Tag Archives: Science fiction

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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THE PEOPLE OF THE MOON (1895): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION

People of the Moon biggerTHE PEOPLE OF THE MOON (1895) – Written by Tremlett Carter. An unnamed narrator, a scientist of some sort, sees a glowing 18 inch object floating in the sky. A bird who makes physical contact with the glowing orb is killed by the object’s electric charge.

Our narrator jury-rigs a means of grounding against the electricity and hauling the orb down to his laboratory. The object slowly reaches room temperature and ejects from its interior a book written in an unearthly alphabet.

The anonymous narrator’s friend Professor Hector Goss visits him in the midst of all this and excitedly tells our protagonist about a secret society that he belongs to. Goss and his fellow society members have been performing scientific research by directing the astral/ spiritual bodies of hypnotized human guinea pigs.

Before dying, their most recent test subject visited the moon in his astral body and saw a city on the dark side of Earth’s satellite. He also spotted life – humanoid AND dragon life. Professor Goss jumps to the conclusion that the unearthly book that Nameless Narrator holds came from the moon.

Conveniently, Nameless and Goss had previously devised a fool-proof system of deciphering any and all languages so they translate the mysterious book and learn all about the beings on the moon. 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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KILLRAVEN THIRTEEN: THE DAY THE MONUMENTS SHATTERED

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 day monuments shatteredAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #31 (July 1975)

Title: The Day The Monuments Shattered 

Freemen: Killraven, M’Shulla, Old Skull, Carmilla Frost, Hawk, Volcana Ash, Adam 3031 and Eve 3031 and Carmilla’s creation Grok (Deathlok in my revisions)

Synopsis: This is the 4th and final part of the Death-Birth storyline. It is April, 44 years from now. Killraven and his Freemen, a band of rebels fighting Earth’s alien conquerors, have arrived in the ruins of Gary, IN, along the southern shore of Lake Michigan.

It is nighttime and Killraven has chosen to set up camp in a cave on a nearby hill. This will give him and his Freemen the high ground and a defensible position as they await the final battle with their pursuers.

sacrificerThose pursuers: Atalon – white-shirted human quisling administrator of Death-Birth, the now-destroyed alien fortress where they raised humans like cattle since they eat human flesh – and the Sacrificer, green-clad medical madman who used to prepare those cannibal meals for the aliens, including their favorite delicacy – human infants carved out of their mother’s body shortly before they are due to deliver.

Backing up Atalon and the Sacrificer are dozens of Death Breeders, their armed troops in uniforms resembling skeleton outlines. 

Eve 3031, one of the human “breeding stock” liberated by our heroes last issue, is about to give birth, so the aforementioned cave will help shelter her and her baby as her mate, Adam 3031, attends her.

NOTE: Writer Don McGregor would later recycle this tableau of a final battle taking place around a woman giving birth in his post-apocalypse comic book Sabre. In that book the villainous Joyful Slaughter (real subtle, eh) and his troops attacked the rebel settlement where Sabre’s wife Melissa Siren was giving birth. Continue reading

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KILLRAVEN TWELVE: THE HELL DESTROYERS

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 the hell destroyersAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #29 (March 1975)

Title: The Hell Destroyers 

Synopsis: April, 44 years in the future. We pick up where we left off last time around, deep in the heart of Death-Birth, a combined fortress and breeding farm run by Earth’s alien conquerors. Killraven, leader of a group of Freemen fighting the aliens and their human quislings, stands alongside three of his followers: Hawk (Native American), Old Skull (the big, bald, brawny one) and Volcana Ash (a woman genetically engineered into a mutate capable of generating and shooting fire).

The four of them have taken a moment to relish the reunion of Adam 3031 with his very pregnant “breeding partner” Eve 3031. The couple infuriated Earth’s conquerors by falling in love despite their degrading status as livestock for the extraterrestrials, who eat human flesh.

Facing all of them from across the futuristic operating room stand two human quislings, the main villains of this 4-part story. (This is Part 3) Atalon is the sadistic man who serves as the administrator of Death-Birth. He is hideous but has an obsession with cleanliness, especially regarding his white uniform. (Obviously a reference to Dr Mengele from the Nazi death camps.)

sacrificerThe other quisling is known only as the Sacrificer, clad in green and gold. Like Atalon he is ugly but his ugliness is amplified by his metal cybernetic jaw with jagged steel teeth. His amputated right arm has been outfitted with assorted cybernetic blades which can be used as weapons or as surgical tools in the perverse “operations” he performs.  

Eve 3031 has now been saved from the fate of having the Sacrificer carve her unborn baby out of her womb to serve as the piece de resistance in another of the feasts of human flesh which he prepares for the aliens (Zetans in my revisions, Martians in the original comic book).

Our heroes know that more of Atalon’s shock troops, called Death Breeders, will be arriving at any moment so they decide to vacate the area. They are still intent on freeing the thousands of Adams and Eves imprisoned in Death-Birth and then destroying the fortress itself. Continue reading

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ALIEN: HARVEST (2019) – MARK HALLOWEEN WITH SHORT FILMS SET IN THE ALIEN UNIVERSE

Alien HarvestHalloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog, this time with the definitive horror/ sci-fi/ monster franchise in cinema. 2019 is the 40th anniversary of the original movie Alien and earlier this year six authorized (not fan-made) short films were released to mark the occasion.

Bill Paxton’s son is in two of them, but just his voice on the radio in one. 

The six films range from okay to excellent but they ALL capture the feel of the creepy Alien universe far better than most of the sequels. To get you in the mood here is Alien: Harvest. The others are titled Alone, Containment, Ore, Species and Night Shift. Check out Harvest below then check out the others HERE 

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