Saturday, August 16, 2008

1984 4

Another big issue of 1984. The cover is by Patrick Woodroffe.

First up is "The Last War... ...of the Worlds!" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This is a continuation of HG Wells 'War of the Worlds' where the martians come back to Earth and attack again. Thanks to using technology from the martians, the Earthlings are able to fight them off. A long, drawn out story that just is not that interesting.

Second is "Idi and Me" a continuation of the serial Idi Amin. Dogmeat and Idi face a number of mutants who look like rotting corpses who try to eat them. Idi runs away while Dogmeat is captured. Idi eventually returns, thinking Dogmeat is the most likely person to help her become a man again, but he is able to save himself by convincing the mutants that he wouldn't taste good. Once again terrific art by Maroto and idiotic dialogue, particularly from Idi who can barely speak english.

Third is "Mondo Megillah" by Alex Nino (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, credited as Alabaster Redzone). Possibly the most infamous of all of 1984's stories, this story has been rumored as a major factor for the bankruptcy of Warren Publishing. Apparently what happened was that editor Bill Dubay was going to allow his writers, including Gerry Boudreau, to adapt some sci-fi stories for 1984 prior to it becoming the sex-filled mag it became. Boudreau wanted to do Harlan Ellison's "A Boy and His Dog" and wrote the story with Dubay's okay before permission was granted. Ellison refused to provide permission, but Bill Dubay decided to have the story drawn anyway because he was fearful of running out of work for Alex Nino to do. He then asked Stenstrum to rewrite the story and it was published as Mondo Magillah. Even with the rewrite, the story was obvious plagirism and Ellison sued, which he eventually won shortly before Warren went out of business. Anyway, the story takes place in a post apocalyptic world where the Earth has been rendered a wasteland and all men have mutated into bizarre monsters. The story focuses on one such monster, Lucius, and his ex-wife Kitten, who are among the first to return to the Earth in order to make money for themselves. While there, Kitten comes across a normal looking man, whom she has sex with (what did you expect for this magazine?). He worships a God called Magillah, and she eventually discovers an underground society that worships him and plans to sacrifice her to him as they give him a woman to have sex with once a year. Kitten is able to escape and make it back to the surface where she reunites with Lucius. The man leaves her to return to his underground society, so she has sex with Lucius instead.

Fourth is the latest chapter in "Mutant World" by Richard Corben (art) and Jan Strnad (story). Dimento is beat up by the mutants who had captured the lady he met and try to eat him. Demento escapes, and mad at the lady for tricking him, doesn't help her. The mutants beat her up and Demento eventually comes back to rescue her.

Fifth is "The Stunning Downfall of Muhammad Reptillicus!", which features Sally Starslammer from last issue's Omar Barsidian tale. Art is once again by Jim Janes and Rudy Nebres and story is by Jim Janes and Bill Dubay. It features a boxing match between Muhammad and another mutant which he easily defeats. Sally gets angry and jumps in the ring and beats up Muhammad. Muhammad's agent tries to recruit her but she refuses, and he end up having a parasite controlling his body. She leaves, with the money meant for Muhammad.

Sixth is "Ogre", another story from Corben and Strnad. This issue is done mostly through photographs of clay models. It features an ogre who is in love with the lover of the prince, who is cheating on the queen. The ogre reveals this to the queen, who chops off the prince's head and turns the ogre into a human. He wants to head off with the prince's lover, but she turns her into an ogre to replace him.

Next is "Lullaby" by Jose Gonzales (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, credited as Alabaster Redzone). This story, which probably features Gonzalez's best ever art for Warren, features an aristocratic woman and her lover, who has defected from the military but with her advice decides to return. Pretty much the whole story is the two of them naked, talking to each other. At the end of the story it is revealed she is his mother.

Next is "Boy's Camp!" by Herb Arnold (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, credited as Alabaster Redzone). Aliens have taken over humanity and have a couple of people head to a planet where they have a camp for kids. The only problem is that the pressure of arriving on the planet on a ship will kill the person, so they have to revive them as corpses so they can make repairs. They are unable to leave the planet before decomposing however.

Last is "Rex Havoc" by Abel Laxamana (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). It features a future where monsters try to get the same rights as humans. Rex is the leader of a group, "Asskickers of the Fantastic" (the monsters call themselves Fantastics) who seek to destroy all monsters. This story features him fighting a well known vampire. This would kick off a series for the next few issues.

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