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Review: Amazing Adventures #18

Amazing Adventures #18 cover
Cover by John Romita Sr.

Amazing Adventures #18
Published and © by Marvel, May 1973

Title: “The War of the Worlds!”
Synopsis: In the year 2018, a freeman named Killraven leads the fight against the Keepers and their Martian overlords.

Writers (plot): Roy Thomas and Neal Adams
Writer (script): Gerry Conway
Penciler: Adams and Howard Chaykin
Inker: Frank Chiaramonte

Review: Building off H.G. Wells’ classic “War of the Worlds,” this new franchise was one of Marvel’s many efforts to tap into the sci-fi/fantasy resurgence that was part of the ’70s zeitgeist. This first-issue-by-committee features concept and character work by Neal Adams with some post-apocalyptic world-building by Roy “Conan” Thomas. While there’s nothing strikingly original here, this initial outing lays out some interesting terrain to explore in future issues. The art for this debut is inconsistent: Adams’ work holds up under Frank Chiaramonte’s unsympathetic inks pretty well, but Howard Chaykin’s pencils are totally overwhelmed.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “3 1/2 out of 4 stars.” – Comics Buyer’s Guide #1655, July 2009 … “A perfect example of the fertility of ideas in (Marvel’s) Twilight Years.” – Pierre Comtois, “Marvel Comics in the 1970s: An Issue By Issue Field Guide to a Pop Culture Phenomenon: Expanded Edition,” 2021

Cool factor: Everyone should fight Martians in thigh-high leather boots, no?

Notable: First appearance of Killraven.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 6p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “Greetings of the season, mayor – did you know it’s 2017?– Killraven, party planner

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Feb. 19, 2016.

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