We start with the cover story, "The Fiend of Changsha" by Al Hewetson (story) and Sanho Kim (art). Dracula makes his way across the South China sea, having turned into a bat and boarded a cargo vessel. Once it hits land he heads to the Town of Changsha, a stop gap as he plans on visiting Fu Manchu (with an editor's note to expect it in a future story). While talking to himself in a graveyard, a grave robber comes upon him, whom he bites the neck of so as to turn him into his slave. The grave robber, Chan Hai, returns to his colleagues, a group of thieves, and goes to sleep. Suddenly some soldiers arrive and take out much of the thieves, but Chan Hai attacks them and realizes that even being struck by a sword can't kill him as he's now a vampire. After taking out the soldiers, Chan Hai's remaining colleagues want to make him leader, but he is reluctant to have followers. He plays around with the sword still in his chest and ends up killing himself by mistake. A rather odd ending to this story, I'm not entirely sure what Hewetson was getting at (was the sword supposed to be a stake that only damaged him once it hit his heart?). As the story ends we are asked the question on if we should really let Chan Hai live or die. I guess we'll see the result of the reader's request if we ever see another story featuring him.
|"The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar"|
Next is "The Gloomb Bomb" by Jack Katz (story and art). Inhabitants of a ship, who are all related to each other, are traveling across the galaxy find an available planet which they investigate. Three of the crew members, Nordak, Corma and Dovery head down but Corma is injured by reptilian monsters. After bringing her back, Nordak disobeys orders, heading to another planet to save a young woman in danger of being enslaved. He decides to stay there, taking the woman as his wife and having a child. Back on the ship it is revealed that they have been searching for an inhabitable planet untouched by cosmic rays, which accelerates the aging process. Nordak has stayed too long on the planet he found for the cosmic ray's effects to be reversible. Other leaders of the tribe seek to kill Nordak but fail, and he becomes leader, changing his name to Noah. His family members come to visit him, revealing his condition and that there will be an oncoming flood. We then find that Nordak has landed on Earth and is the biblical Noah. This story by Katz is a bit of an outlier, being a sci-fi story originally intended for a Skywald all sci-fi magazine and written/drawn years before. It is a bit too long for me and I haven't particularly cared for Skywald's sci-fi stories.
|"The Ghost of the Corpse"|
|"Maxwell's Blood Hammer"|
Last is "The Claws of Death" by Ed Fedory (story) and Folsengo Cabrerizo (art). A group of sailors has befriended a tribe in New Guinea, but plan on taking them captive and enslaving them. The tribe, not knowing of this, invites them to watch a ceremony as Mud Men, priests of the tribe with baked mud masks perform a ceremony and summon the goddess Sarrag-Tua. Sarrag-Tua arrives, wearing the mask of a panther and tells the tribe the true plans of the sailors. This causes the sailors to shoot and kill her, but upon trying to take off her mask they realize its her true head. The tribe members are taken captive and brought aboard the ship, but when the masks of the Mud Men are taken off, they too are revealed to have panther heads and they kill the sailors. A pretty decent art job by Cabrerizo in his Skywald debut; Fedory's story is also a good way to wrap the issue up.