Monday, January 17, 2011

Killraven: 'Amazing Adventures' No. 34
(January 1976)

Throughout the 70s (and even, arguably, today) Marvel routinely used the 'death' of a main or supporting character to jazz up the covers of titles that needed a boost in their circulation. And so it was that for 'Amazing Adventures' No. 34 (January 1976) some of the supporting cast of Killraven's 'Freemen' were deemed expendable.

This issue features a script by Don McGregor and art by Craig Russell. Unfortunately, as was the case with many issues of the comic around this time, Russell's artwork is smothered by McGregor's overwrought prose. But enough of the art peeks through the verbiage to make this 18-page issue one of the better ones of the mid-70s. 

The Martian's top assassin, Skar, catches Killraven and his crew unawares and quickly deals some major injuries to Old Skull before our hero can react. As the series of pages I've posted below indicates, the ensuing battle is well-choreographed and has the kind of flair reminiscent of European SF comics of the 70s. 

While I won't spoil things by revealing who eventually survives, I will say that the body count is real and there is a downbeat ending to this episode that (hopefully) revived the Killraven franchise in the minds of the comic-buying public as 1975 drew to a close....

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