Amazing Adventures 18, 1973 “War of the Worlds!”

You may be wondering why there are back to back days of posts on my blog this week. Well, in short, it’s an anniversary for me (and a few others), and I wanted to send out an extra awesome blog post in celebration. You see, it was ten years ago (Sept. 11, 2009), that my very first column was published (click here). It wasn’t the best, but it was from the heart, as that story is my all time favorite Thor story, and one of my favorites no matter which character or universe we’re talking about. If anyone would’ve told me I’d still be writing about comics ten years later, I’m not sure I would believe it.

Many thanks go out to ComicAttack for giving me my start on this journey. As with everything in life, there are people to thank, and here is my list (if I forget anyone, apologies!)- Andy Liegl, the guy that started ComicAttack.net! I met him and several other great people on the message boards of ComicCollectorlive.com. Gid Freeman (@InfiniteSpeech), was a heavy contributor to the site from day one, and has been one of my favorite people since I met him. Kristin Bomba was a great editor, and put up with my shenanigans for a long time. Imagine if you will, a guy that waits until the night before or even the morning of a column is due to post to submit said article to the editor for proofreading…yeah, I was that guy. She was always very kind and gracious to me, and I’ll never forget it. Another huge influence and help to me was Decapitated Dan Royer (@DecapitatedDan). He was always there for advice, making banners, and encouraging me whenever I needed it. He was also the first guy to get me on a podcast (IIRC). Kudos to those four people, and all the other peeps at CA!

My next stop on the internet was ComicRelated.com (now defunct). My stay there was short, but Chuck Moore and the gang made me feel welcome. Another nod to Decapitated Dan, as he was already writing for them and friends with Chuck. He introduced us at C2E2 in 2013. Later that year, after talking with a couple of friends, I decided to branch out and start my own blog. In all honesty it was the best decision I ever made, as the blog has given me so much freedom and fun times, meeting new people, and getting even more into social media (especially Twitter). And here we are, in 2019. I must also give a shout out to @Charlton_hero and the crew at Super Blog Team Up, as they were a blast to collaborate with this past August. Now, onto this week’s post!

It took a while, but I finally secured a copy of this incredible book! The story-line involving Killraven begins here, (and really gets rolling when Don McGregor begins writing with issue 21) and is not only one of wonder and excitement, but also one that carries many messages within its pages. A concept by Roy Thomas, this story which takes some elements from the H.G. Wells story, and of course, added some other aspects as well.

We see the attack from the aliens, similar to the one in the film (this attack is in 1901), but the aliens return after there first defeat, and they are better prepared this time. The second invasion brings the defeat of mankind, and youths are taken from their homes to be trained for fighting for entertainment purposes. One of these youths is Killraven. He trains and becomes the most lethal killer of all, but never forgets how his mother and brother were callously murdered by a henchman of the aliens, named Dr. Raker.

The talent that went into this book is astonishing. Roy Thomas (plot), Gerry Conway (script), Neal Adams and Howard Chaykin (art), Petra Goldberg (colors), John Costanza (letters), and John Romita Sr. (cover)! As I stated earlier, this book would grow even bigger and better as it went on (McGregor, P. Craig Russell, Gene Colan, etc) with more contributors with excellent creative abilities. Do yourself a favor and grab the issues or the Marvel Masterworks of this title.

 

Amazing Adventures #35, 1976 “The 24-Hour Man”

You know, there are certain creators, for one reason or another, that simply made the Bronze Age of comics what it was, and will always be. What is/was it? A fantastical time where the stories were more than just entertainment for a certain demographic. They were meaningful, articulate, a sign of the times, picturesque, thrilling, frightening, and so on. Well, that’s how I feel anyway. There were titles and concepts that brought out the best in the medium and it the creators certainly should get the lion-share of the credit.

In this installment, we’ll be taking a look at one certain title, and it’s two main collaborators. Amazing Adventures started off as a book like most of the time period did initially. A superhero book full of solid, established talent (Jack Kirby, John Buscema, etc.) and proven characters (The Avengers, Ka-Zar, etc.). Soon after the early issues though, people like Neal Adams and Roy Thomas came along, and the title took a slight turn towards the vibe that would define the decade/age. In issue #18, we saw the first appearance of a character called “Killraven,” and the title would change forever.

A few different creators wrote the series for a couple of issues, but when Don McGregor came aboard (issue#21), along with artists like Herb Trimpe, Rich Buckler, and even Gene Colan, the title started gaining series momentum. It apexes with the arrival of an artist named P. Craig Russell, in issue #27 (along with an incredible cover by Jim Starlin). This team was perfect for this new concept (War of the Worlds), grabbing some ideas from the H.G. Wells book, and creating new material and scenarios. These two men were nothing short of revolutionaries in the industry, and are right at the top for listing creators of that age! In this specific issue, Russell gives us a dynamite cover, and is assisted by Keith Giffen & Jack Abel (finished art/inks) with the artwork on the interiors. Irv Watanabe letters, Janice Cohen is the colorist, and ‘Marvelous Marv’ Wolfman, the editor!

 

 

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Amazing Adventures #27, 1974 “The Death Breeders”

What better way to get back on track, then with a book based off of the works of H. G. Wells! In the 1970’s, Marvel adapted some stories from “War of the Worlds” in their Amazing Adventures title. They were nothing short of spectacular, and with the creators that were behind this wonderful run, it’s no wonder why they were so awesome. In this epic sci-fi story, we get Killraven, as his ship is attacked by a monstrosity from under the surface. He and his warrior friends must survive that, then free a captive woman who holds some answers they need!

Everything awesome about this issue starts with the cover. Let’s be honest, when you can get Jim Starlin to do a cover for a sci-fi story, you’re already guaranteed some buyers, even if the story and art on the inside are sub-par. But wait, they aren’t! Writer, Don McGregor, brings us this fantastic tale, and not to be outdone, is artist extraordinaire, P. Craig Russell! Jack Able on inks, Petra Goldberg on colors, and John Costanza lettering rounds out the creative team! Throw in Roy Thomas as editor, and you get a book that brings you everything you ever loved about the 1970’s!

 

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