Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Skull the Slayer #7

From the Title Banner: "JIM SCULLY - five-year Prisoner of War in 'Nam. DR. RAYMOND COREY - frustrated physicist. ANN REYNOLDS - battling to make it on her own in a world that refuses to listen to her. JEFF TURNER - a runaway from the regimentation of life. Four losers lost in the Bermuda Triangle - four losers finding a new beginning in the untouched world of the prehistoric past." The Slings and Arrows Comic Guide refers to this series disparagingly as "Bonkers example of Marvel at its hippy best" and as "Ideological Quarrels in the Land that Time Forgot." The letters page looks hopefully forward to Skull the Slayer #200. This was wishful thinking at best because the series would be cancelled with the next number (#8) and the story arc finished off in Marvel Two-in-One #35 and #36. Here's the synopsis I provided for the Marvel Comics Database:

Jim Scully and his crew arrive at the Inca City of Gold led by the guide Villac Umu. Upon arrival Umu turns on them and they are captured by Viracocha the Supreme Inca. Meanwhile back in Florida, Jeff Turner's father, Senator Stoneface Turner is extorting Scully's ex-Nam nemesis Freddy Lancer to fly into the Bermuda Triangle and bring his son back. Lancer has secured a fleet of used jet fighters from an African war and a crew of mercenaries including a mean number called Newkirk. Lancer reveals that he is not only motivated by the money Senator Turner is paying him but also has a score to settle with Scully from their days in Viet-Nam. Back in the City of Gold, Scully and his friends are led to a towering ziggurat which looks suspicuously like a good place for human sacrifice. As the sun rises a shadow is cast from the ziggurat that triggers the opening of pits that swallow up Ray, Anne and Jeff into one pit and Scully into another. The imperilled three must face a pair of chained pteranodons with just enough reach to tear their heads off. Meanwhile Scully must go up against a four ton stegosaurus. Ann Reynolds decides she will dispatch the pteranodons with a grenade retreived from the corpse of a previous victim. The belt that Scully retrieved from a dead alien a few days earlier begins to glow brightly and increases his strength giving him an advantage over the raging stegosaurus. Seeing an opportunity to stage a coup, the High Priest Villac Umu pushes Viracocha the Supreme Inca into the pit with Scully and the stegosaurus. Oddly Viracocha begins to speak in colloquial American English which raises Scully's suspicions. Scully finishes off the stegosaurus which crashes through the wall into the next pit just as Ann detonates the grenade that kills the pteranodons. Viracocha then reveals that he is in fact Captain Victor Cochran, USN, "stranded thirty-one years ago and now resident Sun-God!" Next: The Sky Riders!

I liked Bill Mantlo's work on Rom and The Incredible Hulk, and this series seems to display more of his creativity. This is my first read of Skull and I give this issue 3 stars.

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