Review: Amazing Adventures #35

Amazing Adventures #35 cover
Cover by P. Craig Russell

Amazing Adventures #35
Published and © by Marvel, March 1976

Title: “The 24-Hour Man”
Synopsis: The Freeman fight to save Carmilla Frost from a strange creature who lives for just 24 hours and must procreate.

Writer: Don McGregor
Artist (layouts): P. Craig Russell
Artist (penciler): Keith Giffen
Artist (inker): Jack Abel

Review: There are several plot devices in Bronze Age comics that are particularly problematic from today’s vantage. High on that list is women being raped by demons. Or mutants. Or whatever alien other this issue’s big bad might be. To writer Don McGregor’s credit, he’s exploring other difficult themes here, as well, including what obligation we have to our forebears in the face of extinction. The rape trope isn’t played for titillation, but that doesn’t make it any less repugnant. Meanwhile, the art is a bit of a hodgepodge. P. Craig Russell’s storytelling is solid, but the finished art is rough. 

Grade: B

Second opinion: “Feels like a filler between chapters of the greater story. … 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.” – Comics Buyer’s Guide #1656, August 2009 …“Too contrived to be effective.” – Richard Ashford, Comics Unlimited #44, June 1977 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: The McGregor/Russell creative team keeps pushing the medium. Not everything works – and this issue doesn’t – but mad props for trying.
Not-so-cool factor: Tendril rape comics from the American Bronze Age? Yeah, not cool.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 9p British variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “ G’rath must take the woman … or our people’s racial memory ends with me.” – Emmanuel, The 24-hour man

Editor’s note: This review was written Dec. 9, 2021.

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