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.

Royal Roy 2Royal Roy 3Royal Roy 4

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.

Royal Roy Comic Art 1Royal Roy Comic Art 2Royal Roy Comic Art 3

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

The Cartoon Icon Known As Yogi Bear

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! I have a question for all your readers and friends, and it’s this:  growing up who was your favorite cartoon character? And I am not talking about a character that was created to sell a toy like He-Man or Optimus Prime, I am talking names like Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, Mighty Mouse, Popeye, Porky Pig, Betty Boop and Huckleberry Hound! For me one at the top of the list is Yogi Bear as I can remember watching his cartoon at my house as well as at my Grandparents and enjoying every silly moment as something about Yogi Bear always drew my young mind in. And that is why I feel that for Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary I had to cover Yogi Bear as this update is long overdue and is one that I have been planning for over 8 years and saved for this Anniversary as this iconic cartoon character needs his time to shine here on Rotten Ink. So with that let’s head to Jellystone Park and have a picnic of some honey fried chicken and hope that a bear who’s smarter than your average one and his short sidekick don’t show up and steal it, or wait I think that is what we want!

Yogi Bear 1

Yogi Bear is smarter than your average bear and loves to sneak around and steal picnic baskets from park goers and is always trying to think of ways to do so and not to be caught, and that is what he has that iconic catchphrase. While he is a bear he is fun loving and is well liked by most of the other animals and rangers at Jellystone Park were he lives, even though he does get on many of their nerves with his ways. His best friend is Boo-Boo Bear and his lady is Cindy Bear and they a lot of times get stuck going along with his plans. While Ranger Smith gets annoyed by Yogi he as well is sort of his friend and goes out of his way to protect and help him when he gets into trouble. But Yogi has many friends outside of Jellystone Park as well like Huckleberry Hound, Doggie Daddy, Quick Draw McGraw and even Top Cat all who have as well went on adventures with him in the cartoons as well as the comics. Yogi was based on the Ed Norton character from the TV Show The Honeymooners and his name was a play off the baseball player Yogi Berra. Daws Butler was the voice actor for Yogi Bear from 1958 to 1988 when he sadly passed away from a heart attack at the age of 71, but while he was the main and original and most iconic voice actor to play Yogi many others have like Mel Blanc, Greg Burson, Billy West, Dan Aykroyd and Jeff Bergman to name a few. Paste Magazine rated Yogi Bear the 40th best Cartoon character on their top 50 Countdown while CNN ranked him # 36 out of 50 and Screen Rant ranked him # 30 out of 30 for their countdown. Yogi Bear is a truly iconic character that ranks in my top 10 for sure.

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Jellystone Camp is filled with other great characters that help make Yogi’s adventures more entertaining. First up of course is his best friend Boo-Boo Bear who is a small bear who at times acts as Yogi’s voice of reason and tries his best to talk him out of some of the more mischief plans he makes. Growing up Boo-Boo was always a popular cartoon character among my friends as I remember kids talking about him on the playground. We then have Cindy Bear is the southern belle on again and off again girlfriend of Yogi who as well gets into the same trouble as they do, and is a good supporting character in the cartoon series. And last of course is Ranger Smith that poor park ranger who has to deal with all the craziness of the park and is always having to run Yogi off as he tries to steal picnic baskets. But while Ranger Smith is annoyed with Yogi, they also kind of have a weird friendship as he looks out for the pain in the butt bear. All of these characters help make the Yogi Bear cartoon series great and help add to why Yogi is one of my favorite classic cartoons of all time.

Yogi Bear 5

The Yogi Bear show was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and was a syndicated cartoon series that would first air on January 30, 1961 and would each episode would be 22 minutes long and would also feature cartoons of Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle and would last for 33 episodes a total of two seasons and would end on January 6, 1962. But the show would continue on in reruns and even would get re-packaged under the name “Yogi Bear & Friends” that would show Yogi cartoons mixed with others like Huckleberry Hound, Pixie and Dixie among others. This version of the show would run for 98 episodes and would run from September 16, 1967-1968. Well in 1972 a TV movie special called “Yogi’s Ark Lark” aired on ABC and had Yogi along with other Hanna-Barbara animal characters in search of land that is not polluted, and this special would spawn a very short lived series called “Yogi’s Gang” that ran for only 15 episodes and would last from September 8, 1973-December 29, 1973, his next series “Yogi’s Space Race” would be released in 1978 and would have well Yogi in space with a new sidekick named Scare Bear and they would have a Space Race team, this would only last 13 episodes and would go into the next series called “Galaxy Goof-Ups” and would have Yogi still in space this time as a patrolman and would start in 1978 and would last until 1979 for a total of 13 episodes. And many more series would follow like “Yogi’s Treasure Hunt” that ran from 1985-1988 lasted 27 episodes, “The New Yogi Bear Show” lasted 45 episodes and was in 1988, “Yo Yogi!” that lasted 13 episodes and ran in 1991 and was one of my favorites as a kid as Yogi was young, hip and cool! And lastly “Jellystone!” started in 2021 and airs on HBO Max. And this is just the TV Shows as Yogi has also been a part of many TV Specials, Animated Movies as well as two live action films, showing that Yogi Bear is a true icon of the cartoon character world!

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I really did truly grew up watching Yogi Bear and just like so many other cartoons, it was must watch TV for me as I would never turn the channel when Yogi was on as for some reason this food stealing bear had always captured my attention, even if I had seen the episode many times before I would watch it again. While some I watched in re-runs like the classic Yogi Bear Show others I caught as they aired like The New Yogi Bear Show and Yo Yogi! both I watched when released and I can remember even having rubber stamps and some toys of Yo Yogi! that I got cereal boxes and fast food kids meals. Most of the classic Yogi shows I remember watching mostly on the USA Network as away of the Cartoon Express and have many great memories of sitting at my Grandparents house on my Dad’s side by the fireplace and watching Yogi Bear cartoons as snow fell outside and the warmth of the fire made my brother and I toasty as we watched the TV, and I also seem to remember that they also had some old VHS tapes of Yogi that we would watch as well when he was not on TV. At home as well we had VHS tapes of Yogi cartoons and one I am pretty sure we got via Jolly Time Popcorn as it was a send away, and it took forever for the tape to come but when it did I watched it a bunch. I always wanted to win a Yogi Bear stuff animal from Kings Island, but sadly never was that lucky to be able to. And while in modern times those who talk about Hanna-Barbra Cartoons will go on and on about Scooby-Doo (another amazing cartoon from my childhood) being the best and the main character from the company, I am here to tell you that back in the 60’s-80’s it was Yogi Bear who was the companies mascot and main character. And with that I will sum it up by saying Yogi Bear is a true Icon of Cartoons and will always be one of my favorites.

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Really quick, here is an old ad and coupon I found online about the Jolly Time Popcorn VHS that was from around 1994 and I was a teenager and movie collector at the time this was offered. And we ate lots of popcorn on weekends as my brother and I would eat it as a snack while we watched Horror Movies and Horror Hosts on TV. But after finding it I just wanted to share this with you all, and I also found a scan of the VHS cover! And I think at some point I am going to buy a copy of this tape so that I can have it back again.

Yogi Bear VHS Popcorn AdPopcorn Yogi Bear VHS

A very cool thing that fans of Yogi Bear can do is stay at a “Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and Camp-Resorts” that are located in many starts including Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, California, New York and so many more states and each have their own charms and events! Besides camping in tents and cabins many of these Jellystone sites also have live music concerts, water parks, fishing ponds, gift shops, pools and of course walk around versions of the characters! The parks are a family friendly good time with some locations even allowing pets! Each location also has different styles of comfort from RV Hook Ups, to cabins of all types to even just land that you can use a tent to rough it for the night. I first discovered the Jellystone Park Camps when going to Chicago, Illinois with my ex-girlfriend Jennifer as we drove by one and I was hooked when I seen Yogi on the sign. Sadly, since I saw the sign I never have stayed at the park, but that is about to change as sometime soon I plan on staying at one of the camps and when I do I will update you all about it on a future Rotten Ink update.

Yogi Bear 12

Did you readers know that Yogi Bear has his own themed restaurant called “Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken” that is located in South Carolina and is a landmark and attraction for the area? And did you know that it was originally a fast food franchise that had stores all around America in the 1970’s and was created to enter the growing and popular fried chicken fast food boom created by KFC at the time and Yogi Bear was used as the mascot because he was super popular with kids and adults who enjoyed a good cartoon? Did you know many of the restaurants had very cool fiberglass statues of Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith? And sadly they are all now rotting in dumpsites as they were all disposed of when the restaurants closed, and that’s a shame as I wish that people would have rescued them and gave them places to live at their homes. Sadly the franchise was bought by Hardee’s very early in opening and by the mid 70’s all of them had been closed with the one that’s still opening being the last standing, as it was clear that Hardee’s had no idea how to push fried chicken as hamburgers was their main money maker. It’s sad to think that only one of these cool themed restaurants are around as I would love for them to be closer to Ohio as I would have loved to try a meal from them. Oh and for those wonder the restaurants was created by Eugene Broome who originally wanted to theme them around actor Jackie Gleason and Yogi Bear was his second choice after watching his cartoons on TV.

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Yogi Bear also has made his way into the world of video games and has delivered some fun adventures for fans to play through and allowed them to have their favorite cartoon character be the hero they all knew he was. “Yogi Bear” was released in 1987 for the Commodore 64 in Europe and had you play as Yogi as he had to save Boo-Boo who was kidnapped by a circus. In 1990 in Europe and for Commodore 64 came “Yogi’s Great Escape” a game based on the 1987 film. “Adventures Of Yogi Bear” was released in 1994 and was for the Super Nintendo had you play as Yogi to stop Jellystone into becoming a chemical dumping ground. And lastly “Yogi Bear’s Gold Rush” was released on the Game Boy in 1994 has Yogi going after a ghost who stole money from the park. And those where the classic games based on the animated Yogi Bear and I can remember playing both the Game Boy and Super Nintendo games and loving every second of them as they were fun adventure games. I should note that Video Games for the WII was made based on the live action film. Do you readers have any memories of playing any or all of these Yogi Bear games? And I am not going to lie when I say I wish a Yogi Bear game would be made for PS5 in the future and that it’s based on the classic cartoons and features all our favorite characters like Boo-Boo, Cindy Bear and Ranger Smith, but I don’t see this happening but one can wish.

Yogi Bear Video Game 1Yogi Bear Video Game 2Yogi Bear Video Game 3

Yogi Bear being such an amazing cartoon character that has been so popular over many decades he has lots of amazing collectibles for fans to collect over the years as his face has graced things like Toys, Board Games, Home Media, Books, Video Games, Comics, Shirts, Posters, Buttons, Fast Food Items, Spoons, Cups, Glasses, Halloween Costumes, Masks, Lunch Boxes, Puppets, Statues, Stickers, Magnets, Christmas Ornaments, Valentine Day Cards, Patches, Hats, Cups, Rings, Plastic Eggs and so much more, basically if you can think of an item Yogi Bear probably was featured on it! Growing up I really loved a stuff doll I had of Yogi Bear and a kids paperback book called “Ghost Of A Chance” that was a spooky kid friendly take featuring Yogi and Boo Boo! In fact for my Birthday this year my lady Juliet will be making me a cake that looks like Yogi Bear from a vintage metal Yogi cake pan. So in other words if you are a fan of Yogi Bear you can collect so many cool items to add to your collection. Growing up I remember having a sticker of Yogi Bear that I am pretty sure I still have to this day packed away, as it was my favorite sticker I had as a kid next to the WWF Wrestler Ultimate Warrior one. And I had many more cool merchandise over the years like toys and shirts and even a poster and the video games. Oh and I had this plastic Egg that featured Yogi Bear on it that I got from a Vending Machine that had Fred Flintstone in the middle and he would spin around and an egg would come down and inside it was a prize, that was such a cool machine.

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Kings Island is an amazing Amusement Park located in Mason, Ohio and when I was a kid, it was one of the must go to attractions for kids on summer vacation even more so then Fantasy Farm and Americana Amusement Park that where the two I visited more in my youth as both us kids and our parents liked them. But besides rides like King Cobra, The Beast and Adventure Express for me one of the cool aspects of the park was “Hanna-Barbera Land” the kid friendly part of the park that featured rides and attractions that were all tied into the cartoon characters made by that animation studio. And also all around the park they would have merchandise and prizes that as well had the likeness of Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound and Fred Flintstone to name a few. And one big attraction for many was the dark ride that featured the Smurfs as well as the Smurf Blue Ice Cream as still to this day both are talked about with great fondness by fans. But one awesome thing was that they had walk around versions of the cartoon characters and one that was always awesome to see was Yogi Bear and every time I went to Kings Island I would look for him as Yogi Bear is a true icon and I am shocked I never got a picture with him as back then I was a fool for taking pictures to capture the memories, but for me spotting him became almost like a real life “Where’s Waldo” book and added to the fun of being at the park. But sadly starting around 2001 Hanna-Barbera Land started to be phased out and by 2005 it was gone all together minus one Scooby-Doo ride. You see Kings Island went with a Nickelodeon theme instead and that made sense as Paramount Pictures ended up buying the theme park for a few years and wanted to brand areas with their own properties hence why rides like Top Gun, Face Off, Tomb Raider and Italian Job were all added. While gone, for those of us who grew up with Hanna-Barbera Land at Kings Island, the memories and fun time had will always live on. And I have heard a rumor that in one of the areas in the park that is the “Ride Graveyard” is filled not only with old ride parts, carts and signs but also many of the Hanna-Barbera stuff including the Smurfs from the Enchanted Forest as well as the walk around suits!

Yogi Bear Kings Island 1

Really quick I have to also point out that Yogi Bear once had a guest cameo on one of my favorite Horror Hosts shows “Nightmare Theater” with host Sammy Terry! It’s on a Christmas episode that has Sammy Terry along with his friends George The Spider and Ghoulsby the zombie talking about the big meal they will be having for dinner of Christmas day and of course its all gross stuff like poison ivy salad and brains, but when they start talking about the guests they want to invite that of course are all monsters and ghouls it’s George who wants to invite Yogi over for the dinner! Sammy is at first puzzled by this but goes along with the request and our classic cartoon icon is on the guest list. And the best part is when they say his name is image even appears making his cameo legit even if it is for only a few moments. Very cool to see and just wanted to share this with you readers, oh and the movie he hosted that night was the vampire film Deathmaster.

Yogi Bear on Sammy Terry 1

Before we get to the review part of this update, I want to say that back in the 1970’s a cool team up happened when Marvel Comics and Hanna-Barbara came together and made some amazing kids comics based on their popular cartoons like Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Dynomutt, Laff-A-Lympics as well as spotlight issues. And this was a very cool thing for comic readers as well as cartoon watchers as it gave fans of these characters new adventures to enjoy before the next episode would air. And when Marvel and Hanna-Barbara came together the comic company made a big deal about it as both companies came up together in the 60’s and even some of Marvel Artists over the years had worked for the cartoon company. This was very cool and I can remember growing up that I enjoyed the Marvel Comics versions of Hanna-Barbara characters more then the Dell and Gold Key Versions that I as well had. In these modern times Marvel Comics could never make comics based on these characters again as Hanna-Barbara is owned by Warner Brothers who also own DC Comics…so yeah it will never happen again. Check this very cool piece of art below that Marvel released to announce the team up.

Marvel and Hanna Come Together

Well we are at the review part of this update, and as you can see, Jellystone Park is packed with campers and visitors and that means Yogi and Boo-Boo have to be creeping around looking for food to steal. And I am really looking forward to reading these comics as some are ones I will be revisiting from my youth while others will be first time reads. I want to thank Mom Young, Lone Star Comics, Ebay Seller and Dark Star Comics for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. And I would like to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So with that let’s find a quit place to sit back and relax eat some food and read some comics, and see if our picnic basket will go missing along the way.

Yogi Bear Comic 1

Yogi Bear # 1 ***
Released in 1977    Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #1 of 9

“The Secret Of Ghastly Grotto” in this story Yogi and Boo-Boo are exploring an off limits cave with a metal detector when they run into a dragon, and after running away Yogi notices that Boo-Boo is missing and he runs to Ranger Smith for help. Meanwhile inside we find that a crook has captured Boo-Boo as he has been hiding out in the cave for over 6 years as it’s almost 7 years and when that happens he can not be arrested for the million dollars worth of gold he has stolen! Yogi and Ranger Smith return to the cave to look for the missing bear and find the dragon and with the metal detector they find that it’s fake, and they rescue Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith arrests the crook when Yogi speeds up the clock to make him think he is protected by the statue of limitations law for his crime! In the end Yogi and Boo-Boo instead use the metal detector to find cans around the park as they feel its safer. “The Goodies Inspector” Yogi is hungry for food and is drawing mustaches on all the signs that warn camper not to feed him, but Yogi also has another idea and tells some campers that he is the Goodies Inspector and that their sandwiches have been banned by the government. As Yogi runs off with the basket the people start eating berries off the trees for lunch and when Ranger Smith walks by they tell him about the inspector and he knows this is a Yogi trick. Ranger Smith finds Yogi asleep with a belly full of sandwiches and wakes him up claiming that there really is a ban on the sandwiches and they need to find the campers who have them, Yogi thinks he is sick now and after a few moments Ranger Smith lets him in on the prank. In the end with some cut fur Yogi is now walking around with the mustache that he drew on the do not feed signs. “The Chummy Dummy” while in the park Howard Uvula gives Yogi five dollars and takes his picture and makes a comment on how they are worth a lot to him, so Yogi follows Howard and finds that he made a ventriloquist dummy that looks like him! Yogi sneaks in and takes the place of the dummy and during the show scares the audience and steals the dummy. You see Yogi was not about to be viewed as a dummy and this was his payback.

This first issue of Yogi Bear by Marvel Comics is fantastic and they creative team did a fantastic job of capturing the characters and making it feel just like the cartoons it’s based on. The issue has three Yogi Bear adventures and also has a backstory about The Flintstones and really are a great kids comic that is also must reads for fans of the character. Yogi Bear in all three stories is the normal conning and charming bear we all love and even when down and out he still ends up being ahead in some way. Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith add great backup to the stories and do their parts well. The villains of the comic is The Crook who is a robber and Howard Uvula who is just a jerk and bases his new Dummy on Yogi, I mean how rude is that. If I had to pick the best story from this issue I would say it has to be “The Secret Of Ghastly Grotto” as the haunted cave, fake dragon and a Crook looking to get away with his crime is a lot of fun and the fact that Yogi tricks the crook into give up his gun by speeding up the clock is a good cartoonish way to save the day and its perfect. Picking my least favorite is a little hard as I liked them all, but I guess I would have to say “The Chummy Dummy” just because the pay out of Yogi scaring the audience of the performer was just an ok ending for him to get revenge. The cover is very eye catching for fans of Yogi Bear and the interior art is top notched and is done by an Unknown Artist and whomever did it really draws all the characters so well and it really does help add to the enjoyment of the comic. This first issue is very cool and is one of the better kid comics based on a classic cartoon character we have covered here on Rotten Ink, so lets see what issue two is all about.

Yogi Bear Comic 2

Yogi Bear # 2 ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #2 of 9

“The Trillionaire’s Bear” Jellystone Park has been sold to the rich Filthy McLucre who is wanting to turn the park into a massive shopping center. Yogi stops the bulldozer from starting the destruction of the park by acting as if Boo-Boo has been infected by sickness and that no noises and bulldozers can be around via doctors orders. Yogi then sneaks off and heads to the mansion of Filthy McLucre and acts as a teddy bear in order to get inside but soon meets Luke McLure the bratty grandson of Flithy and after being disrespected by Luke he says he would give anything in order for Luke to learn respect and discipline, and after the bratty kid torments Yogi by knocking him out of a window and even trying to run him down in a train, Yogi finally snaps and threatens to spank the mean little kid who claims he will be good! In return for teaching the kid a lesson in respect Filthy grants Yogi’s request that the park is safe and that the shopping center will be built someplace else. “Movie Madness” Yogi and Boo-Boo are walking near a cinema when they notice all the Horror Movies playing and one is about a killer bear and this makes everyone scared of the two friendly bears, and when Yogi goes to talk to the maker of the film he soon finds that the man is not very nice and kicks him out of his office. So Yogi to get revenge makes his own Horror Movie about the moviemaker and now people are scared of him! But in the end the film maker and Yogi team up and make a movie that pits both their horror film characters together and they make lots of money. “Signs Of The Time” Huckleberry Hound is visiting Jellystone Park with a picnic basket in hand and Ranger Smith tells him to make sure to please obey the park signs as its important for park safety and to help keep in clean. Yogi over hears this and decides he is going to have some fun and leaves silly signs in the path of Huckleberry like to walk on your hands, meow like a cat and of course to give your food to him! At the end of his park visit Huckleberry complains to Ranger Smith about the signs, meanwhile Yogi has eaten all of the food and is shocked when he finds out that other park goers are following his fake signs including Ranger Smith who is doing so cause he is leading by example.

What another fun issue that as well does justice to the cartoon as well as just Yogi Bear in general. This issue as well has three stories featuring Yogi and has one back-up story that is The Flintstones, with all three Yogi stories once more being very fun reads that has him saving the park to even conning the park goers for food! And like before the creators of the comic do a great job of making Yogi Bear the lovable character we all love as he is funny, silly and also even kind of a hero. My favorite story is “Movie Madness” as come on its everything I enjoy as it has Yogi Bear, Movie Theaters and of course Horror Films! Plus I love that its taking a jab at the Nature Run Amok Horror films that flooded the theaters in the 70’s like Jaws, Grizzly and Day Of The Animals to name a few. Plus I love that instead of the Moviemaker and Yogi pulling their films from theater they instead team up and make a crossover film for movie goers to see, the true nature of indie horror. And again selecting a least favorite is hard as all three were good stories but if I have to pick on I would say “The Trillionaire’s Bear” as while it’s a silly take it also is kind of just basic of a bratty kid with no manors being taught a lesson. The cover like before is really cool and has Yogi on a fishing pool being dunked in water while the kid rides on the front of a train! The interior art by Unknown Artist is once more very cool and well done and captures everything Yogi Bear. Let’s not also forget that we have a big guest star in this issue as Huckleberry Hound stops by Jellystone and is robbed of his tasty food and made to look silly by his pal Yogi in the process. Over all a great issue even if the copy I have is missing part of a panel due to a kid clipping a coupon. But lets see what issue three has in store for us!

Yogi Bear Comic 3

Yogi Bear # 3 ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #3 of 9

“Below-Zero Bear” Yogi Bear has made a mistake and has hidden on a airplane that he thought was going south for the winter but it was really heading to the South Pole and worse he has been dropped off along with the supplies for a very angry man who wants to takedown Yogi for his fur to help keep him warm. Meanwhile Boo-Boo tells Ranger Smith about what Yogi has done and the two leave Jellystone to try and save their friend who they are sure is freezing and needs help getting home. Meanwhile Yogi escapes his attacker and finds the travel agent and tries to buy a ticket to get back home but is short on money, when a man offers to buy the ticket if Yogi and get a photo of the Abominable Snowman who has a summer home in the South Pole. Yogi ends up getting the picture and is shocked when the ticket he bought is not good for another six months so finds a warm bed to hibernate in, but is found by Ranger Smith and Boo-Boo and is going home. “Sheriff Yogi” has Yogi Bear going to visit his friend Quick Draw McGraw and by accident Yogi with a banana peel helps arrest Little Luke and by doing so the Mayor makes Yogi the new town Sheriff and this goes bad when Large Leo the brother of Luke comes to down and uses Yogi as a punching bag, and its Quick Draw who takes down and brings in Leo and once more becomes the Sheriff. “Swami Bear” has Yogi coming up with another plan to try and steal picnic baskets by dressing as a ranger and making park goers go through a metal detector so he can see what is in their baskets and then they visit him as a fortune teller who knows what they have brought for lunch and tells them its cursed, and of course Ranger Smith catches him and stops this scheme.

Yogi Bear in this issues goes from a Yeti photographer to sheriff to a fake swami and all the while he is bring us readers around for the fun and silly ride and of course Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith are caught up in many of these goofy plans and adventures. And what was also very cool in this issue is seeing Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey in the cameo spot and they are used well as Yogi and Boo-Boo visit them in the old west town. You also cannot go wrong with a comic that features Abominable Snowman who is on vacation in the South Pole. This issue as always features three Yogi stories and one Flintstones back up story and each of the Yogi stories are solid and I would say my favorite is Sheriff Yogi as I like the humor in it plus the adding of Quick Draw was awesome, and my least favorite is Swami Bear just cause the story is supper short and is pretty much a set up for Ranger Smith to but Yogi through the metal detector to show that his brain is hollow…silly and fun stuff. The cover for this issue is lots of fun and has Yogi in a tuxedo acting like a penguin while the Snowman is looking for him. And the Unknown Artist who does the interior art once more did fantastic work and all the characters look like they do in the cartoons. Over all yet another solid issue if you enjoy Yogi Bear like I do.

Yogi Bear Comic 4

Yogi Bear # 4 ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #4 of 9

“Don’t Give Up The Sheep” has a farmer getting permission from the government to allow his sheep to graze as Jellystone while his land is getting re-seeded. But following the farmer is Hokey Wolf who steels the farmers eyeglasses as well as a sheep and does so acting as if he is Yogi Bear! The Farmer and Ranger Smith confront Yogi and do not believe him when he says he did not steel the sheep and rushes to the city to try and make things right when the Farmer threatens him if he does not bring the sheep back, so Yogi ends up entering a boxing contest and lasts 10 rounds with a heavy weight to get money to buy a sheep from a girl names Mary who is mad cause the sheep followed her to school! Once he buys the sheep he brings it to the farmer the same time Hokey shows up returning the glasses and sheep he stole as he felt bad for stealing and framing Yogi! In the end Yogi clears hi name and the Farmer goes after Hokey Wolf for causing all this drama. “The Ranger Stranger” Yogi is being annoying and out of control when Ranger Smith finally snaps and quits, and the new Ranger is mean who makes Yogi pick up trash all day around the park. Yogi escapes Jellystone and finds Ranger Smith and makes it seem that everyone that Smith see’s is him, so he thinks he misses Yogi and returns to his job at Ranger of Jellystone. “Going To Waist” Yogi is getting chubby and decides to loose a few pounds and goes to a workout instructor who pushes Yogi to the limit, but during lunch as Yogi has to eat one celery stock, he finds the instructor wears a girdle and is eating chicken! In order to hide his secret he gets Yogi a bear suit and a girdle and it now makes him look as if he lost weight.

This is another fun and silly comic that has three Yogi Bear adventures and of course is backed up by a short Flintstones one. Yogi in this issue boxes, picks up trash and gets chubby and all the while use readers are having a laugh with him. For me the best story in the issue is “Don’t Give Up The Sheep” as it not only guest stars Hokey Wolf but also has Yogi having to box a heavyweight to get money to buy a sheep from Mary who is from the Nursery Rhyme, and its also fun to see Yogi try and convince Ranger Smith that he did not steal the sheep. And the weakest story in this issue is “The Ranger Stranger” as while a fun story and some humorous gags are pulled off, I just feel the story is the weakest and the payout of getting Ranger Smith to return to his post is way to fast. One thing I have noticed as well this far in the series is that Boo-Boo while around is never fully focused on and that is a little shocking as he has always been a very popular cartoon character. The cover is pretty cool and has Hokey Wolf stealing a sheep as Yogi is bring a sheep and Boo-Boo is stuck in the middle. The interior art is good as always and one story has artist Dick Bickenback credited, the others do not and could be Bickenback or are Unknown Artist. Over all this is a good issue and truly does capture the silliness and mood of this cartoon, and with that let’s see what issue five has in store for us.

Yogi Bear Comic 5

Yogi Bear # 5 **1/2
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #5 of 9

“The Jelly Jam” Ranger Smith is mad at Yogi for trying to steal picnic baskets and runs him off, and hungry and wanting pizza he decides that he and Boo-Boo should try and mine for gold in Jellystone and head into the caves to start mining. After awhile they do not find any gold or silver but they do find all kinds of jelly flavors…in fact it’s the best jelly ever and it was made by Mother Nature, and Yogi tries to sell his jelly find to the local jelly company who in turn is mad about this tasty treat and blows up Yogi’s mine to try and stop this jelly from getting into eaters sandwiches. Yogi figures out that the Jelly Company Owner is who caused the jelly to flood the area and tricks him into falling into a ditch filled with the gooey stuff. The owner admits to Ranger Smith that he caused the jelly flood and this ends the mining, as well as Yogi every wanting to eat jelly again. “Wrap Session” it’s Cindy Bear’s Birthday and Yogi has forgotten until he overhears her telling her friend about how Yogi every year makes her day special. Yogi rushes to the toy store and after begging the owner is able to get her a plush toy, and after trying to wrap it he destroys it as well as the wrapping paper is now all around him! So in the end he gives himself as the present for Cindy for her Birthday. “The Defective Detective” has Yogi and Boo-Boo showing up to the office of Snooper and Bladder as they were going to go get lunch and catch up, but the detective pair are running late and Yogi decides to take a case from a rich woman who is paying a grand to find her lost dog. And of course Yogi fails in his attempts to find the dog and ends up on the bad end of the hunt by being bitten and trampled on by attack and stray dogs. Finally Snooper and Bladder show up and put Yogi in a mailman outfit and they find the missing dog who is biting him.

And this is another good issue but I do have to be honest this one is not as good as the others that came before it as the best story in the issue is “The Jelly Jam” as its funny and silly as Yogi mines and uncovers natural made jelly and a owner of a jelly company tries to sabotage it and causes a jelly flood and eruption in Jellystone! The other two stories are good and entertaining but do seem a little rush and the stories do not have great payouts in the end. I think that “The Defective Detective” is my least favorite as it’s a shame as it even has cameos from Snooper and Bladder. Yogi is great and it’s a shame that this issue is just an average read and again I feel two of the three stories are rushed. This issue has another backup story of The Flintstones and the cover is good and has Yogi and Boo-Boo digging for jelly. The interior art is good and done by Unknown Artist and once more captures the characters well. I want to say keep in mind this is still a fun and good issue it just does not capture the magic like the past four issues did. But with that said let’s see what issue six has in store for us.

Yogi Bear Comic 6

Yogi Bear # 6  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #6 of 9

“Surfer Bear” Yogi and Boo-Boo are in Hawaii and are looking forward to surfing, but when they get there they find that the ocean is frozen and is solid ice and this is running many peoples vacation as well as putting shops out of business. Yogi and Boo-Boo decided to get some skates and ice skate on the ocean when the ice cracks and Yogi is taken away by a monster who takes him to his cave and wants Yogi to tell the world for stop over fishing the area and Yogi is given the task to really try and stop one greedy Captain who has been bad for taking way to many fish. We also learn that the Sea Monster used icebergs to freeze the ocean, and after getting back topside and meeting the Captain a plan is in place that has the Sea Monster scare away the greedy fisherman and all is back to normal in Hawaii. “The Sinister Scheme” Yogi is dressed as Captain Yogi a superhero and is trying to nab a picnic basket when he is caught by Ranger Smith, and this causes Yogi to go into his full plan that has him acting super nice for nine days even helping around the park and not doing one thing bad, this of course makes Ranger Smith think he is planning something big and as the days go by the Ranger snaps and begs Yogi to go back to his normal ways and to not do whatever it was he was planning…and this of course is what Yogi wanted all along as he goes back to stealing the baskets from park goers. “The Homemade Hero” Yogi is in the city when he runs into his friend Top Cat and his gang of street cats and the word on the street is that Officer Dibble is in trouble and might be replaced on the street, and this would mean an officer who would be stricter on Top Cat could be assigned! So they come up with a plan to dress Yogi up as a wild bear and have Dibble capture him in front of one of his supervisors, but in the end with the help of Yogi, Top Cat and the other cats Dibble is able to capture two bank robbers and show he is a hero.

Ok this is a really fun issue of Yogi Bear by Marvel Comics as one of the stories even has Yogi teaming with one of my other favorite Hanna-Barbara cartoon characters Top Cat! And of course “The Homemade Hero” is my favorite story of the three presented in this issue as it’s a fun and silly tale of how Yogi and T.C. have to help Officer Dibble prove he is not a cop who has no results on a street that is overran by cats who eat from garbage cans and dumpsters. I also have to say I really do like how in these comics they play up the fact that Yogi is friends with all the other characters that make up the Hanna-Barbara universe. And picking my least favorite is hard as I do find both the other stories to be entertaining but if forced to pick I would say that “Surfer Bear” would be the one as its silly and a good read it also takes Yogi to Hawaii and that just seems weird. The Sea Monster and the Greedy Fisherman Captain are cool side characters and as I have said seeing Top Cat and his gang in the issue helped make it ever better. The cover on this one is also good and the use of pink makes it standout and I mean you cannot go wrong with a smiling Yogi with a surfboard. The first story has artwork by Dick Bickenback and the other two I am not sure so Unknown Artist it is and all looks great like always. Marvel Comics is back delivering another great issue for fans of Yogi with this one.

Yogi Bear Comic 7

Yogi Bear # 7  ***
Released in 1978    Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #7 of 9

“The Business Typhoon” Filthy McLucre is sick of all the headaches his money and business is given him so he heads to Jellystone to relax when he runs into Yogi and Boo-Boo who make him and honorary bear! And with that Yogi is selected to go run all the businesses and to take care of all the money! But soon Yogi finds that being rich is not great as Boo-Boo and Cindy Bear love living at Jellystone and have to interest in living or even visiting the McLure mansion. And worse one of McLure’s old workers wants the money and wants to ruin Yogi Bear in order to get it all. Finally Yogi has had enough and leaves the mansion and returns to Jellystone only to find that McLure is stealing picnic baskets and with the help of Ranger Smith and only the idea of eating berries and nuts Filthy McLucre returns to his mansion and his no good worker finds out just how hard it is to be in charge of that much money. “Exit Snagglepuss” Yogi is walking down the street when out of the TV Studio Snagglepuss is thrown out by the director who does not want to hire him for a commercial, and its then that Yogi figures out that what Snagglepuss needs is an agent and Yogi will be just that for only 10% of what he earns…but they soon find that the Director just wants nothing to do with them no matter how good Snagglepuss is! In the end after being thrown out, chased around and when he finally does get the parts its being dunked into water over and over…and he is not happy with Yogi and wants to dump water over his head.

The seventh issue in this series only features two stories with a backup The Flintstones one and each of the stories seem to be given a little more time to grow. And the guest star in this one is Snagglepuss another of my favorite characters even though I have to say his story “Exit Snagglepuss” is the weakest of the two as it just lacks something to make it full standout, again its not a bad tale just lacking something as the joke of them being kicked out of the station over and over is classic cartoon stuff. The best story is “The Business Typhoon” as it was cool to see billionaire Filthy McLucre return to Jellystone and remember Yogi as well as just be sick of being rich! And even when Yogi gets all the power and money he soon sees that the headaches are not worth it. What makes this issue also work is that the two stories are very simple and are filled with goofy jokes and as well places Yogi into odd situations that re somehow very fitting for him. The cover for this issue is good and while not it is in my opinion not the most eye catching of the series this far the art on the front and the blue color I am sure made it stand out at the newsstand. We got Dick Bickenback and Unknown Artist back on interior art and like a broken record I have to say its great stuff. Another fun issue and showed that Marvel and Hanna-Barbara should have kept working together to make these fun kids comics that are great reads for all ages.

Yogi Bear Comic 8

Yogi Bear # 8  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #8 of 9

“Big Top Bear” Boo-Boo leaves the cave to go get some water when two men kidnap him and as Yogi tries to save his friend he his tossed away by one of them. And even with the help of Ranger Smith the bad guys get away with Boo-Boo, and all Yogi and Ranger Smith have to go by us a weird saying one of the men said and after calling Snooper Yogi discovers that the saying is circus talk and they are who have his friend captive. Yogi gets to the circus and finds that its full of corruption and Yogi is also kidnaped once found and thrown in the cage with Boo-Boo, but Yogi gets an idea and tricks the Circus owner to let them out of the cage and they trick the owner and the circus strong man into a cage and with that the corrupt circus is brought down and Yogi and Boo-Boo return to Jellystone. “Frontier Father” Doggie Daddy is taking his son Augie Doggie camping and Yogi watches as Doggie Daddy fumbles at camping like setting up a tent and even fishing, all the while Augie is ashamed of his dads failed attempts. Yogi tries to help Doggie Daddy and ends up almost going over a waterfall and has to really be saved by Doggie Daddy whose son now is very proud of his dad the hero.

This is another only two adventure issue that delivers a fun read that like always captures the feel of the cartoon, and for those wondering yep it has The Flintstones back up story. Yogi Bear in this issues brings down a terrible circus and even helps a father get the respect of his son and all the while does this all in typical Yogi fashion and also of course does it with his own charm. The cameo guests in this issue is Doggie Daddy and Augie Doggie and it was great seeing them in this issue as they are characters that all us Hanna-Barbara cartoon watches know and love, and they are used really well in this issue as it was great having them camp at Jellystone Park. I also have to say that I like the Circus Strongman who is said that he can rip Phone Booths in half…not Phone Books…Booths! I can not choose witch story I like better as both are really good and solid and to be fair are pretty much dead even so I am not going to choose and just say they are both great! The cover is great and has Yogi and Boo-Boo being fired out of a cannon and is eye catching and interior art (or at least the first story) is done by Dick Bickenback and is great stuff and again I can not stress how well this Marvel Comics captures the cartoon and its characters so well. Over all another amazing issue and continues to deliver great reads for fans of Yogi Bear.

Yogi Bear Comic 9

Yogi Bear # 9  ***
Released in 1979     Cover Price .35     Marvel Comics     #9 of 9

“Bearly Robin Hood” Jellystone Park is being forced to close do to a bill not passing that would help fund the parks of America and Yogi even goes to the congress man to try and get him to change his vote to help the park stay open, and he refuses and Yogi sits day and night trying to find a way to save the park. One night before bed he reads the story of Robin Hood and then has a dream about himself being Robin Yogi and with his Merry Men Boo-Boo, Doggie Daddy, Huckleberry Hound and Wally Gator and they robbed the rich like Snagglepuss and were being hunted by the Ranger who wanted to stop the crime wave. And after winning a archery contest he gets the Ranger off his back and wins a kiss from Cindy Bear…and then he wakes up he has a plan and when the Congress Man shows up to shutdown the park Yogi takes him around the park to show how hard life is at the park and it’s a good thing for it to go away and that all of the animals are happy that they now will be living with the Congress Man in his home, this ideas scares the government man who rips up the shutdown notice and says they will find the money to budget for the park and runs off…Yogi has saved the park again. “The Lonely Ranger” Huckleberry Hound is trying to get a job at being a park ranger at Jellystone and this is good news for Yogi who goes on a picnic basket stealing rampage and almost sets the world record and only needs one more to do so! Yogi sets out to get that record and picnic basket and ends up stealing one form Rancid Rob a bank robber who just robbed a bank and has the money hidden in his basket. Unknown to Huckleberry Hound that the basket is tied to a robber he goes after Yogi to get it back and enters Yogi’s cave…but just then the Police show up and surround the cave as the money has a tracker, in the end Rancid Rob is arrested, the money is returned, Huckleberry decides to not become a ranger and Yogi keeps on stealing picnic baskets.

This is the final issue of Yogi Bear from Marvel Comics and I have to say this is a great series and that all the creators behind it did a fantastic job of capturing the cartoon perfectly on the comic pages and delivering fun adventures of Yogi and Boo-Boo and do a fantastic job of working in Ranger Smith, Cindy Bear as well as many other Hanna-Barbara characters like Huckleberry Hound and Top Cat to name a few. This issue has two Yogi stories with one having him trying to save Jellystone Park from being shutdown by government greed and the other he stops a bank robber by accident and is able to return the money and get the robber behind bars. Both stories are great but I would say that “Bearly Robin Hood” is the better of the two as I really enjoy the Robin Hood dream and this opens the door for many cool cameos including Wally Gator and Magilla Gorilla two characters that are first time seen in the series and again two of my favorites. The worse part of this issue is that it’s the final issue as I had a blast covering this comic series and I wish that it would have lasted longer as again next to some of the Star Comics and Whitman Comics this is one of the better kids comics based on a cartoon. The cover for this issue is lots of fun and has Yogi dressed in his Robin Yogi look and is pretty eye catching if you’re a fan of Yogi’s. The interior art at least for this first story is done by Bickenback again and is great stuff and that’s the thing about this comic series as well all the art is great and really does look like the characters from the toons. Over all if you are a fan of Yogi Bear and enjoy comic books I say check out the Marvel Comics series as they truly are fun reads that does Yogi justice. Checkout the art below to see the style used in this comic series.

Yogi Bear Marvel Comic Art 1Yogi Bear Marvel Comic Art 2Yogi Bear Marvel Comic Art 3

Cartoons was a big part of my youth as watching them after school and on Saturday Morning was a wonderful time as much like a good Horror Host a good cartoon character ended up feeling like your friend that you would watch have fun, humorous and exciting adventures. Many of you my age grew up with Yogi Bear, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and so many others in reruns as well as new cartoons, and that’s the thing doing this update made me feel like a kid again and brought back the joy of watching Yogi on TV. But for the next update we will be leaving Jellystone Park and cartoons behind and will be heading to the world of Horror Films (or Dark Comedy) as we will be chatting about the 1982 film Mary Eating Raoul and the promo comic released alongside it. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a cartoon or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time as we have a dinner date with the Blands!

Eating Raoul Preview Logo

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.

Hardcase 2Hardcase 3Hardcase 4

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.

Hardcase 5Hardcase 6Hardcase 7

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.

Hardcase 8

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.

Hardcase Comic Art 1Hardcase Comic Art 2Hardcase Comic Art 3

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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Streets Of Poison: Captain America’s Battle With Addiction

Welcome back to Rotten Ink and another update in this blogs 10 Year Anniversary, and I knew I had to cover one of my all time favorite Marvel Comic superheroes for one of the updates and that of course is Captain America, but what was harder to choose was witch story arch to cover as I had many to choose from like “Bloodstone”, “The Superia Stratagem”, “Operation: Galactic Storm”, “Man And Wolf” and more as Captain America has had some great stories in his comic pages and the one I finally decided on was “Streets Of Poison” a anti-drug story that brings in heroes like Daredevil, Black Widow and Diamondback all to try and stop the drug trafficking in New York as well help Captain America fight addiction…that’s right you read that correct! In the story arch we are covering Captain America becomes addicted to a new street drug. So if you are ready lets go for an action packed update with Captain America one of my all time favorite superheroes.

Captain America 2022 Logo

Captain America was a superhero that captured my imagination as a young kid, back when the American Dream was something you could believe in and tried so hard to obtain as our Nation and the people in Government always did a great job of making you believe in this idea as even the media companies at the time did their part in making you have pride. And while I am older I still do love the core values of America even if you can not trust many of those in the Government all that much, but lets get back on track as we are here to talk about Captain America. Growing up I read lots of comics as growing up in a small village comic books was very popular among my friend groups and some of my favorites to read was Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, Batman, Superman, Luke Cage, Shang-Chi, Hawkman and at the top of the list was Captain America! And I can remember buying back issues of him at garage sales and would pick up copies from Big Bear/Hearts and at one point had a subscription so I had Captain America delivered to the mailbox. But as I have said before on here back when I was a kid Captain America was not the popular superhero he is now thanks to the films by Disney and I was always teased about Cap being my favorite hero as most of my friends were Batman fans and they all said that Cap was lame and old and I would always have to defend him and talk about how great he was, and when DC versus Marvel mini series was released and Batman was voted by readers to beat Captain America it fueled the fire. But I always have and always will stick behind my fandom of Captain America as he is just a very classic hero, who like the Hulk and Spider-Man was a huge part of growing up. The old Mattel Secret Wars Captain America figure is one of my favorite toys of all time, I always liked the made for TV films starting Reb Brown as Captain America and really I enjoyed the 1990 direct to video film as well! Still to this day I read old Captain America comics and even read new issues being released from time to time and in the new Disney Marvel Movies the Cap films are my favorite in all the series. Was not ashamed to say it as a kid and not ashamed to say it now as an adult I am a fan of Steve Roger aka Captain America as he is truly a noble, brave and iconic hero who really does have a legacy in comics and media that will live on forever in some shape or fashion. And I promise this will not be the last time we take a look at Captain America here on Rotten Ink as we have lots of great story arches to get through. And for those who are wondering in live action films and serials Captain America has been played by the following actors Dick Pursell, Aytekin Akkaya, Reb Brown, Matt Salinger and Chris Evans.

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When you think of rogues galleries for comic book heroes Captain America has some really cool ones with the likes of Red Skull, Baron Zemo and Baron Blood being some of his most iconic ones, but another name on the top of the list is Crossbones who was one of my favorites growing up as he was a bad ass hired killer who looked like he was a pro wrestler and even worse a cool skull mask. So I would like to take a few moments and take a look at who Crossbones is. The man behind the skull mask is Brock Rumlow a former leader of the street gang Savage Crims and who was a terrible person as he was know for assault and murder and did just this to Diamondback when he attacked her and killed one of her brothers. He would go on to be trained by the likes of Taskmaster and his school and would even be a trainer himself of up and coming assassins. He would go on to become a mercenary for hire and would be hired by the likes of Red Skull and from there would become a major thorn in the side of not only Captain America and Diamondback but also Baron Zemo who was on the bad side of the Red Skull. And Crossbones would stay loyal to Red Skull who was paying him very well and even would search for his missing boss when he went missing and formed his own group called the Skeleton Crew. And still to this day Crossbones is around in the Marvel Universe and is causing issues for Superheroes as he is a very skilled foe for any of them. Crossbones is a skilled fighter, has a great mind for strategy, is skilled with all types of weapons and does not mind killing in cold blood to get what he wants. In fact he has even kidnapped and tormented Diamondback in order to get into the mind of Captain America and lure him into a trap. Crossbones for me is my third favorite Captain America villain as I feel he was always a big threat, had a cool look and his fights with Cap were always brutal and entertaining. And yes Crossbones has made it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is played by actor Frank Grillo and as well has appeared in Cartoons and Video Games.

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While many fans of Captain America would say that their favorite love interest for Steve Rogers would be Peggy Carter, Sharon Carter or even Bernie Rosenthal but for me one of my favorites was Rachel Leighton who was known as Diamondback who was a member of the villain team Serpent Society and who’s love for Steve added a great layer of drama to the comics as she was connected to bad guys and he is Captain America the symbol of all things good. I think what made Diamondback so interesting is that she was willing to risk everything for her love for Captain America and even could have faced death by her fellow Serpent Society members who where not pleased with her decision of following her heart and not the code of the society. And the worse part of it is that at times Captain America would ignore and push away Diamondback and it would break her heart and add so much drama to the issues. And when she went missing thanks to being kidnapped by Crossbones who was tormenting her I as a reader found myself being frustrated with Cap for not going out and looking for her. But the thing also about Diamondback that makes her my favorite is that she is a skilled fighter and can throw sharp diamond like objects at her opponents. She has went from bad to good and back again and even has been a member of S.H.E.I.L.D and while her relationship with Captain America is long over she really is one of the best love interest the hero has ever had in his very long running comic series.

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I am a kid of the 80’s and 90’s and one thing that was everywhere was the “Just Say No To Drugs” phrase and PSA’s that was geared towards kids in order to try and keep them from trying and becoming addicted to them and growing up into a life of crime. The buttons with the Say No To Drugs logo was given out at school and we would watch PSA specials about the dangers of drugs and would even get visits from McGruff the Crime Dog and local police officers trying to do their best to warn us to stay clear. On TV the likes of Pee-Wee Herman, Mr. T, Peter Weller and who could forget the egg in the pan being your brain on drugs ad! I was raised by great parents who also did a great job of warning of the horrors of addiction and that is why I have stayed away from it all, and it’s crazy to think that the War On Drugs is still going strong to this day and that is all I have to say on the subject as this blog is about fun and not drugs! But really seeing as a kid the animated special “Cartoon All Stars To The Rescue” was awesome cause who didn’t want to see the likes of Slimer, Papa Smurf, Daffy Duck, Ninja Turtle Michelangelo and more telling you to stay off drugs. I also have to say the old WWF anti-smoking PSA’s was also great as the Ultimate Warrior eating cigarettes is crazy stuff to try and get kids not to smoke. Or Pee-Wee Herman telling viewers not to smoke crack…I mean the 80’s and early 90’s was a strange time indeed.

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Who don’t love a classic arcade machine, and I am talking about the classic machines that took quarters or tokens that use to be located in almost every pizza parlor, movie theater and of course malls across America! And growing up it always seemed like only rich people and kids on TV had their very own arcade cabinet, but some 7 years ago I got my very own, and cool enough its one that I grew up playing as I am the owner of “Captain America And The Avengers” and this is the classic four player arcade that not only allows you to play as Captain America but also as Iron Man, Hawkeye and Vision as you battle against the likes of Ultron, Crossbones and Red Skull. The game was ported to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis and while they are good they cannot compare to the Delta East Arcade version. And while this is one of two Arcade Machines I own (the other being Superman) they will not be the last as at some point I would like to get the Spider-Man four player game at sometime. Below is a picture of my Arcade machine being stored and used at a local media store.

Captain America 2022 My Arcade Machine

Speaking of arcade machines I really do miss the days of the big classic arcades from my past I mean sure we have DK Effect and Scene 75 to name a few around here in Ohio but I miss the days of Crazy Cats and Cap’n Bogey’s two places that as a kid I was at lots! Crazy Cats we talked about before way back in my “The Cougar” update from 2014. So now lets talk a little about the mega arcade known as Cap’n Bogeys that was in Beavercreek off of Dayton-Xenia Road and also had some amazing miniature golf courses and even bumper boats! I can remember going here a good amount of time with my Parents and Brother as well as with my cousins Dino, Norman, Nick and Stephen. I would play so many arcade games while using their tokens like X-Men, Street Fighter II, Spider-Man, House Of The Dead and WWF games. I was a masker of their claw machine and would always return home with a handful of plush dolls with my favorite one I got being cartoon icon Snagglepuss. I never did ride the Bumper Boats and I do remember playing the Miniature Golf a couple of times, and the golf was fun but not as iconic as the course at Magic Castle a still going entertainment center in Kettering. But the thing about Cap’n Bogeys is that as a youngster it felt very magical as they had so many arcade machines and as well had food and a walk around version of Cap’n Bogey himself and that was awesome seeing. And for some reason in the early to mid 2000’s it closed and the legacy was gone, it sat empty for awhile with rumors that the old site was going to be turned into a updates Krogers and over years it sat empty until it was finally torn down and in its spot a neighborhood was placed. In 2021 Juliet and I even drove around Beavercreek and ended up finding the site that it once was, and nothing is left and homes really do sit in its spot. I miss Cap’n Bogey’s and wish that some day it will return and bring back the games, golf and boats to a new generation of gamers.

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But enough of the flashback and love for arcades as this update is about Captain America and the Streets Of Poison and to be honest I am very happy to be bring another update about the First Avenger and this time on Rotten Ink’s big 10 Year Anniversary! I would like to say thanks to Mavericks Cards And Comics, Lone Star Comics and Game Swap Kettering for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I also want to say thanks to Jack Kirby, Joe Simon and Marvel Comics for creating Captain America comics that have entertained me over the decades of reading them. I do 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 with that let’s head to the streets of New York and see how Cap gets ride of the poison that is running wild in them.

Captain America Comic 372

Captain America # 372   **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Priced $1.00    Marvel Comics     #372 of 454

Captain America is ridding around his new Sky-Cycle and decides to swing by his lady friend Diamondback’s apartment to see if she would like to go for a ride, but before he can call on her he finds Serpent Society Member Boomslang spying on her, and when trying to ask questions the villain runs and makes a mistake as a youth gang opens fire and shoots Boomslang for being in their alley and Cap has to try and save his life, but the fight cause the teens to fire their guns wildly even shooting each other. Captain America returns to The Avengers base only to find that his friend and tech mechanic Fabian is addicted to a new drug called ICE that was given to him by a friend, and now he is hearing voices and is breaking down. Cap calls a place to try and get Fabien into a drug rehab place and suspends him from working with The Avengers as well as finds out the place and the name of his dealer, a man that goes by Kid Gloves who is around Queens. Once he tracks down Kid Gloves he gets the name Moosemeat who is another dealer who then tells Cap that the main distribution for ICE and other drugs is a warehouse…and Cap gets all this information making the dealers think he is The Punisher and would kill them if they don’t share it with him. Once at the warehouse he finds a young man calling himself Napalm who sets off a bomb blowing up the warehouse! Also while this is going on two gang members are at the sight of the shooting trying to break into the gangs hideout and are run off, and Bullseye escapes prison and even kills a guard while doing so.

Captain America and his war on drugs starts here with the first part of “Streets Of Poison” as he is super mad over his young friend being addicted and wants to stop those from poisoning others with their street trash, and starts following the slime trail to figure out who is the main supplier of drugs in New York. Captain America is a man who has so much going on in his life and is even at war with himself over falling in love with Diamondback a former evildoer who was a member of the Society Member, he also has to worry about being the hero America needs as well as a roll model for the countries youth plus getting his young friend drug free! Captain America once he sets his mind set on something he does not give up until he cracks the case and stops the evil that’s plaguing America. He has John Jameson the son of J. Jonah Jameson as his back up on this mission and acts as his ride as well as eyes when staking things out. Poor goofy Boomslang a super villain who not only gets caught spying on a superheroes lady, but is also shot by young kids in a gang for running down the wrong ally, this loser cant seem to catch a break and then also makes you wonder why Serpent Society has him as a member. Bullseye proves that he is deadly even being locked away in a prison cell with nothing he could use as a weapon, he is just one of Marvel’s most deadly assassins. The Street Gang is clearly the ones pushing the ICE on the streets and they are the ones who give it to the likes of Moosemeat and Kid Gloves, but makes you wonder who the hell is their head boss! I love that Captain America fakes being The Punisher dressed as an old homeless guy in order to scare the pushers, and the best part is they are the ones who gave him the idea by thinking he is the vigilante. One character that I always disliked during this era of Captain America was Fabian as he is always a goof-up who seems to always mess things up and always blames other for his issues like in this case he thinks that the pressure Cap and The Avengers is what caused him to want to do this drug to stay up longer so he can work on repairs and gadgets…he is a liar and a goon and the worst Avengers employee. The cover for this issue is pretty fun and has Captain America falling out of a window, and the interior art by Ron Lim is great and has that classic Marvel Comics look that I grew up with. This is a great way to start off a story arch as the stakes are high as drugs are running wild in the streets of New York and a new gang is moving in to start a war with Kingpin and we end with not knowing if Cap has been blown up! So with that lets find out how Captain America survived the explosion!

Captain America Comic 373

Captain America # 373   **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Priced $1.00    Marvel Comics     #373 of 454

Captain America’s friend John Jameson who drove him around on his quest to track down the main source of New York’s drug trade watches in horror as the warehouse explosions goes off and the fire engulfs it! He thinks quickly and calls Peggy Carter and alerts her to send the police and fire engines as well as to call in a member of The Avengers as he is not sure if Cap made it out alive! Peggy calls the authorities and then calls in Black Widow and as well calls Diamondback and alerts them of the bad situation. The Gang shows up and watches as their warehouse base burns down and think that Napalm set off the bomb cause The Kingpin’s men must have found them, and they now are ready for war. As Diamondback shows up at the scene she is in tears as John alerts her that no sign of Cap has been found, and just like that Captain America appears and says that he was able to jump out a window just in time, but the blast knocked him out for a bit on the roof from the building across the street. Cap is shaken by the blast but after a quick shower he heads back out on the street to crack this case, he has John wait in the van by the warehouse as he and Diamondback watch from across the street. Meanwhile one of Kingpins drug houses was blown up and this angers him and he hires Bullseye to find out who blew up his crack house and who is are the other crime family bringing drugs into his town. John spots someone going into the warehouse and Captain America goes in as Diamondback flies around above on the Sky-Cycle were she is attacked by Black Widow who thinks she stole it from Cap, as she does not know that he made it out of the explosion alive. Meanwhile Captain America in the warehouse sees a light and tries to sneak up on the person only to by accident makes a small noise that alerts the snooping shadow that turns out to be Bullseye who is looking for clues in order to get info on the creeps trying to take over Kingpins drug sales! Meanwhile Diamondback and Black Widow who are fighting on the Sky-Cycle crashes into the river.

The second part of “Streets Of Poison” has us the readers learning that Captain America survived the explosion only because of his reflexes and instincts causes him to leap out a window just in time, we also learn that he is acting a little off after the explosion and even finally gave Diamondback a big kiss only to not even mention it again, he also makes a rookie mistake by making noise while fallowing an unknown shadow who was snooping around a crime scene. Plus the words that Fabian said to Cap is sticking with him as he brought up that the Super Soldier Serum was like a drug, and he seems to think that maybe it is a drug that makes youngsters think that its cool. Diamondback is a one time villain who has turned hero that is confused by the way Captain America is acting and is also a little mad at him when he leaves her flying his Sky-Cycle without even telling her how to control it! Black Widow gets the call that her friend Captain America is missing after a massive accident and finds a strange woman driving his vehicle and she goes into hero mode and starts fighting without finding out answers. You have to feel back for Black Widow as she thinks her friend and teammate could be dead and is ready to crack heads to get answers to her quickly asked questions. Peggy Carter and John Jameson are doing what they can to help Captain America bust this drug ring and are for the most part doing a great job, I just wish John would rage out and turn into Moon-Wolf that would be awesome. Kingpin is really mad as he has just lost one of his drug houses by an attack done by another gang who has moved into his part of town and is selling the goods on the streets, and that other gang only attacked his drug house cause they think he is the one that caused Napalm to explode himself. Bullseye however is trying to get back into good graces with Kingpin and even takes a job of being a detective in order to find out who these people are selling ICE on the streets to they can be dealt with. And if you think about it both Captain America and Kingpin with their crews are looking for the same people, but both have their own reasons, and who are these people…we have not learned yet but we do know they hired a man named Moosemeat to sell drugs for them. The cover for this issue is ok and your typical late 80’s and early 90’s Marvel and is eye-catching for fans of Marvel. The interior art by Ron Lim is well done like before and he is another of Marvel’s underrated artists of the 90’s. So lets see what the third issue in this story arch has in store for us.

Captain America Comic 374

Captain America # 374   **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Priced $1.00    Marvel Comics     #374 of 454

Captain America takes a leg wound from his unknown attacker that we know is Bullseye and tries to figure out a way to not only get his attacker down but also survive! Meanwhile Diamondback along with the Sky-Cycle come out of the river and she flies away to help Cap at the blown up warehouse, while Black Widow also pops out of the water and badly wants a rematch. Back at the warehouse Captain America figures out the man in the shadows is Bullseye and when Diamondback appears the man who don’t miss his target runs away into the night. Back at Avengers headquarters Captain America is mad at Peggy Carter for calling in Black Widow on his private mission and then gets back at Diamondback and kicks her out of the building, something is wrong with Cap as his anger is out of control. Meanwhile the young street gang is now doing drive by shootings on Kingpins drug sellers, and this is making the crime lord very mad and he just might send Typhoid Mary to deal with it…that is if they can figure out who the other gang is. While Captain America is fuming and storms off to continue his mission alone, Bullseye is shaking down ICE users to follow that trail, Diamondback has changed her costume in order to blend into the night and follow Cap and even Daredevil is in town wondering why Cap is acting so weird, and speaking of Cap he is bulling a rich drug user and is proud of himself. John Jameson meets up with Diamondback and the pair are walking down the street and she informs him that she thinks Cap is on drugs and he inhaled ICE during the explosion and that the drug has bonded to his blood due to the Super Solider Serum, and as John agrees a car drives by and they shoot Diamondback!

In this third part of “The Streets Of Posion” we clearly see that something is not right with Captain America as he is very filled with anger and goes off even on his own friends as Peggy Carter, Diamondback and John Jameson all feel his wrath. It’s clear that Cap is on the ICE and that he is hyped up and filled with raw emotions and has no time for anyone who questions him or gets in his way. Captain America clearly is not his normal self as he is also almost enjoying being a jerk to his friends and loves scaring the drug sellers. Poor Diamondback is yelled out and talked down to by her boyfriend (Cap) all cause he is paranoid and thanks she is talking about him behind his back, and even after being made look bad she still stands by her superhero man and is trying to figure out his strange behavior. And for all these she ends up getting shot in the back while walking down the street, I am going to guess she will be ok cause what superhero don’t wear armor? John Jameson is a loyal friend to Cap, but also its clear he is getting a crush on Diamondback, and he is fighting his emotions about her. Kingpin is getting more and more bad that his drug ring is taking a hit as its under attack by a unknown younger cartel that has moved into New York, and you know that the war is really about to go down when Kingpin sends Bullseye and Typhoid Mary to deal with them. I also like that Daredevil has a cameo and he is clearly going to come into play as he as well had a run in with Cap (in Daredevil #283) and he knows that his hero friend is acting weird. The Drug War that is about to go off is going to get really bad as people are being shot and buildings are being blowup, just imagine when the two sides really go head to head! The cover is pretty great and eye catching and has Cap being attacked by Bullseye and the interior art by Ron Lim is fantastic again. So let’s see if Captain America can just say no to drugs and kick his accidental high in the next issue.

Captain America Comic 375

Captain America # 375   **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Priced $1.00    Marvel Comics     #375 of 454

Diamondback took several bullets to her back and lucky for her she was wearing a bulletproof vest, while she is hurt she is not dead and John goes inside a small store to check on the people inside. Meanwhile Captain America shows up at a nightclub and attacks a pusher named Jerkweed in order to get info about The Kingpin. Meanwhile at the gangs hideout Bullseye has found them and takes one hostage and gets him to squeal about who is the moneyman behind the new drug cartel in town. Captain America arrives at a small Italian restaurant were Kingpin and his men are having dinner and pushes the crime boss for answers on who is running the rival drug gang, the meeting turns up no answers and worse once Captain America leaves he runs into his friend Daredevil who shares his concerns on how Captain America has been acting, this does not go well. As Daredevil talks Cap’s anger and paranoia kicks into full gear and he attacks Daredevil and the pair fight in the streets and go back and fourth trading punches and attacks. As the fight goes on Captain America gets frustrated and ends the fight beating up Daredevil pretty bad and leaving him on the ground in pain, as Cap walks away footsteps come closer to Daredevil and its Crossbones!

The fourth part of the “Streets Of Poison” has Captain America getting closer and closer to busting the new drug family and all the while he himself is being over taken by the very drug he is fighting to get off the streets and he don’t even see his own trip into madness and paranoia. Cap in this issue not only beats up street punks and hired goons but also looses his temper on a fellow superhero that he beats up and leaves dazed on the streets. For some reason Captain America thinks that The Avengers want to silence him and take away his hero card and even at one point thinks they are sending Daredevil after him so that he can become the new Captain America! And speaking of poor Daredevil he just is coming to check on his friend and see if he can help and gets beat up for doing so, but I will say that while Daredevil looses the fight he at least put on a good showing against Cap. John Jameson is spending his time watching after the injured Diamonback who was injured after being shot several times in the back by a druggie gang. Bullseye is getting very close to figuring out who the main man is who is running the gang that is challenging the power of his boss Kingpin, and I feel bad for the ones in charge and Bullseye plays for keeps. The issue really is one that focuses on just how crazy Captain America is becoming due to inhaling that ICE, he is turning on his friends, making up conspiracy theories in his own mind, becoming more violent towards those he thinks are the bad guys and has become way to focus on his goal and even seems to forget what really pushed him to look into this new street drug. Plus we now see that Crossbones is involved in this madness and makes you wonder who’s side he is on as we know he is not with Cap but is he working on his own, is he with the new drug kids on the block or is he one of Kingpins. The cover for this issue is action packed and has Cap leaping at Daredevil like a madman and I can say is very eye catching for readers of Marvel, the interior art by Ron Lim is great like before. Let’s see what Captain America goes crazy on next and let’s see how Crossbones fits into this drug war.

Captain America Comic 376

Captain America # 376   **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Priced $1.00     Marvel Comics     #376 of 454

Daredevil is on the ground as Crossbones mocks the fallen hero, and even lifts his mask to get a peek at the man behind it. Crossbones then heads off to the Italian restaurant and busts in as he has been hired to kill Kingpin! Crossbones almost kills the crime boss, but he is saved by Daredevil who ends up fighting the assassin as Kingpin makes his exit. As the cops are called Crossbones makes a break for it as Daredevil as well retreats as he is really hurt from his fight with both Captain America and Crossbones. Diamondback and John are ready to try and find Captain America now that she is slightly better and even run into Black Widow who ends up joining them in their hunt to try and get Cap help! Meanwhile Captain America is coming down hard in a ally as he is feeling bad and even hearing voices, but he thinks he just needs some sleep and pushes himself even harder to get up and solve this case. Meanwhile Crossbones who has failed his first attempt at killing Kingpin gets a call from his boss the man who sent him and it’s the Red Skull and he is not happy that he failed. Meanwhile Kingpin tells Typhoid Mary that they need to bring in Bullseye so that he can track and kill Crossbones and get him to rat out whom hired him. Meanwhile Captain America is ruffing up more drug addicts when Black Widow and Diamondback find him and end up having to fight the drugged out Cap and after some intense fighting Black Widow is able to knock him out with a widow sting, and along with John the two ladies take the out cold Cap back home. Meanwhile as Red Skull is having a meeting with Crossbones about his failed attempt to take Kingpins life, outside the window is Bullseye who is about to try and take the Skulls life.

Captain America is out of control fully in this fifth part of the “Streets Of Poison” storyline as the ICE drug that’s in his blood has turned him into a true wild man who is focused on solving the case but has very much lost touch with reality doing so. Captain America who has last issue beatdown Daredevil almost as well takes the heads off Black Widow and Diamondback the two heroes that are trying to help him. Captain America has not slept in days, has not bathed and looks like a homeless superhero by this point and has zero clue that he is in fact been infected with drugs that he inhaled. Poor Diamondback and Black Widow are forced to fight and fight hard in order to bring their friend down, and once they have him down they have to try and sneak him away in order to protect his image and his reputation. Daredevil as well has been beaten pretty badly and you have to feel for him as he stumbles his way home to rest up after saving the life of his biggest enemy. Kingpin can not catch a break himself as being the big crime boss of New York gives you lots of enemies as not only is their a new drug operation in town, but now he has hits placed on his life by the Red Skull and as a reader you have to wonder if Red Skull is also the main man behind the new drug business. Crossbones and Bullseye are two very deadly hitmen who are on a path to fight each other on their respected bosses orders, and what a great fight this will be! Also now its even more clear that John is having major feelings for Diamondback and is doing his best to fight them off, but I think good old CarWolf will fail the test. The idea also that superheroes had to team up to bring Captain America down because he needs to get drug rehab is something I am sure readers of Cap would never think would happen. This issues cover is pretty great as it shows many of this stories main characters with only Red Skull missing and also has a classic EC Comics feel to it with the side character bar, Ron Lim as always rocked the interior art and I have to say this is a great and fun Captain America story that I have had a blast this far rereading after all these years. So lets she what is in store for Captain America in the next issue and if he can get clean in order to bust this case wide open.

Captain America Comic 377

Captain America # 377   ***
Released in 1990     Cover Priced $1.00     Marvel Comics     #377 of 454

Bullseye busts into the hotel room and puts a bullet into the head of the Red Skull, and this of course angers Crossbones who goes onto the attack with each assassin getting the upper hand back and fourth finally Bullseye spits a tooth into the eye of Crossbones who was choking the life out of him, and then drives a digger into his harm allowing him to escape. Crossbones is pissed that he failed his boss who he thinks is dead on the floor, but he soon finds that the Red Skull is alive and that a robot dummy was the one to take the bullet. Bullseye calls the Kingpin and tells him the hit is done, Kingpin tells Bullseye that the money is waiting for him in a hiding spot and that he needs to disappear for three months or until he calls for him again. As Kingpin hangs up the phone he tells Typhoid Mary that he does not believe that Red Skull is dead. Meanwhile Crossbones gets a call from the real Red Skull to meat him at a bunker so that they can get plans ready. Meanwhile Captain America is out cold at The Avengers medical lab as his friends gather around him waiting on Hank Pym to show up to look at the effects of ICE in his blood, Black Widow takes her leave and builds a friendship with Diamondback before she does so, as both ladies have troubled pasts. Meanwhile Captain America is having a terrible nightmare about the Super Soldier Serum being a drug and that the drug is who made him, he wakes up in a feverish rage and trashes the medical room, as he is having a breakdown his friend Hank Pym comes in and talks him down and says he will help him get clean of ICE. The only way they can get the drug out of Captain America’s system is by giving him a total blood transfusion and that means he also looses the Super Soldier Serum…and he agrees to have it done. Meanwhile Red Skull has Crossbones call Kingpin in order to stop the drug war as he is the one behind the ICE and they pair meet at Yankee Stadium and speak for the first time in many years. Meanwhile the now drug free Captain America against doctors orders gets out of bed and heads out to solve this case and before he leaves he tells Peggy Carter that this is something he has to do as he has to know if the man or the drug made Captain America who he is.

I want to start by saying this is one of the comics I remember as a kid buying off the shelves at Big Bear when I was a kid and have read this issue so many times over the years, man I miss Big Bear and Hearts and wish someone would bring them back alongside Hills and Gold Circle Department stores. Captain America in this issue goes through very bad drug withdraws and has to have his blood drained in order to ride himself of the ICE that contaminates it, and by doing this he is also stripped of his Super Soldier Serum the very thing that helped him become Americas soldier. And now he can truly find the answer to his biggest question if Steve Rogers made the hero or if the serum did. And man I feel sorry for anyone who gets in his way right now as he is clean and focused and has lots to prove to himself! Diamondback, Black Widow, Peggy Carter and John Jameson take a backseat in this issue and while they are around they play more background support characters here. And Hank Pym is the man who comes in and saves Caps life from being a junkie by draining his infected blood, but don’t worry he is also working on a way to strip the ICE or the Super Solider Serum from the blood in order to make Steve Captain America again by injecting it back into him. Red Skull being the mastermind behind ICE as well as the one who is the head of the other side of the drug war is perfect as he is such a cold blooded villain who would not care about killing and spreading his addiction to the youth and lost, he also is never to be trusted and I like that he and Kingpin are having a meeting at Yankee Stadium in order to end a drug war. Plus let’s be honest, each side has very deadly people on their payroll as Crossbones and Bullseye have unfinished business and throw in Typhoid Mary into the mix and this could be a very bloody battle for territory. Funny part is that Captain America if he figures out the location of all targets he is walking into a very dangerous situation as the stadium is filled with trigger happy goons looking to please their bosses. One of the biggest highlights of this issue for me was the opening fight between Crossbones and Bulleyes in the hotel room as both fight hard and both go to kill and wound, and they are each other’s equals making it a very well matched fight. The cover is awesome and features a sedated Captain America in the middle as Bullseye and Crossbones fighting! The interior art by Ron Lim is great and has one panel that has always stuck with me over the years and that’s Bullseye stabbing Crossbones in his arm! Great issue that held up so well for me and next is our last issue in this mini series, so let’s see how Cap closes this case or even if he can.

Captain America Comic 378

Captain America # 378   **1/2
Released in 1990     Cover Priced $1.00     Marvel Comics     #378 of 454

Captain America on his Sky-Cycle is going through a plan in his mind of what to do when he finds the ones responsible for the drugs and who have started a violent war in the streets of New York. Meanwhile Kingpin is not having any of the plan of teaming with the Red Skull as he flat out says he would never work with a Nazi! And Red Skull is not bothered by this and makes a wager with the Kingpin and its simple they two fight in a hand to hand combat with this on the line if Red Skull wins he stays in New York and they are able to sell ICE with no pushback from Kingpins men, and if Red Skull looses her leaves New York and sells his drug factories to Kingpin for a small fee…they both agree and start the fight on the field of Yankee Stadium with both men showing they are skilled and know how to defend themselves, and the fight is also taking place in a bubble that Red Skull put into place to keep others out of the fight. Meanwhile Captain America notices the lights on at Yankee Stadium and lands only to be greeted by Crossbones who wants to smash The Avenger to a blood pulp, so while Red Skull and Kingpin are fighting on the field Captain America and Crossbones are fighting off it. Captain America is able to outsmart and out fight Crossbones beating him after a very tiring battler with a chop to his throat and done on the field Kingpin is able to use his size and skills to defeat the Red Skull, sending him packing for now out of New York. In the end Red Skull and Crossbones escape, Kingpin wins his New York turf back as well as gets the ICE market and Captain America returns to The Avengers base and learns that he can get the Super Solider Serum back if he wants it, and he Just Says No as he knows now that Steve Rogers that man is who makes Captain America and not the drug.

Captain America in this issue not only kicks the drug that was polluting his body, he also finds the answer that has always bothered him and that’s if the serum is what drove him to be the biggest hero in Americas eyes or was it the drive, morals and standards of Steve Rogers! He also shows that even without his super strength he can still fight like a first class superhero when he takes on and defeats Crossbones is a fist fight, Captain America is back and while different he still is the man that America needs. But while Captain America finds himself, when you think about it he does not stop ICE or the New York drug issue as now Kingpin is in charge and will be selling the poison to those looking for a quick long lasting life changing high. The Kingpin while a crime lord and a guy who is responsible for many deaths, drug sales and over all bad deeds still has some morals as he in no way would ever work with Nazis and then beats the Red Skull in a fair fight to chase him out of New York so makes you feel odd as you find yourself cheering for him because of this. The one downside to Kinpin in this final issue is that he sends Bullseye away so he is not present for the big fight and he as well does not bring Typhoid Mary at all and she is one character I feel like they underused and wasted in this story. Red Skull is the one who has brought ICE to New York as he has a goal to kill America any way he can and he thinks what better way then watch Americans kill themselves slowly with his terrible addictive drug. He also has Crossbones a coldblooded gun for hire as his right hand man, so as you can see Red Skull means business and is truly a mastermind of crime. Peggy Carter, John Jameson, Hank Pym and Diamondback are all close friends of Captain America and care about him and all are helpless when it comes to helping him as he was on a mission to prove himself worthy of the name Captain America. I think Marvel Comics was taking a stand against the drugs that was running wild in the streets of New York at the time and was trying to make a statement that you don’t need drugs to be great and buying drugs helps put money in the pockets of organized crime, and most important that drugs are trying to ruin America. While Streets Of Poison is not one of Captain America’s most iconic stories it is one that I remember from my youth and one that I read when it was released way back in 1990, and one that I find myself still enjoying in 2022 so for me it has aged well. I would say that the story telling in this arch is a little sloppy in spots and has you as the reader fill in the holes, like the whole thing started with goofball Fabian being hooked on drugs and by the end of the story he is never mention. So in other words Streets Of Poison is not for everyone. It has Captain America appear in a Daredevil issue during so in order to get the full drugged out Cap you would need to read it as well. The cover for this issue is well done and has Cap punching Crossbones in the face, and again Ron’s interior work is great and captures the full mood of this story. Also you cannot go wrong with a fistfight between Red Skull and Kingpin going down at Yankee Stadium I wonder if Dandy their old Mascot was in the bleachers watching it all go down? Check out the artwork bellow to see Ron’s style and you can see what I mean about him having a great style that was perfect for Marvel Comics during that time.

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So as you can see Captain America has kicked a forced on him drug addiction and tried to bring down two very big drug pushers and during the time played with the emotions of Diamondback and as well got help from his friends Hank Pym, Black Widow and Daredevil. This was a comic mini series that I really do remember reading as a kid and as I stated it held up pretty well after reading it again after these decades. And This was a great one to choose as you get so many villains as well as Red Skull, Crossbones, Bullseye, Kingpin, Typhoid Mary and even Boomslang make appearances with most beside the later playing big parts in this drug fueled story. Our next update however will take us out of the world of Marvel Comics and place us into the once created by Malibu Comics as we will take a look at another of there heroes who sadly is mostly forgotten by modern readers and I will be talking about Hardcase! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a superhero movie to two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you in a few weeks for an Ultraverse good time.

Malibu Hardcase Logo Preview

American Hero: G.I. Zombie

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, and Happy 4th of July! And I am sure you are like me and waiting for the fireworks to fill the sky while eating some grilled food and chatting with friends, and as well thinking about American Heroes.  Today’s topic is a strange one as he is a zombie, a solider and a hero! I am talking about the DC Horror character Jared Kabe also known as G.I. Zombie who is a member of the U.S. Army in the DC Universe and does what he can to keep our nation safe! So while the burgers are on the grill and the fireworks are still a little while away, let’s take a look at the American Hero: G.I. Zombie. And also keep in mind this is 10 Years of Rotten Ink, and I would like for you readers to take a moment and think about your favorite hero in your life from the past or present and to sit back a relax and as always thank you for spending a small part of your Holiday with Rotten Ink.

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Jared Kabe is an American Army Soldier who has been working for the government for many decades and has been involved in many wars for his country, and he as lasted as the nation’s ultimate soldier for so many years because he is in fact dead and is a zombie that is sent into what would be suicide missions for any living soldier! So if there are bio weapons in play, chemical attacks or even good old-fashioned zombie plagues, the man for the job is Jared Kabe who is code-named G.I. Zombie. The powers that Jared has are that he is skilled in military combat, he is stronger than a normal living human, he has great use of his senses, can regenerate after being wounded and more important he is immortal! The character of G.I. Zombie was the created by the creative team of Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Hampton and Justin Gray in 2014 for DC Comics who was making an attempt to update their universe. And weird enough G.I. Zombie is not really used by DC Comics anymore and for the most part he only lasted the one-year of his release. While not a major player in the world of DC Horror or even DC War Heroes, he is still an interesting character who had his readers that enjoyed his issues.

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G.I. Zombie is a character that I just learned about in late 2021, or should I say paid attention too as he was never on my radar as in modern times I have paid very little attention to DC Comics and he just never was a Horror Comic that I picked up at the local comic shops as most of the time I have found most of DC’s Horror Comic work to be a little weak with Swamp Thing, Man-Bat and House Of Mystery being the ones that I find to be really good. And I think really that in 2014 the Zombie comic trained started by Walking Dead from Image Comics has started to be over done and that is also why I paid no attention to G.I. Zombie. Over the years I have found myself being a little less picky about Horror Comics I read when it comes to the big two companies Marvel & DC as sometimes they are the better offerings they have as their main Superhero titles have been very poorly written for many years now in my opinion, and the Horror titles I feel lets the creators have a little more freedom in the stories they are telling. What makes me intrigued about G.I. Zombie is that I know nothing about the character and I am looking forward to seeing if they play more on the spooky aspect of the character or the army hero…or will it be a great blend of the two? Regardless of what angle DC Comics goes with the character I will say that Jared Kabe aka G.I. Zombie is an American Hero in the world of Comic Books and that is why he is getting this American Hero update.

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So as you can see, the burgers are almost done on the grill and it’s inching so much closer to firework time so I think we should get into the comic review part of this American Hero update that I have to say is also a DC Horror update for this 10 Year Celebration for Rotten Ink! I want to thank Game Swap Kettering and Lone Star Comics for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So grab a sparkler and your favorite cold beverage, and let’s make a toast to G.I. Zombie and see what his comic series was all about. Oh and on a side note, this series is called “Star Spangled War Stories G.I. Zombie” but for the sake of this update we will just shorten the title to G.I. Zombie.

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G.I. Zombie # 1  ***
Released in 2014     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 1 of 8

At a small bar in the backwoods of Mississippi recent released female prisoner Carmen King meets Duke and his men who have just captured a F.B.I Agent and have him tied up in the back of the bar and worse the Agent have been beaten up and will not spill the beans on how many are with him and were they are based out of. Carmen in order to impress Duke and get a job with his outlaw gang tortures and shoots the Agent in the head killing him when her interrogation does not work. Carmen takes the body of the agent away and Duke sets up a night meeting time for the two. We soon find out that the agent is G.I. Zombie who repairs his body and that Carmen is working with him. The two while having to work together do not know each other and Carmen is a little nervous about having to stay in a motel with a zombie. As Carmen takes a shower and then goes to bed, G.I. Zombie sneaks out of the room and ends up attacking and killing a man who was abusing his wife in front of a gas station, he kills the man to eat him…but sadly he does so in front of the mans wife and child. Later that night Carmen and Zombie head to the farm that is were Duke told Carmen to meet him, and they have a car wreck when Carmen hits a deer and they have to travel by foot. Once they arrive at the farm the notice that Duke and his gang of outlaws have missiles!

The first issue of G.I. Zombie is really good and they drop us right into the story that has our undead solider teaming up with a female agent in order to bring down an outlaw group that is dealing in stolen guns and more. We learn that G.I. Zombie has been around for a very long time and has always survived his country and really loves America, we also see that while he is a good guy he still craves human flesh and feeds on it when he can get it. His uncanny powers of not being able to die and being able to reattach cut off limbs and heal up his wounds is really cool and very useful in his line of work. Carmen King from what we gather is a good solider/agent who is doing her job, but clearly only kind of trust her undead partner, as she knows very little about him and his character. Duke and his gang are a bunch of outlaws who look like they deal in all types of crime from murder to stolen guns and I am sure while he looks like the big fish now, someone else is truly calling the shots. The comic has some blood and gore in it and that was nice to see and some moments are gruesome like when G.I. Zombie is shot in the head by Carmen so she could impress Duke and his gang. The issue also does a great job of ending on a cliffhanger as our heroes see missiles are part of the groups weapons they have stockpiled and this is proof that Duke is working for a bigger threat. The cover for issue one is really good and eye catching and captures both the War and Horror aspects of the series, and the interior art by Scott Hampton is not the style I like in comics but it is really good work. Over all a great start for this series, and I am looking forward to see what happens in issue two.

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G.I. Zombie # 2  ***
Released in 2014     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 2 of 8

Carmen arrives alone at the gate and is let in to see Duke after she alerts the guard that she has had a car wreck and that is why she is late. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie is out in the woods and takes out one of Duke’s men and then takes another hostage with the threat of eating him alive he is able to get some info as well as the man’s cellphone in order to hear the communication between the rest of the outlaws. While inside a deadly virus has been delivered to Duke and as the two that dropped it off leave G.I. Zombie is able to snap a picture of them and send it to his bosses via the stolen phone. Carmen is shown by Duke a massive pot field on the farm compound and he then starts talking to her about his distaste for the government and if she has the same dislike he wants to offer her a job with his group. But G.I. Zombie is spotted and the alarm goes off and Duke has Carmen leave with some of his people to go to another secret farm compound while G.I. Zombie has a shootout with the outlaws, and Zombie gets back up when Commander Gravedigger and fellow soldiers show up to help in the fight. Duke has his men fire off one of the missiles that has the virus inside it and its headed toward Washington D.C., but G.I. Zombie jumps on the missile and pulls out wires and causes it to crash into a small town in Tennessee.

This second issue is as good as the first as this story progresses and has me drawn in on what is going to happen next! In this issue Carmen and G.I. Zombie make it to the farm hideout of Duke and his militia outlaw group and while Carmen gets deeper in their ranks, G.I. Zombie finds himself trying to stop a virus carrying missile that will have collateral damage of human life. G.I. Zombie in this issue shows that he is also very skilled in combat as he uses guns as well as his zombie ways to take out many of the outlaws and its clear that he is very hard to stop and those who face him seen see the horror that this solider can inflict on them. Carmen meanwhile has to play it cool and build up trust with Duke who is clearly a very dangerous man who is now also getting bio-weapons from some government agency or maybe its ones made up of former workers, we will have to read more issues to find out. And Duke and his outlaw militia clearly are dangerous and do not care about how many people die in their quest to stick it to the government, and they have all tools and weapons to really be a threat. I like how the officer in charge of this mission is called Gravedigger, a nice touch sense he is in charge of a zombie soldier. The issue has some good blood and gore moments of G.I. Zombie eating some flesh and the story is really good and does a good job of keeping you interested as a reader. The cover for this issue I have is cool and eye catching even though it’s also misleading as G.I. Zombie does not parachute into battle at all. The interior art is done by Scott Hampton and is again really good if you like the more modern style art in comic books. With that the series is staying strong and I want to see what chaos this missile is going to cause and what will Carmen witness next from this outlaw group.

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G.I. Zombie # 3  ***
Released in 2014     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 3 of 8

The missile goes down in Tennessee and G.I. Zombie knows that the virus inside it will cause a zombie outbreak and it seems that the animals around are now attacking him in aggression is it cause of the virus or are they just scared. Meanwhile Gravedigger has captured Duke who is not giving up any information on what his group is truly up to and who is the people behind getting them the weapons. Meanwhile Carmen is with some of the outlaws on their way to the farm and she is trying to get as much information out of them as possible. Back in the small town the animals are infected by the virus and when they are biting people its making them infected as well with a sort of rabies that is turning everyone in contract with a bite into a zombie in seconds. G.I. Zombie ties up an infected person and finds the towns doctor when they find that the people who are infected are pretty much brain dead and a cure is unlikely, and then the G.I. Zombie safely gets the doctor and her assistant home safe and then gets the towns exits from the mayor to give to Gravedigger who is on his way with soldiers to try and contain the outbreak. As G.I. Zombie waits on one of the bridges out of town he is attack by a horde of zombies and is fighting them off, as he cannot let one single human or animal that is infected to leave the town.

This poor small town gets infected by a virus that was unleashed by a nut job who is anti government, but all he did was hurt the innocent people in a town by infecting them and the animals with a zombie rabies! We know that the animals are the first to be infected by the virus and that when they bite people the virus passes and they become raging zombies who kill and infect others. G.I. Zombie is not scared of being infected but does hate watching and having to kill the animals and feels bad for the people who are being hunted down by those infected, but when it comes to protecting the innocent people as well as the fellow towns he goes into solider mode and will do what must be done. Meanwhile Carmen is still on her road trip to the other farm and is not getting too much information for her female road buddy. Gravedigger and his soldiers have captured Duke and are now on their way to the infected town to back up G.I. Zombie to contain the virus the best they can. The end also is a nice cliffhanger as G.I. Zombie armed with a knife is being over taken by a massive zombie horde that are on the path of getting out of the town and spreading this infection to a wider population. The issue has some blood and really is doing a great job of keeping me interested in the storyline as well as wondering what is next for the characters. The cover for this issue is really cool and has G.I. Zombie fighting a zombie horde and like before the interior artwork by Scott Hampton is good stuff. DC Comics and the creators behind this series have delivered a good series this far and let’s see if they can keep it up in the fourth issue.

G.I. Zombie # 4  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 4 of 8

Carmen and her escort who’s named Cat find a motel room and while trying to rest she has a nightmare about a helicopter crash she was the only survivor in during a war, and even when up she can not get any info out of Cat about were they are going. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie breaks free from the zombie horde and finds a safe place on top of a building and watches as Gravedigger and the army show up and blow up the zombies, once G.I. Zombie joins them they find that the infected can drive some what and this adds to the possibility of them leaving the town so Gravedigger and G.I. Zombie must act fast to fully contain this. Meanwhile Cat and Carmen arrive at a massive spa in the middle of nowhere that is the hidden base and Carmen meets Forrest, the money man behind Duke and his movement, and she also notices that he himself has weapons of all types around him.

This issue is very fast paced and we get more information on many of the characters as well as some questions are answered. G.I. Zombie himself goes from being out numbered and fighting off zombies to escaping the attack and spending some time on a flat tar roof of a store and ends the issue alongside the army and Gravedigger as they try and figure out the best way to stop this virus from spreading. While on the other hand, we learn that Carmen was the sole survivor of a helicopter crash and this is what haunts her dreams and drives her to protect her country.  We also see that she might be in over her head when she finally arrives at the next hidden base location as it is packed with weapons. Forrest is a rich man who is clearly the moneyman behind this home grown terrorist group and is investing in even more weapons to fight the fight and this includes more of the zombie virus as well as suits that can take bullets and is indestructible! I really think that Forrest and his indestructible suits will be a huge pain for G.I. Zombie in the coming issues, I also hope that Carmen’s cover is not blown as the odds would be against her as her army friends have no clue to were she is even at. The issue has some blood and the story is good as the zombies can drive adds even more drama, horror and stress for the army to deal with! The cover is great and has G.I. Zombie and Carmen backed into a massive tree on a hill and are surrounded by zombies and this is very eye catching. And like a broken record the interior art by Scott Hampton is good stuff, so with that said again I have to say that DC Comics are on a good stretch as this was another great issue and G.I. Zombie is proven to be one of their best modern series for me. So let’s see what issue five has in store for us, and I am going to guess it will be a fun Horror War Comic surrounded by a simple yet entertaining story.

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G.I. Zombie # 5  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 5 of 8

G.I. Zombie is back in the small town and is having issues as his craving for flesh is taking control as he needs to eat and soon before he loses control, so they send for a child killer on death row and is sent into a tent with Zombie who eats him and gets back on track to save America. Meanwhile Carmen is shown around the base by Forrest who alerts her to some of the over all plan that he and his groups have for the world, that includes over throwing the US Government and give the power to the people. Meanwhile a few miles away the this base G.I. Zombie meets up with longtime agent friend Elliot who fills him in on the last sighting of Carmen and tells him of the base that is also acting as a spa for the rich, he also tells him to head to this small motel down the road and he will find his “new” identity as a video game maker who has a treatment set at the spa for the next day. Later as G.I. Zombie sits alone in his room a young woman named Libby enters and is running for her life as she hides in his bathroom as two men are following her, after exchanging some words with them Zombie takes them down only to be shot in the head by Libby who is the true baddie as she works for Forrest and after cleaning the room she is taking the bodies to the spa hideout for disposal.

The plot thickens in the fifth issue as we now know that Forrest and all of those who follow or are apart of his group’s true goal is to take over America as they claim they want the power back to the people, but somehow I feel that Forrest has other true plans and is using these militia groups and ex-criminals to further along his true underline plan that I can not figure out yet. Poor Carmen is truly stuck in a very dangerous situation as she is truly in the hornet’s nest and has seen and heard too much to be figured out as a spy as they would and could easily kill her. Libby and Cat are also two females who work for Forrest and it’s clear that they will also kill for him on his orders and will leave no loose ends. Gravedigger and Elliot are two of the good guys who clearly want to try and stop this group from doing another attack as they have unleashed a virus once that has taken way to many innocent human and animal lives, and they both know that G.I. Zombie is America’s only hope. Speaking of G.I. Zombie we have all seen up to this point how much of a good undead guy he is who is always helpful, respectful and follows orders…but I do love that he does have the urge and craving for human flesh and that the army gives him inmates of the worst kind from near by prisons in order to fill the hunger! A very cool aspect of the character as he could snap and kill if he is not fed after a while. The story is really keeping me intrigued and I like the small turns we get as well as the character development and new characters being added into our story. This issue has some blood and murder and the cover is a strange one as its G.I. Zombie kissing a woman and blood is linking their lips, and you know the interior art is done by Hampton and is good. So with another good issue in the books let’s see what issue six has in store for us.

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G.I. Zombie # 6  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 6 of 8

Forrest is on the phone and is calling Leo, the man who is making the zombie virus in Ecuador and explains that the sample has been used in Tennessee and was a success and that he needs his full shipment sent, Leo is annoyed that Duke used it already and agrees to send more, but it comes with a threat if the virus is linked back to him. Forrest then leaves and creeps around Carmen’s room and half hearted flirts with her before leaving. Meanwhile Carmen tries to sneak around to find a phone to call Gravedigger, but instead runs into Cat and they both go and get a midnight snack from the kitchen. G.I. Zombie who was set to be burned up in a furnace snaps into action and takes down several guards and top officials for Forrest and even finds his gun stockpile room before he himself is caught on a security camera and a red alert goes out to the guards. Forrest recognizes G.I. Zombie and knows that he works for the Government and tells Libby to get the jet ready that they along with a few other including Cat and Carmen are leaving the hideout, and the rest of the people will sadly die as he is dropping a nuke bomb on it as he can not have any information leak out!

The gig is up at the spa hideout of Forrest and his crew of over throwers and his big plan to deal with being caught is for him and few to escape and them bomb and kill all the others who have been loyal to him and the cause, so it shows you that Forrest is a rich a-hole who does not care about anything but himself as I am sure if push comes to shove the likes of Libby and Cat would be sacrificed if it meant saving his own hide. And Carmen is really trapped as she keeps getting deeper into the trust of these people and this makes it so if she is exposed for being an undercover agent, she will be killed and the worst part is her own people are always a few steps behind her in order to save or get the information she has out of her. Also it looks like Leo and his people are surly the ones behind the creation of the virus and this also shows that this network is even bigger and spread out then what it appears in the first few issues. G.I. Zombie snaps into action and goes after the baddies in their own base and uses a knife and a gun to deal death and gets a few before being caught on a security camera, he so wants to get to Carmen and also complete this mission before anymore innocent Americans are hurt. Some blood and death in this one with a gruesome one being a man set on fire and then gets a knife to his skill as he ran around, pretty brutal kill from G.I. Zombie. The cover is our hero being nuked and you all know by now who did the art and that it’s good stuff. Over all a great issue that leaves us on a good cliffhanger of the hideout being blown up and only a few of Forrest closest crew escaping along side him, can G.I. Zombie stop the bomb and save lives or will be apart of the explosion…I guess we have to read issue seven to find out.

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G.I. Zombie # 7  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 7 of 8

Forrest has set the timer for the nuke bomb to go off and he along with a select few have escaped the hideout via a private jet set for California to another secret lab hideout. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie tries to figure out a way to stop the bomb from going off and soon finds that that task is impossible and that everyone inside this hideout is going to die. Gravedigger meanwhile along with a hammer is able to get a little bit of information out of Duke and he learns just how dangerous this group is as they plan to truly unleash a massive attack on America. While stealing a car and trying to get as far away from the explosion as possible G.I. Zombie is able to get a cellphone and call Gravedigger to tell him about what is going to happen and sure enough the bomb goes off and also unleashes more of the zombie virus, the explosion causes G.I. Zombie to wreck and he is even injured cause of this, and he is saved just in time by some Army guys as two civilians who was hit by the virus tried to kill him. Meanwhile at the new hideout Carmen makes a run for it as she thinks Forrest and the others have caught on that she is an agent, and after calling Gravedigger she is surrounded by heavily armed guards. In the end Gravedigger alerts G.I. Zombie that they have to leave now and try and stop this Armageddon style attack that Forrest is about to commit.

That Forrest is one evil man as not only has he killed innocent people and animals with his zombie virus but this time around he used a bomb to blow up his discovered hideout killing hundreds of his own workers in order to cover his own butt. Plus it’s clear that he is more like a rich doomsday cult leader than a give the people the power one. Duke the big bad biker leader of the Mississippi sure does squeal when a hammer is taken to his fingers in order to get questions answered as this also proves Gravedigger will do what he must in order to save America from this threat, and that includes bashing a mans fingers with a hammer. Carmen is was over her head and its clear that by the end of this issue she is spooked by Forrest and his people as she thinks they have made out that she is an agent spy, and when escaping the hideout she also shows that she is a skilled fighter as she takes a gun with only four bullets and makes it work. G.I. Zombie does what he can to try and figure out how to stop the bomb and how to save the workers inside, but sadly time was just not on his side. While he is undead it shows that he still cares about living people even if most fear him. We also see that the end game is near as Forrest is about to set off tons of his zombie virus in order to shake up America, and we have to see in the next issue if G.I. Zombie and this secret branch of the Army can stop it. This issue also is more about building to the final issue and is less about the horror aspects, don’t get me wrong we still get blood and death, it’s just a little more toned down. The stakes feel high coming up as the threat is world changing and the fact that only a small few know and can stop this also adds to the drama. The cover for this issue is eye catching and has G.I. Zombie fighting zombies and you know what I am going to say for the interior art. Over all a great issue that was perfect for setting up the final issue in the mini series.

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G.I. Zombie # 8  **1/2
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99     DC Comics     # 8 of 8

Carmen escapes the ambush and is able to kill all the armed guards that was sent after her, she has a mission to stop this threat and that is just what she is going to do. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie and Gravedigger board a jet and head to the next hidden base of the outlaw terrorist in hope to stop them as well as save Carmen from danger. Back at the hideout Forrest decides that Cat is the one who brought the agent to their doorstep and puts a bullet in her brain for doing so. Once at the location G.I. Zombie, Gravedigger and the team find Carmen and go into the base with orders to stop the bomb and kill anyone inside as they are terrorist and need to be taken down. Carmen and G.I. Zombie enter the base and take out anyone they come across and finally they find Forrest who has set another bomb to go off to let the virus out all over and spread this zombie infection. Forrest has a past with G.I. Zombie as once they see each other they both realize they have a past, and when Carmen decides she has had enough she beats up Forrest as G.I. Zombie alerts Gravedigger to the location of the launch room and as well gets Forrest’s cellphone and calls Leo the creator of the virus and says that they are coming for him as well! Gravedigger lets off a sonic device that not only takes out the terrorist who are not wearing earplugs but also gives them time to find the main power and to stop the bomb from going off. In the end Gravedigger tells G.I. Zombie and Carmen that they make a great team and that they will be placed together from now on.

I am not going to lie I am a little disappointed in the ending of this series as I found the wrap up to be a little weak and not pack a punch like it should. While the good guys do stop the bomb from going off, characters like Forrest just don’t seem to really get what is coming to him, sure he gets shot in the ear and beat up…but his “death” by sonic vibes is a little bland. I also feel that the fact that they call and alert Leo that they know who he is and that they are coming after him also was a strange move as now all he has to do is relocate…why warn him. I do like the team up of Carmen and G.I. Zombie and I would have liked to seen more of them, maybe even at some point teaming alongside the Creature Commandos or even Unknown Soldier. I also feel that the end “battle” was way to easy and quick and all of a sudden Forrest and his men seem less threatening as they fall like a house of cards on a windy day, and it really is disappointing as the creators of this series did such a great job building to this last issue and for this comic reader it fell a little flat. Now I am not saying I didn’t enjoy this issue, it’s just a weak ending to a very solid series. G.I. Zombie is a very interesting character that we have learned lots about in this series as he is an American Army member who even in death tries to protect the land that he loves and is a true warrior and skilled in fighting and strategies, and that a lost body part of his is what helped create the zombie virus being used by the terrorist. We also see that he is a caring man as he looks out for not only his agent friends but also innocent people and animals. Carmen is also a pretty cool character an army vet who survived a terrible crash during war and is using her skills still to help keep America safe and to honor her fallen friends. Gravedigger is pretty cool as well as he clearly is a veteran of situations like this and does not crack under pressure. This mini series really did do a great job of mixing Horror and War Comics with elements of both getting time to shine and the amount of blood used throughout was a nice touch for those readers who loved zombie comics, plus bonus points to them for some of the more gruesome deaths. The cover for this issue is pretty cool and lacks the punch of the covers before it and throughout the series Scott Hampton has really rocked it with his art and won me over as at first I was not a fan of the style, but by the end I really liked and respected it. Over all DC Comics had a good series here and a cool character that they should still be using today! Check out the artwork below to see the style of Scott Hampton used in this series.

GI Zombie Comic Art 1GI Zombie Comic Art 2GI Zombie Comic Art 3

But wait there is more! Given that this is July 4th and Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary, let’s take a look at G.I. Zombie special that was released in 2014 and was part of the “Future Ends” stories that DC Comics had going at the time. So with that, let’s dive into this one and spend just a little more time with G.I. Zombie.

GI Zombie Comic Special 1

G.I. Zombie: Special # 1  **
Released in 2014     Cover Price $3.99    DC Comics     # 1 of 1

G.I. Zombie is on a ship and his partner Carmen has been infected with the virus and is now a flesh eating zombie and doctors are going to try a treatment that they hope will help her. But things get worse when zombies are parachuting out of the sky and are now attacking the agents and G.I. Zombie is given the orders to attack and get these undead nightmares off the ship. And he does so when he charges into them and turns into a massive deformed zombie that rips many of them to shreds, but he is attacked by the helicopter that dropped the zombies off and is taken down for a few moments before he can comeback together. The scientists deliver the antidote to Carmen and at first it looks as if it didn’t, work but just in time she is cured as G.I. Zombie pulls himself together and they come up with a plan to drop the antidote from a crop duster on the city of Gotham that has been infected by the virus. But the enemy helicopter approaches and shoots down the crop duster, but G.I. Zombie is able to leap into the copter and gets it to crash…and the man behind this attack is Gravedigger who himself is now a zombie that is just like G.I. Zombie and the two fight for a moment when G.I. Zombie removes his head and takes it away causing Gravediggers body to wonder around, after this fight G.I. Zombie gives the order for the antidote to be dropped so that lives can be saved. Later G.I. Zombie and Carmen are having dinner and she has decided to retire as an agent and go live in the mountains, while G.I. Zombie is sad, he understands and the two enjoy one last meal together.

What a strange One-Shot comic as everything we know from the mini series is thrown out of the water and in this one G.I. Zombie is calling the shots, the army has found a cure for the virus, Carmen goes from being a zombie to cure and the most weird change is that now Gravedigger is pro the virus infecting people and is now a bad guy that is as well a super zombie solider who is taken down very easily by G.I. Zombie. And so many questions are not answered in the comic and that’s why this is a very odd read like why is Gravedigger bad now, who is spreading the virus and why, why is Gotham City under attack and why does G.I. Zombie turn into a massive zombie Hulk for a few panels and then its never spoke of again…just so many weird moments in this one that made it slightly less enjoyable of a read as I really do feel that this story kind of disrespects the characters and story that the mini series introduced us to and I dislike the fighting and large changes to personalities of the main three and those of course as G.I. Zombie, Carmen King and Gravedigger. The story also seems very bland and rushed and I hate to say this was a major letdown for me, as I feel that DC had something very cool with G.I. Zombie and this comic makes him and the lore seem like an after thought to just delivering a comic with a cheesy gimmick cover that while cool does not save this issue from being lazy. The interior artwork by Scott Hampton is good and helps bring some of the charm from the mini series into this. Not much to say besides this is just an ok issue and if you like the mini series and have not read this one I say skip it as it does nothing but ruins aspects of the series. Checkout the artwork below, and again art is good sadly this comic story is not.

GI Zombie Comic Special Art 1GI Zombie Comic Special Art 2GI Zombie Comic Special Art 3

Well it’s time to go eat some grilled food and enjoy time with family and friends before the fireworks fill the sky, so once more thanks for spending some of your holiday with me here at Rotten Ink and also I need to say that while DC Comics had a few miss fires with G.I. Zombie, I do feel that in 2014 they created a good American Hero character that truly did walk the line between War and Horror. Well for the next update we will be leaving the DC Universe Zombies behind but will be once more visiting the Romero Zombies when we cover Dead Dog Comics series “Night Of The Living Dead: The Barbara Chronicles” as well as take a look at Monster Bash Convention 2022 and Juliet and I’s adventures in Cranberry Township, PA. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a zombie film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you soon as we are coming to read you Barbara…

NOTLD Barbra Chronicles Preview Logo

Bark At The Moon With Lycanthrope Leo

Welcome back to Rotten Ink my little blog here on the massive world wide net and as you longtime readers and friends know I grew up being a comic book reader and would read comics all the time and would even chat with friends about them on the playground. And of course Marvel and DC Comics was the most popular companies and of course later Image and Malibu Comics was topics. It was not until late High School that Manga became a thing that was on my radar as many of my Skate Boarding friends read them and would pass them around for all of us to read, and to be honest I never really liked the ones that I read and it would not be until I was an adult and was able to find issues of “The Gyver” and “Fist Of The North Star” that I found ones that I really enjoyed. And you readers know that “Tomie” is my all time favorite Manga series as it a great creepy Horror Comic reads. And while searching for Horror Comics I stumbled on an interesting title that’s name and cover art caught my attention as it was called “Lycanthrope Leo” and it was a comic about a teenager that turns into a werewolf and the world showcases other were-animals. So if you are ready lets travel to the world of Manga and see what Leo is all about. Oh and below is a picture of some of the Manga wrack at Mavericks Cards and Comics sent to me by friend Jeremy Hoyt.

Lycanthrope Leo 1

When I was really young and before my family moved to Waynesville I spent time growing up in Kettering, Ohio on a street called Muriel Ave and right down the street from were I live was a Asian Market that was ran by a family and stocked all types of stuff from China and other Asia countries like food, movies, toys, comics and candy! I can remember that our neighbors who were from Vietnam use to buy soda pop that were in glass bottles and they were tasty as from time to time the would give me a drink. Sadly I was way to young so really did not get to go into that place often and honestly don’t remember anything about the inside of the place. We moved from Muriel when I was around 5 years old and that meant, as I grew older I was miles and miles away from that Market and never did get to fully shop there. It’s a shame as for some reason that little Asian Market seemed so special to me even though I barely stepped foot in there at a young age. Sadly sometime in the 90’s that small market closed down and in its spot for a while was a Bird shop that sold birds and bird supplies. And sometime in the 2000’s the Bird Shop moved out and the building was torn down and where this Asian Market once stood is now an empty field. While the Dayton, Ohio area does have its fair share of Asian Markets none of them hold that special place in my memories like that little store that was near Muriel, check out the photo bellow that was taken from Google Maps to show you the field that once held the Market.

Lycanthrope Leo Land In Kettering

Loudness is a Hairband from Japan that started in 1981 and was a major force through the 80s and 90s for that music genre. Over the years the band has released over 20 Albums with many being joint releases between Japan and America with their first major American release being the 1985 rocking album “Thunder In The East” and this will be the CD that I will give a quick review to for this update, as you readers know I love my 80’s Hairbands. And over the years Loudness has had its share of band members that have came and went and the lineup for this album is as follows lead vocals is Minoru Niihara, on guitar was Akira Takasaki, Masayoshi Yamashita on bass and Munetaka Higuchi bringing the boom via the drums. The album was released by ATCO and peaked at # 74 on the American Top 100 Charts and the releases biggest single was “Crazy Nights”, and with that lets give a listen to this classic album. This is pure 80’s Hairmetal and has blistering guitars and has an over all loud and that 80’s metal party sound with some of the best songs on this release for me was Like Hell, Run For Your Life, No Way Out and of course Crazy Nights, but to be fair I think this is a very solid release that almost every song on the album is rocking and packs a punch! So if you like 80’s Hairmetal and have not heard this release from Loudness you should check it out as it is really good and the guitar licks by Akira Takasaki are top notch. In other words get Thunder In The East by Loudness and have a rocking good time!

Loudness Band 1Loudness Band CDLoudness Band 2

With that I think it’s time for us to dive into Lycanthrope Leo a Horror Manga series that was released in America via VIZ and this is a first time read for me and one I am looking forward to checking out. And who knows maybe this will be the first for more Manga released by VIZ to get the update treatment here at Rotten Ink. I want to thank Lonestar Comics for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. I want to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that lets howl at the moon with Leo and see what this werewolf from Japan is all about.

Lycanthrope Leo Comic 1

Lycanthrope Leo # 1  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.95     Viz     # 1 of 7

Leo is a student who is also part of the track team and it’s his 17 year old birthday and is starting to run faster then ever before as well as other changes that seem to be putting him above and beyond normal people. One day after school he events the teams coach his classmate Kyoko Kiriyama only for her to leave once they find out his Cop father is home and does not seem pleased to see his son has a guest. His father starts to give Leo a lecture on how he needs to stop being so good at things and learn to be average and normal, he then also tells him that he wants him to quite track and only focus on his school work! Leo gets upset and storms out of the house and by accident swats at the dog and kills it, as his father tends to the dead animal Leo wonders off to walk the streets and cool off. His father then gets a phone call from an unknown person who tells him that he needs to deal with his son before they do, and says his job is to hunt and destroy and that he knows what has to be done. The next day Leo and his dad make plans to visit the grave of his mother, but instead Leo finds that his dad has taken him to a cabin in the woods and is armed with a crossbow. Leo sits and listens as his father tells him that he is not his real son and that Leo is really what’s known as a Blood Tribe Of The Beasts and that his real mother was one of them as well that he killed, he tells him that he took him in as baby and raised him as his own child. His father then alerts him that he will change and become something not human, and just then Leo turns into a beast that looks like a mix of a werewolf and a lion (Werelion) and has to kill his “father” before he becomes the victim. His fathers dying words warns him that other hunters will be looking for him as he and his kind have to be wiped out in order to balance out the world. Leo stays home the next few days wondering what to do and even is kind of mean to Kyoko when she comes to check on him…but promieses her that he will be at school the next day.

The first issue of Lycanthrope Leo does a fantastic job of introducing us to Leo a young High School Student who is not fully human and is really a half human and half animal person who’s world changes when he turns 17 and he learns that his parents where not his real ones and is forced to kill his “father” before he killed him. Poor Leo also transforms into a Werelion and has not control over his power and rage, so as you can see Leo is having a really bad day! Kyoko Kiriyama who is his classmate clearly has a crush on Leo, but is a little puzzled about his behavior as unknown to her he is a beast that has slaughtered his father in order to save his own life. His father who was a police cop also was apart of a group called The Hunters who are sworn to kill any and all Blood Tribe creatures, and is caught by his group when his adopted son is one and he has not killed him yet, and when he tries he himself becomes the victim and is slaughtered brutally by his “son”. The father tries so hard to try and make his son normal as you can tell he loves him and does not want the change to happen, so by being strict and hard on Leo he was really just trying to help his son. The scary thing for Leo is that he is now having to deal with this major life change on his own and also now has to dodge The Hunters who know where he is at and who he is…and they really want him dead! The comic does truly have a Horror Comic vibe to it and even has a pretty brutal kills as Leo not only kills the family dog by smacking it and snapping its neck, he also slashes his father to death and the blood does splatter. But keep in mind this also has a very classic Manga feel to it and I am sure in no time the Horror Element will go away and it will become more of a coming of age comic built around a Werelion. The cover is pretty cool and is one of the better covers I have seen on a VIZ Comic. The interior art is really good and is done by artist Kenji Okamura and I am a fan of his style and super glad I discovered this series. Over all a good first issue and really does make me want to see what issue two has in store for us.

Lycanthrope Leo Comic 2

Lycanthrope Leo # 2  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.95     Viz     # 2 of 7

Leo Takizawa returns to school and is a nervous wreck as not only does he know it’s a matter of time until the body of his father is found, he also remembers his fathers dying warning that others are out there that know his secrets and it could be someone close to him! Leo starts to think its someone from his school and spaces out in his thoughts and starts to let his imagination run wild making every one a suspect. All the while Kyoko is trying to make sure her crush and friend is ok as she can tell something is very wrong with him, and this worry only gets worse when the police let out that his father is missing. Leo who now owns a cat that is not afraid of him even we he changes into the beast gets a threatening phone message as well as photo at his home causing him to have to calm his nervous, act normal and find out who this other hunter is. After school Leo’s teacher Mr. Okure wants to speak to him as he wanted to talk to him about his missing father, his grades slipping as well as how he feels that he should quit track to focus on school work, and ends the talk very oddly. Leo starts to head out and runs into Kyoko who waited to walk home with him, but before they leave his animal instinct kicks in and he knows that Mr. Okure is a Hunter and he gets Kyoko to leave to school and heads to his teachers office and is proven right as Mr. Okure is waiting for him with a massive automatic crossbow! Mr. Okure takes a few shots at Leo and then informs him that the tea he gave him during their meeting was drugged and this kicks in causing Leo to have to crawl to try and get away as his teacher tracks him through the empty school hallways. As the drug wears off Leo and Mr. Okure are in the school’s library and both know that only one of them will walk out alive as The Hunters and Blood Tribe have been enemies as long as time.

This second issue leaves us on a big cliffhanger as it has our hero Leo being hunted down in the school by his teacher who is a hunter and wants to toy with the high school student before he puts an arrow through his heart. In this issue Leo is a young man who has so much stress going as he knows its only a short amount of time before he is found by a hunter as well as the body of his murdered father is found. He also has the stress of being a were creature, school work as well as Kyoko who he as well clearly likes but is having to kind of miss treat in order to got allow her to get to close to him until he can figure all this out. His new pet cat is a black cat kitten that does not fear him and oddly enough rushes to the school as his owner is being hunted, I think there will be more to this cat then just being a pet. Kyoko is trying so hard in this issue to try and check on and cheer up Leo and each time she tries she is meet with a cold shoulder or an awkward moment. Mr. Okure is a chemistry teacher who is also a Hunter who teaches young minds during the day and at night uses his multi arrow-firing crossbow to kill members of the Blood Tribe. Okure also seems to like to play cat and mouse games with his prey as for him the mind games and the fear he can inflect is just as fun as the killing for him, plus he admits that he has killed other students that were Blood Tribe at that school before! The downside to this issue is that Leo only turns into the Werelion once and for very brief while at home with his new kitten, and it’s a shame as the design is really cool and I would have loved to see the creature in action, but with that said this issue is still really good even with out blood and creature attacks. Leo is a pretty likable hero and the supporting cast around him are interesting even if they are pretty cookie cutter, and The Hunters is as well interesting as it makes you wonder who else will be one and how crazy will they be in their pursuit in killing Leo. The cover is good and showcases Leo as the Werelion and has that VIZ Comic look from the 90’s. The interior art by Kenji Okamura is still great and has that Manga mixed with Horror Comic look. Over all another great issue that leaves me wanting to see what happens next!

Lycanthrope Leo Comic 3

Lycanthrope Leo # 3  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.95     Viz      # 3 of 7

Mr. Okure has Leo in his sights and tells him that the arrows are really made of the bones of killed Blood Tribe members and that their own kind is what can kill them! As he takes aim the black kitten knocks into the teacher and causes him to misfire and gives Leo who is still feeling some effects of the drug a chance to escape. As Leo tries to fight back he fails and Mr. Okure ends up catching him and taking him to the schools screening room that is showing pictures of the Savannah desert as he wants this to be the place that Leo looses his life. All looks bad for Leo as Mr. Okure with his crossbow comes closer, but Leo hears a voice in his head that is coming from his Black Kitten that is telling him to use his beast side to fight back as he is The King of the Blood Tribe and needs to survive! Mr. Okure also can see that the animal is talking to Leo and sadly shoots an arrow killing the kitten but also by doing this he unleashes the beast that is the Werelion and has sealed his own fate. Leo in his Wereline form is massive and is about to kill Mr. Okure when a voice in the hallways echo’s out and its Kyoko who is looking for Leo as she has gotten worried about him! Leo spares his teachers life for the time being and turns back to human and meets his friend in the hallways saying to her he was just running the track for practice and the two walk home, but Mr. Okure looses his life at the hands of another Blood Tribe member that is unknown to him. While back home Leo is deep in thought that he almost killed a second person and this really does make him wonder what his life is becoming as well as who the voice in his head really was coming from. Meanwhile the new Blood Tribe creature is leaving the school holding the bodies of the kitten and the teacher showing that others are watching what is going on with Leo. The next day the school gets word that Mr. Okure is missing and rumors are running wild as Leo acts confused about it all and acts as if he has no clue about the hunter teacher. The new teacher is beautiful and is Mayuko Asuka and all the other boys are drooling over her, as Leo is deep in thought about the hunters and the killing of his father.

This is so great as all three issue this far in the series is fantastic and captures a great mix of Horror, Hero and Manga and delivers a very captivating story that is keeping me very interested in what will happen with the story and characters. Leo in this issue turns from a victim who is trying to fight for his life while drugged to a creature that is now the hunter and puts the fear of god in the heart of the person who was trying to kill him! Leo is also showing that he is starting to have a little control of his creature side and also learns that he can hear voices of other Blood Tribe creatures in his head, his powers and abilities are growing so fast as is his size once turned into the beast and now he is growing to Incredible Hulk size! Kyoko once more is a caring friend and thanks to her caring this allows Leo not to take a second life, and by all accounts this helps him keep his human side alive and his creature side in check. The poor little kitten saves the life of Leo and is killed for trying to deliver mental messages to Leo, like its sad as the cat takes an arrow to the body and is pinned to the wall! So keep that in mind if you are a cat lover as the panels can be upsetting for some I am sure. Mr. Okure is pretty sadistic and really does get joy out of scaring and killing things, and even after having his life spared by Leo he still gloats about killing a kitten, what a scumbag! And lets talk about the other Blood Tribe beast that is running loose at the school it kind of looks like a werewolf or maybe even a werecat? But what we do know is that it’s watching over Leo and takes care of the hunter teacher to clip off that loose end of one that knows what Leo really is. The issue plays up a little more its horror elements and shows Leo as the Werelion in all his glory and shows that he can also grow in size making this beast even more of a threat to mankind! The issue also has a little bit of blood and violence and builds the story even more making me really wanting to see what is coming up next from page to page and issue to issue! Cover is really great for this issue and is a face split of Leo showing his human side as well as his Blood Tribe side for fans of Manga as well as Horror Comics from the 90’s this is very eye catching. And like I have said sense issue one the interior art by Kenji Okamura is really good and the way he draws the Blood Tribe creatures as well as his use of shadows is really cool and reminds me of the Horror Comics that was released by Eternity Comics at the time. Oh and I should also say I wonder what kind of role the hot new teacher Mayuko Asuka will play in the story, and I am going to predict now that she is the other Blood Tribe Creature and is the one who killed Mr. Okure and is also the voice that Leo heard in the screening room at the school. Well lets get to issue four and see if my prediction for the new teacher is right!

Lycanthrope Leo Comic 4

Lycanthrope Leo # 4  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.95     Viz     # 4 of 7

Leo goes to the cabin in the woods to see if anyone has found his fathers body and to his shock not only is his fathers car missing but so is the body, and the cabin is even clear of any blood and gore, its clear someone is covering up the murder. While back at school at track practice his mind is filled with ideas of maybe turning himself into the police in order to maybe get answers of what he really is! While washing up an arrow is fired near him and sticks into the wall and he sees that if came from his new teacher Mayuko Asuka who is holding the crossbows of both his father and teacher and she alerts him that she is from the Blood Tribe as well and has taken care of the bodies to cover the crime and that she is a friend and she then gives Leo a ride home to tell him the truths about The Blood Tribe. While is track mates go in to find him they see that he is gone as he was suppose to get food with them, and once more this hurts the feelings of Kyoko who was very happy to be going out with him. While driving home Mayuko tells him that the Blood Tribe also has their own army of hunters that are called Protectorate that travel around schools and try to save teenagers who are apart of the Tribe from hunters, she tells him that the Tribe is taking care of him money wise and that he need not turn himself in for his fathers death as he was just protecting himself, she also tells him he is from the rare Lion Blood Tribe and then oddly hits on him while the school bully witnesses the affection. The next day in school the bully tells the class that Leo and Mayuko was in a car kissing down by the river and this crushes the heart of Kyoko even more, but Leo denies it and grabs the arm of the bully and squeezes it up to the point of almost breaking it before the teacher enters the classroom and the fights stops. After school Kyoko is trying to ask Leo about the rumor of him with the teacher when they run into the bully and his gang of goons and they beat up Leo and make Mayuko watch as they drag his bloody body to a car and hold him down and are about to burn him with a lit cigarette!

This issue gives us a little more background on the Blood Tribe Of The Beast and show that they are many and walk among normal man, they are have different species of animals that they take after and that they even have their own solider group called The Protectorate that go around and try and save young Tribe members who are being hunted down by The Hunters! We also learn that a very few of them have the telepathic abilities and that Leo is from the Lion Tribe and they as well are a rare breed. Leo in this issue once more has so much stuff thrown at him as he not only still is dealing with the guilt of killing his father, he also is dealing with school work and track, the fact that his new teacher is flirting with him and is a Blood Tribe member as well, that he will be taking care of for life by the Tribe, that one day they will call on his ability and worse he also has gotten himself in trouble with the school bullies who now want to teach him a lesson! Kyoko who is a loyal friend and still can not help herself from crushing on Leo finds herself being in the middle of the bully fight as well as a little sad over the rumors of Leo and the new hot teacher being a thing. The Bullies are just that young punks who are picking on people they out number, I really do hope they get what’s coming to them in the next issue. Mayuko Asuka who is a Blood Tribe member herself is trying her best to try and teach Leo about what they are as well as trying to tell him that his human side is not his real side, she also very oddly tries to make out with him! But I told you that she was one of the Blood Tribe Beasts! The issue is not bloody and have no kills besides what’s shown in flashback of Leo killing his father and is more about building the legend of what The Blood Tribe is and what they are all about. I am digging the story very much still and this far this series has four great issues in a row in my book as the story and characters are all very interesting and yet all so classic feeling. The cover for this issue is ok and I do not think fits the vibe nor feeling of this story and looks more like a generic Martial Arts comic cover. And like a broken record the interior art by Kenji Okamura is top notch and really has made me a fan of his work. With that lets see what Leo does to escape the bullies in the fifth issue of thus series.

Lycanthrope Leo Comic 5

Lycanthrope Leo # 5  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.95     Viz     # 5 of 7

Leo gets burnt by the cigarette and the bullies then set their sites on Kyoko as they rip open her shirt and are talking about assaulting her, and this cause Leo to fight back and makes quick work of four of the bullies in order to save her and the fifth bully who has a knife is taken down by Shunsuke Tatsu who runs the schools Kenpo Club, its clear that Shunsuke knows what Leo is as he walks away with all the bullies badly hurt. The next day word gets out that all the bullies are in the hospital but are not talking about the attack as they know they would be in big trouble, and after class Leo is in more trouble as Mayuko Asuka gives him a lecture about using his powers to beat up the bullies and makes him promise that if he does have a run in with humans again that he will kill them and not let them live! She also once more comes onto Leo and its clear that while he thinks she is hot her actions also creep him out a little. After the lecture Shunsuke finds Leo in the hallways and tells him to join the Kenpo Club as he thinks that he would enjoy it, and after a brief talk with Kyoko about the events and the attack Leo makes up his mind that he will be late to Track and will try Kenpo! At the club Shunsuke has one of his students go full force against Leo and the student uses full power and knocks Leo around and while hurt Shunsuke informs the class that he himself will now face the injured Leo.

The plot thickens in this fifth issue as new questions are coming up that makes you wonder who really is friend and who is foe! But before I get into what I think is going on I would like to say that Leo does a great job in this issue having to try and hide his beast side as he is getting beat up by bullies and its only when they threat the well being of his lady friend that he uses it to make short work of them. He also can take a beating and shake it off and heal fast, he also has self-control as he could very easy kill humans and fights the urges to have relations with his hot teacher. And Kyoko can not win to lose as she not only keeps getting ignored by the boy she likes she also almost gets sexually assaulted by bullies of her crush! She is a great character and one that I find myself feeling sorry for, as she just wants to do the right thing for herself and Leo and always seems to come out on the loosing end. The bullies should have been killed for their actions as they attempt to do some terrible things to both Leo and Kyoko and deserve to be in the hospital or worse. Mayuko Asuka is using her knowledge of the Blood Tribe as well as her sex appeal to try and keep Leo in line, but to me she seems to be very much into the idea of killing humans and makes me wonder if she really is a friend like she claims to be. Shunsuke Tatsu is a high school student who is a martial arts master and who as well seems to have super speed and power, as for me I think he is for sure a Blood Tribe member and not a Hunter like its teased. The issues has some blood and violent acts and has a really mystery feel to it as so much strange things are happing and not only Leo is trying to put it all together me as a reader is as well. The cover for this issue reminds me of a 80’s Hair Metal Cover for like a band called Lion Blood and that makes it awesome in my book! And yep you guessed it the interior art by Kenji Okamura is fantastic and great and at this point I feel like I really am a broken record on praising his art style. Lets see what issue six has in store for us as we are so close to the end of this series so all the answers will be shown soon. And oh yeah I don’t trust Mayuko Asuka anymore as I feel she is using Leo and has her own agenda in all this killing and secret society mess.

Lycanthrope Leo Comic 6

Lycanthrope Leo # 6  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.95     Viz     # 6 of 7

Shunsuke Tatsu beats down Leo with fast kicks as the fellow club members watch in horror as Leo looks as if he is dead! But after some harsh words from Shunsuke the fighting instinct kicks in and Leo is ready to fight and they pair fight hard and fast and just as Leo is about to turn into the Werelion he is punched in the head and knocked out. As Shunsuke Tatsu picks up Leo to take him to the nurses office he runs into Mayuko Asuka who knows that he is a Blood Tribe member now and is snarky to him cause he is from The Mountains and is a none meat eating creature, its clear that they do not like each other and it’s the first time they have met. Leo wakes up in the nurses office and Shunsuke is their and informs him that they are both from The Blood Tribe Of The Beast and that while they are different they are very much the same and also drops hints that he is not a fan of the Protectorate and what they stand for. The next day Leo is once more at the Kenpo Club and after the training he once more blows off Kyoko who wants to talk to him in order this time to hang out with Shunsuke at his home. While hanging out Shunsuke informs him that he and his people only eat vegetation and that the main goal of the Protectorate is to get the Tribe together in order to go to war with humans in order to take over the world as the most powerful species and this news does not settle well with Leo, but he also learns the same voice that saved his life is also why Shunsuke is there to help him. Once back home he gets a call from Kyoko to meet her at the park as she wants to talk about the track team, but once he shows up he finds that it was not his friend that called but was Mayuko who wants to know what Shunsuke told him and then shows him that she has one of the bullies tied up in the park and wants Leo to kill him! And when he says no she gets naked and demands that he kills the bully as he knows way too much about them!

In this issue Leo learns that The Blood Tribe Of The Beast is not all together as its rift into two sides with the meat eating creatures want to kill humans and be the top of the food chain in the world with the vegetarian creatures wanting to be left alone and just live alongside the humans. He also is being torn in all directions, as he does not know if he should trust Mayuko anymore and is clearly following the words of Shunsuke as he thinks he can trust him. And lastly Leo’s human life is falling apart as he is ignoring his friends and is more wrapped up in his Blood Tribe life. And because Leo is being so cold to his friends you can tell its upsetting Kyoko who he seems to not have time for, and she clearly needs to talk to him. Mayuko Asuka is very much into murdering humans and is trying so hard to turn Leo into a cold blooded killer as well and is using her body to get him to fall in line with her and the Protectorate’s agenda. Shunsuke Tatsu seems like he is a good person and is trying to do what is right for Leo, but he also seems to have a darker side as the look on his face when Leo leaves his house after hanging out comes off very menacing. So is he a good guy or is he really another Blood Tribe member with an agenda? With only one issue left in the series it makes me wonder how this all will come to an end as so much is going on and I feel like at this point we are not even close to an ending that would wrap up so many story lines for so many characters. I feel that we will have to have a big fight between Blood Tribe members for this to have an epic ending that it should, and I think Leo needs to stay clear of both Mayuko and Shunsuke and stay true to who he is and not allow them both to fill his head of what they think he should be. The cover for this issue is ok and while not great it does show a werebuffalo so that’s pretty cool. And yeah you know the deal on the art and who did it and how I feel about it so lets just move past that. This issue has some blood in it all via the martial arts fight at the start but does as nudity to the mix now as Mayuko goes topless. Well with another great issue behind us lets see what this final issue in this series has in store for us.

Lycanthrope Leo Comic 7

Lycanthrope Leo # 7  ***
Released in 1994     Cover Price $2.95     Viz     # 7 of 7

Mayuko Asuka tries to make out with Leo and the young man pushes her to the ground and this makes her mad and forces her to turn into a Werebat that attacks Leo with her razor sharp claws diving from the sky and tormenting him as he tries to dodge her attack. Meanwhile back at Leo’s house we see that Shunsuke Tatsu is looking for him and picks up his sent to track him down. While at the park the attack on Leo continues as Mayuko keeps using her claws to rip at his flesh and this causes Leo to finally turn into the werelion just as Mayuko turns back human and orders him to kill the bully who has watched this whole thing and is scared to death. Before Leo can make up his mind if he is going to kill the bully Shunsuke shows up and lets it be known that he is not happy at seeing Leo raged out with murder in his eyes. Shunsuke tries all he can to calm Leo down and get him to turn back human he even tries to use Chi power to keep him calm and it all fails as Mayuko mocks that she used a drug that will keep Leo in a rage and this leaves Shunsuke no choice but to turn into a werebuffalo and try and fight his friend all the while trying to talk sense into him. The battle ends and Leo comes to his senses only after biting Shunsuke deep in the shoulder and injuring his friend badly, its at the point Leo understands that while he has these powers he really is human and this shocks Mayuko who looks on in wonder.

This is the final issue in the Viz Comics Lycanthrope Leo series and it was a great read but sadly it ends with no real answers and not closer to the series a volume two was in the works but never was released by Viz who I feel really dropped the ball here. For a comic reader like me who by all accounts is not a big fan of Manga this was a great series to get me interested as if brought a good touch of Horror to that style of comics and reminded me lots of the Indie Horror Comics of the 90’s in tone and even art style to a degree. Plus I have always been a fan of werewolf comics and this pretty much is a werewolf comic series just done with a different style then American comics based on that creature and others like it. Leo is a character that we grow with along this journey that starts as a normal teenager in High School and by the end is a ranging Werelion that must battle is own mind and body on if he wants to live as a human or as a Blood Tribe member! It looks like in the end of this issue he decides to be a human that has a special gift that allows him to turn into a beast. The one thing this issue also shows is that if he is pushed to far the beast comes out and at times he can not control its rage and anger and this could lead to him taking another life even though he swore to himself he never would after killing his father. Mayuko Asuka really is a mad woman who thrives on killing and clearly wants Leo to be just like her when it comes to taking lives, she also seems to enjoy even torturing him while trying to push him to anger and does not even lift a finger when another Blood Tribe member comes to stop and fight him in hand to hand combat or is that teeth, claw and horn combat? Shunsuke Tatsu seems to be a good guy by the end of this issue as he does what he can to try and get Leo not to take another human life and even risks his own health to do so, and when he turns into the Werebuffalo he is pretty cool looking. The major downside to this comic series and how it ends is that we get no answers on who is the voice that is talking to Leo in his head and is help guiding him, what will happen to the Bully who witnessed this all and we never get any payout for Kyoko who does not even appear in this issue. I really wish Viz would have released more issues from this series as I have heard it had more issues in Japan that they just never released here, shame on you Viz for not doing so and letting us readers here in the US never know what happens in the story and to the characters. I have to say that while the series was not a bloodbath it does have its fair share of the red stuff being spilt and has some gruesome deaths and even some nudity thrown in for good measure. The weirdest and more uncomfortable thing about this series was the older teacher trying to have sex with the teenage main character it was very weird and played almost like it was a normal thing. The cover of this final issue is cool but showcases the werebuffalo when it should have shown Leo as he was the main star of this series. The interior art by Kenji Okamura really is great and I love the way he draws the creatures as they look fantastic and spooky. I also should give a shout out to the writer of this series Kengo Kaji who I think wrote a captivating story about a teen dealing with the fact he is a monster on the inside. I would recommend this comic series if you like Horror Comics with a touch of Manga in them and would also say in you like 90’s Indie Horror Comics you might also want to check it out. Take a look at the artwork below to see the style used in this comic series.

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After reading Lycanthrope Leo I have figured out that almost all the style of Manga I like have elements of Horror and Sci-Fi to them as this series clearly was very much inspired by the legend of the werewolf and even adds an element of films like “Island Of Lost Souls” and “The Most Dangerous Game” into the mix with the half animal people and the hunters stalking and killing men and women. It’s a shame that Viz did not release the rest of the series and stopped after only releasing the first story arch, as I do feel that this is a great series and I would have loved to see how it all truly ended and all this did is leave me on a cliffhanger and the fate of Leo. But lets not harp on that and lets take a moment and chat what the next update will be all about and it’s a Dell Comic based on the 1960 gladiator film Spartacus! So until next time read a Manga or three, watch a Werewolf Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update and get ready to yell “I’m Spartacus!” as you know you will want to.

spartacus 1960 movie preview logo

The Original Thunderbolt Of The DC Universe!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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