Amazing Adventures featuring War of the Worlds #18

by - January 08, 2020

Amazing Adventures (1970-1976) #18

Amazing Adventures #18 takes the War of the Worlds concept and brings it to Marvel comics (circa the seventies) with an ongoing story set in the future. Well, their future since this starts out in 2018, which must have seemed safely far away in the seventies! The hero of the story is Killraven, the dude on the cover who leads a band of Freemen against the Martian invaders. The story is set in the ruins of New York City after the invaders have won. Killraven and his band strive to keep the dream of freedom alive. 

We start out right in the thick of the action as Killraven and his band are infiltrating Grand Central station- or what's left of it- trying to flush out someone known as the Keeper. Apparently when the Martians took over they enslaved the population, but some traitorous humans who went over to their side are allowed to lord it over the rest of the humans. Bastards. The Keeper is apparently one of these and Killraven is ready to take him out. During the course of the battle we learn Killraven's origin- quite a bit of exposition- although thankfully we at least learn why he has such a goofy name. Turns out he was captured as a child and trained as a gladiator, to fight for the enjoyment of his Martian overlords- and somehow the chants of "kill" got attached to his given name Raven. Seems like a stretch, but okay.

In spite of the seventies hokiness the origin story is kinda compelling, I have to admit. Raven's mother escaped with him and found refuge under the city but she was eventually killed by... you guessed it, the Keeper. Now we know why Killraven's vengeance burns so bright. Killraven eventually escaped his Martian masters and rose through the ranks of Freemen to lead them. And there, we're all caught up! I'm actually excited to see where this goes. The story is not bad and the art is pretty good too- but then comics legends Neal Adams and Howard Chaykin do the honors so that's to be expected. All in all not a bad read. And it's got mutants, a devastated New York City, and... sirens? Yes, sirens who lead you to your doom with their songs! I think this will be fun. 

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