Retro Review: Amazing Adventures #34

This week I’ll be looking at Marvel Comics’ Amazing Adventures, Featuring Killraven, Warrior Of The Worlds # 34.  This issue is scripted by Don McGregor and both pencilled and inked by P. Craig Russell.  Russell is also responsible for the cover, both pencils and inks, as well.  The book is cover dated, January 1976.

The series was based on the novel, War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells, or at least it takes off from there.  The Cliff Notes version being; what if the Martians had taken over the earth, enslaving the human population, using them as breeders and entertainment in gladiator combat, etc.  The hero of this series is the afore mentioned, Killraven and he made is initial appearance in Amazing Adventures # 18, which was plotted by Roy Thomas & Neal Adams, but scripted by Gerry Conway.  The art was provided by Adams, at least pages 1 through 11, and Howard Chaykin, pages 12 through 20.

The series went through a number of writers and artists untill Don McGregor claimed the book as his own with issue # 21, and with the addition of P. Craig Russell on art with issue #27, the book began to really come together.  McGregor began writing an indepth, almost fine literature style, storyline and developed characters the reader really came to care about.  And Russell’s artwork kept getting better and better.

Which brings us to Amazing Adventures # 34, and the story entitled; “A Death In The Family!”  The comic opens with Killraven, M’Shulla & Carmilla Frost enjoying some down time while they racie against each other on three very different mutated animals.  The scene shifts to Old Skull and Hawk watching over an injured Grok (the cloned father of Carmilla, as we are about to learn), with Old Skull providing music with a found horn.

At this point the villain Skar makes an appearance tracking the Freeman in a Martian tripod.  The scene shifts back to Killraven, M’Shulla & Carmilla, as she reveals her story (i.e. origin), as well as, Grok’s creation.  Carmilla’s father was a scientist and his area of expertize was in cloning.  The Martians killed her father then forced her to continue the cloning project.  She does so, and clones her father, but the tissue was bad, and therefore Grok was the result, rather than a fully functional clone of her father.  She named the clone Grok, after the Robert Heinlien story “Stranger In A Strange Land”, which was very apopose!

Skar attacks, Old Skull, Hawk and Grok and the other Freemen rush to their rescue.  After a well drawn and well scripted fight scene, two members of the Freemen lie dead and Killraven destroys Skar in revenge.  The issue ends on these words; “I will cry to the heavens for justice. And they will reply with their own retribution.”

That sounds like a famous quote, but I was not able to find anything via Google, so I must assume that these beautiful words were all Don McGregor’s!  Just further proof of McGregor’s lyrical writing style during this series.  I give this issue four (4) out of five (5) Legion Flight Rings and recommend this short lived science fiction series!

About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.

Speak Your Mind


Website by Bri the Web Guy