From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Love At First Bite (1979)

It’s almost October and that means we are so close to Halloween 2022 and I have to bring you readers and friends another Countdown To Halloween update and of course that also means another “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and for this one I choose one of my favorite Horror Comedy films that I have enjoyed sense I was a kid and was even released the year I was born in 1979, a film that spoofs Count Dracula and I am talking about Love At First Bite a super silly, super fun look at Dracula coming to New York. And something I am sure many of you are not aware of is that Love At First bite was given the Photo Comic treatment in a paperback book, and that’s what we will be reviewing! So if you are ready lets put on our best cape, slick back our hair and head to a New York dance club and see what Count Dracula is up to as I proudly bring to you From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Love At First Bite!

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Lets take a look at the one and only Count Dracula from this film and his way of dealing with humans that cross his path or ones he sets his sights on to become one of his vampire brides. Count Dracula has many ways of dealing with the living like he can change into a bat or dog and cause fear and chaos to those that cross him. He can use his cool and calm voice to help put his victim into a trance and make them do his bidding like fall asleep. He also has the ability to control devises like phones and TVs causing distractions and cutting off those from calling for help. He can call on “The Children Of The Night” like bats, rats and wolves to use against his victims, as he can also call on his faithful butler Renfield to help attack, get information from and subdue the target. He can also use a very powerful breath to push back against attackers as well as keep them off balance making them easier to bite. He has a super charm that makes humans feel at ease as well as draws them to him. And his main way to deal death is via his sharp fangs that he can drain the blood of his victim or even turn said person into a vampire and be under his control. But Dracula does have weaknesses like sunlight that will burn him up, he also can be killed with fire as well as a stake to his heart, he can also be stunned by a cross and garlic as both are very irritating to him. He also is very much out of touch with the times, is egotistical and sarcastic and this also leads him to trouble and can give his attackers a chance to stop him once and for all. Also this version of Count Dracula lacks the killer instinct and makes him less likely to take an innocent life and therefore not a massive threat as all he wants is love from his chosen lady, and that as well is a weakness. While this Count Dracula is not the most dangerous creature I have covered here on Rotten Ink he still is one that can deal death as well as charm the pants off any woman he wants.

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Count Dracula from Love At First Bite is more of a lover then a killer but we have to keep in mind he still is a blood drinking vampire so he is dangerous. Now that we have taken a look at Count Dracula lets now take a look at the movie he is from and I will be taking the films plot from our friends at IMDB and will then write about the films production as well as my thoughts on it. So if you are ready lets take a night on the town with Count Dracula in New York!

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Love At First Bite (1979)

“This vampire spoof has Count Dracula moving to New York to find his Bride, after being forced to move out of his Transylvanian castle. There with the aid of assistant Renfield, he stumbles through typical New York City life situations while pursuing Cindy Soundheim. But her boyfriend, Doctor Jeff Rosenberg, realizes she is under the influence of a vampire, and tries his bumbling best to convince police Lt Ferguson of what is going on, and to help him stop Dracula.”

This Horror Comedy started out when George Hamilton was doing an impression of Bela Lugosi for screenwriter Robert Kaufman and the pair laughed and decided that they should write a Romantic Horror Comedy that was about Count Dracula! The story they created had Count Dracula in New York during the 70’s falling in love with a woman who is engaged. When shopping the script around Melvin Simon was interested and bought the script for $1000,000.00 and while he was only a man who made his money from shopping malls he had a passion for films. Melvin Simon was the money man behind many cult classic films like The Manitou, When A Stranger Calls, The Stunt Man, Zorro The Gay Blade and all three Porky’s films, but later in life Melvin Simon would say producing films was a mistake as he lost millions of dollars doing so. When casting of course actor George Hamilton was hired to play Count Dracula and actress Susan Saint James was hired to play his love Cindy Sondheim and fellow actors Richard Benhamin, Dick Shawn, Arte Johnson and Ralph Manza were brought on to complete the main cast. The director brought on was Stan Dragoti who would go on to direct Mr. Mom and Charles Bernstein was hired to do the score, and he would go on to score such films as The Enity, Cujo, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Deadly Friend, April Fool’s Day and Rumpelstiltskin. The film brought in $43,900,000.00 at the box office on a $3 million dollar budget and was the 13th highest grossing film in 1979 in America. It was released alongside other Horror Movies that year like The Amityville Horror, Phantasm, Tourist Trap, Nosferatu The Vampyre, Alien, Driller Killer and The Brood to name a few. The film was met with mostly positive reviews from critics and fans and was the top grossing indie film until the release of Amityville Horror that same year. The film would gain a following when released on cable and home media and is still well loved by classic Horror Comedy fans to this day.

Love At First Bite no joke was a film that I have loved sense I was a kid and I cannot count how many times I watched it when it aired on HBO or regular TV! I can remember laughing at how silly the film was and this flick also made me a life long fan of actor George Hamilton as he was perfectly silly as Dracula and played the part straight faced for the most part no matter how goofy the world around him started to get. And for years a rumor has been going around that a Love At First Bite sequel was in the works and that George Hamilton got the rights for the film back in 2009 and it would take place in modern times and have Count Dracula going to Hollywood for his sons wedding and meeting the brides family that are TV preachers…sadly as of this update the film has not been made. The scene in Love At First Bite that always gets me is when the character Dr. Jeffrey Rosenberg goes to visit his one time fiancé Cindy Sondheim at her apartment and she tells him that she is marring Count Dracula and were they have registered for wedding gifts and he is a rage is screaming about how they will get nothing from him as he leaves on the elevator, no kidding I laugh every time. Also actor Arte Johnson who plays Renfield does a great job of being creepy, spooky and his laugh is based on Dwight Fryes with a touch of his own style. Richard Benjamin who plays Dr. Rosenberg is hysterical and next to Dracula almost steals the show with his crazy humor. And even Susan Saint James is funny as hell as Cindy Sondheim, and Susan I remember mostly from TV Show “Kate & Allie” as I remember my parents use to watch that one in the 80’s. I think that when it comes to straight Horror Comedies I would place Love At First Bite over such films as Dracula Dead And Loving It, Shaun Of The Dead and Dead Don’t Die but would say its not as funny as Young Frankenstein and Zombieland to name a few on both sides of the fence. If you like Dracula, Horror Comedies, George Hamilton and just having a good time make sure to check out love At First Bite.

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So as you can see Dracula from Love At First Bite is both dangerous as well as humorous and this really is a fun and silly film that I am glad got the Photo Comic treatment so that I can make this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic possible. I would like to also thank an Ebay seller for having this FotoNovel in stock. I would also like to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets head to New York and spend some time with Count Dracula.

Love At First Bite Photo Comic 1

Love At First Bite # 1  **1/2
Released in 1979      Cover Price $2.75       Fotonovel      # 1 of 1

Count Dracula is in his castle in Transylvania with his assistant Renfield who delivers the mail including a fashion magazine that has model Cindy Sondheim on the cover and Dracula has fallen in love with her even though he never meet her, but yet maybe he has because her soul is an old one and keeps being reborn! At one point in time Cindy was even Mina Harker and many other loves of Dracula. Later that night Dracula get a visit from the Government who informs him that he must leave his castle as they are taking it over as a training camp for athletes. In two days time Dracula walks to his carriage as the towns people insult him and this forces him to use his breath to keep them at bay. Dracula and Renfield head to New York to find Cindy and while in his coffin in the luggage area Dracula tries to read up on the lingo of the 70’s in order to fit in. And once in New York a mix up happens and Renfield takes the wrong coffin with him to the hotel and Dracula ends up in a church in Harlem and has a run in with some people before finally finding his hotel and Renfield. The next day Renfield gets Cindy’s location from her agent thanks to his pet cobra and Dracula shows up and when held back by the cops as Cindy models he turns into a dog and gets close to her, but it taken to the pound for his efforts. Dracula is depressed as he drank the blood of a drunken homeless man that made him sick and has decided to just give up, that is until Renfield gives him the address of a club that Cindy is at and when meeting her the two fall in love and start an affair as Cindy is the girlfriend of Doctor Jeff Rosenberg who is a descendent of Van Helsing and when he notices the bite on the neck of Cindy he knows he has to stop Dracula before biting two more times as if he does so she will be damned to be a vampire forever. Cindy is in love with Dracula and while at a dinner out Jeff comes along and he and Dracula have a showdown at the dinner table, and their argument leaves Cindy to leave the pair and Jeff alerts Dracula to who is bloodline is. Later that night Dracula comes to Cindy’s apartment and tries to bite her for the second time but sunrise stops him, and this causes Jeff to have to try and get the help from the police and even breaks into Dracula’s hotel room and sets his coffin on fire with him still inside! Jeff is then arrested and taken to an Asylum and once out he tracks down Cindy and Dracula at a restaurant and shoots three silver bullets into the chest of Dracula and this attack fails and causes Cindy to faint and as Jeff is arrested Dracula takes his soon to be bride away and bites her for the second time. Jeff is taken back to the asylum and along with the cops tries to stop Dracula from taking Cindy back to England for the third time, and they even have a run in with Renfield. In the end Jeff confronts Dracula at the airport but before he can drive a stake through his heart Dracula bites Cindy for the third time and the pair turn into bats and fly off into the night as Jeff can do nothing but watch, and well take Dracula’s cape that he left behind.

This is a fun Photo Comic Novel that does a pretty great job of capturing the film’s goofy nature, but in comic form I do have to stress that much of the film’s humor is lost and does not pack the belly laughs. The plot is very simple: Dracula is kicked out of his castle and comes to New York to fund a Super Model he has a love for only to win her heart and must fight off her boyfriend and the cops in order to have his blood drinking happy ending with the love of his afterlife. Count Dracula is a vampire who is sick of being lonely and finds his true love in a model form New York and travels to try and win her heart, and yes along the way drinks a little blood from those who are in his way. He is not pure evil, but does have a little bit of an ego that tends to flare up. Renfield is loyal and dimwitted and does whatever Dracula tells him to do, but also it’s clear that he and Dracula are also friends. Cindy Sondheim is a magazine model who is a party girl who loves the night life and is drawn and falls for Dracula even though she is the on again off again girlfriend of a Van Helsing! And Doctor Jeff Rosenberg is our hero of the story a psychiatrist who is the grandson of Van Helsing and is part crazy, but also will do whatever he can to save his lady from the bite of Dracula, but does also have his folklore mixed up and fails many times to kill Dracula. As I stated before the humor is there, but is a little lost on the pages as the delivery from the actors is lacking. The Horror parts are still intact as they are light hearted to begin with and I do really like the parts in this Photo Comic Novel that has Dracula and Redfield stealing from the blood bank as well as the moment of him waking up in the coffin at the funeral in Harlem. The Photo Comic is bloodless and that’s fine as the film is as well, and for the most part this was a fantastic and fun read and a great way to kick off of Halloween Season for 2022! While elements of the film are missing in order to fit in this comic and at times the story jumps very awkwardly it is a must-read for fans of this very underrated 1979 Horror Comedy film. The cover is very cool and eye catching and the photos used in side are well selected. Give this one a read if you can find it, and check out the photo below to see the style of this Photo Comic Novel.

Love At First Bite Photo Comic Art 1

The Fotonovel version of Love At First Bite is a fun read and while it does not fully capture the silliness of the characters humor and feel of the film fully, it does do a great job of entertaining the reader. I for one would love to see a full comic book done based on the film with a solid artist on board like Jeff Potter, but sadly I don’t think that would ever happen. Well for our next update we will be leaving Count Dracula and New York behind and will be covering something that I have been working on for a very long time and that’s my list of my Top 20 Lost Silent Horror Films! This is something I really have wanted to talk about for so many years now and I think my blog’s 10 Year Anniversary is the perfect time to do so. Plus let’s be honest, it’s a great way to kick off October 2022 and I hope helps bring awareness to these lost films and one day they become found films. So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Comedy or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a talk about Silent Horror Cinema.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Captain America Streets Of Poison Art 1Captain America Streets Of Poison Art 2Captain America Streets Of Poison Art 3

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

Horror Host Icon: Baron Daemon

Welcome back to Rotten Ink for a “Horror Host Icon” update that has been high on my list to do for many years now as I find this Frightful Host to not only be an Icon but also a true legend of New York! The host I am talking about is Baron Daemon who entertained the Syracuse area not only hosting films but also cartoons and even two popular songs…but I am getting way ahead of myself! And before we get into this update have you guys ever thought about how many amazing Horror Hosts have been based out of the state of New York? I mean Gilbert Gottfried hosted Up All Night and later Rhonda Shear, Zacherley hosted Shock Theater, Adam Keefe hosted Fright Night Theatre, Dr. E. Nick Witty hosted Monster Movie Matinee and even The Six-Fingered Hand lead viewers through Chiller Theatre and this is just a small list of all the amazing hosts from the state. So with that thought and memories in your head it’s with great honor that I bring to you Horror Host Icon: Baron Daemon!

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Baron Daemon is a bushy eyebrowed vampire who wore a cape, a bowtie, white shirt and black pants and would host spooky movies at night and cartoons during the day! He was very silly and yet at times had a touch of sinister to him when hosting the films late in the evening and he was well loved by both adults and kids as he drew them into his antics as well as allowed them into his weird world that also consisted of his two best friends Boris and Very Harry (more on them later). He was the most popular local celebrity opening grocery stores and even making appearances at a local asylum and fans flocked to meet him as he looked at all his fans as his “Bloody Buddies” and they looked at him as their favorite TV Horror Host. When Baron talked he sounded like Bela Lugosi’s version of Dracula mixed with a cartoonish overtone and his laugh was iconic. Baron would also appear at sock hops and would “drink” the blood of young ladies and kids would speak about him at school and wear shirts with his image on it and would mimic his speech and phrases. And still to this day the people of Rochester, New York and beyond have great memories of Baron Daemon and his legacy lives on even after all these years of him being off TV.

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Baron Daemon was so big that at one point during the peak of his popularity Channel 9 came up with having him team up with a rock band The Vampire (really Sam And The Twisters) and recorded two songs “Ghost Guitars” and the big hit “Transylvania Twist” in order to send to radio stations and to promote his shows as they felt it would bring in more viewers! And they sent the record out to radio stations within 50 miles of the viewing area and it worked as Transylvania Twist became a mega hit and the vinyl single was the top selling local record for many years and became a requested song by listeners and even to this day around Halloween the song in New York is played by radio stations who get requests to hear it. Baron Daemon wished that the Channel had sent the record out further as he felt that the song could have been a bigger hit than it was and became a regular song on rotation at stations all over America. The vinyl record at this time is a major collectors item and sells for hundreds of dollars on second hand sale sites. But for those who want to hear both songs you can find them on YouTube so give them a listen and enjoy!

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Mike Price is the man behind the Baron Daemon character and is a well loved TV Personality form the New York area as he would be a staple on the News for Channel 9 before and even after his Horror Host persona was off the air. He would become a reporter and had his own segment on the evening news called “Good News” that would feature people from around the area that are doing great things, and he would also talk to kids who were doing really good in school. Mike Price would work for the station for over 46 years and would retire in 2008. And after retiring the station would name the studio after him as well as hang a plaque for all future News Anchors to see. And for those who do not know Mike Price worked for Channel 9 before it first went on air and was hands down the stations first mega star and made them must see TV because of his work as both a News Reporter and as a Horror Host. And that is pretty true for most big Horror Hosts they go beyond being just a celebrity of local TV and the men or women behind the character becomes loved by their community. And even as of 2020 Mike Price is being interviewed in the New York area about his time on TV and his career as Baron Daemon showing that even after many years of retirement Mike means something very big to the people who grew up watching him and beyond.

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Baron Daemon originally started as the host of a late night horror movie show called “The Hollywood Special” starting in 1962 on WNYS-TV Channel 9 out of Syracuse, New York and he would host all types of classic Horror and Sci-Fi films. The show was an instant hit and old and young viewers could not get enough of Baron Daemon as he just captured their attentions and became must see TV for all of Syracuse. But parents ended up a little angry as kids wanted to stay up past their bedtimes to watch his antics as well as the spooky movie that did not start until 11:35pm, so to please parents Baron Daemon also became a daily kid show host “Baron And His Buddies” and on this he would host cartoons and Flash Gordon film serials. His shows were the most watched in that area of New York and his viewers were both young and old. Baron Daemon would also guest on other shows on Channel 9 mostly the dancing shows and would bring his brand of vampire humor with him and added enjoyable silly laughs for those watching. For years Baron Daemon’s shows were highly rated and was some of the most popular local made shows at the time, and after his song “Transylvania Twist” was released it seemed like he and his shows were untouchable. That was until 1967 when the Channel 9 station suffered a big fire and sadly the set, props and all costumes for Baron Daemon burned up and the stations new powers to be who already were not a fan of his shows decided that with all things of the show gone this would mark the end of Baron Daemon! So with a puff of smoke do to a fire The Hollywood Special and Baron And His Buddies was over and fans would not get to see Baron Daemon on a weekly basis and this was terrible news for his fans. But over the years Baron Daemon would return doing live appearances and even host some events allowing fans to still see him and enjoy his brand of humor. It’s sad that his shows had to end due to bad management who did not think replacing the lost items to bring the shows back was worth their time, very silly decision as I think Baron Daemon could have lasted on air all the way through the 90’s and I think he would have been just as popular through every decade and still to this day Channel 9 should have Baron Daemon return to TV with Halloween specials! But that is just my wishes that sadly never happened and will never happen do to the age of Baron Daemon as of this update.

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I have said this before and I have to say it again all good Horror Hosts had their fair share of amazing sidekicks that helped make his shows something very special for viewers and Baron Daemon was no different! First up is Boris The World’s Shortest Monster who looked like Frankenstein’s famous creation that would grunt his way around the set and was a very close friend of Baron Daemon. Boris was well liked by fans and he would even make public appearances alongside Baron. But while Boris was well loved the most popular of the sidekicks was Very Harry a mute caveman type guy who wore a hat and a trench coat and seemed to always just be hanging around with Baron and Boris. He was always just kind of in different to everything and was a favorite of kids as well as adults. Boris was played by Bill Eadie and Very Harry was played by Dennis Calkins and really these two are some amazing sidekicks and I would almost be so bold to say are the best Horror Host sidekicks in all of New York’s history! I should also note that while Very Harry would make appearances on the kid show “Baron And His Buddies”, Boris was not as lucky and would not be on the kid show as often.

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Baron Daemon was on the ballot for the 2021 Class to make it into the Horror Host Hall Of Fame and sadly he ended up not making it that year, even though I 100% think he should have and in fact been in way sooner than that. And my goal is to try and get Baron Daemon into a future class of the Hall Of Fame as his contributions to the Art Of Horror Hosting is amazing as he had a six year run hosting both a movie and kids show as well as made many public appearances and had a hit music single! He was an early pioneer in New York Hosting and has many of fans still to this day. So when Baron Daemon gets in I will update this Horror Host Icon update and share with you who inducted him and what class he ended up being in!

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Baron Daemon is a horror host that I can remember seeing pictures of and reading about in the early days of the internet as one thing that I loved to do in my teenage years was learn about new hosts from all over the world. I think the thing about Baron Daemon is that while the world of Horror Hosting has tons of Vampires his big eyebrows set him apart from all the others and made him stand out from the pact just like I feel Sivad (read his Icon update here) did as well with his unique look of the classic folklore monster. And Baron Daemon’s overly silly nature and the way he delivered his lines made him come off as a fun loving goofball ghoul and made him feel like a friend who drew you into his world and shared his love for Horror Movies and Cartoons with you, not to even mention his phrases and mannerisms would bring a smile to your face as well as make you say out loud “Blood Buddies” while acting like him…come on many of you original watchers of his show and Horror Host Mega Fans know that you just did your best impersonation of him while reading this sentence. Another reason why Baron Daemon has always been on my Hosting radar and was always on the list of must cover for Horror Host Icon updates is not only because he was a fantastic host with amazing sidekicks, but because he is also apart of the big legacy of Horror Hosts that have came out of the state of New York the land that Chiller Theater built and he could be one of the best as well from that State! And I really do hope at some point that more footage of his show is found in the vaults of Channel 9 and that the fans get to see Baron in his prime doing what he did best and that was to entertain the viewing masses.

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So as you can see Baron Daemon is a true iconic legend in the world of Horror Hosting and is one of New York’s best Hosts of all time! And we are now at the point of this update that we will talk about the episodes I have of Baron Daemon and sadly like I said earlier in this update as of this update no known episodes and footage minus bloopers of the show are around, so I had to do a TV Special that Channel 9 did in 2006 for Halloween based on him. So with that lets travel down memory lane and take a look at Baron Daemon and his Blood Buddies as they treat us to their Halloween Fright Fest.

Baron Daemon DVD

Hollywood Special: Halloween Fright Fest
Starring – Dr. E. Nick Witty & Very Harry      Not Rated      2006

Host/Movie: This is a news broadcast special that aired on TV in 2006 that celebrated the life and career of Baron Daemon who made viewers both scared and tickled with laughter for five years on TV as well as tons of public & media appearances. They tell the shows history as well as the characters and even talk about and to Mike Price about his career. They also chat with other show cast members, fans and even new and vintage skits show of Baron Daemon.

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It’s such a shame that so many iconic Horror Hosts like Baron Daemon’s show are lost to time due to many factors like recorded live, thrown away or reused tapes and of course no Beta or VCR’s for fans to tape their favorite hosts. And even more shameful is that Channel 9 over the years after his show ended never brought back Baron and his pals Very Harry plus Boris back to TV airwaves for horror movie hosted specials every Halloween and New Years…but what do you expect from clueless on air stations who think late night viewers want to watch infomercials on none stick pans and sharp kitchen knives…no wait they put those on cause they could careless about local programing and being creative and took the quick buck of just selling out that air time to soulless products. But enough of that let me put my soap box away and just say that Baron Daemon is an amazing Host that you should read up on and watch the blooper clips and listen to his two hit songs. But for my next update we will be leaving the world of Horror Hosting behind and will be taking a look at werewolf comic Lycanthropy Leo! So until next time read a comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update as Rotten Ink’s ten year celebration continues!

Lycanthrope Leo Preview Logo

The DC Dream Warrior Known As The Sandman!

Here on Rotten Ink we love ourselves some Jack Kirby as he really is The King when it comes to the Golden Age of comics as over the years I have covered him in such blog updates based on his art and characters like Devil Dinosaur, Captain America and Satan’s Six and with many more to come this update will showcase just how important Jack is to the world of comics as well as Rotten Ink and how can I celebrate my blogs 10 Year Anniversary without covering him! While thinking about what character to cover for this update I ruled out one of his Marvel Comics characters as we have covered his Marvel work already and I also ruled out his indie work as well for the same reason and that’s why I landed on covering his DC Comics work and choose a character that I can remember reading when I was a kid and that’s The Sandman! So grab a glass of Warm Milk, Count Some Sheep and lets catch some Z’s and take a comic book superhero adventure with The Sandman, Jack Kirby and DC Comics.

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Jack Kirby was a true legend at Marvel Comics as he has created many iconic characters for them along side Stan Lee like The Fantastic Four, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk to name a few, but in late 1970 after years of talking to them he made the jump to DC Comics as they wanted the creative mind of Kirby to help bring them new characters as well as his skilled art style. The contract was for three years with an option for two more years and would allow him to create multiple series and characters that would be blanketed under “The Fourth World” and would allow Jack to have his own say with his characters and build his own world within the DC Universe. And that brought characters New Gods, Mister Miracle and The Forever People to comic pages and all characters are still being used from time to time in comics for DC. During his early years he also worked on the comic Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. And Jack Kirby was loving working on his Fourth World comics and added touches of his own life into the books, as well as even his views of the youth at the time in The Forever People. At this point in time Jack Kirby had lots of bad feelings toward Stan Lee and Marvel Comics and even created a character called Funky Flashman that was a dig at Lee, and would also create during this time DC Comic’s biggest and more powerful super-villains Darkseid. But while DC Comics was hoping for that Kirby magic and help sales they also did some pretty crappy things to him like having fellow artists Al Plastino and Murphy Anderson redraw the faces of Superman in comics as they did not like his style of drawing The Man Of Steels face. Jack Kirby was so proud of his Fourth World books he even came up with the idea of putting several issues together aka the Graphic Novel and DC being goofy failed to do so, so those of you who love reading comics in Graphic Novels should thank Jack Kirby who came up with that idea. During his years with DC he would also go on to create such characters as OMAC, The Demon, Kamandi, Kobra, The Sandman and as well did a few characters for the “1st Issue Special” comic series like Manhunter, Dingbats Of Danger Street and Atlas The Great showing that the characters where flowing from his creative mind. He would also do work for the war comic “Our Fighting Forces” by doing the stories and art for The Losers. But by 1974 the honeymoon was over between Kirby and DC Comics as they started to make him work on characters he did not care for, the political games at the office was out of control and many of the classic DC Artists did not want Kirby at DC as they viewed him as an outsider and a threat to their position at DC. And by 1976 Jack Kirby and DC Comic split ways and he would return to work for Marvel for a short time, before becoming a gun for hire artist and working for Cartoons for Hanna-Barbara as well as would do spot work for indies like Topps Comics and Pacific Comics as well as even DC up until his passing in 1994. And while his time with DC Comics was not as grand as his time with Marvel he still made a great impact on that company given them some amazing heroes and villains as well as entertained readers with compelling stories. Jack “The King” Kirby really is one of the comic industries truly iconic and inspirational artists and creators.

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I want to also take a moment to share a photo I found on the net that shows the art desk of Jack Kiby! This is a surreal image for sure as you realize that he had drawn so many comic pages at the desk, he created so many characters at the desk and he spent so much time being creative at that desk. The crazy part being is the chair, desk and his art supply cabinet was nothing overly fancy and his area he created in was near what appears to be a fire place. Imagine Jack Kirby sitting at the art table with a snow storm outside and a fire going in the fireplace as he drew a Fantastic Four page…its very inspiring as Jack really was one of a kind and a true artist who was to be looked up to and admired. I feel that Jack’s desk should be placed in a museum of art and young inspiring artists should be able to see it and get inspired by it.

Jack King Kirbys Desk

Now I want to talk a little about The Sandman a character created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in 1974 and was one of many characters Kirby created when working for DC Comics. The Sandman is a hero that lives in the Dream Dome alongside his two friends Brute and Glob who are nightmare creatures and are called in when The Sandman cannot right the wrongs that are going on in the dream world as well as reality. The Sandman can enter the dream world via a sled that takes him to the Dream Stream a place ruled by the Nightmare Wizard where all the creatures that make up Nightmares live. He can also slide into reality and can lend a hand to help during attacks and natural disasters. The Sandman wears a red and yellow costume and looks like a superhero and uses dream sand and his Hyposonic whistle to fight crime as well as to put people and things to sleep. The Sandman mostly watches over the nightmares of kids and will enter the dream if he feels the youngsters are in true danger. He is original portrayed as the mythical legend Sandman the watcher of dreams, but later in 1983 DC Comics and Roy Thomas tried to say the he was really Garrett Sanford a Professor at UCLA who was trapped in the Dream Dimension and even becomes a part time member of the Justice League, but this just is cheesy and shows once more that DC Comics had no respect for Jack Kirby’s creations. The Sandman is a character that never was used much by DC Comics and while he has his fans he never made an impact on the world of comics like so many other Jack Kirby creations.

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It’s a shame that DC Comics treated Jack so badly when he worked for them in the 1970’s as I truly think that given more time and freedom with them who knows what kind of great reads and characters he could have given the world. And I am pretty sure that the cool art we all seen of Kirby drawing the Horror Movie character Dr. Phibes who was played by Vincent Price would have been a pitch that he would have made for DC…and I wonder why this comic was never green lighted and I would have loved to have seen what Jack had in store for Phibes! Well enough of what could have been for Kirby, DC and Phibes as we are now at the part of this update that is about the what was and for me when I think of DC and Kirby together three series come to mind New Gods, Mister Miracle and The Sandman, with the later being what I will be covering! And one reason I choose The Sandman is that Kirby teamed with Joe Simon on the book, and for those who don’t know that pair is who created one of my favorite superheroes Captain America! I want to thank Game Swap Kettering for having this series in stock and making this update possible. I also would like to say that I have read almost this whole series before this update and this makes me exited to reread them after all these years. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready lets travel to the land of dreams and see what DC Comics and The Sandman have in store for me.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 1

The Sandman # 1  ***
Released in 1974       Cover Price .20      DC Comics      # 1 of 6

On Dolphin Island young Jeb who has asthma and lives with his grandfather Ezra Paulsen is having a terrible dream about a man drowning in the ocean right in front of his home that is holding a strange doll. Meanwhile in another dimension The Sandman watches the dream and awakens the boy who runs outside with hid Grandpa and pull a dying sailor from the ocean who gives them the strange doll he calls the Werblink before he dies. Jeb, who is a lonely kid on the island, spends time with Werblink and the doll becomes his best friend. One night Jeb has a nightmare that Werblink is trying to kill his Grandpa and as Jeb gives chase he slips in his dream and is about to fall to his death…but The Sandman has seen enough and enters the nightmare and saves the boys life even though the creatures he keeps in glass tubes Glob and Brute tell him to let the child die! Once saved Jeb wakes up and falls back to sleep as his Grandpa grabs the doll and smashes it and then buries it on the beach. We cut briefly to the past and see that a rebuilt solider named General Electric was the man behind building the doll and he escaped a hospital and runs holding Werblink into the night. We cut back to Dolphin Island present time and a stray dog digs up the grave of Werblink and this causes Jeb and other kids around the world to have a four alarm nightmare and even an earthquake breaks loose in California and The Sandman leaves his Dream Dome in order to help the wounded using his sand to heal those in need and then rushes to Dolphin Island just in time as Jeb has found his broken doll and a group of Nazis have appeared and taken both The Sandman and Jeb hostage. While back on the mainland we find out that General Electric is in charge of the Nazis and they are collecting all the dolls he made as by linking them it will blow up the US Capital! And before they do so they beat up The Sandman and one of the Nazis finds his whistle and blows it freeing Brute and Glob who come to their friends aid, and Glob turns up the wave length of the whistle and this blows up the glass bowl on General Electrics head that holds his brain, ending the madman’s terror and with that Jeb is safe and The Sandman with Brute and Glob return to the Dream Dome.

The first issue of The Sandman was suppose to be a one shot comic, but due to good feedback from readers it would go one to have five more issues and The Sandman proved to be a minor creative hit for both Jack Kirby and DC Comics. The plot is pretty cool and has The Sandman watching the dreams and nightmares of sleeping kids via his Dream Dome and has to come to earth when the evil General Electric has a plane that will kill many and will bring back the alliance of Japan and Nazi Germany. The Sandman is a being that is humanlike in nature but has the powers to put people to sleep with his sand as well as enter your sleeping mind and cause and change the events that are taking place. His friends Brute and Glob are creatures of nightmares and while they look like monsters they are not bad. Jeb and his grandpa Ezra are also good people who live on an island and while it’s a lonely life they do have each other. The issues main bad guy is General Electric a Japanese kamikaze pilot who survived a crash and had his head and brain repaired and created by a doctor who cannot get over loosing World War II and is masterminding a way to strike at the US and once more have the Nazis rise to power. He is as scummy as they come, but do not threat cause as you see his head exploded and it appears he has truly died this time. The plot really does have that Joe Simon and Jack Kirby feel to it and during this time Kirby was very obsessed with other worlds and Simon loved telling stories of Nazis getting their butts kicked by heroes. The one odd thing about The Sandman as while he helps save Jeb from falling in a dream and helps injured firefighters he gets beat down by the Nazis and its his friends that really win the end fight as he is tied up on the floor and never even throws a punch. This is a comic I can remember reading at a young age and enjoying it, but I think now as an adult I found myself enjoying it more. The cover is awesome and eye catching as its classic Kirby stuff as is the interior art, but I will say that this is not some of Kirby’s best stuff as its pretty basic in look and lacks the Kirby detail on backgrounds. Over all the first issue of The Sandman is a fun read featuring a hero who has the powers of dreams, so with that lets see what issue two has in store for us.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 2

The Sandman # 2  ***
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25      DC Comics     # 2 of 6

On Dolphin Island Jeb is sound asleep in his bed when two hooded men enter his home knock out his Grandpa and kidnap him to take him to Dr. Spider a strange man who is using Jeb now to bring his nightmare creatures to life and they are under his control. While at the Dream Dome The Sandman notices that the youth of the world are not having nightmares and enters the dream stream to see what is blocking the nightmares from happing. While in this realm he tracks down the old man known as Nightmare Wizard who tells him that Dr. Spider has stolen all the creatures and is going to use them to take over the world, and he approves of this horrific plan! The Sandman is furious and heads to the real world to see if he can stop this sinister plan from fully being realized and with his hyposonic whistle and dream sand he is able to bring down a few of the creatures in front of the army, only to find himself attacked by one of the hooded goons of Dr. Spider and taken as a prisoner to their hideout with the idea of also using his powers to bring more nightmare creatures alive. While at the Dream Dome Brute and Glob watch as their friend is tied up and knocked out and Brute reveals that he has his own seceret whistle and they pair free themselves from the glass tubes and travel to reality and loosen the straps holding down Sandman and then wake him up before hiding and Sandman rushes to bring down Dr. Spider. The Hooded Men try and attack The Sandman who uses the hyposonic whistle to put them to sleep, but fails to capture Dr. Spider who uses Jeb’s nightmare creatures to attack him and if The Sandman kills one of the creatures then Jeb will die! The Sandman then uses his dream sand to put the creatures asleep, then uses his whistle to send them to the Dream Stream, he then destroys Dr. Spider’s machines and this wakes up Jeb that he send back home. In the end The Sandman is to late to stop Dr. Spider who uses a submarine to escape or does he as it blows up and this makes The Sandman wonder if he really has seen the last of this new foe.

The second issue of The Sandman is really good and still holds that classic superhero feel even though both Jack Kirby and Joe Simon had nothing to do with this issue as DC gave it to a new creative team, well I should at least say Kirby did the cover for this issue. The plot brings in a new foe called Dr. Spider who is a strange man who is just a torso that’s body in a metal frame and has mechanical arms that look like spider legs. He almost looks like a mutated melted cheese face version of Spider-Man villain Doctor Octopus and I am sure this really was a dig at Marvel Comics. A couple of things I do like about Dr. Spider is that he has a good idea of taking creatures from the nightmare world and using them to bring the world to its knees and allow him to take over, he also has hooded men who look like cultist as his henchmen and that’s also pretty cool. We also in this issue meat Nightmare Wizard a creepy old man who runs the realm of nightmares and who is very bitter about the real world. Jeb is around and is nothing more then a tool in the bad guys plans who spends almost the whole issue asleep and feeding them creatures from his nightmares, in other words he is the one that is feeding the evil doers with soldiers in order to take over the world. Plus we have zero clues if Grandpa Ezra is alive after his shock he received at the start of this issue, so Jeb could have been sent back home by The Sandman only to find the dead body of his grandpa! The Sandman once more is the hero of the day…but really does not do it on his own as once more Glob and Brute are the ones who really are the heroes as they once more free the captured hero that allows him to win the battle in the end. The Sandman really has only two weapons and tools to take on evil doers and that his Sand that puts people to sleep as well as his Hyposonic Whistle that can as well put things to sleep, send creatures back to the dream world and free his two friends that he keeps locked up in tubes. Now that I am thinking about it why in the world does The Sandman keep his two friend locked up in small tubes with him only letting them free when he needs help, seems pretty unfair and makes The Sandman come off as kind of a villain. The cover is great as its Kirby and eye catching for fans of his art as well as DC Comics from the 70’s and the interior art this time is done by Ernie Chan who was going by Ernie Chua and I will say while its not Kirby I would say that its still very good, but while the issues art and story are fun and good I still miss the Kirby and Simon touch as they where a iconic team that could make great art together. Well with that lets see what issue three has in store for us and if it holds up like the first two issues in the series.

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The Sandman # 3   **
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25     DC Comics      # 3 of 6

In Europe the people of a village storm a castle ran by The Count and his Zombie Gorillas as they want to hang him for the decades of abuse he has put them through, but he cheats them of revenge as he drinks poison just as they find him. Once “dead” his body is taken by the Zombie Gorillas to America as this was a plan by The Count to get his body to Professor Rundhaven so that he can remove it and allow it to live inside a tank that not only allows him to speak by also gives him mental powers. The Count uses his new mental powers to zap and kill Professor Rundhaven and then uses his mental link to get into the mind of the young daughter of Scientist Ralph Ervin who has been working on experiments dealing with the human brain. While The Count is in her dream The Sandman in his Dream Dome picks up on the intrusion and heads into the dream himself and foils the plot of The Count hypnotizing the young girl and causes The Count to have to retreat. As the young girl wakes up the hold on her mind is truly broken and The Count decides to send his Zombie Gorillas to the house the next night to steal the research papers and then to also steal medical equipment to free him from his glass prison. The Cops follow the Zombie Gorillas and gun them down, but not in time as they succeed and free The Count who is now a powerful floating Brain that kills the cops and then heads to the city where it drains all the power out of the power planet and The Sandman once more returns to reality and gets himself arrested before he can stop the blackout! He then uses his whistle to free Brute and Glob who once more rescues him this time from jail and The Sandman sends them back to the Dream Dome and the tracks down The Count and uses his whistle to blow up the villain ending the terror the giant brain caused New York.

The third issue as well cut Kirby from art (besides the cover) and Simon from story and delivered an ok read that has followed the same formula as the last two issues and that recycled tale is getting a little warn thin as each story has a kid in need, a new dream world entering villain, The Sandman being captured and having to have his friends save him and lastly the bad guys meet their end by explosion. The plot of this third issue has a bad guy entering the dreams of a young girls dreams in order to get her to steal the research papers of her father, and when that fails he steals them and becomes a powerful being that is exploded by The Sandman who was arrested and saved by his Nightmare friends in order to do so. The Sandman is a dream master who watches and monitors the dreams of kids that by all accounts tries his best to be a hero, but he really is just bad at it as he seems to always get captured and has to have his friends save him in order for him to take down the bad guy and take all the glory for the rescues and world saving missions. While I as a reader like The Sandman by this issue he should be better at being the Superhero he so wants to be. Brute and Glob we are miss treated and kept behind glass are the real heroes as they are the ones who seem to always get The Sandman’s fat our of the fire and even at times take down the henchmen of those who are keeping Sandman captive. The Count is a brain who grows in size and power and while he does kill a roomful of police officers, he really is not that big of a threat as he is blown up with a whistle with ease and once he becomes all powerful all he does is drain the electric power from The Bronx, New York. The Zombie Gorilla henchmen of The Count are pretty cool and they are very loyal to their master and even give their lives to protect him. Again I have to stress that DC Comics and the creative team they had behind The Sandman series really at this point needed to get past the same story format that they had followed for three issues as it really cheapened the character and really does make him look like a zero and not a hero. The few things that I did like about this issue was The Zombie Gorillas and the secret lab of Professor Rundhaven being in a old farmhouse, but to be honest this third issue is not very well done and is an average at best superhero romp. The cover done by Jack Kirby is great and the interior art by Ernie Chan is solid and good, just to bad the story by Michael Fleisher is so weak and had clearly places a bruise on the character as the series end will come just three issues later and would force them to bring back Kirby on art. Well with that lets see if Kirby’s return to art can pull this series out of the downward spiral.

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The Sandman # 4  **1/2
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25     DC Comics     # 4 of 6

An alien race is watching Earth and the dreams of Jeb as they are coming up with an idea that will allow them to take over the world and will use the dreams and nightmares of mankind in order to do so! They come up with an idea that will have them enter the Dream Stream and take Nightmare Wizard hostage as well as the creatures of that world and the Aliens would then enter people’s dreams and control or kill them. Brute and Glob are in the Dream Stream visiting family and becomes trapped in a dome dropped by the invading Aliens UFO ships, and worse the Aliens as well are able to sneak up on and take Nightmare Wizard down given them control to enter dreams! Meanwhile on Dolphin Island Jeb is showing his Grandpa how good he has gotten with his Yo-Yo before heading to bed, and its when the youngster falls asleep that The Sandman catches that the Alien starships have invaded the Dream Stream and uses his powers to wake up Jeb and then The Sandman enters the Dream Stream to stop the Alien plan that has them dropping bombs and killing many kids while they sleep! While wondering around The Sandman finds Nightmare Wizard but before he can free him the Aliens attack and knock out The Sandman and now have him as a prisoner, and this time he uses his whistle to bring Jeb to the Dream Stream and has the young boy unties the two dream masters and even uses his Yo-Yo to knock out an alien! Once free The Sandman, Jeb and Nightmare Wizard rush to the dome and the whistle is used to free the Nightmare Creatures and a clash with the aliens breaks out with The Sandman and the Creatures winning the big fight and sending the Aliens running back to space. After the fight is over The Sandman sends Jeb back to reality and best of all he is sound asleep and having good dreams.

The fourth issue of The Sandman brings back Jack Kirby on art but keeps Michael Fleisher on writing and while better then issue three it still has some of the same old same old moments that have plagued this character and the writing style of Fleisher as The Sandman once more finds himself captured and a friend having to save him and like fore the issues bad guys get into the dream world of a youngster with plans of world domination. It’s clear that Michael Fleisher just had no real ideas for The Sandman and was just retelling the same story over and over worse then a Joss Whedon and a part of me wonders if this was also the case cause Fleisher was placed on the book and he did not care for this Kirby creation so he put zero effort into the scripts. The bad guys for this issue was a race of fish looking Aliens who want to take over the world via the Dream Stream and has plans of using bombs to wound the youth of the world and come into the dream world in full force. But while they have the firepower they also had very little knowledge in combat as the Nightmare Creatures once freed make short work of them and send them running back home like chickens. Brute and Glob for once are free from their tube and are given permission to go on vacation by their “friend” The Sandman and while visiting friends and family they are captured, but once set free they fight hard. I also like at one point Brute uses the catchphrase “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” that was made famous by Fantastic Four member The Thing a character created by Kirby for Marvel. Nightmare Wizard makes an appearance as well and gets taken hostage way to easy, as you have to think he controls everything in the Dream Stream and seems to call on none of them to set him free once tied up and left in his cave home. Jeb and his Yo-Yo skills come in handy and he pops an alien in the eye with it and is able to free The Sandman, so keep that in mind a kid is the one who had to save The Sandman this time around cause like always he got himself beat up and caught. The Sandman and his whistle in the end is what breaks the dome that sets the creatures free and cause this ends the aliens packing. The Sandman really is a terrible hero and seems to walk into battles and gets himself captured every time this far! Also he finally see that Grandpa Ezra is alive after the shock from the stun gun from issue two and that he and Jeb are the only people that live on the island. The cover is great Jack Kirby stuff and his interior art is fantastic as well showing that Kirby is what’s keeping this comic series alive. I really think that in issue five they need to make The Sandman look stronger and more hero like and for the love of The King Jack not let him get captured and have to be saved by others as his track record right now is 4-0 on that! So with that lets see what The Sandman gets into for issue five.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 5

The Sandman # 5  ***
Released in 1975       Cover Price .25      DC Comics      # 5 of 6

Grandpa Ezra and Jeb are on a fishing boat looking to catch some big fish when they are attacked by a giant sea creature that crushes the boat and leaves them both in grave danger of not only being eaten but also drowning, in other words they need help! The Sandman watches this unfold from his Dream Dome and rushes to the world of reality in order to save them and after hurting the sea creature he gets Jeb and Ezra to shore and sadly Grandpa Ezra dies from this attack. The Sandman gives Jeb a whistle that will alert him if he needs help. Days pass and Jeb is living along on Dolphin Island when he gets a visit from his Aunt Clarice and Uncle Barnaby who get the youngster to come live with them at their farm. At the farm he meets his cousins Susie and Bruce and finds out that his relatives are lazy people and he is forced to do all the hard work and is being feed poorly even. After getting into a fight with Bruce over the whistle, Jeb is forced to chop lots of wood as his punishment and will not even get dinner until its all done! Jeb takes a nap and gets a visit from The Sandman who has him travel to the Dream Stream to help fight the Frog People who are attacking the Winged People and have kidnapped their Queen, and after saving her and returning back home Jeb wakes up to find the wood chopped and his aunt in shock as she invites him in to have dinner. As Jeb walks into the house we see that Brute and Glob chopped the wood for him while he was out with The Sandman.

The fifth issue of The Sandman is a really solid issue with a good plot that mostly focuses on Jeb and his life after loosing his Grandpa to a Sea Creature and his journey of leaving Dolphin Island and living on the mainland with his Aunt and Uncle who treat him oddly. Jeb does really well dealing with all the major changes in his life and while he misses his Grandpa he makes do with his situation. The Sandman who tries his best to save both Jeb and Ezra from the attack at sea is also the one who has to deliver the bad news to Jeb that his grandfather has died, then gives him a whistle before leaving a young boy alone on an island right after his only guardian has died…I will say it again The Sandman is not good at being a superhero! But I do have to give him credit this time around as he at least does not find himself being taken prisoner and he does but some heads with his fists this time around and not his sand or whistle. And this time around Brute and Glob take a back seat and while they help in the end they are not the heroes of saving the day like they normally are. The Frog Men are the bad guys but they are defeated easily once The Sandman and Jeb find their hidden kingdom. The Aunt, Uncle and Cousins of Jeb are all terrible people who use the young lad to do all the work around the farm and while they eat lamb chops they feed him oatmeal, showing that they do not care if he is blood as they just want someone to work hard and get the chores done. And I have to say that I think writer Michael Fleisher did a great job on this issue and it feels like a true classic superhero comic story even if the parts with the death of Grandpa Ezra are awkward and weird and the emotions of all seem very off. The cover and interior art by Jack Kirby is amazing and outstanding like always and some of his art for The Frog Men is fantastic and for some reason reminded me of Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES. Over all this is a great issue in the series and is a great lead up for the six and final issue that we will be taking a look at right now.

The Sandman Kirby Comic 6

The Sandman # 6  ***
Released in 1976       Cover Price .25     DC Comics      # 6 of 6

The Sandman is watching the dream monitors and notices that Jeb is having a bad nightmare about drowning and worse it seems as if this nightmare is being forced and is coming from an unknown source. The Sandman goes into the Dream Stream to save his young friend but soon finds out that the youngster is not real and is a bomb that blows up knocking him out, we then see the hooded henchmen of Dr. Spider coming for our hero and taking him away. Moments later an android version of The Sandman arrives at the Dream Dome and he tricks Glob and Brute into following him back to Dr. Spider’s ship, but Brute holds back for a moment and poor Glob is zapped and held prisoner. Dr. Spider alerts the real Sandman that he plans on taking over America and his sea ship that can go from the dream world to reality is the key to doing so as is the Hyposonic whistle that now is in the hands of Spider. Meanwhile back at the farm Jeb is once more being mistreated by his family and is forced to do all the chores at the farm while they go to a carnival, and that night Bruce sneaks in and steals the whistle and gives it a blow and Brute shows up and delivers some creepy crawlers to the brat cousin and then wakes up Jeb and says that they need to get ready as he thinks that The Sandman is in danger. While back on the ship Dr. Spider is set into a rage over The President and the News making a joke of his threat to use a magic whistle to bring down Washington, and at midnight now he plans on using the whistle to teach the Government a lesson! The Sandman uses all his strength and breaks free and takes out a few henchman before being zapped by a laser gun and then tied up and thrown into the ocean as Dr. Spider has no use for him. Meanwhile Jeb and Brute arrives at the base of Dr. Spider and are not sure what they are going to be up against, and soon find themselves the prisoner of Dr. Spider and are put in a cell with Glob and all will be forced to watch the destruction of the US Capital. The Sandman escapes his watery death and even punches a shark in the face to do so and then arrives at the base and frees his friends and the heroes take out all his henchmen but are too late to stop Dr. Spider from escaping on a rocket. In the end The Sandman, Brute and Glob return to the Dream Dome as Jeb is returned to the farm.

The final issue of The Sandman is a good issue but an odd ending for the series as I think that the sixth issue was not originally meant to be the final in the series as we have no real closure for any of the characters. And I think once more writer Michael Fleisher did a good job on the story for this issue as he brought back the sinister Dr. Spider who this time wants to take over America and is going to use the magical Hyposonic Whistle to do so! The Sandman in this issue shows more superhero tendencies than ever before as he not only saves the day he even gets himself out of danger twice and does not have to have his friends to be the true heroes of the day. The Sandman also shows that he is very skilled with his fists as he punches his way through henchmen and even shows that he is strong as he breaks a crystal cage and tosses people around like ragdolls. While most of this series The Sandman has been a dud of a hero, by this final issue he shows that he was becoming more and more one. Brute and Glob are nightmare creatures who are The Sandman’s friends and allies and while they spend most of their lives in glass tubes, when needed, they always come through and do the right thing to save lives. Jeb whose life is bad now that he has to live with his Aunt is also more then just a youth having nightmares by the end of the series as a few times he helps save the day and adds elements to the story, in fact by the end of the series its clear he is part of the team. The sinister Dr. Spider is as crazy as ever and wants so bad to become a ruler of something, but seems to never be able to get the chance, he is also the only villain to be used twice and is clearly the main baddy of the series. While Kirby draws him different then Ernie Chan I still think Dr. Spider looks life a mound of melted cheese in a metal body. While I think that The Sandman is a comic series that suffered from changing creative teams, a writer who seemed disinterested in the character at the start, DC Comics lack of respect for the creator and character and a handful of other issues, I for one have always found it to be a fun and simple read and while I think many readers enjoyed The Sandman I also thank that by the mid 70’s this type of superhero was dated and readers had moved based the simple nature of good vs. evil. The cover for this final issue is ok and the least impressive of the series, but does do a good job of building up the danger aspect of what The Sandman had to face. The interior art by Jack Kirby was great and he was also inked by Wally Wood and this was a great combo and these two are amazing artists and icons of classic comics. To sum it all up I would say that The Sandman is not a comic series for everyone and while super flawed its simple plots and classic style heroes are enjoyable and worth checking out if you like Kirby and those style of heroes in comics. Check out the artwork below as I think it showcases the work of Kirby as well as captures the over all vibe of this series.

The Sandman Kirby Comic Art 1

Reading The Sandman again after all these years I can say that I really did enjoy his adventures and the character was very interesting even if DC Comics truly didn’t believe in him. Jack Kirby really was a man with many ideas and The Sandman was one of them that I feel should have been bigger then what it was, and again I say the same thing about Satan’s Six. Also imagine if DC Comics, Jack Kirby and the other creators that helped on The Sandman explored the Nightmare World better and think of the creatures, monsters and madmen that could have made up that world. Well let’s not harp too much on DC Comics always dropping the ball with a cool character and let’s talk about what I have in store for you readers for the next for this 10 Year Celebration and that a new update theme that I will be calling “R.I.W Wrestling Legends.” I will be talking about the wrestler Missing Link! So I hope you are all looking forward to that one as this will be an update series that will be around for a long time just like my Horror Host Icon updates! So until next time read a Jack Kirby comic or ten, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you all next update at the Rotten Ink Arena as Missing Link is in the main event!

Missing Link Promo Preview 1

Wild West Round Up: War Of The Range (1933)

Welcome to the first ever “Wild West Round Up” update. Now I am sure many of you are wondering what the heck have you gotten yourself into and what this update is all about…well let me tell you what this new themed update is all about! First thing, these updates will be a way to celebrate classic Western films of the past and I will be taking a look at films from the 1920’s through early 1970’s, and will only be covering films that are released by Alpha Video as I feel they are a company that holds the charm of the films that I want to cover, plus I am a fan of Alpha Video as they have released many amazing Silent Horror Films that other companies have ignored. I am sure many of you friends and readers did not know that I am a big fan of old western films and this is my way of sharing my love for this classic film genre. Each update will only have one film that I will breakdown and talk about the plot of the film and will also use pictures to do so. I will also very quickly talk about the films production as well as the lead star of the film, and sometimes even the director, as they are very important to the film as well. Also for these updates I will find a chili recipe online and cook up a batch and watch the movie while eating a bowl or two…and the chili and the film will be graded on a 1-4 star scale! This should be a fun time as Rotten Ink Ranch has been kind enough to allow us to sit around a campfire and cook some chili and chat about good old western films. So if you are ready, let’s start this first ever Wild West Round Up themed update and take a look at the film War On The Range. Also want to thank my friend Jason Young for the logo that will be used on all the Wild West Round Up updates.

Wild West Round Up War On Range Logo

War Of The Range was created in 1933 and was a B-Movie that was quickly made by Producer Burton King and Monarch Film Corporation in order to cash in on the American Western boom with the birth of talkie films. Director J.P. McGowan was brought in after a very long history of directing western films and was selected cause he knew how to make a film on a budget and make them entertaining. The leading man for the film was Tom Tyler who was a super popular western superstar who thrilled audience in the silent era and was still a draw in the world of talkies. And let’s take a moment to talk about Tom Tyler who really was a very iconic actor! Tom Tyler’s real name is Vincent Markowski and was born in Port Henry, New York on August 9, 1903 and had many amazing jobs in his life time from as he was a seaman, a coal miner, lumberjack, prizefighter, amateur weightlifter and finally landed on being a actor! Some of his none western roles that have made an impact in Hollywood are “Adventures Of Captain Marvel” as he played Captain Marvel, “The Phantom” as he played The Phantom and the Universal Monster movie “The Mummy’s Hand” where he played The Mummy! Tom passed away from complications of scleroderma and heart failure on May 3, 1954 at the age of 50. Other actors brought into the film included Charles K. French, Ted Adams, Caryl Lincoln, Lane Chandler, Slim Whitaker and Lafe Mckee to name a few. The film when released was a minor hit, but sadly over time it has been mostly forgotten and even has fallen into the Public Domain and has a middle of the road user rating on IMDB.

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For this first Wild West Round Up review I looked for a film that I have never seen and one that had a star that I have heard of and enjoyed in other films and that’s why War Of The Range was selected! And for the first meal of chili we decided on “Creamy Italian Sausage Chili” a recipe by Emily Walker that sounded oh so fantastic! So I am going to eat a bowl of this chili and watch this classic western film and after talking about the films plot I will of course give both the film and the chili star ratings! But before we start the review I would first like to show you all what the Creamy Italian Sausage Chili looks like in a bowl with some cheese on top with a dash of sour cream.

Creamy Italian Sausage Chili

This is going to be so much fun and something I have been thinking about doing for a few years now! And I will be grading both the film and the chili on a classic 1-4 star scale. I also want to say on my film ratings I am basing it on a scale that is for this era of classic westerns. So pull up a rock and gather by the campfire as its time to eat some home cooked chili and watch a western flick brought to us from the folks at Alpha Video.

War On The Range DVD

War Of The Range
Starring: Tom Tyler and Caryl Lincoln      Directed: J.P. McGowan
Not Rated     1933    58min    Alpha Video    DVD    Full Frame

Tom Bradley and Tony head to the end of the ranch and see a group of workers putting up a fence, and Tom goes down to question them why they are doing so and is told that is own father Duke gave the orders. He is not happy with this and heads to Box Ranch to talk to his dad as he is upset that by putting the fence up it will hurt other ranchers who need to move their herd as it keeps them away from water and makes them go a longer route. Tom also says this could start the War Of The Range again as Bull Harris a fellow rancher is itching to go to war with the Bradley family. Duke yells at his son to go back to work and Tom and Tony ride off, just as this happens from the other side of the ranch comes Bull Harris and several of his men, and they are not happy and Bull threatens Duke with death, the only witness is James Warren who is a worker of Dukes…but when Duke walks away we find out that Bull really works for James and they are stealing cattle!

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Tom and Tony while working the ranch see Bull and his men trying to steal the cattle and some of Bull’s men open fire on them! Tom tells Tony to head to the ranch and warn his father as he goes after them. Tony ends up capturing one of the thieves who before he can tell Tom who the leader of the gang is takes a bullet from Bull who is hiding up on a hill and does not what the secret out. Tom in turn opens fire and kills Bull’s horse who is forced to run away on foot, but Tom does not get a look at Bull so the mystery of who is stealing the cattle is unsolved. They are able to save the heard, run off the thieves and turn the cows over to the Cartwright Packing Company. They also get news that nesters have taken shelter on the old ranch house on the land and Duke sends Tom and others to run them off, Tom does not like this but does what his Dad tells him and rides off to the old ranch house.

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The Carlysle family (Father George, Daughter Grace and son Jimmy) with a wagon full of stuff is at the old ranch home at Bradley Pass as the Box Ranch hands show up they tell the family they are no welcome and start bulling them as well as knocking around their belongings. Grace tries her best to stand her ground as she tells them that they now own this ranch house, but they men get them on a wagon and send them packing as the wagon is out of control, due to the men scaring the horses. Tom sees the wagon out of control and leaps from his horse onto the wagon and is able to bring it to a stop. Grace then shows Tom the deed to the house and land as his father Duke was not the owner of that land and it’s now the Carlysle family. Tom takes the family back to their home and tells his fathers men that this family is here to stay and to tell his father they own the land proper. As the men leave Tom stays to help the family move in, and Grace is shocked that he went against the wishes of his own father. Later in the day Duke shows up at the Carlysle home and he and Tom scuffle and Duke even punches his son in the face as the ranch hands watch on, and James is loving every second of this family meltdown. Tom shows his Dad the legal papers and this angers Duke so much that he threatens his son that he will find a way to get the land and run the Carlysle Family and Tom out of the state! He disowns his son in front of everyone and Grace is upset that her family has causes such a rift. And Tom is happy to see that Tony has decided to stay and help the family as well as he and Tom are friends. James on the way back to the Box Ranch questions Duke about if he is wrong on owning the land, and Duke says he is never wrong and tells James to go get the sheriff as he thinks the law might be able to fix this mess and get “his” land back.

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Back at the Carlysle house Tony is trying to teach Jimmy how to mount a horse fast, and is goofily failing at his task. While Tom is also helping with chores around the house and its clear that love is blooming between he and Grace as they share glances and smiles. Bull Harris then shows up and talks with Grace and George and says he is there to give them a big welcome to the area as well as give them a proposition. Tom and Tony head to the house to see what’s going on, while inside Bulls deal is that he will give the family a herd of cattle if they do not allow other ranchers to move cattle through the area unless they get permission from Bull. And just before George signs the agreement Tom enters and punches Bull out the door and by gunpoint Tony runs him off the property. And Grace says she trusts the word of Tom who wants to alert all ranchers that they have permission to use the land when moving their cattle, and wants to also try and patch things up with his father with this news. And Tom takes young Jimmy with him to deliver the news.

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Duke has just got paid for his shipment of cattle and James watches were he hides the money, as Tom and Jimmy show up to the ranch its untrustworthy James who informs Duke they are coming. Once inside Duke does not want to hear the deal that could end this war on the range as James has his ear and yells at his son. Tom and Jimmy head to a room to rest for a moment as well as gather Tom’s stuff, but Tom has faith in his father and Jimmy thinks Duke is a hardass. As Tom is getting his stuff the Sheriff shows up and Duke goes outside to explain the situation of the land deed, as James rushes to steal the hidden money he is caught red handed by Jimmy! James knocks out Jimmy and then as Tom comes in looking for his young friend James grabs him from behind and screams for help and acts as if Tom was going to steal the money! James acts as if Tom had Jimmy run away with the cash and now Tom is under arrest but breaks free and gets to his horse and rides away and the law is on his trail. Duke is heart broken over this all and once back inside hears the moans of the injured Jimmy and finds him and takes him to a room to get better, as he thinks the youngster can tell him the truth of what happened to his money and who is the thief, James agrees and is also very worried.

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Tom has a good lead on the law that is tracking him for the crime he did not commit, he jumps from his horse and hides in a tree as the officers ride past him and follow the tracks of his horse. He does how ever drop down on the last lawman and knocks him from his horse and then punches him out, steals his horse and heads back to his dad’s ranch. Meanwhile back at the ranch Duke is sitting with the knocked out Jimmy, and is feeling bad for the youngster as well as is making him think of his own son Tom. James is peeking in on them and pulls his gun out and takes aim as he is going to clearly kill the youngster as well as his boss to get away with the crime, but he is stopped by Tom who has arrived just in time, but James is able to smash Tom with a chair and then escape. James meets up with Bull Harris and his men and alerts them they are all heading north and that they need to steal all of Duke’s cattle as they leave.

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The Sheriff and his lawman give up the chase on Tom, as James leads his men into the pasture to start stealing the herd and lucky for Duke the Sheriff takes notice of them doing so and head back to get Duke and his men to stop the steal. Meanwhile at the Box Ranch Jimmy is awake and tells Duke that it was James who stole the cash and with that Duke has a change of heart about the Carlysle Family as well as his son as they patch things up. The Sheriff arrives and Duke goes to get his men as Tom heads to the Carlysle house as its in the path of the cattle rustlers and he has to make sure Grace is alright and unharmed. While at the Carlysle house Bull and one other man arrive and Bull enters the home and roughs up Tony as well as George, but Tony tries to fight back against Bull and by accident Bull even knocks out his own man! As Tom arrives Bull tries to shoot him, but Tony is able to yank the rug from under Bull’s feet and causes his aim to be off. Tom and Bull exchanged punches as the Tom finally knocks out Bull and Grace, George and Tony tie the knocked out bandits up Tom heads out to meet up with his dad to stop the rest.

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James has his men take down the newly built barbwire fence so they can sneak the cattle out and across the Carlysle land, but James sees the posse lead by Duke is coming and they try and get away, but the posse does not stop the chase even with the cattle safe. Both sides have a shoot out in a wooded area, and The Sheriff is hit by a bullet and is injured badly. James’s men are loosing the gunfight and he gets on a horse and tries to run away, but Tom sees him and gets his horse and gives chase. Tom and James meet near a cliff and have a fight still while on horseback, and James ends up falling over the cliff to his death. Later at the Box Ranch Jimmy is still injured in bed and is visited by Tom, Duke, Grace, George, The Sheriff and Tony and they declare this is the end of the Range War. In the end its shown that Tom and Grace are getting married and that Duke has truly grown to love the Carlysle family like they are his own.

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Review: War Of The Range is a good very cheaply and poorly shot western that uses an epic sounding title that promises big gun fights between feuding ranches but delivers a way slower paced story that is about a father and sons differences on how to protect their ranch and how to treat strangers. I really enjoyed the film over all and feel that while it was not very action packed the story was a familiar tale of bad guys never win and you are never to old to change. Tom Tyler does a great job in the role of Tom Bradley who is a good hearted man who just wants to be fair and do the right thing for all, its crazy to think this smiling cowboy would be wrapped up and play the Mummy for Universal seven years later. I was also a little puzzled by some of the camera angles used in the film as at times they are wide shots that just look awkward and lack the impact that they intended. It’s also very clear that the film had a very low budget as much of the film is shot outside and many sets that are used are clearly on sound stages. The worst part of this film has to be Tony the Box Ranch hand and close friend of Tom’s who was played by Billy Franey as this old man character is just so bad and brings comedy elements to the film that fall flat and most of his dialogue is just him saying “Not So Good” and that’s how I would sum up him in the film. But while that character was bad I did find Jim Warren to be a great cheesy classic western bad guy who smirked and hammed up the screen whenever he was on and Ted Adam was a perfect casting for that role. Caryl Lincoln who was the actress that played Grace Carlysle was also a prefect casting as she is super cute and plays the sweet girl next door who is also strong willed. I also love the over sold fist fights in this film that at times are so over done that it looks like when two friends are fake fighting in a combat sports event for the camera. Over all I have to say this is a good 30’s western film that is nothing special but does a good job of delivering an entertaining simple watch that has some fist fights, gun fights and has some really bad cowboy slapstick jokes. I should also note that the Alpha Video print is not great and has many flaws to it, but I loved it as the flaws brought back many memories of watching these type of western films at my Grandparents house growing up. Also the cover has Tom Bradley with a rifle and that never happens at all in this film.

Now lets talk about The Creamy Italian Sausage Chili and my thoughts on it! Making of the chili was easy and took Juliet 15 minutes of prep time and around 45 minutes of cook time! And first impression of the Creamy Italian Sausage Chili once cooked was that it looked really tasty and it smelled really good. And when adding some cheese and a little sour cream it looked even more tasty! When sitting down to watch the movie and I took the first bite of the chili it was a good creamy taste and the sausage really popped with the cream cheese flavor. And after eating a few more spoonful’s the flavor really kicked in and I found that I really liked the chili! It was not overly spicy nor hot and almost to be honest would have been a great dip for tortilla chips or even corn chips. In fact when we make this chili again as yes I would make another batch I might try it with corn chips. And the weather outside the day we ate this chili was slightly chilly and this chili was a great way to warm up and was a great meal to watch a western to.

Movie:   **1/2

Chili:   ***1/2

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Well I hope you enjoyed this first ever “Wild West Round Up” update as it was really fun as well as tasty to do for me as not only did I get to watch a classic western film, but I also got to eat a bowl of chili that was a great meal. While War On The Range was not an amazing film I also really did enjoy it as well and to be honest while I was really hard on the Tony character in the review, he did serve a purpose in the film and his friendship with Tom was well done as the two were loyal to watching out for one another. And to be honest I am looking forward to doing another of these updates that I will say should happen sometime in 2023! So lets put out the old campfire and cover up the chili pot as the sun is setting here at Rotten Ink Ranch and it’s time for us to turn in for the night, but before we do I would like to tell you that the next update will be a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and will be about 2001 film The Mummy Returns! So until next time read a western comic or three, watch a western film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a horror filled adventure.

Mummy Returns Preview Logo

The Marvel Adventures Of Doc Savage!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Doc Savage really is one of those classic characters that to me belongs in the same standing with Tarzan, Zorro, Dick Tracy and James Bond to name a few and I for one am glad that he is finally getting the Rotten Ink treatment. I want to think Ebay and Etsy sellers for having these comics in stock and making this update possible. I want to remind you that I as well grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready, let’s travel to the Marvel Universe and see what Doc Savage is up to, and I also need to say that I am looking forward to reading many of these issues again, and some for the very first time so also let’s see if they hold up!

Doc Savage Marvel 1

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

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

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

Doc Savage Marvel 2

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

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

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

Doc Savage Marvel 3

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

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

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

Doc Savage Marvel 4

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

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

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

Doc Savage Marvel 5

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

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

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

Doc Savage Marvel 6

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

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

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

Doc Savage Marvel 7

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

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

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

Doc Savage Marvel 8

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

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

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

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

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

Giant Size Spider-Man 3 Comic

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

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

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

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

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

Marvel Two In One 21

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

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

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

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

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

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Marvel Horror Showcase – N’Kantu The Living Mummy

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

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

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

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

I have always liked The Living Mummy and I first discovered him thanks to the gone but never forgotten Bookie Parlor that was in Kettering, Ohio when I shopped there.  Hal, the owner, had all the issues of Supernatural Thrillers in stock and I would grab them all over time. I can remember reading them in my room late at night as well as have great memories of reading them while hiding in a club house that I had in my room, yeah I had a club house in my room when I was younger living in Waynesville. But let’s get to the review part of this Marvel Horror update, and I would like to think my friend Geoff Burkman for getting me better copies of this comic series many years back and I would like to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So let’s get ready to take a Supernatural Marvel Horror journey with The Living Mummy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 d