Issue by Issue – Skull the Slayer #1

Skull the Slayer 1Writer – Marv Wolfman
Artist – Steve Gan
Colours – Marv Wolfman
Letters – Marcos

Jim Scully is a man of no consequence, not anymore that is. He was and is a war hero who survived Vietnam, who came home and was thanked for his service, only to be blamed for the death of his brother soon after and summarily forgotten by all but the law. Scully soon finds himself on a plane as a prisoner, headed to whatever fate awaits him when turbulence hits as they pass over the Bermuda Triangle and subsequently crash in a land of impossibility, one where dinosaurs and prehistoric man still roam. Marv Wolfman brings an unlikely new hero to the printed page with Skull the Slayer, a man changed by war and out of place in the world. This new land that he finds himself in is strange indeed, but it is a place where he might be able to start over – a land where he can be whole. When the book premiered in 1975, the story of a man returning home from the Vietnam war and not fitting into society was still something new and as such, made for a compelling character in Scully. Wolfman made it even more so when he transported the man into wherever it was he found himself by the end of the issue. Not only was Scully now a man out of place, but a man out of time and all of it done perfectly with a touch of Burrough’s The Lost World and Wolfman’s great characterization. There are a few supporting characters introduced, though for the moment they seem more like filler than anything else. Of course, it is obvious that their paths will cross with Scully’s as they all find themselves in the same place, but for now Wolfman has yet to have them do as such. Steve Gan provides the pencils and he does a solid job, his work mirroring many of the books Marvel put out at the time. If there was a house style at Marvel, Gan’s can be seen to be a part of it, not that there was anything wrong with it. The book looked great and he was able to draw both the everyday and the fantastic in equally good measure. The book leaves off on a bit of a cliff-hanger, which is a good thing for a new title to do in order to create interest and you definitely want to come back for more.

3.5 out of 5

2 replies »

  1. Something about these off-beat Marvel titles of the 70s really appealed to me as a kid. I think gravitating to these kinds of non-capes & tights books is what ultimately led me to love indie books so much.
    I loved Skull the Slayer and my love of this series is probably what later moved me over to digging Warlord at DC as they are similar in the “modern warrior vs. fantastical beasts” respect.

    Liked by 1 person

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