as to the main reason of why Max is wondering around in the water. This set is well thought out and while not the flashiest or even the coolest set in the series it’s a solid one with a basic and yet super fitting design.

The Pulverizes Sea Squirm set comes with three figures with one being our main man and hero Max and in this set he is rocking a green hat and is standing looking like he is scared our of his mind, I am guessing he is scared of drowning as he is not wearing any diving equipment and is probably wondering why he has made such a poor life choice. The first of the sets villains is the black and blue skinned, red teethed Sea Serpent a wicked creatures that wants to kill the foolish Max for entering his watery home. And the sets main baddie is the massive Krillor that rocks blood stained claws and bright red eyes who is the protector of this cave as well as the watery graveyard…so you can see he wants to kill Max cause he is in the cave with the idea of stealing money and jewels from the treasure chest that belongs to those who are buried there…in other words Max is being a real drag! Check out the pictures below to see what they all look like.

Another of the Horror Head Series I have is called “Hounds Werewolf” that is really cool as I am a massive fan of werewolves in pop culture and Horror. The compact when closed is a werewolf face that has red eyes, yellow teeth and blood coming from his mouth. The ears of the werewolf is made up from the wings of the sets bad guy figures and he has like a purple/grey fur and this is a really cool looking set. Take a look at the pictures below to see the Werewolf in all his glory as well as open so you can see it fully as it has a kind of castle theme.

Once open the top part of the compact you see grey stones, green stairs, an iron gate as well as a dead rotten tree and a tombstone. Some of the stones at the top also have blood splatter on them and this has a classic spooky Horror vibe. The bottom part of the compact has more grey stones as well as more graves with one cross tombstone being broken and on the floor. Also a gold iron cage is present as is more blood splatter. This really is a cool playset and has lots of danger for Mighty Max to face.

The Hounds Werewolf set comes with three mini figures with one being our hero Mighty Max himself, this Max is rocking a red cap and is in a flexing pose like he is showing off his massive muscles…that he has none of. The other two figures are the Horror Hounds a pair of winged purple skinned wolves that are ready to attack and maul our hero. The Horror Hounds are cool and help make the ears of the werewolf compact, but I do wish they would have just had a normal werewolf in the set and not these winged hounds. Check out the pictures bellow to see them in all their glory.

Ok this is getting out of hand as you readers and friends can see I went on a Might Max shopping spree so I am only going to cover one more from my collection and its my favorite and is from the Doom Zone sets…and this one is called “Tangles With The Ape King” and is hands down one kick butt set! The compact when closed is a very angry looking gorilla who has black fur, purple skin and blood on his fangs! Truly a menacing looking creature who plays on the old Jungle Adventure movie vibe. The set when open as well has a great jungle them and really is one of my top picks when it comes to Mighty Max sets!

When opened the top part of this set features green thick vines, a golden cage, bottles and even shrunken heads! A part of the vines also swings out and make a platform for some of the figures to stand on, this is really well done and designed. The bottom of the compact is also fantastic and features the jungle floor, a dead warrior, a pot filled with with bones simmering over a fire, bloody skulls and even a massive purple cobra snake! Great classic Jungle Adventure stuff here.

The playset comes with three figures with one being of course Mighty Max who is wearing a red cap and has a pose and a look on his face of being surprised. It also comes with a native who looks like he is ready to fight both Max and the Gorilla and last of course we have Ape King a massive gorilla who is looking to eat some human meat and deal out some death…very cool figures and some of my favorites in the toy series. Check out the picture below to see them.

Mighty Max is as classic 90’s toy that while I never owned in my youth but as I said always wanted to, and in 2020 as you can see I went a little crazy and ordered so many of them! It’s crazy to think that kids of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s had so many amazing toys that are now in days very collectable. Thanks for taking that walk through my collection as its crazy to say at the age of 42 I find this toy series to be really cool and just wanted to share with you my readers and friends.

So now that we have taken a look at the Toys, Video Games and Cartoon of Mighty Max we need to now get to the Promo Comic that was released by Game Players in order to promote the video game that was being released of the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. I would like to thank an Ebay seller Holiday Comics for having this comic in stock 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 your are ready lets jump into the portal and go on a adventure with Mighty Max, Norman and Virgil as we all try and save the day.

 The Adventures Of Mighty Max # 0  **
Released in 1993   Cover Price $0.00   Game Players     # 0 of 0

Easter Island is being plagued with earthquakes and the cause is coming from Skullmaster who is using his lava men to try and open a portal so that he can return to the above world from his underground prison. Meanwhile Mighty Max and his friend Felix are at a baseball game and enjoying their time, when a home run is hit Max’s way he catches it only to find a message from Virgil that he is needed and where to find the portal that will take him to his destination. Max rushes to the portal that is located on the ball field and finds himself at Easter Island along with Virgil and Norman and find that the Lava Men are hard at work working on the hole that would bring Skullmaster back! But after Virgil reads old scrolls Max gets an idea and jumps onto one of the Easter Island Statue Heads that triggers them to come alive and use the near by ocean water to cool off the Lava men that’s now dead bodies seal the hole trapping Skullmaster even more. After the fight is over Max along with Norman and Virgil return to the baseball game being the heroes of the day once more.

This Mighty Max promo comic was just ok and while entertaining it also was very uneventful as Max does not really fight any monsters and the only danger he finds himself in is when a Lava Man throws a rock at him. The plot has Skullmaster trying to escape his underground prison only to be easily stopped by Might Max and his friends. Mighty Max in this promo comic is a very young ego driven lad who is kind of a brat, but does rush to be the hero of the day and even figures out what the scrolls mean in order to stop the plot of one of the worlds super villains. Norman is shown to be on alert and takes his bodyguard statues of Max very serious and leaps into action when ever he thinks he is in danger and that means when a rock is thrown or even a foul baseball is coming his way. Virgil is around and mostly just makes the call for Max and reads the old scrolls, a cool character that is just not given much in this comic. Skullmaster besides causing the earthquake doesn’t do much besides scream orders at the Lava Men who as well don’t do much. I do think it was a wise choice to also feature Baseball in this promo comic as MLB was very popular with the youth of America in the early 90s as Baseball Cards had a major boom. I am not going to lie and act as if this comic is fantastic, while I do think it does justice to the Mighty Max toys and cartoon I do find this promo comic to be very underwhelming and nothing special at all. And it’s really a shame as to be honest there just is not much of a plot nor a threat to really write about. The cover is eye catching and is just the reused cover for the video game. The interior art is really good and captures the Mighty Max vibe is done by Gary Hartle who worked on may Marvel Comic titles like Thor, Daredevil and Conan The Barbarian. Over all this just an ok kids comic that is a fun read for fans of Might Max…but will not change your life. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Hartle.

Mighty Max in the early 90’s was a to series that I am sure made many of kids Christmases brighter when Santa brought them their most wanted play set and that is why I truly enjoyed writing this update for Christmas Eve 2021! That’s one great thing about doing this blog as it not only brings back memories of my youth for me but I hope it does the same for many of you. While Mighty Max is no longer a toy nor cartoon being made it’s still a very iconic one from the 90’s that helped make so many childhoods awesome. For the next update I will be of course talking about my favorite films that I seen in the theater in 2021 and I hope you will all return and join me for that one. And again I would like to send a heartfelt thank you for joining me this Christmas Eve and because of you this blog has been going for 10 Years!! That’s right 2022 marks 10 Years of Rotten Ink and next year I will be covering many things that I find near and dear to my heart and has captured my imagination in youth and even some more modern day discoveries that have got my attention. So until next time enjoy this Holiday Season, spend some time with a friend or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you at the movies!

The Marvel Adventures Of Doc Savage!

Welcome to Rotten Ink and the first post in our countdown to the Christmas Eve countdown.  It’s crazy to think that we are so close to Christmas 2021, and I for one am looking forward to being around my family to enjoying a good meal with them as well as sharing fun conversations about life and entertainment. And as you friends and readers know, I like to try and cover things in December that brings back memories of not only my youth, but also yours and that’s why I chose to cover classic pulp icon Doc Savage as our first update! Growing up, I can remember Doc Savage not only in the pages of comic books, but also novels that I would pick up at used book stores and garage sales. He was a classic style hero that I liked when I was a kid and unlike Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon and Tarzan for some reason I lost interest in him over the years, and that forgetfulness ends  during this update as I will dive back into my love for Doc Savage and his epic adventures! So sit back, grab a mug of hot coco and let’s chat about the Man Of Bronze.

Doc Savage 1

Clark Savage Jr. aka Doc Savage was the son of an adventurer and and scientist who was trained from birth to become the perfect man with the physic of a bodybuilder and the intelligence of a genius! He was trained in many skills to fit his training of being a perfect man as he learned engineering, chemistry, archeology, electricity and even to be a surgeon. He was trained in fighting, being stealth, disguises, driving and other skills needed to be a master spy and man of action. He can fly planes, drive any kind of land vehicles as well as sail any boat. He can play music, throw his voice, remember anything, has a keen sense of smell and can take high levels of pain. Think about your favorite athletes from every sport and times that by 10 and that is how good Doc Savage really is! He started his life as a crime stopper and true hero after his father was murdered and along with a skilled group he calls The Fabulous Five, they save the day and solve mysteries. For his hero life he also has tons of fleet of vehicles of all types at his finger tips, has a base set in a New York skyscraper and has a company called “The Hidalgo Trading Company” and has a hideaway in the Arctic he calls “The Fortress Of Solitude”! He was given the nickname The Man Of Bronze and in his early days of being a crime fighter, those he would captured would be forced to have a brain operation in order to remove the parts on their minds that caused them to be criminals. Doc Savage is considered a true golden age superhero, and while he is not as popular now, he still has made a massive impact in the world of pulp heroes and beyond.

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The first Doc Savage novel was released on 1933 and was called “The Man Of Bronze” and was written by Lester Dent who was one of the creators of the character alongside John L. Nanovic and Henry W. Ralston. And the last novel in the series was released in 2018 as of this writing and was called “The Valley Of Eternity” and get this a total of 203 novels were written about Doc Savages adventures! Doc Savage while he made his way to comic and even cinema was more well known for his novel adventures and this is were he built his loyal fan base and fans that kept coming back for more and more adventures. Growing up I can remember seeing many Doc Savage paperback books at garage sales as well as the antique stores in town, and I know that when I was a kid I bought a few of the books…but I don’t ever remember if I read them or just had them. And I know that I got them because I knew of the popularity of the character and had to have the books just in case I wanted to read them and be hip to what was popular why before my time. And to be honest growing up I always loved many of the classic heroes of movies, TV, novel, radio and comics as Dick Tracy, Lone Ranger, Tarzan, Zorro, The Shadow, Captain Kirk, The Phantom, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes and Flash Gordon where all classic characters I loved and could not get enough of…while Doc Savage was in that category of classic heroes he was always sadly on the bottom of the list. Also growing up I can remember that some relative of mine had a large collection of the Doc Savage books, I want to say on my Mom’s side like maybe my Uncle Thurman or even my Grandma or Grandpa. If I have read a Doc Savage novel in my youth I don’t remember, but I know as I get older and have a little more free time I have plans of picking one up and given it a read. Oh and I should note many of the classic Doc Savage novels have fantastic cover artwork!

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Did you know that in 1975 a movie was released based on Doc Savage and was released by Warner Brothers? Did you know that actor Ron Ely played Doc Savage in the film? Did you know that originally back in the 60’s Chuck Connors was casted to play Doc Savage in a film that never was? Well now you do! Lester Dent, who was one of the creators of Doc Savage, owned the radio, film and television rights to the character and wanted to get the character on the big screen so bad, and tried to get Hollywood’s attention for decades…but they just would not bite and Dent went to his grave without being able to get a Doc Savage film off the ground. After his death in 1959, the rights went to his widow Norma Dent who as well tried her hardest to get the film to be made, and she got a bite in, well sort of you see a 1966 film was in the works with Chuck Connors on board to play Savage and producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman were super hyped to develop the film, so hyped that they forgot to secure the rights from Norma and by the time all was worked out, the filmmakers had moved on and made the western film “Ride Beyond Vengeance”. One funny thing about this never made film is that Gold Key Comics in 1966 released what would have been the comic book adaptation! I should also note that Lester did get a very short-lived Doc Savage Radio show off the ground, but sadly it did not have an impact and was canceled.

Years would pass and producer George Pal secured the rights from Norma with the idea of making a massive film series that would rival James Bond in classic spy type action. George wanted Steve Reeves who was known for playing Hercules to play Doc Savage, and while he said yes to the part, a writers strike put the film on hold and with that Reeves left the production. When the dust settled it was George Pal and Joe Morhaim who ended up writing the film and casting started with Ron Ely playing Doc Savage, Paul Wexler as Captain Seas, Pamela Hensley as Mona Flores and even Hills Have Eyes actor Michael Berryman played a small part. Michael Anderson was then selected to direct with Warner Brothers agreeing to disrepute and the film rushed into filming. The film when done went up against Jaws and was buried and bombed and worse critics and fans alike seemed to not like the films forced humor and bland story. But the film did have one major fan and that was Norma Dent who praised Ron Ely’s performance as Savage!

The film was a bomb, and this ended the idea of a film series as the sequel that was to be called “Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy Of Evil” was set with even some press shots even being taken, but that was as far as the film got. The film would end up getting released on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray later on. And this one 1975 film was the only film version of Doc Savage ever released. It’s a shame that this film had to be released alongside Jaws as that locked the film for failure and this also killed the push for this to become a major film series! It also makes me wonder if Chuck Connors or Steve Reeves would have played Doc Savage in the film would it have done better? Or would it have been doomed to the same fate? I saw the film only once and it was on a bad VHS bootleg some many years back. I do own the Warner Archive DVD and should dust it off and give it a watch sometime soon.

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Doc Savage was a mega hit in the world of pulp novels, but failed when it came to radio and film, but he was a semi big hit in the world of comic books as some of the biggest publishers have released issues of Savages adventures! I mean look at these publishers that released comics based on Savage: Marvel, DC, Gold Key, Dynamite, Dark Horse and Millennium all gave fans something to read. Growing up I had the Marvel Comic issues as well as the DC and Millennium ones. It’s crazy that Doc Savage comics are not going still and I would love to see the character return to Marvel Comics as imagine Doc having his own series as well as mixed in with other Marvel series like The Avengers and even Predator!

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Doc Savage really is one of those classic characters that to me belongs in the same standing with Tarzan, Zorro, Dick Tracy and James Bond to name a few and I for one am glad that he is finally getting the Rotten Ink treatment. I want to think Ebay and Etsy sellers for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. I want to remind you that I as well 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 travel to the Marvel Universe and see what Doc Savage is up to, and I also need to say that I am looking forward to reading many of these issues again, and some for the very first time so also let’s see if they hold up!

Doc Savage Marvel 1

Doc Savage # 1  **1/2
Released in 1972     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 1 of 8

A man dressed in green and yellow climbs a skyscraper that is being built with a sniper rifle in hand, he finds his target window that is the office of one Doc Savage…who happens not to be in at the moment but his five friends are who are all on edge. As Doc Savage arrives at the office he gets some very bad news that while he was away his father has passed away from an unknown sickness. This triggers Doc Savage to go to his fathers hidden safe and finds very important papers and a land grant…but before he can read them all the way through the assassin takes his shot and Doc and his friends hit not only the ground but the lights and start their work of figuring out who has shot at them and from where. The group acts fast and figures out the place the shot came from and as Doc and most of his friends rush off to get the would be killer the groups lawyer Ham Brooks rushes off to get legal papers ready so they can fly out in the morning to the land from the grant. As Doc Savage and his remaining four friends arrive the rush up the to be built skyscraper as their killer is annoyed that Doc Savage still lives and he thought his shot killed him. When the service elevator jams Doc Savage climbs out and makes his way to the gunman all the while dodging laser blasts from his gun, and when Doc Savage reaches him the fight ends fast and Doc alerts his friends that the man is speaking ancient Mayan. The only thing they get from the assassin is that he is a follower of The Son Of The Feathered Serpent and jumps to his death as he would rather die than to speak. Doc Savage and his friend return to the office to find a warning written on the wall from another of the cult members of The Son Of The Feathered Serpent and they swear as a group to get revenge for Doc Savage’s father who they all think now was killed.

The first issue in Marvel Comics Doc Savage is a very fun classic hero read for an aging comic reader like myself who enjoys a slow burn adventures…but I am sure most modern younger comic readers would not enjoy this comic as it really is very “old” in feeling. This issue’s plot has Doc Savage returning home to his office only to find out that hid dad has passed away, he now has a grant for lots of land out of the country and also has someone trying to take his life all this in a matter of minutes! Doc Savage is a hero who shows zero emotion to everything that is going on around him, and uses his skills and training well in order to achieve his goals. We also see that he not only is super strong but is also very skilled in using his brain to win. His friends are called The Fabulous Five and are Ham, Johnny, Monk, Renny and Long Tom all who have skills that help Doc Savage and each other on their world adventures. It’s clear that right now our bad guys are all from The Son Of The Feathered Serpent cult who might even been the ones who infected Savage’s father with the illness and seem to really want the land grant that was left for Doc Savage in his fathers safe. They are dangerous for sure as they do not seem to care about taking another persons life and also seem pretty set on ending their own if it comes down to it. While the plot moves pretty fast and feels like the old novels as well as even a hint of James Bond films the downside is that the comic is very wordy and much of the time the things characters are saying really don’t mean much to the over all story, and while some will find that to be a reason not to read this comic…I found it charming in a old school kind of way. The cover for this first issue is pretty cool and I think captures the elements of Doc Savage while also adding a Marvel Comics touch. The interior art is well done and is done by Ross Andru who is an artist that I feel does not get the recognition he should in these modern times. While not a perfect start for a comic series I do think it’s a good one and I am looking forward to reading the second issue.

Doc Savage Marvel 2

Doc Savage # 2  **1/2
Released in 1972     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 2 of 8

Doc Savage and his five friends are flying above an airfield in South America and are being fired at by enemies of the government that causes them to crash land…and to the government of Hidalgo they are happy to find Doc Savage and crew to be ok and they also give them another plane to use as our heroes fly deep into the jungle to find the location that was left on the land grant. The area they land in is called “The Valley Of The Vanished” and once out of the plane they are attacked by The Son Of The Feathered Serpent cult and as the fight starts to truly break out they are all commanded to stop by King Chaac and Princess Monja who welcome Doc Savage as they knew and respected his father, but this welcoming is not liked by all when the tribe warrior chief Morning Breeze alerts the King that he and his warriors do not like outsiders in their land! The King informs Doc that he was sent to his kingdom in order to be judged as their land has so much gold that they would like to share with him as well as the Hidalgo people…but only if he is deemed worthy in the next 30 days. That night Morning Breeze and his warriors sneak into the sleeping area of The Fabulous Five and kidnap and drop three of them into a deep well, but unknown to the warriors Doc Savage had over heard the plan and hide in the well and saves his friends before they fall to their deaths fully, and he uses parlor magic the next morning to expose Morning Breeze as a would be killer as well Doc makes himself look even more powerful. Looking like a fool Morning Breeze sulks away and meets with a man who is calling himself The Son Of The Feathered Serpent who informs his defeated warrior that he is now going to unleash The Red Death the same illness that took the life of Doc Savage’s dad. The Son Of The Feathered Serpent places the red death into the water supply of the kingdom and so many are fallen ill, and Morning Breeze and Son Of The Feathered Serpent are spreading rumors that its Doc Savage and his men that have brought this deadly illness, while in reality Doc has studied some of the people fallen ill and has made a cure that he is rushing around given to the ill as the warriors following the word of Son Of The Feathered Serpent try and gun him down! In the end Doc Savage saves the lived of all that are infected, is able to kill Son Of The Feathered Serpent by knocking him off a temple, watch as Morning Breeze is gunned down, proves he is worthy of the gold, breaks the heart of the Princess who has fallen in love with him and loads up gold and flies away with his friends.

This second issue cracks the case of what and who killed Doc Savage’s father as well as who is the man who put a hit on Doc was and it was a crazed man who ran a cult that called himself The Son Of The Feathered Serpent who was really a member of the government of Hidalgo who would fly back and fourth from the civil world and the lost Mayan one. Doc Savage is one tough hero who can duke it out with the best of them and can also use his quickness to dodge gun and laser fire…plus he has a rule that he will not kill…well that is unless he can kill you with an accident! One thing that I think Doc does in this issue that is awesome is he uses smoke bombs and his friends with ropes to appear as if he can bring back the dead. I also like that he is willing to risk is own life in order to save the lives of those in need. The Fabulous Five are around and help during the case with even Monk able to fight with some Mayan warriors, but to be honest for the most part in these first two issues you could have cut them and they would not have effected the story all that much. Now I know that sounds like I don’t like The Fabulous Five as I am saying they at this point don’t add much to the comic story, but I do like them and hope they get more to do in the upcoming issues. Morning Breeze is a sneaky warrior who is pure evil that he goes along with a plot the spread a deadly disease into his tribes water supply…what a goon and then tries to run away from battle only to be shot in the back by the one he served. The Son Of The Feathered Serpent is a man with no morals who is ruled by greed and power and who has no issues with killing lots of people to get what he wants, and because of his greed and evil ways he finds himself going splat after falling off a temple. I also like that the cold blooded main killer and villain of this two issue story arch is of course also a member of the nations Government…classic spy stuff. While the pacing is once more semi fast it does also feel like a slow burn like the first issue making it drag a little in spots. The cover is great as is the interior art done Ross Andru again, and with that let’s see what issue three has in store for us.

Doc Savage Marvel 3

Doc Savage # 3  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 3 of 8

Ham and Long Tom and hanging out at Monks house when the office of a cruise ship company is blown up! The three friends rush up to see if they can help and watch as one of the workers is shot in the back with an arrow fired by one of the members of the Silver Death’s Head group…the three friends give chase but are out stepped and worse then they go to call Doc Savage a whole attack armored vehicle filled with members bust in and take them all hostage and then flee the scene. Doc Savage rushes to his friends place only to find them missing and the cops on the scene not having any real answers. Doc Savage decides to go to the docks and snoop around the dead man’s business and finds his secretary Lorna Zane knocked out and another worker Harry Pace hiding the shadows. After a few moments of speaking to them members of the Silver Death’s Head as well as their leader Ull come busting in and want to finish the job of killing Lorna, but Doc Savage just in time hides both workers and takes a beating at the hands of the Silver Death’s Head just so he can fake being knocked out and hear them mention the name of Bedford Burgess Gardner who runs another of the cruise ship companies as well as they are looking for blueprints to something. After the baddies leave, Doc Savage along with Harry and Lorna leave as Doc leaves Lorna at his cousin Pat Savage’s beauty saloon for her safety as he takes Harry with him to find the home of Gardner. Once there they find the butler dead and Gardner is not happen to see them and as Doc Savage searches the house for the killer he is attacked by members of the Silver Death’s Head and in less then a minute he takes them all out and even manages to find a man named Hugh McCoy tied up in the closet who claims Gardner shot his own butler! By the time Doc Savage makes it back to Gardner’s room he finds Harry knocked out and the member of the Silver Death’s Head group swallows a poison capsule. And after all this drama Doc Savage is now really mad and wants his friends back!

This third issue is has a strange story plot that follows two owners of cruise ship companies that has one dying in a terrorist attack and another being accused of killing his own butler we then even have three of The Fabulous Five kidnapped by a group that calls themselves the Silver Death’s Head. Doc Savage in this one starts off just minding his own business at his office when three of his friends drag him into a murder investigation as well as a kidnapping plot as three of his friends end up missing. Doc Savage uses all his skills in this issue as he not only uses his fists he also uses his detective and chemistry skills as well in order to follow the clues to solve the crime as well as save his friends. Poor Monk, Ham and Long Tom are in the wrong place when an explosion goes off a few floors above Monks house and this leads them on the bad side of the issues bad guys. The Silver Death’s Head group wear costumes made of silver dollars and while they are lead by Ull it’s clear that some one else is calling the shots and while this issue wants you too think that its Gardner one of the cruise ship company owners I think that that the shots are being called by Harry Pace a man I just don’t trust at all! I do like also that this issue introduces us to Pat Savage an owner of a beauty shop who is also an adventurer who is the cousin of Doc. The look of the Silver Death’s Head group is really cool and reminds me of bad guys you would see in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man or Captain America at the time of this comics release. This issue has a really fun detective feel to it as I felt as a reader I was along for the ride to solve the case with Doc Savage and I also feel that the stakes are high in this issue as three of his friends lives hang in the balance. Great interior artwork from Ross Andru and a eye catching cover for this issue and I feel like this is the best issue this far in the Doc Savage Marvel Comic series…let’s see if issue four keeps up the good work of making Doc Savage apart of the Marvel Universe.

Doc Savage Marvel 4

Doc Savage # 4  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 4 of 8

Doc Savage along with Harry Pace and Hugh McCoy find an old waterfront warehouse that is being used as a base for members of the Silver Death’s Head and after taking out many of the members and chasing off many others, Doc Savage finds his friends Monk, Long Tom and Ham tied up in a roof and sets them free. And after searching around they find a map that they will follow, and Doc Savage sends Ham to find all he can on Gardner as he has a hunch. Doc Savage and the rest head to the docks and all get aboard his own designed submarine as Doc informs them that he thinks that the Silver Death’s Head have their own and that’s how they get around to commit their crimes as well as avoid the police. And as always Doc was right as their sub is attacked by the Silver Death’s Head groups and when some of their members in scuba gear try and break into Doc’s sub he and his friends are forced to get into gear and fight them under water! Once Doc makes quick work of them he then follows a boat that Ull and the real head of the group are escaping on…he of course grabs a rope that is on the boat and follows them to a secret hideout. Doc busts in and knocks out Ull fast and then takes down the leader who ends up being Hugh McCoy who was also Gardner…you see Hugh created Gardner in order to have a fake face in order to mastermind these crimes.

Ok, Ok I was wrong as I was thinking Harry Pace was the main brains behind the Silver Death’s Head group and it was that slime Hugh McCoy the whole time, but hey Doc Savage didn’t figure it all out until the un-masking either! This issue’s plot has Doc save his friends and then find a map, go underwater to fight goons in scuba gear only to follow the two leaders of the crime group to a hidden hideout to kick them around and solve this case that involved murder and kidnapping! Doc Savage is a man of few words, but a man of action and you can always tell when his mind is working on solving a problem and coming up with a plan to end the issue. Doc Savage also we find out hates when people brag about the things he does as he does them not for the glory but because they are the right thing to do. Glad to see Ham, Long Tom and Monk alright even if as always they really don’t add much to the story and are just around for a reason to fully get Doc involved when they are kidnapped. Well I guess Ham does his job as he does dig up info on “Gardner” and his business that rose to power super fast in the world of shipping and cruise vacations. Hugh McCoy is a mastermind as he uses a fake persona to open a business, murder his computation, work alongside a murderous group and try to match his wits with Doc Savage all in the quest for power and money. Hugh also does a great job of acting friendly with the good guys, all the while playing them for fools. Ull and the Silver Death’s Head group are killers for hire who have the money and power to make people dead, but also wear heavy outfits that make them noisy as well as smell like silver…so stealth they are not. This case aka story arc of Doc Savage is very interesting and had me guessing all along on who the main man calling the shots was, and while I was wrong it made the ending a little more fun! The cover is great and pretty eye catching for the time of release and like before the interior art of Ross Andru is top notch. Another solid issue of Marvel’s Doc Savage, and I cannot wait to see what the next issue has in store for me.

Doc Savage Marvel 5

Doc Savage # 5  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 5 of 8

A hunter is attacked and killed in his cabin and is discovered by his friend, the man’s dying words is for him to track down Doc Savage and hire him to crack this case and avenge him! The other hunter who’s name is Carl MacBride makes his way to New York and while traveling meets Jean Morris a country girl who fills him in on how Doc Savage works and takes cases. But once Carl arrives at Doc Savages office and once there before he can say a word a mobster with a tommy gun comes up the other elevator and blasts the man with gun fore before running away. Doc Savage along with Monk and Ham give chase and find that the shooter runs to a mansion that was is highly protected and find that Jean is also inside as she has a job interview and been hired by a man named Griswold Rock who owns a small railroad in Michigan and before they all know it the floor beneath them gives way and a giant monster appears causing them all to fall to the floor below and as they Doc Savage and his men get to their feet the watch as a red truck speeds off with the monster in the back and the gunman behind the wheel…and oddly enough Jean is also missing. Before the leave they find Griswold Rock locked behind a door who tells them he has been held prisoner by one of his former employees named Pere Teston who forced the man to sell his stock and bonds. Doc Savage along with Ham and Monk call in Long Tom, Renny and Johnny as he is going to need all their help in order to track down this red truck and crack this case. Renny in his plane is the first to spot the red truck, but he is shot down by the tommy gun mad man and taken from the wreckage and kidnapped. Renny watches as the gun man is joined by other hoods and they set a bomb that will blow up the truck, the monster in the back and him! He also sees that they have Jean with them…and as they all leave before the big explosion Doc Savage just in time arrives and saves Renny…but the poor monster is killed. Doc Savage has a hunch now with all the clues he has gathered and wants to solve this case of murder and crime.

This is a very interesting issue as of course it’s an action detective story, but it has a dash of horror added into the mix with monsters and a creepy cabin in the woods. This case has Doc Savage watching a man who was coming to him for help to solve the murder of his friend get gunned down only to follow the killer to a mansion that houses a giant monster and even more questions and no answers…yet. This issue Doc Savage is the hero like always but also seems a little confused by what the giant monster is and why a man was murdered in his office before he could speak. And Renny of The Fabulous Five owes his life to Doc as he was about to be blown sky high, before being rushed out of the way of a car bomb, but to also be fair Renny did a great job of tracking down the truck that the gang was looking for. Who is Jean Morris , Griswold Rock and Pere Teston and can any of them be trusted…only the next issue I am sure will give us that answer. The Monster was massive and looked like something straight out of a 40’s Atomic Age Horror Movie…but for some reason I have a feeling it was not real, as it’s a robot or a prop. The pacing for this issue is a little faster than the others as the killing and then the case really kick in fast and this one also seems a little more confusing as in the case is not as easy to piece together. The cover is pretty cool and looks more like a Marvel Horror cover or even a Doctor Strange one and the interior art once more is done by the underrated and under talked about Ross Andru, another solid issue in the series, and I cannot wait to read the next issue!

Doc Savage Marvel 6

Doc Savage # 6  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel    # 6 of 8

Doc Savage and his two friends Ham and Monk are flying above a lake in Michigan the area that the hunter was killed that started this whole case, but to their horror they are attacked by two massive giants that come out of the lake and if not for Doc Savage’s grenade that scared them off they could have surly all meet their deaths. Doc Savage on the time they bought away from the giants searches the cabins around and finds no clues, and when walking through the woods the tommy gun gunner tries to take them out, but slips and falls into a bog and drowns. Doc Savage uses rope to get the id and body of the man out of the bog and finds a note that says Death Mill! Doc Savage sends Ham and Monk to town and looks into the mill and finds Griswold Rock inside who claims he got a telegram from Savage to meet him there. With all of them back in town they get word that Renny in a helicopter has been shot down and as Doc Savage and Monk rush to his aid…its clear this is a trap as giants and gunmen are all around and Renny is not even there yet! As a gunfight breaks out and the Giants run off into the woods on a mission, the fight is a standstill and the gunmen flee and Monk follows them as Doc Savage hitches a ride with the now arriving Renny back to town as Doc has a bad feeling. Once back in town they find that the giants had attacked the hotel and took away Griswold Rock and left Ham injured! But now Doc Savage has it as he knows that the giants are old prisoners who have been given a chemical to grow that size, he thinks that Pere Teston is apart of these monster attacks in order to get money from towns that he has threatened with attacks and that the murdered hunter stumbled onto their plan and was killed for it. Doc and his crew go and try and solve this case and even along the way save Jean Morris who as well had been captured back at the mansion…but they are all captured by the giants that take them to the criminals base and Doc and his crew are thrown into a hole and left to die. That night Doc Savage has a plan and after making a human ladder he climbs to freedom and gathers papers that prove his chemical made giants theory as well as bugs the office of the main man in charge before sneaking back into the hole. Doc Savage then uses his brain and has the guards turn on each other by informing them that the chemical used will make the prisoners forever giants and that they are being used…this causes the hired guards to be attacked by the prisoner guards! Doc Savage then once more exits the hole during the battle and tosses down a rope for the rest to escape and run down to the water as he wants to bust the boss all his own. But things turn south real fast when a giant busts open a tank filled with very poisonous gas that kills everyone who breaths it in, as Doc Savage and his crew flee they find Pere Teston tied up and rescue him as it was Griswold Rock all along who was the mastermind of the giants.

This is a pretty solid issue that has Doc Savage and his friends heading to the woods of Michigan in order to solve some murders as well as battle giants…but the payout at the end seemed very rush and they could have cut down on the plane attacks and crashes and it would have allowed for more panels to be used for the big ending that seemed very underwhelming. Doc Savage who is a great hero and detective sure did make many mistakes in this one and his plans seemed to almost always lead to danger and even allow the bad guys to hear their plans as he took in the crime families leader on his word that he was kidnapped and held prisoner…you would have thought Doc would have been smarter then that. But I do give Doc credit when it comes to fighting the giants as he knows he is strong, but not match for them…but would die swinging if he had to fight them hand to hand. Being six issues into a only eight issue series its clear that the two main members of The Fabulous Five are Monk and Ham as they seem to be getting more adventures and are clearly the two most important in these comic series, but I will say Renny gets a tiny bit of time to shine in these last two issues. Jean Morris who was a lion tamer is around and really adds nothing to this story besides a female character. The Giants are dangerous as they are just prisoners and criminals who are turned into these monsters and who are being used as test rats by a man who just wanted more and more money and power and that man is the chubby, sweaty looking Griswold Rock who was a small time business man but a large con-artist. The Horror element of the first part of this story arch kind of fades in this second part as it becomes more of a crime adventure thriller. I do like also that this issue takes us out of the big city and takes us into the woods of Michigan and has Doc Savage having to fight in water, woods and even a hidden island. The cover is pretty great and is pure 70’s Marvel style and as always Ross Andru interior art is A+ stuff. The next two issues are the ones that I read in my youth so let’s see how well they hold up.

Doc Savage Marvel 7

Doc Savage # 7  ***
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Marvel     # 7 of 8

In the Canadian woods on the estate of Alex Savage the uncle of Doc Savage a man transforms into a werewolf and has the want to kill and murder Alex…and he does just that. The next day Doc gets a phone call from his cousin Pat Savage about the attack and murder and this puts Doc into a thinking mood as the murder was said to be very beast like. Doc Savage decides that he is heading to Canada to be with his cousin Pat during her sad time as well as he wants to find out what killed his uncle and why their household seems to be under attack. Doc along with Ham, Monk and Renny take the train to get there and even while ridding gets a fake telegram warning him not to go to his uncles house. As Doc and Renny make their way to the railcar of Ham and Monk they get all types of stares from passengers many who think they are dangerous killers with many having plans to protect themselves. When Doc gets to his friends he finds that he has gotten there just in time as some one has gassed them and left an image of a werewolf on their window. And this same thing was done to El Rabanos and his friends the Ovejas whom all thing Doc Savage and his men are bad people, and worse after the gas clears they find another werewolf image on a window, watch a black painted plane fly away from the train and are forced to a stop as logs now block the train from moving forward! As Doc Savage removes the logs his friends give chase to El Rabanos who runs into the woods, after clearing the way Doc as well gives chase and his jumped by four men with guns…they are no match for Doc who defeats them and rushes to find his friends. Meanwhile Pat Savage is home with her two Native American friends Tiny and her husband Boatface when they hear the howl of the werewolf, Pat grabs her gun to look for the beast only to find nothing and to return home to Tiny and Boatface knocked out from gas and she checks on a ivy cube with a werewolf on it that is very priceless. Unknown to Pat her cubes hiding place was seen by Boatface who steals it and tries to sell it to the werewolf, but the mans greed delivers his death as the werewolf murders him over the price of the cube. Pat and Tiny awake from the sound of a howl from the werewolf and notice Boatface missing so they head into the woods with gun in hand to find him. Meanwhile Doc Savage finds his friends at a tiny airfield in the woods and watch as El Rabanos and his friends make an escape in a plan and even kill one of their own airmen in the leave, before he dies he tells Doc Savage a string of clues. In the end Doc Savage with Monk, Ham and Renny make it to his uncles house to find Pat missing and the body of Boatface now in the living room of the home, Doc orders his friends to stay at the home as he rushes off to find his cousin only to be shot while walking across a rope.

All I can say is 100% this issue held up for me after all these years and has a super classic werewolf horror movie feel to it and that’s why I enjoy it so much! In this issue Doc Savage gets the sad news from his cousin that his uncle has been killed in a savage way and this makes the Doc head to Canada to figure out the murder as well as all the strange things going on around his uncles estate. This issue takes Doc Savage from his city office, to a train traveling across countries, to the snowy woods for Canada all the way to his uncle’s home in the middle of now where, and all the while he had to fight and use his detective skills. Doc Savage and his cousin Pat Savage are going through a very hard time as their loved one has been brutally murdered and all signs point to it being the work of a werewolf, but they also have to deal with shady people as well and thieves who want to steal an ivory cube that the Savage family owns. El Rabanos and his group are very shady and are clearly involved in this killing as they are also trying very hard to spread rumors of Doc Savage himself being a cold blooded killer and a curse to those who see him. As always Monk, Ham and Renny are around, but do very little in the over all story besides their friendship. Pat Savage is a warrior her own self as she along with her trusty gun have zero issues running off into the woods to face the werewolf, as she wants revenge really bad for her fathers death. Tiny is a loyal housekeeper to the Savage family even if her husband was a thief who allowed his own greed lead to his death. And finally The Werewolf is a talking beast who wants the Ivory Cube and who is also savage in his attacks and plans for murder, a classic looking werewolf that reminds me of Jack Russell the Werewolf By Night another Marvel Comics series that was running around the same time. The Werewolf while very beast like in nature and look, also has a human side as well that allows him to talk and plan. One has to wonder who the man beast is and if he is truly a werewolf or just a man in a suit playing a legendary creature. The cover is awesome and eye catching and the interior artwork by Ross is amazing stuff. A great issue and my favorite in the series this far in both art and in story, so let’s see what issue 8 the final issue has in store for us!

Doc Savage Marvel 8

Doc Savage # 8  **1/2
Released in 1974     Cover Price .20     Marvel     # 8 of 8

Doc Savage is holding onto the rope when the man fires one more bullet knocking him off and sending him to his death, or so the man thinks as he returns to camp he is meet by the Werewolf who is in charge and is told of the news that Doc Savage is dead and with this the Werewolf is happy as he knows now nothing will stand in his way of entering the Cave Of The Werewolf. Meanwhile in a tent in that very party we find Pat and Tiny tied up and being held captive and when they try to escape the ones holding them captive inform them that they are no longer needed as her cousin is dead so their worth is low, but before Pat and Tiny can be killed Doc Savage rushes to their rescue and after beating down the bad guys the Cousins and Tiny start to head back to the Savage home as Doc Savages is sure that El Rabanos and the Ovejas are involved in this murder and werewolf attacks, as they make their way home Doc Savage is challenged by the Werewolf and after a quick fight the beast is knocked out and his mask taken off to show just a thug in a costume. Once back at the Savage home Pat finds that the cube is missing and just then Senorita Cere Oveja comes busting in screaming that the werewolf is going to kill her father and El Rabanos if Pat does not give him the cube, Cere tells them that the original werewolf was just a nickname for one of her relatives that was a pirate and that the cube holds the location to all his stolen treasure and that she and her father along with El Rabanos was just trying to find it as they think the gold is theirs due to heritage. Doc sends Ham, Monk and Renny to search the pine trees in the area that has a birds nest in it as feathers and needles was found on the body of Boatface. After some time Ham finds the cube in a nest Doc solves the puzzle of it and unlocks the hidden map inside. The werewolf shows up and uses his gas on Pat, Tiny, Monk, Ham and Renny and takes Doc Savage hostage as he informs the hero its been a trick all along and El Rabanos and the Oveja’s are his partners in crime! Doc Savage awakens in a cave with his friends as El Rabanos is bragging to him that he was the mastermind behind this plot all along and killed his Uncle to draw Doc their to figure out the map puzzle, he also says he will turn on the Werewolf and the Oveja’s in order to keep all the treasure for himself! But surprise Doc Savage is free and his friends are not knocked out as Monk made an antidote for the gas and they are ready for a fight. After knocking out El Rabanos with a punch Doc Savage does after the Werewolf as his cousin and his friends go fight with the rest of the gang. Doc Savage out fights the Werewolf and after El Rabanos wakes up and fires his gun the cave collapses with only Doc Savage, Pat Savage, Tiny, Monk, Renny, Ham, The Oveja’s and the treasure escaping…all others are dead. In the end they inform The Oveja’s that they will not get a penny of the treasure and it all will go to build hospitals in Canada and also that Pat Savage is now apart of the group.

This issue holds up as well and while some of the horror elements are gone, by middle of the issue it becomes a crime thriller that has some twists and turns that many of true crime lovers will see coming, but are still super fun to watch unfold. Doc Savage through out this issue as well as the whole series is a man who keeps care of his mind and body and will risk it for good, as he believes that doing the right thing and helping others is very important. He will not kill unless he has no choice and has nerves of steel and is not shaken by anything and that includes near death experiences as well as facing monsters. And one thing about Doc Savage as well is that he is always one step ahead most of the time and has back up plans in order if things go wrong for he and his crew. The Fabulous Five are the best friends of Doc Savage and while around they don’t do much in this series, but with that said I would very much miss them of they were not around as the friendship between Ham and Monk is fun as they poke fun at each other all the time and while Renny, Long Tom and Johnny do very little they are still cool background hero characters. Pat Savage is the touch as nails, sweet and strong cousin of Doc who is an hero in her own right and who rushes into danger to avenge and save the innocent, and after loosing her Father to murder she is ready to join her cousin in the hero business. Tiny who’s husband Boatface was a loser shows that she is close to the Savage family and when all hell breaks loose in the cave she even fights with the hired thugs and bear hugs some of them into submission! The Oveja’s and El Rabanos are slimy and play all sides in order to get what they want and that’s the hidden pirate treasure, and would even turn on each other in order to get it. The werewolf is not a real creature but is a mad man in a costume who seems like he really does think he is one, he as well is motivated by greed but also has pride as he wants to be the man who kills Doc Savage! While he fails and is made quick work of and is later killed in the cave in, I find him to be a cool bad guy who a great classic werewolf look and has a Marvel Horror look. The story of this case is really cool and is set in the woods of Canada with a werewolf on the loose and oddly reminded me of the silent film Wolf Blood from 1925 that is a semi werewolf film set in the snowy woods of Canada. The Doc Savage series from Marvel Comics reminds me why I loved the 70’s era of Marvel as they had some many amazing comics going beyond their Superhero and original Horror lines with titles like Godzilla, Planet Of The Apes, Tarzan Lord Of The Apes, Star Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica showcasing they knew how to make good comic based on film, novel and TV properties. The cover for this one is eye catching and really cool and again like clock work Ross’s interior art is amazing and he really was one of Marvel’s talented artists of the time that should be way more respect in these modern times. Over all I have to say I enjoyed the Doc Savage comic run at Marvel Comics quite a bit and while Doc Savage is a dated character and even by 1970’s he was a little out of date, they did a great job of bringing the 1930’s into the 70’s and making it seem right at home in the disco era. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Ross and see how this series looked.

Doc Savage Marvel Comic Art 1Doc Savage Marvel Comic Art 2Doc Savage Marvel Comic Art 3

But wait there is more as the Doc Savage fun continues, as we will be also taking a look at his two other Marvel appearances that had him teaming with the likes of Spider-Man and The Thing! I also want to say that a Giant Size Doc Savage # 1 was released by Marvel but was just a reprint of the first two issues in the series. It also makes me wonder why Doc Savage only lasted for eight issues, I would guess poor sales…but I could not say for sure. So if you are still up for some classic detective adventure, let’s go on two more adventures with Doc.

Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic

Giant Size Spider-Man # 3  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .50     Marvel    # 3 of 6

Desinna is a strange woman from another world and time who has sent a message to Spider-Man to meet her at an old building in New York that is set to be torn down, and while inside she shows Spidey a look into the past as Doc Savage in the 1930’s also has gotten a message to investigate that very building as something is just not right with it. Back in the 70’s before Desinna can inform Spider-Man on what is going on the ground shakes knocking her out and Spider-Man is faced with a giant goat legged monster that wants him dead! The giant is named Tarros and he is also from the past and his body is made up of an electric field, and Spider-Man out smarts the giant and over loads the field and sends him away. After the fight Desinna wakes back up and once more has Spidey take a look at Doc Savage in the 30’s at this same sight. While Doc and The Fabulous Five are looking around they meet Desinna who informs them that she is from another dimension and that her world they have created a time machine, but something has went wrong and scientist Tarros had his life spirit taken away and now its twisted and evil and is about to run wild in New York, just then the Giant Tarros appears and Doc Savage and his friends spring into action fighting the creature and Doc Savage being the man he is figures out a way to trap Tarros into a dated stone that’s in the building trapping him inside it as long as the building stands. Back to Spider-Man’s time he figures out that Desinna is worried that when the building is demolished the next day the evil will be unleashed again, but Spider-Man has figured it out and Tarros is not the bad guy it’s Desinna who tricked the old man and had him stuck in time! Spider-Man frees the spirit of Tarros and Desinna is sent back to her world to face punishment.

This is a fun idea of a crossover between Spider-Man and Doc Savage that could have been a heck of a lot better as the major downfall for me is that Spidey and Doc never really meet nor do they even really team up! The plot has a lady from another dimension playing victim to heroes from two different decades in order to try and cover up her evil actions in her own world. Desinna is a pretty woman who has a sinister side that is hidden deep in her charm, she is a mastermind that tricked a wise old scientist from her world and is still using her charm to trick heroes into covering up her mistake and doing her dirty work. When she is figured out and sent to face punishment she still tries to use her charm and beauty to save her own hide. The man she tricked is Tarros who’s spirit was stuck in a field of energy and can not speak English and because of his monster look is easily judged by those tricked by Desinna’s charm and words. Doc Savage comes to the aid of a woman in need and battle a massive electric monster to save our world and hers, and uses his brains and strength to bring the creature down, but sadly he was played a fool all that time ago and was tricked into just beating down a victim even more by the one who started the crime. In other words the hero Doc Savage that has always been shown to be a very smart man as well as a great detective was tricked by a pretty face and the old time belief that women cannot be bad. Spider-Man meanwhile has to sit and watch the events of the past and then solve the case that he is about to be made a fool of just like Savage was by a lady who is evil. I like that Spidey quickly figured it all out, and even after fighting with the spirit puts the pieces together to help save him and allow justice to happen in another dimension. Also I get the feeling that Spider-Man knows that Doc Savage really dropped the ball bad, and is in his own way making excuses for him by saying he was a product of his time. While this was a fun way to bring two heroes together from two different periods of time, I felt that it could have been done better like why not have Desinna take Spider-Man back in time to team with Doc Savage in order to bring down her enemy, and have them both figure out she is the real bad one, or even vice versa. The lack of real interaction between Spidey and Doc was a major letdown and much of the issues pages are spent on Desinna’s lies and tricks. But with that said I did enjoy the elements of each hero doing their thing, that’s why I have given it a slightly above average star rating as while flawed it was still a fund read. The cover is pretty cool and reminds me of an old Marvel Team Up cover and the interior art is great as once more Ross Andru shows his talents. Over all a fun issue and a good read for fans of Spider-Man and Doc Savage, just don’t go in thinking you will see them fight the monster together. Check out some artwork below from this Giant Size issue.

Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic Art 1Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic Art 2Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic Art 3

Up next let’s see how Doc Savages team up with Fantastic Four member The Thing goes! And again what a strange crossover for our hero of the 1930’s!

Marvel Two In One 21

Marvel Two-In-One # 21  **1/2
Released in 1976      Cover Price .30     Marvel     # 21 of 100

At the Baxter Building The Thing is working out and The Human Torch goes to the elevator and is greeted by Janice Lightner who faints once she enters, meanwhile in 1936 Mrs. Lightner travels up the elevator and as well faints once hitting the office of Doc Savage! And in both times the Lightner ladies tell the story of abuse, crazy ideas, madness and wasted fortunes and Janice is the daughter of Mrs. Lightner and it seems like the past and present are playing out the same. The ladies asking for help both speak of The Sky Cannon a powerful weapon that pulls down star energy and places it into a human host and in both cases the weapon is about to be used by the males of the family to show that they are not mad and true power is out there and can be placed into one man! All the heroes from both decades rush to the lab and have their flying vehicles struck by The Star Cannon merging both words together so Doc Savage, Renny, Monk, The Thing, Human Torch and Janice Lightner fall from the sky as inside the lab father and son merge into a new super villain named Blacksun. As the heroes shake off the fall and introductions happen Blacksun appears and is ready for a fight using his beams of energy to try and bring down the heroes, Monk and Renny uses their none kill bullet to no effect and an attack by the Human Torch is shrugged off. The Thing is next up and tries to clobber Blacksun only for it also to fail, but Doc Savage is up next and notices that when the clouds black the stars he has a chance to land punches and does just that causing Blacksun to try and run away into space as he wants to enter a black hole. The Thing and Doc Savage hold onto the villain for as long as they can before falling back to solid ground, but Blacksun as well learns that he can not breath in high altitude and falls to Earth hard causing an end to his rampage and also sends Doc Savage and his crew back to the 1930’s. In the end The Thing and Human Torch promise to Janice to get Blacksun (her brother and father as one) the help that he needs.

See this issue of Marvel Two-In-One was done right as Doc Savage comes to the then modern time and fights alongside a Marvel superhero in order to stop a villain from destroying the universe. The plot for this issue has the Lightner family in the 1930’s and the 1970’s following the same path at using a weapon called The Star Cannon in order to draw pure power from the stars and when they fire it up it merges Doc Savage and his crew into the 70’s in order to help The Thing stop the end of the world and light as we know it. The Thing and Human Torch show why they are heroes as these two members of the Fantastic Four rush to aid a woman who needs them to stop her brother from doing something really stupid. The Thing is as strong as ever and tries his best to use his strength to k.o the issues villain as The Human Torch uses his fire blasts, and while they both fail in their attacks when teaming together with Doc Savage they are able to save the day. I also like that The Thing is a fan of Doc Savage and wants his autograph and is even star struck when he sees him! Renny and Monk are apart of Savage’s crew and while they try and help they really are background players. Doc Savage is as always quiet, watching and figuring out how to defeat the bad guy that is in his way! He is the one who figures out the clouds can be used in order to land hits of Blacksun and as well seems to understand that he has time traveled and just rolls with getting help from a man that is one fire and another that is massive and made of orange rocks. Blacksun is a interesting bad guy that is made up of star energy, a living son and the dead spirit of his father and as well almost like the backside of the sun who can fly, shoot energy beams and even has a dark force field around him, but his ego helps bring him down as he tries to fly to space only to blackout and burnout. Again I can not stress that this is a crossover done right as Doc Savage meets The Thing and Human Torch and works alongside them for the greater good of mankind. The cover is amazing and eye catching and has The Thing and Doc Savage rushing to action and the interior art is top notch and done by Ron Wilson. Oh and this issue also has a cameo from Tony Stark (Iron Man) and they mention Donald Blake (Thor) and this is also a part one of a three issue story but this one is the only one to feature Doc Savage as the next two issues has Thor teaming with them. Over all this was a solid and fun read that brings a classic hero together with superheroes and is well worth checking out. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Ron Wilson used in this issue.

Marvel Two In One 21 Art 1Marvel Two In One 21 Art 2Marvel Two In One 21 Art 3

As you can see, Marvel Comics did a good job of bringing Doc Savage to the pages of comic books, and while the novels are better, these comics are still a great read for fans of the character. For me it was lots of fun to look back at this character and it was nice to go back to my youth and relive the fandom I had for a character that sadly I have neglected for many years now. Next year 2022 Rotten Ink turns 10 years old, and I am going to cover the whole year stuff I love from comics to movies to horror hosts and will really go back to my youth and the joys of growing up in Waynesville! So for my next update, I will be of course covering a Horror Host to celebrate 10 Years Of The Horror Host Hall Of Fame and our last host for the year will be Ohio’s biggest one, and I am of course talking about Ghoulardi! So until next time, read a Marvel Comic or three, watch a cheesy action film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update and remember turn blue!

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Beware The Wrath Of The Satan’s Six!

I think if you ever have read comics at any time in your life, one creator whose work you have seen or at least have heard of his legend being spoken about in comic shops and or blogs is Jack “The King” Kirby, a man who created some very iconic characters for both Marvel and DC as well as indies! I mean he is the creative mind behind such characters as The Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Captain America, The New Gods, Darkseid, Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Nick Fury, Devil Dinosaur, Silver Star, Captain Victory, OMAC, The Eternals, Scarlet Witch, Doctor Doom and so many more! Jack Kirby really is a true icon in the world of comic books, and when people talk about how much he made an impact on the industry, they are not lying! And that’s why in 1993 indie comic publisher Topps Comics wanted to make a impact in the superhero genre and talked to Jack Kirby about bringing some of his characters from the past as well as new ones to readers hands with the Kirbyverse line. For this update we will be taking a look at one of the comic miniseries from that line call Satan’s Six! So if you are ready, let’s travel back to the early 90’s when the comic boom was going strong as we take a trip with Kirby and a pack of strange heroes of sorts.

Topps Comics was trying really hard to be a force in the world of comics, and in 1993 they licensed mostly unused characters Jack Kirby created many years in his past that other companies passed on as well as brought some of his indie comic characters like Captain Victory and Silver Star back to the comic world. This was called The Kirbyverse and was Topps’ way of entering the superhero market.  They thought that they had a very big chance of making a massive splash with Captain Glory, Bombast, Satan’s Six, NightGlider and TeenAgents…sadly, this proved to not be true. Topps Comics pushed the Kirbyverse hard and even comic retailers were itching to get new first issues  of the Kirby-created characters on their shelves so copies were ordered and shelves were well stocked, but the readers just was not there. They even gave away very cool chrome trading cards of the comic with issues, trying to give readers a little extra for their bucks. Diehard Jack Kirby fans bought them but were disappointed that Jack did none of the artwork or if he did, it was a page or so.  Some casual readers checked them out and of course the oil stain of comic collecting, the none-reading speculator resellers, bought the first issues thinking that they could sell in the future for millions, but sales dipped bad after the first issue and the line was considered a failure. Topps ended up canceling the titles with some of them never even finishing up their mini series run. And the worst part of it all is that the comics were really good and had a very classic superhero feel to them.  I think now in modern times the series is a little more respected and readers have discovered that they are good reads with interesting superhero characters. Topps pulled the plug on The Kirbyverse only one year into its run so 1994 marked the end. Sadly Topps Comics would close up shop in 1998 and thus ended an indie comic company that was doing some amazing and fun stuff. I hope that one day Topps gets back into the world of comic books and that they pick up were they left off as they did some really cool comics based on horror movies and I always say we need more companies doing that.

The Satan’s Six is a team of evildoers who are brought together by Satan himself to cause chaos and strike fear in the hearts of the living, well and he finds them to be dull and dolts and wants them to return to Earth in order to get their pitchfork and find their own place in Hell. Placed in charge of them is Odious Kamodious, a demon who made the deal with the Devil as well as our “heroes” to return to Earth to do evil deeds. The team consists of Knight Brian Bluedragon who’s evil deeds always seem to turn good, Dezira is a temptress who is too sweet to do any real harm, African warrior Kuga The Lion-Killer is a skilled warrior who has a soft side for animals, Doctor Mordius a failed serial killer who is much like a tame Jekyll and Hyde, Gambler and con-artist Hard Luck Harrigan is always looking to cheat and lastly is demon Frightful who is a member of the team to make sure they stay in line and do the deeds they are asked to do. And while these fiends are in limbo waiting to get into Hell they for some reason also have hero qualities to them as they fail in all things evil. Just wanted to give you a quick crash course of who the team members are before we head into the review part of this update. I also should state that Satan’s Six was an old concept that Jack had that was not picked up by a publisher until Topps Comics came along and gave them a shot on the comic shelves.

Did you know that also in 2000 Dark Horse Entertainment bought the film rights to Satan’s Six with the idea of developing a movie based on the comic? As of this posting of this update the film has never been made. I would also like to thank Bookie Parlor and Mavericks Cards And Comics for introducing me to this comic series when it was released back in 1993 and making this update possible. I also want to 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready let’s travel to the offices of Odious Kamodious and see what The Satan’s Six has in store for us, and keep in mind I have not read these sense they first came out and I can remember liking them when I was a youngster so let’s see if they hold up now that I am in my 40’s!

Satan’s Six # 1  ***
Released in 1993      Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics    # 1 of 4

Pristine is an angel who watches over comic books, comic creators, comic characters and sometimes comic fans and she is acting as our narrator in order to introduce us to our “heroes” a group of souls that are trapped in limbo as they have not got called to take their place in Heaven nor Hell. In limbo hanging out together is Dezira, Doctor Mordius, Hard Luck Harrigan and Kuga The Lion-Killer and they are looking for their friend Brian Bluedragon who is on a quest to get into Hell and ask demon Odious Kamodious to place them who argues that they have not done enough evil to be in Hell nor have they done enough good to be in heaven and as the pair go back and fourth Pristine cuts in and wants us readers to know a little more about Brian Bluedragon who was a knight that wanted to take his place with King Arthur who was insulted by the cocky nature of Bluedragon and had him kicked out of Camelot, while outside the gates he made a bad decision and signed his soul over to Satan and as the contract was signed he was ran over by a cart…and this made it impossible for him to go to Hell as he did nothing bad and the contract with Satan had him barred from Heaven and now limbo is his home. Pristine then gives us a brief history of the others that will make up this team. Back at the office of Odious Kamodious he comes up with a mission that will allow Bluedragon to earn his way into Hell and that’s by returning to Earth and the living and sway people to give their souls to Satan, he then gives him a team that is Morbius, Harrigan, Dezira and Kuga as well as two minor demons named Narvag and Sucnip who will drive the Hellicopter that will take them to Earth. Once on Earth they find that a place called Club Inferno is their base and the club uses a Satanic-Tech to make those who enter feel like they are wherever the desire, they meet Virus the man in charge of the club as well as full fledge demon Frightful who is the real boss of Satan’s Six!

The first issue of Satan’s Six is a great way to introduce this new team to readers as we get a quick crash course of who they all are and why they are stuck in limbo, we also see that they are not really evil and are just bored with being in limbo so would even take a deal to get into Hell in order to have a change of pace in the after life. Brian Bluedragon is a knight who’s ego seems to always get the better of him, and when he insults King Arthur of Camelot and is banned from his holy kingdom, he out of spite gives his soul to Satan. While Bluedragon is a screw up and clearly has an ego the size of the Empire State Building stacked on top of the Statue Of Liberty he is not a bad person, he just makes very bad decisions. And that can be said about the rest of his team as Dezira is a wannabe temptress from the Babylon days who is just an airhead, Dr. Morbius is a liar who wants to act as if he is a world infamous serial killer with a super high body count when he is just a scientist, Kuga The Lion-Killer is a warrior who is really a softy and Harrigan is just a guy with a gambling addiction. Virus seems like he is really into the Satanic-Tech and really wants to help send souls to Hell, he also seems like he is just following orders of the demons that are above him. Narvag and Sucnip are two goofy demons that can fly the Hellicopter and fight back and fourth like brothers. And Frightful we don’t get to see much of in this issue but its clear Hell is his business and business is evil. And poor Odious Kamodious is something of an accountant for Hell who wants to be ride of the hassle that is Bluedragon storming the gates every decade or so and comes up with this idea to get these lost souls to Satan but also wishing for a promotion if his team and idea pays off. Pristine is around and while an Angel she is mostly their to break the fourth wall and allow us the readers on the inside for a good and silly ride, oh and also Superman is flying around Heaven as he had died in the comics, while they do not call him Superman its clear that is who it is. What I like about this comics story is that while it is a Horror Comic the writers Jack Kirby and Tony Isabella do a great job and bringing humor into the mix as well as a dash of superhero and this makes for an entertaining read. And because of this Horror Comedy feel the characters are all super likable in their own ways with my two favorites being Brian Bluedragon and Kuga The Lion-Killer as I feel they are interesting and have a cool look to them. The cover for issue one is also amazing as its Jack Kirby and Todd McFarlane together and is super eye-catching and awesome. The issues interior art is done by two artist Jack Kirby and John Cleary and while the styles clash it some how works for me in a very odd way. I should also say that this issue has many guest inkers for the Kirby pages and its pretty impressive as Topps got names like Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, Terry Austin, Joe Sinnott and Mike Royer to lend their inking talents. Over all I myself would say that the first issue of Satan’s Six held up for me and was just as enjoyable of a read now as it was back in 1993! So with that let’s get onto issue two and see what’s next for our motley crew team.

Satan’s Six # 2  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics     # 2 of 4

The female angel Pristine once more opens up the comics and gives readers a quick look at the first issue as well as a quick bio again of our Satan’s Six members. She also goes to Club Inferno and has Virus tell the viewers what Hell’s plan is for our team as well as the souls they help send their, and once she is done we join the team in action. At a museum two security guards are attacked and knocked out by Bluedragon and Kuga as Frightful is talking to a Professor Jacob Simon a man who is selling his soul to Satan, but does not want to see the guards be hurt. You see Professor Simon is a man down on his luck when he was fired from his job and made of joke out of by being called a fraud after discovering a massive old cocoon in a temple in South America of what he thinks is the ancient god Kalazzar, his peers and the board call it a fake and so his troubles begin as he is a man left with nothing. You see Professor Simon is only selling his soul to Satan in order to get help to stop the cocoon from hatching and allowing Kalazzar to walk the Earth again and he needs the supernatural hands of the Satan’s Six to help by touching it while he reads a spell at midnight, and things go wrong when Frightful’s watch was off and the creature God breaks free and is ready to rule the world! Professor Simon argues with Frightful that the contract was not meet and Pristine shows up and agrees with the old man! Professor Simon rushes Kalazzar who snatches him up as well as the team’s new pet dog Fury and this causes Kuga and Bluedragon to go into action and they start fighting the massive godlike being Kalazzar! Pristine informs Frightful that if either of his Satan’s Six members dies in battle trying to save the life of another will be a one way ticket for them to get into Heaven and this forces the demon to now get involved in the fight as he can not loose the souls! As the fight goes on Professor Simon and Hard Luck Harrigan run to Super K-Mart and buy a ton of insect killing sprays and with Doctor Mordius throwing a bomb into the cart the gas comes out and kills the Kalazzar! As the bomb goes off Frightful uses his body to cover Pristine showing that even this demon has a good side. In the end at Club Inferno Bluedragon and his team celebrate the win as in the other room Frightful is upset that he allowed them to fail in their mission. As for Professor Simon he finds that the two guards woke up and watched as he helped save the world and will try and help him get his job back.

The Satan’s Six in this second issue shows that they are kind of clueless when it comes to being evil and tricking humans into giving their souls as they act more like noble heroes as they risk their lives in order to help save a normal mans life who they are suppose to get his soul, and this makes them heroes and opens them up to become angels in Heaven! Poor Professor Jacob Simon is a man who is good at his job and discovers the gateway for a massive insect world destroying creature and is told that he is a fake and a fraud and is fired from his job, and is willing to sell his soul to Satan in order to get help in order to stop the creature from returning showing that while what is did is wrong the reason was noble as he wanted to save the world from destruction. Kalazzar is the insect God like creature that is back on Earth and wants to take over but is stopped by the Satan’s Six as well as incest killer that were bought from K-Mart! While I am sure Kalazzar was super dangerous in his time he is no match for Raid bug spray! Pristine is awesome in this issue as she uses her powers of good to point out to Frightful that not only does he have good in him but so does his team and this is awesome as it forces them all to do good in order for the Demon to not loose total control of his team! Frightful is always ready for a fight and loves being a tricky demon that wants human souls, but also shows that he is not great at his role as the teams leader as he does not stop them from doing good deeds. But I also think that Frightful has a major crush on Pristine as he is willing to risk his safety in order to save her. The Satan’s Six are anti-heroes who think they are doing bad things when in fact they are doing good things and are helping save souls and not taking them, also its clear that Bluedragon and Dezira are becoming boyfriend and girlfriend and that they are all working well together now and are meshing as a team. They also now have a pet dog named Fury that is mean and ready to bite those who stand in the groups way! I would say that once more Bluedragon and Kuga are my two favorite characters as they are the ones who fight the insect creature hand to hand and have no fear and are true brave and noble warriors. The cover for issue two is pretty great and shows the Satan’s Six in battle with Kalazzar and is super 90’s and cool looking. The interior art is done by John Cleary and is good in its own way and has the true 90’s indie comic look to it. Over all another great issue of Satan’s Six that held up for me after all these years and makes me look forward to reading the next again as well!

Satan’s Six # 3  ***
Released in 1993      Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics     # 3 of 4

Film director Lloyd Kaufman is walking down the street in California and he is disappointed that his actor Samson has turned into Samantha and quite acting to become a showgirl in Vegas and that leaves his new movie “Ugly Annihilator” without his star! While in Limbo two demons have been ordered to guard a hole that has been caused by human pollution and the powers that be are mad that Elvis Presley escaped in order to eat at a Burger Barn, but when the Hunchback Of Notre Dame himself Quasimodo is upset that his ex-girlfriend Dezira has been sent back to Earth he makes a break for it as he wants to save her from Satan’s deal but instead once on Earth he runs into Lloyd Kaufman who casts him as the lead in his film! Meanwhile at Club Inferno things are slow when Frightful gets an order from Hell to bring back Quasimodo and when Bluedragon finds out that the deaf bell ringer use to date his lady he gets jealous and swears to re-kill Quasimodo and send him back to limbo! At the Mann’s Chinese Theater the premier of Ugly Annihilator both Lloyd Kaufman and Quasimodo are being interviewed by a entertainment show about the film and speaking about Dezira when the Satan’s Six show up and Bluedragon wants to start a fight with Quasimodo! The fight is brutal and Quasimodo is besting Bluedragon when Pristine appears and stops the fight an alerts Quasimodo that he had gained his ticket to Heaven as he risked his own soul in order to return to Earth to warn Dezira of her bad deal with Satan! Quasimodo is so happy to be going to Heaven and decides to stay on Earth for a little bit as he now has a three picture deal with Troma! In the end Dezira and Bluedragon are happy to be together and as the Satan’s Six are going back to Club Inferno outside is another of Dezira’s ex-boyfriends and its Attila The Hun!

This is such a crazy issue that brings together so many amazing elements that include classic literature character Quasimodo, Troma Entertainment co-owner Lloyd Kaufman, Hollywood and of course our stars Satan’s Six! The plot is simple and has Satan’s Six having to bring back an escaped soul back to limbo, but like before instead of getting souls for Satan they help a soul go to God. The Satan’s Six are hired guns from Hell who are really just being used and while they try to complete their tasks they just are not very good at it, and with Dezira being a temptress and a sweet woman she has a charm to her that makes people fall in love with her and that’s why her new boyfriend Bluedragon is so protective of her and when he finds out that her Ex is back on Earth his pride and ego kicks in and leads him to making bad decisions that has him getting beat up. Really while Satan’s Six get along with each other, they are also very much at times disorganized and seem very reluctant to help at times in battles and that goes more for the likes of Harrigan who is not a fighter and is just a gambler. And this failed mission of soul gathering is the fault of Frightful, who sends the team to Hollywood alone as he claimed he has an allergy to Hollywood, and is not their to truly guide them from winning God a soul from Limbo. Quasimodo aka The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is a man who has fallen in love with a temptress by the name of Dezira and escapes limbo in order to try and save her soul from Satan and in doing so ends up not only becoming a movie star for Troma Entertainment but also gets a ticket into Heaven! Its also really cool to hear why Quasimodo was in limbo as he was a good soul but he did kill a person inside the house of God making him a strange case for where is soul would end up. Pristine once more comes to the team’s rescue as she saves another soul and is clearly doing her best to not allow the members of Satan’s Six to damn their own. And good old Lloyd Kaufman just wants to make his movie and make big profits and find his next big star, and let’s just say its awesome that they have Kaufman in this issue and I will speak more on that a little later in this update. The cover is cool and is a spoof of TV show Entertainment Tonight and has Bluedragon and Quasimodo fighting it out! The interior art is solid indie 90’s stuff and is still being done by John. Like before this issue has held up for me after all these years and I am shocked that I forgot that Lloyd Kaufman was a character in this series. Well let’s see what the fourth and final issue has in store for us.

Satan’s Six # 4  ***
Released in 1993      Cover Price $2.95      Topps Comics      # 4 of 4

At the Inferno Club Odious Kamodious is yelling at everyone and is really mad at Frightful as the Virus alerts them all that the number of souls being sent to Hell has dropped sense Satan’s Six has been sent to Earth so the team has done the opposite of what they have been contracted to do. Odious Kamodious then tells Frightful that he has a replacement as the Leader of this team set and its Jason Voorhees! And with that Jason Voorhees is in the Inferno Club and from the start tries to attack everyone and while Bluedragon, Kuga and Frightful try to hold Jason off the one who summoned him Odious Kamodious uses a spell and sends him back to Hell. Odious Kamodious then alerts them that they will no longer be trying to win over souls for Hell but they will now be soul collectors who are sent after people who have sold their souls and their first collection is a guy named Big John Gavin who signed his away for help against crime bosses and to rise to power and wealth in the city of Chicago’s crime. The team gear up and get ready as Harrigan seems to be bothered as they are returning to his home town, and they also learn that Angel Pristine is going along this bounty collecting mission. While Big John knows they are coming for him and alongside his friend and muscle bound trainer Bjorn they come up with a plan to fight the demons off and to save his soul. Satan’s Six shows up at Big John’s home and we find out that he was once a bad guy but has now turned his life around and was once the best friend of Hard Luck Harrigan and changed his life after Harrigan was killed in a Mob shootout. Frightful doesn’t care about the change as the contract was signed and its time for his soul to be collected, while Big John runs from Bluedragon and Kuga his friend Bjorn has a fist fight with Frightful as Dr. Mordius by accident turns his own head into a giant flower from a bad potion all the while Pristine and Dezira watch from the sidelines. While all this madness is going on Harrigan disappears and all of a sudden lawyers for Big John show up and discover that the world soul is spelled wrong in the contract as its sole so Big John pays up with one of his old smelly shoes and the Satan’s Six is forced to return to base with one shoe as their prize. Later that night Pristine visits Harrigan and informs him that she will put in a good word for him in Heaven as she knows that it was he who changed the wording on the contract to save his friends soul from damnation. Harrigan tells her thanks but he now has new friends that need his help as Fury is chasing Dr. Mordius around who still has a flower head mistaking him for a tree.

Satan’s Six is not for everyone as it really is a very silly Horror Comedy comic that has elements of Superhero to it and the humor is super cheesy as is the plots and jokes. The final issues plot has our team going to collect a soul on a contract date and soon finds that the one they are after was the best friend of their teammate Harrigan and he uses his gambling under hand tricks in order to save his friend from an Eternity in Hell. The Satan’s Six members seem to know that they are failures and go along with the job change as it seems like it would be more easy to do, and like always the fail in their mission and another person is saved. Hard Luck Harrigan is the main focus of the team in this final issue as we get to know that he is from Chicago and only sold his soul in order to save his but from some bad dudes he pulled a con over on, we also know that he died via being shot multiple times by Mobsters. While Harrigan has done bad things in his life he also clearly cares about his friends old and new and will do the right thing to protect them. The other member that takes a spotlight is Frightful the demon who is saddled with having to lead these goofs in mission that they always seem to fail, he is super annoyed by them and it’s clear he knows that this experiment will not end well for him nor Odious Kamodious who came up with this earn you place in Hell plan. And that’s the thing while all the members of Satan’s Six stay the same for the most part, their more good nature is brought out over the four issue mini series. Having a cameo by Jason Voorhees that also acts as a plug for the film and comic adaptation was also a nice touch and helped add to both the Horror and the Humor as he tried to slash Odious Kamodious with his trusty machete causing the demon to scream for help. And just like the Lloyd Kaufman cameo, we will talk a little more about it later in this update. The comic is bloodless and goreless and the Horror elements more come from the fact it’s about Hell and souls being taken to it than your normal 90’s Horror Comic flare. And I am proud to say that I enjoyed this mini series in 1993 when it was released and in 2021 still found myself enjoying it and wishing that Topps Comics would have given us more, well they kind of did with the three issue mini series “Satan’s Six Hellspawn” but that will be for another update in the future. The cover for this issue is eye catching as it has stars all around a chrome version of Jason Voorhees’s hockey mask and would surly bring Horror Comic readers in. The comics interior art is done by John Clary again, and I have to say I think is art got better every issue. Now one thing that many readers had issues with is that Jack Kirby only did a few pages in the first issue before John took over, and I get it as we all love Kirby’s work but keep in mind this comic series came out very shortly before his death. I would say that if you enjoy 90’s indie Horror Comedy Comics, enjoyed Topps Comics, like the characters of Jack Kirby then make sure to check out this mini series as its worth a read and is pretty dang enjoyable. Check out the artwork below with the first being Kirby and the other two being Johns to see they styles used in this comic.

Ok so let’s now quickly talk about how issue four of Satan’s Six has a cameo from Jason Voorhees from the Friday The 13th film series and the coolest part about this is that this is Jason’s first comic book appearance! The version of Jason used is from Jason Goes To Hell and that makes sense as Topps was also gearing up to do the adaptation of that film. While many reviewers trash the cameo from Jason as they use terms like “Shoe Horned In,” I myself feel like the cameo was well done and showed that even in Hell Jason can not be controlled and just has the urge to kill and kill! And even during the cameo Pristine points out that the cameo was to advertise from the film and comic, as the cameo is used as a humor bit as well as a horror one. It’s also cool to see The Satan’s Six team up on Jason to keep him at bay until he is sent away again. Take a look at the art below to see how Jason looks in this comic.

Ok the other shocking and super random cameo is from Lloyd Kaufman, director and co-owner of Troma Entertainment! That’s right, the mastermind behind the films Toxic Avenger and Class Of Nuke‘Em High shows up in issue three of this series! And Uncle Lloyd being in this comic just shows how much fun Topps Comics had making these issues as they did not follow the normal rules of mainstream comics and added crazy cameos as well as took chances on some classic heroes as well as unproven properties. I just wanted to quickly address how random and awesome this comic cameo was, and let’s be honest, more comics need Lloyd in them! Again all you Troma fans, make sure to check out this issue in order to see Lloyd hire the Hunchback Of Notre Dame for a movie roll.

Satan’s Six might not be the most iconic Jack Kirby created team and in reality they are not even really known to many comic readers as they failed to make a major impact on readers and comic history. But for me, a comic reader who grew up reading Topps Comics, they are a very cool and iconic part of my childhood that brought me some laughs as well as chills and even delivered some amazing cameos that pleased the Monster Kid that I was and am. I really like all the members of the team, and my favorite is Kuga The Lion-Killer as he is truly a brave warrior who has a soft spot for animals. But while Satan’s Six is over, do not worry as we will visit that world again when I do cover the Hellspawn mini series and this will also not be the last time that we take a look at the Kirbyverse here on Rotten Ink as at some point I will cover Captain Glory, Bombast and the others. But for now its time to leave the Kirbyverse as we will next be meeting up in the 1930’s and will be going on some heroic adventures with the one and only Doc Savage in the Marvel Universe! So until then, make sure to read a Topps Comics or three, watch a Horror Comedy film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you in a few weeks for a classic hero good time.

The Wild West Tale Of Brave Eagle

Western films and shows are something I have always greatly enjoyed, and when I think of them many things come to my mind as growing up I loved The Lone Ranger and was into watching many western films and shows on TV with The Rifleman still to this day being in my top five favorite shows of all time. I mean heck I even helped produce a western film in 2015 called “Calamity Jane’s Revenge” directed by Henrique Couto and starring Erin R. Ryan, Julia Gomez, Todd The Fox, former WWE wrestler Al Snow and even my cousin Stephen Alexander had a small role! But the main thing I think of is my Grandpa John Salyers, who was very much into old westerns as he loved John Wayne films had a ton of old western films on VHS and as well had a collection of old paperback western books. My Grandpa John was an amazing man who had Native American blood in his veins and was a hard workingman who was a sharpshooter in the army as well as a self taught handyman, factory worker and an amazing farmer who would grow massive fields of vegetables. Hands down in my real life my three biggest role models of my family are my Grandpa John, my Dad and Brother who are all outstanding people who are hardworking and creative people. Wait I need to get back to the topic at hand and that’s Westerns, and this update is about a TV show from the 50’s that I discovered in 2020 and even had some comics released thanks to DELL Comics! The show I am talking about is Brave Eagle, and I am really exited to bring you this update as I am looking forward to reading the comics and watching the show for the first time! So sit back, relax and enjoy!

Brave Eagle 1

Brave Eagle was a CBS TV series that started in 1955 and would air at 7:30pm and would go up against Disneyland on ABC! The show was filmed at Roy Rogers’ ranches in California and was way ahead of it time as it was the first series on television to feature a Native American character as the lead and as well focused on issues that tribes had to face from racism to smallpox and really helped bring these issues to the light and educated viewers who for decades had seen Native Americans as savages in media. This showed them as people. Brave Eagle was set in the old west and followed a young Cheyenne chief who leads his tribe in a time when white settlers are taking over the land and fellow tribes are at war with each other. Other characters included Morning Star, the show’s love interest for Brave Eagle, as well as Keena (his adopted son), Smokey Joe, Black Cloud and Black Raven to name a few. The show was well liked but sadly could not bring in the numbers that Disney did on the other station, and after only one season and 26 episodes, the show came to an end. And being from 1955-1956 sadly over the years many episodes have been lost making reruns on stations like MeTv impossible. The series also had many guest stars from the world of westerns like Lee Van Cleef, Rick Vallin, Ann Doran and Steve Rains to name a few and what really is awesome for me is that Roy Rogers and his production company made the show as Roy is one of my all time favorite classic western actors not to mention is Restaurant chains are also amazing. So while Brave Eagle only lasted one season, its impact on Western shows really did make an impact as it showcased that Native American characters could be the lead in a series. I will say that it’s a shame they cast a white actor in the role of Brave Eagle and not a Native American actor, but at least it was a start for change.

Brave Eagle 2Brave Eagle 3Brave Eagle 4

Brave Eagle has been released on home media, but of course not as the full series as I have said sadly many episodes are missing and are lost. But thanks to the folks at Alpha Video, all the episodes that have been found have come to DVD in three volumes! And honestly it’s a big thanks to Alpha for alerting me to this show as while shopping their website for Lon Chaney Sr. silent films I came across a three pack of Brave Eagle and being a western fan I had to order it and of course learn about it and once I did I knew it had to get the Rotten Ink treatment! And once I got the DVD’s in from Alpha Video I was set some time aside and gave them a watch, and here is my thoughts on the show as well as the DVD’s put out by Alpha Video. And on a lazy day in 2021 I decided to pop the DVD into the Blu-Ray player, and Juliet and I watched an episode while we ate dinner and I have to say that the show while very cheesy for todays viewing audience, when you sit back and relax and look past all the flaws it really is a fun show! It’s as basic as basic can be in plots and the acting at times is a little stiff and the narration seems like its from a bad documentary, but to be honest all of that added to the charm for me. The prints of the episodes from Alpha Video are ok and some episodes are better than others as issues include soft sound, tape to digital transfers and even at times a little off center. But for this rare and sadly forgotten TV Series this is the best as of now you are going to get them on DVD.

Brave Eagle DVD 1Brave Eagle DVD 2Brave Eagle DVD 3

Keith Larsen was born Keith Larsen Burt on June 17, 1924 in Salt Lake City, Utah and had a normal childhood for that time growing up. During World War II, he served in the Navy, and after his military career ended he got the bug to start acting! And once he started he could not stop as he not only became an actor he also directed, wrote and produced films and shows. His first role was in 1951 as an uncredited part in Operation Pacific as Crewman, his first credited roll came in 1952 in episodes of the TV series Space Patrol and from there, his acting career took off with some of his biggest roles being in such shows and films as Fort Vengeance (1953), Chief Crazy Horse (1955), Brave Eagle (1955-56), Apache Warrior (1957), Northwest Passage (1959) and Trap On Cougar Mountain (1972). For me his role as Preacher Ezra Jackson in the 1970 film Night Of The Witches is pretty dang awesome as it was a Horror Comedy he also wrote and directed! His final role came in 1982’s western film Whitewater Sam that he also wrote and directed. Keith Larsen was also married three times with his second wife being actress Vera Miles who is known for being Lila Crane in Psycho 1-2! He also had three kids, and I should also say that he was a true icon of that era of westerns. Keith Larsen passed away on December 13, 2006 at the age of 82, and while gone he is not forgotten.

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The series lead actress Kim Winona was a full blooded Sioux Indian whose real name was Constance Elaine Mackey was born on October 10, 1930 in Nebraska and in her youth lived on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and later would go on to live in Spokane, Washington at the age of 17. While in Washington, she meet her first husband, a man named Harvey Buck. The pair married in 1951 and would move to Los Angeles where she would become a sectary for a commercial artist and while working this job her natural beauty caught the eye of many and she would go on to do modeling as well to earn extra money. From her modeling she caught the attention of a talent scout who encouraged her to try her hand at acting and she read for a part in the 1956 film “The Last Hunt” and while she did not get the part she was hired to promote it as “Miss Apache”. Her first role came in 1955 as Morning Star on Brave Eagle and she was a lead in all 26 episodes. The show’s executive producer Mike North hired her for this part as he thought she was perfect and captured the essence of the character. Constance would take on the stage name Kim Winona at first and would as well go by Connie Buck for future roles after Brave Eagle ended. She would go on to be in such films and shows as The Man Called X, Cheyenne, Rough Riders, Gunsmoke, Rawhide and 1961’s film Gun Fight. Kim walked away from acting to focus on her art, as she was a very talented painter and sculptor with one of her sculptures being on displayed at the Carnegie Institute! Kim was married three times and had two daughters from those marriages. Sadly Constance Elaine Mackey passed away on June 23, 1978 at the age of 47 from suicide by gunshot due to depression, and the world lost a truly lovely and creative soul. Rest In Peace Constance Elaine Mackey aka Kim Winona, your art and roles will live on forever.

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While the show only lasted one season, it like all western shows and movies of that time, got tons of great merchandise for fans to collect that includes comics, a coloring book, metal lunchbox, episodes on DVD and a Little Golden Book even! Since I found out about this show I have myself got the DVD set, all the comics and am on the hunt for the Lunchbox! I have heard rumors that Marx Toys did figures based on the show, but besides hearsay I have found zero evidence that they were made…but if they were I would definitely buy the figures of Brave Eagle and Morning Star! Check out below to see some of this awesome merchandise.

Brave Eagle BookBrave Eagle Lunch BoxBrave Eagle Coloring Book

I also want to take a brief second to say that on October 3, 2021 while at the Springfield Antique Center Building 2, Juliet and I found something very cool and that was a plush doll of Irwin Troll of comic strip Broom-Hilda fame! And if you remember back in the review for the Irwin Troll paperback comic strip book that I did on September 12, 2020 I talked about wanting one of the dolls and finally a little over a year later I own one! And the shocking part is that it was only $5.00! So I just wanted to update you readers on the fact that Juliet and I finally found an Irwin Troll doll, and we got it for a great price and we both think it’s super cool. And for those of you who have not read my update on Irwin Troll please make sure to check out the update here. And below is two pictures of our Irwin doll on the day we got him.

Irwin Troll Doll 2021 1Irwin Troll Doll 2021 2

The Brave Eagle comics by DELL were part of their Four Color series that featured comics based on cartoons, TV shows, movies and famous people. And I must take a moment as well to say just how awesome DELL was as a comic publisher as they did some many comics based on so many amazing properties like Universal Monsters, Vincent Price Films, Steve Reeve Hercules films, Looney Tunes, Walt Disney Characters. Three Stooges, Yogi Bear and so many Western films and shows! No modern comic company does what they did back in their time and that’s why DELL is one of the most important independent comic publishers for fans of licensed properties. I want to think Ebay sellers for having all these issues in stock at great prices and I also want to think my gal Juliet for ordering them all for me. 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s see how well Brave Eagle translated to the world of comic books. Oh I will also be numbering these in the number they were released as well as using Brave Eagle as the title and not Four Color. So let’s see what Brave Eagle has in-store for us in these comic pages.

Brave Eagle Comic 1

Brave Eagle # 1  **1/2
Released in 1956     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 705 of 1354

“The Mask Of The Manitou” Brave Eagle and Smokey end up saving the life of a Blackfoot Warrior who was being attacked by Comanches, after run off the wounded warriors asks via his Chief Sun Bear if they could bring his tribes women and kids to his land for safety and he agrees. While Brave Eagle and Smokey help the Blackfoot settle into their new temporary home, and young Keena is hunting and bags a massive elk that will feed both tribes and so badly wants to share this news with his father and almost gets crushed by a mountain landslide to do so! The landslide destroys all the Blackfoot’s food and Brave Eagle and Smokey at night decide to sneak into their camp and deliver food as a surprise, and Keena as well wants to bring his big elk on his own to surprise them. But a Comanche Warrior that was a prisoner escapes and meets him with his fellow warriors and pins down Brave Eagle, Smokey and Morning Star who arrived to warn them of the prisoners escape by firing arrows at them. Brave Eagle fights back and takes down the Comanches and is able to deliver the food before sunrise, and as he and the others leave he watches in pride as his son delivers the elk. “The Gold Of Haunted Mountain” Brave Eagle, Keena and Smokey meet up with Chris Wilkins who is a miner who is a friend of the tribe and he asks them for a favor that he is owed to show them the entrance of a haunted mine in the mountains that is said to be filled with lots of gold, and when then do so a pair of bad guys follow and try to steal all the gold and even hold Keena as a prisoner! And it takes Brave Eagle and Smokey to act like ghosts to scare the bad guys away and into the arms of the law, and once Keena is safe they even leave Chris a gold nugget to make the old man rich who is a friend and once down on his luck.

This is a mix bagged western comic that captures some of the charm of the TV show and also added a little bit more of a comic charm to the normal western stories. This issue has two stories with both being interesting with the first story really focusing on Brave Eagle being a noble Chief to his people and fellow tribes and gaining pride in his son who does what is right to got get the glory that would come with it. And the second story is more of a Brave Eagle stops criminals from stealing gold and gets a deserter captured by the Calvary. Brave Eagle is a tough fighter in this issue as be brings down three warriors who want him dead and by doing so saves his best friend as well as his love interest, he is also very given as he tries to help a fellow tribe with food and shelter, he also helps his white friend escape the grip of two scummy gold thieves as well helps his son learn how to be a good man. Smokey is also a good guy who follows his Chief and does what he can to help him at all times and trusts in his word. Keena is a good kid who as well seems to always want to do the right thing and wants to be just like his father. The downside to this first issue is that I feel that they really down play Morning Star and she is barely around or used in the first story and does not even show up in the second…and that’s crazy as she is a lead in the TV Show! The issue has some good action as well as some cool spooky moments with the likes of the Haunted Mountain, but also has a few moments of being a little slow in spots making it slightly drag. The cover is cool and if you are a fan of the TV Show is eye catching as it shows Keith Larsen as Brave Eagle and is clearly a promotional still for the show. The interior art is done by Dan Spiegle and is pretty good and captures a very comic book look for all the characters with each looking like they should given the year this was made. Over all a good comic that does its best to do the show justice and I could see how kids of the time would have enjoyed it very much, so with that lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Brave Eagle Comic 2

Brave Eagle # 2  **1/2
Released in 1957     Cover Price .10      DELL      # 770 of 1354

“Shield Of Honor” The Crow tribe shows up and steals many of the horses of Brave Eagles tribe including his own horse White Cloud, and this cause Brave Eagle, Smokey and other warriors to give chase to try and get them back. Meanwhile back at camp Chief Great Bear of the Pawnee arrives and chats with Morning Star and Keena and even teaches Keena some warrior tricks that he could do while riding a horse. Once back to his people Brave Eagle has not gotten the horses back and meets with Great Bear who wants to ask for both tribes to come together to go after The Crow that is lead by Chief Iron Hand who he says is a threat to all tribes. The two Chiefs separate and Brave Eagle and his council think that Iron Hand is innocent and that Great Bear was really the horse thief and after visiting Iron Hand and finding the horses near Great Bear’s camp they know they are right. And worse Keena has given Great Bear one of Brave Eagles arrows that has his markings and the Pawnee are headed to The Crows in order to start war as one of their warriors has fake arrows that have the mark of Brave Eagle! But after a fight Brave Eagle defeats Great Bear who promises that he will not get them involved in his war again. “Fury In The Forest” Brave Eagle, Keena and Smokey head into the forest to hunt food for the winter and when they bring down a big bison it is stolen by white hunters, and Brave Eagle must teach them a lesson as well as get the bison back to feed his people.

The second issue of Four Colors to feature Brave Eagle and his tribe is a pretty good read and does I think a slightly better job of bringing in the action and drama of the TV Show to the pages of the comics. The two stories are also well done with the first being another tribe Chief trying to get Brave Eagle involved in a big war between tribes and the second has hunters trying to steal the food of Brave Eagle’s tribe cause they wanted to sell the animals pelt. Brave Eagle once more shows that he is a hero, caring and wise whenever things could affect his tribe and people. I like in this issue how he beats Great Bear who is a warrior that others fear, but to be honest while Great Bear is a good Chief to his people he is also very dishonest as he will do what ever he can to make his tribe beat out their rivals. Keena does some pretty silly things in this issue like given Great Bear and arrow of his fathers even though that is against the tribes rules, and he also should be looking up to his father and not another Chief he just meet. Smokey is around in both stories and is wise and as helpful as ever. And it was cool to see White Cloud the horse of Brave Eagle get a little bit of time to shine as it as well is in both stories. But like before they downplay Morning Star and it’s really starting to annoy me, as she should be way more involved and important in these stories besides being reduced to cameos. I have to say great action as well because I have to praise the quick fight between Brave Eagle and Great Bear as it brought a nice TV Western feel to the comic. Another cool photo cover for the issue that is eye catching for fans of the show and the interior art by Dan Spiegle is once more well done. Over all another good issue that leaves me wanting to read more Brave Eagle….but for the love of Jack Kirby could they please make Morning Star a big deal in these comics.

Brave Eagle Comic 3

Brave Eagle # 3   **1/2
Released in 1957     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 816 of 1354

“Search For The Sun” A band of renegade Natives have started to rob and kill white men who are mining for gold, and the Calvary is trying to stop them but are failing. The last attack left only one man left alive by the name of Gusty who is now in the care of Brave Eagle and his people as they are trying to nurse him back to health. The renegade robberies puzzle Brave Eagle as gold means nothing to his people so along with Smokey they set out to find out who these renegades are and what they are up to. Meanwhile back at camp Gusty spends his time telling tall tales to Keena and Morning Star, as Keena is a little upset as he feels Brave Eagle ignored him before he left camp as he made him a ring and needed to try and fit its size. When Brave Eagle finds a cabin that has been burnt to the ground he also finds a wounded renegade Indian who spills the beans that they are stealing the gold as another group of white men give them rifles for it! Brave Eagle takes his prisoner to the army fort, and later that night Keena decides that he will return to his real tribe as he thinks because Brave Eagle is not his real dad that he does not love him and once at his family tribe he learns they are working with the gold thieves and he spills the beans on Brave Eagles gold in order to get his own rifle! Meanwhile Gusty is upset that a story he told about Keena’s tribe is what drove him to find then and sets out to bring the young man back. But we find that Keena has sent the renegades to an empty mine and gets word back to Brave Eagle who takes Smokey and some warriors and brings them down. In the end Keena returns to Brave Eagle and a great feast is made to celebrate. “The Iron Trail” Bull Larson is in charge of building rails for trains that will be going through the area and while working he injures one of Brave Eagle’s tribe and keeps him as a hostage. When Brave Eagle goes to check on his missing friend he over hears Bull talking about robbing the payroll train and blaming it on the Natives, and Brave Eagle comes up with a plan that has him on the train and he stops Bull from pulling off the robbery and once more is the hero.

The third issue in the Brave Eagle comics is really good and like before has two stories with one being the longer of the two and each having almost a lesson in them. The two adventures has Brave Eagle and his tribe stopping gold thieves as well as a payroll thieves and also his son learns that just cause you are not from the same blood dose not mean they don’t love them like you are their own. Brave Eagle truly wants his people and the white people to be able to live in harmony, and this clearly angers some of his own people as they want to retake the land and will steal and kill to do so. Brave Eagle as always shows that he is also a great warrior as he fights for what he thinks is right. Keena in this issue gets his feelings hurt and says some things to Brave Eagle he regrets, and when Keena returns to his original tribe he finds that they are on the side of chaos and learns that his true place is with his father. Smokey and Morning Star take a back seat in this issue and while around they sadly do very little. Gusty is a white man that is injured and is being taken care of, but while a good man he does tell some stories that bend the truth and is what causes some issues between Keena and Brave Eagle. And man Bull Larson is a terrible person who is willing to kill and steal the money of his workers and by doing so could start a war between Brave Eagle and the Calvary. While the action is a little slow in this issue when it comes though its lots of fun and makes for another above average read that brings the entertainment to the reader. The cover is good and once more is just a promo photo and the art is done by Dan Spiegle and is good stuff for this time of adaptation comics. So with that let’s take a look at the next issue to showcase Brave Eagle and his Tribe.

Brave Eagle Comic 4

Brave Eagle # 4   **
Released in 1958     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 879 of 1354

“Forbidden Land” Brave Eagle, Smokey and Keena ride out to check on a wagon when two scared horses entered their camp, but they find that it was a set up by white men who wanted to stage a fake death and robbery in order to start a war between the Soldiers and the Indian Warriors. And worse when the white men escape they trick the Calvary into believing that Brave Eagle and his tribe attacked them and stole the horses that ran into their camp earlier! Because of this the Calvary with orders from the Government is taking Brave Eagles tribes land! The Tribe is upset and the talk of war breaks out, but Brave Eagle wants a chance to make this right and follows one of the accusers to a cave and learns that the plan is for the Calvary to move gold just in case of war and for them to steal it and blame Brave Eagles tribe once more for the robbery. But once Smokey captures one of the thieves and the Calvary learn of the plot they along with Brave Eagle’s tribe stop the gold robbery and the land is returned to the tribe and the misunderstanding is patched up as the crooks are taking in for their crimes. “The Plight Of Red Thunder” While hunting Brave Eagle meets up with Red Thunder a chief that he has been friends with for decades and the two along with Smokey head to his camp in order to enjoy some dinner, but while there they meet Spotted Colt the son of Red Thunder who loves to pull pranks and jokes. To teach him a lesson Brave Eagle fakes being hurt and Spotted Colt has to find a way to get help from people who do not believe him and as well learn that jokes have a time and a place.

The fourth issue in the Brave Eagle comics is at this point the one that packs less impact and in some spots is a little boring. The main story of the gold robbery really is the plot of many of the stories that have came before it and adds nothing new besides more faceless and nameless bad guys. The second story is fun and is a take of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” as Spotted Colt is a young man who likes to have fun, but has terrible timing. Brave Eagle is much of the same a hero, warrior, wise man and a teacher to those that are around him. Smokey and Keena are around but do very little and most annoying Morning Star is nowhere in site! Red Thunder is a kind hearted Chief who has an annoying son and needs help to teach him a lesson. The cover is another promo pic from the show and has Brave Eagle with a bow and arrow. The art is done by what looks like an Unknown Artist and the first story is kind of sloppy in the art department with the second one being way better. Not much to say about this issue besides it’s ok and while entertaining it was also kind of a slow moving read. Keep in mind I did not dislike this issue it was just a little underwhelming and also just kind of did not capture the Show very well.

Brave Eagle Comic 5

Brave Eagle # 5  **1/2
Released in 1958      Cover Price .10      DELL      # 929 of 1354

“The Ride For Life” Smokey enters his tribes land and falls from his horse as he has been shot and is injured by a pair of white men who are also tracking him and he has heard a plan that they have in the works. Brave Eagle and his warriors wait for Smokey to wake up in order to find out who did this to him so that they can make them face justice. The two would be killers creep into the camp and one cuts free the horses while the other creeps into the tipi and tries to stab Smokey, but it’s a trap and Brave Eagle is inside and fights off the attacker and in the commotion both outlaws escape into the night forest. Brave Eagle is then asked by Morning Star to visit Smokey who is having a very high fever, and Brave Eagle decides that he must ride to the Calvary fort and try and get medicine and once there the two men who shot Smokey are already inside and blame Brave Eagle for a raid the killed Calvary solders and stole gold that they were escorting! But when one of the bad guys slip up they are arrested and Brave Eagle takes the Fort Doctor to Smokey, but also finds out the Keena is near a creek that the raiders use when they stole the gold, and he gets there to find his son kidnapped by the remaining gang! And with the help of his Braves they bring down the rest of the crooks and rush back to be with Smokey. “Mustang Trail” one day Morning Star and Keena notice that three of the tribes horses are missing and they go and tell Brave Eagle who notices that the line that the horses were hitched to has been cut by someone. We see that the horses are taken by a group of outlaws who uses the horses to drag flaming brush behind them causing a wild fire all around the camp. And while Brave Eagle and his tribe put out the fires the outlaws go and steal almost all the tribes horses! And Brave Eagle, Smokey and Keena start tracking to get their horses back and uncover a whole horse thief ring, and using his mind Brave Eagle is able to bring them down and get the horses back.

The fifth and final issue of Brave Eagle is another entertaining issues that does a pretty good job of capture the mood of the TV series it was based on, I will say that it is missing a little bit of the humor of Smokey as well as the shows narration by Brave Eagle is missing and I really dislike that the comics barely use Morning Star as they act like she was not a big deal when she very much is in the source material. And while I really liked the comics I do feel that the lack of Morning Star really was a big flaw. These two stories are pretty good with the first story being really good and the last story being average and slightly dull, but still a good read. Brave Eagle throughout the comics was a great leader to his tribe, who gets things done and really watches out for his people. He is a good fighter, a man who uses his mind to issue solve and is loyal to his friends and tribe. So really Brave Eagle is a good honest hero who is pretty interesting and transfers from TV to Comic pretty well. Keena is the son of Brave Eagle and is always up for adventure and to be at the side of his father during any situation. Smokey is Brave Eagles best friend and is also his most trusted as he as well is always at his Chief’s side and is willing to risk his life for him as well as the tribe he calls family. Morning Star is the daughter of Smokey and the little we see her she is caring, brave and wise. The Calvary in this series seem to be very washy with Brave Eagle and his tribe as at times they act like they trust them and then the moment any white man says a negative thing about them they turn on them. The series had some pretty good action but oddly more of the stories had to do with gold or horse thieves with most being about gold…very weird as it seemed the writer or writers just had one basic idea for Brave Eagle to go after. The comic cover is another promo photo of Brave Eagle and is eye catching for fans of the TV Show. And the interior art once more is done by Dan Spiegle and is pretty good and has that classic Dell Comic look. Over all the Brave Eagle comic series is pretty entertaining and while not fully like the show it does its best to try and capture the magic of the show. Check out the artwork bellow to see the art style used in this comic.

Brave Eagle Art 1Brave Eagle Art 2Brave Eagle Art 3

Brave Eagle is a great western TV Show that sparked entertaining Dell Comic issues via their Four Color series and I am sure readers that where viewers really did enjoy giving these a read and continuing the adventures of Brave Eagle. And for me this was a fun comic to start our countdown to Thanksgiving with as this time of the year always makes me want to visit the past and even discover new things from the past like I did here with Brave Eagle. So for the next update we will be still celebrating 10 years of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame and will be taking a look at USA Up All Night and all the classic hosts like Gilbert, Rhonda and Caroline that made up that iconic show! So until next time read a western comic of three, watch a western show or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time and be ready to stay Up All Night!

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From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: WolfCop (2014)

Halloween is drawing closer, and this countdown to this spooky holiday update will be about the Horror Comedy film WolfCop and the Dynamite Comic series based around it! WolfCop is one of those indie films that I was alerted to early on and knew I needed to see it as I am a mega werewolf fan and also enjoy a good Horror Comedy from time to time. But after a short limited theatrical run and me not liking digital movies, I had to wait a while and finally was able to get it on DVD, and after watching it I was a fan of its fun over the top nature. And when thinking about what film and comic should get the “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update treatment I knew I had to cover WolfCop sooner then later and now here it is, so grab a drink, sit back and relax as we are going on a crazy werewolf crime busting adventure with Sergeant Lou Garou or as we all really know him WolfCop.

Let’s take a look at Sergeant Lou Garou aka The Wolfcop and his way of dealing with criminals that get in his way, as he does not kill the innocent. As human Lou Garou he is an officer of the law who spends more time drinking and getting drunk than busting crime and is over all looked at as a failure and joke. But once he is turned into a werewolf and called WolfCop he is still a drunk but also is some how a better officer! WolfCop can use his super senses like smell and hearing in order to track down his targets as they can run but cannot hide, as he can also move pretty fast for a drunken werewolf. WolfCop is also really strong and can use his strength to toss around as well as rip apart criminals and cult members alike. While WolfCop can use handguns and shotguns to deal death his main tools are his razor sharp teeth and claws that can rip and tear flesh like rice paper. WolfCops can also scare criminals with his appearances as well as his howl that can chill their bones and freeze them with fear. WolfCop is also fearless and will walk into danger and as he is not only has a don’t care attitude but also has liquid courage as he is drunk at all times. WolfCop not only gets his powers from the full moon but also booze and oh yeah he loves doughnuts. It should also be noted that normal bullets and stab wounds does not kill him. WolfCop does have weaknesses as he is human most of the time, and there for can be hurt and killed. Magic and Silver weapons of death can also kill him as again he is a werewolf and he hates silver. WolfCop also cause he is drunk can also be outsmarted and set up allowing his enemies to attack or escape him. WolfCop is a pretty strong killing machine and while he only kills the guilty those on the wrong side of the law have lots to worry about.

So as you can see, WolfCop is one law enforcement killing machine who while a raging beast is still on the side of the law and does what’s right and slaughters the bad people of the world. But now that we have talked about WolfCop the creature we need to now dive into the film that spawned him! I will be taking the films write up from our pals at IMDB after that I will be writing about the film’s production as well as my thoughts of the film. So let’s talk WolfCop the Full Moon Avenger Of Law Enforcement.

WolfCop (2014)

“It’s not unusual for alcoholic cop Lou to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings, but lately things have taken a turn for the strange…and hairy. WolfCop is the story of one cop’s quest to become a better man. One transformation at a time.”

Lowell Dean was coming off his first feature film “13 Eerie” that was released in 2013 and had the bug to make another film. He wanted to make a film that as well did not rely on computer effects and wanted practical and being a horror fan he wanted to stay in that genre but also add in a touch of comedy. The film was shot in the same location area as 13 Eerie and was your typical independent filming production. Lowell did a great job of casting as he hired Leo Fafard to play Lou Garou/ The WolfCop as well as such named as Sarah Lind, Jonathan Cherry and Amy Matysio in supporting roles. He also got the scoring and music skills of Shooting Guns to do the soundtrack. The film was released on June 6, 2014 and was meet with great reviews from horror fans and critics as always was split on it with most given it praise. The film was released along side such films as Dracula Untold, As Above So Below, Last Shift, It Follows, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and What We Do In The Shadows to name a few. The film would be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital and find even more of a following.

WolfCop was a film that I first heard about thanks to Horror Movie websites that I visit all the time sites like Gorezone, Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central to name a few and the coverage they were given it, and then once I seen the trailer I knew I had to see this film as werewolves are my favorite classic monster and the film looked crazy and funny as well. Of course no local theater in my area picked it up when it had its limited run theatrically so I had to wait for home media before I was able to view it and did so at a Horror Movie Marathon and the film was a big hit with everyone in attendance enjoying! And the shocking part for me was that I really liked it and laughed at several of the over the top moments as well as crude gross humor, and that’s shocking as for the most part I am not a mega fan of the more modern Horror Comedy films that was spawned after Shaun Of The Dead. And even more shocking is when the sequel Another WolfCop was released in 2017 I as well really enjoyed that one as well! Besides the gross humor what really worked for me was the look of WolfCop as well as the blood and gore as the film had no CGI effects and the practical effects made the scenes more gruesome and made the humor pop more. Plus you can never go wrong with the films end theme being a rap about the films character, man more movies need to do this. If you like werewolves, dark crude gross humor, indie Horror flicks and cool effects I say make sure to check out WolfCop! Oh and Lowell Dean were is WolfCop 3?

WolfCop is a film that I think every Horror Movie fan with a weird sense of humor should see at least once in their lives as I think much of the over the top goof gore and kills will put a smile on your face. Now it’s time that we take a look at the comics based on this film and I would like to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for getting me these comics for my pull file and making this long overdue update possible. I would also like 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, its entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready, let’s go on patrol with WolfCop and see what violent calls we will get while he is on duty.

WolfCop # 1  ***
Released in 2016     Cover Price $3.99   Dynamite     #1 of 3

Just outside the town of Woodhaven, a door-less police car is speeding away from the town and behind the wheel is the drunk Sergeant Lou Garou who is guzzling liquor and with him is his friend Willie Higgins who is a little scared of Lou’s poor drunk driving skills. The car ends up dying and the two are stuck out in the middle of nowhere just in time to be harassed by a motorcycle gang that has two young ladies kidnapped, Lou being an officer of the law tries to save the ladies…but he and Willie are overpowered and are as well taken. While tied up and placed in a cycles sidecar the moon comes out and Lou turns into WolfCop and slaughters all but one biker who ran away and saves the ladies, while one lady runs off if fear the other tells them that the bikers were taken them to a place called The Meat Locker and that many people before them had been taken to it and have never returned. The Meat Locker is ran by a fat cannibal who has the bikers kidnap people and bring them to this place so he can eat them, and once hearing about WolfCop he gets a craving for werewolf meat! WolfCop takes Willie and the woman to the Meat Locker on a stolen bike and rushes in and takes out many of the henchmen and butchers with ease, but he finds that the man in charge is really a monster a giant Boar monster and its strong, real strong and even worse hungry! WolfCop and The Boar Monster clash with WolfCop coming out the winner with a well-placed bullet to the creature’s brain! In the end the young woman frees all the hostages that were to be eaten as Willie and WolfCop ride off on a motorcycle.

This first issue in the WolfCop mini series is a fantastic read that is filled with lots of blood and guts as well as humor and shows that Horror Movie characters like WolfCop are perfect for comic books. The plot has Officer Garou on the run along with his close friend Willie who stumble onto a biker gang who are taking people to a place to be killed and eaten by a man who is really a monster boar, really the plot is that crazy and that fantastic. WolfCop is a werewolf of few words besides when he wants a hard drink and lets his actions speak for themselves, he is not afraid to rush into danger as well as has zero issues with massacring bad guys. As human Lou Garou he is nothing more than a drunk who loves taking a drink one after another. Willie Higgins is a loyal friend to Lou who watches out for his friend not only as a human but also as a werewolf and is willing to risk his own life to help out his pal. The Biker Gang are just evil minions for a Boar Creature who is brutal in nature and loves to eat flesh and is always hungry for blood and meat…he is massive when turned into the creature and all those who were to be eaten have to think WolfCop for coming and saving the day and their lives. The comic is very bloody and has lots of blood splatter and even flesh eating making it truly feel like a horror comic straight of the 90’s indie scene. The pacing of the issue is also really well done and feels like a fast read with lots of action and a cool fight between monsters with a good payout. The cover is really great and super eye catching not only for fans of the WolfCop film but also for fans of Horror Comics! The interior art is done by Arcana Studios and is top-notch work and captures the awesome look of WolfCop really well. This comic is a nice fit and feels like apart of the film universe and shows that Horror Comics based on films can be done right when the right creative team is behind the creative wheel.

WolfCop # 2  ***
Released in 2016     Cover Price $3.99   Dynamite     #2 of 3

Lou and Willie are in a small town trying to get his old beat up police cruiser fix when they meet Madame Faye at a strip club and she invites them to stay at her place for the night while the car is being worked on. They get to her home and see that it’s filled with beautiful women and she also has a mountain of a man named Sammy who acts as the houses security guard even caring a massive sword. As Willie goes off to a room with all the ladies, Lou heads off with Madame Faye and things start to turn bad real bad for the friends! Madame Faye is some sort of witch and uses black magic to bring the werewolf out of Lou as well as keeps him in place with a spell, as poor Willie ends up having to fight for his life as the women he is with are all zombies! After killing all the zombie women Willie makes his way to Lou and finds him stuck and now as WolfCop the beast in mad and wants something hard to drink to try and break the spell, but all they have is a little booze left in a flask. Willie tries his best to free WolfCop but is found out by Madame Faye and Sammy and pays with his life as Sammy cuts Willie’s hand and head off, and this enrages WolfCop who breaks free and kills Sammy in return who can not be kept down as he is some sort of demon, and worse for WolfCop more Zombie woman are around and the house is no on fire! WolfCop is able to get the Sammy Demon outside and finds some booze that he quickly drinks that gives him the power to rip the heart out of Sammy killing the demon. He leaves Madame Faye in the burning house as she is being attacked and killed by her zombie women as the flames close in. WolfCop is upset and gives a call to Sergeant Tina and alerts her that he is coming back home to Woodhaven.

This second issue puts WolfCop into another very dangerous situation as he this time around must fight off an evil powerful Witch, her Demon sidekick and a horde of female zombies hungry for flesh all in a small town at a whorehouse and witnesses his best friend be killed before his eyes! So as you can see this was a really bad night for WolfCop who allows his rage to take over, well as well as lots of booze in order to break a spell he was under and escape and kill those who ruined his night. WolfCop in this issues not only uses his claws and teeth to cause death but also uses his gun to bring down the evil all around him. It always makes me laugh when WolfCop uses his addiction to booze to be more powerful as a werewolf and it works for him as the drunker he is the more skilled he is. Poor Willie who is the babysitter for WolfCop was looking forward to bedding some beautiful women, instead is attacked by them as they turn into zombies and then become the victim of a beheading at the hands of a demon. The Demon Sammy is a killer who listens to his master and uses his sword to deliver death as well as has a burning body that can inflict pain as well. Madame Faye is a witch that uses her black magic to kill people that come to her brothel and control a demon and zombies. She is powerful but also when she gets weakened by a gunshot wound she finds herself the lunch buffet for her own zombie ladies. This issue is lots of fun just like the first one and has a fast paced silly Comedy Horror vibe that captures the film series really well. The comic has blood and guts and even has the death of a character that was a fan favorite for readers and viewers. The cover on this issue is just ok and is a little lacking and while eye catching does not do the issue justice. The interior art is well done and is done by Allan Otero and is well done and his WolfCop drawings are on point. Over all another great issue in this WolfCop mini series and I like that this one ends with him returning home and who knows what creatures he will face in the next and final issue.

WolfCop # 3  **1/2
Released in 2016     Cover Price $3.99   Dynamite     #3 of 3

WolfCop returns to Woodheaven and once out of his car kills off some gang members before entering Willie’s old gun store to find Willie alive inside as he re-spawned after getting his head cut off by Sammy at the brothel. You see Willie who is a shape shifter has an unknown amount of returns in his life. Once inside the shop WolfCop and Willie talk about the curse the witch placed on him that now keeps him stuck as a werewolf! Just then Officer Tina shows up and notices that Willie has all types of illegal guns and warns them both that they need to leave town as they are wanted for many murders. As WolfCop and Willie are heading to the car to once more leave town a sniper using high-powered ammo opens fire on WolfCop who shrugs off the bullets and ends up killing the sniper. A homeless man from nowhere shows up and is upset that the sniper failed and as he keeps getting mad he changes into a monster with a massive mouth filled with razor sharp teeth and many tentacles legs and goes for WolfCop as he wants to drink the werewolves blood. Tina and Willie try and help their friend by shooting at and even hitting the monster with grenades, but while it slows the monster down it does not stop him! WolfCop is loosing as the monster is way to big and strong, but Willie tosses WolfCop a grenade launcher and lycan cop fires right into the monsters mouth and kills it. In the end Willie and WolfCop are leaving town and Tina watches them walk away as WolfCop asks for doughnuts.

The third and final issue of WolfCop has him returning home in order to pick up his friend Willie who has re-spawned back to life their after being killed. Once in town he is attacked by yet another monster and even gets to see is old partner Tina. The Monster in this issue is a weird looking almost H.P. Lovercraft creature that wants to drink the blood of WolfCop and spends his time also talking down to the officer while beating him. The Monster is way to cocky and that’s what leads to him being exploded into pieces is the fact he thinks he is unbeatable. Willie Higgins returns and he is happy to be back to life and is as goofy and gun loving as ever, and because he loves guns and weapons is how they are able to bring down the monster that was attacking and killing his friend WolfCop. It’s also great to see Officer Tina in action as she is a very important character in the films series and plays a smaller role here in the comic, but still great to see her. WolfCop in this issue is stuck being a werewolf and is not drunk enough and is hungry for some good old doughnuts, but even with these cravings he still has the mindset to kill some punks as well as try and fight a monster that was bigger then he was! Through out this whole mini series WolfCop as always backs down from no fight and goes into them with no plan and no fear and always comes out the winner. I mean think about this just in these three issues he has killed a Cannibal Boar Monster, Bikers, A Witch, Female Zombies, a Demon, Punks, A Sniper and a Monster…see WolfCop is a drunken badass! This issue has some blood and violence but is not in the same league as the last two issues that had way more gory deaths. I feel like Dynamite really dropped the ball by not making WolfCop an ongoing series as it would have been awesome to see it continue and even maybe crossover with Army Of Darkness, as who wouldn’t want to see WolfCop team with Ash and fight the deadites! The cover for this third issue is pretty good and shows WolfCop crashing through a window looking very pissed off and ready for a fight. The interior art is done by Allan Otero and like before is very well done, and for those wondering Allan is an artist who has done so much for Zenescope Comics. I really enjoyed the WolfCop mini series and really do feel that more issues should have been made and that a third film should be as well, and I will say if you like WolfCop or Another WolfCop you should give this comic series a read. Check out the artwork below to see the style used in this series.

WolfCop and Dynamite Comics come together to once more prove my point that comics based on Horror Movies are a great way to not only promote the film as this one was a great way to build hype for the sequel Another WolfCop that was coming out soon as well as helps bring readers to the comic company that released it, as fans of WolfCop would go on to see Dynamite release Jeepers Creepers and Pumpkinhead as well as their long running Army Of Darkness series. That is why in my opinion companies like Eibon Press, IDW and Blood Scream Comics are doing it right as they deliver not only great original comics but also amazing must read ones based on Horror Films. But enough of that I don’t need to bring out my soapbox here to talk about Horror Comics, as our patrol with WolfCop has came to an end and I need to alert you all that the next update that will be about the 1996 shot on video film “A Night Of Total Terror” that was directed by James Rolfe! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Man, I really hope that you readers are ready for a Night that is packed with Total Terror!

Marvel Horror Showcase – N’Kantu The Living Mummy

It’s almost October, and that means Halloween.  For this update, that is a countdown to that holiday, we will be talking a look at another of Marvel Comics’ horror characters that spooked readers in the 1970’s after the comic code ban of monsters was lifted. And this time around I choose to take a look at N’Kantu The Living Mummy, a character who started out in the series “Supernatural Thrillers” and would go onto guest in many other titles in the Marvel Universe. It’s funny as when I was a youngster I always thought that The Living Mummy was a big time Marvel Horror Character and had his own series and was on the same level as Dracula, Werewolf By Night, Man-Thing and Ghost Rider, but as I grew up, I learned this was not true and besides the handful of Supernatural Thrillers issues he was in, he mostly was a background player in books…and to be honest not very often at all. But I don’t care; to me The Living Mummy is a true icon of Marvel Horror and it will be a blast to take a look at him again as I have not read these comics in many years now and I am interested to see if his story arc holds up! So if you guys are ready, let’s travel to Egypt and see what horror N’Kantu has in store for us.

Let’s start this update off right by talking about N’Kantu himself and how he became the Living Mummy! Born in ancient times, N’Kantu was a prince of a Northern African tribe and after going through a test he proves that he is a warrior and that he can rule the tribe when his father passes away. Once her is the Chieftain of his tribe he return to his village after a hunting party to find that all his people have been taken as slaves by Egyptions and when going to get them back he himself is taken as a slave and forced to work harder then all the others as they really wanted to break N’Kantu’s spirit. And when N’Kantu and his people are taken to a pyramid to be executed a revolt happens to save their life, N’Kantu is captured and his punishment is that he is numbed and then is turned into a Mummy complete with draining his blood and placed in a sarcophagus…all this while he was alive! Centuries pass and with the numbing agent wearing off N’Kantu now known as The Living Mummy rises and goes on a rampage through Egypt, but over time his madness wears off and he finds himself going from eternal sleep and becoming a hero of sort. He has teamed with Fantastic Four member The Thing, he has been a member of teams like Legion Of Monsters, Frightful Four and The Howling Commandos and even was rejected by The Grandmaster in competing in the Contest Of Champions. And over the years he has made random appearance even been killed by Deadpool with a fire hose. Let’s hope that one day Marvel Comics gives N’Kantu The Living Mummy one more chance at his own series and brings back the Horror elements to him.

Steve Gerber and Rich Buckler created the Living Mummy for Marvel Comics Horror series called Supernatural Thrillers in 1973 for issue five and would make a total of ten appearances for the series and by issue seven of Supernatural Thrillers he took over as the series main star until the series cancelation. You see the 70’s was a big boom for Marvel Comics to create and showcase monster characters and they had vampires covered with Dracula, werewolves with Jack Russell, zombies with Simon Garth, swamp creature with Man-Thing and even more monsters in the pages of their comics as Horror Comics was big business at the time as the Comic Code was loosing its grip on the industry and they opened up what could be covered in comics. The character was well liked by readers and that’s why he took over the Supernatural Thrillers series and even later appeared alongside The Thing in an issue of Marvel Two In One. Sadly though over the years The Living Mummy has lost traction with readers and Marvel creative and was just used in appearances alongside other monster characters and is never taken as a threat nor even a main star in comics anymore. It’s a shame that Marvel Comics has turned its back on almost all their Marvel Horror characters as Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Man-Thing, The Golem, IT and so many more are just pushed back to bit parts in series or treated like outdated jokes who are easily beaten and are weak. I hope truly that Marvel one day wakes up and sees that readers like classic monsters and would love new scary issues of them.

Did you readers know that The Living Mummy has also had his fair share of other merchandise? Like did you know that he appeared in the 2017 video game “Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2” that you could play on PS4, Nintendo Switch and X-Box One? He also was featured as a sticker trading card in 1975 as apart of the Marvel Super Heroes Sticker Card Collection. As well was featured in the tabletop game called HeroClix as apart of the Amazing Spider-Man set. While he has not gotten the action figure or statue treatment yet, I am sure in time he may get those honors and who knows maybe he will rise again and even get his own comic series that will also spawn a show or movie…yeah I doubt it as well. Check out the merchandise below to see The Living Mummy in all his plastic, pixel and cardboard glory.

I have always liked The Living Mummy and I first discovered him thanks to the gone but never forgotten Bookie Parlor that was in Kettering, Ohio when I shopped there.  Hal, the owner, had all the issues of Supernatural Thrillers in stock and I would grab them all over time. I can remember reading them in my room late at night as well as have great memories of reading them while hiding in a club house that I had in my room, yeah I had a club house in my room when I was younger living in Waynesville. But let’s get to the review part of this Marvel Horror update, and I would like to think my friend Geoff Burkman for getting me better copies of this comic series many years back and I would like to 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 let’s get ready to take a Supernatural Marvel Horror journey with The Living Mummy!

Supernatural Thrillers # 5  ***
Released in 1973    Cover Price .20      Marvel    # 5 of 15

In the desert of Egypt near a tank Avram and his girlfriend Davida are sitting talking about war and wishing it would end when they come face to face with The Living Mummy who attacks them and before he kills them the beauty of Divida causes him to walk away. A few days later in Cairo Doctor Skarab has uncovered the tale of N’Kantu a Prince turned slave who killed a Pharaoh and for this was turned into a Mummy and buried alive and allowed the evil Nephrus to rise to power, and he tells this tale to Janice and Ron. Doctor Skarab then tells them he thinks that he is related to Nephrus and that he wants to search the pyramids and find the Mummy of N’Kantu and see if the fluid used to embalm him really has kept him eternal and if his mind is still intact! The Living Mummy of N’Kantu has entered the city now and is on a rampage attacking people with a mission to find Nephrus and heads to the home of Doctor Skarab just as the Doctor and his friends leave to search the street for The Mummy as it’s rampage has been all over the news. Hours pass and when Doctor Skarab returns home The Living Mummy is out cold on the floor and when he wakes up he calls Doctor Skarab the name Nephrus and begs him to help make him human again, as the Doctor and his friends run from the room the Police show up and uses guns and tear gas on The Living Mummy enraging the creature that ends up pulling down an electric poll and by accident touches the wires and The Living Mummy electrifies himself and falls “dead” into the street. In the end Doctor Skarab asks the cops if he can take The Mummy’s body to study and make sure its dead and the cops agree for this to happen.

This was a great read that reminds me of a classic Universal Monsters film from the 40’s mixed with Hammer Horror from the 60’s! The plot has a cursed Mummy who was given eternal life over 3,000 years ago and buried alive as a punishment waking up in the 1970’s and is on a rampage in order to find a man he thinks can help end his pain and life. Doctor Skarab is a man who studies ancient Egyptian culture who thinks that he just might be the relative of an old Priest who made a fluid that have people eternal life as well as wants to find and kill The Living Mummy in order to protect Egypt! While he is a man of history as a reader I also get a very bad vibe from him as I think he is hiding something behind his tales of the past as well as his want to “help” his nation. Ron and Janice are two good young adults who are friends with Doctor Skarab and who are being dragged into his tales and also into the path of a rampaging Mummy. Janice seems to almost have a little compassion for The Mummy and even wants to try and warn him about the danger of electric wires. N’Kantu The Living Mummy was a strong young Prince who was forced into being a slave and then is buried alive after leading a revolt of slaves, and now as a Mummy he is unstable and confused and is attacking anyone in his way as he wants to find a cure for his ever lasting life. While he is a dangerous Mummy he does have a moment or two of reality setting in and it helps save a few human lives. The Living Mummy also can shrug off bullets as well as tear gas, but cannot withstand very high voltage. The Horror elements of this Marvel Horror issue is well done and while The Living Mummy goes on a rampage against mankind it’s not overly violent nor bloody and is a great issue to get young readers into Horror Comics. The story by Steve Gerber is well written and clearly was really inspired by classic Horror Movies. The cover for this issue is amazing and very eye-catching for fans of Horror Comics and the interior art by Rich Buckler is top notch and is so fitting for this style of classic Marvel tales. Lets see what the next issue has in store for us and I have to say that this issue was just as good as I remember it being.

Supernatural Thrillers # 7  **1/2
Released in 1973     Cover Price .25       Marvel      # 7 of 15

At the New York Museum late at night a crate is broken apart from the inside and out comes N’Kantu The Living Mummy who rampages through the museum until he escapes into the streets of New York. The Security Guard calls the police as well as his boss Dr. Carroll Harter who shows up with his guest Doctor Skarab who once more tells the story of the legend of The Living Mummy as well as his thoughts of being related to Priest Nephrus from Ancient Egypt, and that the fluid that runs through the body of The Living Mummy is what gives him his eternal life and helped build his strength. Meanwhile in the streets of New York The Living Mummy is wondering around and confused by the modern city and wonders how his homeland is doing and when he hears a female voice calling for help he decides to help in order to get a native to this city on his side. The Living Mummy heads to Central Park and saves a young woman from a gang of punks, but all of them run away in fear and its then that The Living Mummy unwraps his hands and notices that he is in fact a rotting walking corpse! The punks alert the Police who all show up in order to stop the Mummy’s “rampage” and after taking many bullets he escapes into an ally and disappears to the horror of the cops.

This second issue to feature The Living Mummy has his wondering the streets of New York and finding his mind as well as discovering that he is really a walking corpse with powers. The downside to this issue is that Marvel Comics and writer Steve Gerber decided to downplay the Horror elements and turn The Living Mummy into a confused superhero who just wants to help, understand and get back to his home. It’s odd cause by removing The Living Mummy being a monster changes the whole mood of the character and series. N’Kantu The Living Mummy in this issue finds himself in New York and has gained his mind back as he is unable to speak his enter dialogue is that of a hero and brave man, he also in this issues really starts to put the pieces together that he is a walking undead creature who is living because of what was done to him during his embalming. We also see that bullets don’t hurt him and it also appears that just maybe he has the ability to warp or blend into the background and he vanishes from the alley. Doctor Skarab is also in New York and is only around to once more tell the story of N’Kantu and this is annoying as it eats up many of the page count for this issue. Plus Dr. Carroll Harter as well feels like a waste and is just around to listen to said origin story. While I like the idea that The Living Mummy is gaining his mind back I do not 100% like the fact he is turning into another generic superhero from the 70’s Marvel as I mean they did this same thing to Jack Russell aka The Werewolf By Night. I do like the fact that The Living Mummy is wondering around New York as this means he could run into the likes of Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Doctor Strange or Luke Cage! The cover for this issue is great and very eye-catching and once more has a classic Horror Movie look to it the interior art this time is done by Val Mayerik and while its good he is not one of my favorite Marvel Comics artists of the 70’s as at times his style leaves out details of characters. Over all this was a fun read and one I enjoyed reading again after all these years, just not a fan of the change in mood for this series and character. Oh and this issue also has a classic reprint horror tale to add to the spooky nature of the series.

Supernatural Thrillers # 8  **
Released in 1974     Cover Price .25       Marvel     # 8 of 15

The Living Mummy is floating through a strange dimension as a beam of light has taken him from the ally of New York and has dropped him on an unknown world were he is attacked by monsters that rise from the dirt as well as wind and rain until he is knocked out and wakes up in a castle and meets The Elementals who consist of Hydron who controls water, Magnum that controls land, Hellfire that commands fire and Zephyr that controls the wind and they need the help of The Living Mummy in order to return to Earth to take over and rule and what they need him to do is get a gem that was used against them centuries ago that sent them to this world. They also promise that with the gem they can turn him back into a living man! The Living Mummy wants to so bad return to his life as the Prince N’Kantu and go back to his people, but he rejects the offer as its clear these powerful beings want to enslave the people of Earth and he can not stand by and allow this to happen and declines their order to help and they attack! The Living Mummy holds his own until his mind is affected by Zephyr and she sends him to Egypt to get the gem and return it to them. Back on Earth the Mummy has no control and starts his mission to get the gem, but is able to send a mental message to Doctor Skarab who alerts Janice and Ron that the Mummy is back in Egypt and they must go to him.

This third issue featuring The Living Mummy is a strange one and takes him into another dimension and world that is controlled by a group of would be godly rulers who want to use him in order to return to Earth and enslave mankind and take control, but of course our creature hero rejects this and tries to stop them, but in the end he falls under mind control and is forced to return to Egypt and get a gem that is the only thing that can stop them. In this issue The Living Mummy shows that while he might look like a monster he will never stand with people who want to rule and have slaves and will do what he can to try and stop them. And while he looses the battle he still puts up a massive fight and is quick witted enough to send a mental message to people he thinks can help him stop this madness even with his mind being wrapped by an enemies will. Doctor Skarab who is some how linked to The Living Mummy knows that the creature is back in Egypt and is going to go to him and it makes you really wonder is it to help him or destroy him! The Elementals are godlike beings who have been around for many centuries who want to take over the Earth and also have control of the elements like wind, fire, water and earth and have one weakness a gem stone that can send them packing their bags to another world in a strange dimension. They are pretty powerful but not really all that interesting when it comes to motive and appearance. The plot is ok and I do like the idea of The Living Mummy standing his ground as he does not want any one to become a slave, as he was once one and wants no one else to become one. The downside is much of the plot seems rushed and many big panels fill the story that is already short due to the issue having a classic reprint horror story. I also dislike the fact that New York has a zero payout and like most of Marvel’s horror and strange comics at the time deals with traveling dimensions…like we really don’t need this for this character and his story. The cover is pretty great and once more has a classic Horror Movie look to it and the interior art is good and done by Val Mayerik again. Over all this issue is a little weak but yet still a great read and a fun flashback to reading it all those years back.

Supernatural Thrillers # 9  **1/2
Released in 1974      Cover Price .25       Marvel     # 9 of 15

The Living Mummy is in Egypt with his mind filled with murder as he starts to choke the life out of a guard who was protecting the pyramid and after a few moments The Living Mummy breaks the mind hold of Zephyr and lets the guard live and now wants the gem not to give to them but to use to destroy The Elementals who are now super mad and decided that they will let The Mummy grab the gem and then kill him for it. Inside the pyramid the gem is in the hands of mutant The Living Pharaoh who is not happy to see The Living Mummy enter his research area and sends his guards to stop him and they try but fail, and as The Living Mummy gets closer Living Pharaoh uses a trapdoor to capture the Living Mummy and then fills it with water to try and kill the creature, it does not work as The Living Mummy lifts and breaks some stones and the water drains out. The Living Mummy now comes face to face with The Living Pharaoh and they start to fight over the fate of the gem and during the fight a hand grabs the gem and runs off as the two continue to battle. As the gem gets further away the power of The Living Pharaoh fade and breaks down as his powers are gone. The Living Mummy walks out into the desert to follow the footprints of the unknown person who stole the gem as high above on a plane Doctor Skarab with Ron and Janice are arriving back in Egypt.

The Living Mummy in this issue is able to break the mind control that was pushing him to find the gem and kill and also is able to do battle with the mutant The Living Pharaoh as well as an unknown thief has stolen the gem from them both and has rushed into the desert. The Living Mummy once more shows how strong he is not only in power but also in mind and spirit as he is able to break the hold a powerful being had on his mind and proves that once more while a monster he still tries to do good as he does not want to take a human life. He also shows that besides bullets not hurting him you cannot drown him either. Doctor Skarab who has a link with The Mummy does not play a factor in this issue as we only see him as he is about to land, to be honest The Elementals as well just are around and start the issue off being mad about the mind control not working and then just watch the events unfold. Seeing the X-Men villain The Living Pharaoh was a nice touch and while he tries his best to bring down The Living Mummy his powers are weak and he does not get the job done and in facts just breaks down in sorrow when he has no more powers to use. The real question that is on readers minds is who is the man who stole the powerful gem and then ran away into the desert, as who ever it was did not seem afraid to enter an area that had a Mutant and a Mummy fighting over it. The Horror Element slightly returns in this issue as we start with The Living Mummy chocking a man and also we see him shrug off attacks my man, great classic movie monster stuff. The cover is solid and eye-catching but does not fit fully for a Horror Comic and the interior art is once more done by Val Mayerik and is good. Another good issue in the series and helps had more power to The Living Mummy and shows that he is way stronger then us readers thought. Lets see what happens in the next issue and if we find out who this gem thief is!

Supernatural Thrillers # 10  **1/2
Released in 1974      Cover Price .25       Marvel     # 10 of 15

The Mummy is wandering the desert fallowing the tracks of the gem thief and remembers back to the time when his ill father sent him on a quest to kill a lion to prove that he could be the chief of the tribe and he did so and made his father proud. Meanwhile The Elementals are yelling at Zephyr about her failed mind control of The Mummy, and she decides to prove them wrong and use a bunch of her energy to return to Earth and try to get The Mummy under her control again. Meanwhile as The Living Mummy continues his search for the gem we find out that a man named ASP and his friend Old Dan are the ones who stole it and have a plane of selling it to Doctor Skarab and then stealing it back to him and continue the scheme of selling and stealing it on as many fools as they can trick. The Living Mummy hears a loud boom and watches as a tank is chasing and shooting at a female solider named Racha Meyer and once the tank runs out of shells they open fire on her with a machine gun, but luck is on her side when The Living Mummy stands in front of her and takes the bullets as she is able to throw a grenade and blow up the tank and killing her attackers. Racha thanks The Mummy for saving her life and while he does not understand the words he understands the respect and nods at her before walking off deeper into the desert.

This fifth tale of The Living Mummy has him tracking the stolen gem that holds a way to defeat his enemies as well as return him back to human and best for him he is able to get the respect of a human that sees that while he looks like a monster he is not a cold blooded undead creature. The Living Mummy in this issue has lots on his mind as he remembers the times with his father, the quest that proved his worth of leading his tribe as well as the thoughts of being human once more, and let us not forget that he shows that he understands danger when he saves the life of an out gunned female solider and helps her bring down her attackers. And the female Soldier known as Racha Meyer at first is scared of The Mummy, but soon learns to trust and respect him when he shows her that he is a protector and not the killer he appears to be. The Gem thief is a man named ASP and with him is a friend named Old Dan and they don’t do much besides share an idea to rip off as many people as they can with the gem. The Elementals are around and Zephyr goes to earth to right her wrong of not getting The Mummy under her control, I really wished that The Elementals would be phased out as they are kind of dragging the story and series down as their story arch is boring. The cover is pretty cool and has The Living Mummy taking fire from a tank and the interior art is done by Val Mayerik again and is good like before. Over all a good issue that shows The Living Mummy finally getting the respect of at least one human, so with that lets see if he finds ASP and gets the gem from him!

Supernatural Thrillers # 11  **1/2
Released in 1975      Cover Price .25       Marvel     # 11 of 15

ASP and Old Dan are now back in the city of Cairo when The Living Mummy finds them and busts into their home and before he can attack them and get the gem back he is set on fire and as he burns his two thieving targets makes a run for it. As the fire burns out The Living Mummy lies hurt in the streets, just as Zephyr returns to Earth and notices the state of the area as its filled with the poor and sleazy people and while moving deeper into the city she finds and heals The Living Mummy of his burned wounds. Meanwhile ASP and Old Dan have found Doctor Skarab and sell him the gem, and Doctor Skarab wants to find The Living Mummy and give him the gem to try to right the wrongs that his ancestor did to him those many centuries ago. As ASP and Old Dan return to their shelter they are greeted by The Living Mummy and Zephyr who demands that they give them the gem and once they find out its sold they threaten to kill Old Dan unless ASP gets it to them and the thief agrees to get it back and along with The Living Mummy they head to Doctor Skarab. Once inside The Living Mummy and Doctor Skarab talk and know that the gem is the only way to stop the world from being ruled by The Elementals and then as they are walking back to ASP’s home they inform him that Zephyr is also on the side of good but before they get to her they find that she and Old Dan are now the prisoners of the rest of The Elementals!

Ok the plot has truly thickened now as we learn now that The Living Mummy is not the only one working on trying to save the world as with the gem and the story he now has ASP, Doctor Skarab and even Zephyr on his side as they know that if The Elementals take control the world will be in a bad place as they will control it with egos and an iron fist! The Living Mummy is hurt very badly with fire as his bandages and decided dead skin is scorched, but like before his will is strong and he even fights back the pain to try and do the right thing and that’s to help the world even if so many of mankind fears and hates him. Doctor Skarab turns out to be a good person as he really wants to help The Living Mummy, as he knows the monster is not evil and that he feels that he owes him something for what his relative did to him in the past. ASP as well as Old Dan and thieves and conmen they as well seem to understand that now the stakes are super high if the gem falls into the wrong hands. The Elementals have all returned to Earth and want the gem in order to rule, all but Zephyr who now seems to understand that what they want to do is wrong, or maybe she has fallen in love with The Mummy only the next issue will answer that for us. The stakes finally feel big now as the fate of the world is on the line and crazy enough the path falls into the hands of a Mummy, a Doctor, a Thief and a Wind Goddess! But I also still want to stress I am not a fan of The Elementals and almost wish that The Living Pharaoh would have been the main bad guy as he is way more interesting of a character. Cover is great and has The Living Mummy on fire and the interior art is good and done by Val Mayerik. Over all another good issue that is truly starting to build The Living Mummy as a superhero, so let’s see what happens in the next issue.

Supernatural Thrillers # 12  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25       Marvel      # 12 of 15

The Elementals are mad and Hellfire tells them that if they do not hand over the gem now they will kill Old Dan and Zephyr and will attack them to get it! ASP has heard enough and wants to save his friend and leaps into action and beats up Hellfire as The Living Mummy also starts his attack, but our heroes are forced to retreat when ASP is being zapped by Hydron who is draining all the water from his body and the Cairo Police have showed up and is using gas in order to break up the fight. Janice and Ron has also showed up and gets The Living Mummy and Doctor Skarab to safety as they try and figure out how to use the gem. Meanwhile The Elementals make short work of the police and decide to rehydrate ASP as they plan on using him as a hostage to get the gem the want. The Elementals place a massive force field around Cairo and madness runs through the streets as people start turning on each other and many start to serve The Elementals in their quest for the gem. The Living Mummy and Ron hit the streets, as they need to get to the collage and find some old scrolls that might be able to tell them how to use the gem and watch as Hellstorm kills a massive amount of students with his fire powers burning them alive! Ron and The Living Mummy make it inside and grab some scrolls only to have them burnt up after a student uses a flame thrower on them, as the student runs away The Mummy is burnt as are the hands of Ron and the secrets of the scrolls are gone forever and as is possibly the hope to save mankind.

All Hell has broken loose now in Cairo cause The Elementals have arrived and not only killed most of the cities police department but has also surrounded it with a massive force field causing temperatures to rise and madness to run wild in the streets. And finally I feel that The Elementals are true dangers to mankind as they have zero issues with killing humans and now are starting to showcase their full powers. And its clear that Hellfire is the worst of them as he takes the lives of so many college kids by burning them alive! The Living Mummy does what he can but while he is strong and almost un-killable he is out powered by he enemy, but he has made new friends with Ron, Janice and Doctor Skarab all who stand with him in this battle. Doctor Skarab also this far has shown that he is not a nut job crazy man and is really just trying to do what he can to help as he has a link with The Mummy. The city of Cairo has also turned mad in a matter of minutes as madness is running wild in the streets and everyone is using weapons against each other, crazy it seems like almost everyone has guns! I do like that The Living Mummy saved the life of Ron when a crazy man opened fire on them, and its now clear that the two have a friendship. Plus again I like that this story with the cheesy The Elementals is finally getting interesting and the stakes finally feel big! And we have to also talk about the collage kid who for some reason has a massive flamethrower and blasts The Mummy and Ron with it burning the scrolls and then runs off into the streets like a madman, he is a true idiot as he has doomed the world with his fire attack. The cover for this issue is good but reminds me more of something you would see for a Doctor Strange comic and the interior art is good and done by Val Mayerik still. Over all a good issue that has stripped away the Horror and is clearly a full fledge superhero comics series now, lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Supernatural Thrillers # 13  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25       Marvel      # 13 of 15

Days have passed and Ron and The Living Mummy where out to get food to bring back to their hideout when they are attacked by a group of men who are following the orders of The Elementals to bring these rebels in so that this war and dome can end and their rule can begin. As some of the men start shooting The Mummy another gets ready to blast him with a flamethrower and Ron is forced to pick up a gun and fire, the shot hits the gas tank and the man explodes and Ron has taken his first life in order to save his undead friend. Once back at the hideout they watch TV and see all the madness that The Elementals are causing, they listen as governments and superhero teams like The Avengers are on call but not being used yet and when they show ASP, Old Dan and Zephyr being held captive with reports of their executions coming up Ron as heard enough and grabs a rife and declares that he is going to save their friends as waiting on the gem is not working! Ron and The Living Mummy go to the location that their friends are being held prisoners and watch as Hydron torments people of the city, and our heroes attack knocking around those who follow The Elementals and as Hydron tries to drain the water and fluid from The Living Mummy’s body Ron is able to shoot and wound the Water God making his loose his grip on the prisoners setting them free. Zephyr uses her wind powers to push away the mob that has attacked Ron and The Mummy just as Hydron wakes up and makes it rain so hard that a great flood is in the making! But Zephyr uses her wind powers to push back the rain and then carries our heroes away like a breeze. The heroes land at the hideout only to find that Janice, The Gem and Doctor Skarab are gone!

The war in the streets of Cairo have turned even more deadly as innocent lives are being taking not only by the followers of but The Elementals themselves! While Hellfire sets ablaze to those who stand against them the equally evil Hydron is using is powers of water to dehydrate and drown those who cross his path! This twisted wannabe god even uses his powers against an old farmer and his son looking for water to use on their crops, and he kills the son in front of his father’s eyes! Hydron can be injured and by the looks of it could be killed by a gun shot if it in a deadly place. Ron who takes a mans life at the start of this issue has been pushed too much and goes after the bad guys with force by the end using a gun to mow down those who wish to enslave. Zephyr shows that she is just as powerful as her fellow Elementals and uses her wind powers to make a fool of Hydron. She is a great ally for The Living Mummy in his fight to save the world. Old Dan, ASP, Janice and Doctor Skarab are around and do what they can, well all but Doctor Skarab who has the gem and has failed to figure out the secret of using it. The Living Mummy is a true hero at this point as he has risked his undead life to save others and it’s clear that he has now a true friendship with the humans that are fighting alongside him. And again the Horror elements are gone from this issue as its pure classic 70’s Marvel Superhero story telling, and besides the fact the lead hero is a Mummy the scares are just not happening. The cover is ok for this issue but has zero to do with out story and the interior art by Mayerik is good. Over all a good issue that furthers our war to save the world and a issue that flushed out a personality and character for Ron.

Supernatural Thrillers # 14  **1/2
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25       Marvel     # 14 of 15

The Living Mummy stands in the empty room and remembers back to the day when he was the living N’Kantu and watched as his own tribe was taken as slaves and he himself tried to save them only to be our powered and taken as one as well. It’s then that ASP finds a note written by Doctor Skarab that alerts them that he is going to the lab with Janice in order to try to do an experiment on the gem and with that The Living Mummy and Zephyr head to the lab to bring the pair back as Ron, ASP and Old Dan are left behind to keep their hideout safe. In the lab nothing Doctor Skarab is doing is working on the gem and he lashes out and starts speaking that he just don’t care anymore about the gem and the war and is quickly put back on track by Janice who speaks of friendships and doing the right thing. Meanwhile Zephyr herself is speaking of wishing at times she did not take the side of mankind and if not for the fact she is drawn to The Living Mummy she might have went through with ruling the world with the others. Back at the lab the gem lights up and rushes Doctor Skarab with what power is needed and informs him that he is the key to using the gem and this causes him to pass out just as The Living Mummy and Zephyr get there. Meanwhile ASP, Old Dan and Ron decide to head to the lab as well to check on their friends and this was a bad idea as they are attacked by crazed men! Meanwhile at the lab more crazed men attack and very quickly Zephyr and Living Mummy make quick work of them. As Doctor Skarab, Janice, Zephyr and the Living Mummy leave the lab they are meet by The Elementals who want the gem and want to end this war once and for all!

This issue is bringing this story to an end as we now know that The Elementals are done playing games and just want to kill our heroes and get the gem and they each have a score to settle with The Living Mummy as well as Zephyr. And speaking of The Living Mummy and Zephyr its clear that they are starting to fall in love with each other and while she is starting to second guess turning good she has no full doubts due to her connection with The Mummy and wanting to turn him back to a human once more. And really it also seems that The Living Mummy is ready to end this war and wants to smash him some Elementals brains! Doctor Skarab finally has cracked the code of the gem and made himself useful and he better do so in the next issue cause the final fight is now! Poor Ron is all mixed up as his mind is a mess as he fells bad for killing a man, but also apart of him wants to kill more of The Elementals followers as he is sick and tired of these scumbags hunting them and killing innocent people. Janice is keeping it together for her love for Ron and her respect for Doctor Skarab as the three have been friends for so long. ASP and Old Dan are around and make the silly plan to go with Ron to get to the lab and we are left with a cliffhanger if the three win the fight or if they meet their end at the hands of the mob. And again this issue has no Horror elements and this time it seems like they add a little war comic into the superhero mix. The cover is good and showcases The Living Mummy on a rampage and the interior art by Mayerik is good like before and almost seems a little better then past issues. Over all this is a great issue to build up the final issue in this series and the end of the first Living Mummy story arch as well as his first and only series. So with that lets see how this ends and if the Living Mummy will get his flesh back and if he can save the world.

Supernatural Thrillers # 15  **1/2
Released in 1975      Cover Price .25       Marvel     # 15 of 15

The Elementals go on the attack and Hellfire uses his flames against our heroes as Doctor Skarab tries his best to clear his mind and use the gem but its hard as they are being beaten around by The Elementals powers! Finally Doctor Skarab is able to use the gem and the blast from it goes wild and causes the fire from the sky to fall on them and if not for The Living Mummy they would have burned alive, and with that Zephyr uses her wind powers and buys the heroes a little more time. As Doctor Skarab is about to use the gem again it’s stolen from him by Hydron and The Elementals think they have won, but things are about to get real bad for them as its now clear that the power is Doctor Skarab himself as he unleashes his powers on them and even takes the city of Cairo into another dimension. And with this new dimension Doctor Skarab brings Ron, Old Dan and ASP to them and The Living Mummy learns that they now all have the powers of The Elementals and as he and Zephyr hold them off the others join hands and with their powers send The Elementals flying into long forgotten places and the war is over as Cairo returns back to normal and the force field is gone. With the gem drained our heroes meet up for one last time as ASP, Old Dan and Zephyr leave The Living Mummy stays with Doctor Skarab, Ron and Janice and to no ones surprise ASP has stolen the gem to sell it.

The final issue has our group of heroes having to work together against the would be world rulers and the battles take place in our dimension and others with the heroes coming out on top thanks to the gem given them the same powers to make the battle field very even. The Elementals are very cocky and while the are super strong with powers that are deadly, but because they have such massive egos they are very open for defeat and they do get beat when they are matched with their own powers. And it feels so good watching them loose the war and be flung out into a new dimension with fear on their faces. ASP and Old Dan do what they can to fight for the worlds freedom but in the end ASP is shown to be a total scumbag as he steals the gem to try and sell to make quick money, you almost wish he would get his in the end. Zephyr who is an Elemental for some reason decides to go with the thieves and not stay with The Living Mummy who she throughout the series acted like she was building a bond with, very odd payout for her. Ron and Janice really don’t have a payout besides they survive the war and end up still together. Doctor Skarab turns out to be a hero and while he fumbles and falls ass backwards into using the gem that ends up saving the day, he is a hero of sorts and not because he knows how to use the powers he was given. While Doctor Skarab had a pay off it was a little weak and slightly silly that he himself was the power. The Living Mummy is really the hero as he just never stopped and took a beating and always did what he could to protect people as well as is the one who really figures out that the power of The Elementals is now something they can all use, and the poor guy also gets stuck being The Living Mummy and looses his chance of being human again and even his lady leaves him to go with a sleazy thief! While The Living Mummy is a create, a monster even but most important he is 100% a hero and knows right from wrong and wants to always protect the weak and innocent. The comic started off as a Horror Comic and as issues kept going the Horror elements faded and it became a normal superhero story complete with dimension traveling that was a big deal in comics from Marvel in the 70’s. While I liked the over all story I do wish they would have kept it as a Horror Comic series and not mudded the ink too much with making it a standard superhero fare. The cover for this issue is pretty eye catching and well done and this time around the interior art is done by Tom Sutton and is good stuff. Over all this comic series is just as I remember it and while The Living Mummy is not the most iconic of the Marvel Horror Monsters he is one that you should give a chance to and give it a read. Checkout the artwork below to see they styles used in this series.

But we are not done with The Living Mummy just yet as I would like to also cover his appearance in Marvel Two-In-One when he teamed up with The Thing from the Fantastic Four! So if you are ready, let’s take one more comic adventure with The Living Mummy!

Marvel Two-In-One # 95   **1/2
Released in 1983     Cover Price .60       Marvel     # 95 of 100

The Thing and his girlfriend Alicia Masters get a package in the mail that has an Egyptian helmet inside and it takes ahold of Alicia and makes her the Bride Of Nephrus and she gets powers and even attacks The Thing throwing him through the air when he tries to get her to take the helmet off. She disappears as The Thing tries his best to shake off the attack and then rushes to the Museum in order to get information on Nephrus and Egyptian history and meets the really rude Lillian Templeworth who informs him that a man named Gamal Hassan stole that helmet and choose Alicia to wear the hat because she is blind and an artist and needs her to find a gem that could bring the end of the world if he gets his hands on it! At the New York dock Alicia Masters summons a ship that appears and takes her to Egypt, while The Thing and Lillian as well start to make their way to Egypt. The Living Mummy is in the desert remembering back to his past and wondering how long his undead life will last and watches as Alicia and Gamal arrive in the desert at some ruins. The Thing and Lillian make it to Egypt and as they try to blend in and buy camels they are attacked by a group Gamal supporters who believe in his quest to bring Nephrus back and The Thing makes quick work of them. Meanwhile Alicia under the trance goes into the ruins in order to find the jewel as Gamal notices and tries to fend off The Living Mummy who has made his way to the site, but all goes wrong when the jewel is found and Gamal uses it and becomes Nephrus!! The newly brought back Nephrus goes on the attack and uses his magic on The Living Mummy and The Thing when he and Lillian show up at the ruins. As our heroes are being thrown around and beaten down Lillian quickly breaks the mind hold of Alicia and she uses the power of the helmet to attack Nephrus and allow The Thing to grab the jewel and without the jewel Gamal who is now the living Nephrus turns to dust ending the madman’s rampage and also ending the only hope of The Living Mummy returning back to human and find peace, the issue ends as The Thing, Alicia and Lillian watch as The Mummy walks off into the desert.

Marvel Two-In-One just like Marvel Team-Up are fantastic fun reads as they always have The Thing for Two-In-One and Spider-Man in Team-Up paring with another superhero to fight crime and bring down a super villain or two. This is a pretty fun team-up as it pairs The Living Mummy and The Thing having to team up against a great evil, but the downside is that they barely even acknowledge each other as they fight for their lives. The plot has The Thing having to travel to Egypt in order to save his girlfriend who has been brainwashed by a crazed man who wants to bring back a dead priest in order to get power and while in Egypt this also gets the attention of The Living Mummy who wants to get revenge on the returning Priest who turned him into the walking corpse. The Thing in this issue is very high strung as he is pissed that his ladylove got a gift that was an Egyptian Hat that was a curse and caused her to beat him up and travel to Egypt to find a jewel to bring back a dead Priest…so yeah I can see why he is so high strung! I enjoy Marvel Two-In-One comics as seeing The Thing of the Fantastic Four team with so many random heroes over the 100 plus issue run is very entertaining. Alicia Masters the poor blind artist girlfriend of The Thing in this issues goes from being a mind controlled pawn to find a jewel to a free woman who uses the power of her gifted cursed hat to bring down the issues main villain. And we should also say that Lillian Templeworth while a prude museum worker also helps big time bring down the villain as she is the one that breaks the mind control of Alicia as well as who pushes her to use the powers of the hat! The ego driven Gamal Hassan who was fired from the museum is oddly really into bringing the Priest Nephrus back to life and is willing to give his own life to brining him back by allowing him to live inside his body, but while Nephrus does return without the jewel around he crumbles to dust ending his rebirth as well as the life of Gamal. The Living Mummy in this issue is alone with no friends and is trying to find the relief of death and as always he is cheated from being cured or killed and barely even notices The Thing as while the pair get beat up together they do not work together in order to defeat the evil Nephrus. The cover for this issue is really cool and has The Thing and The Living Mummy being attacked by giant snakes and the interior art by Alan Kupperberg is great and captures the feeling of both The Thing and The Living Mummy. While I wish that The Mummy and The Thing teamed up more and that the two misunderstood monsters would have become friends its still a fun read that allowed fans one more chance to have an adventure with The Living Mummy before the modern comics era arrived and took the fun out of comics. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Alan used in this issue.

The Living Mummy is a fun Marvel Horror character that should be given more respect by them and they should make a mini series about him and go back to his Horror roots and deliver a spooky read featuring a Mummy! One thing that I should also say about The Living Mummy and his Supernatural Thrillers run is that every issue is filled with flashbacks of events that we have covered so many times and it almost seems like they did so as filler as it was before the Jim Shooter years as editor in chief who forced the rule of explaining the heroes origin in every issue. Silly I know but the reason they did it was because they looked at each issue could be the first issue a reader could have discovered and that way they would not be lost about how the superhero is the way he or she is. But while The Living Mummy will never get his time to shine in this modern Marvel world as they have moved past many of their lower tier Horror Characters and sadly they will forever be left in supporting roles in issues as well as be treated as jokes and punching bags for the likes of Deadpool, but he and all the others will forever get the respect here on Rotten Ink. For the next update we will be walking away from the world of Marvel Horror and will be stepping into the squared circle as I share my Top 60 Luchadors! So until next time read a Marvel Horror Comic or three, watch a Mummy film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Really I can not wait to share my list of favorite Luchadors with you friends and readers so will see you real soon for the countdown.

Comic Strip Funnies: Ziggy

The Sunday paper for many youngsters of my generation meant looking at the ads from stores like Toys R Us, Hills Department Stores and Children’s Palace, allowing us to see all the new action figures, board games, dolls and video games that were awaiting us on the shelves, and it would also alert us to toys that were on sale that we could alert our parents to. The other major part of the Sunday paper was the Funnies, you know those classic comic strips that brought joy to your Sunday mornings as the antics of Garfield, Peanuts, Family Circus, Dennis The Menace, Andy Capp, Far Side, Blondie, and Marmaduke brought the entertainment as you ate your breakfast of cereal or bacon & eggs. Here in Ohio where I grew up, the paper is Dayton Daily News and my must read strips consisted of Peanuts, Andy Capp, Garfield, Blondie and for some reason Ziggy…yep Ziggy was a comic strip that I loved, and it’s odd as I had always seen Ziggy more as an old person comic strip but something about the little guy who always seemed like the world was out to get him made me a fan. So let’s get a cup of coffee or maybe a glass of milk and open up the good old Rotten Ink Daily News Paper and find the Rotten Funnies and see what silly humor Ziggy has for us.

Ziggy is a short balding man who lives along with his dog Fuzz, cat Sid, his pet Rock, a fish, duck named Wack and Parrot in a small house with a garden. He is a likable guy who seems to always have things go wrong for him and people around him are super rude and treat him badly…but Ziggy, while down and depressed at times, takes it all in stride and will in the end always look at the brighter side of life. Ziggy is single and loves his animals and enjoys his days off and spending time outdoors or even reading a good book. One of his best friends is a seagull that he hangs out with at the beach and it’s clear as day he cares about his animals a lot! Ziggy is also a sucker and easily tricked by people and is often taken advantage of. Ziggy is a hard worker who is a lovable character who is truly a classic Sunday Comic Strip Character.

Thomas Albert Wilson was born on August 1, 1931 in Grant Town, West Virginia and later his parents moved him to Uniontown, Pennsylvania and that’s were he spent his childhood. In 1950 he started doing advertising layouts for the Uniontown newspaper for a short time. Wilson then joined the U.S. Army from 1953-1955 and also went to the Art Institute Of Pittsburgh where he graduated from also in 1955. Also in 1955, he got a job at American Greetings as a designer and by 1958 he was Creative Director. He became an instructor for a year at Cooper Union and Art and Science institute from 1961-1962. In 1968 he created the character Ziggy, and by 1971 it was a syndicated comic strip thanks to Universal Press Syndicate and started out in only 15 newspapers but quickly grew to over 600 papers running the comic strip. In 1978 Wilson became Vice-President Of Creative for American Greetings, showing that the company knew they had a talented and creative mind on staff and needed to promote him to tap his ideas. During his time at American Greetings he also was responsible for being the head of teams that created the likes of Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. In 1982 Wilson won an Emmy for the “Ziggy’s Gift” animated Christmas Special that aired on ABC, a true classic special that was later released on VHS and DVD for home media collectors. By 1987 Tom Wilson turned the Ziggy comic strip over to his son Tom Wilson Jr. who is still working on the strip to this day for both papers as well as online. Wilson got and beat lung cancer, but sadly died of pneumonia on September 16, 2011 at the age of 80 in Cincinnati Ohio. While Thomas Wilson is gone his legacy of creative projects including Ziggy will live on forever! Below is a picture of Thomas Sr., Ziggy and Thomas Jr.

Ziggy became such a lovable and popular character that in 1982 a TV Special was made called “Ziggy’s Gift” that was an animated short that played on ABC on December 1st as one of their Christmas Specials. The cartoon as Ziggy as a street Santa collecting money and the world around him is filled with crooked people who are lying and stealing from everyone as Ziggy is the only honest person who really wants to help. The Special won an Emmy Award in 1983 for Outstanding Animated Program. The film was released on VHS and DVD but sadly is now out of print. You can find the special on YouTube from time to time. Very cool animated special that features one of the best comic strip characters in a truly heartwarming Christmas animated tale.

Ziggy was a true icon of early American Greetings as his image was used on so many other items besides greeting cards and the comic strip. Ziggy has been on T-Shirts, Drinking Glasses, Board Games, Paperback Books, Stuff Dolls, Mini Figures, Stickers, Buttons, Penny Banks, Home Media, Posters, Christmas Ornaments, Wrapping Paper and so much more! Ziggy was and still is somewhat of a true icon of Comic Strips! And over the years I know myself I have had the books, dolls and even a mini figure. And for some reason when I think of Ziggy I think of my Grandparents on my mom’s side.

Real quick I want to also share a picture of a cool mini figure of Ziggy that I got from Game Swap in Kettering that is Ziggy with an ice cream cone and the ice cream has fallen off the cone and onto his foot! These little PVC figures are really cool and I can remember by Aunt Donna having some of them when I was a kid. So if you like Ziggy make sure to get yourself one of these little figures that you can find on Ebay and Etsy most of the time pretty cheap.

So let’s crack open some of these Paperback Books that features Ziggy for this update about this classic comic strip character. I want to thank Game Swap Kettering and an Etsy seller for having these books in stock. I want to remind you all that I grade this book on a standard 1-4 star system and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready, let’s see what Ziggy has in store for us in these books.

Ziggys Of The World Unite!  ***
Released in 1976     Cover Price $1.50     Signet   # ? of ?

This book is tons of one-page stories featuring the one and only Ziggy having silly and lovable adventures! So while I cannot cover each one I will select 10 of my favorite strips in no real order. First I would pick were Ziggy is going to pop some popcorn over the stove and because nothing can go right for him the popcorn gets out of control and buries him under a mountain of the tasty snack. The second has Ziggy at a restaurant called Mom’s Place and is having to stand up for himself as Mom wants him to eat all he can eat! Lucky third has Ziggy at a palm reader who is having a hard time finding his lifeline! The fourth has Ziggy wearing sunglasses and claims that celebrities wear them so people don’t know who they are, and he wears them so people don’t know what he is not. The halfway point is this fifth choice that has Ziggy standing in front of an antique shop looking at toys that he had as a child and how depressing it is that the toys of his youth are called antiques now. Number six has Ziggy’s car missing it’s wheels after it ran out of gas and he is returning from the gas station with gas…some one robbed Ziggy! Seventh has Ziggy taking out the trash and right before be can drop the bag it busts and the trash is all over the ground. I picked for eight has Ziggy being held up at gunpoint by the teller at the teller desk at a bank! Number nine has Ziggy being bullied by an ice cream truck driver as he is forcing Ziggy to eat chocolate ice cream and like it! And the last pick aka ten has Ziggy running from the movie theater watching JAWS as he was way to scared of the shark!

When reading “Ziggys Of The World Unite!” I found myself feeling like a kid again sitting reading the Sunday Funnies and seeing what Ziggy was up to or should I say lack of up to. Many of these jokes and situations got a chuckle out of me, but to be honest many of them also fell flat and were very dated…like the talking margarine that was based on the now outdated and modern forgotten Parkay commercials, but some things that would be looked at as dated worked and still holds an impact like Ziggy being scared out of his mind by JAWS as still to this day many people are terrified of this film. The odd thing about this paperback is that none of Ziggy’s animals are shown and most of the humor really does come at Ziggy’s expense as he is treated poorly by everyone around him, it makes you really feel bad for him as he is the worlds doormat! This is a great quick read and does a great job of showcasing who Ziggy is and what this comic strip is about. But I am not done and would like to at least cover one more Ziggy paperback for this update!

This Book Is For The Birds ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price $1.25     Signet   # ? of ?

This book is tons of one-page stories featuring the one and only Ziggy having silly and lovable adventures! So while I cannot cover each one I will select 10 of my favorite strips in no real order. First: has Ziggy sitting with a bird watching book by his side starring blankly at his pet bird that alerts him that this is not what they mean by bird watching. Two: a line is at the doctor’s office for shots to protect your family from the swine flu and Ziggy has all his animals with him, as the Doctor with the needle looks shocked and disheveled. Three: Ziggy is walking his pet duck as a construction worker is shouting at him to DUCK as a wrecking ball is heading toward Ziggy who alerts him that his duck is nice. Four: Has Ziggy sitting on a beach asking the a seagull where all the people are, and the bird alerts him they have stopped coming after Jaws was released in theaters. Five: Ziggy is walking under a branch and a bird poops on his head, and he says some people are lucky and the birds sing for them! Six: Ziggy is on the phone with his duck calling a radio station and asking them to play the song Disco Duck again. Seven: Ziggy is in a towel and is standing among turkeys and says he thought the sign said Turkish Bath! Eight: It’s snowing outside and a bird is in a nest and is cold as Ziggy is bringing the bird a hot water bottle to keep it warm. Nine: Ziggy has birdseed and is feeding birds and reminds us all to be kind to all the birds. Ten: Has Ziggy playing cards with his friends and his parrot is telling them what cards he has in his hand!

This paperback features Ziggy and all his animal family and friends as he tries to make it through life with them by his side. This is very heavy on Ziggy with birds and shows his friendship with a Seagull as well as his life with a pet parrot and duck and is all pretty funny and lighthearted stuff. I will say that in this book Ziggy gets pooped on several times by birds and those are funny and yet also very sad as he gets it a lot even though he is super friendly to birds and feeds them and takes care of them. His pet duck is pretty funny and seems to be a goofball just like him and just enjoys his little life. I also like how the Seagull at the beach and Ziggy seem to share deep talks, but also have time to talks silly topics. This paperback book is really good and showcases the more warm side of Ziggy as he is a true lover of animals as they besides pooping birds at least treat him well. If you like Ziggy and more heartwarming loser humor this one is for you! Check out some artwork below to see the style of Wilson and the humor of Ziggy.

I cannot help it for some reason I really enjoy Ziggy and his life is out to get him humor, I think the thing that works for Ziggy is the fact that he really is just a likable guy who always seems to be on the wrong side of the world. Well I think its time we put away the Rotten Funnies and I tell you what the next update will be about and it’s a good one in my opinion as we will be leaving the world of comics books and head into the world of sports as I will do a countdown of the best main active mascots of MLB! That’s right a countdown that will feature the sport of baseball’s best of the best, well in my opinion! So until next time read a comic strip or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update as I take you all out to the ballgame.

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 

BobsBurgers_Bob1

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. 

BobsBurgers_fullcastBobsBurgersbobs_burgers_cover

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.  

BobsBurgers_TinaCoffeeHorseBobsBurgers_MarshallowBluuushBobsBurgers_TheShiningMrBob

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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