Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Killraven: 'Amazing Adventures' No. 36
(May 1976)

The May, 1976 issue of 'Amazing Adventures: Featuring War of the Worlds' (No. 36) is the beginning of the end of the 'War of the Worlds' incarnation of the title. There were only three more installments (i.e., up to issue 39) remaining. The Letters column in this issue indicates that WotW has been on the verge of cancellation for some time, so the writing is on the wall. 

Unfortunately, 'Red Dust Legacy', the story for this issue, must not have done all that much to attract new readers; it's easily one of the more incoherent episodes in the Killraven franchise. 

Don McGregor's plot opens with one of Killraven's ESP hallucinations (which I have excerpted below), before shifting to a veiled introduction of our hero's brother 'Deathraven', followed by  confusing segments involving inter-generational Martian angst; a Martian 'hatchery'; and conflict between Killraven and his follower Carmilla Frost.

As always, the art - layouts by Craig Russell and art by Sonny Trinidad - is very good, but in this issue in particular it's overwhelmed with McGregor's overwrought script. 

In order to accommodate McGregor's plot machinations within the confines of just 17 comic pages, the artists are forced to use too many small panels too crowded with narrative text and speech balloons. It has an overall effect of making the book a chore to read and understand. 

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