Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Killraven: 'Amazing Adventures' No. 22 (January 1974)

‘Amazing Adventures’ No. 22 (January 1974) features Killraven in ‘Washington Nightmare’, scripted by Don McGregor and illustrated by Herb Trimpe.

The story opens with some great action sequences (excerpted below) as a monster rises from the depths of the Potomac and attacks the tugboat bearing Killraven’s party to the ruins of DC. Trimpe provides a fine double-page spread, calling to mind the memorable Silver Age spreads of Jack Kirby:

The fight with the river creature is a fierce one, observed from the shore by a freelance raider named Sabre.


The issue ends with yet another cliffhanger, as Killraven gets the worst of his encounter with Abraxas, the human squid of the cover  (and  a name undoubtedly inspired by the Santana album of the same name).

The Killraven story in this issue of Amazing Adventures was only 15 pages in length, a telling indication that, by the late fall of 1973, Marvel’s production problems had become critical. The remaining four comic pages of the book are filled out with a story titled "The Man Who Went Too Far!" which, according to the Marvel Wiki entry for this issue, originally appeared in Journey into Unknown Worlds #56 (April 1959).

In Stan Lee’s Soapbox, the Man Himself admits – in his usual corny blather – that things are not well with the company, and a number of ‘secondary character’ titles are being discontinued – ostensibly to give cash-strapped Marvel readers a chance to purchase comics that stress ‘quality over quantity’.

Of course, Lee – ever quick to take credit for characters and stories authored by other Marvel staffers – declines to say who, exactly, was responsible for the state of affairs in which multiple books (including ‘Fantastic Four’ ) were having to include filler material from the company vaults due to over-extended artists and writers.

One of the strangest things about looking through these old comics are the advertisements. I’ve included one for the ‘Record Club of America’.

Far out…!

Among the groovy LPs, 8-track cartridges and casette tapes for offer are those by Hurricane Smith, a middle-aged English crooner with a sandpaper voice who had a big hit with ‘Oh Babe, What Would You Say ?’

And there’s also an LP from the Toronto band ‘Edward Bear’, who had a top 40 hit in ’72 – ‘73 with ‘Last Song (I’ll Ever Write for You)'.

And let’s not overlook the soundtrack to the film ‘Godspell’, a single from which, ‘Day by Day’, was in Heavy Rotation on many AM and FM stations throughout ’73 and ’74 !

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