TITLE: Kull, the Destroyer vol. 1, issue #17
YEAR: October 1976
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Alfredo Al-Kull-A (Alfredo Alcala) & Ed Hannigan
Colorist: Hugh Paley
Letterer: Annette K.
Editor: Roy Thomas
As Marvel Comics experienced a sales boom thanks to “Conan the Barbarian” (created by Robert E. Howard back in 1932 for “Weird Tales” magazine) in the ’70s, Robert E. Howard had another character that he created years earlier, back in 1929, named Kull of Atlantis (or “Kull the Conqueror”).
A warrior and a member of a barbarian tribe of Atlantis prior to the cataclysm that would destroy the ancient continent, this character received an adaptation by Marvel Comics and was originally drawn by Marie Severin and her brother, John Severin (which many may know of his work through “Cracked Magazine”).
And known as “Kull the Destroyer”, he would have three series between 1971-1985. First as “Kull the Conqueror” for issues 1-10 and then “Kull the Destroyer” for issues 11-29.
And as Kull the Conqueror would have a film in 1997 and Dark Horse buying the rights to Kull and launching an ongoing series since 2006.
As for this 17th issue from 1976, the writer was Doug Moench (best known for his “Batman” and “Moon Knight” work) and artwork by Alfredo Alcala and Ed Hannigan.
In this issue, Kull has followed a witch named Kareesha and watching her uncover a strange object. As Kull confronts her, he asks for answers but unfortunately, Atlantean Guardsmen loyal to Kohrnah have arrived.
As Kul defeats them all, Kareesha escapes. And when he heads back to Atlantis, Kull reports to King Om-Ra that Kohrnah may be a threat and may be trying to create his own kingdom.
The king asks Kull to spy on him but not long after, Kareesha transports him to her tower and hypnotizes him to stay out of her way.
As Kull approaches Lt. Khornah, he tells him that the king wants him to go aboard and join him.
But Kull learns that Khornah has allied himself with the enemies, the Lemurians.
Seeing Khornah working with the Lemurians and it conflicting with her own plans, Kareesha sends the Kraken to destroy him and his army out in the ocean, not knowing that Kull is aboard the ship.
Will Kull survive?
Overall, a satisfying issue. And while I am a huge fan of Moench’s work, I want to dedicate some time to Alfredo Alcala and Ed Hannigan. One of the few Filipino artists (the first was Tony DeZuniga who co-created “Jonah Hex” and “Black Orchid”)) to work for a major comic book company in the ’70s but also known for creating the 1963 comic strip, “Voltar”.
And to see him and Ed Hannigan (who worked with Mike Grell in launching the popular “Green Arrow” series in the late ’80s, worked with Dennis O’Neil for the launch of “The Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight”), the guy who co-created “Cloak and Dagger” and was the artist for “The Spectacular Spider-Man”.
“Kull, the Destroyer” was one of their earliest works and the amount of detail, from rocks in the ocean to character design, their work was magnificent!