Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

KILLRAVEN TWENTY: DEATH’S DARK DREAMER

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

killraven dream domeAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #38 (September 1976)

Title: Death’s Dark Dreamer

Killraven and his Freemen continue their guerilla war against Earth’s alien conquerors of the future.

NOTE: Another fill-in issue by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen. Once again I’m having to adjust the order of a fill-in issue like I did with Sing Out Loudly … Death awhile back. This undated fill-in issue was originally set in Miami but because we have Killraven and his Freemen’s adventures in other parts of Florida ahead of us – including the Killraven graphic novel from the early 1980s – I am instead setting it in Prosperity, SC. I’m setting it in November to place it between October’s The 24-Hour Man and December’s Red Dust Legacy.

Unrevised story: The lone Killraven has “ridden ahead of ” his Freemen in response to some troubling feelings he’s having courtesy of The Power, a pre-Star Wars variation of the Force. Riding his pinkish-red scaled stallion he has come upon a large domed structure at seaside. Continue reading

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KILLRAVEN NINETEEN: THE TWENTY-FOUR HOUR MAN

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

Killraven 24 hour manAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #35 (March 1976)

Title: The 24  Hour Man

Synopsis: The ruins of Atlanta, GA. October, 43 years in the future. Killraven and his Freemen continue their uprising against Earth’s alien conquerors. The rebels are walking through Oakland Cemetery overlooking the city and encounter a beautiful but crazed young woman in tattered garments kneeling beside the emaciated corpse of a green-skinned humanoid clad in gold armor and matching helmet.

24 hour manWe readers watch the Freemen through the eyes of a yet-unknown character named Emmanuel who has been watching them enter his domain from hiding. The crazed, kneeling woman is his mother. Narration tells us that her unhinged whimpering is the same noise she made when bringing Emmanuel into the world.

“But that was a lifetime ago … All seven hours of that lifetime.” (Remember the story’s title.) The insane woman finally notices the presence of Killraven and company. In a panic she says “Who is there? Not G’Rath! G’Rath must stay away!”

The woman looks over our heroes then says “Do I know you? Have you come to … to save me? Don’t you know it is too late! Too late to save me. You are too late, you see. I have borne G’Rath’s child! Yes, I have.” Lightning flashes overhead and thunder rumbles.

The woman’s frantic rant continues: “My body nurtured it, yes, and sustained it, yes, and gave it life … midnight life, yes. Because it WAS midnight, you know … midnight when G’Rath’s child left my womb! And now it is morning, yes. And the spawn of G’Rath and I will seek its OWN.” So saying the woman runs off through the cemetery and our heroes run after her.      Continue reading

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KILLRAVEN EIGHTEEN: KILLRAVEN MEETS SPIDER-MAN

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

Killraven future shockMARVEL TEAM-UP Vol 1 #45 (May 1976)

Title: Future-Shock

NOTE: Killraven meets the time-traveling Spider-Man in this story. Team-up titles, like Marvel Two-In-One and Marvel Team-Up or DC’s The Brave and the Bold were often considered non-canonical by comic book fans.

              The purpose of such team-up books was largely promotional. A superstar of the respective publishing company – Spider-Man for Marvel Team-Up, the Thing for Marvel Two-In-One and Batman for The Brave and the Bold – would star in an often half-assed story. The high-profile character’s fame would, it was hoped, put more eyes on the less popular figure they were being teamed up with and increase that less popular figure’s sales.

              Another purpose was to retain copyrights on characters in Marvel or DC’s vast, increasingly overpopulated shared universes. A long unused figure not popular enough to carry their own comic book could be used in a one-shot team-up story, thus satisfying copyright law without the expense of trying to use the superhero in another failed title of their own.

              Given Killraven’s forever-struggling sales there’s little doubt this team-up story was done hoping Spider-Man’s fame would boost those sales.

Killraven cornerSynopsis: August, 43 years in the future. The story is set in the war-torn No Man’s Land on the outskirts of New York City. This of course makes no sense since Killraven and his Freemen were at this point in America’s Deep South. (KR even refers to recent events so you can’t say this tale is set during the 3 years when Killraven and his rebel group were headquartered on Staten Island.)

              Again, this reflects the “who cares about continuity” nature of many such team-up titles. 

REVISION: That’s why I would have this story set in Troy, Alabama, with the Freemen still lost and wandering through the biologically mutated jungle which now covers much of the American southeast.

Back to the unrevised story: Spider-Man is using Reed Richards’ copy of Dr Doom’s time machine to leave 1600s Salem, where he and assorted guest-stars had just had an adventure.

              Saddened that he could not save the victims of the Salem Witch Trials (well, duh), Spidey morosely tries to return to his own time, only to overshoot his mark and wind up in the New York of Killraven’s future. In that future, Earth is being ruled by its alien conquerors, Martians in the original story but Zetans in my revisions.       Continue reading

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KILLRAVEN SEVENTEEN: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

Killraven death in the familyAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #34 (January 1976)

Freemen: Killraven, M’Shulla (African-American), Old Skull (Big, bald and brawny), Hawk (Native American), Carmilla Frost (The scientist of the group) and Grok, Carmilla’s creation (Deathlok in my revisions) 

Title: A Death in the Family

NOTE: Despite the singular title, TWO Freemen are slain in this story.

Synopsis: The war-ravaged ruins of Chattanooga, TN. July, 43 years in the future. Killraven and his Freemen continue their uprising against Earth’s alien conquerors. (Zetans in my revisions, NOT the ridiculous Martians in the original comic book.)

Killraven on horseKillraven, M’Shulla and Carmilla Frost are using an old, abandoned horse-racing track to race each other on their separate mounts. KR is riding his usual pinkish-red serpent-stallion, while the other two ride similarly chimeric creatures spawned by residue of the bio-warfare agents unleashed 18 years earlier in Earth’s unsuccessful war against the alien invaders.

M’Shulla rides a two-legged ostrich-giraffe beast with cattle horns on its head. Carmilla rides a cougar-horse hybrid that sports a unicorn’s horn on its forehead. The Freemen have obviously been camping in the area for some time since the two new creatures are every bit as saddle-broken as Killraven’s reliable old serpent-stallion. Continue reading

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KILLRAVEN SIXTEEN: FANTASIA IN PSYCHEDELIC SOUND

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

Killraven NashvilleAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #32 (September 1975)

Title: Fantasia in Psychedelic Sound

NOTE: One slightly comical aspect of vintage comic book publications was the way the story titles on the cover often did not match the actual interior title of the story itself. Today it puts one in mind of reruns of the old show Police Squad! because of the intentional way the on-screen title NEVER matched the title said by the announcer.

              Anyway, in this particular case the internal title is incredibly stupid – Only The Computer Shows Me Any Respect. Therefore I’m going with what the letters page of the previous issue said the title was going to be: Fantasia in Psychedelic Sound. To me it’s a better title AND sounds more Don McGregor-ish. 

Killraven on horseSynopsis: Writer Don McGregor and artist Craig Russell are back after Mantlo/ Trimpe’s disastrous fill-in issue last time. It is June, 44 years in the future. Killraven and his Freemen (M’Shulla, Old Skull, Hawk, Carmilla Frost and her creation Grok – Deathlok in my revisions) continue their guerilla campaign against Earth’s alien conquerors.

Their wandering has brought them to the war-ravaged ruins of Nashville, TN as they seek shelter for a few days. One of the buildings still standing is a pre-war Mural Phonics Theater. As opposed to the individual-unit Mural Phonics System still in use by Earth’s alien overlords, the old Mural Phonics Theaters offered a theater-sized virtual reality experience in which the entire audience lived and experienced the on-screen movie.     Continue reading

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KILLRAVEN FIFTEEN: SING OUT LOUDLY … DEATH!

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

killraven sing out loudly death REALAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #33 (November 1975)

Title: Sing Out Loudly … Death!

NOTE: Another fill-in issue, this one with Bill Mantlo and Herb Trimpe substituting for the regular writer/ artist team of Don McGregor and Craig Russell. The number of ways that this story fails will leave you shaking your head. Bizarre decisions all the way through. 

REVISION: To make Killraven and his Freemen’s travels make geographic sense I skipped the Nashville story, but I’ll review it next time. It would make no sense for KR and his fellow rebels to go through Tennessee, THEN West Virginia, then BACK to Tennessee for the Chattanooga story. Last time around I had the Freemen in Ohio, so West Virginia and Sing Out Loudly … Death! would be the next logical installment.

Synopsis: May, 44 years from now. Killraven and his band of rebels continue their uprising against the alien conquerors of the Earth. (Zetans, NOT Martians in my revisions) Their attempt to shake off their most recent pursuers has led them into the mountains of West Virginia. Continue reading

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KILLRAVEN FOURTEEN: THE REBELS OF JANUARY AND BEYOND

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

Killraven rebels of januaryAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #30 (May 1975)

Title: The Rebels of January and Beyond

Freemen: Killraven, M’Shulla, Old Skull, Hawk, Carmilla Frost and her creation Grok (Deathlok in my revisions)

Synopsis: This is a story that provided a wealth of additional lore for the world inhabited by Killraven and his Freemen, especially regarding Killraven’s use of The Power, a pre-Star Wars version of The Force.

It is still April, 44 years in the future. The High Overlord (in my revisions Abraxas the High Overlord), executive leader of Earth’s alien conquerors, walks the streets of occupied Washington D.C. 

He is clad as always in his full-body suit of biochemical armor, complete with a Japanese feudal helmet like the kind Darth Vader would later wear. (This was published 2 years before Star Wars came out) The High Overlord’s armor, however, is steel-grey, not black like Vader’s. The sight of one of Killraven’s WANTED posters as he walks along annoys him more than it usually might.  Continue reading

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