Astonishing Tales #30
Published and © by Marvel, June 1975
Title: “The Soft Parade … of Slow, Sliding Death!”
Synopsis: After losing a potential ally, Deathlok remains on the run from Maj. Simon Ryker’s soldiers and “supreme death-machine.”
Writer (plot): Rich Buckler
Writers (script): Buckler and Doug Moench
Artist (layouts): Buckler
Pencilers: Buckler, Keith Pollard and Arvell Jones
Inker: Al McWilliams
Review: With Astonishing Tales #28 (see review), writer/artist Rich Buckler stepped to the fore as a singular creative talent. Apparently, the demands of that commitment proved too much. Following a surprise fill-in issue featuring a reprint of the original Guardians of the Galaxy’s first adventure (see review), Buckler gets Deathlok back on track with the help of several friends. The series remains an obvious reflection of Buckler’s vision, but Doug Moench’s word-heavy script slows down the action. Meanwhile, the use of multiple pencilers amplifies the series’ already-inconsistent art. The series still wants to be something special, though. Credit for that.
Cool factor: The use of the American flag as a recurring visual motif fits the politics of the era well.
Not-so-cool factor: That’s a lot of pencilers for one issue.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 9p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.
Character quotable: “Lost your taste for wastin’ – ? I haven’t!” – Deathlok, Demolisher
Editor’s note: This review was written April 21, 2023.