Saturday, April 10, 2010

Killraven: 'Amazing Adventures' No. 27 (November 1974)

The cover for ‘Amazing Adventures’ No. 27 (November 1974) is uncredited but judging by the intricate style of the artwork and the ‘cosmic’ background, it’s probably Jim Starlin (and maybe the illustration was originally designed for an issue of ‘Captain Marvel’ or ‘Warlock’ ?).

‘The Death Breeders’ is scripted by Don McGregor, and Craig Russell provides the artwork.

The book opens with Killraven and company iceboating on Lake Michigan, where they are attacked by giant lampreys (?!). This is less cheesy than it sounds; as the scan’s I’ve posted below indicate, it’s a harrowing battle that sees poor Grok the mutant nearly exsanguinated...

This issue introduces Volcana Ash, a woman with the attributes of Medusa and the Human Torch. She leads the rebels to Milwaukee, where the Martians have set up a colony of human slaves who are treated most heinously. It’s Killraven’s intent to free the wretched slaves, but the Martians have other plans…

This issue is a welcome change from the rather mediocre efforts of the previous several installments of ‘Amazing Adventures’. Russell’s artwork is dynamic and shows attention to detail, and McGregor’s plot provides as much brutality and bloodshed as a Code-approved book could allow in 1974.

The Marvel Bullpen page trumpets the forthcoming hardbound book ‘Origins of Marvel Comics’, as well as a new magazine called ‘Nostalgia Illustrated’ (?!) which seems to have been yet another a spur-of-the-moment effort by Stan Lee to cash in on the nostalgia craze then gripping the popular culture.

Editor Roy Thomas’s essay refers to the staff’s pastimes in that Summer of '74:

“Steve Englehart and Gil Kane were basking languidly by their swimming pools – and maybe sneaking a fast dip or two between deadlines.”

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