Monday, February 8, 2010

Killraven: 'Amazing Adventures' No. 25 (July 1974)

‘Amazing Adventures’ 25 (July, 1974) features Killraven in ‘The Devil’s Marauder’, with script by Don McGregor and art by Rich Buckler, who was replacing Herb Trimpe.

Things start somewhat promisingly, as we are treated to the sight of an escaping slave being executed in rather gruesome fashion by a tripod driven by a villainous individual named Skar. Killraven launches himself at the tripod canopy and a major battle with Skar looms….or so it seems (panels below).

This issue of ‘Amazing Adventures’ is one of the least impressive ones in the Killraven series. It shows too many signs of hasty artwork on Buckler’s part, with poor color separations to boot. As far as the storyline goes, it initially sets up what looks like an exciting confrontation with a genuinely nasty adversary, but instead lapses into a rushed, underwhelming ending, as if McGregor had abruptly discovered that he had only 15 pages this issue, not the historic 20, to work with.

The other material in the book includes a three-page reprint of an old Marvel horror comic reprint, ‘Are You Ready for the Impossible’; a letters page; and several Bullpen pages, on one of which Stan Lee shills for the Marvel ‘Value Stamp’ booklet (50 cents).

All through the last half of 1973 it was clear that Marvel was running into production problems as Lee lavished attention on an ever-increasing line of b & w magazines designed to assuage his envy of James Warren’s publishing success with ‘Creepy’ and ‘Erie’. This meant that Marvel’s color comic output suffered from a lack of resources. Unfortunately, the early months of 1974 made clear that at Marvel, things were going to get worse before they got better….

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