Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So, I just finished reading KILLRAVEN, all the KILLRAVENS from the 70's. 
And I enjoyed myself, but still don't kind of get it.
I think the basic concept of it is this: if H. G. Wells decided to write a sequel to his WAR OF THE WORLDS, he'd probably put CONAN in it, and have Conan go on these KAMANDI like adventures, all the time having Conan speak as if he were SPARTACUS. 
I think that's the basic premise to KILLRAVEN.
Personally, I think a real opportunity was lost here, that Marvel dropped the ball on an interesting concept---What if Earth were conquered by another planet, and how would mankind have survived and thrived after that? Killraven talks a lot about "freemen" and "freedom", but more often he kills rat-people, and fights lots of things with tentacles.
But I'm glad I read it.
It was one of those Marvel Comics from the 70's that always creeped me out a bit. It seemed a little TOO adult (actually, it's pretty darned juvenile). 
But the art's real pretty, through most of it. I've always liked Craig Russell's artwork, and it's fun to see him grow in the book's pages, from someone trying to draw like Steranko to an artist with pretty much his own style. 
What'll I read next? 
I don't know.
I want to read all of the OMEGA THE UNKNOWNS, but honestly can't get behind Jim Mooney's artwork. It's, I'm sorry, it's just too dull to me. 
Likely I'll take on THE ESSENTIAL POWERMAN next. Sweet Christmas! 
Does anyone have any other recommendations for good, weird 70's Marvel, other than that?
I'm all ears, dudes.


Anonymous said...

Omega's good stuff. You should read it. I've been working my way through the Essential Marvel monster stuff & have enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Raymond Neal (who wonders why his OpenID never works)

wolfboy said...

I actually dug Alan Davis' take on Killraven a few years back--although, that being said, sort of creeped me out as well. Could've been their scantily clad outfits. I think they were all "swingers" as well as freedom fighters! hahaha

As for other '70s stuff...I love the Essential Doctor Strange stuff--I know, I know, you like Ditko best, but I appreciated how "dark" Marvel tried to get with their horror comics (which Strange flirted with).

That being said, Luke Cage is THE man (besides "the" man, that is)--but also treat yourself to some CHESTER HIMES pulp, like "A Rage in Harlem"--whose writings were inspiration for Archie Goodwin's stories. At least that's what 80's Power Man and Iron Fist artist Denys Cowen told me. Only angrier.

Anonymous said...

I have fond memories of Luke Cage and also of the run of Ant-Man where he's stuck at ant size. Was that Dan Adkins? Damn my comics being in storage. Now I'm going to have to go through all this stuff when I finish my Bob Haney binge.


Rui Sousa said...

Love your work, really fantastic!

I invite you to visit


DavidK said...

I enjoyed the Marvel monster books also - Man-thing is an interesting read, although a good chunk of it is also Mooney art. There's a Howard the Duck Essentials also.

To answer the third post - at least the second half of the Ant-man series (#7-10 in Marvel Feature) was Craig Russell work, with a short bit from Jim Starlin on #8 doing a lead-in to a reprint. I think it was Russell's first full issue work for Marvel, actually. I've been collecting pages from those issues, as they're one of my favorites from that era.

David Kirkpatrick

das chupa said...

I just got done with Omega the Unknown, which was a remarkable series for its time. I also loved The Sandman from the 70's with Jack Kirby and Wally Wood.

flaviano said...

i just saw "Vote for an Archie Bronson Spinoff!"
fantastic work! very old style laughs!

Matt said...

Did Killraven raid an S&M store after the 'pocalypse? LOOK at that outfit...

WIL said...

A bit off-topic but:

Sorry I missed your comment back on April 17th:

"That was nice of John.

I think he paid me to scream at me.

Lucky you, I had to pay HIM for that kind of "discipline".

ryan said...

I miss monday's strip =(

Liz said...

I had issue 1 as a kid. I remember it was scary. I don't remember much else about it. I'll have to check it out.

Chris Duffy said...

I LOVED Killraven in high school (bought it one issue at a time from back issue bins at Million Year Picnic in Cambridge). I think you're dead on about it not living up to its premise and yet being somehow hard to stop reading. I still can't figure out what happened when what's his name got crushed by a rock though. Was someone in the group betraying them?

My 70s recommendation: The Living Mummy, Gerber's Man Thing, and if you haven't read it, Starlin's Warolocks (followed by the Avengers and Marvel Two-In-One Annuals that ended the storyline).

I've never read the Celestial Madonna issues of the Avengers. Those are supposed to be good! And very 70s.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Mr De! You're just a year older than me. So no fair cutting in line.

Doug said...

Essential Power Man #1 is a fun read, I only just read it a couple months back. (only gripes: way too little Romita art, and the exclusion of Spider-Man #123)

For '70s Marvel my first recommendations are always Howard the Duck and Tomb of Dracula, if you haven't read those. Also The Defenders. Man-Thing. If the Essential Marvel Horror volumes get around to the solo Morbius stories from Fear, and the solo Man-Wolf stories from Creatures on the Loose, I'd probably recommend them. And Godzilla (lots of monsters & super heroes, all drawn by Herb Trimpe).

I think I may pick up the "horror" volume with Brother Voodoo and the Living Mummy myself, next.

Mark said...

Man I thought Killraven was Shakespear in 10th grade! i just met Englehart at a Inauguration celebration and it made me want to go back and read Captain America when he became Nomad with Sal and Frank Robbins art. But I'm a liottle scared to ruin my childhood if you know what I mean


Anonymous said...

Great! Now howbout a post for THIS year?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maurizio Ercole said...

Hi from Italy, congratulations about style, gag panels and commissions! great blog!

Don Coker said...

Very cool stuff, Stephen. Keep up the great work!


Xoynx said...

I second the votes for Howard and for Tomb of Dracula. Werewolf by Night also was pretty trippy.