Friday, February 26, 2021


By Mark Schultz

With several vignettes setting up the world and characters of the Xeonzoic era now behind him, Mark Schultz begins to craft a bit of a serial in this week's first chapter -- which is also the longest story we've looked at this far, clocking in at a brisk twenty pages. In this one, we learn Hannah's purpose in the City on the Sea -- she is to open trade relations between its tribes and those of her native Wassoon. The City's Governors' Council is on board with this, believing they need some of the Wassoons' fishing and farmind techniques in order to better survive.

But the offer is not without conditions, and it seems the Wassoon are concerned about the number of poachers that have recently appeared in their territory. It turns out this is the work of Jack, who, as was revealed in previous chapters, has no tolerance for such hunters and forces them out into the wilds to survive on their own when he catches them in the act. And it seems that some of these poachers actually have survived and made their way to Wassoon.

Jack refuses to go along with the deal and leaves in a huff, prompting a governor named Gorgostamos to enlist Hannah to go after him. But Gorostamos actually plans to kill Jack after Hannah helps track him down. Hannah, however, is separated from Gorgostamos and captured by a tribe of lizard-men called the Grith. The Grith are friends of Jack's, and no one knows of their existence except for him -- and now Hannah as well, because the Grith trust her and want her to work with them.

Monday, February 22, 2021


Written by Kevin Burke & Chris Wyatt | Directed by Vinton Heuck

The Plot: Manhattan is hit by an electromagnetic pulse. When the Avengers head out to investigate, they find Black Widow standing on their doorstep. She reveals that she was sent to infiltrate Hydra by Nick Fury, and then explains that Hydra is attacking AIM in search of the Cosmic Cube. Black Widow goes with the team to find Hydra and AIM, battling in airships over the city. Captain America and Hulk go after Hydra while Hakweye, Ant-Man, and Black Widow battle AIM. Meanwhile, Iron Man and the Wasp are conftonted by SHIELD, under the command of Maria Hill.
Strucker shoots down MODOK's ship and confronts him in a burning warehouse, sending a trio of Dreadnoughts to destroy him. Strucker reaches for the Cosmic Cube, but Ant-Man appears to stop him. Elsewhere, SHIELD shoots down Iron Man and are about to take out Wasp when Thor and Black Panther arrive. Hill orders SHIELD to attack the Avengers, but Hydra assaults the Helicarrier. In the warehouse, while Giant-Man is occupied with the Dradnought, Captain America bursts in and attacks Strucker. As the old enemies duel, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Hulk show up.

Strucker is defeated, and he and MODOK are arrested. Hill promises Iron Man that she will see the Avengers brought to heel under SHIELD, while elsewhere, Black Widow bids farewell to Hawkeye and heads out to saerch for Nick Fury.

Friday, February 19, 2021


By Mark Schultz

As I mentioned briefly last week, I picked up XENOZOIC BY MARK SCHULTZ a few years back, around the time I was jumping into newspaper adventure strips. But unlike a lot of the strips that I've read since then, XENOZOIC sat on my bookshelf until just recently. But as I read it, I'm kind of sorry I waited!

Set in the far-flung future of the thirtieth century, XENOZOIC is clearly influenced by old pulp stories, movie serials, and so forth. Our main characters are Jack "Cadillac" Tenrec, a rough-and-tumble mechanic/transporter/guide/anything else he needs to be, and Hannah Dundee, a beautiful ambassador from a far-off land. The setting is the City in the Sea -- what's left of Manhattan in this world where man has been decimated and dinosaurs once more walk the Earth. Hannah arrives in the first story, from her state of Wasoon, to open relations with the the City in the Sea, and soon decides to stick around for a while. This leads to her getting involved in Jack's frequent adventures.

The stories, at least early on, are all fairly short, running ten to fifteen pages or so for the most part. The very first ones present small snippets of life in this world. The first chapter sees Jack rescue Hannah from an assassination attempt before he's even met her. The second focuses on Hannah as she helps the Governor of the City in the Sea with a fishing problem.

Monday, February 15, 2021


Written by Paul Giacoppo | Directed by Sebastian Montes

The Plot: Somewhere in Norway, Malektih the Dark Elf finds a small Asgardian casket. In New York, Radioactive Man attacks Stark Tower, where Iron Man, Thor, and Black Panther fight back. When Radioactive Man tries to absorb the power from Stark's arc reactor, Iron Man attempts to trigger a meltdown to overload him -- but Thor steps in and defeats the villain instead. Meanwhile, Enchantress and Executioner visit Malekith, who opens the casket, releasing a worlwide winter.
Thor realizes the Casket of Ancient Winters is behind the weather changes and Black Panther pinpoints its location, while elsewhere in Manhattan, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers battle ice monsters. Iron Man, Thor, and Black Panther head out to confront Malekith, while the ice creatures gain the upper hand on the other Avengers in New York. In Norway, Thor and Iron Man team up to supercharge Iron Man's armor with Asgardian magic, and Malekith is defeated.

Thor closes the casket, and the world returns to normal, but Enchantress and Executioner are unfrozen in the process. They subdue the Avengers and teleport away with the Casket, and Thor attempts to follow them to Asgard, but finds himself locked out.

Friday, February 12, 2021


So I've had this on my bookshelf for probably four or five years now, always intending to get to it, but never quite managing to crack it open. It was something I found when I was really getting into newspaper adventure strips. Though not a strip itself, it does have that "adventure strip feel", being drawn in a realistic style, and in black-and-white. From what I've gathered, XENOZOIC TALES was an independant comic that begin in 1987 and ran up until 1996, releasing a whopping fourteen issues in that timeframe. This seems to have been the thing for indies back then; at least I recall from my look at THE ROCKETEER a few years back that Dave Stevens released an even smaller amount of material over a longer period of time!

But in any case, it was the artwork of creator Mark Schultz that first attracted me to XENOZOIC TALES, then when I learned a bit about the premise, I was totally sold. The funny thing is, in restrospect I realize that I was tangentially familiar with this series going back many years. Back in 1993, CBS aired a Saturday morning cartoon called CADILLACS AND DINOSAURS, and Marvel published an adaptation of same -- and as it turns out, CADILLACS was itself an adaptation of Schultz's world (if not his exact stories) to small-screen animation!

Now, I admit that I never actually watched the series or read the comic, but I was at least aware of them. And now I plan to take a look at the source material! Over the next few weeks, we'll cover the entirety of XENOZOIC TALES, all collected in a nice, sturdy paperback volume by Flesk Publications a number of years ago . So be here next Friday as we journey to the post-apocalyptic thirtieth century for the adventures of Jack "Cadillac" Tenrec and Hannah Dundee as they make their way through the savage world of tomorrow!

(This is where I'd normally drop in an Amazon link for anyone interested in checking the book out, but unfortunately, it appears to be out of print and quite pricey at this point. However it looks like a new printing is forthcoming in March and is available for pre-order directly from the publisher, so if my upcoming posts tickle your fancy, you can at least pick it up afterward!)

Monday, February 8, 2021


Written by Brian Reed | Directed by Sebastian Montes

The Plot: The Avengers and their Ultron army depart Earth for Kang's Damocles Base even as it launches a tremendous energy beam at Earth. Thor exits the jet and intercepts the beam, but falls to Earth as the Avengers continue on their mission. The Avengers fight their way through Kang's armada, with Iron Man and Wasp flying out into space to assist the Ultrons. Cap, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, and Hulk infiltrate Damocles with the two remaining Ultrons. The group is confronted by Kang's elite guardians, who take the upper hand with their time controlling technology.
Wasp and Iron Man manage entrance to the ship, and Wasp goes scouting, finding Kang's love, Ravonna, in suspended animation. Meanwhile, Cap's team attempts to destroy the ship's time drive and knock it back to the thirty-first century, but they're interecepted by Kang's robots. Kang himself appears to confront them and prepares to destroy Captain America. Iron Man arrives to help. He destroys the base and has the final Ultron take control of Damocles Base, sending all of Kang's ships and warriors back to the future.

Ultron is about to finish the base as well, but Wasp arrives, explaining Ravonna's condition, and the fact that she will cease to exist if she's returned to the thirty-first century. The Avengers defeat Kang after he refuses to surrender, and he is incarerated in Prison 42.

Friday, February 5, 2021


Story by: Akira Toriyama | Art by: Toyotarou

The next installment of DRAGON BALL SUPER opens with something I don't believe had ever been seen in the DB/Z saga up to this point -- a battle in outer space. But since Saiyans can't survive in the vacuum (a fact firmly established during the Freeza Saga, if it didn't already go without saying), it is the Kaioshin in Boo's body who challenges Moro in orbit over Namek. And while the Kaioshin-Boo puts up a decent showing, he isn't enough. He's weaker than Moro, and, as he discovers during their skirmish, hig "god power" is gone -- taken by the evil Kid Boo when Majin Boo split into his good and evil halves during the climax of the original DBZ era.

But Merus comes to the rescue in his spacesuit, saving Kaioshin-Boo and distracting Moro long enough for Boo to transport Moro back to Namek with the instant transmission technique. Goku and Vegeta arrive a split second later thanks to Goku's own use of that power, and the two brag that they're about to finish Moro -- which is when he reveals the third wish he made to the dragon Porunga: that all the inmates at the Galactic Prison would go free.

Following a brief flashback to the moment Moro made his wish, which shows the prisoners exiting their cells and stealing a ship, we jump back to the present as they arrive on Namek and attack. At the same time, Moro begins draining Goku's and Vegeta's energies, reducing them both to their base forms. Merus and Jaco step in to help, but the heroes are outnumbered. Kaioshin transports himself and the sole surviving Namekian child to Galactic Patrol HQ, while Goku does the same for himself, Jaco, and Merus. But Vegeta spurns Goku's assistance to leave, and instead flies aboard Merus's and Jaco's ship, ordering the pilot to set course for planet Yardrat.

Monday, February 1, 2021


Written by Eugene Son | Directed by Vinton Heuck

The Plot: Kang launches an attack on Manhattan, and local law enforcement and SHIELD fight back. The Avengers join the fray and begin taking out Kang's robots -- but the mechanoids soon reveal that they're only playing possum when they begin repairing thesmelves and press the attack. Nick Fury soon reveals to the Avengers that Kang's assault is not centered in New York -- he has launched similar assaults on tactical locations around the globe.
The Avengers regroup at their mansion, where Black Panther departs in a Quinjet to lead the defense of Wakanda. The rest of the team heads back out to battle Kang's robots while Iron Man stays behind to try and pinpoint Kang's location. Despite their best efforts, teh Avengers remain unable to turn the tide. When Captain America observes that the Avengers will need an army to win the war, Wasp suggests using Hank Pym's Ultron robots. Ant-Man and Wasp take Cap to a storehouse filled with Ultrons, where Ant-Man teaches the robtots the concept of violence.

Cap, Ant-Man, and Wasp rejoin Hulk, Thor, and Hawyeke in the field, now accompanied by the Ultron legion. Ant-Man and Wasp infiltrate one of Kang's attack ships, where Wasp blasts the controls, causing the vessel to lose its "anchor" with the twenty-first century and sending it back to the future. Armed with this knowledge, the Avengers and Ultrons begin boarding the ships and banishing them all back to the thirty-first century. The battle is won, but the war continues. Meanwhile, Iron Man finds Kang's command ship, cloaked in orbit over Earth.