The Second Richest Kid In Comic History: Royal Roy

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! As you can see, we have found ourselves in the kingdom of Cashelot, a place that has the old world and modern mixed over the watchful eye of King Regal and Queen Regalia as well as their son Price Royal Roy, who love those who live on their land! But I guess I should say that it’s time once more to step into the world of Star Comics and talk about one of their original characters that tried to make Star the place for young readers to go when it came to kid’s comics! And for those wondering, Royal Roy was Stars answer for Ritchie Rich and caused the company a little bit of a headache, but we will get into that a little later in this update so if you are ready, let’s enter Cashelot and see what the Royal Family is up to.

Royal Roy 1

Royal Roy is a young prince of the Kingdom of Cashelot, and he is loved by the people and is a well-behaved and noble kid who will do what he can to make things right to all he rules over. His parents are King Regal and Queen Regalia, and they are as well good people with King Regal being a little silly and Queen Regalia being sweet natured. Roy’s pet is a toothless crocodile named Gummy that acts like a dog and is as well friendly and protective of Roy. Speaking of protection, Roy also has a bodyguard named Ascott who watches after him as well as his parents. The castle also has some butlers including the older gentleman named Shuffles and the snooty Lord Proper who are also around and both watch after and help Roy. The creator of Royal Roy was Lennie Herman who was a longtime veteran of comic art and stories for Harvey Comics who sadly passed away in 1983, or so it is reported. The series of Royal Roy would only last six issues and almost got Marvel Comics, the parents company of Star Comics, into a lawsuit with Harvey Comics who claimed the character was too close to theirs…you guessed it, Ritchie Rich…nothing came of the lawsuit. And strangely enough in the early 1980’s, Harvey Comics was having money issues and Marvel was in talks to publish many of their classic characters, that is until two of the Harvey Brothers clashed over this and the deal was void. But really thanks to Harvey as Star become something better than just publishing comics based on dated characters for the then modern kids. Give me Royal Roy over Ritchie Rich and give me Star Comics over Harvey Comics any day! And with that said, I do enjoy some of Harvey comic series and characters.

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I know this sounds like a broken record for you long time readers, but I have to stress that I truly think that Marvel pulled the plug on Star way too fast as some of the comics clearly found their readers as Top Dog, Thundercats, Care Bears, Heathcliff, Muppet Babies and Spider-Ham all lasted for pretty long runs, and I knew many kids from school that were reading them with Muppet Babies and Thundercats being very popular among my classmates. But also comics like Masters Of The Universe, SilverHawks and Ewoks were also read and discussed in the halls and on the playground. The part of the history of Star Comics that I find really weird is when Marvel decided to remove the Star brand from the covers of releases new and old but left the Star Comics Presents on the first interior page and ones that come to mind are Camp Candy and Police Academy both of whom started with issue one having Marvel on the cover and Star on the inside…just odd. And with it being 2023, I still would love to see Marvel Comics bring back the Star Comic line as younger readers right now are not being reached and it’s a big missed opportunity as the comic readership market is shrinking, and while I think bringing back Star would be a great idea, you know as well as I do that Disney will not invest any more money into the comics as they are way too busy flooding the market with the similar plotted and brand fatigued Marvel Movies and Streaming Shows to the masses. I miss the classic Marvel Comics Universe that for me defined the 1960’s-1990’s as I felt like the comics had great stories and that the company in general took more risks and the creators put more passion into the issues. The modern Marvel Comics seems to be more concerned with getting social media fans that are non-comic readers to be excited about social topics that they are shoehorning into the Marvel Universe in comics as well as all media. While I doubt this ever will happen, I hope that Marvel Comics one day can break away from Disney and become the leader in comic book industry and masters of creativity that they used to be.

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When I was a kid, one of the things that I loved to get in the mail next to my comic subscriptions was the Del Monte Country Yumkins Plush Dolls, very cool plushes based on vegetables, fruit and even other things you would find on a farm like Scarecrow and a Black Bird. If I remember, you would have to send some proof of purchases and a little cash to Del Monte and they would then send you the plush you chose. Now I had a ton of these growing up as my Mom seemed to really enjoy ordering them for me as well and my top three favorite ones were Cobbie Corn, Cocky Crow and Sweetie Pea. They were made by Trudy and to me these little guys were great promo items to promote Del Monte canned & frozen fruits and veggies and as well was a great way to get kids to eat these types of foods. The County Yumkins started in 1982 and ran through around the early 1990’s and really was the company’s most popular promo items of all time and to say that the promotion was a hit would be an understatement. And in 2022 I was chatting with Juliet about them, and we decided that we were going to order four of them and display them in our upstairs workspace. And the first one I was able to get was Sweetie Pea from Etsy and then I got Cobbie Corn & Reddie Tomato from Ebay and finally we got Cocky Crow from Ebay to make up our shelf. And I broke down and had to get Snappy Bean that I picked up on Ebay and also got Country Stawberry off Etsy as they both had to join the collection as they were some of my favorites as well as a kid. Now I am not saying that all the other fellow Country Yumkins plush will not be bought to join the collection in the future, just not anytime soon. Check out the pictures below for the plush we bought as these are the pictures that the sellers used at the time of them being for sale.

Country Yumkins Sweetie Pea PlushCountry Yumkins Cobbie Corn and Reddie Tomato PlushCountry Yumkins Snappy Bean PlushCountry Yumkins Cocky Crow PlushCountry Yumkins Country Strawberry Plush

So as you can see, Royal Roy was truly Star Comics attempt to capture the readership of Ritchie Rich and also I think was a “slap” to the face of Harvey Comics for not allowing Marvel to publish their characters and this was a way of saying see we can just create our own and compete for that kids comic market. And now it’s time for me to reread the Royal Roy series and see if it not only holds up to what I remember but also if it was a good alternative to Ritchie Rich. I would like to thank Lone Star Comics and Bell Book And Comic for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. So before we dive into the money pit, 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So with that, let’s see is Royal Roy holds up from what I remember as a kid reading.

Royal Roy Comic 1

Royal Roy # 1  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 1 of 6

“Mystery Of The Missing Crown” in the Kingdom of Cashelot the people are happy to celebrate the birthday of their Prince Royal Roy and his father and mother (King Regal & Queen Regalia) are very proud of him as well, as he is kind and an over all great kid. But when King Regal and their bodyguard Ascott go to the royal vault in order to fetch the royal crown for the prince they find that it’s missing! King Regal gets all his men to search the castle and even his sister the Duchess Of Muchess shows up and lend her time to try and help. Meanwhile Roy and his toothless crocodile pet Gummy also start looking around and find that the missing crown is in a picture of their ancestor William The Warhorse and he was not wearing it earlier, but before Roy can show his dad, the crown is gone again. That night Roy gets a visit from the ghost of William The Warhorse who tells him that he stole the crown as a test and that he is proud of him and returns the crown and Roy wears it for the ceremony before all his people. The second story is called “Crocadog” and has Royal Roy and his toothless pet Gummy capture some bad poachers that have been hunting in the kingdom.

The first issue of Royal Roy really is a good standard 80’s Kids Comic that really would have been at home at Archie or Harvey Comics showing that Star Comics really was a competitor in that market at the time. The first story’s plot has a the ghost of a multiple-great grandfather of Roy stealing the youngster’s crown in order to test him to see if he would look for it himself, and after Roy does that The Ghost is proud of him and gives the crown back and all ends well as the people of Cashelot get to see their Prince get his crown. The second story is a quick one and has Gummy and Roy stopping some animal killers. Royal Roy, while rich and the Prince of a whole kingdom, is very caring and well behaved and is well loved by all that meet him. His pet Gummy is also very good and acts like a dog. Because he is missing his teeth, he is harmless and Roy also has parents that care and watch after him as well as a whole staff that works for his family that also seem to adore him. This issue has two stories with the first one being the best as I like the idea of a Ghost from his bloodline testing him to make sure Roy is worthy of caring on the families legacy. The stories do have a touch of Ritchie Rich, but has its own touch to the kid comic trope of a sweet rich kid whose money does not affect him being a good person. And best of all, I feel that they stories are charming and hold a very magical feel for young readers who wanted something more than just superheroes. The cover is eye catching for the time fit right at home in layout and design for kid’s comics. The interior art by Warren Kremer is great stuff and you can tell he was a veteran of Harvey Comics. Over all a good start to this series and let’s see what Roy has in store for us next.

Royal Roy Comic 2

Royal Roy # 2  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 2 of 6

“The Grand Ball” Royal Roy is giving a tour of the castle and after the last one The King shows up and says he is happy it’s over as it makes him nervous having hundreds of tourists in the castle, and with that he runs into a young girl named Crystal Clear who he ends up giving a late tour to and then asks her to be his date for the ball that night, but this annoys Lorna Loot who has a crush on Roy as she wants to be a princess and is very rich and does not understand why Roy would choose a commoner girl over her. And she gets an idea after seeing the book Cinderella on her bookshelf. “Strangest Stranger” the night of the ball Roy and Crystal are having a great time when Lorna now dressed as Cinderella shows up complete with glass slippers annoys everyone trying to get Roy to notice her, and of course this does not work and Lorna leaves without Roy’s attention. The next day Roy calls Lorna to invite her to go on a hike with Crystal and him only for Lorna to yell at him cause her feet are swollen from the slippers. “Maneuvers” Royal Roy is woke up early in the morning by General Battlescar as it’s the day that Roy must attending the maneuver drills for the kingdom’s army, and Roy soon finds out the drills are just he and the General as Cashelot does not have a full army as they have not been in a war for over 900 years and all their weapons are made of cardboard! After playing along for a bit the drills are over, and Roy and the General head back to the castle and Roy is praised for his skills.

This second issue is just as fun as the first issue and has two tales of Royal Roy and his kingdom with one story being told in two parts. And I have to say all the stories in this one is lots of fun and I would say the two part story is the better of the two and that is barely as both are silly fun. Royal Roy once more in this issue shows that he is a caring young man who loves the people that make up his kingdom as well cares about the feelings of everyone, even people who annoy him. It’s also cool to see him fall in love in this issue and also shows that he kind of has a stalker who wants to be with him in order to become royalty. Crystal Clear is a young blonde girl who is very nice an captures the heart of Roy who clearly is crushing on her, and while she is from the common side of town, the Royal Family seem not to care as they see she is a good person. Lorna Loot is a very rich dark haired girl who is mean, pushy and has a crush on Roy’s power as she wants to become a Princess so bad, and will do whatever she can to get his attention. General Battlescar is crazy and seems to want a bigger army with weapons as he so wants to be in charge of soldiers, plus I love that he acts as if the cardboard weapons have real effects. This issue also has cameos by King Regal, Ascott and Shuffles all help add to the fun of the issue. The cover for this issue is pretty fun and showcases Roy pushing a crown that has a massive diamond on the top of it an the interior art by Warren Kremer is great as always. Another fun read an was just as entertaining as I remember it being as a kid, so let’s see if issue three holds up.

Royal Roy Comic 3

Royal Roy # 3  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 3 of 6

“Curse Of The Prince Roy Dollar Bill” King Regal & Queen Regalia have decided to make a new dollar bill for the kingdom that will feature the face of Royal Roy who is a little embarrassed by this act. Meanwhile Archduke Kraven Von Krunch, the second cousin of the King wants to take over the kingdom and adds itching powder to the ink of the bills that way everyone who handles it will have a bad case of being itchy! And as this spreads all over the kingdom Roy along with Crystal Clear head to the creepy castle of Von Krunch to get answers as Roy knows his relative is to blame. “Into The Kreepy Kastle” Roy gets Ascott to drive him to the castle and tricks Von Krunch into touching the itchy dollar bills and finds that he has a cure for the itching that Roy takes to his kingdom, and also even though he did a bad thing Roy gives Von Krunch a gift of a box of coal and that makes him happy. In the end new Royal Roy bills are printed this time featuring the back of his head in order for people to tell the difference between the good and bad ones. “Driving Him Crazy” Royal Roy wears a mask in order to take his driving test and Ascott goes along for the ride, the tester is in a bad mood and makes the test super hard for the youngster who ends up passing due to the car having some hidden features. “What’s In A Name” a world famous mapmaker named G.O. Graffic gets a tour of the land by Royal Roy so that he can make a map of the kingdom and finds that the land is filled with pearls, oil, gold and silver and that the shape of the kingdom makes a dollar sign, hence the name of the kingdom being Cashelot.

This third issue delivers three tales of adventure for Royal Roy with one being told in two parts. And I would say that the best story has to be the one featuring the itchy dollar bills as its classic kid comic stuff and even features Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who has a castle that is protected by robotic skeletons as well as werewolves and masked henchman and this adds a kids horror comic feel to the tale. And this issue takes Roy from a haunted castle to getting a diver’s license to finally giving a tour of his land, and all are silly tales that deliver some cheesy entertainment for readers. Royal Roy shows that he also has the skills of a detective as he cracks a case that is affecting all the kingdom as well as knows how to drive like a stuntman and once more proves he is a good tour guide. Archduke Kraven Von Krunch is a jerk who wants to bring down his second cousin all because he wants to be the King, and he puts the townspeople through itchy pain in order to try and bring chaos, plus he also surrounds himself with monsters and ghouls. This issue also has many cameos from past issues including Crystal Clear, King Regal, Queen Regalia, Ascott, Lorna Loot, General Battlescar, Duchess Of Muchess, Lord Proper and added a new character to the lineup of sidekicks with that being G.O. Graffic. One thing that is odd is that Gummy, Roy’s pet toothless alligato,r disappeared for many issues and is not even mentioned after the first issue. The cover is pretty cool and has Roy standing being a giant cardboard cutout of a dollar bill and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as always great stuff and is what comes to mind when you think of classic kids comic artwork. The third issue is another good one and keeps the fun nature of the series going as well as keeps building on the world of Royal Roy by showing more people who live in the kingdom as well as landmarks in it. I will also say that this issue is just as fun as I remember it being when I first read it as a kid and I do love that they added some spooky stuff in the issue to add a truly amusement park haunted house feel.

Royal Roy Comic 4

Royal Roy # 4  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 4 of 6

“The Curse Of The GoldEngaged Bridge” Royal Roy and Crystal Clear are hosting a TV Show about the sites and legends of Cashelot and all the while hiding and watching is Lorna Loot who is mad that Crystal is on TV and not her. But when Roy tells the legend and law of the GoldEngaged Bridge that is if a man is captured by a woman on the bridge they are set to be married in three days, it’s Lorna that rushes the bridge and captures Roy and now the two are set to be married so Lorna can be The Princess of Cashelot! Roy is upset by this law and tries to talk sense into Lorna only to find her to be a Bridezilla ordering massive cakes, rings and being just a spoiled brat. While on the bridge Roy and Crystal are talking and something she says gives him an idea to get out of this wedding. “Practice Makes Prefect” Roy has a great idea and with the help of his friends they are setting up Lorna for a tiring Princess training! She first is woke up super early to run war drills with General Battlescar, she then has to take Gummy, the toothless crocodile, for a wild walk, Lord Proper makes her wear over sized and heavy robes and crowns, the ghost of William The Warhorse tries to scare her away and the final straw is when she had to mix with the common people and she calls off the wedding and Roy is single once more. “Space Race Ace” General Battlescar is behind on time and wants for Cashelot to send a person to space and join the space race, but he only has around $24.00 to make the rocket ship! And he makes the ship from weird parts including a rowboat and a hot air balloon and quickly forces Royal Roy into a suit of armor and then onto his ship, and unknown to them all Gummy is asleep on top of the balloon! But things get scary when the balloon gets a hole in it via a hawk, Roy crashes into a river and it’s Gummy who gets him safely to shore! And in the end Gummy gets a medal for being Cashelot’s first every astronaut.

This is another fun issue that has two stories as well as a single page joke that is at the expense of Lord Proper. The main story has Royal Roy being forced to marry Lorna Loot because of an old legend and law and has to find away to break up the engagement as he wants nothing to do with her as she is a brat! The second story has Roy and his pet Gummy being forced into a make shift rocket ship that when crashing could have lead to Roy drowning if not for the help of his loyal crocodile pet. Both stories are really good but if I had to choose one, I would say the best is the Rocket Ship but only slightly as both adventures are really good! This issue also show cases many of the classic characters we have seen in past issues and is the return of Gummy who has been missing for many issues up to this point. I also like that the ghost of William The Warhorse makes a return as well and tries his best to scare away the would be Princess. We also now get a clear view that Royal Roy is in love with Crystal Clear and even thinks about making her his bride, and that they are now also co-hosts of a TV show. Lord Proper also shows a side of himself as he is helpful in the quest to break off the wedding of Roy and Lorna, showing that while he is a snob, he still does care about the Royal family he serves. The cover is pretty fun and has Royal Roy and Lorna Loot in the middle of her massive engagement ring and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as always great kid comic stuff! I am also very much looking forward to what the next issue has in store for me.

Royal Roy Comic 5

Royal Roy # 5   **1/2
Released in 1986     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 5 of 6

“The Royal Olympics” The Kingdom of Cashelot has been selected to be the place to hold the Royal Olympics and Roy is selected to enter the games and has to be run through Royal training by the likes of Lord Proper, General Battlescar and his aunt Duchess Of Muchess and is all about things like eating soup right, pinning medals as well as proper hand writing. This goes on for days and Roy finally snaps under the pressure and is upset that he will let his parents down, but of course his father calms his nerves and assures him that they will love him no matter what. The next day is the Olympics and the first event is the soup eating, but before it can begin, a massive thunderstorm breaks out and the crowd starts to panic and almost riot to get away from the rain and lightning, and it’s Roy who ends up grabbing a microphone and getting them all to calm down and to get to shelter and out of the rain, and due to this behavior and the events getting rained out that Royal Roy is given the gold medal. “Ship Shapes” Royal Roy takes Crystal Clear to the family’s yacht that is something very special as he plans to race it that weekend in a contest, but also in the water is Archduke Kraven Von Krunch is wants to sink the boat so that he can save Roy and he thinks the King will give him whatever he likes for doing so, but every time he tries he fails as the yacht can turn into a submarine, a helicopter as well as an off road vehicle. In the end it’s Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who is saved by Royal Roy as he almost goes over a waterfall and to show his gratefulness he becomes the janitor of the yacht during the big race that Roy of course wins.

We get two Royal Roy adventures in this issue and both a very different in nature with the big connection is both are about competition with one being how to be Royalty and the other being ready for a boat race! The first story is about the Royal Olympics and that Roy is feeling the stress of it all do to all his training that is all about being perfect, and this makes him feel like if he screws up that he will be letting his parents down. The second story has Roy on his super yacht sailing around and he is trying to show off to his crush Crystal, all the while his relative is trying to sink the ship in order to be a “hero” that saves him. Both stories are entertaining in their own way but the better of the two is the Royal Olympics that has Roy learn how to eat soup and even has cameos from many of the characters we have meet along the way in previous issues. Also I have to mention that the Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who is a blood relative to Roy so badly craves power and riches that he is willing to put his own family in danger in order to try and gain them both…like he uses bombs and such to try and sink a ship…the explosions could have also killed Roy! The cover on this issue is okay and has Roy running a race to get to a crown finish line, The Royal Olympics art is done by Warren Kremer and is great and the interior art done by Ship Shapes was done by Steve Stiles and is as well good stuff. The fifth issue keeps up the entertaining value of this Star Comic series and let’s see if the sixth and final issue has in store for us.

Royal Roy Comic 6

Royal Roy # 6   **1/2
Released in 1986     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 6 of 6

“The Secret Power Of Cashelot” while in the Royal Library in the castle Roy and his friend Crystal Clear find an old map in one of the books that leads to the power of the kingdom! And of course Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who was visiting the King over hears the kids talking about the map and decides that if he can find this power than he can be in charge of the Kingdom! Royal Roy, Crystal Clear as well as Ascott head down a secret passage deep into the basement of the castle and all the while behind them is Von Krunch who ends up getting lost and is so mad that he jumps up and down in a fit of anger. Roy and friends end up finding that the power that is spoke about on the map is just a big fuse box! And in the end the floor under the silly Von Krunch gives way and he falls into the fuse box and gets burnt up and has to make up a lie in order to explain why we was following them. “Great Scout” in this adventure Roy wants to become a Royal Scout and learn about nature and camping, but sadly he is shutdown when Lord Proper gets involved and takes the fun out of all things camping. But after a bear scares Proper and he and Roy get lost in the woods, it’s really like scouting that gets them back home and causes Royal Roy and Lord Proper to come up with a new club called Roy Scouts.

Well we are at the final issue of Royal Roy and it has been a six-issue adventure that really was a fun and silly read and showcased why younger readers in the mid 80’s enjoyed this comic series as for me Royal Roy was way better than Ritchie Rich who I did read when I was a kid as well. The two stories in this issue are pretty good with the first one being a mystery map that is said to lead to the power of the kingdom that of course is just a big fuse box and then the second one is all about Lord Proper taking the fun out of scouting and learning a lesson that learning about the land and nature is better than royal rules. The first story called The Secret Power Of Cashelot is the better story of the two as it has a mystery feel and even a hint of spooky haunted house as Roy and his friends travel down a dark staircase with only a candle to light the way. While I feel that the story Great Scout is good is also is slightly bland compared to the other stories we have had in the past issues. In the final issue we also get two small gag pages and one of them allow Gummy to have his final appearance in the series. Speaking of other characters, besides of course Royal Roy the other characters that appear in this swan song issue includes Crystal Clear, Lord Proper, Archduke Kraven Von Krunch, Ascott and King Regal. And I have to say that sadly this does not feel like a final issue and it’s clear that the creative team was not aware that the series was coming to an end as it seems like the characters as well as the readers just did not get closure and that’s a real shame as for an original character like this for Star Comics he should have gotten a true final issue. The thing about Royal Roy is that at first glance to really do get that Ritchie Rich knock off vibe, but when you read his issues you see that he truly is a different character and the only real connection between the two is that they are young and rich. It would be interesting if Marvel Comics would revisit the classic Star Comics characters and set them in modern time so characters like Royal Roy, Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard would all be older and we could then follow the relative of Top Dog! For me that would be an interesting idea, and I think they make them for the ages for the readers who grew up with these characters so we see what their lives are now like. The cover for this issue is cool and has Roy opening a glowing door and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as good as always and his kid comic work is top notch. Over all Royal Roy is a great kids comic and a great Star Comics original characters and if you have not read this series you should check it out and I would also say it could be a good comic series to get younger readers into comics that are not superheroes. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Warren Kremer used in this series.

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Royal Roy and the people of Cashelot sadly have been long forgotten at Marvel Comics and with Disney in control I fear that they never will see the light of print again in new stories and adventures, and we will be lucky to get them in reprint paperback novels and digital comics (Yuck!). But while I feel Marvel Comics has been a shell of itself for decades now I hope some day the House Of Ideas returns to it’s full glory, and we get the amazing stories and characters back as the focus away from pleasing social media none comic readers with “topical” tales that lack heart. Well for your next update heart and muscles is what you would have to have in order to win as we will be heading to a “Made For TV” update and cover the 1977 World’s Strongest Man contest! So until next time, read a Star Comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! Oh and make sure to lift those weights and drink that protein shake as this Strongest Man contest is all about the power.

Worlds Strongest Man 1977 Preview Logo

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Halloween H20 (1998)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink.  We are getting so much closer to our big Halloween update and with this being 10 Years of Rotten Ink I knew that a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update was needed and that it had to be about my favorite mainstream horror movie series, Halloween! And did you readers know that Halloween H20 had a comic that took place in its timeline, if not, you soon will as that is the comic that we will be covering for this update. There’s something about the Halloween film series and its killer Michael Myers that keeps us film goers going back to the cinema to see what bloody rampage he will go on next, and in 1998 he did that just again and this time in the mood and feel of Scream, the then new kid on the block when it came to slasher films. So grab a plastic pumpkin and put on a spooky costume as it’s time for us to travel to California and not Haddonfield as Halloween this year is coming to the Golden State.

Halloween H20 1

So let’s take a look at Michael Myers and his ways of killing in Halloween H20! Michael Myers is a normal man who has an urge to kill his siblings and anyone that stands in his path of murder and will use many weapons to do so including ice skates, corkscrew and of course a massive knife, and he will brutally slice and stab his targets until death occurs. His appearance also strikes fear into the heart of his victims as he wears a white mask and coveralls making him a very blank slate embodying the faceless horrors we all fear. He is also very strong and has above human strength as he can easily pick up, break and impale a human with brutal power. He is also very stealthy and can attack his target before they even see him coming, as he is cold and calculated. As far as weakness goes, Michael has very few but I would say his slowness could work against him and leave him open for counter attacks.  He also seems to only kill on a cycle making one safe for most months minus October for the most part. Being stabbed and the use of brute force can slow him down and while not be killed by these things, it does give you time to get away. As you can see, Michael Myers is a killing machine that cannot be stopped and will come back again and again to kill and butcher.

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So as you can see, even the Halloween H20 version of Michael Myers is a killer that is at the top of the heap when it comes to dealing death to his victims. And now that we have taken a look at Michael Myers, I think that it’s time that we now take a look at the film this version is from. Just a reminder that the film’s write up will be taking from our friends at IMDB and after that I will write a little about the films production as well as my thoughts on it, so with that let’s head to Hillcrest Academy and see if we can spot Michael looming behind the trees and shadows.

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Halloween H20 (1998)

“Twenty years after Michael Myer’s massacre in Haddonfield, Laurie Strode faked her own death, traveled to California, and took on the identity Keri Tate. Michael discovers Laurie’s new identity and travels to California to kill his sister. Laurie must now take on her brother with her son’s life at risk.”

The seventh film in the Halloween film series started being worked on during the pre-production of “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers” and was being worked on by Daniel Farrands with the working title “Michael Myers: Lord Of The Dead” and would have taken place right after the events of the sixth film and would have had the whole town of Haddonfield being part of trying to control Myers and its up to Tommy Doyle to stop them, but after the bad reviews, fan reaction and displeasure of Farrands on the finished film of part 6, the seventh film was in limbo. The next attempt was by Robert Zappia as he wanted to make the seventh film a direct to video film that would have had a copycat Michael Myers killer killing woman at a boarding school and during one draft would have even added Laurie Strode to the mix and was originally being called “Halloween 7: Two Faces Of Evil” and would also be called “Halloween: Blood Ties” and this film as well was scrapped. And after these failed to see production, Kevin Williamson the creator behind the Scream films was brought in to work on a story idea and was going to follow the other films in the series and was called “Halloween 7: The Revenge Of Laurie Strode” and would have had Jamie Lee Curtis return to the role of Laurie and at one point they tried to get John Carpenter back to direct, but he wanted $10 million dollars and a three picture deal with in order to come back, he was quickly replaced with Steve Miner. And from there after some rewrites and changes to the script by both Williamson as well as main script writers Robert Zappia and Matt Greenberg. The film ended up cutting all ties to Halloween 2-6 and acted as a direct sequel to the 1978 film. When casting the film names like Adam Arkin, LL Cool J, Michelle Williams, Janet Leigh and Josh Hartnett (who was also filming the film The Faculty at the same time) were brought in to play lead parts. And Chris Durand was hired to play Michael Myers with his mask being done by many production houses. The films score was done by both John Ottman and Marco Beltrami with it being a mix of both men’s work with the changes done upsetting Ottman. The films budget was $17 million and it opened in theaters on August 5, 1998 and would be meet with mostly positive reviews from critics and fans alike and was the highest grossing film in the franchise at the time of its release brining in $75 million. In 1998 the film was # 41 at the American box office and beat out such films as “Mighty Joe Young”, “Practical Magic”, “The Faculty”, “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”, “Urban Legend”, “Bride Of Chucky”, “Psycho”, “John Carpenter’s Vampires”, “Species II”, “Disturbing Behavior” and “Phantoms” to name a few. And still to this day Halloween H20 has a big and loyal fan base that rate it as one of the best sequels in the series. Oh and during this film many different Michael Myers masks were used as they could not find the right one to use as some had to big of eye holes, some were reused ones from part 2 and even at one point it was touched up with CGI!

When I found out that a seventh film in the Halloween series was being made I was really looking forward to it, but when I heard that the film would wipe away all the sequels in order to be the new “official” part two I was super annoyed and then when I found out that Kevin Williamson was the writer I again was a little shaky on if the film would be good or not. But the film was all over Fangoria Magazine, TV with ads and even our local paper Dayton Daily News seemed to be hyping it up and with it being a new Halloween film and my then best friend Andrea wanting to also see it we headed to the theater opening weekend and both of us were ready for a good old slasher film on the big screen! I can remember the theater was packed and we found good seats and with our candy and drinks in hand we watched Halloween H20 on the big screen with a roomful of people who all loved every second of it as they cheered along to the kills as well as when Laurie Strode had enough and took the fight to Michael. And in the end when Laurie chops Michaels head off the room stood up and cheered and clapped so loud, and while Andrea liked the film, I was not a fan as in my opinion the film took away the elements that made Michael Meyers scary from all the films that came before it and I felt at times Jamie Lee Curtis just over acted! I was however impressed by Michelle Williams who was not only beautiful but also I feel the best actor in the film next to Janet Leigh who just had a small cameo role. Plus I felt that throughout the film Michael Myers starts off as a killer and by the end Laurie Strode knocks him around like he was part of the Three Stooges or even a robber in a Home Alone film and his threat level drops. And it took me years to finally warm up to the film and while it still would be low on my list it is not as bad of a watch for me now. And for fans of Kevin Williamson, the dialogue with the teen characters has his style and charm so you should really enjoy the film. I should say that some of the kills are really good in the film and they do bring back Dr. Sam Loomis well at least his voice as well as Nurse Marion Chambers so it does have the classic Halloween feel. So to sum it up while it’s not my favorite sequel and at first I really disliked it over the years I have lightened up and enjoy watching it from time to time.

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Halloween H20’s version of Michael Myers to me is one of the least brutal in the series and by all accounts really does get beat up by his middle aged sister throughout it…but even if this version of Myers is flawed it’s still the iconic character and apart of his cinematic universe. Now it’s the part of this update that we take a look at the comic and this one was made for a Halloween convention that took place in California back in 2003 and it looks like the comic in part was made by Rehab54 a production company that made a documentary about Halloween. I want to thank Bell, Book And Comic for having this rare 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s have One Good Scare and read this Halloween comic.

Halloween One Good Scare Comic 1

Halloween: One Good Scare # 1 ***
Released in 2003     Cover Price None     Rehab54     # 1 of 1

Doctor David Loomis is the son of Sam Loomis the famed doctor of serial killer Michael Myers, and he is following in his dad’s footsteps and meets a new patient named Lindsey Wallace who survived Myer’s attack in 1978 and he is looking to help her as well as get answers about his father as she claims the Boogeyman is coming for her. David while treating other patients and Lindsey is digging deep into his father’s papers and learns that his father was obsessed with Michael Myers as he knew that he was evil and something just was not right. While walking the grounds with Lindsey she tells David about a night that took place a year ago were Michael Myers was in her home and all of this was after they found the body of Laurie Strode. David is finding himself getting in to deep with the thought and case of Michael Myers and this also has him building a bond with Lindsey, and when Halloween comes around she loses her mind and is medicated and David stays by her bedside, and promises her that he will not let anything happen to her. Michael Myers shows up to the Asylum and kills an orderly as well as two nurses before he sees his target Lindsey! David and Lindsey try and run away but find that they are trapped inside and while David hides in fear Michael Myers comes for and kills Lindsey and sends David a message that he needs to live in fear as some Halloween seen he will be the target of his rage.

This Michael Myers tale is dark as he after getting revenge on Lorie Strode he sets his sights on going after Lindsey Wallace, the young woman who survived his night of terror in 1978 and this time she is under the help of David Loomis, the son of Sam Loomis, who wants answers to why Myers has ruined and tormented so many lives over the decades. Lindsey Wallace is now grown up and has had a bad life that has been filled with drugs, bad behavior and going in and out of asylums all because of Michael Myers who seems to be her true nightmare and is now stalking her to finish what he started back in 1978, and she is write he really is after her and sadly she does not survive once he comes calling. And he of course kills her brutally with a knife and even leaves her body to be found like a sick piece of murder art. And it’s a shame as Lindsey’s life has been lived in fear all over a killer who is the one that ends up ending hers. Doctor David Loomis is trying to understand his father’s work and why he was so obsessed with one patient that ended up being a crazed killer and many people blamed for not making sure he never escaped the asylum that kept him, and while he acts like a hero he clearly is not as when he is faced with evil he freezes and hides like a coward and lets the woman he failed to protect die without even trying to help her. Michael Myers is as cold blooded as ever and torments and slaughters his target and also murders a few people that are in his way along the way, he seems to enjoy putting fear into the hearts of his victims and even likes to leave calling cards on who he will be coming for next. The comic has violence but is not the super bloody and does a ok job of capturing the slasher and mental games aspect of the film its based on. The cover is pretty cool and very eye catching for fans of the Halloween series as it showcases a mix of a jack-o lantern and Michael Myers mask. The interior art is done by Peter Fielding and while its good, its not my style at all and while Michael Myers and the feel is very dark I just like my art a little more lively, but keep in mind the art is good for it’s style. Over all this is an entreating Horror Comic read that does fit in with the film it’s based on and if you are a Halloween H20 fan I would say give this a read. Checkout the artwork below to see the style of Fielding used in this issue.

Halloween One Good Scare Comic Art 1

Halloween: One Good Scare # 1 was supposed to kick off a comic series that just never came about, and I am not sure why I would guess it came down to rights issues or just lack of interest from the creative team to continue on with it. And while it’s not the best Halloween comic, I would say that it was a very entertaining read and I am always game for a comic book that features Michael Myers. But for our next update, we will be leaving the world of Horror Movies behind and will be heading back to the Rotten Ink Arena to talk about a Wrestling Legend and one of my favorite Horror Themed wrestlers at that, the voodoo master Papa Shango will be the next update and will help lead us to our Halloween update! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a spooky time in the squared circle.

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Malibu Comics Ultraverse Memories: Hardcase

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, friends and readers, and welcome to another trip down memory lane with Malibu Comics and the Ultraverse line of heroes. For this one we will be taking a look at Hardcase! Growing up Malibu Comics characters were on my radar as I found them to be very cool modern heroes.  Cool looking characters like Prime, Sludge, Prototype and Mantra were all ones I felt I had to read and others I was lukewarm on as their looks didn’t get my attention like the Ultra Hero that we will be covering here, the powerhouse known as Hardcase who just looked like a generic hero and a knock off of Wonder Man from Marvel Comics.  But over the years I have come to really enjoy the heroic adventures of Hardcase and am looking forward to this update, so with that, let’s check out the Ultraverse world and the join Hardcase in it.

Hardcase 1

Tom Hawke was a down on his lucky actor in Hollywood who was looking for a big break with a big role, and after the “Jumpstart Effect” was unleashed by the aliens to bring out the Ultra Powers of some people, he gained some abilities that included super strength, durability and decides to team with fellow Ultra Heroes and so with Starburst, D.J. Blast and Forsa they formed the team The Squad! And Hardcase and his friends became heroes who helped stop crime as well as did what they could for charity events. But after a fight with an entity called the NM-E, his superhero life was changed forever. And after returning to Hollywood he would become an action star actor and as well would once more be forced back into being a superhero, and would become a mainstay in the world of Ultras and be involved in many of the big events. His super powers include being super strong, can leap over a mile, is able to shrug off almost all battle damage, extreme temperature change does not effect him he also can hear and see long distances away. He would later team up with a female Ultra Hero called Choice who has the power to fly, fire beams from her eyes and is super strong. So as you can see Hardcase is one of Malibu Comics big Ultraverse heroes and some would say he is the leader when it comes to all the heroes having to come together to stop world shattering threats.

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If the characters of the Ultraverse ended up in the Marvel Universe in modern times and I was writing it, this is what I would do with Hardcase! I would first start out Hardcase as a three issue mini series and set it in California and have Tom Hawke getting a gig starring as the lead in a big budget action sci-fi movie that is much in the style of films like Mars Attack and Independence Day and soon he finds out that the Alien Invasion is real and that the director of the film is using the production of the film as a contact spot to bring the aliens who are from another dimension to Earth with the goal of taking over! Hardcase would also be dating Choice and in the end he feels good about being a hero again and alerts his lady that he is returning to be a superhero and will be joining The West Coast Avengers! And from here on I would place Hardcase and Choice into The West Coast Avengers and the team members would be Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Moon Knight, Tigra, War Machine, Doctor Druid and Wonder Man, and I would play up a big rivalry with Hardcase and Wonder Man as both are Hollywood actors and at some point Wonder Man gets a crush on Choice and this would be like the Jean Grey, Cyclops and Wolverine story arch but this will end up with Hardcase and Wonder Man having a massive fight that takes the team to break them apart! And from there I would have Hardcase out of the team and being embarrassed he leaves the group as well as Choice and becomes a loner as he goes missing and I would have him end up going to the Philippines and fighting super villains, pirates as well as drug runners in his own on going series and at some point would have Choice tracking him down and trying to get him to come back to The Avengers. I really do think that Hardcase could fit into the modern Marvel Comics Universe and let’s cross our fingers that someday Disney the owners of Marvel will get the guts to bring all the Malibu Ultraverse characters back to the world of comic books.

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Hardcase was one of the heroes that appeared in the short lived Ultraverse cartoon along side Prime, Prototype, Topaz, Nightman and The Ghoul and this cartoon spawned a short lived action figure line from Galoob. And because I am a fan of Malibu Comics I of course have the Hardcase figure that while cool that it was made it is a little cheesy as he comes with a glider as his accessory. The figure has the characters look down with gold shoulder pads as well as his trademark pony tail and for some reason his eyes are a little crossed and he looks like he is trying to stare into your soul. Glad I have this figure and while he is not my favorite in the series he still is a cool one that looks great alongside the others in my collection. Oh and on a side note does anyone remember the old six-minute music video made by Malibu Comics and Wizard Magazine that featured kickboxer and actor Gary Daniels as Hardcase? If you want to watch it look it up on YouTube as it’s a fun and weird watch.

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So now that we have chatted about Hardcase and who the character is and what I think Marvel Comics could have done with the character if they did not fail the fans of Malibu Comics like they did, it’s time for us to dive into the review of his comic series! Some of these issues will be a re-read for me while others will be a first time read and I am very much looking forward to diving in as I have really loved doing these updates that allows me to talk about these Ultra Heroes as well as revisit the comic series. I want to thank Bell Book And Comic, Lone Star Comics and Game Swap Kettering for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind all you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets go on an epic Ultra adventure with Hardcase and see how he holds up all these years later.

Hardcase Comic 1

Hardcase # 1  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 1 of 26

Hardcase is hurt bad he is bleeding and his arm is dislocated and he is watching as one of his fellow The Guard member Forsa is being killed by a strange looking alien robot, his other friends D.J. Blast and Starburst are on the ground and are in very bad shape, as D.J. tells Hardcase to grab Starburst and get away as fast as he can and our hero does so just as D.J. forces himself to explode taking down the Alien thing. And Hardcase gets even more bad news as it looks like Starburst may never wake up as the fight left her with server brain damage. A year after this event and Hardcase is now a full time actor making action films based around himself and his co-star in all these films is a one time washed up teen actor named Justin Kuttner who is a royal jerk and still has an ego. While waiting for the next shot to be set up Hardcase is in his trailer when a cop stops by and asks him to sign a poster and tells him he wishes he was still a superhero as what he and The Squad did was very helpful to them, Hardcase tells him that his hero days are over…just as a call goes out about a bank robbery and the cop rushes off. At the bank a Ultra powered villain named Head Knocker is killing the cops who have came to stop his robbery and even their bullets seem to not affect him. When Hardcase still on set hears the gun fire he leaves the movie to help and finds the massacre, in a rage he fights Head Knocker and beats him with a car and swears he will never loose again and then tells the media that is on hand that he is back as a Ultra Hero! Meanwhile in a underground base a naked man named Rex Mundi is watching this news and is very mad to see him return to being a hero, and it’s clear he is responsible for sending the Alien Robot now named NM-E out to kill Ultras and looks like he might just do it again.

This first issue of Hardcase is lots of fun and is a great way to kick off a series as it drops you smack in the middle of a fight that has our Ultra Powered heroes loosing with them being ripped apart and blood everywhere! And out first look at the books title hero has him bleeding, broken and beaten by a very sinister looking robot alien thing. And from there the comic is about Hardcase finding his way back to being a Hero and trying to overcome the fear of loosing and letting his friends down. Hardcase is a pretty interesting character as he is super strong, has super hearing and can leap for miles but also has issues like all of us as when he was beaten up and two of his friends killed before his eyes and another beaten so bad she has yet to wake up it effects his mind and causes him to step away from who he wants to be and instead he plays the hero he wants to be in movies. I also like that when he sees that other Ultras are running around and doing very bad things he steps back up and smacks them down and finds that spark to be the hero that he knows he is. And at this point I am not sure who all will be main characters in our story but I am sure we will see more of NM-E as well as Rex Mundi who lives underground and hates Ultras and I also think maybe Justin Kuttner that weasel will also come into play and will probably be a trader and do something to screw over Hardcase. This comic is also way more bloody then I would have thought as limbs are ripped off and skulls are crushed! The cover is a little puzzling and while it showcases Hardcase it also looks very generic and not as flashy as other first issue releases in the Ultraverse. The interior art is really good and is done by Jim Callahan and his work has the classic early 90’s look. Over all a great first issue that drew me into the story of Hardcase and is making me wanting to see what the next issue has in store for him now that he has returned as a hero.

Hardcase Comic 2

Hardcase # 2  ***
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu      # 2 of 26

Choice is on the run as she is being hunted down as a company wants her back as they use her as a spokes person for products, and she hates her life with them and wants to find Hardcase in order to get help. Meanwhile Hardcase himself is at the funeral of the cop he meet at the film set that was killed by Head Knocker and meets his brother who is also a cop and the two seem to build a friendship. Once back home Hardcase gets a visitor in Choice who tells him that the company she works for has messed with her mind and body and she needs his help, he agrees just as her attackers appear with orders now to kill Hardcase and bring Choice back to the company. They even blow up Hardcases home and this sets him off and he and Choice take out the attackers with one being killed as he was run over by a semi truck. It looks like Mr. Dixon of the Choice Cooperation is the one who sent them and now Hardcase and Choice are heading to his headquarters to get answers.

This second issue is good and introduces us to new characters as well as shows that Hardcase is a hero who feels lots of guilt if he feels that people have died that he could have prevented if he would have arrived quicker. The plot has a runaway Ultra being hunted down by a big company and having to find Hardcase in order to get help. Choice is the new Ultra we meet and she is very cool and has some great powers like she can fly, shoot laser beams from her eyes and also shrug off attacks…but only for an hour and when she is wearing a special suit. The raise the question that she is not really an Ultra, that she might not even be a human and also that she is crazy and only future issues will answer these questions. Hardcase is willing to help Choice as its clear he finds her attractive and he is still trying to show the world he is back as a hero and what better way to showcase his return then helping a beautiful product spokes woman! I also like that he has built two new friendships in this issue with one being Choice and the other being Officer Chuck Brown who I hope comes back into play in a future issue. Mr. Dixon and the Choice Corporation who are into making profits and as well trying their best to out do UltraCorp who has Prototype as their mascot of sorts. And while at this point they are not super threatening they do have armored suit assassins on their payroll who have no issues killing people. This issue also has a little bit of blood as one of the metal assassins is ran over by a truck and his blood is splattered all over the street! The cover for this issue is good and eye catching and has Hardcase standing looking mad and ready to fight with fire in the background. The interior art is a mixed bag as a group of artists known as Cranial Implant Studio worked on the issue with some art looking great others is 100% not my style of art. Over all a good issue that takes our hero into his first mission back as a Ultra Hero and does a great job of expanding his world and cast of characters.

Hardcase Comic 3

Hardcase # 3  **1/2
Released in 1993      Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 3 of 26

Mr. Dixon is holding a meeting as things have gotten out of hand as Choice has beat his forces and he fears that she and Hardcase are on their way, but we soon find that Rex Mundi who lives under ground has offered to help him stop the two Ultra Heroes and lends them a new team he has made called Omega Team (Gun Nut, The Needler & Trouble) to get Choice back as well as kill Hardcase. Meanwhile Officer Brown arrives at the destroyed house of Hardcase and warns him that the Choice Cooperation is very powerful, and Brown stays at the destroyed house and tries to get the press out of the home as Hardcase and Choice head to the beach as Choice is acting weird and saying things that contradict what she has said before and this causes Hardcase to question if she is sane, and they are attacked by Omega Team who start off by trying to blow our hero up with a missile. Omega Team strikes hard and end up taking Choice down and its Hardcase that ends up beating the three up and he and Choice talk to the press about the attack were part of Choice’s brainwashing kicks in and has here take up for the Choice Cooperation. In the end Hardcase and Choice head to another of his homes only to find the Ultra Hero team The Strangers are waiting for them.

This third issue has the story of what is the deal with Choice thicken as we learn fully that they have messed with her mind that limits what she can say about the company in public as well as they really want her back as they think she is a investment as she sells products for them and that’s all that really matters. Poor Hardcase is confused as she says lots of things that makes him question her sanity and sense meeting her has to fight Ultras as well as lost his home all for trying to help her. I like the character of Choice she is powerful and yet also flawed and not due to her own will and this makes her more interesting. Hardcase is clearly falling for Choice but is also a little shaky on her as he is not 100% sure if he can trust her as he knows that clearly something is off about her. Mr. Dixon and his company at this point are shown that while they are bad, they need help from truly bad people in order to do the bad stuff they do as Rex Mundi and his created Ultras are clearly the true evildoers as they only at this point want one thing and that’s to kill Hardcase as they have something against him. This is a good issue that keeps the story going and keeps in interesting as it shows us readers that Hardcase has found his groove and is really ready to be a hero again as he totally kicks the butts of Omega Team. The downside is I am not to happy that they already have a crossover set up as the story and issue could have done without The Strangers. The cover for this issue is ok and has Hardcase being shocked and the interior art is once more done by Jim Callahan and is good stuff and again really is the style I think of when looking back at the Ultraverse. So with that lets see what issue four has in store for us.

Hardcase Comic 4

Hardcase # 4  *1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 4 of 26

Hardcase and Choice are ready to fight The Strangers as they do not know them, but when tempers get in check Hardcase meets his new guests by his pool as they are new to the Ultra Hero business and are asking him for advice. The Strangers start by introducing themselves as well as their powers, next Hardcase tells them about how he got his Ultra powers during a film audition and how he meet those in his original hero group The Guard and they decided to use their powers to be heroes and stop crimes in California. Hardcase then tells them about the battle against NM-E that left almost all of his friends dead and gave him mental scares of having to witness it all. Hardcase then starts to think that maybe the Aladdin Company is who sent NM-E to kill them all those years ago and along with Choice and The Strangers they head to Groom Lake in order to find the answers but are meet by Ultra Villains he attack and get all our heroes as prisoners.

This issue is just a set up for the reader to but an issue of The Strangers and that really stinks as the Hardcase story really suffers from this. While in the issue we do get to see that Choice and Hardcase are getting closer and that maybe just maybe someone form the Aladdin Company is who wanted him and his old team killed! Other wise it’s mostly filled with flashback moments to the early days of Hardcase. Really disappointed in this issue and I honestly don’t have much to even say about it. Choice in the issue is very protective of Hardcase, as she gets a little jealous of the attention he is getting from one of the female members of The Strangers. Hardcase himself is stull trying to be a hero and tries to give advice as well as takes the rookie team on a mission with him, that ends up getting them all beat up! The cover is a pull out one and is pretty cool and showcases Hardcase as well as The Strangers and Choice and is eye catching. The interior art is done by James Hudnall and is well done. The reason this issue is getting such a low star rating is that it just feels like a comic that Malibu released in order to get Hardcase readers to buy the next issue of The Strangers, and I am not a fan of that tactic that comic companies use to do. Over all the Hardcase stuff that furthers his storyline is good the cheap add on stuff of The Strangers is not. Lets just move on and see what issue five has in store for us.

Hardcase Comic 5

Hardcase # 5  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $2.50     Malibu     # 5 of 26

Hardcase and Choice go and visit Officer Brown at the station and he informs them that he has never been to Hardcase’s home and that means someone acting like him showed up and watched the home after the attack, and this puzzles them all. But before the dive to deep into that Hardcase heads to the office of Mr. Dixon as well and tells him to leave Choice alone…the meeting does not go well. And while all this is going on a Ultra killer is murdering drug sellers as he is called Hardwire and is a killer for hire, and he has now been hired by Rex Mundi to kill Hardcase! A woman shows up and warns Hardcase and Choice about Rex and his hatred for them, but our heroes ignore the warning and go on a date for the night. Hardcase and Choice go dancing and have a late dinner and on the way back home they stop at a gas station and while Choice uses the restroom Hardcase is attacked by Hardwire who’s razor like nails cuts the skin of Hardcase and this shocks our hero as his skin is tough, but things get worse when Hardwire stabs Hardcase with his nails and our hero starts to bleed to death. As Choice rushes to his side unknown what has happened Hardwire is sneaking up behind her. And worse on a beach two friends find the head of NM-E and it takes over one of their bodies and wants to rebuild it’s self and finish its job of killing Hardcase it’s self.

In this issue we have zero clue on what happened at Groom Lake with The Strangers and our story picks back up with Hardcase and Choice wanting to get Mr. Dixon off her case and the meeting does not go well as its clear that he still has control over Choice. We also learn that a shape shifting Ultra is acting like Officer Chuck Brown and is keeping an eye on Hardcase and we also find out that a killer that has Ultra Powers has been hired by that scumbag Rex Mundi to kill our hero. And crazy enough we also now see that NM-3 is back and is wanting a rematch to finish the job of killing Ultra Heroes and all Hardcase wanted to do in this issue is stand up for his lady and have a nice night out with her. The issue also is a little bloody as when NM-3 takes over one of the teens he uses his powers and blows the guts out of the other with a blast! It also stinks that Mr. Dixon has a grip on Choice and can even make it so that she cannot speak at all, and that she really is living in fear as she has no control of herself when she is around him. Also Hardwire is a snuff film watching razor nailed slashing nut job that really does love killing anyone he is asked to slaughter. And another big question that I cannot wait to see how it plays out is who is the fake Officer Brown and are they friend or foe? I also wondering how Hardcase is going to survive the attack as he has been cut and stabbed pretty bad and he is bleeding out in a parking lot late at night, makes me wonder if Choice will have to go full power on Hardwire to save them both from being killed. The cover for this issue is eye-catching cause it has Hardcase bleeding and it’s more rare to show the comics hero bleeding that bad. The interior art is done by Scott Benefiel and is pretty good and while a little too sketchy for my taste I can see how some comic readers would enjoy it. I am glad this comic series is back on track and the focus is on Hardcase and Choice as they are what is making this series very good.

Hardcase Comic 6

Hardcase # 6  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 6 of 26

Hardcase is in the street dying and Choice activates her shields as well as ability to fly and dodges Hardwire and gets Hardcase to a hospital and he is lucky as he is able to heal fast and bounce back. Meanwhile Rex Mundi sees the news that he is not dead and then goes into a room that is filled with tons of Ultra Villains and they are told that they have all been hired by Rex as he wants to steal and take over The Moon! Hardware gets another visit from the mystery woman Regina who tells Choice and him that she can help them get the answers they are seeking and also tells them the location of Hardwire who is on another mission to kill. So not fully healed Hardcase and Choice head to a street that is the home of several gang members and find Hardwire there killing the crime members, but this time our heroes are prepared and they beat up the razor nailed bad guy and Hardcase even dislocates Hardwire’s shoulders to make it impossible to hurt the cops who show up to arrest him. In the end Hardcase goes home to sleep and thinks back to when he was dying and how he seen the spirit of Starburst who told him it was not his time to die.

This was another good issue in the Hardcase comic series as it starts with Hardcase at deaths gate and leaving his own body and encounters the spirit of his friend who is in a coma, and we also follow Hardcase as he heels up and gets his revenge on Hardwire they man who almost killed him! And while Hardcase and Choice are able to get their revenge on Hardwire who is brought to justice for not only the attack on them, but also all the murders he has done. But lots of new plot twists are thrown in including Regina still going out of her way in order to try and “help” our heroes, though I am not sure if I trust her as she seems to be promising lots. We also learn that while Hardcase has tough skin he can be cut by Ultra’s and can in fact die, even though he does heal fast. And the biggest new plot is why does Rex Mundi want to go to the moon and what is his end game plan for his Ultra Villains when they get there? This issue does also a great job of showing that Hardcase can be super tough and even slightly mean spirited as he uses his super strength to rip both of Hardwire’s arms out of their sockets and leaves him in pain! And due to all this other drama we still are not closer to finding anything out about Choices past and what has been done to her, and I am hoping that in the coming issues more of her backstory will start to unfold. The cover for this issue is ok and while not my taste, it does reek of 90’s Indie Superhero comic. The interior art is good and done by Scott Benefiel and looks a little less sloppy sketchy then the last issue. So another good issue that has new bait on the plot hooks to reel readers in.

Hardcase Comic 7

Hardcase # 7  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95      Malibu      # 7 of 26

Hardcase and Choice stop a pair of carjackers and head to the business office of Hardcase as she meets his employees who are working on trying to figure out a way for her to get out of the contract with the Choice Cooperation. Meanwhile NM-E has created a new twisted body and is looking for more Ultra Heroes as he wants to kill them all. Later that night Hardcase and Choice meet up with Regina for a late dinner and she tells them about how Ultra’s are born and it all comes from waves from The Moon! She tells them they need to get to the Moon before Rex and his crew do as there is an object up there that needs to be rescued from their grips, and Hardcase soon finds out she is making him team with the Ultra Team called The Solution. Once back home Hardcase and Choice notice an explosion on a near by island that triggers a tsunami and our heroes do they best they can to save lives before it its, they save some but sadly many die. Before our heroes have a moment to think Regina shows up and takes them to a massive space ship and alerts them its time to get to the moon.

This issue of Hardcase is pretty interesting as we now know that an object on the moon is what has give some people on Earth their Ultra powers and that included Hardcase. We learn that Rex hates Ultras and is the one who wants them dead, and is using them in order to get a power source from the moon. Regina has some answers and gives a little and is also hiding some to keep Choice and Hardcase in line to help her. And poor Hardcase feels like a pinball as he is being attacked and tricked as well as is doing what he can to help his new girlfriend to break free and discover her dark past. And this issue while not action packed is used to further the plot of the item on the moon as well as adds a little more drama with Regina knowing lots about our hero’s pasts. Plus lets not forget that we have added the team The Solution to this mission and a few members clearly do not think highly of Hardcase as they see him as an armature hero. The stuff with the tsunami is sad stuff as our heroes have to watch as many people die, and I wish they would have played out this part as their sadness is way to short due to Regina’s appearance to summon them to get to the ship. The cover is good and has Hardcase and Choice about to be hit by the tsunami, and the interior art is once more done by Scott Benefiel and is good for the most part with some panels I feel very much lacking. Over all a good issue and I cannot wait to see Hardcase on the moon!

Hardcase Comic 8

Hardcase # 8  *1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 8 of 26

Omega Team and the other Ultra villains have failed on the moon and are heading back to their ship only to watch it take off as Hardcase and the heroes have taken it to return to Earth leaving them stuck on the moon. They call Rex for help who tells them that he will not send a rescue ship as they have failed and if they make it back to Earth alive he will allow them to keep the money he has given them. Meanwhile back on the ship Hardcase and The Solution are starting to wonder what Regina’s real connection is to Rex as its clear that the two know each other and have the same goals, but before they can find the answers the ship is blown up by Rex still in space! Meanwhile Omega Team and the other Ultra Villains are able to get back to Earth but land in a desert when one member uses all his power to bring them home. Meanwhile in space Hardcase, Choice and The Solution survived the explosion and all head back to Earth. Once back home Choice alerts Hardcase that she has little bits of memory of her past and they find a note and some money left by Regina that tells them to head back to Groom Lake for more answers about Choice. Meanwhile Rex thinks he has killed Hardcase and is even more happy with NM-E arrives home as he now has his ultimate Ultra killing machine back.

Man Malibu Comics is really bad for these cross over series that start in one series and makes you buy another to finish the story, and with this one we miss all the moon stuff and you would have to buy Break-Thru in order to see the battle on the moon and I say that is B.S. and one reason Malibu frustrates me. The plot of this issue has our heroes coming back to Earth from the moon and wondering what Rex and Regina are all about before having the ship blown up and them having to drift their way back home. And we also see that Rex leaves his bad Ultras stuck in space and they have to use there wits and powers to as well return home. And the biggest things we get from this issue is that NM-E has returned to Rex and that Groom Lake really is the place that has the answers to Choices past. Cover is cool but miss leading as Hardcase fights no one let alone a creature in this issue and the interior art by Scott Benefiel is ok but he also uses lots of big panels to film out this rice paper thin plot of this issue. Over all just a fill in issue with some new plot elements sprinkled in.

Hardcase Comic 9

Hardcase # 9  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 9 of 26

Hardcase is at the hospital talking to Starburst who has been in a coma for over a year, and he is telling her he is sorry as she was his girlfriend and he fills her in on events that just happened that is the following. While on the set of his new movie Choice visits him and is upset that he has a love scene with an actress, as she wonders why he has never made the move on her yet, he explains he feels odd doing so over Starburst and the fact he does not want to take advantage of her. The next day they have a run in with a monster Ultra named Turf that has been killing celebrities and now wants to crush the life out of Hardcase, you see Turf is an Ultra who uses the soil around him to become the monster and who is a psychopath who is obsessed with famous people and is mad when they do not write back to his weird fan letters. When Choice shows up the heroes defeat him, as like always Aladdin shows up to take Turf away. Once home Hardcase and Choice finally fully fall in love and that brings us back to the hospital were Hardcase tells Starburst that he is in love with Choice and that he is sorry. As he leaves Starburst sheds a tear.

This is a good issue as it pushes the fact that Hardcase and Choice are now a couple and that they love each other, it is also lets Hardcase finally be able to not live in the past and dwell on his failures and opens his heart to his one time lady. While you feel good for Hardcase, you have to feel a little bad for Starburst who clearly has her heartbroken as the one she loved is now walking away from her when she needs him the most. The villain Turf in this issue is very much inspired by the Greek Mythology giant named Antaeus as they both get their powers from touching the land. But Turf is crazy as he brutally murders famous people that he feels disrespected him by not responding to his crazy letters, and while as the mud looking monster he is creepy as a person he is really just a chubby dude with no confidence. While the only major thing that happens in this issue being that Hardcase and Choice start dating, it still was a very good issue that was a way to move past the old and bring in the new plot elements. The cover is action packed and shows Turf beating up our heroes and the interior art by Brent Anderson is good and I like the way he draws the monster version of Turf. Lets see if our next issue gets us on track to once more crash into Groom Lake to find out the truth about Choice.

Hardcase Comic 10

Hardcase # 10  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu      # 10 of 26

The Aladdin Company has been watching and listening to Hardcase for weeks unknown to him and Choice, as they are thinking he is a threat to them and know that Regina has left him a note to head back to the Groom Lake base to find out about Choices past as well as her powers. Right before our heroes are set to go to the base Choice shares some memories that are conflicting like having loving parents in America as well as being orphaned in Vietnam and having to hide on a cramped boat with others to travel to America to find freedom. And after hearing these details Hardcase gets super mad and says that they Aladdin will pay for all this, as its clear he is hiding something more that is making him very mad. Agent Malik is one the case of killing Hardcase once he arrives at Groom Lake and he is allowed to release two captured Ultra Baddies in order to help his team of Ultra Heroes Dirt Devil, Foxfire and War Eagle bring down the actor turned hero, and he chooses Head Knocker and Hardwire to join the cause as each of those two hate Hardcase. And as Hardcase and Choice are driving to Groom Lake a helicopter appears and the Bad Ultras start jumping out.

Well we know that The Aladdin Company has been watching Hardcase as they do not like this Ultra Hero and want him dead now that he is trying to once more get into their base. Agent Malik is the man who has been given the duty of watching Hardcase as well as be the one who leads the task force to try and kill him. While he is clearly loyal to Aladdin his mission is clearly making him nervous. The return of Hardwire and Head Knocker is a nice touch as both of these Ultra baddies clearly want revenge of Hardcase the hero that beat them both and allowed them to be captured and placed in this situation via Aladdin, but it does make me wonder if these two will work well together as well as along with the other Ultras that have been sent to stop and eliminate Hardcase. Speaking of Hardcase his rage over Aladdin is clearly deeper then what he is sharing and he kind of rages and seems to almost forget that the mission is to help Choice and not his own grudge. This is a pretty cool issue as I like the idea that a company is spying on a Superhero as they find him to be a threat to their plans and are willing to kill him in order to have zero interruptions. And with only two Ultras against five it makes you wonder how Hardcase and Choice will survive. The cover is ok for this issue and the interior art by Kelly Krantz and is pretty good. Over all a good issue that builds up to the next issue that I am very much looking forward to reading, as I want to see how our heroes get out of this mess.

Hardcase Comic 11

Hardcase # 11  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 11 of 26

Hardcase and Choice are ready for a fight and after their car is blown up our heroes go on the attack! As Hardcase takes down Dirt Devil and Choice brings down Foxfire things turn bad for War Eagle who is also taken down. Choice tells their fallen foes that they better not see them at Groom Lake or next time they will not be so nice. Meanwhile Hardwire and Head Knocker have already headed back to the Aladdin base and are waiting for the heroes to arrive so they can attack and get their revenge on Hardcase. Our heroes decide to take a rest before attacking the base to find the answers as Choice needs to have her powers recharge but their rest is cut short, as Head Knocker and Hardwire have found them.

This issue is packed with action and has our heroes dealing with other Ultra powered heroes and this time the good guys are fighting hard as they have been pushed to far, and Hardcase is mad that all of his cars keep getting destroyed! Choice as well is more aggressive and that is because she is so close to getting the answers to her past. The team of Dirt Devil, Foxfire and War Eagle are just over powered and are defeated fast, and even Foxfire is forced to spill the beans on who sent them as well as how Aladdin has been keeping tabs on Hardcase and Choice. I have to say the team of Hardwire and Head Knocker are the smart ones as they do not rush into the fight and instead wait for the heroes to already have had a fight and need a rest before they go in for the kill, and leaving us on that cliffhanger was a great way to make readers look forward to the next issue. The cover is ok and has Choice crawling on the ground and the interior art by Scott Benefiel is good and has the classic Malibu look. Over all a good action packed issue that felt like a really quick read and with that lets see how our heroes deal with Head Knocker and Hardwire.

Hardcase Comic 12

Hardcase # 12  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 12 of 26

Head Knocker attacks Hardcase as Hardwire goes after Choice as the agents of Aladdin watch the battle via radar. Head Knocker is just as strong as Hardcase and lands some big punches and keeps our hero on defense and makes him worried for Choice who is being slashed at by Hardwire who has killing on his mind. And with the odds against them Hardcase makes the decision to grab Choice and retreat as he knows that they might not win this fight and they leap away. And with that Head Knocker and Hardwire decide that they are not going back to Aladdin as they are free and head towards a highway to try and steal a car to escape in. Meanwhile Hardcase tells Choice that they are going about this all wrong and when FireFox, War Eagle and Dirt Devil show up at their location they make a deal with Aladdin that they will both just leave each other alone…and the deal is accepted. Hardcase then tells Choice that he has another idea to get the answers about her past that is not them attacking the base at Groom Lake and they head to a hotel in Las Vegas and put a call to Tech from the group The Solution who will arrive in a few days, but while they wait they decide to have fun around town. Tech shows up and they raid the files of Aladdin and are all shaken badly when they find out that part of Choices brain is that of Starburst the ex-girlfriend of Hardcase that is in a coma.

This is another action packed issue that has our heroes going against two of the biggest Ultra Baddies they have fought this far, and worse this time around our heroes are both weakened from a previous battle and the odds are not in their favor to win. Hardcase who in the last two issues let his anger get the better of him shows that he can also use his mind to get the results he seeks and needs. While poor Choice finds that her mind is not her own and that she has part of another woman’s mind in hers and that very bad things have happened to her all to create a spokeswoman for a big corporation. And the people of Aladdin are clearly cold blooded and do not care who’s lives they ruin as long as their secrets do not leak out to the world. And Aladdin is also now responsible for letting two very dangerous Ultra Villains loose with Hardwire and Head Knocker who rival Hardcase in power once more in society to hurt innocent lives. The end of this issue leaves Hardcase and Choice heartbroken and crying and makes you wonder what will be in store for the Choice Corporation and Aladdin now that our heroes know the terrible backstory that lead to Choice and her powers. I really like that this issue as well shows that while Hardcase is strong he does have some major foes in Head Knocker and Hardwire who equal him in powers. The cover is pretty cool and showcases the heroes and villains fighting and the interior art by Scott Benefiel is good like before. The plot really has thickened for Choice and I like this new plot element that her brain has part of another’s and I for one am looking forward to reading the next issue.

Hardcase Comic 13

Hardcase # 13  **
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 13 of 26

Choice and Hardcase calm down and try and get their rage and heartbreak in check and sit down and start reading the files that Tech got from Aladdin. Meanwhile unknown beings are watching the two and are chatting that they need Choice in order to defeat their enemies. Choice learns that she was an orphaned child from Vietnam who was taken in by Aladdin once she arrived in America and was brainwashed and had her mind worked on by them and her memories erased when they choose her to be a test subject for make a Ultra that can be controlled. They use part of the brains of Starburts and other falling Ultras to give her powers, and even the boss of Choice Corporation used her and abused her. And when she started to regain memories of her own as well as that of Starblast they set her to be reprogramed in Brazil and that is when she escaped and ended up finding Hardcase for help. Choice takes a moment and then lets Hardcase and Tech know that a weight feels like it has been lifted from her, as she now knows her past and that with this information she will bring down both Aladdin and the Choice Corporation by releasing it all to the public. But just like that Choice is zapped away and finds herself face to face with the beings that welcome her to her new home.

We finally get the backstory to Choice who was a young woman who has had a very hard life from the start as her mother died, her father is an unknown American, when coming to USA she is brainwashed and experimented on and has parts of other peoples brains implanted in her own! When she is first forced with these facts she seems very upset and yet very shortly later seems to learn to be ok with it, and real quick I already dislike these alien being things that kidnap her…can we please leave aliens out of this, but to be fair they could also be demons. Hardcase is raged that Aladdin has removed part of Starburst’s brain and this will make sure she never will awake from her coma, and you know that he will not allow this to slide. This was a cool issue because they finally 12 issues in really do show the backstory of Choice, but I feel they do so poorly in presentation as its mostly done in text over splash pages of basic art and just kind of lacks the impact it should. And even more odd the shocking emotions that the characters have in the last page of issue 12 seems to disappear and they kind of all act normal and just more like “superheroes”. The cover is good and showcases Choice and the interior art this time is done by Kelly Krantz is ok but sometimes the screamy expressions on the characters faces is laughable. Over all an ok issue that does answers many lingering questions as well as moves stories along.

Hardcase Comic 14

Hardcase # 14  *1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 14 of 26

Hardcase is filled with anger and confusion and the burning desire to kill who ever has kidnapped Choice, but he is calmed down by Tech who calls Shadowmage an alien magician who is a member of the Solution and she shows up and says that is was alien magic like from her home world that made the portal that took Choice away. Hardware gets the two ladies to follow him home and as Tech destroys all the bugs in his home placed by Aladdin while Shadowmage tries to see if any magic has been in his home to also spy and she comes up empty handed. After the two ladies leave the home Hardcase pouts for a bit before heading out in order to alert the police of Choices abduction and he as well as swings by the hospital to visit Starburst. Meanwhile Rex Mundi has used his demonic forces to use little creatures to spy on Hardcase so that the newly rebuilt NM-E can watch and learn the heroes every move. And to top it all off Hardwire shows up at the home of Hardcase and is waiting for him to get home so that he can attack and kill him.

This issue is 100% filler and for the most part really boring as all it really does is set up that Rex is priming NM-E to learn all it can about Hardcase to kill him in their next fight, that Hardwire is waiting for his time for a rematch, magic is what took Choice away and that Hardcase goes to the police to report a missing person…this issue has zero action and has plot points that are dragged out way to long. Hardcase comes off like a child throwing a temper tantrum and then goes to the cops for help to find his missing girlfriend who has been taking away to another world, and the cops are even looking at him like he is dumb as what can they do about that. This is really a bad issue and it’s a shame that Malibu released it and did not add these elements of plot around at least some sort of action or even better drama. The cover is cool and eye catching and the interior art by Steve Carr are ok and is your standard indie 90s comic style. Over all a bland issue that I don’t want to spend any more time on so lets move onto the next issue.

Hardcase Comic 15

Hardcase # 15  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 15 of 26

Hardcase shows back up home and finds that not only his front door being destroyed but so is all the stuff inside all by the hands of Hardwire. And this pushes Hardcase to far who finds Hardwire in his house and the two start to fight, both want to do nothing more then destroy each other! Hardcase is really rough in his fighting style and beats the hell out of Hardwire who is still able to use his razor like nails to slice the skin and injury our hero. But Hardcase knocks Hardwire out when he rams his head through a wall and leaves him bloody on the floor. The whole fight Rex Mundi has been watching and as Hardcase wins and is injured he sends in NM-E to finish and kill Hardcase!

This is another action packed issue that has Hardcase very mad and ready to finish a feud that has been going on way to long and because of his crazy life for the past months and all the fights he has been in his fighting skill has gotten way better and he uses not only his powers but also plans out the fights better. Hardwire who is a deadly villain who has nails that slice and dice is a little to cocky and thinks the fight will be an easy win and soon finds out that he needed a better plan of action as he gets bloody and beatdown. Rex Mundi and NM-E meanwhile are enjoying the fight and will be going in for the kill when the fight is over as they both want to see Hardcase dead! The issue goes back to being bloody a trait that was missing from many issues and the fight between the two is really well done and both sides get some great hits off. This issue gives us nothing on what is going on with Choice and we focus on Hardcase and we add the new threat of the rebuilt and bigger and badder NM-E who has entered the battlefield on the last page and really makes me look forward to the next issue that I hope is as action packed as this one. The cover for this issue is great and eye catching and is pure 90’s superhero stuff! The interior art is done by two artist and one is good and the other is not my taste as the two’s style clashes and even at times they are drawing the character different! The good artist is Greg Luzniak and his style is fantastic and the not my cup of tea artist is Tim Hamilton. Over all this is a great issue and his action packed and delivers an ending that makes me really looking forward to the next issue.

Hardcase Comic 16

Hardcase # 16  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $3.50     Malibu     # 16 of 26

Hardcase has fear as he sees NM-E and knows that he must fight for his life, but like before he is no match for this monster who uses a blast that knocks Hardcase out of his home and burns his skin and even singes his hair off! NM-E also finds Hardwire and blasts him to keep him down and out of this final fight. Rex Mundi loves what he is seeing as NM-E keeps up the attack on Hardcase and keeps blasting, burning and punching him till he is near death. The media and the police show up and NM-E even takes down a media helicopter killing everyone on board. As NM-E goes in for the kill on Hardcase with orders from Rex to blow off the hero’s head he is stopped when Prime shows up and is ready to fight and protect his friend.

This is another action packed issue and has Hardcase getting his butt kicked by his worst enemy NM-E who was the thing responsible for killing his old team The Squad. And its clear from the start the Hardcase is our powered as well as his own fear is causing him to be on the loosing side of this fight, I mean his skin us burnt and his hair is gone and he looks like he just walked out of a massive explosion and he is the only survivor. Rex Mundi is loving every second of this one sided fight as he wants nothing more then to have Hardcase dead and if not for Prime I think his wish would have came true. And lets be honest seeing Prime enter this fight is great and lets hope he kicks some butt in the next issue! I like that we also went from an issue that had Hardcase being a badass to one that he looks weak and is tossed around like a ragdoll. The cover for this issue is great and showcases NM-E and really reminds me of a Dark Horse Comics cover for one of their Aliens comics. The interior art is done by Tim Hamilton again, but this time its not bad and I like the way he draws the injured Hardcase as he looks painful! Over all a great issue that now adds Prime into the action and this continues the trend of making me look forward to the next issue!

Hardcase Comic 17

Hardcase # 17  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 17 of 26

NM-E does not get the chance to kill Hardcase as Prime starts a fight with the creature and he as well finds that the NM-E can cause even him hard but the strongest Ultra pushes forward in the battle as he wants to avenge his friend Hardcase as well as The Squad. Meanwhile Regina shows up as well and takes Hardcase into the ocean and tells him to drink the water as it will help heal him and she as well tells him some tips about his true Ultra powers. Meanwhile Prime is doing what he can to battle NM-E, but the Ultra hero is not doing well as NM-E is just too strong and this causes Prime to turn back into teenager Kevin Green and just as NM-E goes for the kill he is stopped by the semi-healed yet still very burnt up Hardcase who gives Kevin enough time to run away and Hardcase himself keeps getting blasted but swears that this time NM-E will be the one who dies.

Another battle filled issue of Hardcase that sees him almost arrive at deaths door and if not for the help from Prime and Regina he surly would have been killed. Hardcase who’s really in bad shape truly learns that drinking water helps him heal and that he must put his fear aside if he wants to be able to truly fight NM-E who is a creature machine who clearly has no fear and only has a mission and that’s to kill. Rex Mundi is loving the fact that his assassin is able to beat up and almost kill two Ultra heroes and in time he thinks that this battle will lead to them both dying. And I think Rex now has figured out that Regina is working against his mission to kill Hardcase as well as other Ultras. The shocking thing about this issue is that Prime who is kind of like the Superman of Malibu Comics cannot seem to hurt NM-E and is almost killed by it showing just how much of a major threat this thing really is. Plus this also makes me wonder just who much this battle will change Hardcase and Prime when it comes to their attitudes of being heroes as now they have to think about how close they came to death. The cover is pretty cool and showcases Prime, Hardcase and NM-E and this makes it eye catching and the interior art by Tim Hamilton is good and once more I like they way he draws the injured Hardcase. Over all another good issue and like a broken record it makes me look forward to the next issue.

Hardcase Comic 18

Hardcase # 18  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 18 of 26

Hardcase is in a rage and goes on the attack of NM-E and while he himself is getting blasted and burned he keeps pushing the fight and this is draining NM-E who is finally starting show slowing down and showing signs of injuries as Rex Mundi is frustrated as he watches as he just wants to see Hardcase die by the hands of one of his creations. While Hardcase and NM-E are fighting the home of Hardcase is on fire and an unknown person enters the flames and saves the life of Hardwire and beams them out of danger. Finally Hardcase uses gasoline to catch NM-E on fire and then quickly tackles him into the ocean hoping that the extreme heat change from hot to cold will cause it to explode, and as NM-E sinks deeper into the water Hardcase comes ashore and is injured as the media swarms him asking silly questions. Big mistake to them as NM-E rises from the water and is firing his weapons wildly and some of the reporters are hit, Hardcase has seen enough and wants his redemption and uses all of his energy to destroy NM-E and the battle ends with the thing in pieces. After the fight is over Prime reappears and the two heroes check on each other when just like Choice our injured hero Hardcase vanishes as Prime screams out his friends name in anger.

Hardcase has finally done it as he defeats NM-E the creature machine that had killed his friends and been the source of his nightmares for years, and while Hardcase was injured bad as he is burnt horribly he still pushes himself to avenge his fallen teammates and his rage and anger no longer plays against him as it helps fuel him to victory. NM-E while super powerful and deadly shows that this creature machine even has its limits and when pushed beyond those limits it falls in battle, and this you know is the worst case scenario for Rex Mundi who’s plans keep failing when it comes to the killing of his Ultra arch nemesis. I also like how Kevin Green turns back into Prime as the battle is over and Hardcase questions him why he did not call in the other members of the Ultraforce. Another plot turn now is who is the person who saved Hardwire from burning to death and will he be coming for Hardcase again soon? I am not liking all this being zapped away to other worlds or dimensions as I feel it takes away from the true base hero stories of Hardcase and back then and even now I am sick of the alien, space and magic world adduction story lines that filled comic series for way to long. While I was not keen on the Hardcase vanishing in thin air ending I will say I do like the final fight between NM-E and Hardcase as it was a pretty brutal matchup. The cover is pretty cool and shows the twisted with anger burnt face of Hardcase and the interior art by Tim Hamilton is good and shows that Tim can do great work. Over all this is a good issue and a nice end to the nightmare of NM-E and with that lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Hardcase Comic 19

Hardcase # 19  *1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu     # 19 of 26

Regina is on the beach as Prime stands over the broken parts of NM-E and the police are starting to show up as their investigation in this this battle is now underway, she wants to get her hands on the broken pieces of NM-E as she has a plan for them and tricks Prime into letting her take them by making herself look like Ultraforce member Mantra! Meanwhile Rex Mundi is mad about the loss of his # 1 assassin as well as the fact that Regina has its body parts, but his main concern is that the Ultras of the Earth need to be destroyed and Hardcase is the main one he wants to be brought down. While The Operator is mad as she has a mole in her crime group and she brings in Ultra Trauma who kills the mole for her and is now on her payroll. Meanwhile we also see Choice in another dimension and she is following some strange looking bugs and wonders if this will lead her back home.

This is another filler issue that has no Hardcase as Malibu wants you to buy their “God Wheel” mini series to find out what the title hero is up to, and things like this is why Malibu started to loose their grip on readers and would slip from being the third biggest comic company going in the 90’s. The only major plot element we get from this issue is that Regina has the parts of NM-E and has an idea for them and that The Operator who knows Rex and is the one who hired Hardwire for him now has an Ultra on her payroll with Trauma. The cover is bland and boring and the issue has several artist working on each character segment and some are good and some are ok and I don’t have much to say about this issue as it really is just a bad filler that once more I have to stress does not feature the title character as they want you to buy another mini series to see him…lets move on and hope the next issue is not bland filler.

Hardcase Comic 20

Hardcase # 20  **
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.50     Malibu     # 20 of 26

Hardcase is on a floating city that is above the God Wheel and is talking to a hologram named Ogma who is going to send him back to Earth, but our hero asks to be sent to Choice so he can bring her home as well…Ogma sends him to her but alerts him its for a short time and that he will not be sending her back with him! Hardcase finds himself with Choice who alerts him that she has been fighting for the freedom of the people of this world against these evil god like beings and that she really can not leave until she wins! And then Choice tells Hardcase that she is pregnant with his baby, the to celebrate before Hardcase is whisked away back to Earth and at his burnt down home. Our hero knows that his lady love will return to him soon and he heads to his office were his staff at first do not recognize him due to his mask, but are soon very happy to see him back and alive. But others are not so happy to see him return like Turf, Rex Mundi and Omega Team.

This issue takes place after the events of the God Wheel mini series and has Hardcase returning to Earth after helping as well as seeing hi lady Choice and finding out he is going to be a father. We also see his new look that is a mask and a gold and black body suit. Choice seems to have found her new calling as she seems to love being a hero to the helpless on the God Wheel and she also clearly is in love with Hardcase who she is looking forward to getting back to once her work is done. We also are teased that some of his enemies are coming back around with Turf and Omega Team looking to even the score and Rex Mundi is still trying to figure out a plan that will kill off the hero for good. And while this brings Hardcase back to his own comic series as well as back to Earth the comics big revel is the fact that he and Choice are going to have a child together. The downside to the comic is if to did not read the God Wheel series you would be lost and I think the writers did a bad job of explaining to readers on what has happened with our hero as they just drop us all in like we know. The cover is good and showcases Hardcase putting on his new mask…that reminds me of a generic Deadpool clone. The interior art by Ken Bivins is ok and while some panels look great others seem a little rushed. Over all a good issue but nothing special and seems like just a way to get our hero back to Earth.

Hardcase Comic 21

Hardcase # 21  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.50     Malibu     # 21 of 26

Hardcase at his office finds that his life has really changed after his battle with NM-E and the few days he vanished. Not only is his face not fully healed and he is forced to wear a mask to hide the scars, Hollywood does not want to hire him due to fear of Ultra Villains showing up to set and causing death and damage and worse he has no place to stay and all his friends are afraid to have him crash at their places! Hardcase gets an idea that he will buy a Hollywood prop RV and will live in it for a short time as well as set a course to find Rex Mundi and end this cat and mouse game once and for all. Meanwhile a man named The Genius is the one who saved Hardwire from the fire and has been treating him as well as giving him injections that he claims will make him as strong as his foe. And even odder a man who is phasing in and out is tracking Hardcase and acts as if the Ultra Hero is his dad!

This is back on track and this issue is pretty entertaining and I really like that they show that being a superhero is not that glamour’s as our heroes own friends and business partners are afraid of what trouble could be following him. And this shows another layer of Hardcase as clearly his feelings are hurt but he just keeps moving forward in order to try and make his life work the best he can. We also see that he gets along with his mom while his dad is another story as they both attempt to call to check in on him. And this weird costumed phasing man is he really Hardcases son trying to contact him for the future? I guess we will have to see in further issues if this is the case. And The Genius is a character that seems like he could be a heel that will be making a play for one of the series top villains as he has the means to make Ultra Villains even stronger! Also I am thinking that Hardcases secretary has a crush on him and he knows it as he rejects the offer to stay with her as he thinks of Choice. The cover is pretty great and has Hardcase look like he is hitchhiking and this is eye catching for the time. The interior art by Tim Hamilton is good for the most part, but does seem a little rushed in spots. Over all a good issue that adds in new elements to our story as well as picks up on old ones in the Hardcase and Rex blood feud. Lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Hardcase Comic 22

Hardcase # 22  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.50     Malibu     # 22 of 26

Trauma sneaks around the mansion of a Russian crime lord and uses her power to kill him and his right hand man. Meanwhile Hardware visits Officer Brown and informs him that he has found Choice on another planet and that he as well was away doing a mission on another planet. As Officer Brown listens he is shocked when Hardcase asks about info on Rex Mundi who the cops think is really just an urban legend and together they start putting together attacks that could be put together! And with that information Hardcase starts digging deep and contacts Trouble of Omega Team for a meeting at a hole in the wall bar. Trouble tells Hardcase a little about what he knows about Rex and will tell him everything as well as how to find him if Hardcase promises to kill Rex once he finds him, but our hero can not take that deal as he will not murder someone. As Trouble and Hardcase are about to leave the bar we see that Trauma and Rex Mundi are there and Trauma uses her Ultra powers to snap the neck of Trouble killing him and everyone in the bar thinks that Hardcase is the one who killed him.

Hardcase is in deep trouble now as he is being looked at for murder that of course he didn’t do and was a set up by his arch nemesis Rex Mundi! Hardcase has finally figured out that Rex is the man who has caused him all this pain over the years as he is even the one who sent NM-E and killed all of Hardcases friends! And poor Officer Brown is so out of his league when it is coming to all these Ultra issues and battles, its as if the police can do nothing but sit back and watch and try to come in at the end to arrest the bad guy if he is on the loosing end. And when being told about Gods and new worlds you can tell Officer Brown is taken back by it all, but not shocked. I also like that Hardcase is driving around now in a RV and his basically homeless and broke and has nothing but bringing down Rex who is wise to the Ultras quest and is one step ahead of him. Also it looks like Trauma is working for Rex now and with her powers being able to kill some one brutally with the wave of her hands she could be the most dangerous villain in this series! And poor old Trouble of Omega Team is a bad dude who tries to help Hardcase on his quest as he as well hates Rex Mundi but his price tag of murder makes the two at odds is also the victim of Trauma and her powers that leaves his neck snapped and him dead on the floor of a nasty bar. The cover for this issue is pretty cool and has Trouble sneaking up and leaping on Hardcase, the interior art by Tim Hamilton is good and is fitting for this era of Malibu Comics. This was a fun issue to read and really is a countdown for a big fight that is surly to take place between Hardcase and Rex Mundi.

Hardcase Comic 23

Hardcase # 23  **
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.50     Malibu     # 23 of 26

Loki looses a time gem that falls to Earth from space and Hardcase finds it while blowing off steam in the desert, you see Hardcase had just left the police station and is being accused of killing Trouble in that bar and he knows once more that Rex has set him up and that with Choice being gone he has no one to talk to. And when he finds out that he can travel back in time he wants to save The Squad from death at the hands of NM-E and he makes the mistake of doing so and warns his old group and even helps in the fight against NM-E allowing them to win this time around and saves all their lives as well as changes the course of history. Once back in modern times Hardcase finds that his face has returned to normal and when talking to his sectary he soon finds that The Squad still died and that he now has no connection to Choice at all as she is now the spokes woman still for the Choice Company and is helping them sell soda. Hardcase rushes to the Choice Corparation and tries to speak to Choice who has no clue who he is now, and just then Loki appears and tells Hardcase to give him the gem so that he can set the world back…this of course is a trick and once the stone is in his hands he disappears and tells Hardcase to deal with this new reality he created. Rex Mundi watched this happen and is now ready for another attack on Hardcase who has confused and destroyed his own fate out of self-pity.

What has Hardcase done to his life as because of his doing he has now lost Choice in his life and this also means they are not having a child together, his friends he wanted to save still died and that now all his battles and friendships are all gone in a blink of an eye. And while an interesting turn of events I also kind of really dislike this major change as it makes the past 22 issues mean nothing as they have all been wiped out thanks to time travel…and again I really am sick of this trope in comics as time travel, other world and space have been so over done and most of these plots do not leave our character in a better place then before said event. And the appearance from Loki really feels shoehorned in and was clearly done by Marvel Comic who at this time owned Malibu Comics and wanted to use their character to try and boost sales. And it looks also like that the only person who remembers the past of Hardcase is Rex Mundi and maybe after the two fight he can force Rex if he has the power to restore things back to normal. And another kind of bad element to this time change is that Choice is once more being abused and used by the Choice Corporation and man this makes the reader mad as we know what she has been through and Hardcases dumb plan makes her stuck in this part of her life. The cover is ok and showcases Loki and the interior art by Tim Hamilton is good, so lets see what happens in the next issue as maybe this terrible plot change will be fixed.

Hardcase Comic 24

Hardcase # 24  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.50     Malibu     # 24 of 26

Hardcase goes to the office of J.D. Hunt and forces him to tell all he knows about Rex Mundi, and at first Hunt refuses to share any information that is until Hardcase threatens to expose Hunt’s dark dealings to the government. Hunt tells Hardcase about a building that has an American Flag painted on it that sometimes he meets Mundi at, and with that Hardcase heads to the location. Once inside the building Hardcase is greeted by Rex Mundi who is not there but is speaking to him via a intercom box and taunts the hero about never finding him, he then blows up the building with Hardcase in it and of course the police show up and blame him for the arson, and now he is facing two charges! Hardcase once out on bail contacts Shadowmage and Tech as he needs help finding some of the Ultra Villains that Mundi sent to the moon and they are able to locate Meathook and Death Dance who at first attack Hardcase until they find he came in peace, and after telling the hero about how Mundi left them for dead on the moon and that he also stole all their money they share the location of a entrance to a secret base of Mundi’s and of course Mundi is watching this happen. Meanwhile at Choice busts into the office demanding to speak to Hardcase just as the real Choice appears back on Earth at the site of our heroes burnt down house.

Hardcase’s quest to find and stop Rex Mundi continues and this time Rex blows up a building and blames our hero for it and also his own associates turn on him as Rex Mundi us truly an evil being who loves to ruin lives. Hardcase is really turning into a detective in this issue as he follows leads and asks questions to people that he might not be able to trust in order to get answers that inch him closer to his goal of capturing the man who has killed his friends and has by all accounts ruined the Ultra Heroes life! Rex Mundi as well is really playing a game as he is baiting Hardcase along and is very much enjoying doing so. And the biggest plot element shown in this issue is that there are now two versions of Choice on Earth with one being the one who is having a child with Hardcase and the other is under control of the Choice Corporation and it will be cool when these two ladies clash! Also I like that the law thinks Hardcase is turning bad as he has charges now for murder and arson and while they are trying to believe his stories of Rex Mundi being the real one responsible the lack of proof is giving them doubt. The cover is very fun and is based on the classic Amazing Fantasy # 15 and the interior art by Hugh Haynes is great and over all this really is a good solid issue and is getting the series back on track after the weird and kind of lame Loki crossover.

Hardcase Comic 25

Hardcase # 25  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.50     Malibu     # 25 of 26

Hardcase is driving his RV to the location that was given to him by Meathook as he takes a phone call from Choice who is mad at him for showing up at he work talking weird and calling her “Amy” as well as acting as if her bosses are treating her wrong, and thinking fast Hardcase tries to defuse what he caused and Choice storms out of the office just as the real Choice shows up at the office looking for Hardcase herself. Once Choice hears about another Choice she heads to talk to this woman that she feels is just a clone, and when the two meet the Clone Choice attacks the real one who must be super aggressive to stop her attack and make sure innocent people do not get hurt. Meanwhile Hardcase arrives at the entrance location and is attacked by massive rock people who are acting as bodyguard for Rex Mundi and as the fight goes on Hardcase finds out that he has more Ultra Powers then he expected as he freezes the rock men and wins the fight and in the end enters the hidden base of Rex Mundi.

Hardcase has turned his Ultra Powers to 11 as he is now really close to having the final fight against his arch-nemesis Rex Mundi and while Rex has set traps along the way I feel as if this has been the plan all along and that Rex wants him to arrive at his base as he has a trap set for him! And it’s clear that this fight that is coming will be epic as both men clearly hate each other and we know that Mundi wants death for Hardcase it’s unclear just how far Hardcase wants to push the fight. The real Choice being back is awesome and I am glad she is back on Earth and out of the God Wheel nonsense, and the “Clone” version of Choice is crazy and is very aggressive. The story is getting good as we approach the final issue in the series and its crazy to think that this journey has built to this moment of Hardcase and Rex Mundi and we have seen the sad life that actor turned hero has had all because a evil being has it out for him, and now we are at the verge of payback! The cover for this issue is ok and has Hardcase fighting the rock men and the interior art by Hugh Haynes is good and his style brings me back to mid 90’s comics. I am looking forward to reading the final issue in the Hardcase series and I can not wait to see how the Mundi and Hardcase feud ends as well as what will come of the Choice vs. Choice battle…and more important will Hardcase and Choice be able to live happily together.

Hardcase Comic 26

Hardcase # 26  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $2.95     Malibu     # 26 of 26

Hardcase makes it to the base of Rex Mundi and finds himself easily captured and both are now very much confused when the Time Stone is brought up and Loki as neither man seems to know who or why he was there and Mundi is impressed by the power that Loki seems to have and wonders what has changed due to the gem. Rex Mundi then tells Hardcase about who he is as we find out Mundi is the original Ultra who was a caveman who was infected by the alien ship and that over the centuries he broke the ships hold on him and had even found a mate and love in Regina, but the two found that they did not see eye to eye on how to deal with Ultras and humans on Earth and Regina left their home base to teach mankind while Mundi created NM-E to kill Ultras and his enemies. Mundi then tells him that he is really the worlds good guy as he is trying to keep is safe from Aliens as well as the raw power of Ultras and with that he starts to drain the energy from Hardcase who uses some of his new power to time jump and stops the masked version of himself from saving The Squad and when he returns to present time Rex Mundi is ready to end this struggle once and for all that is until Regina who is inside the newly rebuilt NM-E busts in and knocks Hardcase out of the base and goes after Mundi! Meanwhile the two Choice are fighting and each hit each other with a kill blow, but things can change now that Hardcase once more changed time, Hardcase forces himself to forget how to time travel and returns home to find the real Choice waiting for him and the two lovers are back together and happy. But Loki is watching this reunion and has plans of his own now that he has the gem stones.

The Hardcase comic series came to an end with this issue and while the character would float around in a few Marvel/Malibu comic series for a short time he would be gone around 1997 as Marvel walked away from the Ultraverse and the Malibu Characters as a whole. The final battle between Rex Mundi and Hardcase is a little of a letdown as most of the issue has our hero captured and the baddie Mundi explaining his history on Earth and why he does what he does, its weird as they almost try and make you feel that he is doing what is right as he wants to save the world from the harm that Ultras and Aliens cause! And while Mundi does have a fight it’s with Regina in her NM-E mech-suit and not Hardcase and the battle is not even really shown. And the lack of a fight between Hardcase and Mundi is a letdown as is the fact that this issue has to spend time just to re-change the events of the terrible Loki Time Gem crossover that was a waste of time and was just Marvel being Marvel and that was to ruin the story being created by the folks at Malibu Comics. And even the Choice vs. Choice story goes no place as we have them fighting to the death and both die…only for it to be changed thanks to time travel again. And what the heck was the masked phasing cloaked guy that appeared issues back who claimed he was the son of Hardcase that never shows back up, that was the main issue with the Hardcase comic series is that story and characters have no payouts, plot elements go in circle and I do feel that once Marvel bought Malibu you can tell that the characters attitudes change and not for the good. And while I will say that the Hardcase series is not the best we have looked at here on Rotten Ink re-reading and in some issues cases reading for the first time really did make me become a fan of his as I think the character could be used still to this day and could be a big part of the Marvel Universe in comics, shows and films if they would just give him the chance. The cover for this final issue is ok and had Hardcase and Rex Mundi facing off and the interior art by Hugh Haynes is good and as I have said before its pure 90’s stuff. While the Hardcase comic series has some really bad issues it also had many above average ones and even a few really great ones and was an enjoyable read that really does make me miss the characters that made up the Ultraverse. And if you are a comic reader who likes the 90’s Superhero boom, give Hardcase a chance and check out some of his issues. Checkout the artwork bellow to see the styles used in this comics series.

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I have been having lots of fun looking back at the Malibu Comic characters and it seems that you readers have been as well. And if you have not checked out my other updates on the likes of Prototype, Exiles, Sleepstalker and Bones make sure to do so. I can not stress just how disappointed I am in Disney and Marvel Comics for not using the character of Malibu comics anymore as they really should be just added into the regular Marvel Universe as should the characters of CrossGen another company that they bought and have buried. And Hardcase in my opinion should have been a member of The Avengers and hell the Ultraforce team should be still around. But we can not change what is when it comes to the House Of Mouse and The House Of Ideas and with that I would like to tell you that our next update will continue our 10 Year Celebration and will take us to the world of Horror Hosting as we chat about the host of Monsterpiece Theater the one and only Alistair Cookie who lives of Sesame Street! Until then make sure to read a Malibu Comic or three, watch a superhero movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Oh remember to bring some cookies to the next update, as Mr. Cookie loves them.

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The Wacky Comic World Of Daffy Duck

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and the 10 Year Celebration of this blog! On May 5, 2015 I took a look at Bugs Bunny and called him “The King Of Saturday Morning Cartoons” and pointed out how he was the most popular and recognizable Looney Tune character, but if Bugs is the King then our next character would be the Jester as his antics and crazy nature made him a hit for me and my brother who both loved watching his cartoons…and I am talking about the one and only Daffy Duck! I know that it’s Easter Bunny season and not Duck season, but what better way to celebrate this holiday time than to cover a true icon in the world of classic cartoons and one that will surely make you month a little better. So as you find a comfy place to sit and enjoy this blog update, let’s get crazy with Daffy!

Daffy Duck 1

Daffy Duck made his debut in the Porky Pig cartoon “Porky’s Duck Hunt” that was seen on April 17, 1937.  In the toon Daffy was a no-name character but got viewers’ attention as his aggressive and zany attitude brought something fresh and new for the time and he became a favorite of many viewers. Early Daffy Duck was really crazy, a total loon who would bounce off the walls and laugh like a mad man all the while getting laughs from viewers and annoying his target in the toon.  He became the subject of many discussions of viewers and Daffy quickly became one of the top characters in the Looney Tune universe. Over the years Daffy Duck went from crazy to snarky and became very short tempered and would even become a frenemy of Bugs Bunny as who can forget the “Duck Season…Rabbit Season” bit! Warner Brothers knew that Daffy Duck was something special and to this day feature him in many cartoons, merchandise and even feature length movies like Space Jam 2 that was released in 2021. The term “screwball character” was termed after Daffy who was the first of the kind and started a trend of character that followed his personality and tropes. Daffy was so well liked by fans that he became one of the must watch cartoons and would rival the popularity of many other characters of his time like Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop. And even in 2019 website ScreenRant ranked Daffy Duck as # 1 in their Top 10 list of Funniest Looney Tune characters. Daffy Duck was created by Tex Avery and Bob Clampett and has had many voice actors as well as cartoon makers help flesh out the character and make him the icon he is to this day. Say what you will, but we all know that Daffy Duck is a true icon of cartoons and over the decades has made so many viewers lived just a little bit more silly and fun.

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The main voice of Daffy Duck during my childhood was the iconic voice actor Mel Blanc who created the characters iconic lisp as well as sarcastic tone and line delivery. Mel is considered one of the biggest icons in voice work in the early days of cartoons as he lent his voice to many iconic characters like Looney Tune ones like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Speedy Gonzales and Sylvester to name a few. And non-Looney Tunes characters include Flattop, Tom & Jerry, Barney Rubble and Speed Buggy to name a few. Mel would voice Daffy Duck from 1937 to 1989, the year that he passed away. And after Mel’s passing, three different voice actors would voice Daffy off and on through the years during my childhood with one being Jeff Bergman and the other two being Joe Alaskey and at a lesser level Greg Burson. And in modern times Eric Bauza has been the voice behind the Duck. And with all respect to those who followed him, let’s be honest, Mel Blanc is the amazing voice actor who made Daffy Duck the zany character we all love to this day.

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Like all great cartoon characters, Daffy Duck has had his fair share of amazing merchandise for fans of all ages to collect and I as a kid was one of those fans who owned lots of cool Daffy stuff! Over the many years of the character, such items as books, comics, shirts, dolls, toys, posters, magazines, statues, trading cards, Music, Home Media, drinking glasses, video games, hats, Shoes, Erasers, Buttons, Pins, Watches, Candy, cups, jars, stamps, socks, towels, Halloween costumes, necklaces, night lights and so much more were made. If you are a Daffy fan and have any need for an item you can find it as there are also Daffy Duck toothbrushes! Growing up some of my favorite things that I owned that featured Daffy Duck besides the comic books was an old plush doll that I had when I was super young, an old Pepsi glass that as a kid I can remember drinking Kool-Aid and chocolate milk from, a McDonalds Happy Meal Toy that had Daffy Duck as Batman and lastly an eraser of Daffy’s head that was for your pencil that I got from school in Waynesville! Daffy is awesome and has some very cool items for fans, and I for one am still a Daffy fan and have many of his items in my collection.

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Growing up I would watch Daffy Duck on Saturday Mornings via old reruns of Looney Tunes on TV and also would watch them via home media on Beta and VHS that we would rent from the library or even would buy them from a dollar store that use to stock all types of cheap VHS tapes that featured cartoons as well as silent horror movies. I would raid that section and would buy everything that I would enjoy or ever wanted to see. There was always something very special about watching Looney Tunes and for both my brother and I, some of our favorite ones to view featured Daffy Duck as we loved his crazy laugh, his bouncing around, his sarcastic attitude, his Duck Dogers persona and so much more that made him so fantastic and one of the top cartoon characters in our household. Also we would find ourselves reading Daffy Duck comics and even as a kid I can remember my brother reading the comics out loud to me and even doing goofy voices to go along with it.  It was almost like a story time. But now I am off subject and I really just wanted to share my memories of old Daffy VHS tapes and how when growing up I used to watch them all the time as I would always find myself laughing when watching him act like a total nut job! And I am sure many of you reading this blog have very similar memories of watching your favorite cartoon characters on owned or rented VHS tapes.

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One Daffy Duck cartoon that was amazing was from 1988 and was called “The Night Of The Living Duck” that has Daffy reading a horror comic book called Hideous Tales # 176 that ends of a cliffhanger and when he goes to find the next issue a clock falls and hits him in the head, and when knocked out he thinks he is a singer at a club that is filled with many classic monsters like Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Fly, Leatherface, The Mummy, Creature From The Black Lagoon and The Blob to name a few. And after being attacked by the Godzilla inspired Smogzilla in his dream world he wakes up and finds his issue of the horror comic. And for a Monster Kid like myself seeing Daffy Duck sing to many classic monsters of the movies was really awesome to see as who would ever guess that Leatherface of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame would appear in a Looney Tunes cartoon! And seeing the Universal Monsters being sung to by a sauvé Daffy is very surreal and was something that I never would have thought could have happened in the world of Looney Tunes. The animation is great in this episode and really makes me wish that Warner Brothers would have made animated monster movies as it would have been great to see classic monsters get the animated treatment. So if you love classic movie monsters as well as Looney Tunes cartoons make sure to track this one down and give it a watch.

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Well now that we have taken a trip down memory lane and talked about Daffy Duck and all the elements that have made him a cartoon icon, I think we are at the point of this review that we take a look at the comics I own of him and have selected the comics from Gold Key and Whitman to cover. I want to thank several stores for having these in stock like Bell, Book and Comic, Game Swap Kettering and Mavericks Cards And Comics as well as Mom Young for having these issues for me to buy and make 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, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s get wacky and silly with Daffy Duck!

Daffy Duck 83 Comic

Daffy Duck # 83  ***
Released in 1973     Cover Price .20     Gold Key    # 83 of 145

“High And Flighty” The Road Runner and his fellow birds are running from Wile E. Coyote and they run through the sidewalk that Daffy Duck was making and the job goes south with footprints and Daffy looses his job. Road Runner feels bad and sets up a new job for Daffy that has him trying to help Wile capture them, and of course all goes wrong. “Ego-Tripped” has Daffy Duck a host of a late night talk show along side Elmer Fudd and they have many guests that night Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester Cat and Petunia Pig and the topic is how after the cartoons end that they are all friends and this turns bad real quick as all of the Looney Tunes characters start arguing over who is the best on their shows and even leads to a end chase of Elmer trying to capture Daffy for his harsh words on the way Elmer speaks. “Dough Nuts” has Daffy Duck owning a bakery and he ends up getting Clovis Cat as a helper who is the cousin of Sylvester and he causes so many issues as he is kind of silly and ruins many orders, but he does end up stopping a robbery. “Stamp Scamp” has Daffy by accident letting one of Elmer Fudds high priced stamp blow out the window and the two have a wild chase to try and get it back, only for it to be a cheap stamp instead as Elmer was wrong on the price.

This issue has lots of guest stars and Daffy while the main attraction can kind of be lost in the shuffle when it comes to each little segments plot as sometimes the likes of Road Runner and other steal a little of the spotlight. And because of the guests and Daffy antics this is a better than average read! All four stories are really good with my favorite one being “Dough Nuts” as I enjoyed the fact that Daffy owned a bakery and was making cakes and hired a goofball cat who stumbles around ruining all his business and making customers mad. When picking my least favorite it was hard but I guess I would have to choose “High And Flighty” as it was just kind of a one joke story that had Daffy always taking a break when trying to capture Road Runner when the Runner would make a whistle noise. But with that said seeing Daffy on the payroll of Wile E. Coyote was really cool. The cover is cool and like a broken record him in the birdbath never happens in the comic. The art by Unknown Artist is really good and I like the way he drew Wile E. Coyote as well as Clovis Cat and of course Daffy and the rest look great. Over all a good read and a cool kids comic based on an amazing cartoon character and series!

Daffy Duck 86 Comic

Daffy Duck # 86  **1/2
Released in 1974     Cover Price .20     Gold Key    # 86 of 145

“Dr. Elmer And Mr. Fudd” Daffy Duck is babysitting a young duck who wants to hear a spooky story before bed so Daffy makes one up about Elmer Fudd being a mad scientist who makes a formula that turns a mouse into a raging monster and he as well takes the formula and turns into a monster and torments the village and its up to Daffy in the story to save the day when he follows Fudd into a warehouse that the big mouse is in and they two fight. After the story the young duck puts on a Halloween mask and scares Daffy who runs out of the house. “The Duck Who Came To Dinner” The Tasmanian Devil is locked up behind bars at a zoo and Daffy goes to mock him, but soon Taz traps Daffy in the cage and as well when Daffy escapes Taz follows as he wants to eat duck for lunch! Daffy ends up tricking and knocking Taz out and leaves the country quick to be away from Taz once and for all only to find himself stuck in Tasmania! “An Alarm Clock Is A Rooster’s Best Friend” Daffy Duck is jobless and decides that he wants to take the job of Foghorn Leghorn as the rooster of the farm and does his best to set up Foghorn so that the farmer will fire him! Once Foghorn is fired Daffy takes the rooster job, but is soon found out by The Farmer and Foghorn who end up giving Daffy a new job on the far and that’s the top of the weather vein! “Hair Today And Gone Tomorrow” Daffy has made a formula that grows hair and his fellow ducks make fun of him as they doubt that it works, and when Daffy finds Elmer he tries to use the formula on his bold head and Elmer runs away and as Daffy gives chase he is attacked by a hawk it leaves Daffy featherless and when his formula falls on him Daffy becomes a duck covered in hair and must return to the drawing board to make a formula that will grow feathers.

This is an action packed issue when it comes to guest cameos as joining Daffy Duck in this issue is Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Tasmanian Devil, Foghorn Leghorn and Petunia Pig and each add fun moments to the stories they are in. This issue has the normal four stories and each of them bring their own styles of humor and put Daffy Duck in all types of situations that include him almost being eaten and even being a mad scientist! The kid friendly humor in this issue works really well and the best story for me in this issue is “An Alarm Clock Is A Rooster’s Best Friend” as I like how Daffy is so lazy that he thinks that being a rooster would be easy work and gets Foghorn Leghorn fired, but of course his sneaky tactics blow up in his face. Plus besides Daffy being awesome in the story so is Leghorn who is in my Top 10 favorite Looney Tunes characters. My least favorite story in this issue is “Hair Today And Gone Tomorrow” as I found it very lackluster and the lamest in plot in story, but seeing Daffy covered in hair was a little funny. The cover is awesome and has Daffy lifting weights that are really balloons, and you guessed it this never happens in any of the stories. The artwork is great and is very cartoonish and looks like the cartoon characters on the comic pages and is done by Unknown Artist! A good issue for sure and I am looking forward to read more of these Daffy Duck comics.

Daffy Duck 92 Comic

Daffy Duck # 92  ***
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Gold Key     # 92 of 145

“Duckula” Daffy Duck and Porky Pig are driving a pizza truck and it runs out of gas near a creepy castle as a storm blows in and the two end up having to stay the night in the castle as the owner Count Duckula invites them in, but soon Daffy and Porky find themselves on the dinner menu as Duckula is a vampire and his friend Engelbert is a werewolf! But before Daffy and Porky can be eaten Daffy comes up with a plan the leaves them safe and the two monsters big fans of Pizza. “A Rare Bird” Daffy is in a museum looking at dinosaurs when two professors spot him and see that he is a rare breed of duck and they want to capture him and taxidermy him to place on display! And Daffy must run for his life to escape them and the museum! “Movie Madness” has Daffy Duck trying to get into Warner Brothers Studios to be casted on the new Raquel Robin film that he learned about from Sylvester Cat and Porky Pig! But standing in his way is Elmer Fudd who is the new guard at the studio gate and is told no none employees are allowed in! So Daffy has to use his bag of tricks in order to get in and meet Robin. But Daffy becomes a hero when two cast members try and steal her jewelry and he almost goes into a date with Robin that us until Yosemite Sam scares him off by wearing a monster mask. “Stop, Look, And Duck!” has Daffy faking that he is a traffic officer in order to get into Elmer Fudds house to raid his refrigerator and eat all his food, but Daffy is followed by a hungry bank robber who also breaks in and wants all the food that Daffy is stealing! But thanks to Daffy’s traffic signs and his quick thinking the robber is caught and in the end the Police make him act as a traffic signal for borrowing the signs from the city junkyard.

Wow this was a really fun kids comic and had Daffy Duck in all types of different and zany adventures! Plus like before this issue does a great job of having fellow Looney Tunes characters guest star and that includes Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam and Sylvester Cat and they all play off Daffy very well in each of the segments. And really after reading this issue I had a smile on my face as it was such a silly good time, I mean Warner Brothers Studios even appears and they even make a joke about the MGM lion! And when sitting back and having to pick the best and least favorite story in this issue it was super hard but I would say “Duckula” was my favorite as I love the spooky horror feel of it and it read like a classic kids haunted house with a vampire story. And picking the least is really hard as all the stories were good but I guess I would say “Stop, Look, And Duck!” is the weakest as it’s just a Daffy stops a robber story that we have read before and it seems to be a big idea that the comic makers had when writing Daffy stories. The cover is great and showcases Duckula and shockingly it does tie into a story in the comic and that’s rare! The art is good and done once more and like always when it comes to Gold Key Comics by an Unknown Artist, and like always its very good and the characters look like they should for the most part. To sum it up this is a great issue and one of the best this far I have read of any of the Looney Toon themed comics. So with that lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Daffy Duck 98 Comic

Daffy Duck # 98  ***
Released in 1975     Cover Price .25     Whitman     # 98 of 145

“Snowman’s Land” Daffy Duck travels to the Himalayan Mountains in order to find the Abominable Snowman to ask him how often he clips his toenails in order to get $2.00 from Elmer Fudd who asked him that question. But once he finds the Snowman he learns that he has been fired as people do not find him scary so he makes a deal with Daffy if he helps him get his job back he will tell him the answer to the toenail question. And after trying to teach the Snowman to be scary and failing, it’s the rescue of two lost kids that gets the Snowman his job back and also gets Daffy the answer to Fudd’s question and he gets his $2.00 that is owed! “Northern Exposure” Daffy is stuck outside in a blizzard and meets an Eskimo who has been sent out by his wife to hunt a duck so they can have it for dinner, the man has never seen a duck and Daffy leads him in wild goose chases and after the poor guy is almost killed by a whale, Daffy saves him and comes clean that he is a duck and he is instead invited to dinner and they all eat fish. “Rainbow Riot” in this one Daffy is playing in the rain and after the rain stops a rainbow appears and Daffy uses this to his advantage to try and trick a free meal out of Porky Pig by dressing up as a leprechaun and promising a pot of gold to Porky if he can make Daffy happy and makes him a big meal and makes a fool of himself. And after finding out that the leprechaun was really Daffy dressed up he rushes back to the end of the rainbow and shoves a pie in the face of a leprechaun that was not Daffy but a real one!

This is such a fun read and has Daffy Duck meet the Abominable Snowman, Tricking a Duck Hunter and even acting like a leprechaun in order to get a free meal. And this one like the issue before has a Horror Comic element to one of the stories and Daffy even dresses like Count Duckula at one point in order to try and teach Snowman how to be scary. And as I am sure you guessed my favorite story in this issue is Snowman’s Land as how great and silly is it that Daffy tries to teach the Snowman how to scare people in order to find out how often he clips his toenails…and the two become friends. The weakest story of the group is Rainbow Riot as its not a bad story just the weakest of the three as it was just kind of blah as its just Daffy being a terrible friend to Porky Pig who is this issues only Looney Tune cameo. The cover is great and showcases what happens in this comic and that’s a rare thing in these types of comics made by Gold Key/Whitman. The interior art for at least the first story (Snowman’s Land) is done by artist Joe Messerli and is good stuff and I like his kid friendly take on the Abominable Snowman. Over all a solid issue that showcases just how fun these Daffy Duck comics can be for readers of all ages.

Daffy Duck 104 Comic

Daffy Duck # 104  **1/2
Released in 1976     Cover Price .30     Whitman     # 104 of 145

“Shopping Cart Caper” Art is a man who owns a grocery store who is having an issue with someone stealing all his shopping carts and making him having to buy more of them for his customers. Both Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd end up trying to help Art find who is stealing and after thinking its each other, they end up finding the real thief and it is the man selling Art the carts as he is stealing them with a magnet gun and then sells them back to the store. “Relatively Speaking” Elmer Fudd is really mad at Daffy who eats much of his food acting as a food inspector, and after being chased off Daffy returns to Elmer’s home with a train jumper who looks like Elmer and the two in order to get a free meal and a place to stay lie to Elmer and act as if this guy is a long lost cousin. But when Elmer figures this out as a lie after reading his family tree he chases the two out of his home with a gun and Daffy joins the fraud on rail riding as they jump on a train. “The Broccoli Bungle” Porky Pig is shocked and worried when he finds Daffy Duck talking to a piece of broccoli, and when asked about it Daffy acts as if Porky is rude and this causes Porky to go to the grocery store and buy some broccoli and talk to it! But it was all a big joke as Sylvester Cat bet Daffy that he could not trick Porky into talking to broccoli. In the end Porky is mad and chases Daffy around and the pair run into a cop and both have to serve public serves at a broccoli farm. “The Duck Bunch” Elmer Fudd goes to a cabin by the lake to relax, but soon his peace is shattered when Daffy and his duck friends rent the cabin next door and have a party…after being mad for a bit Elmer ends up partying with Daffy and the ducks.

This is an issue that I almost forgot I owned as I had gotten it from Mavericks Cards And Comics when I worked there and after moving this issue along with other comics was missed boxed and has sat at a friends house for many years, and by luck I found it just in time to be covered…and I have to say the issue is another above average read and brought Daffy Duck into four silly adventures with three of them being alongside Elmer Fudd! And also the issue has Porky Pig and Sylvester both making a cameo in a story making this one feel like a Daffy Team-Up issue, and thinking about it they should have done a DC Comics Presents and had Superman team with Daffy Duck at some point in the 70’s or early 80’s, a wasted opportunity if you ask me. The best story in this issue for me is The Broccoli Bungle as I love the idea of Daffy and Sylvester making a free lunch bet with each other on if they could trick Porky Pig into talking to a piece of Broccoli, like a harmless prank but also poor Porky as he seems to be the butt of the joke. My lest favorite story in this issue is The Duck Bunch, nothing wrong with this one just bland as it has Daffy and fellow ducks harassing Elmer Fudd. The cover is cool but like always has zero to do with the pages inside, speaking of interior pages the art is done by Unknown Artist and is good the only thing really off is the color of Sylvester’s noise that should be red but is blue. Over all a good issue that delivered some cheesy, silly, goofy Daffy Duck comic book laughs.

Daffy Duck 107 Comic

Daffy Duck # 107  ***
Released in 1977     Cover Price .30     Whitman     # 107 of 145

“Knight For A Night” Daffy Duck is lost flying around and finds an island the rest out and also sees an ad for a Knight wanted at a round table and he rushes to apply for the job as he thinks there will be food on the round table, but soon finds out that the King indeed of the Knight is poor due to an evil knight named Gore Thor who is stealing all his food, and after some tricks Daffy chases off the evil knight and the King’s Kingdom gets its food and knights back. “The High-Flying Queep” Daffy is in the park when a scientist and his henchman grabs Daffy and put a tracker on his leg in order to track were he goes, and Daffy ends up flying away to a western town but his tracker messes with the towns only TV and Radio and causes the sheriff to miss the weather warning of a flash flood, but the flood ends up causing Daffy to find a band of counterfeiters and for his reward the town gives him a reward and Daffy decided to fly on a plan to Hawaii but the tracker is also messing with their radio! “The Mysterious Mr. Big” Daffy Duck gets a job to go to the scary castle of Dr. Frankenfritter with a big check from Mr. Big who wants to buy the doctors new mechanical dog! And after Daffy is chased around the castle by mechanical monsters he makes the deal and takes the dog to Mr. Big who turns out to be a small flea. “The Hitch-Piker” has Daffy Duck trying to get home when he tries to get a ride from Elmer Fudd who is not happy to see him, but after getting tired Fudd ends up allowing Daffy to travel with him and even drive the car. Daffy ends up speeding around the highway and is pulled over and after finding out Daffy does not have a drivers licenses he and Fudd end up in court and Daffy has to pay a fine and work community service for seven days and Fudd must pay a fee.

Another great Daffy Duck comic that has Daffy being crazy and goofy and once more shows that Daffy Duck is great in cartoons as well as comics and in this one he even meets robotic Frankenstein Monster’s as well as takes down a evil knight that has a great name like Gore Thor! And all of the four adventures in this comic is a great read and it will be hard to choose what I think is the best but if I have to I am going to go with The Hitch-Piker as I like the idea of Daffy trying to hitchhike home cause he is to lazy to fly and ends up getting Elmer Fudd into trouble with the law when he makes the mistake of picking up Daffy. And I cannot pick a bad one from this issue as I really did enjoy them all so I am going to select none for this issue! Yeah this will be my only get out of selecting a Bad One card for this update. I mean were else can you read about Daffy busting a counterfeit ring, buy an electric dog for a man named Mr. Big, was rude to a judge and got himself and Elmer in trouble and even becomes a Knight and does battle in order to get a free meal! Great eye catching cover with Daffy making ice cubes and the use of a purple background makes it standout. The interior art is done by Unknown Artist and is great as I like the designs he/they created for side characters like Gore Thor and the robotic monsters. Over all a top notch read and this far is one of the top three best I have read from this Daffy series.

Daffy Duck 122 Comic

Daffy Duck # 122  **
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key     # 122 of 145

“The Robot Robbery” Armchair Daffy is back on another case and this time while at a science fair a robot steals an invention that takes control of items and allows the person with the invention to control a selected object. And when Armchair Daffy goes after the crook his armchair is thrown around and Daffy uses a bowling ball to bring down the crook and the people at the fair upgrade his armchair to fly. “Ye Olde Time Machine” has Daffy at an amusement park and goes into a funhouse called the Time Machine that really is a time machine and takes him back in medieval times and Daffy as a knight takes down a dragon as well as the Fight Knight before finally being able to go back to his own time, and he runs away from the fun house and then spends his time riding kids rides. “Aerial Grease Monkey” has Daffy becoming an in air mechanic for plans in need, and it’s hard and fast work and after an emergency landing leaves him aching he changes jobs to work as a water mechanic for boats in order to sooth his aching wounds. “Water Follies” Elmer Fudd is getting ready for a bath when he finds that Daffy Duck is in the tub and tells him that he is going to stay awhile as the government is working on the swamp! Elmer chases Daffy our only to find him now soaking in the kitchen sink! Elmer gets Daffy out of his house and ends up sneaking back in and turning Elmer’s basement into a pool and invites other ducks over! In the end Elmer is even more mad when the swamp is moved next door to him and he has to see Daffy more.

In this Daffy Duck comic he has all types of weird adventures from using a bowling ball to bring down a crook, going back in time to bring down a dragon and an evil knight, fixing planes in air and even helping other ducks in a swamp have a place to swim! But while it’s an entertaining issue it’s also very bland and middle of the road compared to other issues we have read this far. While Daffy is as zany and silly as ever he just does not do anything that truly stands out here. The best story is “Ye Olde Time Machine” as I like the idea of Daffy Duck at an amusement park and stumbling into a real life time machine and finding himself in danger in medieval times! Plus his lucky ways of defeating a dragon and an evil knight is pure cartoon/comic book stuff. My lest favorite story in this issue has to be “The Robot Robbery” and that’s sad to say as I think truly it is the weakest of any Armchair Daffy case we have read here this far. It was nice to see Elmer Fudd once more have a cameo and its great as in this issue he truly hates Daffy and it shows. The cover is good and has zero to do with any of the stories and the interior art by Unknown Artist is as good as always and helps add to the silly stories you are reading. Over all a very average read, but still a good one for the most part.

Daffy Duck 123 Comic

Daffy Duck # 123  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Whitman     # 123 of 145

“Tin Pan Daffy” Daffy and his trusty horse Deadpan are trying to travel around the Old West to sell pans and by accident they wake up a pair of thieves who steal Deadpan and go and rob the towns bank, but Daffy thinks quick and uses a pan to mock the sound of a rattle snake that scares Deadpan who throws the robbers and Daffy is then able to return the money to the bank. “Rude On The Tube” has Daffy Duck going to a TV station in order to help Petunia Pig on a cooking show, and while at first it goes bad as Daffy ruins the show, but when Petunia switches his role to a taste tester things go smooth. “Big Switcheroo” Armchair Daffy is on the case, but Slippery Sal has messed with the armchair and has switched it out with a fake chair that controlled by a controller. But when Daffy finds Sal’s hideout he is able to get his armchair back and also takes Sal down and brings him to jail. “Hot Tub Snub” Elmer Fudd has belt a hot tub in his backyard on his doctor’s orders in order to relax and like always Daffy Duck ruins it by wanting to also soak in the tub, and after tricking Elmer several times and getting into the tub Elmer ends up turning the tub into a jail cell and traps Daffy in it in order to finally find his peace.

This is another fun comic featuring the zany Looney Tune character Daffy Duck and has him as always annoying the heck out of Elmer Fudd as well as solving crimes in his armchair and selling pans in the west! And in this issue the only two Looney Tune character to appear are Elmer Fudd and Petunia Pig and they both are used well and I really like the idea that Petunia Pig has a TV Cooking Show that has Daffy Duck as her assistant, imagine if this was a real show and Daffy would ruin the recipes as well as just shovel the food into his mouth. The best story in this issue is Rude On The Tube and is for the reasons I mentioned about as it really is a fun silly read. My least favorite is Big Switcheroo just a kind of un-interesting Armchair Daffy case that kind of puts along and has a payout that is kind of bland. The cover is good and has Daffy with pie on his face after he took a bite from one on Elmer’s window seal, and yep this never happens in the comic. The interior art done by Unknown Artist is good and I really like the way whom ever they are draws Daffy as well as Elmer Fudd. So with that let’s take a look at whats next for Daffy Duck in the next comic book.

Daffy Duck 124 Comic

Daffy Duck # 124  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key    # 124 of 145

“Tasters Choice” At a small diner a newspaper editor is worried as his food critic just quit and he notices Daffy Duck eating a ton of food and giving reviews of it to the chef and the editor finds his new critic! Daffy does a great job at the start and travels around eating all types of food, but after awhile Daffy is getting fat and brings in Tasmanian Devil as his assistant to help eat the food and that goes wrong when Taz destroys the dinning room of a restaurant and this causes Daffy to be fired by the paper and chased by Taz who is still hungry and wants to eat Duck! “The Missing “Missing Persons” Person” Daffy as his Armchair Daffy crime solver persona gets a case that takes him to a boarding house to find a missing Officer as well as a boarder of the place, but when he gets there the chair can not enter the haunted room were the people have gone missing from! Once inside Daffy solves the case as the officer and boarder fell into the caller via a loose floorboard. “Duck Calls” Yosemite Sam has decided to give up on sea life and has built a cabin in the woods to get away from stress and sound, but Daffy Duck shows up and makes all types of noise and this causes Sam to try and stop him from doing so. And when his attempts fail to keep Daffy quite Sam just leaves his cabin to return to life at sea, and Daffy takes over the cabin and enjoys the quite life. “Meteor Hunt” a scientist forces Daffy Duck to help him hunt for a fallen meteor and instead of finding the falling space rock, Daffy ends up ruining a group of friends beach clam bake when he thinks it’s the meteor that smoldering in the sand and his chased off by the angry friends.

A solid Daffy Duck kids comic here that brings the reader four tales featuring Daffy being silly, hungry and just plan old crazy! It’s always nice to see a crime being solved by Armchair Daffy and this one is classic Horror Comedy stuff as the missing people have fall through the floor and are stuck in the locked cellar, I mean come on this could be the plot of a Don Knotts film. It also was cool to see other Looney Tune characters like Yosemite Sam and Tasmanian Devil as they help add to the stories they take apart in. My lest favorite story in this issue has to be “Meteor Hunt” as it was just kind of bland and the pay out of Daffy ruining a clambake is kind of just lame even for kid friendly humor. Plus let’s be honest in that story Daffy is kidnapped and forced into help labor by a nut job scientist. But for me I would pick the story “Tasters Choice” as the best as I love the idea of Daffy Duck being a food critic for a big newspaper and eating like a slob and becoming fat and ends up on the dinner menu for Taz who Daffy was silly enough to bring in as his assistant to help eat and review the food. The art is great and like before done by an uncredited artist. The cover is cool and like most Looney Tune comics from Gold Key and Whitman what Daffy Duck is doing on the cover is nothing he does in the issue. Over all another great comic featuring Daffy and is a great read for fans of the character.

Daffy Duck 126 Comic

Daffy Duck # 126  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Gold Key    # 126 of 145

“Artsy Daffy” Elmer Fudd is near a pond trying to paint the landscape and Daffy Duck will not leave him alone as he wants to be in the painting, and after harassing Elmer who gives in and paints Daffy who in turn is annoyed by the painting as he thinks its bad. But while walking home a man buys the painting of Daffy from Elmer for $10.00 and claims that paintings of ducks are rare. Daffy says he will let Elmer paint him only if he allows him to eat everything in his fridge, Elmer agrees and after Daffy eats everything Elmer rushes outside to try and sell all his new paintings to people who seem to have no interest. In the end we learn that Daffy Duck paid the guy to buy the painting from Elmer in order to eat all his food. “Breakfast Blahs” Daffy Duck becomes a spokesman for a breakfast cereal and his commercial helps sell the food to the masses, but he is also forced to only eat the cereal for every meal and to make sure he does just that the company even hires a man to follow and watch Daffy to make sure the cereal is his only meals. But Daffy is able to get out of his contract as he finds out the dirty secret of the owner of the cereal company and uses it against him…the secret is that he eats another brand of cereal for breakfast! “Swamp Swap” Daffy is upset as the lake is now filled with swimmers and fishermen and he decides to find a new place to relax and that is a near by swamp. Once at the swamp he finds Elmer Fudd is there and is fishing and the two go back and fourth as Daffy ends up stealing food and now has to work it off by steering the boat, but after an accident the boat sinks and Daffy has to pull Elmer on a raft while he still fishes. “Just Plumb Daffy” A stamp collection worth thousands of dollars is saved by Daffy Duck and his monkey assistant M.W as they are plumbers and by doing this they get a big front page article in the newspaper. A criminal tricks Daffy to help him break into a house and search pipes for a coin collection, but when Daffy figures it out he and M.W alert the homeowner and stop the theft.

Daffy Duck as always brings us four more zany tales of silliness and like all before is a good kid comic read that brings the Looney Tunes world to the comic pages, and I do need to say that I feel as if they do an alright job at doing so…but the characters like Daffy and the others also do not 100% feel and act like the cartoon versions as these ones are way more friendly and Daffy is far less crazy and is really more about eating lots of food. And with this being a kids comic Elmer Fudd does not have his trusty shotgun and does a lot of kicking when it comes to getting Daffy Duck out of his way. And it’s also odd while characters are annoyed with each other they all also come off as if they are friends. And that’s the one thing about these Looney Tunes comics from the 60’s and 70’s they really are good kid friendly reads with characters that most of us grew up watching and while its not 100% like the cartoons they have a very familiar feel that makes them very much enjoyable to read. My lest favorite story in this issue was a hard one to choose as I enjoyed them all but the weakest of the stories is “Breakfast Blahs” as while it is entertaining the payout at the end is weak of the boss eating another brand of cereal is his dark secret. My favorite from this issue is “Swamp Swap” as I like the idea of Daffy and Elmer on a swamp trying to fish and run into issue with a ranger as well as Daffy’s hungry that causes them wreck a boat! The art as always in this series is done by an Unknown Artist and its good classic kids comic art and they character look like they should. The cover is good and has Daffy annoying Elmer and this act at least happens in two of the stories, even if it’s not the same way shown on the cover. Over all a great read and any of these comics are must have stuff for fans of Daffy Duck and Looney Tunes in general.

Daffy Duck 136 Comic

Daffy Duck # 136  **1/2
Released in 1981      Cover Price .50      Whitman     # 136 of 145

“Demolition Duck” has Daffy Duck working for the demolition track as a janitor and after moping the floors in drivers dressing room the demolition derby champion trips and injures his back and Daffy is forced to take his place in the derby and wins it all. “Super Salesman” has Daffy selling Elmer Fudd a trick door that is suppose to scare unwanted guests away, and when Elmer buys it he chases off a game show worker that could have won him lots of money and of course Elmer is mad at Daffy! “Armchair Daffy’s Dilemma” has Armchair Daffy on a case when a Crime Boss goes after him for getting his gang all locked up, and he even messes with Daffy’s chair in order to get him out of the way so he can try and breakout his gang. But in the end it back fires and the chair ends up capturing Crime Boss and putting him behind bars. “Striking It Rich” Daffy sells out of pans in the Wild West due to a gold rush but a pair of robbers steal all of Daffy’s money as well as his donkey’s gold tooth! And both are not happy and once they find the robbers they get the money back and the donkey strikes gold and becomes super rich as due to his tooth he is sensitive to gold and that allows him to find it easy. “Ambition Nutrition” Daffy Duck is so lazy that his pond land is littered with trash and Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and Petunia Pig try and ask him to clean it up and they can not get him to do so, the three end up going to a local scientist who makes a salt that will motivate who ever eats it and after tricking Daffy into using the salt on hamburgers he uses to much and is super motivated that he cleans the pond and turns it into a tourist attraction! But it’s noisy and annoying for all the neighbors and once Daffy gets lazy again when the salt wears off and Elmer, Porky and Pentunia decide to clean the pond themselves as a motivated Daffy is dangerous.

Daffy Duck is still going strong as this is another fun issue that as always takes Daffy on so many zany adventures and has him involved in some goofy moments. Plus this issue brings on the cameos from other Looney Tunes characters like Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Petunia Pig and they are used well as neighbors and friends of Daffy who are annoyed with his laziness. The best story in this issue is Demolition Duck as I like the idea of Daffy by accident hurting the Demolition Derby champ and having to take his place in order for the fans not to riot and ends up beating a challenger as well as win the event! My least favorite story is sadly Armchair Daffy’s Dilemma as the Crime Boss of Crime Co. is cool but also the story of his capture and being a thorn very briefly in Daffy’s side just is a little weak and I hate that Armchair Daffy is the weakest story again. The cover of Daffy holding onto a flying toy is cool and eye catching but as always has zero to do with any of the stories inside the issue. The Unknown Artist interior art is good and like I have said before captures the characters pretty well. So with that lets get to the next issue and see what Daffy has in store for us.

Daffy Duck 137 Comic

Daffy Duck # 137  **1/2
Released in 1981     Cover Price .50    Whitman     # 137 of 145

“The Flying Detective” Armchair Daffy is back and this time is on the case of trying to stop a pair of thieves who have a flying car, and sadly the armchair can not keep up! So Daffy adds on wings and makes his armchair fly, but did not count on rain clouds that makes the armchair fall apart, but thanks to the springs from the chair Daffy bounces up and tags a ride with the car. And after shooting the robbers in the eyes with onion juice Daffy delivers them to the police. And in the end uses the reward money to rebuild his armchair this time with wings and an umbrella. “Eskimo Daffy” in this one Daffy is an ice cream man and an accident puts his igloo shaped cart into the water and people of the town think that he is from the North Pole and throw a big feast in his honor, but when his secret is exposed that he is just an ice cream man, Daffy is forced to run out of town and when doing so he and his cart crash into a limo that ends up saving the life of the Mayor as the rail sign was not working and the limo would have been smashed by the train! And Daffy then returns to the town as a hero and is selling tons of ice cream. “The Raindance Kid” has Daffy Duck as a pot and pan salesman in the old west and most towns are mad at him as his wagon makes all kinds of noise, but soon Daffy finds out that his banging of the pans causes rain and while in a town suffering from a drought he makes it rain and it will not stop and now the town wants him dead as the streets are flooding and the roofs are leaking! But when they soon find that the rain is causing gold to come up they forgive Daffy and end up buying all his pots and pans to capture the rain from the leaky roofs and to carry their gold. “Beaver Fever” has Yosemite Sam on the hunt for beavers as if he captures and kills them he can sell the fur for $30.00 each! So he sets some traps and Daffy Duck is here to save them as he uses Sam’s own trap against him and the beavers build a dame that sweeps his house away.

This Daffy Duck has four stories as well as two small one page gags given us a lot of Daffy for very small pocket change! Daffy in this issue once more is a duck of all trades as he is a rainmaker, an animal savior, an ice cream salesmen and a detective! The best story in this batch for me is The Raindance Kid as I like the idea of Daffy in the wild west and with his pans he is able to make it rain, very silly stuff and plus I am a fan of rain so Daffy being the bringer of it is silly funny to me. My least favorite is Beaver Fever just a middle of the road story and pretty gruesome for a kids comic ad Yosemite Sam wants to murder a whole family of beavers to skin them…pretty gross stuff for what is pretty much a light hearted comic issue. I also need to say I do enjoy reading the cases of Armchair Daffy as well as he is like a very lazy version of Sherlock Holmes, but yet is also very inventive when using his chair and making upgrades and repairs to it. Interior art is done by Unknown Artist and is good as always, and the cover is good and kind of at least fits the Wild West feel of one of the stories. Over all a great issue in the Daffy Duck comic series and had many enjoyable tales to share.

Daffy Duck 139 Comic

Daffy Duck # 139  **1/2
Released in 1982     Cover Price .60      Whitman     # 139 of 145

“The Missing Moosehead” Armchair Daffy gets a case that takes him to a mansion where a mounted moosehead as well as a late night snack has gone missing! And as the owner goes to sleep Daffy sits guard and ends up finding a secret door and that the previous owner of the house is living in the walls as he is sad to have lost him mansion. In the end the new owner allows the old owner to live in the mansion as well and Daffy takes the moose head as payment. “The Clang-Bang Day” Tin Pan Daffy is arrested for all the noise his pots and pans are making as this old west town likes it quite, but also thrown into jail is a banker who has been stealing and hiding money from the safe. A pair of crooks bust Daffy out of jail thinking he is the banker and force him to show them were the money is hidden, and after leading them around he ends up using his pots to capture them and also uses the noise of his wares to annoy the banker who tells them were the money is hidden and leaves the town a hero. “Airmail Mallard” Elmer Fudd hires Daffy to deliver a poem to the wrong lady and after a second try he looses the letter and ends up writing a bad poem that coasts Elmer a date! But it works out for Elmer when he wins a free trip and Daffy is then paid to house sit and while there can eat all the food in the refrigerator. “Migration Tribulation” Daffy is flying across the ocean and is getting tired when he gets involved in hijinks as two pirates are in a sub and Yosemite Sam is on his ship hunting whales. But in the end Daffy gets both ships sunk and uses the sail to glade across the ocean. “Deputy Daffy” in this adventure Daffy becomes a Junior Deputy and annoys the town as well as Elmer Fudd, but when Fudd is robbed its Daffy who stops the crook and by the end Daffy becomes a Detective.

Well this is the final issue of Daffy Duck I have and I must say that this issue as well as all the others covered here on this update are just as fun as I remember them being from my youth growing up reading them. The thing about Daffy Duck as well as all the other Looney Tune characters is that they make great comic book characters as well and that is why they still make comic appearances from time to time as Warner Brothers and DC Comics both seem to agree. In these Gold Key and Whitman Comics they do a pretty good job of capturing the nature of Daffy from the cartoons but they do play down is zany crazy nature and add more of a food obsession to him and I get it as the comics needed to be a little more simple for young readers. And while Daffy is different from cartoon to comic he still is very much fun. The best story in this issue has to be The Missing Moosehead as this Armchair Daffy adventure is silly and has a haunted house feel and seeing the panel of Daffy zooming around the mansion in his armchair was great stuff. My least favorite story in this issue is Migration Tribulation as the story is weak, the payout bland and is a short filler story for sure. The cover is very cool on this issue and has Daffy being fired out of a circus cannon and he is scaring Elmer Fudd who is selling popcorn. The interior art is done by Unknown Artist again and is good stuff and fitting for this comic series and they do a good job of making all the Looney Tune Characters look like they should. Over all these Daffy Duck comics are great reads and if you are a fan of Daffy and enjoy reading comic books you should check these out as they are Daffy adventures that put him into more goofy situations than the cartoons ever did. Checkout the art below to see the work of the Unknown Artist and the style used to bring Daffy alive in these classic comics.

Daffy Duck Art 1Daffy Duck Art 2Daffy Duck Art 3

Daffy Duck truly is one of my all time favorite Looney Tunes characters and while his comics are not 100% like the character they are still great reads that really made me flashback to being a kid and reading them when I was a youngster. And while these Daffy Duck comics might not be the most amazing cartoon based comics you will ever read, they are entertaining and bring Daffy into adventures the cartoons would not take him on, in fact almost all of the Dell/Gold Key/Whitman comics based on Looney Tune characters are worth reading. Showcasing Daffy Duck was a great way to spend one of Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary updates with as Daffy really was a big part of my life growing and needed to be apart of the fun. And our next update takes us into the world of Jack “The King” Kirby and his DC Comics creation The Sandman, one that should be a blast to talk about. So until next time, read a Looney Tune comics or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a chat in the dream world…or is that nightmare world.

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From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: The Mummy Returns (2001)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and this Blogs 10 Year Anniversary and this update will be a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and is one that I have been thinking about doing for a very long tome and that’s The Mummy’s Return and the comic book from Chaos Comics that goes along with it called “Valley Of The Gods”! The Mummy Returns was the sequel to the super popular 1999 Action Horror Film The Mummy that spawned a franchise as well as a spin off franchise and even got not only the comic book treatment but also the video game kind. So with that lets head into the world of The Mummy Returns and talk about this Action Horror Film that is still to this day loved by its fans, so lets see what this Mummy has in for us in scares as well as ways to deal death.

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Let’s start off by taking a look at Imhotep the supernatural Mummy Priest from this film series. Imhotep was a priest who was mummified and entombed alive after he had fallen in love with the Queen that lead to the murder of the King. Once brought back to life by an Egyptian Cult he is as mean and angry as ever. Imhotep has many powers that can deal death to humans with first being that he has an army of undead guards as well as cult members who will do his bidding and have no issues taking a life using knives, swords, staffs and even guns. Imhotep can also control the elements around him causing sand to bend and act to his will as well as water and these powers can cause serious damage to a person as they could drown or even be ripped to shreds by both. Imhotep also eats the life force from his enemies and this causes his undead skin to come back alive and as well can turn him human again. His rotting appearance as well is a great tool in his favor as is strikes fear and shock into the hearts of those who see him and leave them open for his attack. Imhotep is also very skilled in fighting in both hand and weapon and is very tricky causing him to be a foe one would not want to face. He is also a lair and will use false promises as well as lies to enemies to get things in his favor. But while Imhotep is powerful he does have weaknesses as when he is made flesh and blood again he can be killed like any other normal man, he also even as the undead Mummy can be killed via the spirits of the dead. Imhotep also has a very big ego that can lead him into being defeated and make mistakes. Say what you will but Imhotep is a very dangerous and an evil force of nature that ranks up there when it comes to dealing death to mortals.

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So now that we have talked about Imhotep, we should talk about the second film in the remake series. So the films write up will be taking from our friends at IMDB and I will write a little about the films production as well as my thoughts of the film. So let’s get to The Mummy Returns and chat about this 2001 Adventure Horror Film with a twist of Comedy.

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The Mummy Returns (2001)

“Many years ago, in Ancient Egypt, the Scorpion King led a menacing army, but when he sold his soul to Anubis, he was erased from history. Now he is only a myth…or is he? Rick and Evelyn O’Connell are still discovering new artifacts, along with their 8-year-old son Alex. They discover the Bracelet of Anubis. But someone else is after the bracelet. High Priest Imhotep has been brought back from the dead once again and wants the bracelet, to control the Scorpion King’s army. That’s not the only problem. Imhotep now has Alex and with the bracelet attached to him, doesn’t have long to live.”

Universal was ridding high when the 1999 remake to the 1932 monster film The Mummy did well at the box office as well as was loved by critics and fans causing them to want to rush a sequel to the silver screen while people were still very much into the adventure themed horror film and it was fresh in their minds so with Stephen Sommers returning to write and direct the film they were able to get the original cast Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Patricia Velasquez, Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo to comeback for the sequel and new names like Freddie Boath, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alun Armstrong and more joined the cast. The production was your normal big production and was highly stressful and lots of stunts and later effects had to be added to make the film have that Horror Adventure feel that made the first film special. Some issues during production were The Rock getting food poisoning and the most serious being that Brendan Fraser suffered several injuries that plagued him for years. Once done Alan Silvestri was brought in to score the film and did a great job as his work helps bring the film alive. The film was released on May 4, 2001 and was meet with mix reviews from critics and was looked at more fondly by fans. The film would bring in $433,013,274.00 worldwide and was the # 6 grossing film at the US Box Office that year. The year it was released it beat out other Horror and Sci-Fi films like Jurassic Park III, Planet Of The Apes, Hannibal, The Others, Along Came A Spider, Scary Movie 2, Thir13en Ghosts, Jeepers Creepers, From Hell, Ghost Of Mars and Bones to name a few. The film would be released on VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital over the years and remains a popular film for fans of the Horror Adventure Film genre.

The Mummy Returns was a film that when released I judged way to hard as like the first film I felt that they took the Horror out of a classic Universal Monster and I was in full swing of protesting the film and not seeing it and even refused to for a very long while, and the crazy part is I went to the theater and seen “The Scorpion King” from 2002 a spin-off from Mummy Returns with my brother Bryan and our friend Andy Copp. Over the years I can remember seeing bits and pieces of the film at friends houses as they would pop in the VHS and DVD at parties and get togethers and I never paid it any attention, as I was still being a royal classic monster snob. And let’s be honest when already judging the film and seeing that cheesy CGI version of The Scorpion King from the film it was easy to dismiss the film as being bad. I worked at Blockbuster Video at the time as well and customers and my fellow employees when it was released on home media tried to get me to watch it, and I refused as again I was being a snob. It took many, many years before I truly gave the film a chance as well as the other films in the series and I have to say that I was foolish for judging these films so harsh as they are fun, fantastic films that while very different from the classic Universal The Mummy series they added their own touch and delivered films that brought some chills, laughs and high adventure. And for the time you have think the digital effects where considered good and while dated now they were state of the art back then. The film was super well casted and this also was the films that introduced me to actress Rachel Weisz who could be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood to this day. To sum it up Mummy Returns is a great sequel to a great Adventure Horror film series that I was wrong about for many years and am glad that I gave it a chance, as it really is a film I enjoy watching.

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So with that brief history lesson of The Mummy Returns and the killing ways of Imhotep we should now get to the comic review that was made possible by Bell, Book And Comic who had the comic in stock. I also would 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, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that lets head out with the O’Connell’s and dodge the wrath of The Mummy!

The Mummy Valley Of The Gods Comic 1

Mummy: Valley Of The Gods # 1  *1/2
Released in 2001     Cover Price $2.99     Chaos!    # 1 of 1

Professor Winter and his crew are in a tomb and are being lead by Ardeth Bay as they have already sent the Orb Of Destiny a relic to Rick and Evelyn O’Connell and that was a big mistake as they open a tomb evil soul eating animal spirits escape and they all have to run for their lives, but some of the crew are not that lucky and meet their fates. Meanwhile Rick is having a nightmare about the Scorpion King killing Evelyn when the phone rings and its Professor Winter asking them to come to Egypt and to please bring the Orb back with them. Once our heroes get back to Egypt they are greeted by Jonathan who is Evelyn’s brother, and they have dinner and catch up on what has been going on in their lives and the next morning they fly to the dig site location. And it comes out that Evelyn use to have a big crush on Professor Winter and this makes Rick a little uncomfortable on learning this but trusts in the love he and his wife have for each other. Once inside the tomb our team of Rick, Evelyn, Winter, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay are attacked by the weird spirit animals again and they are forced to try and shoot them to save their lives, but bullets are not working! Finally Rick picks up a stone tablet and is about to throw it at the spirits when the tablet turns out to be a map that sends the spirits packing as it has magical powers. The map says that it leads to a unknown place called the Valley Of The Gods and they all rush to the location only to find sand and two giant undead warriors who want them all dead.

I first need to say that this comic does not capture the characters nor the vibe of the films its based on at all and feels like a very generic story with very generic characters as Rick & Evelyn in this comic act nothing like they should, and there is barely any adventure or horror elements taking place in this first issue that does a very bad job of wanting readers to return for a second issue that never came, and I am guessing it never came due to the fact this first issue sold so poorly via word of mouth. The plot is about the Orb Of Destiny and a hidden Valley that is said to be the place of Gods and the O’Connell’s go to find what treasures and history awaits them, but instead find two angry undead giants and spirits of animals that eat souls. Rick O’Connell is our hero who is plagued with nightmares about his wife being killed, is worried about his wives old crush and somehow falls backwards into being the one who sends the spirits away as well as find a hidden map. Over all Rick is just very basic in being a hero and he lacks the charm and goofy nature the character has in the films. Evelyn is a strong willed woman who knows she can do whatever her husband can do, but also her character is all wrong as is her brother Jonathans and Ardeth Bay’s as they all just seem off and bland. Professor Winter is a man who clearly does not care about safety of his crew as he really just wants to uncover what the tombs have in treasures and if evil spirits attack its ok as long as he uncovers stuff, he also is very flirty with Evelyn and he knows she is married. The bad guys of the comic are the evil animal spirits that attack a person’s soul and two undead giants who do nothing as they only show up on the last page. The comic has zero blood, only one death and packs very little spooky moments and the worse sin zero appearances by Imhotep but we are treated to the Scorpion King…yeah. The cover is ok and is eye catching for the time it was released, and the interior art by Matt Broome and is ok but also does not look like the actors that play the characters in the film with them all really looking like generic muscle heroes from say a comic series like Gen 13 and has a pure 90’s look in their designs. Over all this is a very lackluster Adventure Horror Comic that does a very poor job of capturing the mood and feel of the films, and with that checkout the art below to see the style of Broome.

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The Mummy: Valley Of The Gods was a comic series that was supposed to last a total of three issues and was cancelled after only one as if truly failed the readers as well as to capture the eye of fans of The Mummy Return. And I have to say while this is not one of the better comics he have read and reviewed on a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” it is one you should checkout yourself and see what you think. Well for the next update we are leaving the Tombs of Egypt and will be heading to a farm as we chat about U.S. Acres a very cool comic strip by Jim Davis. So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. And hope you are ready to spend some time with Orson and his friends down on the farm like I am.

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Malibu Comics Ultraverse Memories: Prototype

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, my little spot on the web where I enjoy looking back at things I enjoyed from my past all the way up to present day.  For this update I think it’s time that we again take a look at a hero from the world of Malibu Comics that was part of their Ultraverse comic line and one I can remember reading when I was a kid. The hero I decided to choose for this one is my third favorite character from the Ultraverse who was their version of Iron Man, and of course I am talking about Prototype! And if you are ready I am ready to talk about Malibu Comics and another hero from the Ultraverse.

Malibu Comics was, for a short time in the 90’s, the third top selling comic company in America and wanted so badly to topple Marvel Comics that was sitting at the top of the mountain, and they thought that the Ultraverse was the way to do so, as they created characters that were very similar to some of Marvel and DC’s top heroes.  With the character Prototype, they wanted to have a strong contender to Iron Man! So let’s take a brief moment and talk about who Prototype is and what powers he wields. Jimmy Ruiz is a man who works for Ultra-Tech and was an Ultra Human himself as he had his own internal energy source that was perfect for their Prototype Armor as he could power it himself. But in order to get the armor Jimmy had to allow them to surgically implant the cybernetics that allows him to also control the armor. You see Ultra-Tech on purpose injured the original wearer of the armor by the name of Bob Campbell so that they could replace him with Jimmy and the pair later on team up to break free of Ultra-Tech and become the heroes they know they are supposed to be. And after this Jimmy would go onto join the superhero team UltraForce! Jimmy’s powers are that his body acted as an energy source for the suit, with the suit on as well he could control powers he had such as the ability to fly and fire blasts from hands as well as lift up to 100 tons! And what of Bob Campbell you ask, well after Marvel Comics took over Malibu Comics, during the Black September Event they wiped away Jimmy and had Bob be the only Prototype, but before that while still being under Malibu Comics, he had a new set of Armor given to him by the group Aladdin and called himself Ranger. So that was a quick crash course on who was the hero known as Prototype.

What they could have done with the character in the Marvel Universe? Of course place him in Iron Man Comics! As Tony Stark is testing new armor and weapons, and he hires Jimmy Ruiz to test them out for him, and the reason he chooses Jimmy is he himself is a metal armored hero known as Prototype and could handle the pressure of using the armors and weapons. Imagine this in the Marvel Universe in an Iron Man comic storyline that has him teaming with Iron Will, War Machine and Prototype as they have to all come together to stop a terrorist group that has hijacked tech from a Stark Industry warehouse of old weapons of war! It’s the Iron Family vs. those who want to take over the world…in my book Prototype fits so well into the Iron Man family tree. You could also use Prototype as a member of The Avengers or even bring back the team Ultraforce and have the team being lead by Prime and the members be Prototype, Hardcase, Ghoul, Mantra, Sludge, The Night Man, Rune, Firearm and Solitaire and they are the outsiders of the Marvel Universe and stick together and fight crime and evil all the while earning the respect of the Marvel Heroes. No joke, I really do think that Prototype should be dusted off and placed in the Marvel Universe…in fact all of the Malibu Characters should be.

Okay, let’s talk about this again as I think that its worth talking about often and that’s the fact that Marvel Comics has really dropped the ball with buying the Malibu Comics library and characters as they have done nothing with them and for the most part the characters have sat around collecting dust and allowing most modern comic readers to even forget they ever existed with some never even knowing they did. We readers and fans will never get the real reason of why these comic characters are being benched and sent to the Comic Character retirement home, and that is just such a major waste of characters as I feel they all have so much more to offer to readers. I don’t think that the 5% profits to creators of the characters is really a factor as 5% of sales is really not much even with how poor comic sales have been for the past few years. The fact that former Malibu Comic owner Scott Mitchell Rosenberg is the producer for all Malibu projects could be a factor as rumor has it that he is very hard to deal with and could be making their comic returns just to miserable for Marvel to want to deal with, and this I think could be a possibility and would make more sense to why they are not being used. And it could be what Marvel Comics Tom Brevoort was speaking about when he said its had nothing to do with the 5% on why no return and the explanation could not be talked about due to a non-disclosure agreement…that makes me think that the deal must have been real bad that Marvel made to buy Malibu back in the 90’s. Plus there is always the rumor that has floated around that at the time Marvel’s powers that be decided that they disliked the Malibu characters and that they didn’t fit into the Marvel Universe vision, but I don’t believe this one and think that’s just fan/readers speculation.

Whatever the reason, I feel that Marvel Comics should work it out as they now have the power of Disney behind them and get these characters back into the pages of comics as well as get them into the Marvel movies, shows and video games! In fact why doesn’t Marvel Comics just bring back the Ultraverse characters as well as all the CrossGen characters they have bought and shelved as well like Simon Archard, Emma Bishop, Arwyn, Gareth and all the others that are being hoarded and hidden away by Disney! Why not give these characters another shot at making a splash in the stale world of mainstream comics? Why not allow Prototype to smash some baddies or have Arwyn go on anther epic adventure? But sadly I think with the sad state that mainstream comics are in right now, these characters will be left in the Retirement Home Long Box all itching to be unleashed at least one more time so they can show readers what they can bring to the table. But I really do hope that one day Marvel just opens the door and allows Ultraverse and CrossGen into the Marvel Universe as the character could work very well and add the spice needed to make their stale stories much better.

Before I get to the comics, I want to take a brief moment to remind you readers about the very short lived 1994-1995 cartoon series UltraForce that not only features Prototype but also had team members like Prime, Hardcase, Topaz, Contrary and Ghoul and they fought such characters as Rune, Sludge, Lord Pumpkin and Atalon. The cartoon would also have cameos from heroes like Night Man and the hero team The Strangers. The cartoon lasted a total of 13 episodes and aired on the USA Network. And sadly the show was met with very poor reviews from critics. And also during this time toy company Galoob did a very cool toy line for the show that allowed you to get some of your favorite Malibu Comic Characters as action figures! I have had the figure of Prime for awhile now and just recently got myself a figure of Prototype for my collection, and yes I have picked up several of the other figures and will show them off when we cover their comic series. Below is a look at the cartoon series that has never gotten an official DVD release and my figure of Prototype!

Well I don’t know about you, but I am really ready for the review part of this update as it’s been a while since I have read the comic adventures of Prototype and I want to see if they hold up as I can remember really enjoying them in my youth. I want to thank Game Swap Kettering, Bell Book And Comic and Lone Star Comics for having these in stock and making this update possible as well as by stocking these I was able to put them in my comic collection again. I want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s dive back into the Ultraverse and spend some superhero time with Prototype!

Prototype # 0  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.50    Malibu Comics   # 0 of 18

Stanley Leland is sitting on a couch talking to a psychiatrist as he is one of the heads of Ultratech and is talking about Bob Campbell, the original Prototype! Campbell was an ex-military and working as a stuntman on cheap Sci-Fi and Action films when he meets Leland who hires him to wear a tech suit for a demo reel that would be seen by the military powers that be, and Campbell does such a great job he is put on Ultratech payroll and travels around in the Prototype suit. But this power goes to Campbell’s head as he starts becoming a real life hero and saving the day, this angers Leland as every time he takes the suit out it coasts the company money and if pisses of Campbell’s wife Felicia as well who watches as all the ladies of the city swoon over her husband even though they can not even see his face! Campbell started drinking again and would spend his time traveling to make public appearances and fight with a metal suited bad guy named Arena that kept showing up! Bob Campbell over times keeps having a short fuse and is at odds with his employer as they want to place implants into his body and he refuses. They even create a genetic man named Glare to bring him down as they would like to see Bob die now as they just want him out of the way in order to bring in a younger man to use the Prototype suit. After Glare fails, Ultratech gets their wish when an “accident” happens that leaves Bob losing an arm and losing his job with Ultratech and that’s when Jimmy Ruiz is hired in to become Prototype.

This issue zero is a great way to try and get readers hooked on Prototype…but wait a minute this comic came out a year after the first few issues in the series was released…oh you have to love the gimmicks of 90’s comics! This comic does a fantastic job of showing the history of the original man in the Prototype suit Bob Campbell and his rise and fall of becoming the hero he thinks he was supposed to be. We see that the stress of being in this powerful suit forces him to become a hero as well and makes him start to drink heavy and even ignore his wife. Thinking about it, Bob Campbell takes to drinking just like Marvel’s Tony Stark aka Iron Man did…showing that Prototype and Iron Man really do go hand and hand. Bob Campbell aka Prototype is a military man who after serving finds himself working in movies as a stuntman and is hired by a tech company to test and showcase their new suit, but because he has a good heart he uses the suit for good and saves the day for many people who are in need, but the stress of being a hero that he thinks he needs to be drives him to drink as well as causes him to lose his wife. In the end all the good he has done for people leaves him missing and arm, no wife and no job…he is a broken hero with no suit as well. Stanley Leland, one of the heads of Ultratech, is a true scumbag as it’s clear as day that he is the one who set up Campbell’s fall from grace as he is the one who steals his wife and its very much hinted he is the one who caused the accident that took his arm as well. Stanley Leland is also the type of guy who puts profits before human life and is so greedy that he will do anything to gain cash. Arena and Glare are two villains who are clearly created by Ultratech to help show off the powers of the Prototype suit, so in other words, they are just pawns in this company’s war games for profits. I like that this comic is from three different prospective of what happened with Bob Campbell and gives you more of a look into his life and his want to truly become a hero. The cover is eye catching and shows the Prototype we all know and not the bulky suited original version that was Bob and the interior art is great and done by Gordon Purcell and is great Malibu Comics stuff. So with issue zero done, let’s see what the first issue has in store for us!

Prototype # 1  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics     # 1 of 18

Bob Campbell wakes up in the morning and remembers back to his accident as the Original Prototype that caused him to lose his arm as well as job for Ultratech and he heads out as Ultratech has a shareholders event that afternoon. Meanwhile running wild in the streets is Glare who is now on a rampage, as he wants revenge on Ultratech and Stanley Leland for turning him into a green skinned monster and he is using his power to blind people on the streets. Meanwhile at the Ultratech shareholder conference and Bob sneaks in and watches as they show the new Prototype suit that is way thinner and lighter than his old bulky suit, and the new suit, while slimmer, is having some tech issues. After Prototype heads to the backstage lab, he alerts the workers and Leland that he is having bad headaches from the suit, while out front Bob is thrown out after asking about a lawsuit he has against them about his firing after the accident. After taking some pills, the new Prototype goes out to shake hands and get his picture taken with the holders at the lunch line, but before he can do so, Glare is out front of the building taking on the police force and Ultratech send Prototype into action! Outside the building the press is filming and broadcasting as Glare and Prototype start fighting it out, but the news is not the only ones watching as Bob Campbell as well as a man from a group called Aladdin are collecting details and judging the new suited hero. The fight ends with Prototype beating Glare and it appears as if he has killed him and the onlookers are not so sure what to think of this new version of Prototype.

The first issue of Prototype starts off with a bang as we follow the rise of a new man in the Prototype suit who is being judged by the original who has been shunned by the company who made the suit. We also see that Ultratech is truly a company who does not care about people as much as they care about money and fame. The new Prototype is younger and really seems to be digging his job as the man in the suit, well besides the head splitting headaches that come with the implants and the suit that glitches. The new Prototype is also very trusting of Ultratech and seems to worry about what they think of him and the job he is doing. Bob Campbell has a new mechanical arm and is super bitter of being let go from Ultratech as being Prototype was all he had left in life, and he so wants to make them pay for firing him. Stanley Leland is as big of a scumbag as he ever has been as he only worries about getting on the news as well as making large profits for Ultratech.  It’s clear as well that he will do whatever he can in order to protect himself from failure or danger and will put others in that spot to do so. And of course Glare, who was an Ultratech experiment gone wrong, is now wanting revenge as he feels that they have to pay for what they did to him…and that’s made him a green skinned monster with freaky blinding powers of light. And for his revenge filled hate he ends up dying at the hands of the new Prototype. When reading this as a new reader you get also some mysteries that will get you hooked, like who is this guy watching the fight from Aladdin and also when will heroes like Prime and Hardcase will show up as they are both mentioned. The one downside to the first issue I feel we get more character development from Bob Campbell then we do for the new young man in the Prototype suit, and they should spent a little time building him as he is the hero we will have going forward. The cover is great and eye catching and has that 90’s charm that hooked so many buyers back in the day…wait that was because it had the # 1 on it. The interior art by David Ammerman is very well done and shows why Malibu Comics had its own house style and charm. This first issue is great and has held up for me and is making me looking forward to reading some of these issues again as well as reading many for the first time. So with that let’s get to issue two!

Prototype # 2  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 2 of 18

Prototype is in a virtual reality training program when things go wrong and he uses his own power to override the suits programing and by doing so his levels go off the chart and this impresses the workers of Ultratech, but also causes the suit to catch on fire! Once put out, he has another pounding headache and talks to his handler Hastings about the death of Glare and still doesn’t understand how his death happened and hates that the press is painting him out as a killer. Hastings does what he can to calm Prototype’s nerves over the killing and orders a woman to come down and give him a massage. Meanwhile at Ultratech headquarters Stanley Leland is mad about all the bad press over Glare dying in the streets in front of witnesses and almost wishes that Jimmy Ruiz, the new Prototype, would have died, as his main goal is a new suit called Prototype 2000! His assistant and creator of some of the tech Marjorie informs Leland that she has hired someone to take care of Campbell once and for all ending one of the company’s major headaches. At a bar Bob Campbell is buying parts from a smuggler as he is building his own suit, but he is also the target of a woman named Kaitlyn O’Hare who claims she is a stunt talent agent casting for a new Warner Brothers film. Bob and Kaitlyn end up at his place and the she shows that she is a razor clawed assassin named Backstabber who has been sent to kill him! And after almost doing so Bob saves himself thanks to help from his cat Thelma and is able to get his home made Prototype suit and is ready to fight for his life! And with the help of a buzzsaw arm he does just that, and injured he shows up at his ex-wife’s home as she is a doctor as his wounds from Backstabbers claws are deep and he needs help.

This second issue in the series once more has most of the focus being on Bob Campbell who was the original Prototype as his former employers Ultratech who wants him dead as his outspoken nature is causing them money! And to close his mouth once and for all they hire a razor clawed woman to slice and dice him! And oh yeah there is a very small amount of Jimmy Ruiz as we get he has headaches, is becoming one with the tech, feels bad about the death of Glare and that his employers are not loyal to him at all! The loose cannon that is Bob Campbell is not only trying to get answers from Ultratech about his firing but is also building his own metal suit as he wants to become a hero again. And it’s clear that while Bob is missing an arm he does not let his handicap slow him down as he fights for his life when it’s in danger and does not let him slow him down. Jimmy Ruiz meanwhile is young and seems to be enjoying his time as the main in the Prototype suit and while is comes with side effects he thinks the fame and money it brings him will be worth it. Stanley Leland is a true scumbag as he only cares about profit and the lives of Bob and Jimmy mean nothing to him, in fact after stealing Bob’s wife he also seems to now have no time for her and he lives and breathes Ultratech. The razor nailed Backstabber is a killer female who uses her good looks to bring the targets in and then takes them out, but while she is made of a metal she is not unbeatable as Bob uses a buzzsaw in order to take her out! The main thing that this issue builds up is that Leland’s end goal is a new suit of armor that he will show off in the year 2000 that is called Prototype 2000 and that he dislikes Jimmy as well as he finds him to young and annoying. We are three issues into the series when you count issue zero and all seem to be mainly focused on Bob, and I think Malibu needed to also start building Jimmy up and laying the groundwork for him to become a hero. The cover for this issue is pretty great and very 90’s and the interior art by David Ammerman is good stuff and has that Malibu Comic style. Let’s now move onto issue three and see what happens now that Bob is at his ex-wife’s house and needs help after being attacked!

Prototype # 3  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $2.50    Malibu Comics    # 3 of 18

Jimmy Ruiz and Hastings are on a plane waiting for takeoff but like always there are delays and Jimmy is getting antsy as he wants to be on the go. Meanwhile on another plane the terrorist group Terrordyne Inc. is taking hostages as a sport team is on board and they want money for them to be returned unharmed! Jimmy hears about this and suits up as Prototype and has Hastings freaks out as they need Lelands permission to do so Prototype alerts his handler he has removed the suits shut down lock and heads off to be the hero he is hired to be. Meanwhile Bob Campbell is having his wounds treated by his ex-wife Felicia and they talk about the breakup and Bob lets her know he still cares for her very much. Meanwhile Prototype takes out the masked goons of Terrordyne Inc. but soon meats their leads the super villain called The Heater who uses fire blasts to knock Prototype down, and delivers a beating to our hero before he is able to blast Heater away. But before he can deliver a beat down to Heater he finds that the Ultratech plane has been hijacked and Hastings as been thrown from the plane that is now in the air! Prototype leaves the battle to save his friend and once back on the ground Heater is gone and Hastings alerts him that lots of tech is on that plane that needs to be saved! Prototype blows up the run away plane and this angers Leland who is getting more bad press from the event. And all the while the Aladdin company has the body of Glare and they steady it and the tech that’s inside him and then hire masked hero Wrath to follow Prototype and get the chips that are needed to make the suit any way he can.

This issues plot has a great classic superhero feel to it as a terrorist group holds hostages on a plane at an airport and out hero rushes in to save the day and by doing so more subplots are open and more tension is created between he and his employers. Jimmy Ruiz aka Prototype in this issue goes from being a bored young man into a hero who’s action saves the lives of a popular baseball team as well as takes down a bunch of henchmen that work of a terrorist company group. Jimmy also shows that he has studied his suit and is really starting to master its powers and how to control it on his own while being offline. While Jimmy is being a hero its also clear that he is making Leland very mad as he does not want him to do anything besides make money for Ultratech at public events. Leland also shows that he has more tricks up his sleeves as he wants to have staff now watch every move of Prototype as well as for them to hire more young men that can take over the role of the suited hero. We learn that Bob Campbell let Backstabber live who ran off into the night vowing revenge and that he wants his wife back! The goons of Terrordyne Inc. are masked well-armed troopers who do what they are told and they as well have an Ultra named Heater who is working for them, and he is dangerous as he has the power of fire and even puts a seed in the mind of Prototype that they are both working for criminals the only difference is his people are open about their evil deeds. And lastly we have to talk about Wrath on his way to get the chips from the Prototype suit and this hero vs. hero showdown that is about to happen has me looking forward to the next issue! Plus this issue puts us on the right track as Jimmy is the main focus and his storyline is getting new parts added to his arch. The cover is pretty dang cool and the interior art is once more great and done by David Ammerman. So let’s see what issue four has in store from Prototype as he has a list now of threats that could test his skills and even take his life as Wrath, Heater and even Backstabber are around and looking for a fight!

Prototype # 4  **1/2
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 4 of 18

Jimmy Ruiz is living in a high rise apartment that is paid for by Ultratech and while he enjoys the life of being rich and having a job, he’s missing his friends as well as having control of his own life. While downstairs his ex Angella is looking for Jimmy and the night watchmen runs her off just as Wrath enters and drugs the guard and breaks into the hidden lab in the basement of the building to steal the chip off the Prototype suit and by trying one of the chips inside Jimmy alerts him something is wrong and he rushes downstairs to check on the suit and his punched in the face by Wrath who leaves Jimmy stunned on the floor. As Jimmy gets back on his feet he changes into Prototype and rushes to the lobby and has a back and fourth fight with Wrath with both one upping each other with hits! Meanwhile Leland gets the call about the fight and instead of calling for backup, he sends in the media to cover the fight! Wrath ends up getting the upper hand as he has been trained in fighter way better and when Prototype gets distracted by his ex-girlfriend Angella and takes a massive blast that damages the suit and allows Wrath to escape via a helicopter pick-up. With all his energy he uses a microwave ray to hit the chip and he hopes it ruined the data on it as Wrath is angry that this might have happened. Prototype who’s on fire is put out and Leland tries to pay Angella to go away but she tries her best to get Jimmy’s attention. Meanwhile Bob Campbell has finished his new metal suit and takes it for a test fly as well as uses the weapons he installed, but he his interrupted by the cops who alert him he is under arrest for breaking into an Ultratech lab.

This issue is a full fledged battle issue as we see Prototype from Ultratech take on Aladdin’s very own Wrath as they duke it out in a lobby of a building as well as in the streets of New York! Prototype in this issue goes from being a young man messing around with his hot company paid lady, drinking beer and looking at the moon to getting his first taste of a real fight with a really skilled fighter who can expose all his flaws and show that the suit can only do so much again experience. And this also alerts Jimmy to how flawed this armor is as it does not take damage well and becomes damaged very easily. Wrath is a hero who thinks he is on the right side of the tech war and uses his powers to try and right the wrongs and his powers are great as he can turn his opponent’s own blasts and powers against them! Wrath I am sure is both impressed and annoyed with Prototype and you know the two will meet again to finish the fight. Leland as always is a jerk and wants to use the fight as good press for him and Ultratech and don’t care about the safety of others. Angella is trying so hard to find and talk to Jimmy in order to tell him he is going to be a father, and instead gets money thrown at her by Leland to go away showing he don’t care about anyone besides himself. I also like that the police and Ultratech are blaming Bob Campbell for the break-in and that he has crafted his own big heavy armored suit in order to be a hero again! The cover is pretty good and eye catching for fans of Malibu and the art by David Ammerman is great and classic 90’s stuff. Really enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to see what happens with Bob as well as Jimmy cause both have really good stories going.

Prototype # 5  **
Released in 1993     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 5 of 18

Security Guards are all around a launchpad where a rocket called JDH-3000 is set to launch the next day, but the Ultra-Powered team The Strangers (Atom Bob, Lady Killer, Grenade, Yrial, Spectral, Zip Zap and Electrocute) break in and steal the rocket as they need to get to the moon in order to find out more about why they have these powers. J.D. who owns the rocket is very mad as it was under the watch of Ultratech who he hired as the guards and the rocket coast them a ton of money to build. While at an Ultratech meeting Mr. Bell appearing only as a hologram is ripping into Leland and the others about the bad press of Prototype and Bob Campbell, and they get interrupted by J.D. Hunt who phones in and is raising hell over his stolen rocket as he wants Ultratech to pay for it or get it back. Meanwhile in jail Bob Campbell is sprung by Jake Alexander of the Aladdin Corporation who wants to discuss so very important business with him. Leland goes to Jimmy Ruiz and has him change into Prototype and alerts him that he is going to space to fight The Strangers and get the stolen rocket back and if he screws this up he can be replaced, he is also alerted that he will be joined by Empire-7 from Vietnam and team leader being the ravishing Russian Supra and they head off to space. The Strangers find that they can not control the stolen rocket as it will not allow them to land on the moon and instead lands on an abandon Russian space station and are attacked by an alien just as Prototype and his crew land at the station and come aboard.

I want to start by saying I know that I gave this issue only two stars and that it seems low as for me 2 ½ stars means that its great and above average read and this was a great read I just felt that so much of this issue is spent on J.D. Hunt screaming, Mr. Bell screaming and Leland screaming and plotting and not enough time was spent on Prototype or even Bob Campbell. With that said, it does do its job of setting up a run in between Prototype and The Strangers in space all over a stolen rocket and the need for answers of why powers was given to some people on Earth. Prototype in this issue is watching footage of The Strangers only to find himself being forced to fly to space to fight them and is forced to team with two other unknown powered people and is even threatened with if he don’t do this and get the rocket back they stole he will be replaced. The Strangers really just want to get to the moon as they think that the origin of what gave them all their powers came from there, but they find themselves instead on a rundown space station being attacked by an alien. Leland once more is a weasel who uses his gift of talking to try and smooth things over with a client and even dodges the rage of Mr. Bell and Mr. Hunt who are both displeased with him. Supra is clearly powerful and has some type of Ultra powers and is leading the Ultratech team on getting the rocket back, and I would guess Empire-7 as well has powers. I like the rundown Russian Space Station being the place that this showdown is going to happen in and adding a dangerous Alien is a great Sci-Fi Film touch. The cover is good and eye catching and this time around Roger Robinson is doing art and it’s well done. Over all this is an okay issue that builds a story and that’s pretty much all I can say about it. I should also say that this was part of the Break-Thru story arch.

Prototype # 6  **1/2
Released in 1994    Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics     # 6 of 18

Prototype is heading back to Earth and is following Prime through the Earth’s atmosphere and is starting to burn up and is second-guessing if this was a good idea to trust Prime and the idea of The Strangers member Lady Killer who came up with the idea of using Prime as a heat shield. And lucky for Prototype it works and he get back to Earth, but his suit is burnt and molded together in a lump of metal. At the office of Jake Alexander he alerts Bob Campbell that he knows everything about him and they discuss that fact that Ultratech is using Jimmy Ruiz and when they are done with him they will have him killed, Jake they informs Bob that he wants the original Prototype to work for Aladdin and they even have made him a new suit that is big and heavy and filled with lots of powerful weapons. Ultratech have found the hidden office of Aladdin and have sent in a female killer that is invisible who’s touch and kiss can kill a person in minutes and she gets into the office of Jake and fights with Original Prototype and places a kiss on Jake before she flees the battle and forces Original Prototype to take Jake to the hospital to save his life. While back at the Ultratech Offices Leland gets a visit from a very angry Jimmy Ruiz who is ranting about his space mission and almost dying getting back home when Leland calms the young man down with a big money bonus as well as a new Prototype suit that once Jimmy has on Leland shows him that the suit now has a brain attack button that overloads Jimmy’s brain like a drug! Jimmy hates this new feature but before they can chat about it the office windows are blown out and the armored bad guy Arena is there, looking for a fight.

Malibu Comics dropped the ball as they did the one thing that I think Comics in the late 80’s and 90’s did that was really dumb and that’s make it that to finish a story they started in one series continue in multiple others the dreaded multi-book crossovers…and then they screw up even more by not really even explaining to readers what took place with The Strangers, Alien, Moon and so on in this issue as all we get is that Prototype is following hero Prime to get back to Earth. With that said and that terrible annoying comic trope exposed, this is a good and solid issue that features growth for both Jimmy and Bob who are now both officially Prototypes! Jimmy learns that he has friends with other Ultra-Heroes and that he should not fully trust the words of Ultratech as they do not have his well being in mind when they send him on mission of both no and total danger. Bob Campbell learns that he as well as new friends with the Aladdin Corporation do have his best interest at heart and even have built him a new suit and with that the Original Prototype is back in the hero business. I am guess the invisible woman who is a killer with a deadly touch and kiss, I would guess is Marjorie Fredericks who works for Ultratech and wants to cut off loose ends. Jake Alexander is in bad shape by the end of this issue and has a very deadly poison running through his veins thanks to Marjorie. I also like that Arena has returned and once more wants to clash with Prototype, but unknown to him this is a new person in the armor…but I don’t think it would change his mind much of beating him up or ending his life. This is again a great issue I just really dislike the lack of closer to The Strangers and The Moon storyline as they wanted you to buy two other comics to close the story. The cover is pretty cool and shows Bob “Original” Prototype in his new armor and the interior art is done by Roger Robinson and is really good. Issue six of Prototype really does want me to see what happens with many of the characters and also want to see how the characters will grow in more issues, so with that let’s see what issue seven has in store for us.

Prototype # 7  ***
Released in 1994    Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 7 of 18

Prototype and Arena start a fight above the city of New York as onlooker watch as the suited up Ultra’s exchange powerful hits. As the fight goes on Prototype alerts Arena that Bob is no longer in the suit and that he Jimmy is and that he is better then the original, Arena seems not to mind as he turns up the attacks and this leads him to also drop his powerful sword to the street bellow. While at the Hospital Bob Campbell talks to the doctor and finds that he got Jake Alexander help just in time, and Bob covers for how Jake was poisoned and goes into visit his new friend. Leland is in the Ultratech Building talking with the invisible woman who is now named Veil and she turns out to be Marjorie Fredericks and she has been hired to babysit and watch after Jimmy, and while Leland wants her to still protect him she thinks they should take him out after the fight with Arena and replace him. While poor old Angella ex-girlfriend of Jimmy is being chewed out by her mother to just forget all about Jimmy and move on with her life as she says he is beyond her now. Earl and T.J are gang members who are talking to a young girl from their neighborhood when a rival gang does a drive by, while T.J returns fire the poor young girl is shot dead. The government of New York is getting sick and tired of Leland and Ultratech and they have build their own armor hero called The Manhattan Project 1994 and they plan on letting him loose soon! While back at the battle Arena is beating up Prototype and is still comparing him to Bob Campbell and this angers Jimmy who blasts his opponent with a powerful blast and is ready for a fight!

This is a battle issue that has some side stories thrown in for good measure and delivers one heck of a fun read! The plot for this issue has Arena returning for a fight and Jimmy not being fully prepared for a fight that has his enemy being more powerful than him and worse more skilled at fighting! Prototype is becoming way to cocky and thinking that his powerful suit will win him every fight, but while the suit is powerful his fighting spirit and knowledge is not good and he is slowing figuring out that he needs a battle plan before rushing in to a fight. I also like that he is getting to the point where he is sick and tired of hearing the name of Bob Campbell and is willing to now fight over it! Bob Campbell in this issue spends his time in the hospital looking after his new friend Jake, and also figures out that he should keep his mouth shut about Ultratech for awhile. Leland and Veil are watching the battle and each have their own ideas on how this one should end, and she is sick and tired of the brat Jimmy. I cannot wait to see Manhattan Project 1994 in action and see if he is with or against Prototype! Not sure what is going to happen with the gang members T.J and Earl, and to be honest what is going to happen with Angella and her baby. I also like how the Government in New York talk about Sludge living in the sewer, just a nice touch to showcase another of their character is active in New York at the same time of these events. Arena is an interesting character as he is very much into the Ying and Yang of life and is like a super powered and armored samurai who is all about battle. The cover for this issue is solid and eye-catching and like before the interior art by Roger Robinson is great 90’s stuff. This far this series is a great above average indie superhero series and this is I think the best issue to this point, even if it’s a little all over the place. Let’s see what issue eight has in store for us!

Prototype # 8  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 8 of 18

Arena is back up and now showcases some of his powers that once more show Prototype that he is losing the battle as he uses mini missiles to bring our hero down in front of a watching crowd. Bob Campbell is working in his garage when he sees the news and decides if he should put on his new suit and aid in the fight, but not before remembering back to all his battles with Arena…The Original Prototype does not come to Ultratech and Prototype’s aid this time. Besides the fight between Prototype and Arena, the news is also reporting on the state of New York going after Ultratech for a massive fine in the billion dollars and they also talk about the young girl killed in gang violence that was the cousin of poor Angella as she starts to realize that she is going to have to raise her child in a neighborhood that is overrun with gang activity. Arena defeats Prototype in the streets and has a chance to kill him, but does not and instead tells him to seek out Bob Campbell to be trained better for fights as he will alerts our hero he will return. Prototype is mad as the crowd hurl insults at him and he marches into Leland’s hidden panic room to have words with his boss, and Jimmy alerts Leland that he quits at being Prototype as well as quiets Ultratech and that he is going home!

What another great issue that showcases that Jimmy is really out of his league and is not ready for battle against any other super powered people and he gets beat up and knocked around by Arena and also comes to see that Leland and Ultratech have lied and used him this whole time! Jimmy who started off being super cocky and headstrong turns very humbled when he is handed his first major defeat. And he also does not take the defeat well at all cause he quits being the hero Prototype! Bob Campbell the Original Prototype is also interesting as he listens to the news as he works on his new suit and almost misses Arena as his battles with him seemed to be like hanging out with an old friend in his mind. Leland is a coward and during the fight runs and hides in a panic room and is scared when Jimmy comes in and quiets, as he knows that Ultratech is starting to crumble around him. Veil almost feels sorry for Jimmy after his loss as she knows what its like to be a Ultra and even a Prototype as her invisible suit is along the same line. Arena respects Jimmy’s spirit but also smartens him up to him not being a superhero like he thinks as he exposes the lack of training he has in combat. And let’s not forget to chat about poor Angella who’s having the baby of Jimmy who is paying her no attention and now also looses her young eight year old cousin for gang violence, this poor woman can not catch a break! I am really interested in finding out what Jimmy does from here as he is so filled with chips and tech and can he walk away from the suit or can they force him to come back to Ultratech and become their “hero” who is just a glorified mascot in many peoples eyes. Cover is pretty cool and showcases Arena and art by Roger is great like always. Another homerun issue and it seems that the creators at Malibu have found their stride with Prototype.

Prototype # 9  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 9 of 18

Ultratech is holding a job interview to find the next person to wear the Prototype suit and it’s down to three people and they are all fighting each other in a open room while wearing different versions of the Prototype suit…in the end Donovan Jones gets the job! One of the interviewees is mad that he did not get picked and talks out loud about how he is going to expose Leland and Ultratech to his friend in the news and for this he is killed by Veil’s poison touch. Jimmy Ruiz is back home and chats with Angella at her cousin’s funeral and then heads to the hangout of his old street gang The Hardboys in order to try and talk them out of all the killings, they agree to stop killing only if he brings the trigger man who killed the young girl to the cops and he has only an hour to do so! Jimmy walks into the rival gangs hideout and dukes it out with them, when the gun man pulls a Uzi on him his time runs out and The Hardboys come running in with their guns, just in time to see Jimmy float into the air and shoot fire lasers from his eyes that cuts off the arm of the trigger man and leaves Jimmy passed out…the gangs run away and The Hardboys also denounce their friendship with Jimmy as they don’t think he is human anymore. Jimmy ends up at the hospital and the doctors cannot find out whats wrong with him and while there he also is told by Angella that he is going to be a father…and Jimmy knows that he must go back to Ultratech to get money for his lady and child as well as find out what the heck is wrong with him. While at Ulrtatech Leland is showing off the New Prototype who is in a bigger suit and now is Donovan Jones.

This ninth issue in Malibu’s Prototype series focuses more on Jimmy Ruiz the man who returns home to find that his old gang The Hardboys are at war with a rival and that more and more killings are happening and that his old girlfriend is about to have his baby! Jimmy shows that he has learned a little from his time at Ultratech as he learns how to take a beating, he learns that violence is not always the answer and he learns that those he cared about are suffering while he lived high on the hog working for Ultratech. I like how Jimmy tries his best to bring peace between two gangs and even risks his own life and safety to do so, but also finds that he has hidden powers even when not wearing the suit that gives him powerful eye blasts. We also see that Leland and Ultratech just move on fast even after Jimmy quite and hires a replacement in no time and even give him a more battle ready suit! Donovan Jones is the new Prototype, and I will call him Prototype III and he seems like a man who had nothing in life and is just happy to have a high paying job and will do whatever Leland and Ultratech wants, it will be interesting to see what he thinks when Jimmy comes back looking for his job as I think Donovan will fight to keep his job. Also glad that Angella finally got to tell Jimmy that she is having his baby, and also glad to see that Jimmy seems to be happy and will take being a father serious! Also I feel like The Hardboys will come back into play and will end up helping Jimmy in some way, even if he from time to time seems to have the powers of X-Men mutant Cyclops. The cover for this issue is just okay and remind me more of Robotech than Prototype and the interior art is good and done by Roger again. Well let’s see if Jimmy gets his job back at Ultratech or if he is out forever just like Bob Campbell.

Prototype # 10  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 10 of 18

Terrordyne is back and has taken hostages at the Statue Of Liberty and even blow up the head of the statue and is killing hostages while filming! Bob Campbell and Jake Alexander are watching the news and they know that they have to do something to stop this terrorist attack and save lives, Bob once in his suit is now going by Ranger and the new friends head to gear up. While at Ultratech Leland is telling Prototype III that his time to be a hero is not now and tells him he will not be sending him to save the day…just yet. While at a government lab the android hero Manhattan Project 1994 is having some major bugs and attacks anyone in his sight, and this keeps it from being a hero as well as all eyes are on the Statue Of Liberty and at this point the state is without a hero. Karl is the leader of this Terrordyne group and while Ranger is getting into position Jake enters the area and takes a bullet to the knee when trying to work out a deal with Karl who informs him that they are making no deals. Jake stands back up and alerts them that he was wearing full body armor and that they are in deep trouble as he gives the signal and Ranger shows up and starts taking down all the Terrordyne agents while Jake and other Aladdin soldiers get the hostages to safety. Karl and Egon are the only two members of Terrordyne to escape and Ranger has to get ready as he has press interviews. After the interview Bob is loading up his jeep and is approached by Jimmy Ruiz who is asking him for help, Bob flies off the handle as he blames Jimmy for stealing his job and punches the young man who responds with his whole body being on fire begging Bob for his help!

Bob Campbell is now Ranger, a metal suited Ultra who is the hero New York is looking for as he stops a terrorist attack as well as saves the lives of many hostages, and he also now has Jake Alexander and the Agents of Aladdin at his side…and he loves every second of his new gig of being a hero! And the best thing for Bob is that his new suit of armor is better than his old and he no longer is saddled with the name Prototype as he is now Ranger! And Bob also in this issue gets to punch the face of Jimmy and man he blames for taken his job at Ultratech. And speaking of Jimmy, this young man is in a panic as he no longer has his Prototype suit, no longer has his job, his about to be a father and also has weird uncontrollable powers do to all the stuff Ultratech and is in a panic and needs help and Bob Campbell is the only person he can think off. Jake Alexander and Aladdin are trying to do what they can to keep New York safe from crime and terrorist and they along with Ranger are doing a great job. The Manhattan Project 1994 is a robotic would be hero that seems to be not controllable as he attacks even his own creators. This is a great issue and spends time building Bob back up at being the hero he loved being. Plus we find out in this issue that New York not only has a gang war issue but they are also having a terrorist war issue! The cover is pretty good and showcases Prototype and Ranger and like a broken record the interior art done by Roger is good stuff. I am looking forward to the next issue and seeing if Bob can not only help Jimmy but also if the two can bury the heat between them and become friends who both wear metal costumes.

Prototype # 11  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 11 of 18

At the Aladdin Labs the thought to be dead bad guy Glare has woken up and is on a rampage and is blinding and killing anyone who is in his way…Jake Alexander has the lab sealed and as Glare pounds his way through the steal door they call Bob Campbell asking him to bring the Ranger suit! Before the call comes through Bob Campbell watches as Jimmy Ruiz almost explodes into a total meltdown and then pass out on the street as onlookers start to get rowdy about his fire and heat glow…Bob thinks fast and picks up Jimmy and drives off just as Donovan Jones watches them and judges them by comparing them to himself. Bob calls his ex-wife Felicia to meet him at the lab and while she tries to help Jimmy, he suits up and as Ranger heads into the lab to battle Glare and the pair punch it out. Meanwhile Felicia helps Jimmy as he is having another meltdown fit and works a way to reroute the power that is coming from one of him implants put in by Ultratech as they used his body to power the suit! Glare comes busting in and is ready to blind both Jake and Felicia and Jimmy uses his surging power to knock out Glare who before going down alerts Jimmy that he as Prototype never defeated him as it was Veil who did! After Glare is down, Felicia informs Jimmy that he is an Ultra and that Ultrateh used his powers to power the suit and that he needs to get the suit back on to stop the outbursts…and Bob agrees to help Jimmy break into Ultratech and steal the Prototype suit.

This issue’s plot shows that Leland and Ultratech have been users and liars from day one and have turned Jimmy Ruiz into a science experiment and fills his body with all types of chips and circuits and have turned him into a walking dangerous battery! And while Jimmy uses his power to take down Glare he is still very much a ticking time bomb that could kill and injury people. Bob Campbell aka Ranger goes hand to hand with Glare in order to save lives at the Aladdin Lab and even ends up getting his ex-wife to help Jimmy who he seems to now understand he shares a common enemy with and that Ultratech! I like the idea of Jimmy and Bob breaking into the lab in order to steal the Prototype suit as you know that when they get there they are going to have to fight Veil and Prototype III! Plus I think it’s clear that Felicia will start helping Jake and the rest of the Aladdin Lab crew as she knows much of the tech of Ultratech and the way Ultras work. Glare coming back from the dead and causing havoc is something I did not see coming and like before it shows that revenge is all that’s on his mind as he hates Leland and wants to do nothing but kill the man he blames for his strange look and powers. I would also guess that this might not be the final time we see Glare in this series, and I for one would like to see him join the side of Aladdin and become an Ultra Hero for them and as well help bring down Leland and Ultratech. Only downside for me is that I want to see Jimmy as Prototype and not just a man with X-Men type powers…so let’s hope he gets the suit back in the next issue. Interior art work by Roger is good and this cover is great and eye catching for fans of 90’s superhero comics. Over all another great issue and shows why Prototype was one of Malibu popular characters.

Prototype # 12  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 12 of 18

At the Ultratech building Felicia Campbell comes to visit Leland and before she goes to visit him she knocks out the guard and brings in her ex-husband Bob as Ranger and Jimmy and they head to the basement so Jimmy can get into the Prototype suit as they all have payback on their minds to Leland, but before Jimmy can suit up, they are attacked by Donovan Jones aka Prototype III who is cocky and wants to showcase his power to Ultratech and impress Leland. While Jimmy tries to get his suit ready for battle with Felicia, Ranger springs into action and battles with Prototype III keeping him busy even with his suit being less powerful, finally Jimmy gets into his suit and as Prototype he enters the fight and its clear the fight between Jimmy and Donovan both who feel like they have something to prove and neither want to loose and in the end Jimmy defeats Donovan with a massive energy blast that destroys the Prototype III suit and as Donavon is bleeding on the floor Felicia treats his wounds as Ranger and Prototype head to Leland’s office. Marjorie Fredericks is in Leland’s office and turns invisible with orders to kill both Jimmy and Bob and as Leland distracts them with offers of hiring them both back as spokesmen for Ultratech Marjorie tries to attack them both but is stopped by a can of pepper spray fired by Felicia who then knocks out the invisible assassin with a metal briefcase. Prototype grabs Leland and is about to smash him like a bug when Ranger reminds him that they are heroes and that they are better than violence as revenge and then alerts Leland that they are going to bury him with a press conference! But Leland is not done yet as he calls in his last chance of killing Bob, Jimmy and Felicia, and it’s Prototype 2000 the same suit of armor that took Bob’s arm during a fight! As Prototype 2000 comes close he opens fire on Leland and then tells the shocked heroes that he is really Gordon Bell the founder of Ultratech!

So many Prototypes to keep track off as this issue has a total of five of them all with different looks and all with different names and model numbers! This issues plot has Bob, Jimmy and Felicia going to Ultratech towers to get the Prototype suit for Jimmy in order to control his powers as well as to alert Leland that they are going to expose his crimes to the world, and while trying to do so they meet his armored and invisible goons and then watch the man that has caused them all so much heartbreak be killed before their eyes by the founder of Ultratech! Bob Campbell aka Ranger is very level headed in this issue and fights when he needs to do so and also is the voice of reason to Jimmy who is lashing out in anger towards those who tricked him into becoming a ticking time bomb of energy. Jimmy is clearly getting out of hand and his power surges are out of control and if not for the Prototype suit he could and would end up killing a lot of innocent people. Felicia is showing that she has a great heart and is teaming with her ex-husband in order to expose Ultratech for the greedy scumbags they are. Leland is just as selfish and evil as ever and wants to kill those who stand in the way of him making money, that’s why it’s so shocking that he is killed…or so we think he is dead as he is blasted and knocked out of a window. Ultratech’s paid muscle of Prototype III and Marjorie Fredericks fail in their attempt to stop our heroes and end up both just knocked out on the floor. The long thought to be dead Gordon Bell being the one controlling the Portotype 2000 suit has be asking so many questions like was he controlling the suit when Bob was injured? Is he really alive or is he also just tech and does this mean Bob and Jimmy are now back on the payroll? I like were the story is going, but I have to say they need to chill on all the different Prototype suits as they keep pilling up! Also I like how Leland’s death was a touch of Robocop in it as it reminds me when the board member is gunned down by Ed-209! The cover for this issue is good and has a Marvel Comics feel to it and the interior art by Roger still and is good as always. Lets see what issue 13 has in store for us!

Prototype # 13  *1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $3.50   Malibu Comics   # 13 of 18

Prototype 2000 has the mind of Gordon Bell, but he is out of touch with the times and seems to be flashing back to the time he was always at the office and is enraged by the stock market drops of Ultratech! Bob, Felicia and Jimmy are confused and not sure what to do as Leland’s body has not been found and they cannot find a shut off switch to Prototype 2000 and when they try to get close to find one, the suit fights back. On the news hero Warstrike and bad guy Blind Faith are being attacked by what looks like Prototype at Yankee Stadium and this causes Jimmy to head to the ball park and fight with this imposter Prototype that seems to be a robot, and after a brief fight the robot gets away and Prototype gets no answers from Warstrike who was confused to why he and his super villain were attacked, and Prototype wastes no time using his energy and blowing the robot up leaving scrap metal behind and Warstrike in shock of Prototypes pure power. Meanwhile back at the Unltratech Office Bob and Felicia are getting nowhere on finding an off switch, but do know that a small amount of living organisms are inside the Prototype 2000 suit and Bob puts on his helmet and as Ranger blasts Prototype 2000 hoping to expose what’s living inside it only for the killer tech suit to figure out that their stock is under attack! We then show across town in a room filled with heroes including Night Man that they are the ones going for the stock!

What a silly issue in this series as the action is packed with goofy humor and an ending that leaves you interested but also having to but other comic series to figure out what and why heroes like Night Man are trying to buy mass amounts of Ultratech stocks! The plot has our heroes trying to figure out why Prototype 2000 thinks he is the chairman of Ultratech, why Leland’s body has not been found and why a robot version of Prototype is attacking a hero at a baseball stadium. Jimmy is puzzled by why a robot wearing his suit is trying to attack a hero and get him bad press and has to rush to Yankee Stadium in order to clear his name of this weird attack. Bob is watching as his ex-wife is acting like an employee off Ultratech in order to get answers of what Prototype 2000 really is! Warstrike is the hero who is under attack by the robot version of Prototype and he is knocked around pretty bad and is super confused by the end of his real meeting with Prototype. And as for Prototype 2000 he is a super powerful tech suit with the mind of Ultratech founder Gordon Bell who is acting super sexist and like he is from the 1930’s or something, his humor is silly and eye rolling and he smacks Felicia on the butt and makes groaning sexist remakes that will make you want to watch him explode into a million different pieces. This issue also ends with showing cool Malibu hero characters like Night Man, Teknight, Solitaire and more being the ones behind the hostile takeover of Ultratech’s stock and while cool its also very goofy and also leads to the crappy other comic series crossovers that force you to buy more books to finish the story. While this was a fun read its also very generic feeling and over all not a great issue. The cover is cool and screams 90’s Superhero Comic and the interior art is just ok and is done by Dean Zachary who is not one of my favorite artist from Malibu as at times I feel his work on panels is very sloppy and rushed looking. Over all a middle of the road issue that sets up a series crossover that brings stocks into play and does have some good moments for Prototype (Jimmy) to show his new outlook on life at being a hero.

Giant Size Prototype # 1  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.50    Malibu Comics    # 1 of 1

Ultratech stock is dropping fast and Nuware is buying it up dirt-cheap! Meanwhile Gordon Bell in the Prototype 2000 suit is going crazy as now the building is under attack as Ultra Heroes have shown up and Ranger heads to the lower level to confront Night Man and Solution and Prototype heads up to the roof to hold off the Teknight! After fighting the heroes in the basement Ranger is taking out of commission after putting up a good fight and the heroes have a talk with him. Meanwhile on the roof Prototype and Teknight are having a massive battle with each other and both are showing that their armor and skills are pretty evenly matched! While on the street below Ultratech workers are leaving the building with many of them quitting including Marjorie Fredericks who’s invisible and before she leaves the area decides to kill a reporter live on air! Meanwhile the battle takes Prototype and Teknight into the office of Gordon Bell and they see Ranger and the other Ultra Heroes are already there as on the street bellow J.D. Hunt of Nuware makes the announcement that his company is taking over Ultratech as they have bought the majority of the shares. Gordon Bell snaps and as the heroes run from the building her destroys Ultratech headquarters and then flies off into space with a thereat that he will one day come back for J.D. Hunt and make him pay!

This Giant Size issue showcases the end of the storyline of the Hostile Takeover and shows that Nuware and its owner J.D. Hunt was the man behind the stock takeover as well as sent the Ultra Heroes into the battlegrounds to help drive it lower so he can take it all over. Gordon Bell who is looney tunes has a part of his soul and memory inside the Prototype 2000 armor and is extremely dangerous and when pushed too far and learning that his company has been taken from him goes on a rampage and then runs away to space! He is super dangerous and to be honest all the Ultra Heroes should have teamed up and tried to destroy it before it could have went made and caused a building to come down, as think about it we have zero clue how many people might have died because of this. Prototype is fighting for Ultratech just because he needs the money that a job with them brings and Ranger is fight as he is not sure what the hell is really going on! The Ultra Heroes like Night Man and Teknight are around and while they are apart of the plot there is no real rhyme or reason for them to be helping Nuware take over Ultratech. To be honest Night Man does not even say one word! The highlight of this issue is the fight between Prototype and Teknight as they two slug it out and both are equals and each do not want to loose making them fight even harder. This also finally brings Ultrateh to an end as well as Leland and it looks as if they are bringing in a new story arch for our hero. This Giant Size comic also has a backup story that has Ranger fighting Arena and finding out that it was a she behind the armor all along. The cover is really cool and eye-catching and the interior art for the main story is done by Roger so you know its good. A great issue that helps us bring an end to the series main bad guys and that of course is the people of Ultratech.

Prototype # 14  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 14 of 18

Desperate to stop the chaos in New York The Manhattan Project is brought online and even kills its creator Douglas Platt. Meanwhile Prototype and his fellow heroes watch as Prototype 2000 blows up the Ultratech building as well as attacks other parts of New York calling out Prototype for a fight! And then Jimmy snaps out of his day dream of those past events (other comic issues from Malibu) and finds out that Ultratech is now merged with Nuware and while he is offered a job its at half of what he made and it forces him to move to New Jersey, but with a kid on the way he takes the job. He meets a few of the lab workers of Ultratech who are waiting to be let go and they talk about how terrible big tech businesses are to employees, this angers Jimmy and he leaves in a rush to get his Prototype suit on before he has an energy blast out of anger. While flying around New York getting his mind clear and trying to find a better way for the energy he builds up to be used he is attacked by The Manhattan Project to knocks our hero around. Once down The Manhattan Project starts to use his powers to drain all of Prototypes energy as he is not just a machine but a living thing from space that is now wanting to feed and become the most powerful being on Earth! Prototype has had enough and breaks The Manhattan Project’s hold on him and then over loads him with pure energy ending the fight. Jimmy goes to Bob Campbell’s house and finds that Felicia and him are getting back together and that they are moving to California again as Bob is going to work for the movies again as well as part time for Aladdin, and that Nuware has given Bob a large amount of money to clear their books of lawsuits. Bob and Felicia then offer to rent their home to Jimmy and his new family.

This is a pretty solid issue as it’s all about the fight between The Manhattan Project and Prototype and also closes some loose ends to the Ultratech story arch. In this issue Jimmy finds himself being hired by the company who bought out Ultratech with a massive pay cut and also finds out that he must move to Jersey to report into work or commute everyday. He also learns that his two new best friends Bob and Felicia Campbell are moving out of state leaving him without an Ultra Healthcare worker as well as a friend who can repair his suit when damaged. Jimmy’s life is changing and he is both scared, stressed and also slightly happy. It’s as if he knows that he needed a major change but he also can not get his head on straight as he has some much anger over what Leland had the workers of Ultratech do to him. The Manhattan Project is an alien life form that is mixed with tech and is craving raw power and energy and while he is super strong he has never faced the power of Prototype when he unleashes full blast on him, is The Manhattan Project dead or will he rise again to strike…only time and other issues will answer that question. This issue also shows that the creators behind this series wanted to take it into another direction as Ultratch is fully gone, Bob and Felicia are leaving the state, Leland, Gordon and Douglas are all presumed dead. And The Manhattan Project is destroyed making all the characters that Jimmy met in the start of this series have an ending or sorts. I think that making this issue a mostly battle one was a smart move as after building up the fall of Ultratech in issue 13 and then making the conclusion happen in other Ultraverse Comics was a crappy move and they needed to try and make readers of Prototype happy. Also bringing Roger Robinson back onto interior art was super smart as it was solid and great as always. The cover for this issue is also really cool as it has The Manhattan Project chocking the life out of Prototype. Over all a good quick read with battles in the middle of two big new plot directions for the series.

Prototype # 15  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95     Malibu Comics     # 15 of 18

Donovan Jones is getting a laser energy tattoo of a dragon and has been accepted by Techuza, a group of Ninjas who are building him up in order to fight Prototype and Ranger in order to get revenge on the now gone Ultratech. Meanwhile Prototype and Ranger are saving people from a bridge collapse and talking about what its life to be a hero, and once everyone is safe they fly off to fanfare from those they rescued. The next day Jimmy takes the train to his new job at Nuware and meets his new boss Dennis Carlen in Marketing and the building is rundown and is a major step down for Jimmy. He gets orders that when he wears the suit he gets a $5,000 bonus from the company, but any tech repairs comes from his bonus. He then is told to sit at a desk along with many other Marketing Assistants with one massive one being called Ox. That night Jimmy takes Angella out for dinner and prepossess to her, before she answers she asks him to clear it up with her mothers as it’s a family tradition. As Jimmy and Angella leave the restaurant one of the staff is talking on the phone and is alerting someone that Jimmy is leaving and the time to strike is now. As the couple is driving away they are stopped by Donovan Jones who is now in new armor and calling himself Engine Of Destruction and Jimmy gets his Prototype suit on and the pair battle as Angella watches and questions if marrying Jimmy is what’s good for her baby and herself. We then cut to a meeting of the higher-ups of Terrordyne have a block of ice brought in and once it melts we see Leland Stanley was inside it and that he will now be the leader of the terrorist group.

The more things change the more they stay the same as it looked like we the readers had gotten away from Ultratech being the source for all the negative stuff going on in Prototypes life but while the company is gone we now see that their pains are back as Leland Stanley and Donovan Jones have came out of the wood work once more to cause some issues and deal out pain. I like that Jimmy is now working for a smaller company who just wants to use Prototype to help build their bank account and become a mascot for them of sorts, but with this new job its also clear that their bank account is not as big and that they are even more tight about money. Jimmy also is trying to be more grown up and is trying to find a way to become a “Hero” as well as a father and husband and is ready to settle his life down. Meanwhile Angella seems to be happy to have Jimmy in her life, but also seems to be fearful of his hero life and all the danger he is always in as well as what could cause issues for her and their soon-to-be born child. I like that Donovan is now working for Techuza and is now calling himself Engine Of Destruction and is so filled with hate and the want for revenge that he has forgotten his morals and just wants to kill Prototype for making him look bad and handing him his first major defeat when he was known as Prototype III. I have to be honest with you I hate the fact that Leland Stanley is back as his character had a great send off and should have been left dead, and now with him being the head of a terrorist group makes me know that his ego will be even more out of control. Over all this was a pretty solid issue that had a nice mix of adding in our new characters and stories as well as had a dash of the old story thrown in for nice measure wrapped around a grudge fight. The cover is cool and has Prototype with a cool Chinese Dragon and the interior art is done by Dean Zachary and I think that in this issue his art is really good and I will say I like it this time around and none of it looked rushed. Let’s see what issue sixteen has in store for us, and let’s hope it’s not a ton of Leland nor Jimmy being yelled at by his boss.

Prototype # 16  **1/2
Released in 1994     Cover Price $1.95   Malibu Comics   # 16 of 18

Prototype and Engine Of Destruction are fighting in the streets of New York as Angella watches on in shock and is wondering if this is what her life will be if she marries Jimmy. As the battle rages on Prototype learns that the more he hits Engine Of Destruction the stronger he becomes as the armor he wears repairs and protects itself, but by doing so it’s also making his suit more bulky and slowing him down. It works as Engine Of Destruction becomes too massive and it becomes hard for him to move around. As Angella watches, someone kidnaps her and says he is taking her to a place where Ultra babies are born. Meanwhile before Prototype can finish off Engine Of Destruction members of the Techuza attack and allow Engine Of Destruction to get the upper hand and take down Prototype and pound him into the ground, but Engine Of Destruction makes a big mistake when he removes Prototypes mask and Jimmy uses eye energy blasts to defeat Engine Of Destruction, but before he can really put him away the members of the Techuza come back and whisk their injured friend away and Jimmy sees that they also have kidnapped Angella and he is powerless now to save her as he wasted all his energy on that attack. We then see that Terrordyne doctors are working on Leland and are making him into something more than just a man.

Another battle issue that is surrounded by plot and like before this is a very entertaining issue that puts our hero in an epic battle and also ups the stakes as his lady love is taken away by his new enemies. Jimmy Ruiz who was a former gang member has a fighting nature and while it’s clear he wants to settle down and have a family, he also has way too much pride in being Prototype and cannot just stand around and allow bad guys to get away with crime. Angella who gets kidnapped also still is at war with herself as she loves her boyfriend and baby’s daddy Jimmy but also hates his fighting lifestyle. Terrordyne clearly has big plans for Leland as they have taken his corpse and are adding tech to it in order to bring him back to life to let him lead them as well as become more powerful than ever. Techuza are sneaky ninjas who watch out for each other but also seem to be very much into nabbing Angella as she has an Ultra Baby in her womb. Engine Of Destruction is a tank and can take a beating and use that beating to become stronger, but the man inside Donovan is also dealing with rage issues and this causes him to also make mistakes. The drama of Angella not being 100% sure if she can and should marry Jimmy adds that slight more human nature to this comic series and while she comes off very whinny its very understandable as who would want a life of super villains trying to kill your loved ones as well as yourself. The cover is pretty cool and eye-catching in a 90’s comic kind of way with the interior art being great and done by Roger Robinson again. Over all I have to say again a solid entertaining issue that makes me look forward to reading the next.

Prototype # 17  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $1.95    Malibu Comics    # 17 of 18

Stanley Leland wakes up after his resurrection surgery and has the body of a squid and is told by the terrorist group that he is the one they want to lead them and that they will help him get revenge on Prototype. Bob Campbell, Melina Campbell and Jake Alexander are working on the damage Prototype suit and they have made so very good adjustments to it making it run smoother and cause Jimmy far less pain when first putting it on. Once the armor is ready Prototype and Ranger fly off to save Angella from the grip of the Techuza and both in their own minds share how proud they are to be saving the day with the other. The heroes show up and fight off giant killer fish as well as Techuza henchmen and then finally they enter a room and their armor is scanned and Techuza alerts them that they have taken the fetus and that Angella is alive and they control the fate of Prototypes family! The Techuza also tells him that they are getting ready for war with Terrordyne and it will be fought with Ultras and bio-weapons and that Prototype should remember that he should be on their side as they control the fate of his family. Ranger tries to calm down Prototype who punches his hero friend and rushes to an image of Angella that turns into a pile of goo and he breaks down. Meanwhile the Techuza takes Angella back to New York and throw her out of a van minus her baby!

So a gang war between Techuza and Terrordyne is about to go down and both sides clearly will be playing for keeps as they are stockpiling Ultras as well as creating weapons that will cause mass destruction as well as death. So in other words we are in store for two terrorist groups fighting each other with heroes and normal people stuck in the middle! Prototype in this issue is filled with worry as well as rage as he just wants his girlfriend and baby back and is making bad decisions along the way cause he is lashing out and not using his mind in order to rescue her. And poor Angella has been kidnapped, her baby stolen from her womb and then dumped in a New York ally like she is trash, this poor woman has been through so much in a matter of hours. Ranger is doing his best to try and keep Prototype calm and on track and teaching him the ways of being an Ultra Hero, but is learning that Jimmy while a good guy is a little unstable and is always filled with anger. Leland is around and has the legs of an octopus, he is still snarky and ego driven and is promised revenge on Prototype if he helps Terrordyne in their quest for power, I wish Leland would have been left dead. The cover for this issue is terrible and is Leland his is octopus legs and is very cheesy and lame and not eye-catching and more laughable and the interior art this time around is done by George Dove and is good stuff. Crazy to think that we only have one more issue in this series and the Prototype would be over, let’s see how Malibu ends this series.

Prototype # 18  **1/2
Released in 1995     Cover Price $1.95.    Malibu Comics     # 18 of 18

Prototype is at a department store for their 10th Anniversary when he becomes under attack by Battlewagon a tech suited bad guy with tank treads for feet! The battle is going as reporter Lacy is on the scene broadcasting it live, when Battlewagon uses his force field to knock Prototype down with a hard blast he then uses a wall to trap our hero and reveals who he is as Battlewagon in Frankie the man who use to be Jimmy’s best friend! Frankie tells Jimmy that he feels like he was forgotten as he was given a job at Ultratech by Jimmy’s request and that was as a janitor and that one day when Prototype was fight Arena they knocked down a wall that killed Maria the love of Frankie’s life and put him into a coma. He then says that it was Terrordyne who brought him back and turned him into Battlewagon in order to get revenge on Prototype for taking everything away from him. Prototype snaps to and tries to talk to Battlewagon as he has something big to tell him, but the angry villain will not listen and as Prototype once more pulls his punches as he tries to talk to his one time friend who once more blasts Prototype with a massive shot and just as Battlewagon is about to kill our hero a voice stops him and its Maria who’s pregnant and very much alive, Terrordyne has lied to Frankie and he is overwhelmed and flees the scene. Prototype thanks Maria for coming and they both stand together wondering if Frankie will ever return.

The final issue of Prototype is a fun one that is its own story wrapped up in one issue, but it also does zero to answer the questions of issue 17 like the war between the two terrorist groups and what happed with Angella and her baby? But this issue has Prototype having a fight with a new Ultra Villain that turns out to be is one time best friend who blames Jimmy for all is issues and the death of his wife who is in fact very much alive. Battlewagon is the issue’s baddie and he is pretty cool as he has the torso of a man in a tech suit and the bottom half of a tank and he has massive firepower to boot! The downside to him is he is fighting with rage and this makes him sloppy in attacks as well as makes him way to talkative as he wants to alert our hero on why he hates him and wants him dead. Prototype in this issue is annoyed that he is having to do a meet and greet at a department store then turns into hero mode when he is attacked but ends up shocked and sadden when he fights out who his attacker is and why he is fighting. The story is very much like a soap opera and it’s clear that writer R.A. Jones knew this as he even has panels showing a soap opera on a TV, and while it feels out of place and disjointed from the last issue it still very much was an entertaining read. To be honest many times this comic series in its run feels disjointed as plots and characters seem to disappear and they also do the finish this story in this other comic series nonsense that has plagued mainstream comics for so long now. I really do enjoy Malibu Comics and Prototype is my second favorite character in the Ultraverse and it was a blast revisiting many of these issues again as well as for some a first time read and I still feel that Prototype and Ranger should be in the Marvel Universe as they are perfect fits in the Iron Man series. The cover is cool and eye-catching but has zero to do with what happens in the issue and the interior art is done by Paul Abrams and is good stuff! After this issue a mini series was suppose to be released called “Prototype Turf War” and would have been more about the terrorist war and would have wrapped up the story, but sadly it was never released thanks to the fine folks at Marvel Comics who botched everything Ultraverse from day one of them buying them. Check out some artwork bellow to see they style of art used in this series and I will say if you like 90’s Superhero comics make sure to check out Prototype as it really is a good series with some cool characters.

Prototype is one of my favorite characters from the Malibu Comics Ultraverse and his series was well done and had a nice build up and showcased many characters all with their own story arches and all building the world they live in. It’s a shame that Prototype as well as all the rest of the Malibu Ultraverse characters never fully got to have a solid ending or even found new life in the Marvel Universe. While Prototype did have flaws and some issues in storytelling, it really is a fun series to read, and I know this sounds crazy to many of you readers and friends but I would say that for me the Ultravese was better then just about everything Image Comics did in their first few years minus the likes of Spawn and Maxx, but let’s not get to much into that. For our next update I will once more be celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary Of The Horror Host Hall Of Fame and will be heading to the world of Crazyman! So until next time read a Malibu Comic or three, watch an Ultraforce episode or two and as always support your local Horror Host! On a side note I wonder if the Warden will have some beans for us to eat when we visit The Crazyman?

Captain D’s Fast Food Greasy Sea Adventures

When I was a youngster many fast food restaurants used to not only have kids meal with must have toys in them but they also used to give away comic books based on their mascots! The biggest and most popular fast food comic book hands down was “Adventures Of Big Boy” that was released by Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant here in the Dayton, Ohio area. But many others followed like McDonalds that I have covered here before as well as even Long John Silvers, but the ones I want to talk about for this update came from Captain D’s. To me, these comics were more iconic than the Big Boy comics and were ones that felt like must reads when waiting in the booth for food to be done while at the restaurant. While I was never a huge fan of Captain D’s and their fish, I did always love to eat one of their greasy cheeseburgers with an order of fries, and yes as I said before, I was teased about my choice by family members. But besides the oh so good burger and fries and free comic book, one other thing that I remember about the Captain D’s we ate at in Kettering, Ohio is the appearance of the restaurant. The outside was a dull grey color and the wood around the building was done up to look super old and as if it was near the ocean and got erosion from the salt water. The sign up front showed the company’s logo as well as features the one and only Captain D himself, and seeing the Captain’s grinning face was pretty cool to see. Walking to the doors to enter was roped off by thick wood pillars that had massive ropes through them acting as the railing like if you were on a peer. The inside was made up to have the feeling that you were in a ship and had nets, fish and even a porthole. Sadly while some of the inside decorations are still up, the appearance of our Captain D’s is now pretty modernized and lacks character that the old style had. Now I am craving a cheeseburger so I think its time to step aboard with Captain D’s and tell tall tales of adventures, fishing and of course fast food goodies.

On August 15, 1969 in Donelson, Tennessee, the first ever Captain D’s was opened and was founded by Raymond L. Danner Sr. and originally called “Mr. D’s Seafood and Hamburgers.” By 1974 they changed the name to “Captain D’s Seafood” and fish, shrimp and fries became their main focus. Throughout the 70’s Captain D’s expanded and grew at a fast rate and did its best to compete with companies like McDonalds and Burger King to capture the kids market by offering the Birthday Club, Kids Meals and of course comic books, and this worked for a short amount of time before the restaurant finally became a must eat place for the elderly with mountain of coupons and the classic senior discount. While Captain D’s was the king of fast food sea food restaurants for a short time, they did have a rival in Long John Silvers that was also created in 1969 and to this day has more restaurants opened and brings in more money marking them as king of the fast sea food. In 1984 Captain D’s was bought by Shoney’s and was growing in size and expanded their menu items. By 2012 they revamped their look and designs, and in 2017 they were bought by Sentinel Capital Partners who is looking at how to expand the chain and make Captain D’s the must east fast food seafood place in the world. I for one loved the more classic looks for Captain D’s and dislike the more modern designs to not only them but all of fast food as the new looks are very soulless and hollow looking. What will the future holds for Captain D’s has yet to be seen, and we can only hope that they return the hamburgers to the menu as well as bring back the FREE kids comics based on Captain D and his friend Silly Sailor.

As I have stated before, way back in 2012 while covering the toys and Star Comics based on the Inhumanoids, I never have been a major fan of the food of Captain D’s and the one menu item I did like was their super greasy cheeseburgers that sadly they have removed from their menu. Over the years I have had to eat at Captain D’s so many times due to my grandparents or friends and most of the time when having to order the fish or even chicken strips, the meal is average at best…but because of this update Juliet and I braved it and decided to eat a meal at Captain D’s at the very one that I had eaten from when I was a kid…and this time I am going to eat the fish! And of course due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we ended up having to get our meal via the Drive-Thru and ate the meal at home while we played old Captain D’s Commercials via YouTube streaming off our Apple TV. I ordered a four piece fish meal with a loaded baked potato and Mac N Cheese as my sides, it came with two hushpuppies and a small Pepsi to drink. I added an order of Fried Green Tomatoes as well as they were new to the menu, and we had this for lunch on August 19, 2020! Let’s start with the drink; it was a good size for a small and had a good fountain Pepsi taste to it! The Mac N Cheese was tasty and had a creamy texture and a great taste. The loaded Baked Potato was good and had cheese, bacon, sour cream and butter bringing a rich mixture of flavor with the potato itself being soft. The Hushpuppies were on point and packed flavor that helped add to the over all meal. The fish had crispy breading that had a good flavor and the fish was tender and fluffy a total shock as it was really good! The star of the meal was the Fried Green Tomatoes as my gosh they were the highlight of the meal and makes me want to go to Captain D’s again to order more of them!! I was shocked as this meal from Captain D’s was very good and none of the food tasted bad or had and flaws for me to point out or make the meal poor, in fact I would eat their again in the future and that’s shocking as I am never in the mood for Captain D’s and yet this meal has now put them on my radar…wait am I getting old and turning into my Grandpa?

I want to thank Mama Young, Game Swap Kettering, Ebay, Lone Star Comics, Etsy and Bell Book And Comic for making this update possible and having these issues in stock, and it’s crazy that these comics are kind of hard to get nowadays, and at times when you do find them, they hold a pretty high price tag for a comic that was a free give away, but when thinking about it I am sure many of these comics were destroyed by kids with only a few adult collectors keeping them in good shape. Looking back at it, I can remember copies of the comics in the trashcan with half eaten fish parts and coleslaw on top of them, and my brother, cousin and I confused as to why someone would throwaway a free comic book. But now I am off topic as we are talking about Captain D’s trash bins of comics so with that I can hear the Silly Sailor wanting me to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready let’s sail the fast food seas with Captain D’s and his friend Silly Sailor and see how these comics hold up after all these years. Oh and keep in mind these comics had been released and rereleased causing numbering to be odd and doubled sometimes.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 1  **
Released in 1976   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #1 of 41

This first issue has a brief life story of sea captain John Paul Jones who fought the British for America in 1776 and how he went down in history for fighting outmanned and out gunned and said the phrase “I have yet begun to fight!” to the rival captain. Then we get a few puzzles and a short about Captain D himself alongside his young shipmates going to Nashville to see the sights and then get some food at guess where? If you guessed Long John Silvers, you are wrong.

This issue, while a fun very brief history lesson about American icon John Paul Jones, is really nothing more than one big advertisement for the restaurant chain and Pepsi Cola. But then again what did you expect for a free comic about the restaurant’s mascot? The art inside is pretty poorly done for the John Paul Jones segment but the Captain D’s stuff is fun and cartoony. Speaking of Captain D himself, it’s a shame that the old red beard mascot has been sent off to the great blue sea of forgotten fast food icons, and the food chain no longer uses him. Over all for a free comic, these were always fun and for the $1.93 I paid for it on Ebay, the trip down memory lane was worth it.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 12  **1/2
Released in 1978   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #12 of 41

This time Captain D tells the story of Captain James Cook, the son of a farmer who became a ship crew member and later joined a ship during the war with France. He is known for multiple things that changed the way we all sail: he introduced a healthy diet for sailors who spend long times at sea that helped them fight off sickness. He also was a very detailed navigator who drew up detailed maps and even introduced the dotted lines to map routes and dangers that one might face if following it. Sadly Captain Cook died in Hawaii when during a fight with natives over a stolen boat he was stabbed in the back. The Fish Story for this one is called “The Fish That Floated” and is about a young fish who just floats as he does not know how to swim, and his mom has to save him when fisherman almost nets him! The rest of the comic is filled with games and letters.

This issue does a great job of giving you the meat and potatoes of the life and career of Captain James Cook and they show you how he made some great changes to how the world at sea operates with one very important one is the diets of the sailors. And it’s great that it’s sauerkraut that is what was introduced to them and is what helps them fight of sicknesses like scurvy. Being from Waynesville, Ohio it’s great to see the kraut getting respect as we had a whole festival based around it! In other words, Captain Cook is an interesting icon of sea captains. The Fish Story is pretty good and again written by a kid and is about not being lazy and never giving up as one day what you need to do in life just might save your life. The cover is fine, and while not super eye catching, it’s still solid, and the interior art is great for a free promo comic and shows why these were a great tool for Captain D’s to try and capture the kids market. Good solid issue and worth reading if you like Fast Food comics.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 15   **
Released in 1986   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #15 of 41

In this issue Captain D tells us about a young Mark Twain and how when he was a young man he wanted to badly travel down the Amazon River, and learned his boating skills by becoming a “Cub” to a ship to learn how to become a river pilot! This takes him from being tested by the boat captain and also shows how he got the name Mark Twain as his real name is Samuel Clemens and this was all before he became the amazing writer we all know. The Fish Story for this issue is called “The Fish That Sang All Night” and is about an old man who while fishing hooks a very tiny fish who can talk and sing, and when the little fish begs the old man not to throw him back in the pair team up and the little fish becomes a TV star. The rest of the issue is filled with games, jokes and letters.

This is a pretty cool issue that showcases the early life of writer Mark Twain! And while he grew up near the river and waterways and had some sailing experience it’s a little crazy to put him in the same series as true Captains and Adventurers of the seas, but I am sure they knew that young readers and even older readers would know that name. The tale of Twain is super dragged out as its really just about him learning on a boat to understand the curves and shape of the waters. A good read yes but a pretty ho-hum tale that leaves you wanting something a little more ground breaking and world changing. The Fish Story is pretty fun and has a tiny singing fish becoming an over night star in the world of TV. The cover on this issue is ok and for some reason Mark Twain looks like a ghost with eerie yellow light all around him. The Interior art is good and is clearly your standard promo comic stuff. Over all a good issue but not a great issue and is pretty middle of the road as Mark Twain is cool him as a young man on a boat learning and being tested is kind of a bad choice. Oh I should also note that for some reason Captain D acts as if Mark Twain was a true hero that did so much for America via the waters…yeah poor old Captain was stretching to justify it.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 16   **
Released in 1986   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #15 of 41

This go around Captain D tells us about Captain Oliver Hazard a man who was born to be on the sea like his father before him and who once in the Navy rose the ranks in record time! He also created the phrase “Don’t Give Up The Ship” a saying still used till this day and during Americans war with Britain he won Lake Eerie and this victory helped up win the war! The Fish Tale is called “The Wise Fish” and is about a fish who outsmarts a shark at his door. As always the rest of the comic is filled with games, letters and jokes.

This is a solid and fun issue that showcases the heroic actions and life of Captain Oliver Hazard a man who was born to be a legend of the waters! This comic does a quick and fast job of alerting readers to what he has done to make America the nation it is today! Plus unlike the last issue Captain Hazard is a true hero of the waters and helped in battles and lived his life on the waters. The Fish Tale is ok and has a fish at home who gets a knock on his door from a shark trying to trick him to eat him, and the fish out smarts his would be attacker. The cover is pretty funny and has Silly Sailor goofing up again and the interior art is as always good for this level of promo comics. A good read for sure if you like Captain Hazard or even just goofy kids comics about history.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 18  *1/2
Released in 1978   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #18 of 41

Captain D in this classic issue tells the take of two captains who fought a battle with ironclad ships during the Civil War! For the North was Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden and for the South was Lieutenant Catesby Rodgers Jones and they sides fought a battle that lasted many rounds and neither side could make major damage to the others iron made ships. In the end both sides while no ship sunk claimed victory for the battle that was a strange one for sure that took place at America’s Civil War. The Fish Story for this issue is called “Fat Fish” about Ronald an over weight fish that is made fun of by all the other fish and this makes him run away from home, only to run into a shark who wants to eat him. Ronald swims so fast to save his life that he looses all the weight and returns home to be now popular cause he is no longer fat. The rest of the comic is filled with puzzles, letters, jokes and games.

This issue I have to point out has bright and flat coloring, but this makes this over all bland issue pop! The main story of the ironclad ship battle during the Civil War is entertaining but goes by way to fast, and the highlight is when a flash makes Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden go temporally blind and the art of it made me chuckle out loud. And I do like the back and fourth panels showing what was going on both ships. But again is way to fast and wish they would have built up the battle a little more. The Fish Story is the worst this far and the whole story is Fat Kids are to be made fun of until they loose weight…so silly and is the normal mindset of that time. The cover for this issue is action packed and eye catching for those who picked up the issue at Captain D’s and the interior art is good as always. Over all just an ok issue that has a cool yet to fast told Civil War story and a terrible messaged Fish Story.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 21  **
Released in 1987   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #21 of 41

In this issue Captain D talks about Confederate sea raider Raphael Semmes who manned one of the first war ships for the Confederate army and even brought down on of the North’s major stock ships. But finally was taken down in a battle in the Civil War and at first was a wanted man and then latter became a “Hero” in American history. The Fish Tale is untitled and is about a fish saving a King Fish from a witch who was forcing him to work in a salt mine. The rest of the issue is games, puzzles, jokes and letters.

This issue has a very quick look at Raphael Semmes and his time in the Civil war were he brought down a supplies ship and then when faced with a warship from the north was brought down, and he fled and was wanted for being a traitor and then once the war was over was honored by the US Navy…pretty standard and uneventful tale as his battles was few. The Fish Tale was fun and features a Witch and a cool creepy Salt Mine and a hero fish saving a King Fish…good silly kid comic stuff. The cover is pretty cool and has Captain D and Silly Sailor and they are doing a silly sailing joke. The interior art is good for this style of comic and once more I will say the coloring is pretty good and is bright. Over all an average good kids comic read featuring a fast food mascot.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 23 **
Released in 1987   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #23 of 41

Captain D in this issue wants to share the story of Portuguese explorer and Captain Ferdinand Magellan who fought battles as well was one of the biggest pushers that the Earth is round and not flat. After the quick history lesson there is some puzzles and games and finally Captain D shares a young readers Fish Tale called “The Fish That Got Away” that has a young boy being tricked by a super smart fish who steals his fishing boat.

In this issue Captain D gives a very quick history lesson about a very respectable world explorer from the 1400’s named Ferdinand Magellan, and while it is super fast and leaves out lots of Ferdinand’s life it does do a good job of trying to get you to want to learn more about him. The Fish Tale from this issue is pretty silly and cheesy and clearly was written by a youngster, plus I love how Captain D kind of alerts the kid that his title of the story should have been slightly different. Captain D in this issue comes off very well and seems to love sharing this issue with readers. The art in this issue is as most from this series and has a great kids comic feel, the cover is pretty good and to be honest the ones that had Captain D on them were the ones my brother and I were more into reading. Over all this issue is another average read and is one I semi remember from when I was a kid.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 25 **
Released in 1981   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #25 of 41

In this Exciting Issue, Captain D tells us about Italian explorer John Cabot who mapped the world and wanted to find a land to trade for silk and riches and after making a fake promise to the King went on some expeditions only to have failed at the task, but did find some land to claim for his King. He was badmouthed and labeled a failure and shortly after passed away. The Fish Story is called “Harry’s Close Call” and fallows Harry a tiny fish that is playing hide and seek with his friend and while hiding he is captured by a fisherman’s net and due to his small size he is thrown back into the water and is tagged by his friend. The rest of the issue has jokes, letters and games.

This issue is a standard read that features the quick history of explorer John Cabot who was an expert mapper and even “found” and claimed some land…but also told a fib in order to be able to map the areas with promises of silk and trades. I love how in one panel the people of the village call John a failure out loud so he can hear it…brutal! The Fish Story is pretty cool and has a fish playing hide and seek being netted by a fisherman and lucky for him because his size was thrown back and ends up being tagged and it! The cover is ok and for the most part is very generic and the interior art is standard. Over all an ok issue that is a fast read.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 25.5 *1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #25 of 41

In this issue Captain D brings you a look at Prince Henry of Portugal who was never going to be King as he had three older brothers in line so he spent his time training explorers and sailors in order to discover land and claim it for the nation. While he never did get to see the land the men he trained claimed, he still was an inspiration in the world of sailing for all he did. The Fish Tale in this issue is called “Fish Story” and is about a young fisherman hooking a fish on his first cast as the fish himself was eager to eat as the hook didn’t even have bait on it yet! The rest of the issue has puzzles, games, letters and jokes.

This issue is pretty good but does have a pretty weak look at Prince Henry who only trained people to explore and sail and never did so himself, while interesting it is a little silly of a choice to pick as an icon of sailing history. I will say the take is pretty quickly done and hits all the major marks it needs to. The Fish Tale in this issue is pretty weak and is just about a sloppy young fisherman who forgets to bait his hook and a hungry eager fish who wants to eat…not really all that amazing of a story. The biggest disappointment of this issue is that the cover makes it appear as if it has ghosts and a ghost ship and they do not show up in any story, but with that said the cover is good and eye catching and the interior art is solid like all others this far.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 27 **1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #27 of 41

In this issue Captain D shares the story of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton who was exploring Antarctica and ran into some very hard times when his ship is sunk in the ice and he and his crew must take smaller boats in order to survive the very harsh weather and conditions. Along the way Shackleton leaves his crew in camps and makes the long journey for help as he will not give up to and finds help and saves the life of his crew. The Fish Tale is called “Little Fishy’s Dream” that is about Teenie a fish who finds a chest full of gold and when her moms says she can’t spend it or eat it she makes a deal with a fisherman that if he sends down worms she will give him gold coins, and the pair make the deal and Teenie opens up her own worm shop. The rest of the issue is filled with jokes, letters and games.

This issue is very fast paced and both main attraction stories are pretty dang good! Sir Ernest Shackleton and his strong will to save his crews life is the stuff of legend and he travels and fights against the harsh bitter cold weather to do so. Sir Ernest Shackleton shows that the human will to live and help is strong and this is a trait I hope is passed on to more humans in these modern times. The Fish Tale is lots of fun and I like how Teenie used her mind and turned gold coins into meals for her and her mother! This is a really solid and fun issue that does not drag and while the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton is rushed it’s done well and keeps you interested and invested into the story. The cover is cool and once more has Captain D and Silly Sailor exchanging a cheesy boat joke. The interior art is good and has that classic promo Captain D’s charm. Over all a solid issue that also features a goofy Dracula joke and its awesome to see the vampire in a kids comic.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 28 **
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #28 of 41

In this issue Captain D shares a brief history lesson on the Battle Of Lake Champlain that was between America and United Kingdom having a massive naval battle on September 11, 1814 and had Commandant Macdonough win the battle, we also get a brief look at his life. The Fish Story in this issue is called “ My Greatest Catch” that is about a kid fishing who gets a big fish on his line and a diver tries to help him only to find the kid has hooked a big catfish who drives away driving a car underwater. The rest of this issue is puzzles and games.

This 28th issue in the Exciting Adventure starts with a half bio and half war tale of true to life American hero Commandant Macdonough who led America to victory via a sea battle. And this while again very crammed this history tale is a fun quick read that I am sure made kids at the time feel like they knew a little more about our nations history. The second tale is pretty cheesy and is a tall tale of catching a fish that ends with a joke, but I will admit its pretty cool seeing a massive catfish driving a car. Captain D in this issue comes off excited about sharing the war story and is amused by the Fish Story. The cover for this issue is pretty good, but I do not think it’s very eye catching for kids. The interior art is good and has still that true kids comic appeal. Over all this as well is just a solid average comic read that is based on a fast food mascot.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 29 **1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #29 of 41

This issue Captain D shares the story of Jean Lafitte a pirate who lived in New Orleans and was a well liked figure in the city, once he had a price put on his head by the American Government and got it dropped when he helped win a battle for America against the U.K! After the war he was once more well liked for a short amount of time, but was once more turned on and ran out of America and was never seen again. The “Fish Tale” for this one is about a young girl from Iowa who stays summers with her Grandparents and her Grandpa made her “bait” out of a bike horn and this made her catch more fish than anyone at the lake that year. And as always this is filled with puzzles, games and coloring pages.

This issue wins brownie points from me as it starts with saying that the ghost of Jean Lafitte is said to haunt the streets of New Orleans, and then goes into the Pirates history of ups and downs while in America. This part is a very good read and makes me want to write a comic about the ghost of Jean Lafitte for Blood Scream Comics! The Fish Story in this issue is a little silly, but very charming as its clear a little kid wrote it who enjoys fishing with her grandpa and clearly also like to ride her bike complete with horn! I am going to say this I really wish that this issue would have been a kind of Horror Comic and would have been about the Ghost of Lafitte in the Big Easy. The cover for this issue is pretty good and showcases Captain D, with the interior art being solid and good for this type of kid’s promo comic.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 30 **
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #30 of 41

This issue Captain D talks about Naval Commander Isaac Hull from his life as a youngster all the way to beating Britain’s navy in a battle in 1812, this man helped build America’s pride and helped prove that we can win our freedom and be a powerful nation. The “Fish Tale” for this issue is called Tricky Fish and is about a fish who has figured out how to steal he worms off hooks without being caught, but after getting greedy he finds himself hooked and learning a valuable lesson. And of course the rest of the comic is filled with kids letters, puzzles, jokes and games.

This is a great read and it was pretty cool to learn about Isaac Hull in a fast and very compact history lesson. Guys like him is why America is the nation it is to this day as he fought for freedom and rights. The Fish Tale is pretty fun as well and I like the idea of a greedy sneaky fish stealing worms and when he pushes his luck too much he makes the biggest mistake of his life. This issue’s cover is pretty good and the colors make it eye catching, the interior art as always is a solid kids promo comic style. While this is another average issue in this series I still find it very entertaining like the others in this series.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 31 *1/2
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #31 of 41

Captain D in this issue shares a brief look at a man who helped sailors by exploring and making charts named Amerigo Vespucci who America is named after. He talks about how Amerigo was a cargo shipper and how he questioned some of the journeys of Christopher Columbus and due to his own wealth he and his shipmates decided to become explores and meet natives around the world that they made peace with and not war and when returning fellow explores desecrated his quest and it was not until decades later that he got the respect he deserved. The “Fish Tale” in this issue is nothing more than a quick Dr. Seuss style poem called The Fish And The Ish. And as always the rest of the comic is filled with games, puzzles, ads and fan letters.

This issue while good is a little below average and the main tale of Amerigo Vespucci goes by way to fast and I feel like he had more a story to talk about. The Fish Tale as well in this one is kind of blah and while the poem style story is fun and written by a kid from Ohio it just didn’t click. Over all really this issue is just ok and while the cover is great and has Captain D and Silly Sailor in a JAWS style situation, and the interior art in this issue seems a little rushed and not as classic as like the issues that came before it. Not much to say about this issue besides it was just kind of blah and that’s a shame as the explore they covered is very interesting.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 32 **
Released in 1988   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #32 of 41

This issue Captain D is bringing explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano who was the first white man to sail from Georgia to Maine and how he and his crew came across many Native America tribes who treated them in many different ways as this was the first time many of them have ever seen a white person. His voyages are legendary and he like all the other sailors we have looked in these comics is important to history. The “Fish Story” for this issue is called “Tale Of Three Minnows” and is about three tiny minnows who want to open their own restaurant and pick an old cave to open it, but sadly for them their first costumer is their last as a massive alligator appears and eats the three new business owners and he closes the restaurant down. The rest of the issues is filled with ads, puzzles, letters and games.

The story of Giovanni da Verrazzano is an interesting one if you like early American history and I for one find him interesting as I love to find tales of Native Americans and how they dealt and felt about white people entering their land. I also think they do a great job of bringing his story to life in the promo fast food kids comic. The Fish Story is really grim as it has three very happy go lucky minnow that want so bad to open a business only for them to be brutally murdered in their business! Pretty brutal stuff for a kids comic as it’s clearly a murder on paper. The cover for this issue is pretty good and showcases Giovanni da Verrazzano, and the interior art work is back to being good and over all this is a pretty solid issue that reminds me why I enjoyed these comics in my youth.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 33 **
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #33 of 41

Captain D brings you a very brief look at inventor and ocean filmmaker Jacques Cousteau and follow how when young was very much into swimming and even created the aqualung so that divers can stay underwater so much longer. They also show that he was one of the worlds most leading maker of underwater films and as well fought for the world to stop polluting the waters. The “Fish Tale” for this issue is called “Castaway” is about a man who is stuck on an island for 20 years cause a shark keeps circling the island, and finally the man decides to try and make a swim to get to safety and finds that the shark was just made of plastic and now he lives back in the city and is happy. The rest of the issue is filled with games, jokes and letters.

This issue is pretty fun, but sadly delivers a way to fast bio on Jacques Cousteau one of the worlds most respected ocean life filmmakers and an innovator on how we all are able to now “breath” underwater thanks to his tanks. But to also be honest I think kids eating a fish kids meal probably did not care about the full life of Jacques Cousteau. Not to even mention that the Fish Tale in this issue is a little goofy and can clearly be seen that is written by a young kid. The cover is pretty great and has Captain D and Silly Sailor playing chess and really highlights the mascot for this seafood restaurant. The interior art in this issue while good also has a tad of rush look to it. Not much more to say about this issue besides it was an ok average promo comic read.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 34 **1/2
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #34 of 41

This issue covers Captain Josiah Creesy who is known as the King Of The Clipper Ships who as a young man knew that he was destined to be a captain of a ship! This follows how Josiah Creesy set a world record of sailing a clipper ship from New York to San Francisco in 89 days even though he had a shipmate named Texas Jack and his friend that tried to set him up to fail to set a record. In the end they also talk about how Josiah came out of retirement to command a ship during the Civil War. The “Fish Story” is called “The Lazy Fish” about a super lazy fish who ends up being displayed by his fellow fish so they could make money off just how lazy he is. The rest of the comic is filled with letters, puzzle and games.

This issue of the Exciting Adventures is pretty dang entertaining and they do a fantastic of bring you the quick history story of Josiah Creesy and his world record run that lead him from New York to San Francisco in a short time, and its crazy he did so as the weather and even some of his shipmates tried their best to stop him from doing so. Plus I love that Texas Jack and his no good friend tried their best to in-danger the lives of all aboard just so their Captain would not get the fame. Well done also to keep kids interested in the history lesson as they show the elements of excitement. The Fish Story is silly and yet still fun on a kids comic level as it shows that they understood and helped grow creative minds of kids who wrote in with their tales. This issue is really good on a Fast Food Promo Kids Comic level and the cover is just ok and a little boring and the interior art is pretty good for this style of comic. Over all this is a good read and showcases an interesting history lesson and some simple and fun puzzles and games.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 35   *1/2
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #35 of 41

In this issue Captain D shares the story of Rachel Carson a young woman who grew up the country in Pennsylvania and dreamed of one day living by the oceans. As she grew up she was a super skilled writer and went to collage for writing only to switch to science were when graduating she go a job in the field of her dreams by being able to work in and around the waters. And while working in this field she learned that humans with poisons used to fight weeds is killing many ocean life when it gets into the waters, and next came her big help to sea life as she wrote the book “The Silent Spring” a book that alerted the world and our government on just how harmful we have been to our nature. The “Fish Tale” in this issue is called “Stanley Saves The Day” and is about a family of catfish who are all talented and spend their days meowing, all but son Stanley who for some reason barks like a dog! All the other catfish dislike him as they think he is weird, that is until his barking scares off a massive shark saving lives and then he becomes a hero. The rest of the issues like always has letters, games, jokes and puzzles.

This is another one of those issues I feel they ran out of a bio topics to talk about and decided to just talk about a book writer who worked in water science who wanted to help save the little fishes from weed killer…most of her bio is spent talking about her schooling….kind of bland and not sure how kids eating their Captain D’s kids meal would feel about it. While Rachel Carson is an interesting person, not sure she is the right choice to excite kids to read. The Fish Tale in this issue is pretty fun and shows Stanley the catfish who is an odd one but also is one who stands his ground, is true to who he is and saves the day…good little story that teaches kids to be who they are. The cover is pretty good and has Captain D and Silly Sailor telling a joke and is eye catching to those who were in the restaurant, and the interior art is good and fitting for a fast food giveaway comic. Over all this issue is kind of boring with the main reason it got 1 ½ stars being that the Fish Tale was pretty good.

Captain D’s Exciting Adventures # 36  **1/2
Released in 1989   Cover Price FREE   Paragon Comics   #36 of 41

In this Exciting Adventure Captain D brings us the story of Captain Samuel Reid who by the age of 11 was working on a ship and even fought with Pirates to make the waters safe for sailors. But one night in 1814, his ship was attacked by British Warships in a neutral docking port, his small crew of brave men were able to hold them off and cause damage to many of their ships. In the end while Reid’s ship was brought down in the port the British Army had such bad damage that all three of their ships had to be docked and get major repairs…helping Americans during the time of war. The “Fish Story” in this issue is called “The Crazy Catch” is about a fisherman who rushed to the lake and forgot his bait and decides to use a picture of a fish as his bait, when he gets a bite and reels in he finds a picture of a bass on his hook! The rest of the issue is filled with letters, puzzles and games.

Ok first thing I have to say is that the coloring on the story of Samuel Reid is top notch and are so bright and well done that it rivals many of the indie comics from the same era of release. The story of Captain Samuel Reid is a good read as the issue focuses on a battle that he and his ship were out numbered and out manned, but still stood their ground and brought down a fleet of British ships. I also like that they through in the fact that he and his wife were apart of the minds that designed our nations flag. Very cool guy Captain Samuel Reid was and a true American Hero who loved his country. The Fish Story in this issue was good and silly and I am sure got a few laughs from young readers at the time. The cover for this issue is ok and nothing special and the interior art is good and again have to praise the coloring. Over all this is a solid issue of Captain D’s Exciting Adventures and brings a thrilling bio of an American hero alive on cheap newsprint pages. Check out the artwork bellow to see the style used in this fast food promo comic series.

But I do want to take a few moments before I end this update and get off this ship to also showcase this amazing art of Dracula that was used in one of these issues and I was thinking about this that for Halloween they should have done a issue of the comic that had Dracula on a ship with Captain D and Silly Sailor and play up on the vampire trying to bite them, but things keep going wrong for him and in the end thanks to Captain D’s sailing skills he saves them all from a terrible hurricane type storm, and this causes Dracula to become their friend. I also want to say that over the decades Captain D’s has had their fare share of merchandise that includes T-Shirts, Hats, Toys, Plush Dolls and of course the comics. So if you are a fan of this fast food joint you can collect some pretty cool stuff. And around 2018 they also tried a pair of new mascots called the D-Gulls (Dave and Desmond) two animated seagulls that sadly did not go over very well.

So Captain D has just docked the ship and our travels on this greasy sea has come to an end and I am really shocked on just how much these comics have aged and while they are by no means masterpieces they are fun FREE kids comic adventures that blends humor and history. I am also shocked on how good the meal was from them and I have to say the Fish and more so the Fried Green Tomatoes were on point. And I want to stress that Fast Food Restaurants should bring back the Free Comics for customers and I am looking at you Big Boy, McDonalds, Shoney’s, Burger King, White Castle and Captain D’s all places that have cool mascots that need to return to or make their comic debuts. Well now that we are back on dry land it’s time to tell you that I will be turning over Rotten Ink to Juliet for the next update as she will be helping me out this year many times so that I can focus on many of the Horror Host Icon updates and besides she wants to share her thoughts of She-Ra and the newer Netflix series that is a reboot to the classic 80’s cartoon and toys. So until next time read a comic or three, eat a fast food meal or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Make sure to come back for the Princess Of Power talk!

Tarzan’s Great Christmas Eve Adventure

Merry Christmas Eve! It’s hard to believe it’s that time of the year again when Santa Claus is gearing up to start his big night of present giving and spreading good cheer. And for this Holiday update I decided to take us out of the snow filled cold night of December here in Ohio and take us to the heart of the jungle as we go and visit the one and old Lord Of The Jungle Tarzan! This update is going to be a very long one as I have chosen the Marvel Comics series to review and have also decided to do a Game Boy Challenge as I try to beat the game Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle, plus talk about all things Tarzan from novels to cinema and everything in-between! I want to also let you know that this update was one that I have been working on since mid 2018 as I wanted to take my time and share my enjoyment of Tarzan with you all. So if you’re ready grab yourself a glass of eggnog, grab your safari hat and listen for the yell of Tarzan cause we are heading to the jungle for this epic and long Holiday update adventure.

Before we dive into the character Tarzan we should take a few moments and take a look at the man who created him and that is of course author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Edgar was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois to George and Mary Burroughs and had a pretty good childhood and was well educated and when old enough went to several Military Schools and even enlisted in the Army, but was discharged when they found that he had heart issues. In 1891 he left the Chicago area when a influenza outbreak infected many and he went to live with his brother were he worked on the ranch and was a cowboy and when returning back home he took work in his fathers battery factory. By 1900 he settled down and married is long time sweetheart Emma Hulbert and also began several years of working in many different jobs like being the manager at a mining company owned by his brother, worked for the railroad in Salt Lake City and even was a wholesaler salesman for pencil-sharpeners. But by 1911 with a wife and two children Edgar decided that he wanted to try his hand and writing and he started to do so, mainly doing pulp stories for magazines and built his style and talent. In 1913 he and his wife had their third and final child John Coleman Burroughs who would go on to be an amazing artist. Edgar also would end up being a pilot after he bought a plane and this allowed his whole family learn to fly. Edgar was getting more and more respect for his writing and in 1934 he separated from his wife Emma and ended up a year later marrying actress Florence Gilbert Dearholt who was known for her roles in such films as “Down Home (1920)”, “The Johnstown Flood (1926)” and “The Return Of Peter Grimm (1926)” to name a few…but the marriage ended by 1942. Another amazing fact is that in his 60’s Edgar was in Honolulu at the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and he ended up becoming a U.S. Correspondent being one of the worlds oldest! On March 19, 1950 and at the age of 74 Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away from a heart attack, and he at the time was an artist who made so much money off the movies and shows that were based on his characters he created. During his long career of being a writer he created the characters of Tarzan The Ape Man and John Carter Warlord Of Mars among others and for these characters he was placed in The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame in 2003! While he is gone and his work will forever live on in novels, comics, movies, shows, games and toys showing that he really is an icon of Sci-Fi fiction.

Growing up I read not only comic books & magazines but also lots of paperback books and some of my favorites to find at Half Price Books and the Paperback Rack were old Tarzan novels. I would gobble up any and all Tarzan books I could find and would crack them open some nights before bed and read a chapter or two all the while enjoying the jungle adventure. Still to this day when looking at paperback novels at places like Half Price Books and Bell Book And Comic when finding a Tarzan book I don’t have I pick it up! I have many good memories of reading Tarzan books in my room in Waynesville and picturing the words I was reading in my mind. That’s the thing about Tarzan is that when I read one of the old paperbacks I felt like I was in that jungle amongst the apes, lions and warriors and these books are some of the first novels that got me into reading not just comic books. I would say my favorite book of the series is “Tarzan Of The Apes” the first book in the series as I always felt it packed such a great impact and was what introduced me to the world of Tarzan. If you enjoy sitting down and reading a good book check out one of the Tarzan adventures on a cold winter night and I am sure you’ll enjoy it!

While Tarzan was a big hit in literature he was a star when it came to the world of cinema as well, as movie goers for decades could not get enough of his adventures on the silver screen. It’s crazy to think that Tarzan as been in movies sense the days of Silent Films and even as of 2016 he got a big budget movie thanks to Warner Brothers and the release of “Legend Of Tarzan”. And lets be honest Tarzan was a major box office draw in the 1930’s through 1960’s and actors like Gordon Scott, Lex Barker, Denny Miller and Johnny Weissmuller and truly made the character Tarzan a hero from many young kids world wide. Growing up I cannot count how many of these films I have seen from seeing them on TV, VHS and DVD and every time I watch one I feel like a kid again as they just don’t make jungle adventure films like this anymore. Hands down Johnny Weissmuller is the best Tarzan but I also really liked Gordon Scott in the role as well. I mean to be honest I cannot think of a really “Bad” actor to play the role. In fact over the years I have found myself buying every Tarzan live action film and who knows maybe some day here on Rotten Ink I’ll do an update that talks about each film in the series, as well as give an answer to what film is the best! While Tarzan might not be the box office draw he once was, he still made his massive mark on the world of adventure cinema and has entertained so many viewers over the years.

While he has always been a box-office draw Tarzan has also made his mark in the world of TV, as he has not only had live actions shows he has also been in cartoons. That’s right The Lord Of The Jungle has made his way to the world of animation and Saturday Moring Cartoons! And one that always sticks out to me and is one I seen when I was a youngster in reruns called “Tarzan, Lord Of The Jungle” that was shown in 1976 on CBS when originally broadcasted. The show was created by Filmation the same folks who brought the world iconic cartoons as “Masters Of The Universe”, “Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids”, “Blackstar”, “She-Ra: Princess Of Power”, “BraveStarr” and “The Groovie Goolies And Friends” to name a very small few. The cartoon ran from 1976-1980 for a total of 36 episodes that ran 30 minutes each. In the cartoon Tarzan who was well spoken would have all types of adventures with his ape friend N’kima and all his other jungle friends. Tarzan in the show was voiced by Robert Ridgely who would also voice iconic cartoon characters like Thundarr The Barbarian, Flash Gordon in “The New Adventures Of Flash Gordon” and The Peculiar Purple Pie in “Strawberry Shortcake” showing that he was a master of the voice talent arts. I am not sure where I seen episodes of this show I tend to think TV like on USA Cartoon Express or maybe it could have been on a old VHS Tape. One thing that’s for sure that I do know is that the first season was released by Warner Brothers on DVD in 2016, and the series very much has a cult following among fans of the character. If you have not seen this cartoon series make sure to track down the DVD season and give it a watch as it does a great job of bring Tarzan alive via animation.

The first ever Tarzan comic book series was published by Dell in 1948 and was a long running series having a total of 206 issues and ending in 1972. But even before that Tarzan was the star of his own comic strip that started in 1929 and has been reprinted as well as have had many talented artist working on it like Russ Manning and Hal Foster. After Dell cancelled the series DC Comics picked it up in 1972 with issue 207 and ran till issue 258 ending the original series in 1977. Marvel Comics in 1977 decided that they were going to give Tarzan and try and re-launched it with a new number 1 and their series lasted 29 issues as well as 3 annuals. From their many other comic companies have released comics based on Tarzan from Dark Horse to Dynamite and while he is not a major player in the world of comics he has very much made his mark. Tarzan has also teamed up and fought many other comic characters in his adventures like Planet Of The Apes, Batman, Predator and Red Sonja. Growing up I have read many Tarzan comics with most of them being the ones from Marvel as my late Uncle Thurman gave my brother and me a stack of them when we were younger, and can say just like the films I have always enjoyed him in comics as well.

Like all iconic characters that is geared towards kids and collectors Tarzan has had his fair share of cool figures and dolls made in his likeness making it very easy for fans to get their hands on cool action figures and have their very own adventures. When I was a kid many companies released figures based on the Lord Of The Jungle companies like Dakin, Trendmasters and Mattel and I had figures from them all besides Mattel as they were based on the animated Disney film. In fact when I was playing Toy Wars the figure of Tarzan’s mom Kala was used and was in the rebels base helping fight off attacks from Stormtroopers and Cobra Guards. But while those toys were cool and parts of my childhood the one figure I always wanted and still want to this day is the Mego Tarzan figure as I have always found it to be a must have and never have gotten one. Plus all of these figures we have talked about are just a drop in the hat of ones made based on Tarzan. So in other words if you liked Tarzan growing up and played with action figures toy companies had you covered. Check out the pictures below to see some of these toys in all their glory.

Besides toys and comics Tarzan has also made his way onto all types of other cool merchandise like shirts, posters, magazines, buttons, lunch boxes, board games, vinyl records, comic books, video games, home video, drinking glass, books, coloring books and so much more! Showing that over the year’s fans of Tarzan has had lots of great things to choose from and could add to their love for the character. It’s crazy to thank that in 2020 Tarzan is not as big of a hero to the young and young at heart, but for those of use who still really enjoy The King Of The Jungle there is so much cool collectibles out in the world to add to your collection.

Lets now talk video games as the Lord Of The Jungle has had his share of digital adventures as well. Like in 1984 for the ColecoVision the game Tarzan was released to cash in on the film Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan. 1991 saw the release of Tarzan Goes Ape for the Commodore 64. 1994 seen Tarzan: Lord of The Jungle come out for both Game Boy and Game Gear. Disney’s Tarzan in 1999 got many video games for many systems like Sony Playstation, N64, PC and Game Boy Color! And of course many other Disney Tarzan games were made for such systems as Playstation 2, Game Cube, PC and GBA. And even in 2019 a Tarzan slot machine was released in casinos and became a hit with players. Over the years to be honest the only video game I have played of Tarzan was the one based on the Disney film for the Playstation and always wanted to play the one for the ColecoVision. But for this Holiday Christmas Eve update I have a little something special planned. So keep reading!

Game Developers Euroncom developed a game based on Tarzan that was published by GameTech in 1994 for the Nintendo Game Boy and the Sega Game Gear. The game was called Tarzan: Lord Of The Jungle and has the player take control of Tarzan as he tries to complete six stages with each having their own storyline from stopping evil poachers to curing a primate disease. The game is an action platformer and each mission/level has a time limit that is pretty tight and leaves very little room for error. When released the game was meet with mediocre reviews and scores as many just thought it was to average and to repetitive with not having a password system meaning you had to play the same levels over and over in order to try and beat it. The games sales were also not that great as the US version for Game Gear didn’t even make it out and was cancelled. Below is some screen shots from the game as well as the cover for the Game Boy Version, and I must say the box art is great…but the in game look is a little cartoonish and reminds me more of George Of The Jungle!

So wanting to do this update for awhile as I have always been a big Tarzan fan I had to really think long and hard on what video game to play and try and beat and it came down to either the Playstation one based on the Disney animated movie or the Game Boy version and for me hands down I had to pick the Game Boy one as its more classic and closer to the Tarzan I grew up loving. So I also decided that I am going to play this game on my Game Boy Color and even better drove out to the woods to play the game as while I might not have a jungle near were I live, I do have lots of wooded areas and parks! I choose to play the game near the woods by Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio as it is a super peaceful place and one I visit often to relax and read comics at. I choose September 23, 2020 to do so as it was sunny out and was only 75 degrees out with a nice small breeze. I gave myself a playtime of 35 minutes to see how far I could get in the game and the first mission had me collecting flowers to give to a witch doctor in order to get a potion to give to a sick great ape…this level is a run around and find objects to go bring to one character to only take it to another…this level is timed like all levels in this game and after running around and failing a few times I was able to clear the first level and save the Great Ape by throwing the cure in bottles at him as he tried to attack me!

The second level is as far as I got in the time I gave myself and has Tarzan trying to get stolen gold back from a Crocodile who has hidden it. I must say he gameplay for this game is easy and not hard at all to play, the only real annoying parts is the game maps are all over the pace and sometimes swinging from the vines can be annoying. The music is pretty standard stuff and is catchy. Over all this is a pretty fun fetch side scrolling game that is worth checking out if you enjoy the old style Game Boy games.

As you can see Tarzan is a true icon in culture and has made an impact on many fans life over the decades. I would also like to thank Bell Book & Comic, Lone Star Comics, Half Price Books, Game Swap Kettering and Mavericks Cards And Comics for having these issues in stock and making this update possible as well as letting me relive reading them again! I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you’re ready lets head to the jungle and have an adventure with the one and only Tarzan!

Tarzan # 1  ***
Released in 1977     Cover Price .30     Marvel   # 1 of 29

A European man named Jules is on a Safari when all of a sudden he and his helpers are attacked by the Natua Tribe who slaughter them all leaving only Jules alive! The man runs through the jungle is fear and ends up loosing the tribe but gets the attention of a very hungry lion who now has his sites on him for dinner. As the lion is about to attack from the trees above comes Tarzan who fights with the beast and stabs it with his knife until it dead, saving Jules life for the first time as quickly the Natua Tribe are now on them and are looking to finish off Jules who is now being protected by the lord of the jungle. The Natua Tribe flings their spears at Tarzan who dodges them and uses his knife to keep them at bay until his backup arrives that is Tantor an elephant that stomp and flings the Natua Tribe all around and saves the day. Once the coast is clear Tarzan and Jules ride Tantor to the safety of Tarzans home in order for Jules to heal and rest up. But little does Tarzan know that the man he just saved is not named Jules but is Albert Werper an angry man who has sworn to kill Tarzan!

This first issue is as good as I remember it being when I was a youngster and delivers all the thrills and adventures of jungle films as well as brings Tarzan back to life in the pages of comics. This comics plot is very simple and has our hero saving a man from a blood thirsty tribe as well as a man eating lion only to have really saved his own enemy. This issue Tarzan is brave and a hero as he risks his life to save a strangers, he also can be very human like as well as very beast like and is just a very classic feeling hero. That’s the thing about Tarzan while he is a very old style hero he seems to never really go out of fashion. Albert Werper is a very tricky man as he acts like a victim when in fact it looks like he while be one foe Tarzan will regret saving. The Natua Tribe are savages who are hunting man like they are animals and even shrug off the fear of Tarzan when they think they can get the upper hand. The thing also about this issue is that it’s a very quick read is very fast paced. Plus it really showcases the fighting style of Tarzan as he is skilled in hand to hand combat as well as using his animal friends to win the big fights. The cover for this issue is great and captures the mood of the issues plot and the interior art is great and is done by John Buscema and has that classic Marvel Comics look. Over all this is a great read for fans of Tarzan and was a great issue to start the Marvel series on. A great read and one I have enjoyed revisiting and makes me really looking forward to doing so with the rest in the series as well.

Tarzan # 2  ***
Released in 1977   Cover Price .30   Marvel    # 2 of 29

Tarzan and Albert travel on the mighty elephant Tantor till they reach the bungalow house of Tarzan were this fake victim meets Muviro the chief of the Waziri Tribe as well as Tarzan’s wife Jane! That night after eating a good dinner Tarzan goes on a walk with one of his monkey friends as Jane sits and tells Albert the story of the legend of Tarzan. She shares that Tarzan was in fact raised by apes after they killed his parents, she tells of his wisdom to teach himself how to read, she talks of his rise to rule the apes as well as when they first meet and he saved her from a great ape. She shares that she was the one to teach him English as well as shares that she was to be married to Tarzan’s cousin unknown to them all before finally marring her true love. She also shares that Tarzan is from a wealthy family and has inherited it all. After she finishes Tarzan comes back home as Albert goes for a walk so the married couple can chat, and as he listens in at the window he learns that Tarzan and his wife Jane who had the Greystroke fortune are now broke after a bad investment and now Tarzan must travel deep into the African jungle to get gold from haunted ruins! Now Albert has a plan to not only kill Tarzan but also steal some of the gold.

Once more Marvel Comics and the creative team behind this comic series proves that they knew how to do the legend of adventures of Tarzan right! The plot of this issue is really the origin of Tarzan as well as sets up why Albert has a mission to kill the Lord of the Jungle. Tarzan in this issue opens his home to a stranger and even fills his belly with good food plus offers a warm bed for him to sleep in. Jane as well is very nice and shares her story with the stranger as well as is the one who cooked the dinner and as well welcomes the stranger in her home. Albert Werper is a military trained killer who is on the run for murder and has joined a band of evildoers who deal in ivory and human trafficking. He has sworn to kill Tarzan so he and his gang of goons can move deeper in the jungle to get what they need to grow. Plus he also shows that he is very mentally unstable as he kills his own Military commander and has becomes a cold-blooded member of a group that treats human and animal lives as nothing! The best part about this issue is that while it’s an origin issue we do not fully focus on that story that we all already know and we add elements of the current story. Plus like the first issue this one really does have a classic pulp hero feel to it as something and nothing all happen at the same time but it all feels very classic and entertaining. I must also say that I like the character of Terkoz as massive ape who once was the King of the apes who was beaten, disgraced and later killed by Tarzan! I would have liked to have known what his story was after he was kicked out of the ape tribe and was left to fend for himself all with hatred in his heart for the human Tarzan. The cover for this issue is great and shows not only our hero but also Jane and Terkoz. The interior art is done by John Buscema again and is amazing stuff. So as you can see this second issue as well is well done and has held up for me and makes me want to move onto issue # 3.

Tarzan # 3  **1/2
Released in 1977     Cover Price .30     Marvel     # 3 of 29

The next day Albert Werper decides that he is “leaving” to get back home and has an escort of Waziri Tribe warriors. Once in the jungle they run across one of Albert’s fellow raiders and he plays it off as if he is lost, and on the orders of Albert the Waziri warriors are sent away. Albert informs his fellow con man that he has yet to kill Tarzan as he is going to lead them to mass amounts of gold and that while the lord of the jungle is away they need to kidnap his wife! As Tarzan leaves for the lost city of Opar his unknown enemy Albert is stalking him. Tarzan and some of the Waziri start their long quest and our hero spends time loving having to not be civilized like when he is around Jane and his mind is other places as Albert stalks in all the while. Tarzan and his warrior friends walk and climb until they finally reach the lost city and when entering they soon start to remove all the gold bars they would need to rebuild they Greystoke fortune, and all the while Albert watches with greed in his eyes. After Tarzan takes just the amount he would need to recover from the huge money loss and earthquake happens and rocks end up blocking the Waziri warriors from his friend as well as Tarzan is knocked out on the same side as the hiding Albert who leaves his one time savior for dead as he tries to find a way out only to end up captured by weird cavemen like people who are lead by a beautiful woman named LA who is the cities high priestess and the are going to sacrifice Albert to their fire god! But lucky for him Tarzan awakens with his mind foggy and decides to save him from death and takes out many of the cavemen who are being commanded by LA who is mad at Tarzan for rejecting her to become her High Priest.

This third issue brings us readers more adventure and one-step closer to the showdown between Tarzan and Albert Werper. This issues plot has Tarzan and 50 of his warrior friends heading to a lost city that is filled with wild cavemen and their very attractive priestess in order to get gold to bail out Tarzan who has lost all his families riches, and while he is on this quest he is also being stalked by a man who he once saved and thought a friend. In this issue Tarzan has his mind filled with stress of being a married man with responsibilities in the civil world who needs money to live and the Lord of the Jungle side that wants nothing more than to live in the jungle and act like a primate. And in this issue he also finds himself hurt with a rock hit to the head and his mind foggy and shaky, and also seems to be confused on who and what he is. LA is a High Priestess to this lost kingdom and has been in love with Tarzan for many years and goes into a rage when he does not love her back the same way, she also holds lots of power as her primitive followers do whatever she asks. She also likes to take human lives in order to please her God and she is cold blooded when she is crossed. Albert Werper is a snake in the grass and not only does he want Tarzan dead but also want to steal gold, and once more when he finds himself in trouble he is rescued by a man he left for dead when injured by the earthquake, showing he has no loyalty nor respect for anyone. This issue has a slow pace and builds up Tarzan’s inner thoughts on his life and because of this the action takes a backseat and does not kick in till the end of the issue, but that’s not a bad thing as I still find it to be a solid and entertaining issue. The cover is eye catching and very cool as is the interior art done once more by John Buscema as I have always loved this era of Marvel Comics and their in house style. And before we move onto issue four I need to say that issue three for me has held up like the others reread.

Tarzan # 4  ***
Released in 1977     Cover Price .30     Marvel     # 4 of 29

Tarzan now more beast like has ended his rampage of murder as the rest of the cavemen run away and LA is left crying over the Lord of the Jungle who has blown off he love that she has held for him over the years. And after freeing Albert Tarzan returns to the treasure room and steals some jewels and snaps at Albert when he tries to take some and the pair head into the jungle. Meanwhile Jane is back home waiting for her husband to return and has a few warriors around her as protection and closing in on them is Achmet Zek and his band of traders who are going to kidnap Jane on the orders of Albert so they can get the gold! The raiders attack and kill off the warriors who fight to keep Jane safe as she herself fights by their side with a riffle, but once they have her they loot her home and set it on fire leaving her devastated and rage filled. But the raiders have failed as one warrior still lives and while severely injured Mugambi only has one thing on his mind…revenge! Meanwhile Tarzan decides that Albert and he must eat and picks a fight with a pair on panthers who have just made a kill, and Tarzan fights his hardest and wins but is hurt bad in the battle and soon finds himself down and Albert stealing his jewels and ends with Albert about to stab Tarzan with his own knife!

This is a great issue that brings action and drama together and leaves us on a cliffhanger of Tarzan about to be stabbed in the back as he is injured! This issues plot has Jane being kidnapped by an evil group of looters and traders who also slaughter and kill warriors all the while Tarzan has lost his memory and is wondering around the jungle as Albert follows along. Tarzan in this issue is like a wild animal and acts like a savage beast and even picks a fight with two panthers in order to steal their food! While Albert Werper is as sleazy and cowardly as ever, tagging along with Tarzan again, getting saved by him as all the while trying to murder him. Jane shows she is a fighter as she kills many of the looters who have came for her and her warrior friends as well are all brave and loyal. And our main bad guy Achmet Zek is a total scumbag who has zero respect for human life and only wants wealth! Two of the interesting subplots that I found myself liking are LA being in love with Tarzan and the fact she has been so for many years and has the if you don’t love me then you must die attitude about it, you know this subplot is going to come back into play. And the other is the almost murder of Mugambi who has loyalty to his friends and wants to get revenge on those who injured him and killed/kidnapped. This issue really is fantastic and captures the fun jungle adventure nature of Tarzan and shows that Roy Thomas understands how to turn the novels into comics. The cover is super eye catching and still holds up to this day and as before the art by John Buscema is amazing. To sum it up this issue is great and a solid read for fans of Tarzan and shows that this comic series help shows why Marvel was the best comic company in the 70’s! On a side note I have to say that Marvel has brought Star Wars and Conan The Barbarian home and I think it’s time they bring Tarzan and Star Trek back as well!

Tarzan # 5  ***
Released in 1977     Cover Price .30     Marvel     # 5 of 29

As Tarzan is passed out Albert Werper is about to stab him, but fear sets in that if his first stab don’t kill the lord of the jungle he himself might find death at the hands of Tarzan! So Albert runs off with the jewels as the Tarzan awakens with an animal rage inside him and wants to get his pretty stones back and to kill the white man Albert…but not before he takes a nap. Albert rushes to the camp of Achmet Zek and his raiders to deliver the news of Tarzan’s “death” as well as that the old ruins does hold lots of gold! Achmet Zek orders for Albert to take Jane up north and sell her to slave owners as he and his men go after the gold. Once in his tent Albert counts his jewels and soon notices that Achmet is spying on him and this makes the European know that he is a dead man for hiding the riches from the warlord, and that night Achmet returns to Albert’s tent and stabs his bed to find that his target as already escaped and has taken Jane with him. And while Achmet and many of his raiders go on the hunt for Albert, Tarzan is attacked by three apes and finds himself surrounded by LA The Princess of Opar who wants her dagger back and is willing to have her cavemen rip him apart to get it!

The plot continues in this issue and has Tarzan loosing touch with his human side and turning more animal like and his savage nature is out on control as he attacks man and animal alike. All the while his wife Jane is a prisoner of the evil Achmet Zek who has turned on his own alley Albert Werper over jewels! And the story comes to an end when LA shows up and wants what belongs to her back. I am guessing that the next issue could be an all out war as Tarzan will be in the middle of the battle between Achmet and his raiders, LA and her cavemen and the tribes who fight for Tarzan and Jane. Tarzan in this issue is very savage and has forgotten how to be a man and is more in the mindset of revenge and survival and not even slightly worried about Jane and his home as he has forgotten all about them! Plus he almost seems to enjoy killing the animals of the jungle and has no remorse for the deaths he is causing. Poor Jane is just a prisoner who is holding on to the hope that her husband will rescue her. Mugambi in the issue is healing up and stalking the raiders as he wants to save Jane as well as get a little revenge in the process. LA Princess of Opar is a woman who is very angry as she not only has been stolen from but also has a broken heart as Tarzan does not feel the same way about her as she does for him, I also think she is ready to kill and kill again along with her evil cavemen in order to get her respect back. Albert Werper is scum who is fearful of an injured Tarzan, steals jewels and even hides them from his own partner in crimes and then has no issue with selling off a woman to a slave trade in order to make extra money…total scum! Achmet Zek is as well scum who lets money and power rule his life and has no loyalty to his own raiders, he is also a coward and would kill in the night than face to face…I can not wait to see him get what’s coming to him. That’s one thing for sure this series is going right that villains are so bad you really do want to see them pay for their crimes. I also like how this comic makes you wonder when and how Tarzan will get his mind back and will he be the one to take revenge on Albert and Achmet or will the jungle it’s self deal them justice. The cover for this issue is great and the art by John Buscema is still top notch. Over all this is another great and entertaining issue that delivers all the action and adventure you would expect from Tarzan and I for one can not wait to read the next issue!

Tarzan # 6  **1/2
Released in 1977     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 6 of 29

Tarzan is beaten up by the apes and the cavemen when he shows that he no longer has the dagger and this sets LA into a rage and she vows that the next morning she will offer the Lord of The Jungles heart to their sun god! That night LA falls asleep next to Tarzan and when the morning comes his death is to take place for his crimes against them, but before he can be killed his elephant friend Tantor appears in a fit of madness as it’s matting season and he is on a warpath to kill anyone in his way and that includes Tarzan! LA frees Tarzan and the pair quickly hide in a tall tree all the while Tantor tries to get them as well as kills many of the cavemen. After Tarzan tricks Tantor in leaving he orders LA and her cavemen to return to Opar and that the men need to listen to the law of LA. Meanwhile he learn that Jane escaped the camp on her own and is trying to survive the animals of the jungle who think she could be an easy meal. Meanwhile Albert Werper has gotten a horse from a downed raider and rushes only to be taken prisoner alongside Mugambi by an army who are hunting down Achmet Zek. Meanwhile Jane runs into Achmet who is once more taken her hostage only to have his men attacked by apes as well as Tarzan who has regained some of his memory. In the end the apes and Tarzan are gunned down and Jane is once more a prisoner of a greedy madman.

This issue has Tarzan and LA hiding for from an elephant that is on a rampage and must work together to survive it. The side story has Albert being hunted and becoming a prisoner of the army as Jane once more becomes the captive of Achmet! Tarzan in this issue is gaining some of his memories back and spends much of the issue protecting LA only to late be shot while trying to save his wife from being kidnapped. The end of this comic does a great job of making the reader wonder how bad Tarzan has been shot and how will he save his wife. LA is so madly in love with Tarzan that she breaks her bound to her people as she refuses to sacrifice the Lord Of The Jungle, she is a powerful woman who really is blinded by love. Jane meanwhile in this issue is running for her life and escapes one bad location only to keep stepping into worse and worse ones! Achmet Zek is a man who feels like he has been crossed and has set his sights on killing his one time crime partner Albert Werper who is running for his life like a rat. Mugambi meanwhile finds himself as well captured by the army and taken as a prisoner, and all he wants to really do is get revenge in the name of Tarzan. Tantor is blinded with rage over wanting to find a mate and is clearly the main threat in this issue as everyone in his path are afraid of his massive power as he wants to kill any person or animal in his way. This issue is a good read but does fell a little bit like a filler issue as weird enough to say it slows the pace down of this story arch we are in, I also feel that the cover is just ok and that the interior art by John Buscema seems rushed and not his best work at all in this series this far. To sum it up I was entertained but is the weakest in the series I have read this far…but keep in mind it’s still very good just a step down from the past issues. With that lest see what issue seven has in store for us.

Tarzan # 7  **1/2
Released in 1977     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 7 of 29

Tarzan is wounded and lays on the jungle floor among the bodies of his friends the apes, his mind wonders to the evils of Achmet as well as he can not shake the sight of the beautiful blonde that was the evil mans prisoner…as Tarzan can not remember that the woman is Jane his wife. As he grows weaker his mind starts to play tricks on him as he sees himself in the jungle at night watching as his enemy tribe hide near a fire as the meat eating beasts are on the prowl, with the main threat being the lion Huma and his mate Sabor who want to make them a late night meal, and they get one when they get a tribesman and Tarzan watches with amusement as one of his enemies dies that night. Tarzan head back to his ape family and remembers back to his questions about the world around him like the moon, rain and stars and how none of his wise apes have any clues to the answers. Tarzan soon thinks that the moon one day will be eaten by Huma and this will turn night to all dark and this worries the apes as well as Tarzan! But one ape in the group has set his sights on killing Tarzan as he knows that he is not like them, and this causes great tension between the apes as well as Tarzan. As a tribe’s man is walking in the jungle the apes decide that they are going to kill him and Tarzan originally stands by the apes side until he realizes that they just want to kill him for being human and the apes have now turned on him and he as well is marked for death! Tarzan is saved by one of his friend apes as well as Tantor and as the warrior leaves and Tarzan denounces his ape tribe, the ape who started the drama is killed and things try to go back to normal. Late one night an eclipse happens and the apes think that the lion Huma has attacked and is eating the moon and in a panic they call for Tarzan who fires arrows into the sky…and when the eclipse is over they think he saved the moon and he is once more a member of the ape tribe.

This issue is one that is set around a wounded Lord Of The Jungles mind as he goes to a world when his life is more primitive and all he really knows is the ways to survive and wants to learn about the universe around him and thinks he finds the answers all about the moon! This issue is very weak on action and is more of a character driven issue and really does dive into the primitive mind of Tarzan and his memories of the past. The Lord Of The Jungle in this issue is wise in his ways but is also very cold blooded as he does not mind taking a life or even watching lives be taken, its crazy that he gets joy watching a warrior from another tribe be eaten alive by a pair of lions! I also love how the issue really does revolve around the moon and the fear that the jungle has about living in nights in total darkness. The issues main baddies are Gunto and ape who wants to have all the other apes turn on and kill Tarzan and the lion Huma who is feared by all as he is a killer and a eater of all meat. While this issue was a cool get away from out main storyline this far is does also take a little of the momentum away as we are totally removed from that plot and focus more on the past of our hero…while interesting they really should have saved it for an annual, but with that said its still a really good issue. The cover is very eye catching and has Tarzan in a battle with an ape and the interior art is once more fantastic and is done by John Buscema who really does a great job of bring Tarzan alive in the pages of a Marvel Comic. Lets see what issue eight has in store for us and lets hope that it brings us back on track and has Tarzan saving Jane from the evil grip of Achmet Zek!

Tarzan # 8  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 8 of 29

Tarzan slowly gets to his feet as he is surrounded by apes he does not know and they are angered that two of their own have been shot, but before they can turn on the weaken Tarzan one of the fallen apes is still alive and just wounded and tells them who they are about to attack and they understand and take the pair to their home to heal their wounds. Tarzan cannot shake the image of Jane out of his mind as he heals up and still don’t remember that she is his wife, but he knows that she must be his! Once he is healed enough Tarzan asks the apes for help to rescue Jane and they all want nothing to do with the mission and even one challenges Tarzan to a fight named Chulk who after defeated joins Tarzan as does Taglat and the three set out on their mission. Tarzan and his ape friends attack a trio of the Desert Warriors and steal their cloths and wear them and sneak into the camp, while inside Tarzan and Chulk try and find rare jewels to give as a gift to Jane when they rescue her as Taglat has an idea of his own goes off and rescues Jane as he now wants her for his mate! Once Taglat kidnaps Jane and runs into the jungle Tarzan finds that he has been betrayed by the ape and is now on the hunt for revenge as the warriors of Achmet Zek are left confused and scared of the noise of anger that erupted from Tarzan’s mouth. Meanwhile both Albert Werper and Mugambi are still being held prisoner, with Albert making a deal for his life and freedom that will take the army to the lost city so that they can steal all the gold and jewels.

This is another fantastic issue that brings all the jungle action one looks for in a Tarzan comic as the plot has Tarzan waking up and filled with rage and the want to rescue Jane who he has decided will be his mate not remembering she is his wife and going on a rampage with two apes to rescue her from Achmet Zek and his evil men, only to find that one of his ape friends has also selected Jane to be his mate and causing the Lord Of The Jungle to be on a rampage of revenge! Tarzan in this issue is still much like a wild animal as he has no issues killing and will fight and snarl his way to getting what he desires. In other words Tarzan really is out of his mind and has lost all connection to his civil side! Poor Jane in this issue thinks her husband is dead, is kidnapped by a group of evil warriors, is later kidnapped by an ape and all she really wanted is to have a peaceful time at her jungle home as her husband took care of business of getting some treasure to get them out of debt. Not to mention poor Mugambi who is a brave warrior and dear friend of Tarzan who was trying to save Jane as well and avenge his slain friends has been taken captive along with the scumbag Albert Werper who started this whole mess! The ape Taglat is very sneaky in this issue as acts as Tarzan’s friend and helper when his true attentions is to steal Jane away from him and make her his mate, a true scummy move and shows that Taglat is a user! Achmet Zek and his raiders are money hungry as well as cruel and after they think they killed Tarzan they planed to sell off his wife to the highest bidder, cold blooded they are! The pacing of this issue is well done and each character in our story we get to catch up with and see what they are doing as all these pieces start to fall into place before the stories climax, and I have to say Roy Thomas did a fantastic job writing these comics this far! The cover is eye catching and pretty dang cool and the interior art once again is top notch and done by John Buscema who has the classic Marvel style that I love. We are eight issues in and these are as good as I remember them as a kid and not a dud in the batch this far! Lets see what issue nine has in store for us.

Tarzan # 9  **1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 9 of 29

A young Tarzan is reading books at his fathers old cabin and is puzzled by all the talk of God in them as he does not understand why there is no pictures of him as he can not wrap his mind around the concept of the old mighty King of Kings! When returning to his Ape family he asks all the wise ones if they know about this good with one saying it to be the Moon, and that night Tarzan asks and screams at the Moon and when a cloud covers it he knows the Moon is not God! He next goes to a tribe of warriors and see their Witch Doctor wearing a Buffalo Head and thinks that this must be God, but once he approaches and the Doctor looses his nerve he knows that this man is not God as well. As he is leaving the tribes Chief tries to kill Tarzan with a thrown spear, as Tarzan dodges it he attacks the old man and just as he is about to kill him, he stops as he has pity for the old man who is gripped with fear. Once back home he wonders more about God, but his thinking time is cut short when a baby ape and its mom are being attacked by a massive snake! Tarzan leaps into battle and into the coils of the snake and with a well placed knife strike kills the beast and saves the lives of his primate friends! In the end Tarzan returns to his thinking about God and learns that the answer he seeks is all around him as he comes to realize that God is who gave him the feeling a pity and the act of compassion, he also soon looks around and knows that God made the Moon, The Apes, Mankind and all things good!

This issue takes place when Tarzan was younger long before he meets Jane and way before the events of our current story arch and is a nice fill in issue! The plot of this issue has Tarzan on a mission to find out who and what a being he has read about in old books called God, and goes around the jungle to find the answer only to find that the answer has been all around him at all times. This is a pretty simple plotted issue from Roy Thomas that is very heavy on religion as it takes a stance that God created everything good and that Satan created all the bad in the world. But what works for me is the fact that someone like Tarzan who lives in the Jungle with no bibles, churches and fellow believers around would question who this God is and why is he so powerful that many blindly follow him. Tarzan in this issue is very noble as he has a want to learn as well as shows that he will leap into action to save his fellow friends and as well will spare those who wish him harm when they deserve it. I also dig the Water Buffalo headed Witch Doctor as I think he added a really cool feel to the issue as many tribes back in the day did look at them as healers and saviors. The cover is eye catching and has Tarzan fighting the massive snake and as always John Buscema kills it on interior art. Over all a nice fill in issue that delivers a fun read and a solid jungle adventure.

Tarzan # 10  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 10 of 29

Tarzan is still not himself as his memory is gone all he knows is that he has spotted Albert Werper with the army and that he is the own who stole his jewels and took away the pretty white woman (Jane) that he has an attraction to! Tarzan watches as Albert leads the soliders to a burial site that is filled with tons of gold, only for them to be attacked by the raiding warriors of Achmet Zek who wants not only the gold but also wants to bring down Albert for double crossing him. Tarzan follows Albert and Achmet who are playing a dangerous game of trying to kill the other to get away with the stolen jewels, all the while Tarzan is watching as he as well just wants his jewels back and to find his lady. Meanwhile its shown that Mugambi is in fact the one who has the jewels as he has took them from Albert when they were captured together and replaced his with river pebbles! But when Mugambi takes a nap after being on the run after escaping the prison camp, the jewels is stolen by the great ape Chulk who wants them as he likes what humans have. Meanwhile the ape Taglat still has Jane and his treating her like a rag doll when the lion Numa comes to her “rescue” and attacks and brings down Taglat and then turns his bloodlust toward Jane who tries to hide from the beast in the trees. Tarzan finally finds the fleeing Albert and takes him down and as he is choking him his memories comes back and he now knows that he is Tarzan and Jane is his wife! But before he can get the answers out of Albert they are both knocked out and taken by a Military Captain who wants to put Albert on trail for murder and decides to cage Tarzan for being to wild!

Wow this issue has so much going on as we have several characters and stories going on all at once and yet they are blending together really well! The plot is this Tarzan is on the trail of the man Albert who set him up and stole everything from him as well as a evil crime lord who wants all the jewels that Albert stole, while Tarzan’s friends are on the hunt to find Jane who was taken prisoner and is now in the hands of a killer ape who is being stalked by a bloodthirsty lion and even a army Captain is thrown in who wants to capture Albert for killing one of his soldiers! Oh and most important is that by the end of this issue Tarzan gets his memory back and remembers who he is and what is going one, and when this happens he is quickly knocked out by the Captain’s men. The pacing is very fast and flows really well and at this point even with all the fill in issues that breaks up the flow of this story arch I am drawn in and really can not wait to see how this story ends. Tarzan in this issues goes from a confused Wildman back to the Lord Of The Jungle and when he is wild he seems to not be worried about killing both man and animal. Albert Werper is such a spineless coward who would do whatever he can to gain wealth or even save his own sleazy hide. Achmet Zek is as well a very evil guy who controls his soldiers with fear and again craves power and riches. Taglat the great ape is also filled with rage and only when he meets his match in the lion Numa does he realize it as he pays for his rage with his life. Poor Jane is so tormented in this issues as she is roughed up by a gorilla and then is stalked by a lion…she just can not win! The cover for this issue is amazing and very eye catching and the interior artwork is top notch as its done by John Buscema again as he is one of the all time greats in my opinion. So with that lets see what issue 11 has in store for us and see how this epic story comes to an end.

Tarzan # 11  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 11 of 29

Tarzan and Albert Werper are being held prisoner by the Congo Free State soldiers lead by The Captain who has plans to deal with Albert and have Tarzan locked away! Meanwhile poor Jane finds herself rescued and then taken prisoner by Abdul Mourak and his men who were just defeated by Achmet Zek and his raiders, and they think they can at least hold Jane for ransom and make some money this day. As night falls Tarzan is still head at a camp as a prisoner when his ape friends lead by Chulk come to rescue him, and with gunfire from the humans ringing out Tarzan and Albert are carried away into the jungle and to safety…but sadly during the gunfight loyal Chulk is shot and dies. Tarzan is upset about his friend’s death as Albert finds the jewels on the ape’s body and once more steals them. Albert then lies to Tarzan and says sense he saved his life that he will lead him to the last place he say Jane and lucky for the crook he does lead him to Jane who is once more under attack by lions who have attacked and killed most of Mourak’s people! The lion Numa once more has his sites on Jane and Tarzan comes in for the rescue and fights off the hungry lion and finally kills it and takes Jane away as the lions below still attack the soldiers. Albert Werper ran way in the jungle as Tarzan and Jane return home and are greeted by Mugambi and his warrior friends. After a few months they rebuild their home and while out hunting they find the body of Albert Werper who had died in the jungle and recover the jewels he had stolen and started all this madness.

What a fun ending for this story arch that we traveled this far with in this series, I must say I really like the ending as all comes around and all ends well and its packed with drama, sadness, action and adventure all things you want in a Tarzan story. The plot has Tarzan being freed from being a prisoner by his ape friends and saving Jane from a pride of lions and in the end reuniting with his friends, rebuilding his home and getting his jewels and gold back. Tarzan in this issue goes into full hero mode as he gets his ape friends to help save him and Albert from the Captain, he then swings into action and fights off a massive lion in order to save his wife and in the end rebuilds the life that he had before all this greed turned his world all around. Jane in this issues goes from escaping the lion, to becoming a prisoner of some corrupt soldiers, to once more being the target of a lion and in the end saved by her husband…man she had a rough go around this issue. Mugambi and the tribe warriors are noble and loyal to their friendship with Tarzan as are the apes who come to his side when needed, with poor Chulk loosing his life to save the slimy Albert. Speaking of Albert Werper he starts off this series as scum and remains scum until he dies, and its great knowing that he died in the jungle and was never able to use the jewels he stole, in fact who scummy he is its great to know he died a slow and terrible death! While The Captain, Achmet Zek and Abdul Mourak are all set up to be terrible people with agendas that will make them rich or give them some sort of power it’s the Lion Numa that is the final baddy of this story as his want and need to kill Jane is so bad that he risks his own life to get her, and even dies trying. The cover for this issue is great and eye catching for fans of Tarzan and as always the art of John Buscema is top notch. This far Roy Thomas and his team of creators show that they know how to make a great and entertaining Tarzan series.

Tarzan # 12  **1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 12 of 29

Numa The Lion is on the prowl and after failing to capture a zebra he sets his sights on a tribe of apes and ends up killing a mother ape, and this triggers anger in Tarzan who gets his ape brothers to come together and stalk Numa into the jungle to fight back as he warns that the lion will keep returning and killing them if they do not fight back. Tarzan and the apes use sticks and stones to anger and fight with Numa and they even trick him in order to get the body back of their fallen friend. Once back in the tribe Tarzan thinks long and hard about how they are being stalked and killed by many of the jungles predators and that its time for them to come up with a way make them safe and fight back against the ones that want to eat them. That night Tarzan sneaks into the village of a Cannibal tribe and steals the lions hide they have and the next morning he plays a prank on his ape friends as he acts like Numa to try and scare his friends, but he is happy when they fight back and use stones to defend themselves and a well thrown one knocks Tarzan out cold! As the apes discover that the lion was really Tarzan the elders of the tribe want to kill him as his younger ape friends come to his aid and are willing to fight to defend him. But before a fight breaks out in the ape tribe Tarzan wakes up and is dazed but happy to know his friends listened on how to defend themselves against lions.

In this issue Tarzan is younger and not yet married to Jane and still lives with his ape tribe family and is pushed to far by the lion Numa who kills one of the female apes that was a mother to a very young baby, and this anger makes Tarzan fight back against the predator and also comes up with a plan to always make his tribe ready to protect themselves when enemies come around. Tarzan in this issue is younger and not in charge of the tribe yet and has ideas and leadership skill that he is torn about showing as the elders clearly do not like his brash ways, but what they need to see is all his ideas and actions are done to better protect and strengthen his tribe and family. The apes are also split as many of them are clearly starting to stand with Tarzan while the older ones want to kill or chase him off, as they do not like his power that he is gaining. Numa the lion is a very hungry giant cat that wants nothing more then a meal of fresh meat and sadly the apes are in his sight and become that meal he is craving. The really cool thing about this issue that is clearly going to be continued in the next issue is that rise of Tarzan in the ape tribe as his ideas and self defense plans are proven to be useful as the old timers just have the idea of run away and leave the weak behind if they are attacked better them then you attitude. I also like that they show a village of a human cannibal tribe who have a lion skin suit just laying around…awesome. The cover is well done and once more eye catching and no shock the interior artwork by John Buscema is great stuff. A solid issue and a great read and keeps up that this Marvel Tarzan series is an above average read and are great stuff! Lets see if issue 13 is as good as all that game before it.

Tarzan # 13  **1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 13 of 29

Tarzan notices that his ape friends seem to be on edge and are not up for play at all, and when going back to his fathers old cabin he finds the Gomangan Tribe there and they are setting a trap for the lion Numa as they have plans to capture and torture him, and Tarzan can not allow that as he hates this tribe and their cruel ways. So Tarzan steals the bait for the trap and then captures the tribes Witch Doctor and places him in the trap as the bait! The next day the Gomangan Tribe go looking for their missing doctor and soon find his mangled body in the cage as well as Numa! The Tribe quickly gets a new Witch Doctor and they take Numa back to the village as the lion is to be tortured and killed…and Tarzan decides that this is not going to happen as he brings out the lion skin he stole last issue and enters the village and scares the tribe as they think Tarzan is a white devil that can shape shift! After tricking them into chasing him Tarzan sneaks away and into the village and sets Numa free who in turns tacks the returning tribe and kills one warrior and injures others, giving them a lesson in respect for Lions and the Lord Of The Jungle himself Tarzan.

This issue is very entertaining and is fast paced and has Tarzan being puzzled by why his friends the apes are not in a playful mood anymore after he pranked them by wearing a lion suit to scare them and decides to instead pull a massive deadly prank on a tribe of humans that he dislikes as he finds them cruel. In the end he learns to respect the lions of the jungle as well as by messing with the tribe puts fear into them to never mess with him or the lions again for their cruel ceremonies. Tarzan in this issue shows that while he does have a fun loving and noble side he also very much has a cruel side as he kidnaps a man and leaves him in a cage trap that has the man eaten alive by a lion…now that’s some mean spirited revenge! The lion Numa is as well a raging beast that kills anyone and everyone that gets in its way! While the Gomangan Tribe are superstitious people who are also very cruel to the animals of the jungle as fun for them is capturing and torturing lions as a tribe, plus life is cheap to them even among their own members as they move on and forget about the dead like they don’t matter. The plot of this one is truly to show that Tarzan is using his mind to out smart both animal and man, with him also learning just ho different he is from his ape family and that he also has a playful and cruel side. The cover for this issue is great and has Tarzan in the lion skin scaring the enemy tribe and the interior art is killer and once more done by the super talented John Buscema. Over all this one is another solid issue that delivers a very entertaining read.

Tarzan # 14  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 14 of 29

Tarzan’s best friend Taug’s mate Teeka and their son Gazan are in the jungle looking for food to bring back to the tribe when a great bull ape from another tribe named Toog stumbles upon her and decides that she will now be his mate! Toog attacks and leaves poor Gazan fro dead after knocking the baby from a tall tree and beats Teeka unconscious and takes her away. When Taug finds his son he is near deaths door and this sets the ape into a rage as he wants revenge on who has taken his mate and has almost killed his son, and Tarzan who has returned from the old cabin of his parents (were he also found some bullets that he takes) makes a plan for he and Taug to track down this intruder, kill him and bring back Teeka safe and sound to her village and her injured son. As Tarzan and Taug make the journey to find Teeka she is being beaten and dragged by Toog who brings her to his tribe just in time to be warned that he has been followed, and Toog and his tribe set a trap. Tarzan and Taug are ambushed and attack with each holding their own and Tarzan even knifing one to death before he and his friend are out numbered! As all looks bad for Tarzan and his friend it’s Teeka that saves the day when she finds Tarzan’s lost pouch that has the bullets that she throws causing them to go off and scare away the attacking apes and allowing Tarzan, Taug and Teeka to return home confused by what the bullets are.

This issue follows the ape Toog who is very selfish and decides that he will kidnap a female ape from another tribe in order to return to his tribe that he was shamed from after loosing a fight with the leader. And Tarzan as always has pride in his tribe and loyalty to his best friend Taug sets his site to get her back and end the lives of the ape that took her. Lets first talk about Toog a alpha male ape who is mad that he lost a fight and was shamed by his tribe and now is wondering the jungle looking for a mate and for trouble and chooses a female at random to beat and drag back to his home and even has zero remorse for trying to murder a baby ape! In other words Toog is one evil primate who needed to be stopped as he will kill and beat the innocent in order to get what he wants. Poor Teeka goes through hell in this issue as she watches her own child be knocked form a tree and thinks he is dead, she is beaten several times by her captor and finally has to step in as her mate and friend are being ganged up on…she really does have it terrible in this issue. Taug as well has it pretty bad as he finds his son who he thinks is dead at first, then finds his mate missing and taken by an aggressive ape and then gets beaten up on by a pack of savage primates from a rival tribe. Tarzan is trying his best to understand all of the stuff he has found in the cabin that his parents died in like the books, bullets and gold…but he also shows that sometimes his anger and noble attitude will lead him to make rash and to brave of decisions. I love that Tarzan knives a massive ape with a night to show that he and his friend mean business and want their friend back! The cover is great on this one as well and as like before the interior art is amazing and done by John Buscema and this once more is a great issue that really showed that Tarzan and Marvel Comics was a great combination!

Tarzan # 15  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 15 of 29

Tarzan and his elephant friend Tantor are in the jungle when they stumble on a old man who is scared out of his mind and telling them that Arab Slavers are on his trail and wont to enslave people to work the mines of the sinister Abdul Alhazred The Mad Arab! The Slavers appear and kill the old man and then knock Tarzan out and as they are about to take him to be a slave in the mines Tantor comes to his rescue and chases the Slavers away and then carries his friend away until he wakes up. Meanwhile the Slavers have attacked a small village and have killed the King and taken his daughter Princess Ayesha as a slave and she is very upset and swears that she will get free and have her revenge. Once Tarzan wakes up he meets a group of mercenaries who have been hired to save Ayesha from The Slavers and they ask him to join in and he agrees, but as they rest he heads out into the jungle and tracks down The Slavers that killed the old man and makes them pay for the crime with their lives. Abdul Alhazred meanwhile kills one of his captives in front of the others to say they work in the dangerous mines or they die by his hands.

This issue is wow pretty dang deep as it is dealing with slavery and how others think they have the right to “own” another persons life and send them to work for them or be beaten or killed…and not to get to political but no one EVER has the right to have slaves! The plot has a vile group of slavers coming to the jungle to work a mine for the riches and is using people they are taking from villages to do so, but while doing this they have gotten the attention of Tarzan as well as have taken and angered a strong willed Princess as well has have gotten a bunch of sleazy mercenaries on their trail. Tarzan in this issue shows that he hates the idea of slavery and has set a mission in his mind first to avenge a victim of it as well as to save and free all those who are being oppressed, Tarzan is a true noble man who while be might be a wild man still understands right from wrong. The Mercenaries in my opinion should not be trusted as they are into just getting the money to get the Princess back and one is even sneaking around killing elephants in order to sell the ivory. Princess Ayesha is a very proud and strong willed woman who would do anything for her father as well as her village, and I can not wait until she breaks free and gets her revenge on the slavers who really are truly the biggest scum bad guys we have seen this far in this series. Abdul Alhazred is a massive muscle bound villain who is pure evil and has no respect for human life and really does just care about himself and his want for riches, and while he is total scum he is also a great comic book bad guy as you find yourself hating him and counting down the pages until you see him pay. Also really liked how we get to see Tantor the elephant again as it’s always cool to see Tarzan’s animal friends lending a hand against the threats the jungle faces. The cover is good and the use of red makes it eye catching and need I say anything besides John Buscema on art again. This story arch as I have said is very raw and I cannot wait to see how Tarzan shuts these Slavers down!

Tarzan # 16  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 16 of 29

The mercenaries have found the bodies of the slavers that Tarzan had killed the night before and start to question if they should team up with him to raid the mine camp, as Tarzan listens he hears them speak about how they are really going to loot and will use gliders to escape once they get what they want…but something else makes Tarzan’s blood turn cold as he finds out that the mercenary named Simon is hunting Tantor for his ivory! Tarzan rushes off to save his friend but is two late as Simon not only kills Tantor but also several apes! Simon has to leave the Ivory behind as Tarzan is raged filled and teams with ape Dak-Lat to hunt Simon down. Meanwhile Princess Ayesha is taken to Abdul Alhazred who likes what he sees and orders his men to kill all the slaves once the mine is opened wide enough! Tarzan tracks Simon down just as the animal killer uses his glider and after knocking out two of the mercenaries both Trazan and Dak-Lat give chase as the Slavers think they are demons of the sky and open fire on them all, but Abdul Alhazred has used mind control and now controls Princess Ayesha! In the end while in the Mine a portal is opened and while Tarzan fights with Abdul Alhazred and the fight comes to an end when The Slavers come in with Dak-Lat who is killed by Abdul Alhazred and Tarzan is beaten! The mercenaries tell him that they would like to join him and together they walk through the portal, and Tarzan at the last second before it closes forever is able to as well crawl through it.

Tarzan is even more enraged when he finds that the mercenaries are bad people and one has killed his friend the elephant named Tantor, and worse while this is going on The Slavers are killing the slaves and the poor Princess has had her mind poisoned! And the strangest part is that a portal has opened in the mine that takes them all away to an unknown location and the issue ends on this cliffhanger! Poor Tarzan in this issue is the hero he always is but also has some much losses as his friend Tantor is killed as well as several apes and then he also gets roughed up and watches as the odds to save the Princess and the remaining slaves become more and more low as The Salvers just gain in power. The mercenaries really are scumbags and just want to get money with Simon being the worst as he also kills animals to sell the ivory in the black market! The mercenaries are ones I cannot wait to see them get what they deserve. The Slavers are as terrible as ever as they some very evil deeds that include killing slaves on orders and not being bothered by it at all. Abdul Alhazred is so ego driven that he really does think his word is law and to him all life is cheap as he does not care who dies around him…even his own men, not to even mention he is a sleazy trickster who uses “magic” to hypnotize women into being his slaves and sacrifices. The portal in the mine is very interesting to me and makes me wonder were it leads, as was it created by Abdul Alhazred as a quick way to get back to his home or does it lead to another dimension? But I will guess we will have to read the next issue to find that out. Plus a major bummer that Tantor has been killed as he was a very loyal friend and protector to Tarzan and his death was cold blooded. The cover on this issue is ok and had that classic late 70’s Marvel look and as like before the interiors are fantastic and done by John Buscema. Like before this is a great issue and shows that Marvel Comics and Tarzan The Ape Man go hand and hand.

Tarzan # 17  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 17 of 29

Tarzan in pain makes it through the portal and finds himself in a land called Pellucidar that is filled not only with wild animals but also dinosaurs and mystic stones and carvings. As Abdul Alhazred leads the mercenaries deeper into the land as he needs to sacrifice the Princess in this land in order to gain even more power, poor Tarzan listens to the plan as long as he can before passing out. Meanwhile Princess Ayesha is the trance is walking in this savage land heading toward the place she has been told to wait at, but lucky for her she is being followed by Hyena like creatures and she unaware of the danger falls into a river breaking the mind control and alerting her to the fact she is in danger and in a unknown land. But her savior is a young wild man who fights of the hyenas and whisks her away from Abdul and his helpers when he notices the fear on the Princess’s face as he thinks she is a goddess! Simon ends up picking up the trail of the Princess once they find the bodies of the slain hyenas and Abdul is getting angry as he wants his victim and craves his soon to be power and is loosing faith in the mercenaries as he is seeing them as fools not warriors. Tarzan wakes up to find that a spear is pointed at him by a priest mounted on a bird creature and none of these natives look friendly, so Tarzan does what he does best and that’s fight and in the fight the Priest is killed and Tarzan does his best to fight off this Death Cult Tribe and finally he must jump off a cliff to escape their spears. And once Tarzan finds land again he is meet by Pirates who have their guns pointed at him and as well do not seem friendly!

This issue is like Tarzan trapped in a weird savage jungle land version of the land of Oz as its friends with cannibal death cult tribes, pirates, wild men, dinosaurs and beasts! This issues plot thickens as Abdul Alhazred leads the scummy mercenaries into a savage wild world were he plans to kill the Princess in order to gain power as Tarzan is weak and must fight for his life against cannibals as a wild man saves the Princess and is acting as her protector…this is stuff of pure cliffhanger novels and movie serials. Tarzan barely gets a moment to catch his breath as he has been beaten up and once he wakes up he is under attack again! But the one thing you have to say about Tarzan is he does not back down from danger and will fight with his last breath. The Princess Ayesha is as well fighting for her life in a strange land, and if not for the unnamed young warrior she would have been killed by the lands savage meat eating animals. Abdul Alhazred shows that he does not care about anyone or anything but himself and what can benefit him! He is using the mercenaries and I am sure once they reach their goal and when he gets the power I am sure he will kill them all! The savage land of Pellucidar is very interesting as I like that the land has dinosaurs as well as cannibal tribes and pirates and they all seem like they are in bad moods and are out to kill! And I am sure at some point in this series we will see a clash between the Pirates and the Cannibals and while I don’t remember if this happens from reading this series in my early teens, I sure hope it does. And like before this issue ends of a major cliffhanger as a pirate has his gun pointed at Tarzan as the Lord Of The Jungle is getting out of the water, and you know that these guys are bad news for our hero. The cover for this issue is great and reminds me of a Marvel Conan The Barbarian cover and as always the inside art by John Buscema is great. To sum it up another great issue and I cannot wait to reread the next issue after all these years!

Tarzan # 18  **1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 18 of 29

Princess Ayesha and her Warrior savior climb onto the back of a pterodactyl and try to get away from Abdul Alhazred and the mercenaries who are right behind them and they open fire on our fleeing heroes with a bullet from Simon’s gun hitting the warrior, but they are able to get away. Meanwhile Tarzan is given an offer from the Pirates and their Captain to join them or die, and Tarzan joins as he hopes they can help him get his revenge on Simon and Abdul! Meanwhile the Cannibal Death Tribe meet up with Abdul Alhazred and are on his side as they think that the profits have talked about his coming, and when the tribe mentions Tarzan the mercenaries loose their cool and this causes Abdul to turn on them as well and threaten them with death! Meanwhile Tarzan and the Pirates spot the bad guys and before they can do anything they are attacked by a sea creature that leaves many of the dead and Tarzan and the Captain fighting for their lives as they could become lunch for the creature, Tarzan ends up removing one of the creatures eyes and in the end breaks its jaw ending its terror. For his heroic deeds The Captain tells his crew that Tarzan is now his blood brother as he has saved them all. Meanwhile someone has snuck and stole the Pirates buried treasure showing that another player is in this game of life and death in a savage world.

This issue explores the savage world of Pellucidar more and lets you see more of the groups that live there. This ones plot has Tarzan hanging with the Pirates and fighting off a massive sea monster while Abdul Alhazred and the useless mercenaries team with the Cannibal Tribe! And let us not forget that Princess Ayesha and her Warrior are still on the run with the Warrior being shot and also we have an unknown person watching from the shadows and stealing the Pirates loot! Tarzan in this issue is filled with revenge as he wants nothing more then to kill both Simon and Abdul with his own hands, but as always he proves that he is a real hero as he single handedly kills a giant sea creature and saves the lives of many Pirates…I also like that in this issue Tarzan is not impressed with the Pirates gold they try and give him and he looks at it like they just threw garbage at him. Abdul Alhazred keeps up his ego driven killer attitude up in this issue as he treats his mercenaries like scum and would kill them if given the chance, and I am sure will once he gets his power. The Warrior protecting Princess Ayesha has been shot, and this issue does not show us if he is dead or how bad the wound is…so as you can see we have so many questions that need to be answered with the biggest being who is the man in the shadows that steals the gold! This issue is a fun and solid read that brings action, adventure and drama and continues this storyline and is pretty much none stop action! The cover is great and once more reminds me of a Conan The Barbarian cover and the interiors are still being done by John Buscema and are great like before. Lets see what’s next in this story and see how closer Tarzan gets to his revenge.

Tarzan # 19  **1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 19 of 29

The pterodactyl that Princess Ayesha and her wounded warrior crashes and unlucky for them they seem to have been spotted by a race of mutant looking people. Meanwhile at sea Tarzan and The Pirates run into Abdul Alhazred and his ship filled with Cannibal Tribesmen and mercenaries and a bloody battle breaks out that leaves many on both sides dead as knives, swords, guns and clubs are all used to dispatch the other sides forces. The Captain pulls out his gun and shoots Abdul Alhazred in the face and finds that the bullet does no harm, and this scares the Captain and he wants to now break the ship away and no longer follow…and this angers Tarzan who punches out The Captain and tries to take over the ship only to find the crew is very loyal to The Captain and Tarzan jumps over board and starts his journey for revenge alone. Meanwhile one of the missing mercenaries is spotted on the beach and his friends what the ship pulled over but Abdul Alhazred is not having it and has the mercenaries beaten on his ship and the one is left behind. The Pirates return to find their treasure gone and they blame Tarzan and the left behind mercenary plays into it and says he watched Tarzan and the Cannibal Tribe steal it, and this letting him get a ride to the ship so get could get his revenge on Abdul Alhazred as well as Tarzan! While back on the ship of Abdul Alhazred he tells his beaten mercenaries that he had to do that because the Cannibals only respect power and that’s why he is showing it.

In this issue we follow as Tarzan becomes a blood brother to the pirates, to turn on them and now be their enemy. We learn that a mercenary that was missing is alive and is now lying and teaming with the pirates in order to get to his friends and get revenge. We also see that mercenaries are really at the mercy of Abdul Alhazred who commands the Cannibal Tribe and was able to take a bullet to his face and not be phased! And lastly we see that Princess and the Warrior have crashed and we do not know if they are alive or dead, but we do know some strange looking people watched them fall from the sky. Tarzan because of his quest for revenge goes from a hero to a scumbag in the eyes of the pirates as he turns on The Captain and then ditches them when they do not follow him as he claims he is the Captain now, man Tarzan will stop at nothing to get his revenge on the murderous dogs he chases. Abdul Alhazred is truly powerful as he shows that his coldness and evil ways really are bringing him power, as he is almost immortal as he takes a bullet to the face and does not even flinch, its clear that once he is able to sacrifice the princess and gain all that power he will kill everyone around him and will return to Earth and do the same until he rules the world with an iron fist. I am guessing also that the lost and found mercenary is the one who stole the Pirates gold and is blaming Tarzan for his own deed, but again I am just guessing here. The cover is good and eye catching and this time around Sal Buscema is doing the interior art and its great stuff. So with that lets see how this story continues and how the Princess survived the fall and who are the strange people who watched!

Tarzan # 20  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 20 of 29

The scumbag Simon is at it again in this new land as he uses his riffle and kills a whole herb of elephants to prove power to the cannibals, and when Tarzan finds them his rage burns even hotter as he wants to find and kill the men who killed his friend Tantor as well as avenge the slaves who have lost their lives in all this madness. As Tarzan heads out to find them he runs into a Saber-Tooth Tiger that is hungry and wants to make a meal out of Tarzan, and as the pair fight they stumble into weak ground and fall underground were they become allies in a fight against spear fighting lizard men who are on the attack and both man and beast win this day. Meanwhile another race of Lizard people have found Princess Ayesha and her Warrior and they watch as the lizard people hypnotize humans and lead them into the water, and sadly this fate comes for both the Warrior and Princess as they are lead into the water and disappear…but are they dead? Meanwhile Abdul Alhazred has the ship docked and sunk and tells his followers that they now will travel by foot to his desired spot, as the mercenaries and Cannibal tribesmen do what they are told. The Pirates along with the mercenary named Ike Frazier are still on the hunt for Tarzan and the Cannibal ship and while at see the are caught in a dark whirlpool at sea and The Captain, Crew and Ike are taking down into it. Meanwhile the Princess awakens in the water and fights of the Lizard people and saves the Warriors life and they run off to find safety together. In the jungle Tarzan is found by some slavers tribes men who try and take him hostage, but they fail to keep him and by the end of it Tarzan is heading toward the place of that Abdul is heading ridding on a pterodactyl.

This issue is crazy and is none stop action and plot twist and turns and is leading our cast of characters all over the place with many of them having doom all around them! And as a reader you find yourself drawn into not only this issue but also this massive story arch that has been taking place over about six issues this far. I mean just in this issue Tarzan goes from fighting a Saber-Tooth Tiger to killing a bunch of lizard humanoids living underground to getting captured and ending the issue flying away on a dinosaur…I mean if this does not draw you classic hero readers in I don’t know what would! Not to mention we really get to see the strong will of Princess Ayesha as she shakes off being hypnotized by humanoid human eating lizards, but also kills one and blinds another with one of their own teeth…The Princess is badass! Also its good to see while injured The Warrior that has been watching after the Princess is ok and is still doing his best to help her. The Pirates and Ike are in deep trouble as a whirlpool is sucking them down and both the Captain and Ike think that Abdul is being its creation and of course Abdul is on his quest to gain his power. This issue no joke is action after action and throws so much at you that it takes a moment after reading it to soak it all in! A great issue and once more shows that Tarzan should still be at Marvel Comics and that classic writers of the past should be brought back to bring the series alive again…but sadly I am sure this will never happen…but both Conan The Barbarian and Star Wars are back home at Marvel so never say never I guess. The cover is pretty great and has Tarzan choking a Saber-Tooth Tiger and Sal is on interior art again this time around and did killer work. A great issue in this great series that is bringing this story together is the best way to sum this issue up.

Tarzan # 21  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 21 of 29

Tarzan on his dinosaurs fights off more tribes men who all wish him dead now as he heads to a city in the swamp and that’s the same place Abdul is leading his people as something inside it holds the power he seeks. Meanwhile the Princess and Warrior are hiding out and watch as one of the lizard people enter and after talking to another on a screen activates a sound weapon that will hurt the humans of the planet! This sound alerts many of the animals as well including the Sabre-Tooth Tiger as well as Abdul and his pet hawk leading them all to the same location! With the weapon now set off near the swamp castle a the swamp water boils and out comes the Pirate ship and the crew find themselves in the middle of a massive amount of tribes men driven mad by the weapon and looking to kill as a large amount of them died from the canon! Tarzan once more saves The Captain from drowning and the pair with the remaining pirates fight off the tribes men and find out that all sides have been played by the now missing Ike! Abdul enters the castle and he now has no need for them even after Simon kills one of his own, but Princess Ayesha sneaks into the room and uses the cannon and has it pointed at Abdul killing his pet hawk and zapping him.

This issue answers the question we all have been asking sense this story started and that’s the power that Abdul Alhazred is crazing is really a cannon that is being used by lizards to fight human tribesmen! Now the main thing being we are not sure if he wants the cannon it’s self or if he is looking to have blasted himself with it to amp up his already dark and odd powers…so did Princess Ayesha hurt him or did she give him what he wanted, I guess we will have to wait until next issue to find out as this is the cliffhanger we are left on. Tarzan by now is just sick of all this and is taking the fight to anyone that is a Slaver or connected to Abdul Alhazred as he is taken over by rage and just wants to deal out cold justice. It is great that Tarzan and The Captain patch things up and learn that they both have been used by that snake Ike from the mercenaries who tricked them for his own gain and for his own set of plans. Simon of the mercenaries is really out for riches as he shoots his own fellow mercenary in order to get in good with Abdul who dismisses him as the madman has no loyalty just as Simon don’t. The Lizard Men are also pretty evil as they use a high tech weapon that kills many of humans lives and they seem to think its funny, these Lizard men as well need to be brought down and I hope Tarzan and the Princess do just that by the end of this tale, as I truly do hope that Princess Ayesha gets her revenge on everyone that has treated her terrible in this series! I also like how we see that the Sabre-Tooth Tiger is on his way to join this battle, and his team up with Tarzan reminds me of the 60’s Marvel Comic character Ka-Zar and his sabre-tooth cat Zabu who ran around the jungles of the Savageland. This issue is a solid read and is clearly wrapping this story arch as its clear that all the main players are in one area and an epic battle is about to break loose! The cover for this issue is ok and while fitting not all that eye catching and the interior art is done once more by Sal and is great. Over all another great read for this overly solid series based on the classic book character.

Tarzan # 22  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 22 of 29

Abdul Alhazred is now in pain after being shot with the cannon as Simon thinks about shooting him and taking all the power he has from the crystal for himself as he know understands that Alhazred’s raw and strange power is tied to this land and the crystal that also powers the cannon. Meanwhile the Lizard men bust in and attack Princess Ayesha and the Warrior, but the Princess grabs a metal pipe and bashes the controls to the cannon causing it to explode and after they all lay lifeless in the rubble. Meanwhile Tarzan along with the Pirates is on their way to confront Alhazred and his lackeys, but when they are almost their Tarzan splits from the Pirates and send them on the path of Ike who is the one who stole their treasure! As The Captain leads what’s left of his men after Ike Tarzan swings away in the trees to find Alhazred and Simon as the Lord Of The Jungle wants revenge. Tarzan in front of the Pyramid meets up with the savage warriors that had been blasted by the cannon and takes lead of the remaining men as a stampede of Dinosaurs and the Saber-Tooth Tiger stomp by heading toward the pyramid themselves, while The Captain and the Pirates see this and decide to give up the search and to find a boat and leave, unknown to them Ike was killed by the stomping dinosaurs. Alhazred snaps out of his pain and starts to beat up Simon as Tarzan and his Warriors break into the pyramid and fight with The Lizard People and the Cannibal Warriors and this massive fight gets broken up when the Dinosaurs come stomping in crushing anyone in their way. Tarzan breaks away from the fight and heads toward Alhazred and once to him he finds Simon dead from a broken neck and Alhazred wants to sacrifice Tarzan to the crystal to gain more power!

Man this storyline is getting crazy as this issue has Tarzan on his way to Abdul Alhazred all the while dodging rampaging dinosaurs, beating up Cannibal tribesmen, dodging the death stares of the Lizard Men and patching up his friendship with the Pirate Captain. While Abdul Alhazred himself is injured by the thing that gives him his power, turned on by his Mercenary hired guns and needs more human lives to feed to the crystal! Tarzan in this issue is super focused on bringing Simon and Abdul Alhazred to justice as they have wronged him over and over through out this story arch, and he also sticks to his word when it comes to not given up and being loyal to his friends, even when his anger sometimes made him make bad decisions. Abdul Alhazred shows slight weakness and we truly get a look at his power as we now know that it comes from the massive crystal that demands he give it human souls in order to get more power, and he truly shows he has zero respect for human life and the only thing that matters to him…is himself. Simon is so greedy that his own want for power is what leads to his neck being snapped and his soul given to the crystal. The other Mercenaries are just lambs in line to the slaughter, well besides Ike who is crushed to death under the feet of rampaging dinosaurs. Poor Princess Ayesha and her Warrior protector go down with a fight as The Lizard Men want then dead, and after the explosion I am not sure what her fate is! So much going on with so many characters involved, but damn it this is a great story and captures the mood and feel of a good Jungle Adventure! The cover is eye catching and has Tarzan fighting with dinosaurs and the interior art by Sal Buscema is great and showcases why I love Marvel Comic from the 70’s and Early 80’s. Over all a great issue that is winding down a storyline that has been one hell of a ride this far.

Tarzan # 23  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel     # 23 of 29

Tarzan draws his knife and is ready to make Abdul Alhazred pay for all his crimes in the jungle against the slaves he has murdered, and Alhazred is more joyed with the idea of killing Tarzan to please the crystal. Tarzan goes onto the attack and after stabbing Abdul Alhazred a bunch of times he sees that the blade does not inflect any damage! That’s is until one blow cuts deeps and causes Abdul Alhazred pain and he starts to bleed and its clear that the Crystal is drawing power from his pain and anger as well, showing Abdul Alhazred is not the chosen one but just a pawn for the Crystal. This angers Alhazred and his fight with Tarzan gets more intense and grows with emotions of anger, hatred and rage and the Mercenaries do what they can to keep the Cannibal Tribe at bay, and with the combined forces of Tarzan’s knife and a gun shot from one of the dying Mercenaries they are able to wound Alhazred and he stumbles into the Crystal that drains him of all his life. With that the Mercenary dies leaving only one of them left, who now stands with Tarzan as he is ready to go home and put this nightmare land behind him. Meanwhile the savage warriors have defeated the Lizard people and the Cannibal Tribesmen and are now up with Tarzan who gives them one last order to destroy the Crystal and they obey. And at the wreckage of the cannon Princess Ayesha and her Warrior are still alive and he must fight off and bare handed kill one of the remaining Lizard People to save his ladies life, and in the end as Tarzan and the Mercenary head to find a way home, the see the Princess with her Warrior and know she is happier here then returning home to a destroyed village.

This issue wraps the story of Abdul Alhazred that madman who graved power and had no respect for human life, and in his end he learned that he himself was no one special as the thing that gave him his powers is also the same thing that took them back as well as his life. Alhazred is a great example of a classic bad guy as he is opposing, crazy, mean, strong, a killer and a great foe for our hero. His end is also very fitting as he himself faces the same grim death that he has sacrificed so many to and even with all his power and anger he just becomes a pile of dust. Tarzan after all this adventure and time in this issue he gets his revenge for the death of the old man as well as all the slaves over the years, its great to see him go full savage with his fathers knife and put up the fight of his life against a bad guy who clearly was stronger then him, but also not clearly as battle ready. I also like the fact Tarzan in this strange land has managed to make new friends with the Warriors and the Pirates! A plus for me as well is the fact Princess Ayesha and her Warrior boyfriend have a happy ending as that poor girl had some terrible luck and moments in her life in this series, so glad she was able to find happiness. I also like that the French Mercenary who was the only one among the bunch who was a good person not only lived but also found his inner power and learned how to fight to stay alive and to protect others. The Lizard People and The Cannibal Tribe are great backup bad guys who are as evil as the madman they follow, and they as well get brought down. This was a solid and great story arch that took Tarzan from the jungle all the way to a savage land in the middle of the Earth on a quest for revenge, and it takes so much twist and turns of action and drama that it really delivered a great comic book reads. The cover is eye catching and reminds me of a cover you would see for another Marvel Comic series like Spider-Man, Captain America or even X-Men. The interior art by Sal Buscema is fantastic and again holds that 70’s Marvel charm.

Tarzan # 24  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Marvel     # 24 of 29

Tarzan and The Mercenary have found the portal to take them back to their world and are seen off by Princess Ayesha, The Warriors and even the Pirates who all wish them well on their travel back, and Tarzan with The Mercenary enter the portal and once back home use TNT to blow up the cave that held the portal and then go their separate ways. Meanwhile Jane with the Waziri Tribe are with Jad-Bal-Ja the black maned golden lion and are watching a wild grass fire and making sure that it will not reach their houses, and also making sure that they will not be stomped to death by the stampeding animals! The fire has been started by rich white people Mr. Tory, Miss Lyle and their hired gun Ian Chalmers who ends up seeing Jane who is trying to help the scared animals who are heading toward a massive gorge and rushes to try and help, and this of course would kill them all if they fall over and Jane could not stand by and witness this. So along with Jad-Bal-Ja and the Waziri Tribe they try and save the animals life, but Jane is knocked out of her jeep and she falls off the cliff of the gorge and while hanging on the side the rhino that knocked her over is on a rampage and is about the push the jeep over as well…so death is closing in. But as Jane looses her grip Ian is to late and she falls and as the hunter is shaken he is about to be attacked by Jad-Bal-Ja as the lion blames this man for the death of Jane…but lucky for Ian Jad-Bal-Ja is netted by Mr. Tory who wants the beats head for his collection! Ian who has been a hunter in Africa knows that the black manned lion is that of Tarzan’s and that means the lady was Jane and he warns his boss that trouble is coming. Tarzan meanwhile is almost home only seeing the fire, but is more focused on getting home to see his wife.

This is a great way to end the Abdul Alhazred story to get into this new story that has British and American Game Hunters being the cause of hurting Jane and capturing Tarzan’s Lion friend! This issue’s plot has Tarzan getting back home and closing the portal to that savage land for good while his wife Jane is trying her best to save the life of animals that are running for their lives from a fire that is set by a rich hunter named Mr. Troy who wanted to eliminate the tall grass, and his actions lead to a major accident that leaves Jane falling over a cliff! Tarzan in this issue is on a mission to get back to his wife as he has gotten his revenge, but has been gone for so long due to being stuck in the savage land…and even during this quest to get home he still knows that the portal being left open would be dangerous so he uses some good old TNT and blows up the cave that houses it…Tarzan is a true hero who while flawed is a good person at heart as he wants to protect and save. Jane Greystoke as well shows how great of a person she is as she puts her own life in danger in order to save the lives of animals and she as well has no fear of danger and she is a fitting wife for Tarzan! The black maned golden lion known as Jad-Bal-Ja is awesome and is very much loyal to Jane and the beast does what he can to protect her and listen to her orders. Ian Chalmers is an American Hunter who is a gun for hire to help the rich hunt dangerous animals, and does not wish to hurt people nor even animals for no reason and I think he knows the danger they are now in with Jane being “killed” in an accident and also now that they have captured his friend the lion. Mr. Tory and Miss Lyle are so out of touch and are killing animals and causing land destruction for there own gain…and I don’t think they care or even really gets just what they have done. This is a great story to follow the long saga we just ended and I also like that this one appears to be very Jane centered as for many issues now she has been nowhere in sight so its great to see her also be a hero. Good action packed cover, great interior artwork from Sal Buscema and cool new characters make this a story I cannot wait to see what’s next.

Tarzan # 25  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Marvel     # 25 of 29

Tarzan returns home just as his son Jack “Korak” Clayton III does as well and the Waziri Tribe tell them of the fire and accident and this sets father and son off on a mission of rescue and revenge! Meanwhile we find out that Mr. Roger Tory is in fact not filling the animals as he wants them to put on display in New York to make tons of money as he thinks Jad-Bal-Ja will be a big prized feature as no one has seen a black maned lion before! Like before Ian tries to warn his boss that things will get really bad when Tarzan finds out about the accident of his wife, and Tory brushes it off and says they will deal and kill Tarzan if needed and they head back to camp. Unknown to them Jane has climbed out of the gorge, while she is hurt she is very much filled with anger and rage over the fire and accident. As Mr. Troy is packing up the animals to ship to New York they are confronted by a very angry Tarzan who goes crazy in the tent freeing many of the animals, beating up many of the hired men of Mr. Troy before setting his sights on the fat man himself, and just as he is about to kill the man he thinks killed his wife Tarzan is hit with a electric cattle prod and is attacked and shocked until he is knocked out. Once out cold Mr. Roger Tory, Sarah Lyle and Ian Chalmers cage Tarzan and decide they will take him and show him off in New York as a wild man! As they are loading up the animals and Tarzan they are confronted by a shotgun touting Jane who wants them to let her husband go, but Roger tricks her and gets the gun away and decides he will kidnap her are well to but in his “Great Show” and as Ian tries to talk sense into his boss he is made fun of and sent away. As Roger with his crew and cargo fly away Korak shows up with gun in hand to get answers from the natives left behind.

The plot thickens as this issue has the rich fat business man and his crooked crew now not only stealing animals from Africa but also is now kidnapping Tarzan and his wife Jane in order to turn them both into a sideshow attraction in New York! And their only hope is if their son Korak The Killer can track them down and set them free…well that is what we are lead to believe right now. Lets start with talking about the stories bad guys and the worst one is Mr. Roger Tory a rich fat American who thinks money can buy anyone and anything and that he can do what ever he likes cause he has the money to back it up. It’s also clear that life of others means nothing to Roger as he has no issues with killing animal or human and loves to also talk down to people as well as cheat them. Young woman Sarah Lyle is a greedy woman who only is around Roger as she sees him as a meal ticket to money and fame, she is also very mean hearted and only cares about herself and money. Another scumbag member of Roger’s crew is Smithers who is his accountant of crime and has it out for Jad-Bal-Ja as the beast clawed him during the fight in the tent…really he is a weasel and scum. Ian Chalmers is a hunter who needs the money of Roger’s in order to pay off gambling debuts, and he hates all the shady stuff but has to go along as the money talks and his own fears keep him in line. Tarzan lets rage blind him in battle in this issue and leads to his capture as he leaves himself open for attack. Jane is able to climb a gorge, over take a worker and steal his gun and even confront the hunting party, sure she gets captured in the end but she is one tough cookie! Korak takes his sweet time to aid his father in the search for Jane and is even late in order to save his parents from being kidnapped…in other words for a man that has the nickname Killer sure does not impress in this issue. And to me the thing that is great is that taking Tarzan to New York to display for a crowd reminds me of King Kong! The cover is great and shows action and just like before the interior art is done by the talented Sal Buscema and I great like before. So lets see what happens when Tarzan gets to New York and lets see if Korak can make up for his late to the party foul in the next issue.

Tarzan # 26  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Marvel     # 26 of 29

Tarzan is filled with rage and hatred as he is trapped in the cage as Roger informs him that he plans to make him the main attraction as his new themed club and that Jane is indeed alive and if Tarzan acts up he will have her killed, and in order to keep Tarzan quite Martin will be injecting his throat with a tranquilizer so that he can not alert people of his kidnapping! As the planes land Jane is placed in a sack and taken away as Ian watches, but does not act to save her while Tarzan is bound and yet still is able to almost kill Martin Smithers before he is finally injected and passes out. Roger loads up his new attractions and heads to his club as he has money to make. Meanwhile back in Africa Korak gets the answers from the helpers of Roger and heads off to try and hire a small plane to take him to America. Meanwhile back in New York Roger is leading a parade in order to build hype for his club and in this parade is a caged Tarzan as well as Jad-Bal-Ja, and as Tarzan is angry the crowd just cheer and laugh. While in a room in the Empire State Building Jane is being held captive and when she has a failed escape attempt, she soon learns that Ian Chalmers has fallen in love with her…and she will use this to her advantage. In the end we see the inside of the club that is filled with rich people and Tarzan is stuck in a cage with his yells and grunts going unnoticed.

This issues plot has Roger Tory getting to New York and with cruel tactics, drugs and beatings he does what he can to try and get Tarzan under control so that he can use this Lord Of The Jungle as a way to get money from those who enter his club. And all the while Jane is being as well held against her will and worse away from her husband as she is as well being used as a way to keep Tarzan in line. This is a great way to bring Tarzan to an American city and captures more reader’s attention as the series is not just Jungle adventures anymore and brings the drama and action to the society that they can identify with. Tarzan in this issue really is just a prisoner who while fights back against Smithers, spends the rest of the issue in a cage unable to speak and only with the want to escape and find his wife. Jane as well is helpless as even when fighting back and trying to escape the odds are just not one her side. And like before Korak is taking his sweet time to help is parents, he always seems to be like 500 steps behind when it comes to being the hero he needs to be. Roger Tory and his cronies are really put no value on human lives, as they will kill, mistreat and exploit anyone to make some money, in fact they are human traffickers…man these guys really are pure scum. Ian Chalmers shows that while he is a good hunter he really is spineless when it comes to standing up against the crimes of Roger, plus the fact that he is fallen in love with a wild man’s wife shows that this made is also not very smart! I like how this story arch is going and I feel that it shows the downside of humans as they really would pay to stare at and laugh at a human in a cage that was different from them. The cover is great and one that I remember from my youth and the interior art by Sal again is top notch. Over all another great issue in this Marvel Comics Tarzan series and to me proves that they do the Lord Of The Jungle right.

Tarzan # 27  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Marvel     # 27 of 29

Roger Tory is living large at his club as his customers are spending tons of money and are enjoying all he has on display including Tarzan who many think is just an actor playing a wild man, at one point many of the people at the club throw their drinks at him and laugh at his anger. Meanwhile Korak is on his way to take a private plane and fly it to New York in order to try and save his parents. Meanwhile at the Safari Club the mobster Blackjack and his gang show up as Roger owes them lots of money from a scam he pulled off in Chicago and they have came to collect and tell Smithers to go and get his boss. Meanwhile Tarzan and Jad-Bal-Ja are placed in a cell that is protected by unbreakable glass and are forced to fight for their lives against a massive Albino Gorilla who has been drugged and put into a rage! As Roger meets with Blackjack the alerts the mobster he can pay him in full in about a week, but this is not good enough for Blackjack to takes his tommygun and shoots the glass of the cell freeing Tarzan, The Albino Gorilla and Jad-Bal-Ja into the crowd who go into a panic! Meanwhile Jane once more take the chance to try and escape and knocks out a henchman as well as Ian and then breaks the widow of her room on the 85th floor and climbs up the building as Ian when woken up thinks she has committed suicide.

Tarzan who is the most feared and respected living being in the jungles of Africa is now stuck in a cage in New York being mocked, laughed at and used to as entertainment and all the while the man behind this torment is being threatened by a crime boss who wants the money he is owed and this is all comes to a dangerous event by the end of this issue as chaos breaks out in the club and a rampaging gorilla is set free! Oh man were to start but I for one love how this story is playing out as it really does remind me of King Kong as well as all the classic Jungle Movies of golden age Hollywood. I also like that now we have more bad guys added to the mix as the mobsters are just as bad as Roger and his goons and greed is what is pushing both bad sides. Tarzan in this issue goes from being mocked by the crowd to being put in a fight to the death against a gorilla for their entertainment, and because of the drug they injected him with he can not tell them this is not a show and he is no actor! Jane once more uses her charms and inner power to fight to escape and does just that by the end of the issue and even climbs the Empire State Building to do so! Korak besides saving a British Soldier from a panther attack he is pretty useless and spends the time trying to get to a small plane so he can fly to NY to save his parents, really this far Korak is moving at the pace of a snail and is doing no good at this point to save his family. Ian Chalmers is a guy who clearly down on his luck and while good at heart is so far in debut to Roger that he is nothing more then a hired gun that he keeps spineless. Roger, Smithers and Sarah are all about the Safari Club as they want to make all they money they can off stolen animals and a kidnapped couple, and its shows when they are faced with people that are bigger and badder then them they are cowards. Black Jack and his gang mean business and will kill to get what’s owed and will even put the lives of people not involved in order to get it, I think Black Jack is not done with causing issues for everyone. Jad-Bal-Ja the lion shows that he is loyal to Tarzan as he does what he can to help fight the rampaging Albino Gorilla who is so drugged that he feels no pain and only wants to kill anything and everyone in its sights! The cover is great and eye catching and shows Tarzan and the Albino Gorilla fighting and Sal does the interior art so you know its good. A great issue and I cannot wait to reread the next issue and remember how this story plays out.

Tarzan # 28  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Marvel     # 28 of 29

Ian Chalmers who original freaked out as he thought Jane jumped from the window on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building, now notices that she is trying to climb to the top of it! Meanwhile the cops have shown up to the Safari Club and before they enter the club they gunned down a lion and walk in as Tarzan and Jad-Bal-Ja are in a fight to the death against the Albino Gorilla and notice that The Black Jack Gang are standing with Roger watching this chaos. During the fight Black Jack starts to get a respect for Tarzan who is clearly the underdog but is fighting like a King and has zero fear in his eyes, he alerts Roger that if Tarzan dies he will die as well! And Black Jack then notices that Roger is hiding the knife of Tarzan and takes it and throws it to him and Tarzan uses it to end the battle and the life of the Albino Gorilla, and after the battle Tarzan is filled with rage and lets out a yell that chills the blood of everyone in the club. The Cops draw their guns and are about to gun down Tarzan and Jad-Bal-Ja when Black Jack and his gang pull their guns and warn the police to go take a hike or they will bring a war to the police department, and this works as the cops leave and Black Jack takes Jad-Bal-Ja and Roger to the docks and Tarzan rushes to the Empire State Building after getting Jane’s location from Roger. Tarzan reaches his destination and gets passed the cops and makes it to Jane just in time as Ian and his goons have surrounded her, Tarzan knocks them out and he and Jane jump onto a plane that flies by that is being flown by their son Korak and they head to the docks to meet with Black Jack

Wow this was a fun issue that is packed with action and drama and has Tarzan killing a massive gorilla, become friends with a gangster, knock around some police officers, get to the top of the Empire State Building, rescues his wife and flies away on the wing of a plane…yep this issue is pretty dang great! Tarzan in this issue is a man on a mission to survive a fight against the odds as well as to find and save his wife from the crazy world of New York City! Tarzan is the true hero of the jungle and his family and I love the fact he has zero fear when it comes to almost dying at the hands of the Albino Gorilla as well as when it comes to rushing past the cops like they are leaves in the wind. Jane as well has zero fear in her escape from Roger’s Goons and risks her own life in order to climb a building to safety with the idea to get away and save her husband. The useless Korak shows up at the last minute to try and play hero with his plane, he really is useless in this adventure. Black Jack and his Gang are bad guys for the most part, but do have some respect for Tarzan and his family and that’s why he decides to help the Lord Of The Jungle escape. Roger is truly a spineless coward who fears Tarzan, Black Jack as well as being sued by the guests of his club, not to even mention his goons including Ian have all failed in their missions and Sarah in the end dumps Roger! I really liked the fight between the Albino Gorilla and Tarzan who ended up having the use a knife to end the fight. I also was a fan of Tarzan running around New York City in order to find his wife and dig that they used the Empire State Building as the final stand place between Tarzan and Roger’s Goons. The cover is great and eye catching as it reminds me of King Kong and the interior art by Sal is great like before. Well next up is the final issue in the main series, so lets see how Marvel wraps up Tarzan.

Tarzan # 29  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .40     Marvel     # 29 of 29

Tarzan along with Jane, Korak, Jad-Bal-Ja as well as a few other apes are all on a small boat in the middle of the ocean, they are all weak, thirsty and being burnt by the sun that is shinning down above them…and then Tarzan remembers back to what has lead them to this situation…he flashes back to New York as when he and his family arrive at the docks they are rushed onto a massive ship set but by Black Jack who handles the police when the show up and turns in Roger for kidnapping. While on the ship Tarzan and his family are treated like guests of honor by the Captain who even events them to the massive ball that is happing that night. While Tarzan goes to the ships cargo to visit his animal friends he stumbles upon a blackmail scheme going down between a sinister chap in a Top Hat and Mr. Vorga about rigging peace talks between two nations, as Top Hat has letters that Vorga had written to a sleazy female bar singer and will release them if he does not do what is asked of him. Tarzan as heard enough and snatches the letters from Top Hats hands and runs him off and threatens him if he comes back to Vorga’s room he will regret it. While at the ships ball Mr. Vorga and his wife sit with Tarzan and his family, but things get bad when Top Hats hired goon dressed as a clown stabs Vorga in the back and Tarzan gives chase as the goon and Top Hat run away…but Top Hat as other ideas and uses dynamite to blow up the ship and Tarzan just in time is able to save his animal friends and get them on a life boat along with Jane, Korak, the wounded Mr. Vorga plus his wife and the ships captain…and then we cut back to currant times as they are all hungry, thirsty, sun baked and missing land, when in a distance they spot land and better yet right near Tarzan’s home and they are all saved!

It’s crazy as this was the final issue in Marvel’s amazing Tarzan series and just like almost all the others before it, this issue delivers a great read that features the classic hero doing what he does best and that’s saving the day as well as beating the odds that are stacked against him. This issue has Tarzan and his family on a cruise ship that is taking them back home and before they can be dropped off a crazed man blows up the ship and causes Tarzan and the rest to fight for their life against the cruel sea and the blistering hot sun. Tarzan in this issue takes up for a man who is being bullied and as well shows that he is not only loyal to his family and animal friends but also to those who can not defend themselves, and when things get bad on the ship he not only goes after the bad guys but also does all he can to save lives from the sinking ship. Jane and Korak are around and while they are only bit players in this issue they do serve a purpose of being the motivation for Tarzan to fight harder and the reason to survive. Top Hat is a crazy man who wants to bride to get what he wants and when that doesn’t work he decides murder is the answer and then when confronted he ends up killing himself and others by blowing up the ship causing it to sink! I think the best part of Top Hat is that he looks like a cartoon bag guy complete with curly mustache…its great classic bad guys stuff. Marvel in this final issue gets Tarzan and his family home and it’s a fitting end, but also I wish his final adventure with Marvel would have been bigger and better and would have had him fighting a great cat or a super crazed witch doctor, and not the sun being the main threat. The cover is good and pretty dang eye catching and as always the interior art is done by the great Sal Buscema who did a great job of bringing Tarzan to the pages of this comic series. Tarzan The Lord Of The Jungle is great and is one comic series that I feel was really well done by Marvel and that the team on this book cared about what they were doing, and I for one had a blast re-visiting this series after all these years…and once more I want to thank my late Uncle Thurman for introducing me to it as him giving me these comics when I was a kid made me a life long fan of the character. Check out below for artwork done by Sal for this series.

But I know what you readers are thinking this is the Christmas Eve update for 2020 so we need more Tarzan…well you are in luck as its now time for me to take a look at the King Sized Annuals! So here is more Tarzan for your Holiday enjoyment.

Tarzan Annual # 1  ***
Released in 1977     Cover Price .50     Marvel     # 1 of 3

Tarzan returns to a site in the jungle that holds all types of memories from his time as a youth picking berries with his mother and then he remembers back to his first crush Teeka a young female ape who captured his attention, and he remembers back to having to fight Taug in order to win her hand! Tarzan and Taug are in a battle to the death that is until a panther shows up and is looking to bring down an ape for lunch and the cat has its eyes on Teeka, and while the others flee Tarzan with his rope and knife come to her rescue and after running the panther off Tarzan and Teeka spend the afternoon together, but when he leaves to find food she ends up going to Taug and this breaks Tarzan’s heart who goes on a multiple day long solo hunt. While in the jungle we watches a tribe build a cage and then later watches as Taug is captured in the cage and is taken away by the tribe. Tarzan thinks that this is the best thing to happen for him as with Taug out of the way he thinks Teeka will be his, that is until she sees the sadness in her eyes and this sparks him to try and rescue Taug. Tarzan saves Taug and the ape returns to his mate as Tarzan at that moment knew he was different from his ape family. We join Tarzan once more as he chuckles about his part memory and then he finds his old vein rope in the spot and remembers back again to a time when he first learned to swing from vines, and during a time he had a major fight with Bukawai a disfigured human witch doctor who lives in a cave near the ape tribe and has two hyenas as pets. One day a massive storm hits the jungle and Tarzan is injured when lighting hits the tree he was seeking shelter from, and who finds him is Bukawai who takes him to the cave and ties him to a pole and wants to watch as Tarzan dies, but Bukawai during this is being cruel to his hyenas who see Tarzan as a fresh meat meal. Tarzan figures away to free himself and ends up chasing off the hyenas and then ties Bukawai to the poll and the hyenas return to eat him! Back in currant times its now getting late and Tarzan is done remembering the past and swings off back into the heart of the jungle.

This first King Sized Annual is a great read for Tarzan fans and has a good plot that follows the Lord Of The Jungle as he dealt with his first crush and the heartbreak that comes along with it, and he also remembers back to the time when he had to face and bring down a evil witch doctor. Tarzan really is feeling nostalgic for his past as he remembers times with his ape parents, his first crush and even the first time he learned to swing around on vines in the trees. Tarzan even in his younger days had no fear and would fight to the death against anything that gets in his path of what he wants as he takes on a raging ape, a panther, a pair of hyenas and a crazed witch doctor. I think what works for this annual is the fact its moments from Tarzan’s past and showed how he has grown as just a young boy living with apes to becoming The Lord Of The Jungle! It’s also great to see that Tarzan’s ape father truly hated him and wished for his adoptive son’s death all the time. The issues main bad guy is Bukawai a witch doctor who was badly disfigured from disease and was shunned by his tribe cause this as well as the fact Tarzan disproved his cures and medicines, while he is crippled and broken down his hate and want for revenge keeps him going and all he wants to do is watch Tarzan die! But because his hate took him over when he had the chance to do so his cruelty to his pet hyenas turn them on him and he became a quick meal for them. The cover for this issue is great and very eye catching and features Tarzan standing over the body of a gorilla he brought down and the interior art done by John Buscema and is great stuff and once more has the classic 70’s Marvel appeal. Great read and a must for fans of Tarzan as it’s a fun story with more of Tarzan’s backstory explored.

Tarzan Annual # 2  ***1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .60     Marvel     # 2 of 3

Tarzan and his lion Jad-Bal-Ja stumble upon a massacre, as dead bodies of humans are all around and only an old man who clings to life is able to tell Tarzan what has happened. You see a King, Queen and the Princess had been overthrown from their kingdom by the Kings brother who then gave the order to slaughter them all while they left…but the old man begs Tarzan to care for The Princess who is still alive with his dying breath. Tarzan finds the Princess who was in hiding and she is mad and wants revenge for the death of her parents…and Tarzan agrees to help her do so. Tarzan gets them to the Kingdom Of The Cliffs and as they walk across the bridge they are attacked and taken as prisoners to see The King! As the Princess shouts about how her parents were murdered by this new King he himself acts shocked about the death of his brother and ordered that Tarzan and Jab-Bal-Ja be placed in a cell and the Princess to be taken to her old chambers. The King is worried now as many of the warriors are grumbling about if the claims of a murder squad sent to kill the former King is true. Tarzan finds out that he is be to sacrificed to the Kingdom’s giant snake god and when that time comes all hell breaks loose as The Princess is able to stab The King with a dagger, Tarzan breaks the skull flame pillar that held the serpent back, the giant snake appears and is looking for human meat and Jab-Bal-Ja break free of his cage and attacks the giant snake along with Tarzan who as well breaks free! Tarzan and his lion with the help of the warriors would the giant snake that makes an escape that is heading toward the Kingdom’s High Priest who wants to throw the Princess from a cliff and end her rule before it even starts! Just as the Priest is about to toss her over the giant snake appears and knocks the Priest over the cliff as it as well goes over ending both terrible lives and as The Princess is about to fall Tarzan once more saves her and she takes her place as the true Queen of the Kingdom as Tarzan heads home with his lion to see Jane.

The second King Size Annual could be the best issue in all of Marvel’s Tarzan series as it really is a great fantastic read that brings action, adventure and even a dash of fantasy and has Tarzan saving a Princess and helping her get revenge on those who murdered her parents and stole her place of ruling the Kingdom. Tarzan is as always a true hero as he fulfills an old mans dying wish, protects and helps a Princess reclaim her kingdom as well as slays a massive snake that has been keeping a kingdom at bay. Jad-Bal-Ja the golden black manned lion is also very much a hero in this issue as he fights off warriors, sets Tarzan free and then also starts the main attack of the giant snake! The Princess is young but is a true fighter and is filled with rage and revenge and wants to bring down her Uncle who is the man who took over her Kingdom and as well ordered the murder of her parents. The Uncle King is truly a coward and scum as he forced his way into power and murdered his own brother and then also wanted to marry his own niece…yeah he is gross and when he takes a knife to the gut and dies you as a reader feels good about it. The High Priest as well to the Kingdom is a terrible person and wants power and wants to murder those by feeding them to a massive snake that ends up being the key to his own death. I loved the over all feel and story of this issue as it truly brings out a great adventure for Tarzan that would have made for a great movie as well! The cover is pretty great and the interior art is done by Sal Buscema and is great stuff! Now that I am thinking about it this issue reminds me of an issue of Conan The Barbarian and in fact it could easily been an issue if you just swapped out Tarzan for Conan. Over all this could be hands down my favorite issue in this series and shows that 100% Marvel knew how to make comics based on The Lord Of The Jungle.

Tarzan Annual # 3  **1/2
Released in 1979     Cover Price .60     Marvel     # 3 of 3

Tarzan, Jane, Korak and guests are in London and are celebrating Guy Fawkes day by given dressed up kids pennies and heading toward the Opera for a show that features Jane’s friend Julia Hague, and while going in they find out Julia’s sister Evelyn has gone missing in Africa! Jane and Tarzan make their way to Julia’s dressing room and find out that she is not missing but kidnapped, and that she is not allowed to tell a soul…but she has and a Dwarf in the Opera house has heard this and before Tarzan can grab him he escapes into the crowd. Later as the Opera starts Julia is singing her heart out and Tarzan is able to stop her murder as the Dwarf armed with a gun, Tarzan and Korak surround him and the Dwarf ends up jumping to his death from a booth. Now safe Julia shows Jane and Tarzan a box her sister sent her that has a tiny human skeleton in it and Tarzan knows were he must travel to Africa to save her, but worse someone in the shadows is once more watching and listening. Tarzan and his friend Pierre D’Arnot are on a small plane flying over the place called The Great Thorn Forest and are shot down by Max Hunter a man who works for Sykes and is the kidnapper of Evelyn, Tarzan is thrown from the plane wreck as Pierre is knocked out and still in the plane when its attacked by a savage all female cavewoman tribe called the Alali Women and after Tarzan and the now rescued Pierre run them off they soon find that Sykes and his group are also under attack and that the Alali Women have run off with Evelyn after Tarzan uses a flamethrower tank to scare them off, Tarzan and Pierre then capture the kidnapers and find out that they did so to sell off the mini skeletons that she found as they think they would be worth millions to the right buyers. Tarzan then rushes off after the Alali Women to save Evelyn only to find them at war with the tiny Ant-Man warriors, and the tiny warriors make short work of the Alali Women and during the fight both Tarzan and Evelyn are hurt and are shrunken down to have their wounds treated as the warriors and their King and Queen are friends of Tarzan! Meanwhile a rival race of Ant-Men use their tiny arrows to bring down Pierre and the kidnappers quickly tell the Ant-Men that Tarzan is the one who dug up their graveyard and that they will ride with them in the tank to get revenge for this crime! Tarzan leads the good Ant-Men against the invaders and white small and even turning normal size he is able to stop the flame tank and bring the would be kidnapers to justice as the good Ant-Men run off the bad ones. In the end Korak arrives with a plane and picks up Tarzan, the injured Pierre and Evelyn and they return to London.

This final Tarzan Annual is a great read and delivers a solid adventure for Tarzan as he goes from a London Opera House all the way to a tiny Ant-Man village in Africa and all the while he is fighting off a mad dwarf with a gun, wild cavewomen out for blood and a group of greedy kidnappers who seek money and fame. Really this story is as crazy as that summery discretion sounds! Tarzan clearly does not understand the customs of the civil world, and yet he at times is more human then the people that surround him in the big city of London. Tarzan also shows that he is loyal to his friends as well as his wives friends as he is willing to travel to a part of the Jungles of Africa that is dangerous in order to save the sister of a woman he has just meet, but is close friends of his wife Jane. He also shows once more he has no fear as he is willing to fight off all enemies that come at him in this issue. Pierre D’Arnot is a Frenchman who is close friends of Tarzan who as well rushes into a unknown danger to help, and is very useful with a gun, and thank the heavens that he wears a leather jacket of he would have been a dead man thanks to the tiny arrows of the Ant-Men. Korak and Jane are around and do their best to help with this kidnaping plot as well as keep the victims sister calm. The Ant-Men have two sides one kingdom is peaceful and is ruled by friends of Tarzan while the other side is bad and are looking for a war as well as a reason to truly hate Tarzan. The Kidnapers Martin, Max and Sykes are true scumbags who will snuff out a life, lie, cheat and steal all in the quest to make a quick fortune off anyone and everything. Plus the Kidnapers in their grasp has eyes, ears and killers in London and also are in control of a very powerful flamethrower tank that makes them super deadly. The Alali Women are a cave woman clan who want to mate and kill males that are foolish enough to stumble in their area, they are deadly and bloodthirsty and not to be messed with. This is a crazy adventure that is well paced and showcases once more that Marvel Comics knew how to make a great Tarzan adventure comic. The cover is eye catching and showcases Tarzan in danger from not only the Ant-Men but also the Alali Women. The interior art is done by the team of Sal as well as Ricardo Villamonte and is great stuff. No joke I am a little sad that this is the final issue for this update as I have had a great time covering Tarzan and his Marvel Comic adventures and wish it would have lasted a little longer. But with that said check out the artwork below to see the style used in these annuals.

Wow that was lots of fun re-reading the Marvel Comics adventures of Tarzan and for me they really held up and were fantastic 70’s comic reads that showcases just why Tarzan is still to this day a classic hero of pop culture. It’s a shame that Marvel Comics have not brought Tarzan back to the company as I feel that he could fit in perfect with their currant plans of returning characters like Star Wars and Conan The Barbarian as well as the newly added Ultraman. I would love to see a comic that would pit Tarzan against Conan as that fight would be epic and awesome. This was a long and epic Christmas Eve update and I hope that this holiday season brought you some joy and thank you for spending some time here at Rotten Ink. Our next update will be my countdown of films I seen in the theater this year and it’s a strange one indeed so I will see you back for that one. Until next time make sure to send a message to your loved ones, enjoy your holiday season the best you can and as always make sure to leave milk and cookies out for Santa! Be safe and I will see you next year to chat about the cinema.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: M (1931)

Greetings, everyone!  Juliet here once more taking the blog reigns from Matt temporarily.  Today I’m going to take you From Horror Film to Horror Comic with a look at a film that made a huge impact on me, both on its own and because of its influence on the larger world of filmmaking that came after it.  I’m talking about Fritz Lang’s M, a serial killer story that helped set the stage for so many of the movies we know and love and celebrate as classics today.  So let’s get to it with a look at the killer Hans Beckert.

When we first meet Hans Beckert, he appears as a shadow on the poster warning villagers of the child murderer in their midst.  Although his first line is seemingly innocent enough, telling Elsie he likes her ball and asking her name, it’s chilling — especially for those of us who grew up in the era of Stranger Danger.  Although we never see it in the film (one of the many awesome things about M is that the murders are up to the audience’s imagination), it’s implied that he stabs or butchers his victims, likely very brutally.  Among his advantages are Beckert’s ability to blend into society seemingly undetected until it’s too late, but being a mere man he’s subject to the same harm any man can fall victim to.  Beckert’s mental state is another weakness; it drives him to kill despite his realization that it’s wrong, which pushes him to near madness and helplessness.

Now that we’ve met the titular “M” from M, it’s time to look at the film itself.  The description will be taken from IMDB, and then I’ll follow with some production history and my own history with the film.

“In Berlin in the early 1930’s, children are being lured to their death by a psychopathic killer. In the space of a year, 8 children have been murdered. The police have redoubled their efforts to find the guilty man but have yet to find him and citizens are beginning to dispense their own justice on otherwise innocent people. The heads of the city’s criminal element are paying a high price due to the increased police presence and decide to find the psychopath on their own. They approach the beggars union to have their members blanket the city with spies. They’re successful in finding the killer and put him on trial in their own special court but the police make progress and have their own views on how justice should be administered.”

Dubbed the Master of Darkness by the British Film Institute, Austrian-born filmmaker Fritz Lang began writing some ideas for films when he was recovering from injuries and shell shock he sustained while serving in the Austrian army in WWI.  Once he was discharged from the army in 1918, Lang worked briefly as a writer before being hired as a director for Germany’s UFA.  The Expressionist movement was at its zenith, and Lang would quickly claim his place among its makers with his particular talent for combining the visual techniques of the movement with popular genre storytelling.  

In 1930, Lang announced that he was making a film called Mörder unter uns (Murderer Among Us), which was to be about a child murderer, but when he went to begin shooting, he was denied access to a shooting stage because the head of the studio, a Nazi himself, assumed based on the title alone that the film was meant to depict Nazis in a bad light.  However, when he found out what the film was actually about, Lang was given access to the stage. M would go through several other names before its simple title was adopted.  The film was shot in six weeks and featured real criminals as extras in many of the mob scenes.  

As with all of his films from this era, Lang co-wrote M with his then-wife Thea von Harbou.  As of part of his research for the film, Lang spent time in a German mental institution talking to serial killers including Peter Kürten, known as the Vampire of Düsseldorf, who many people thought was a direct inspiration for Peter Lorre’s character, Hans Beckert, though Lang denied that.

Prior to his casting in M, Lorre was a comedic actor, but it’s said that Lang had him in mind for the role of the killer in M while the film was still being scripted.  It began Lorre’s first starring role, though it also began a trend of the actor being type-casted as a villain that would follow him to Hollywood. 

M was also, and perhaps most notably, Fritz Lang’s first sound film.  Unlike other, sometimes disastrous first forays into sound, M’s soundtrack is complex featuring narration, off camera sound, and narrative silence to build suspense.  It’s much more in line with what modern audiences are accustomed to the the majority of the “talkies” of the era.  The sound element most people instantly remember from M, however, is the whistling.  Using the tune “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Lang used an opera technique called leitmotif where a melody is associated with one character throughout the entire story. Fun fact: Peter Lorre couldn’t whistle so the whistling you hear in the film is Fritz Lang himself. 

Although M isn’t technically the first film to portray a serial killer (both The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Hitchcock’s The Lodger had already done so prior to M’s release in 1931), it’s considered by many to be the first official serial killer film in a lineage that includes Shadow of a Doubt, Psycho, and especially the boom of films in the late 80s and early 90s that includes Silence of the Lambs, Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer, and Manhunter.  It gets this distinction because of its exploration of the complicated psychology of serial killers (without straying too far into the sympathetic) AND the conditions of a society where serial killers can thrive, if only temporarily. M, along with Lang’s other German films, is also considered to be one of the films which helped pave the way for film noir, both in terms of storytelling and theme elements and in terms of visual style.  

I first saw M when I was in film school in the early 2000s.  Although I left that program and pursued another major after two years, one of the things for which I’m most grateful from that time was discovering the German Expressionist movement.  Although I was aware of a some of the films from the movement (Nosferatu being the most obvious choice) and I was already a fan of silent cinema, getting to really know the work that paved the way for some of my favorite historic and modern genres (horror, science fiction, and film noir) was amazing, Lang quickly emerged as my favorite director and the subject of several of my papers.  Although Metropolis remains my favorite of his films, M is just stunning.  It’s a long film (nearly two hours), but it’s filled with incredible angles and lightning that make you want to watch multiple times — for the story and for how the visuals help tell the story.  You really can see the technical throughline from M to some of Hitchcock’s more seminal work to film noir to the serial killer films of the 80s and 90s. It had actually been a while since I watched M all the way through, but upon rewatching it to prepare to write this blog, I found myself once more enchanted and excited by this film…and wanting to do a full Lang rewatch.

Before I dive into Fritz Lang’s entire film catalog, however, it’s time to dive into the 90s comic miniseries based on M. Thanks to Bell Book and Comic and Lone Star Comics for having these issues.  As usual, we grade these comics on a scale of 1 to 4 and look for how well the comics stay to the source material, their entertainment value and their art and story. So whistle an eerie tune, and let’s see how a tale of murder translate from the silver screen to the page.

M # 1  **1/2
Released in 1990   Cover Price $5.95   Arcane/Eclipse   #1 of 4

In a German town, children play and sing a playful yet cautionary song about a murderer who will chop you up if you’re not careful.  In a tenement, neighbors go about their days work.  One wishes the children wouldn’t sing “the murderer’s song,” while another says that as long as the children are singing, their parents know they’re safe.  While her mother sets the table for dinner, young Elsie plays outside with her ball and encounters a shadowy figure who compliments her on the pretty toy. Soon the town receives news of a new murder, and the police receive a letter from the murderer saying that he could be anyone among them.  The townspeople take this idea to heart as anyone perceived as behaving suspiciously is indicted by the mob.  Meanwhile the police are working through their official investigation, trying to figure out patterns among the clues to narrow the search and figure out who might fit the psychological profile of the killer.  The assumption, of course, is that the killer must be part of the town’s seedy underbelly. The denizens of said underbelly, however, are equally frustrated – the murderer on the loose is making it difficult for their usual criminal activity to go on undetected, and it’s scaring their children.  The crime lords discuss this while they await Schranker, who, upon his arrival, tells his colleagues that they have business to discuss. 

The first thing that struck me about this comic book adaptation of M is how of its era it is with art and layout styles feeling right at home with other dark/horror titles of the late 80s and early 90s, which would pave the way for companies like Vertigo a few years later. That said, I wish that the start of this book had richer coloring/shading.  Although beautiful, some of it felt too soft for a film that’s noted for its high key, pre-noir style lighting and use of shadows.  By and large this was a good, albeit abridged adaptation of the film’s opening in terms of the story itself, but as with the shading, it fell a little flat for me when it came to capturing the chilling intensity of Hans Beckert’s encounter with Elsie.  Perhaps it does go back to the shading, but the lack of real, substantive shadows for Beckert in those panels made that moment less effective. All told, however, the first issue of the adaptation makes me want to continue reading the series. The sparing use of color is something I’ll discuss in regards to one of the next issues as I want to see how it plays out further into the story.  Before we get to it, I want to note that this issue came with (or comes with if you’re lucky enough to get an intact copy) an tear out record featuring an original score composition to accompany the comic on the A side and “Hall of the Mountain King” on the B-side.

M # 2: Crackdown  ***
Released in 1990   Cover Price $4.95   Arcane/Eclipse   #2 of 4

Schranker calls the meeting of the crimelords to order saying that someone outside their union is making it impossible for their work of organized crime to continue.  As the criminal leaders of the community, they must do something about this interference. Meanwhile the police discuss how to enlist the public’s help in identifying a killer amongst them without inciting a mob.  Schranker and the crimelords make better progress with their plan, enlisting the beggars’ union to help keep watch on suspicious activities and individuals.  As they station a man on every street corner, the police go door to door investigating a list of individuals who’ve been released from mental hospitals in the last five years.  An officer arrives at the building of Hans Beckert, and after chatting with a neighbor, he searches Beckert’s Room for clues. Meanwhile Beckert himself is wandering the streets whistling, lost in his own torment. He focuses on a girl, presumably his next victim, but abandons that course of action when her friends arrive.  Instead, he stops in a small eatery for a coffee and brandy, but leaves just as quickly as visions of dead girls are everywhere he turns.  Beckert’s whistling tips off a blind beggar who had been vending balloons the day Elsie was killed, and a chain of actions is set into play resulting in a chalk M being placed on Beckert’s jacket to alert the criminal mob to give chase.  But Beckert’s would-be victim notices the chalk, and when she offers to clean it off, Beckert realizes he’s being watched.

One of the things that M the film does really well is that it uses crosscutting to juxtapose the crime lords and the police planning and beginning their respective investigations.  This issue of the comic portrays that really well with the tinting to clearly indicate each group being a nice visual touch. Like the first issue, however, there are also moments that fail to capture the magic of the film.  This time around it was the whistling scenes where Beckert is grappling with and being tormented by his need to kill. I get it – it’s hard to translate something that’s so sound-dependent into a strictly visual medium.  The other thing of note is Beckert doesn’t quite look like Peter Lorre; my guess is that was necessary/intentional because of likeness issues.  It’s not a huge problem as writer/artist Jon J Muth captures the feeling of the scene with the chalk M well, it’s just a bit of a disappointment as so much of what makes that and many other scenes in the film is Peter Lorre’s facial expressions and acting. I did really like the way the final scene of the issue was drawn.  The chase on top of the train is so iconic, both for its role in this film and for all of the imagery it begat in thrillers to come to, and I thought it translated well to the page.  

M # 3: The Hunting  ** 1/2
Released in 1990   Cover Price $4.95   Arcane/Eclipse   #3 of 4

Having lost Beckert during their chase in the train yard, the crime lords and their men are on the lookout and receive a tip that their suspect is hiding in the railroad’s office building.  Meanwhile the police have returned to Beckert’s apartment for a stakeout, having discovered several clues in their previous visit linking him to the killer’s letter.  Schranker and his men perform an elaborate scheme to gain entry to the railroad office building after it is closed and neutralize the building’s guards without triggering any of the automatic alarms that will alert the police.  They want Beckert for themselves and will go to great lengths to extract him from the building.  As the police read a letter meant for Beckert that casts doubt on him as the suspect, Schranker’s men seemingly have Beckert trapped, but one of the building’s night watchmen manages to trigger the alarm.  Schranker and his men only have mere minutes to flee the building with their prisoner.

Have I mentioned that M also has elements of a classic heist film?  Well it does, though the target of the heist is a murderer not jewels or riches.  This issue of the comic book focuses, by and large, on the “heist” section of the film, and while the pacing is pretty good, this is the first issue of this series where I wonder if someone who’s either never seen or isn’t super familiar with the film would understand everything going on at the beginning with Schranker’s men getting into and searching/breaking into various parts of the building.  The end of the issue, however, is super solid and the back and forth between the action and Beckert’s reactions as his pursuers get closer is really great. The action is coming to a head so let’s get to the conclusion of the film and comic. 

M # 4: The Trial  **1/2
Released in 1990   Cover Price $5.95   Arcane/Eclipse   #4 of 4

Franz is in police custody, one of the criminals left behind in the confusion at the railroad building.  The police are willing to let him go free as long as he provides them with information about who the criminals were looking for and where they’ve taken him.  The answer is that Beckert has been taken to an abandoned distillery building, which Schranker and his men are using as a kangaroo court.  As the trial gets underway, a near mad Beckert launches into an impassioned speech about how he didn’t ask for and can’t control his murderous urges but that all of the people trying him are criminals by choice.  The criminal acting as Beckert’s lawyer argues for mercy, but the mob is thirsty for justice and blood.  Before they can be satisfied, however, the police arrive and Beckert once more stands trial, this time in a legitimate courtroom, as the mothers of the murdered girls look on and lament not keeping a closer eye on their children.

In this conclusion to M, we see some larger deviation from the film in Beckert’s hallucinations of his victims.  Although this doesn’t appear in the film, it’s a nice addition given how much adaptation had to be done to Beckert’s monologue.  As for the monologue, I think it worked, but this was definitely the place where it was most noticeable that they weren’t using Peter Lorre’s likeness for Beckert.  Not only were his incredible facial expressions missing throughout, but in this issue Beckert looked almost like a young Johnny Depp, really placing us in the era in which the comic was made, not necessarily the film.  Overall, this series was a really solid adaptation of the classic film.  Did certain things get cut?  Of course.  Having just recently written a film adaptation for Sparkle Comics, I have a renewed appreciation for the choices that have to be made when translating a film to comic.  So I don’t begrudge Jon J Muth his choices.  I also don’t begrudge him the graphite artwork, which I didn’t love in the first issue but got used to by the end of the series.  It’s not the style I would choose for this story, but it was really lovely. See below for some examples.

 Although M the comic doesn’t quite do M the film justice, it’s still an interesting read and worth checking out for fans of the films, especially those who are also fans of late 80s/early 90s comics.  Speaking of the 80s and serial killers, for our next update, Matt will be exploring 80s talk show The Morton Downey Jr. Show with a special focus on the slashers episode.  So until then, read a comic or 3, revisit your favorite classic films, and stay safe.

DC War Superstars Featuring Sgt. Rock!

In the words of Edwin Starr “War, huh, yeah…What is it good for…Absolutely nothing.” While the lyrics to that song make lots of sense, they also forget the fact that war is good for something as without it, the world would not have American Heroes in comic books like Captain America, Fighting American, The Shield and Super Green Beret to name a few. And let’s not forget literary and movie heroes like Rambo and Colonel John Matrix. For this quick update, I will showcase a DC Comics one-shot issue that reprinted a classic war story that featured some of their top characters of the time that included Sgt. Rock, Lt. Johnny Cloud and Haunted Tank driver Jeb Stuart as they have to work together to save and deliver one of America’s only hopes in an agent that’s very unusual. So if you are ready, strap on your helmet and let’s head to war DC Comic style!

I am sure you longtime readers know that the update after the July 4th has always been about my trip to the Horror Convention Monster Bash with Juliet, but sadly this year the summer event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak that pretty much shut down the world and changed lots of events that I had planned. I 100% understand why events like Monster Bash, Horror Hound, Cinema Wasteland and others were cancelled as lots of people attend them and the virus could spread very easily from attendee to attendee causing more illness and even deaths. But while I do understand, I was also very disappointed as every year I look forward to going to Monster Bash and enjoying all the amazing restaurants, sites and friends I get to see while in Cranberry Township. So while I am bummed, maybe later this year if all this clears up, Juliet and I will take a trip and I will cover it here on Rotten Ink.

Typical none-superhero War Comics were never my thing growing up, and the only one that I really enjoyed and still do to this day is DC Comics character The Unknown Solider who I will 100% cover some year soon for a July 4th American Hero update as he is a true comic icon and hero in this blogger’s eyes! Growing up I can remember my brother getting some issues of DC war comics from our Grandma Brassfield when she would get them from garage sales for him, and for the most part I would barely read or look at them with Sgt. Rock being the only one I would once in a blue moon read as the action in his comic was slightly more fast paced. But one comic from those hauls that always caught my attention was called “Battle Classics” that brought Sgt. Rock together with many of the other War characters teaming up to save the life of a person stuck in a metal suit, and to be honest, the cover showcasing the metal suit is why I checked it out! When planning this update I figured that I should give a little brief bio on each of the heroes that are showcased in this issue. So sit back, relax, and let’s chat about DC Comic’s battle stars, only after I talk about the July 4th Holiday Horror Movie Marathon 2020!

With Monster Bash not happening this year, Juliet and I decided on the long July 4, 2020 weekend that we would have ourselves a Horror Movie Marathon! On July 4th we had ourselves a pre-show of four frightful films as we ate pork chops, baked potatoes and corn! The first film of the day was the 1958 Horror/Sci-Fi film called “Frankenstein 1970” that is about the last relative of Frankenstein trying to create a life in his image all the while hosting a TV Film crew trying to make a Horror series that are clueless to his plan of creating a monster. Next up was the “horror” western film “Rawhide Terror” about a masked killer who is killing people of a small town for crimes of their past. Fun side note: this film was done by Al Adamson’s dad! We then watched the 1970 made for TV version of the George Dibdin Pitt story The String Of Pearls with “Mystery And Imagination: Sweeney Todd” about a killer barber who is slipping into total madness. And the last film of the night was “Mystery And Imagination: Dracula” that was released in 1968 and is about vampire Count Dracula and attempt to turn Lucy Weston into one of his undead brides.

This was a super fun Holiday night of horrors as the food was great and the films were very entertaining! The Golden Turkey of this pre-show for both of us hands down was “Rawhide Terror.” While it was a very cheesy and poorly made western, the “horror” aspect was not in sight and to be honest the film had some many plot holes and dead ends that it made Swiss Cheese look solid. The best film of the night for me was “Mystery And Imagination: Dracula” as I felt this short film captured the book well in 75min with Susan George who played Lucy being not only beautiful but also fantastic in the role, and Denholm Elliot was okay as Dracula…even if we nicknamed him Chubby Dracula! Juliet picked “Frankenstein 1970” as she loved the vibe and feel of this Sci-Fi Horror film and thought The Monster was cheesy fantastic! For the Golden Turkey of the Pre-Show, Juliet and I both picked “Rawhide Terror” as it was kind of a mess plot wise, and while it had a killer on the loose, it was not pulled off very well at all…in other words this Horror Western was a miss. To sum it up, a great night as after the movies we sat and listened to the booms of the fireworks outside.

The main day of The Holiday Horror Movie Marathon Weekend took place on July 5th and started at 8am, and of course this day was as well packed with good food that included breakfast casserole, chips and dip, mixed nuts and burritos! We started our day with the 1958 Sci-Fi/Horror flick “Colossus Of New York” about a genius that dies in an accident and his father & brother put his brain into a massive robotic man. We then viewed “Pharaoh’s Curse” about a tomb being opened in Egypt that turns one of the expedition team members into a walking Mummy! For the third movie we stayed in the 1950’s and watched “Invasion Of The Saucer-Men” about aliens that land near a lovers lane and a couple trying to prove that they are real to the adults and the law. “The Gallows Act II” was the next fright flick and it was about a young woman who craves fame and makes the mistake of taking “The Charlie Challenge” on a YouTube Video. Space themed Horror Flick “Plaguers” was next on the blood tap and is about a space crew and space pirates fighting for their lives against infected mutated humans. The super cheesy and sleazy “Dracula In A Women’s Prison” was next and follows Dracula and his vampire brides running a prison, while a former victim’s sister tries to kill him. Indie film “Moon Of The Blood Beast” was next and is a sort of sequel to the film Track Of The Moon Beast that’s about a killer monster on the loose in a park. Next up was “A Nun’s Curse” a film I helped crowdfund that is about an evil sprit of a Nun called Sister Monday who has become a life long obsession of a young woman. The unlucky number nine film of the day was the reboot/sequel film “I Eat You Skin” about a group of photographers in the Philippines trying to take a picture of a rare bird, but instead one becomes a murderous zombie! The next indie fright flick to try and scare us was “Straight Edge Kegger” about a group of Straight Edge young men who snap when a member leaves the group and goes to a party, and all they can think of is to kill the drinkers! We then watched the 1989 Italian Horror Flick “Paganini Horror” about a popular female singer shooting a music video in a haunted mansion, that turns out to be a true nightmarish terror for her and her band. The final film of the night is the Bela Lugosi film “Invisible Ghost” about strange killings that take place in a respected Doctors home, who’s the killer and why are they killing? Over all as always this was a great day spent with Juliet as we watched many great films and ate some amazing food and was a great way to forget the Virus Crisis for just one day.

So something happened on this Horror Movie Marathon that has never happened before: Juliet and I picked the same films in the same order for our top three films of the event and we both choose the same film as the Golden Turkey! For The Golden Turkey we picked “Moon Of The Blood Beast” and while it was not a bad film at all, the only thing that took us both out of the film was the long segments that just showed footage from the old flick “Track Of The Moon Beast” which is a kind of prequel to this film. Otherwise, the monster was cool and plus seeing Alana Evans in a none adult film role was great to see. Our # 3 pick was “Straight Edge Kegger,” a really cool indie Horror Movie that starts out as a drama of a young man struggling with the Straight Edge militant lifestyle and then turns into a mix of The Purge and You’re Next! Our # 2 was Paganini Horror a silly and yet entertaining Italian spooky ghost mixed with a slasher film with a very cool killer and silly 80’s music! And our # 1 went to “Colossus Of New York” as it was a great classic Sci-Fi Horror Film that mixed the elements of both very well and even had a cool looking robotic monster that racked up a decent body count. I also want to note that Invisible Ghost almost took my # 3 spot as I really enjoyed the cheaply made Lugosi film. This Marathon from start to finish was packed with some great films and even the Golden Turkey ones we picked were good and entertaining in there own way.

So The Golden Massacre Award goes to the Straight Edge Warriors from Straight Kegger as they racked up a body count of over 15 people in brutal and quick ways! One of the most brutal has a poor partier who had drain cleaner forced down his throat via a beer funnel! The Straight Edge Warriors killed people in a pack and had a very brutal mentality when dealing death and sadly think that their killing of people drinking and using drugs is right. So here is to the Straight Edge Warriors who made this July 4th 2020 marathon a little more bloody.

Sgt. Franklin John Rock is part of the infantry branch of the U.S. Army during World War II and later became the head of a unit that was called Easy Company that would get into the dangerous missions. He joined the Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor as he was working in a steel mill and was set off by the sneak attack. His time in the military he was well respected by his peers and feared by his enemies as he was a great combat fighter, a crack shot, is hard to kill, seems to have a weird sixth sense when it comes to battles and is a quick thinker under extreme pressure. Sadly the Earth 1 Sgt. Rock was killed at the end of the war by the final bullet fired by the enemy. He is a true icon of War Comics and a true Comic Book American Hero.

LT. Johnny “Flying Cloud” Cloud is a Native American fighter pilot that is very skilled and respected by most of his peers as he single handily killed many Nazi pilots by gunning their plans down in firefights. His unit of fighters was called “The Happy Braves” and later became a member of a group called “The Losers”. Johnny would also go on to be promoted to Captain and by the end of the war he was thought dead, but it turned out to not be true and he went on to live a normal life. A very interesting and cool character that played up on the treatment of Native American people at that time, worth checking out if you like war comics.

Jeb Stuart is the commander of a tank in World War II that is dubbed The Haunted Tank as the spirit of his ancestor J.E.B. Stuart, a General in the Confederate Army, haunts the tank and helps Jeb in battle against the Nazis. The Haunted Tank was DC Comics second longest running War Comic character and would over the years go on to make appearances in comics. I would like to also point out to those who might not know that J.E.B. Stuart was indeed a real General during the Civil War. The Haunted Tank is a cool concept for a character but not one I have must interest in.

So before we get to the review section of this update I want to take a moment to talk about a 1980’s shot on video fan film called Sgt. Rock that was done by Red Planet Films on a budget of only $300.00! This short film’s plot is about Sgt. Rock being thirteen years old and fighting cyborgs, zombies and the evil Queen that controls them. Along with two of his best soldiers they travel behind enemy lines and come face to face with a skilled ninja, a killer Cyborg with massive firepower and after defeating them and stealing the armor and helmets of two other Cyborgs Sgt. Rock and his one surviving ally enter the Queens base and blow it up with her inside it.

And after watching this short fan film I must say it was lots of fun and these guys clearly loved the comic series Sgt. Rock and as well loved Horror and Sci-Fi films as they mashed them all together like a big bowl of mashed potatoes and delivered a really fun and entertaining flick. The acting is pure backyard film stuff, but I must admit it is better than most I have seen. The Cyborgs and Zombies are nothing more than Halloween masks and helmets with one actor wearing an old Darth Vader helmet! While it’s not perfect, it is a really fun little fan film that you should check out on YouTube after you read this update.

So I can see you readers are ready to gear up and head into Battle Classics so let’s not talk about our fellow soldiers on the suicide mission, let’s not talk about fan films and let’s talk about how I am grading this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. And if not for those brave soldiers at Bell, Book And Comic for having this comic in stock this Classic Battle could not be talked about…so grab your MRE Full Meal and pull up your seat as it’s time to talk about Sgt. Rock and his war time buddies.

Battle Classics # 1  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .50     DC Comics     # 1 of 1

“Suicide Mission” Fighter pilot Lt. Johnny Cloud is given a very top secret special mission that does not even allow him to open until he is in air and away from enemy lines and is given orders if captured to blow himself and the orders up! After taking a Nazi plane, he opens his orders that is to pick up an agent named “Martin” and get him to a military base as he has info that could help end the war as well as save lives! Johnny Cloud arrives at the pick up point and finds a fatally wounded man who shows him a man in a heavy iron suit that is Martin, you see the Nazis trapped him in the suit so he could not get away, and just in time Johnny is able to help Martin into the plane and they fly off as a Nazi gunner shows up missing his time to bring them down. And while in the air Johnny has another air battle with Nazi planes and bringing them down, he gets help from an American tank lead by Jeb Stuart who gets Martin and Johnny into his super tank as Johnny’s plane is down for the count after the battle. Jeb in his tank with his new passengers inside goes up against a Nazi tanks and when things look bad the Ghost of a Civil War General that haunts the tank helps guide them through, and things look good until they hit a land mine! Sgt. Rock and his men are nearby and start to make their way to the stalled American tank when a blast from a Nazi tank leaves them all dead, besides Sgt. Rock who with every bit of energy he has fires a bazooka at the tank blowing it up. Sgt. Rock makes his way to the US Tank and is meet by Jeb Stuart and Johnny Cloud and all three men help Martin out of the tank and they start their journey to home base. Along the way Sgt. Rock gets Jeb and Johnny to help him get Martin out of the metal suit and find that Martin is really female French Agent Mlle Marie! Now the four of them make their way faster to the US Military Base, but they get stopped by a Nazi Tank close to the base and with quick thinking Sgt. Rock is able to use his skills and blow up the enemy tank and saving all their lives as they were all marked for death. In the end for delivering Mlle safe and she tells the secrets that she knows Sgt. Rock, Johnny Cloud and Jeb Stuart all receive promotions for their bravery in what was called a Suicide Mission.

This World War II war comic from DC Comics is a fantastic read that brings together some of their best characters from this genre of comics in one single issue on one epic mission that they all have to work together in order to pull off. Suicide Mission is a great title for this story arc as pilot Lt. Johnny Cloud is given a mission to pick up and rescue a French informant that has info that could help win the war and has orders that if he is captured to self destruct his plane! And when things go south after he gets the informant, they must depend on American soldiers to get the informant safe to the Military base. Lt. Johnny Cloud is awesome and is a Native American pilot who wants to make his tribe and country proud of his actions, and he is damn good at what he does! He is a character that I knew about but never read any issues off besides this one and now as an adult I find myself wanting to find some issues to enjoy. Jeb Stuart and his Haunted Tank that has a ghost of a civil war general that haunts it is a little silly, but yet still pretty cool as DC blends their war and horror comics together. While Jeb Stuart is interesting and very noble to the cause of bringing down Nazi’s he was the weaker of our heroes, as I don’t think they let his personality really shine. Mademoiselle Marie or Mll. Marie for short is the female agent that is stuck in the iron suit and goes by the name “Martin”, and she herself is a hero of DC war comics and is really a Nazi butt kicker in her own right. And Mll. is the true hero of the issue as she is the one that has all the information of the super weapon that the enemy planned to use! And the main star of the comic and the most iconic is Sgt. Rock, a tough as nails soldier who has no fear and risks his own life in order to save his fellow fighters and to help completer the mission at hand. I also like how Sgt. Rock brings down a tank with some grenades like it was something he does every day! The Nazis are total scumbags and as the reader you find yourself cheering for our heroes to deal out death to them, as they are super cold blooded and egotistical and deserve it.

This comic really did hold up for me and in fact I think now that I am older I enjoyed this comic even more and was even able to understand the stakes a lot better that each of our war heroes faced. The cover is great and fantastic and eye catching and is what made me read it when I was a kid from the stack of comics my Brother got that day, and to be honest that cover has always stuck in my mind when I think of comics from my youth. The interior art is done by the iconic artist Joe Kubert and is fantastic, but what do you expect from an artist who had his own art school named after him that is still going to this day. Over all I am not a major fan of War Comics but I will say that this comic as well as Unknown Solider issues are worth checking out and if you find a copy of this at your local comic shop make sure to pick it up and give it a read. Check out some artwork bellow from this issue and check out the style of Kubert.

I hope you enjoyed this quick update and that maybe it has also sparked your interest in checking out this one shot issue as it really is a good read for fans and even none fans of War Comics. While I am very much bummed out about not attended Monster Bash and being in Evans City walking around the NOTLD Cemetery I am very thankful for all of my family, friends and you readers being well! For my next update I am going to be turning over Rotten Ink once more to Juliet who is going to be covering the HBO Vampire show True Blood, so you know that’s going to be a good one. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a movie or two, support your local Horror Host and let your loved ones know you care. See you next update for a good old glass of True Blood to keep those hunger pains away.