Review: Amazing Adventures #37

Amazing Adventures #37 cover
Cover by P. Craig Russell

Amazing Adventures #37
Published and © by Marvel, July 1976

Title: “Arena Kill!”
Synopsis: Killraven and the Freemen celebrate with new friends, sharing the story of Old Skull over a New Year’s feast.

Writer: Don McGregor
Penciler: P. Craig Russell
Inker: Jack Abel

Review: Following a run of issues dealing with heavy topics such as death (see review of Amazing Adventures #34), rape (#35) and war (#36), the Killraven creative team catches its breath by offering the back story of  a longtime supporting character, Old Skull. It’s not a bad issue by any means, but it lacks the depth and reach of the serial’s previous outings. Meanwhile, P. Craig Russell’s art continues to show great promise – and inconsistency. Russell struggled with deadlines early in his career and that showed up on this series as a distracting revolving door of inkers, embellishers and guest artists.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “The story is endearing and shows that Old Skull is a character to be reckoned with in more ways than one. … 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.” – Comics Buyer’s Guide #1656, August 2009 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Killraven in his original costume
Killraven in his original costume, as drawn by P. Craig Russell and Jack Abel in Amazing Adventures #37.

Cool factor: There are flashes of P. Craig Russell’s future brillance all over this issue. Also, shout-out to the hard-drinking raccoon.
Not-so-cool factor: Killraven’s original costume returns in flashback. Still a fashion faux paux!

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 30¢ variant and a 10p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “I am Killraven, and my eyes burn with the color of death – yet I dare not close them.” – Killraven, apparently in need of some eye drops

Editor’s note: This review was written Dec. 27, 2021.

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