Marvel Comics: War is Hell! (issues 9-12)

In the 1970s, Marvel was spewing out tons of reprint books. One title that started out as a reprint book but eventually changed to new material, was War is Hell! With issue number nine, we were introduced to John Kowalski and the manifestation of Death itself. Kowalski dies but Death will not let him cross over to the other side. Not until he executes a few deeds in Death’s name! A bizarre series to say the least, but also a very good one. It puts the main character in interesting situations, and is very mature for its time. Definitely seek out the back issues, they are well worth your shekels (even the early issues that are reprints).

Naturally, when people hear the name Chris Claremont (writer), they think of the X-Men, and rightly so. He wrote that book for seventeen years, and took something from the ash heap, and turned it into the juggernaut it is today. The book’s new direction was conceived by Tony Isabella and Roy Thomas though, but ultimately, Claremont put the words on the pages! The artistic duties fell on whomever the Marvel offices could grab, but this was not a curse by any stretch. The covers were done by Gil Kane (pencils #9 – 14, with inks by a combination over the issue of Ernie Chan, Tom Palmer, and Mike Esposito), and Herb Trimpe (#15). Interiors had the talents of Dick Ayers (pencils) and Frank Springer (inks) on #9 and 10, Don Perlin (pencils) and Sal Trapani (inks) on #11 with inks by Dave Hunt on #12, George Evans on #14, and Herb Trimpe on #13 and 15! Not too shabby, eh?



















  1. Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if these stories have ever been reprinted.


    • billyd75 · October 31, 2016

      I’ve only ever seen one issue reprinted from this series in a backpack trade called “Ghost Stories.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Roger Vickers · May 19, 2018

    Great series. I happened upon a copy of 10 in a quarter bin years ago and picked it up just because I think it was some sort of sale and I needed one more book to hit the sale conditions. Absolutely fell in love with it. I agree with billyd. Ghost Stories reprinted 9 but that’s the extent of finding any of these stories outside the originals.


    • billyd75 · May 19, 2018

      This series was good during the reprint time, but really came into its own once the new material started and we were introduced to John Kowalski.

      Liked by 1 person

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