Review: Charlton Bullseye #3

Charlton Bullseye (1981) #3 cover
Cover by Ian Carr

Charlton Bullseye #3
Published and © by Charlton, September 1981

Title: “Prophecy of Doom!”
Synopsis: Can an overmatched barbarian free the village from the sorcerous thrall of evil Queen Shalastra?

Writer: Ian Carr
Artist: Carr

Review: Charlton continues its professionally packaged fanzine era with this solid fantasy-and-sci-fi issue. Ian Carr pens a fun short story, but it is his art – which resembles a cross between Joe Staton and Gene Colan – that really shines. It’s surprising he didn’t go on to bigger-and-better things.


Title: “Mission”
Synopsis: An astronaut’s mission – to learn why unmanned probes to a distant planet keep disappearing – ends in violent misunderstanding.

Writer: Michael Grace
Artist: Grace

Review: This short sci-fi tale lacks professional polish, but would have been right at home in the Bronze Age’s better fanzines.


Title: “Cavern of the Brain-Eaters”
Synopsis: A manned exploration team discovers evidence of advanced life on Mars – and maybe something more sinister.

Writer: Gary Wray
Penciler: Wray

Review: Looking for the plot of “Alien” drawn in a style reminiscent of Basil Wolverton’s 1950s sci-fi work? Here you go.


Title: “Duel in the Stars”
Synopsis: In the Taurian star system, a warlord’s attempt to smuggle his heirs to safety ends in a deadly space battle.

Writer: Ron Fortier
Artist: Gary Kato

Review: Typical space opera in the “Star Trek”/“Star Wars” vein. Gary Kato’s serviceable art is too cartoony for the material.

Grade (for the entire issue): C+

Second opinion: “Promising work, but derivative to a fault.” – Dale Luciano, The Comics Journal #69, December 1981 … “Of this run … #3 is the best, it’s highlight being a strip by the largely unknown Ian Carr.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: Every one of these stories has something to offer, and Ian Carr should have been a contender.

Character quotable:Od’s blood! What happens? Where am I?” – Grundar the Barbarian

Editor’s note: This review was written May 20, 2023.

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