Monday, 28 May 2018

Wulf The Barbarian



Now, see, I liked Wulf The Barbarian, and don't feel it's fair to lump him in with his labelmate, the dreadful Ironjaw.
Unlike ol' Metal Mouth, but like The Destructor and The Grim Ghost, I always thought that Atlas' other barbarian hero could've been a contender. He's not a complete Conan rip-off, like DC's Claw The Unconquered, and there were glimmers of originality here, considering this is a Sword & Sorcery title we're talking about.
I liked the fact that it took place on ' A planet the size of which is beyond mortal comprehension ', I like the brief looks at the rest of the world Wulf travels through, I like his mentor Stavro Dar Kovin and the fact that Wulf spends his origin issue as a street pauper, and I love Larry Hama and Klaus Janson's artwork.
Again, unlike Claw, Hama doesn't just look to Robert E. Howard for inspiration, but there's elements of Tolkein and, in the second issue, even Fritz Leiber if you squint.
Maybe I protest too much, but I genuinely think this guy had a chance. Mind you, it is slightly ludicrous that when he finally puts on the outfit he wears on the cover, he instantly develops Conan-esque muscles he hasn't had throughout the rest of the story...




















Saturday, 26 May 2018

Neal Adams' A View From Without



A View From Without was first published in a semi-underground called Phase in 1971, published by Hot Stuf's Sal Quartuccio, then picked up by Roy Thomas for the first issue of Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction.
It's Bronze Age Neal Adams at the peak of his powers, and as statement on the Vietnam war ( then still ongoing ), it's incredibly visceral and maybe a little bit shrill, depending on your taste.
It was too much for some people, as seen by UWOSF's letters page:


But looked at purely as technique, it's pretty mind blowing ( which was, of course, the point ). And Neal as the alien looks like he's stepped out of La Jetee.










Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Tiffany Sinn, CIA Sweetheart



Though blessed with a name that sounds like she should be performing in adult movies, Tiffany Sin was actually Charlton's premier undercover agent ( or ' CIA sweetheart ', a phrase you could only really use in the late sixties ).
She appeared in three issues of Career Girl Romances, even nabbing a third of the cover there, and one back-up in Dick Giordano's Sarge Steel. And the reason we care?
Well, for her last appearance, she was drawn by Jim Aparo.
Here's Tiff in Espionage: Muscle Beach Style!











Monday, 21 May 2018

Superboy: Reform School Rebel



I never knew Smallville was in Texas, did you? Well, apparently it is, as Superboy does a Cool Hand Luke, when a good kid gone bad escapes a young offender's institution on the town's outskirts, and hides out in the swamp we were all previously unaware of.
This is great fun, this piece, although sadly there's no overweight, corrupt sheriff in mirrored sunglasses to say to young Kal-El: You ain't from around here, are ya boy?
He also sort of does, but really doesn't, become a Reform School Rebel, which is a bit of a cheat, as seeing young Supes as a leather jacketed Juvenile Delinquent would've been cool.
Krypto's here though, having a ball coming out with lines like: Yip! Yap! Yup! which, we're told, means: I'll have the eye of a night-owl and the hearing of a bat. Who knew?
He also finishes this tale with an arse-clenchingly bad pun, that causes him no end of hilarity. The best comedians never laugh at their own jokes, Krypto. Didn't Bat-Hound ever teach you that?