The Chronicles of Kull 2: The Hell Beneath Atlantis and Other Stories

chronicles of kull volume 2 the hell beneath atlantis cover trade paperback
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Strong art, fun sword-and-sorcery

Sometimes garbled story marred with flashbacks

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Kull the Conqueror (Volume 1)/Kull the Destroyer

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics/Marvel Comics

Writer:  Jerry Conway/Roy Thomas/Steve Englehart/Doug Moench

Artist:  Marie Severin/Frank Chiaramonte/Mike Ploog/Sal Buscema/Al Milgrom/Jack Abel/Ernie Chua/Ed Hannigan/Yong Montano/Alfredo Alcala

# of Issues:  11

Release Date:  2010

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Kull the Destroyer #12

Reprints Kull the Conqueror (1) #10 and Kull the Destroyer #11-20 (September 1973-April 1977).  Kull has lost the throne of Valusia!  With an overthrow plotted by his enemies within the kingdom and a new arrival named Ardyon, the crown has been ripped from Kull.  Ardyon however has a secret and is really the sorcerer Thulsa Doom.  Now, teamed with his former naysayer Ridondo, Kull must muster an army to free the kingdom of Valusia which means Kull must return to the land of his birth…Atlantis!

Written by Jerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, and Doug Moench, The Chronicles of Kull 2:  The Hell Beneath Atlantis and Other Stories continues Dark Horse Comics reprinting of the classic Marvel Comics sword-and-sorcery series based on the works of Robert E. Howard.  Following The Chronicles of Kull 1:  A King Comes Riding and Other Stories, the collection contains the conclusion of Kull’s first series Kull the Conqueror (Volume 1) and first ten issues of the retitled Kull the Destroyer.

I always think both Conan the Barbarian and Kull are going to be a good idea.  I like the concept of sword-and-sorcery books though I do think they often get too bogged down in the fantasy.  Though I enjoy Marvel’s Kull outings, I do think they have a lot of problems.

Kull always struggled next to Conan.  Despite being different characters, they didn’t look very different or feel different enough.  It is obvious in this volume that the comic was fighting for an audience.  The series switches tone after Kull the Conqueror ends and becomes much more like Conan the Barbarian with Kull the Destroyer.  The Kull character finds himself wandering the land raising an army…but not trying too hard.  He mostly ends up fighting random demons and sorcerers.

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Kull the Destroyer #17

The second problem with Kull arises in the writing style of the book.  Kull has a lot of authors, but they all seem to do the same thing.  The story is often loaded with confusing flashbacks that are too frequent and seem like filler but are really due to droughts in the publication history.  I love the art for Kull, but the story is lacking because of these publication problems.

Another slight problem with this collection is the way Dark Horse is collecting the comic.  After Kull the Destroyer #15 (August 1974), the series was essentially cancelled.  Dark Horse collects just the Kull the Destroyer storyline and skips Kull and the Barbarians black-and-white magazine that ran three issues from May 1975-September 1975.  The collection instead picks up again with Kull the Destroyer #16 (August 1976) which featured the return of the regular comic.  Kull’s Atlantis adventures started with Kull and the Barbarians along with his Sarna problems, so it feels like you’ve lost a chunk of this comic (these were reprinted in Dark Horse’s The Savage Sword of Kull collections).

Despite the problems, Kull is still kind of fun in a goofy, Saturday morning serial type of way.  The stories are a redundant, and Kull (though slightly brighter than Conan) seems to keep falling into the same traps.  If you are a fan of Conan give Howard’s other (and earlier) creation a chance.  The Chronicles of Kull 2:  The Hell Beneath Atlantis and Other Stories is followed by The Chronicles of Kull 3:  Screams in the Dark and Other Stories.

Related Links:

The Chronicles of Kull 4:  The Blood of Kings and Other Stories

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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