Review: Astonishing Tales #36

Astonishing Tales #36 cover
Cover by Rich Buckler

Astonishing Tales #36
Published and © by Marvel, July 1976

Title: “Confessions of a Demolished Man!”
Synopsis: Separated into two (or maybe three?) forms, a cloned Luther Manning starts chronicling the adventures of Deathlok.

Writer: Rich Buckler
Penciler: Buckler
Embellisher: Keith Pollard

Review: The original Deathlok serial’s reach often exceeded its grasp (see reviews). There’s now a cloned human version of Luther Manning (Deathlok’s alter ego), but still with an internal computer voice. And there’s a cyborg version, sans human, but with computer. And an “exact medical replica” of the cyborg. Say what?


Title: “What To Do After the Apocalypse!”
Synopsis: In a dilapidated subway station, Deathlok encounters Godwulf and appears to blink out of existence.

Writer: Rich Buckler
Penciler: Buckler
Inker: Keith Pollard

Review: Is this a past Deathlok adventure? Current? Who knows? Another confusing story, this one with strangely flat art.

Grade: C+

Second opinion: “Why was Astonishing Tales #36 the last issue of that title, an ending so sudden that people are still looking for the next issue? Was the Deathlok series too different, or too good? Too violent?” – Ruan Lanihorne, Bemusing Magazine #13, May 1977 … “The art/story job on each issue is very good, but overall the series did not gel. Ironic, however, that just as things were getting sorted out, the book was canceled.” – Richard Ashford, Comics Unlimited #44, June 1977 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: This strip is so close …
Not-so-cool factor: … yet so far away. (Also, who in hell is Godwulf?)

Notable: First appearance of Godwulf. … Story continues in Marvel Spotlight #33.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 30¢ variant and a 10p British variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “Then – I’m not rid of the stigma of the death machine – I’m not completely free.” – Luther Manning, cloned and confused

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 24, 2023.

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