|SKULL THE SLAYER No. 3, January 1976|
The last of three issues written by series creator Marv Wolfman before he became ensconced within Seventies “Marvel Comics” politics as Editor-in-Chief, “Tumult In The Tower Of Time!” proves to be an incredibly exhilarating read even though it contains several bemusing twists within its narrative which make little to no sense whatsoever with the storyline that preceded them. Indeed despite the utterly implausible nature of a Prehistoric world suddenly populated by a purely robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex and containing an unfathomably tall barbican where “every level of this tower-- is another time” the Brooklyn-born author’s script still somehow manages to jell together in order to provide “Skull The Slayer” with an astonishingly enjoyable seventeen-page ride.
It is certainly hard to think of much else the two-time Eagle Award-winner could give his super-strong titular character to do within so short a time frame, as the “little dinosaur hunter” not only plays rodeo cowboy with a gigantic primordial horned horse, flees a herd of rampaging carnivores and confronts a party of Pharaoh’s armoured warriors from “Ancient Egypt”. But he also appears to be imbued with the curiosity of a 'pulp fiction' investigator as he examines a grave-yard filled full of the staked out rotting corpses of “air force pilots [and] ship’s captains” who’ve “been dead for years”, before ascending an alien pylon, covered in identical writing to “the stuff” in the cave where he found his scorpion-powered belt and which is so tall that it “goes through the clouds and above.”
Disappointingly the New Yorker’s handling of Jim Scully’s supporting cast though is not quite so successful, especially when it comes to the trained soldier’s primary antagonist, the bigoted braggart Raymond Corey. The African-American physicist’s blatant prejudice towards the group’s “great white leader” increasingly grates upon the nerves, and it becomes increasingly hard to understand just how, given their stressful circumstances, the Vietnam veteran doesn’t make good on his promise and batter the Doctor; especially after the adventurer saves the ‘loud-mouthed’ “past-master of good cheer” from falling to his death over a cliff edge and is verbally abused by the scientist in return.
|Writer/Editor: Marv Wolfman, Pencils: Steve Gan, and Inks: Pablo Marcus & Steve Gan|