Thursday, March 15, 2018


Costumed Freak? Terrorizes ... Wait'll they get a load of me!
(w/a Marvin Stevens)

Wham-O Giant Comics has something for everybody -- a little sci-fi here, some fantasy there, a former Green Beret bellyaching his way through a two-page adventure on a neanderthal's back. No one gets left out!

I literally have no idea who Marvin Stevens is, and the few credits I've been able to find haven't been any more illuminating. What I can say about him is that he can turn in a two page adventure which truly speaks to me, inasmuch as I like to complain about my job all the time, too.

Captain Valoren is a former Green Beret, briefly laid low by a bout of malaria. When an obese menace called The Toad begins to assail a South American scientific outpost, Valoren is the only agent they can think to send -- lingering side effects of malaria and all!

That's the Captain in the back ...
"He's a moody character" opines the co-pilot on a plane carrying Valoren to his destination, speculating "What's the mystery, is he a Martian or something?" The pilot replies "More like a one-man army, from what I hear." Yep, Valoren is outfitted with the latest in military gear, intended to resolve any situation. Unfortunately, they don't apply to most situations, leaving the Captain to improvise frequently.

For instance, when his transport plane is shot down over the jungle, Valoren has absolutely no gear or devices handy to help him make an escape. He struggles to bring the plane in for a landing and, being the only survivor, then puts on a set of advanced underwater gear and fucks off below the dirty waters of the mock-Amazon. Later, he'll cut his wrist restraints with a gimmicked wristwatch. THAT'S IT FOLKS!

In fact, most of the heavy lifting is done by a strange, hulking caveman-type -- the book's second! -- whom Valoren discovers in the middle of the jungle. Stupefying the dope with a blast of compressed oxygen, Valoren climbs on the caveman's back when a dizzy spell overtakes him, and then points him at the bad guys until they've all been murdered.

In the end, Captain and the caveman destroy the Toad and then dash off together, ideally to form an early-1970s sitcom ...

I hate when they fat-shame the bad guys.

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