AMAZING ADVENTURES #19-24 - 2018 Turned Out a BIT Different...

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Chuck Gower

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AMAZING ADVENTURES #19-24 - 2018 Turned Out a BIT Different...

 

In the second part of the story (#19), we get 13 pages of action right off the bat and the colors look more centered and less glaring, and it certainly makes the reading experience better. Next time I see Roy Thomas, I'm going to bring both these issues and ask him about the differences in how this process shows up.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #19 cover-dated July 1973, on newsstands April 17, 1973, with cover art by Herb Trimpe with inks by Mike Esposito)

 

Killraven isn't lured by the Sirens of 7th Avenue (he has some mental block or something) and they disappear as quickly as they show up, and as he fights off a bunch of 'mutants', two allies appear: Hawk and M'Shulla. They defeat the Mutants and then are immediately attacked by a giant War of the World's Tripod and then a giant Aligator monster who they trick into tripping up the monster. THEN, they board a slave ship, take it over to free the slaves, and get attacked by another tripod.

We then meet the Martian boss, utilizing human scientists. One of them warns him about the 'rebels' (Hey, this 4 years before Star Wars) and of course he wants them found.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #19 cover-dated July 1973, on newsstands April 17, 1973, with art by Howard Chaykin)

 

Killraven then gets caught by Scarlet, Queen of the Sirens and she puts him in some kind of Sci-Fi Bondage Machine and... I think Chaykin's intentions with the angle he drew this are bit suspect...

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #19 cover-dated July 1973, on newsstands April 17, 1973, with art by Howard Chaykin)

 

Anyway, he battles some monster, frees his friends and escapes, declaring that man will put an end to this 'War of the Worlds'.

So ok, I probably thought, I like this Chaykin guy on his own. I'm used to it, here's the next issue and... wait... this is the Hulk artist! Yep, Howlin' Herb Trimpe would take over the art chores for at least the rest of the issues I review (he also did the cover last issue).

Got no problem with Herb Trimpe. I LIKE Herb Trimpe. And he quickly turns it into a Marvel comic in all of it's easy to follow, easy to color, easy to read ways. Chaykin would, of course, go on to do some amazing work (he's another artist I prefer in Black and White), most notably with American Flagg, though I love his style on Black Kiss.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #20 cover-dated September 1973, on newsstands June 19, 1973, with cover art by Herb Trimpe)

 

So Killraven and M'Shulla battle some mutants and get more weapons in a run-down museum and Killraven thankfully changes his uniform. And suddenly I have an epiphany. THIS, was the first issue of the series I ever read as a kid. I didn't get a copy of #18 until a little bit later.

It's this panel that jogs my memory. I don't remember a character ever changing his uniform or appearance before, and I thought it interesting. Man, memory is a weird thing...

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #20 cover-dated September 1973, on newsstands June 19, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

We meet a new protagonist, someone Rob Liefeld might be inspired by, named the Warlord. It seems Mr. Warlord had his arm ripped off in battle by Killraven (apparently it's partially shown in #18, but I'm too lazy to go look), and now, as one of the blobby Martian leaders top lieutenants, he confronts Killraven and whoops his butt.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #20 cover-dated September 1973, on newsstands June 19, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

Of note is that one of Killraven's allies is M'Shulla. And I'll point out that M'Shulla is black for two reasons: one is that in this battle (below), the human traitor refers to him as 'black' and two, and most importantly, M'Shulla takes part in an event a few issues down the road that would be way ahead of it's time for a mainstream Marvel comic. Or ANY mainstream Comic Book.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #20 cover-dated September 1973, on newsstands June 19, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

With #21 we get a Herb Trimpe cover, and yet another writer in Don McGregor. Roy Thomas came up with the idea (Neal Adams was actually a co-creator), Gerry Conway wrote the first two issues, Marv Wolfman the third issue and now McGregor on the forth. But McGregor gives us the best issue yet, and he would take over the series, and, from what I've been told, turn it into a classic.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #21 cover-dated November 1973, on newsstands August 14, 1973, with cover art by Herb Trimpe)

 

If the future features the Martians' Foremost Molecular Biologists dressed like that, maybe we might want to rethink things. This is Carmilla Frost we're introduced to here, as she watches Killraven be prepared for microsurgery with Warlord.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #21 cover-dated November 1973, on newsstands August 14, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

Luckily for us, she frees Killraven's gang of friends... In fact, Carmilla seems pleased to see M'Shulla, 'the One with the Quick Tongue'! That's some good foreshadowing, as they would share comics' FIRST interracial kiss in issue #31. (SEE, I do my research!)

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #21 cover-dated November 1973, on newsstands August 14, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

They storm the lab and a fight breaks out. When Warlord becomes distracted by it, Carmilla frees Killraven. And she's a cool character who can dish it out as much as she takes it! She's taking no from Killraven!

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #21 cover-dated November 1973, on newsstands August 14, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

 

They escape and cut through a demolished Yankee Stadium, where they battle some cool mutated monsters and Killraven uses the acid pus from one of them to disintegrate Warlords OTHER arm! Ouch!

We also get the first letters column about the new series and they seem to be mostly positive.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #21 cover-dated November 1973, on newsstands August 14, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

 

In #22, we get another cool Herb Trimpe cover... Herb's covers really showed off the bizarre world that Killraven was battling in and here, he features Abraxas who'd play a big role in the story.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #22 cover-dated January 1974, on newsstands October 9th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

The group makes their way toward Washington DC, where Carmilla has told them the Martians have made their headquarters. Their ship is overturned by a giant monster... I always wanted to do this: put the two pages together to see the whole picture. Unfortunately, the art is cut in the middle!

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #22 cover-dated January 1974, on newsstands October 9th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

 

As they get to shore they're attacked by a group of mercenaries, led by a swashbuckling looking character named Sabre. They're able to run them off and survive the water monster and they get a chance to regroup and camp for the night.

As M'Shulla and Carmilla share a quiet moment in the moonlight talking, they're attacked by a sexy green woman with a gun (this is a few years before Gamora), with the unfortunate name of Mint Julep. Even Killraven says, "You GOTTA be kidding." I'm digging all of these cool characters they keep adding to the story!

 

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #22 cover-dated January 1974, on newsstands October 9th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

 

Anyway, they decide to team up and go at the White House, but on the way, they go through the Lincoln Memorial where ironically a slave auction is going on. Another cool character (from the cover), Abraxas, with long tentacle things for arms is serving up his wares for a bunch of the ugly aliens to choose from to buy.

Sabre is there too and in the midst of his battle with Killraven (he leads them headlong into battle without any thought to strategy), Abraxas picks up our hero and throws him to the aliens!

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #22 cover-dated January 1974, on newsstands October 9th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

In #23 we get Mint Julep making her first cover appearance, as her and Killraven battle off big mutant rats, courtesy of another bad guy: Rattack! Drawn by, well I was going to say, it looks like a cross between Herb Trimpe inking John Romita or vice versa (I'd vote on the former), and GCD says it's something along those lines.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #23 cover-dated March 1974, on newsstands December 4th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

I'm digging this series. I'm a little bummed out I never got to talk to Herb Trimpe about it. I had a few nice discussions with him and his wife (at shows) before he passed away and, it would've been cool to get his thoughts on this series.

Killraven cuts off one of Abraxas' arm as he falls to the Martians, and is picked up by one of the Tripods, who carries him off. The others battle off the martian guards and Sabre's other men and then make off to go after Killraven. Sabre leaves us with a bit of foreshadowing:

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #23 cover-dated March 1974, on newsstands December 4th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

Killraven is brought before the HIGH OVERLORD, which I take as his title, not his condition and he sentences Killraven to be staked in the catacombs for Rattack. Rattack it turns out is a mutated former Government Agent who has lived underground with the big mutated rats.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #23 cover-dated March 1974, on newsstands December 4th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

They don't get there in time, so Killraven has to save himself from the Big Rats, and McGregor makes good use of showing us some minor character interaction, as they all bicker amongst each other trying to get to Killraven. They show up, just as he's cleared the room (the rat pack retreats) and makes his announcement to the High Overlord who is watching on camera: The people of Earth are going to finish this fight!

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #23 cover-dated March 1974, on newsstands December 4th, 1973, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

 

For the final issue I have, #24 (I bought these at a mall shop - set of six issues for $10), the band of rebels once again regroups, deciding to celebrate New Year's Eve (a return to human traditions). They find the Watergate tapes (!) and use the reels for streamers. They don't SAY they're the Watergate tapes in this issue, they instead mentioned it at the end of last issue.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #24 cover-dated May 1974, on newsstands February 12th, 1974, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

They also make some parallels to Killraven, acting as an emancipator for the human race with President Lincoln. The slave auction took place at Lincoln's memorial and the finale here takes place there as well. Not sure how that'd all be seen today, but probably not favorably.

Since... ya know... he's white.

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #24 cover-dated May 1974, on newsstands February 12th, 1974, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

 

In fact, the politics in all of this is interesting. Today it would be called names, "Snowflake! Liberal!" or whatever. I grew up in an era when we saw ALL politicians as suspect. They were ALL fair game. I liked that world better. And this series reminds me of that.

I think I may need to read this whole storyline!

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(AMAZING ADVENTURES #24 cover-dated May 1974, on newsstands February 12th, 1974, with art by Herb Trimpe)

 

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