Skull the Slayer

skull the slayer cover trade paperback
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Fun '70s Marvel

Story ends rather abruptly due to cancellation

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Skull the Slayer/Marvel Two-In-One

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Marv Wolfman/Steve Englehart/Bill Mantlo

Artist:  Steve Gan/Sal Buscema/Ernie Chan

# of Issues:  10

Release Date:  2015

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Skull the Slayer #2

Reprints Skull the Slayer #1-8 and Marvel Two-in-One #35-36 (August 1975-February 1978).  Jim Scully has been accused of murdering his own brother and has been taken into custody.  When his plane disappears in the Bermuda Triangle, “Skull” and his companions Dr. Corey, Jeff Turner, and Ann Reynolds discover themselves in a land where prehistoric creatures meet modern science.  Skull, armed with a belt that gives him superhuman powers, must find a way to escape the lost world and clear his name…and the Fantastic Four might be the only hope.

Written by Marv Wolfman, Steve Englehart, and Bill Mantlo with illustrations by Steve Gan, Sal Buscema, and Ernie Chan, Skull the Slayer is a sci-fi action series from the ’70s.  The collection has the short lived Skull the Slayer series which ran from August 1975 to November 1976 and the two issue wrap-up storyline in Marvel Two-In-One #35-36 (January 1978-February 1978) which featured Thing and Mr. Fantastic.

Both Marvel and DC were pumping out books in the ’70s left and right.  I love some of these little obscure titles, and I love that Marvel on occasion will revisit them.  Skull came back during Marvel’s Secret Wars storyline (2015) and I’d love to see more adventures of the character.

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Skull the Slayer #7

Lots of Marvel and DC’s ’70s series seemed borrowed from each other and combinations of different characters.  Skull felt a little like Conan, somewhat like Killraven, and mixed with something like DC’s Warlord (which appeared just after Skull in November of 1975).  The Vietnam vet character is a little before his time in that he somewhat explores the horrors of the war that everyone was already trying to forget.  I kind of wish that Skull hadn’t been trapped in the weird sci-fi world in which he was placed.

It is this world where I feel Skull really gets bogged down.  The Land of the Lost-esque world is more sci-fi than prehistoric and there are robot dinosaurs and aliens that populate it.  I don’t think Skull would have worked in the standard Marvel Universe (at least at the beginning of this story), but I wish that his world had been a little more distinct.

Skull (like so many other series) got cancelled before it could get any traction.  Storylines involving Lancer and his “rescue” of Skull were incomplete and the Marvel Two-In-One wrap-up story feels forced and quick to resolve the unfinished series.  It does work a bit better as a collection in that it feels like a complete story, but the whole series feels a half-baked.  Skull is kind of unlikable (still) at the end and his supporting cast are totally one dimensional and also not very likable.  This makes for a tough sell, but reading Skull now has a bit of old-fashion comic book charm that is missing from new titles.  Give Skull a shot and maybe he can get another fair shake…if he deserves it.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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