Tuesday, February 18, 2014

recently read comics; Thun'da, Kade, Sledgehammer 44

Stumbled on this one from Arcana during a Comixology sale. It intrigued me as Kade seemed - from a quick glance - to be a combination of Karl Edward Wagner's Kane and Barry Sadler's Casca.

Kade: Mourning Sun
Although the cover clearly indicates a WW2 adventure, the blurb mentioned turn-of-the-20th-century Cossacks, which made me even more interested. I was a little disappointed the Cossack section didn't last very long. I think it would have been more interesting. The story largely involves Kade chasing after Lucifer. Lucifer is impersonating a German officer (Sympathy for the Devil?) and trying to raise an undead army in a most gruesome manner. Kade just misses Lucifer more than once, usually at a physical cost - including years of 'death.'

This story did not make clear to me (nor was there a foreword to explain) where Kade comes from. I can't tell if he is man, demon or angel. He is immortal and he feels no physical pain. Once I figure out which book is the first one, it might have his origins.

There are quite a few of these Kade collections, and in the back of this one, they list each era & location were each story is set. I already have a couple more (it was a half-price sale) and might get some more if I like those.

Onto the jungles of Africa, where Dynamite Entertainment revived the old King of the Jungle...- Thun'da. As Tarzan knockoffs go, I didn't find Thun'da too bad, and hey - originally created and drawn by Frank Frazetta!

Roger Drum is an Army specialist who crash lands in a strange land populated by dinosaurs, Stone Age tribes and other nasties. The crash gave his partial amnesia. He tries to piece together his memories as he fights to survive and climb to the top of the food chain.
The very nice touch here is that each issue includes original Thun'da comics, drawn & created by Frank Frazetta (and, a lot of the stories were written by Gardner Fox.) It also allows you to follow the revamp and see where the new stuff came from. Very neat.

Last up, we have a Mike Mignola entry, Sledgehammer 44.

Sledgehammer 44
I enjoyed this, but I must say... - the opening and the opening of Atomic Robo's first tale are very similar. I sure hope that is coincidence. In each case, the metal heroes are delivered into an enemy position via a bomb, from which they then exit. Someone else already did the footwork.

I found a little thread here, too. The Sledgehammer suit predates Robo, but the Robo story and layout predate this Sledgehammer 44 spinoff. And the Sledgehammer is just a suit (a'la Iron Man) whereas Robo is an actual robot.

Anyway, once the story got rolling, it was certainly its own entity. I enjoyed it enough to try another Sledgehammer 44 title sometime in the future.

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