Review: Thrilling Adventure Stories #1

Thrilling Adventure Stories #1 cover
Cover by Ernie Colón

Thrilling Adventure Stories #1
Published and © by Atlas (Seaboard), February 1975

Title: “Tigerman and the Flesh Peddlers”
Synopsis: When a young girl plunges to her death, Tigerman tracks down those who traffic in runaways and extracts bloody revenge.

Writer: John Albano
Artist: Ernie Colón

Review: Thrilling Adventure Stories #2 has a reputation of being the best comic from long-defunct publisher Atlas (Seaboard), but this debut issue isn’t bad, either. The anthology kicks off with the first appearance of Tigerman. The art is by the underrated Ernie Colón, whose unique style looks even better in B&W.


Title: “The Sting of Death”
Synopsis: When a plane explodes over Africa, six survivors must make their way through a dangerous jungle inhabited by cannibals.

Writer: John Albano
Artist: Leo Summers

Review: Dated racial sensibilities can make this story uncomfortable for today’s reader. Leo Summers’ shadowy art shows promise.


Title: “Kromag the Killer”
Synopsis: Kromag the Killer protects his tribe of topless women from wooly mammoths, giant snakes, dinosaurs and saber-toothed tigers.

Writers: Jack Sparling and Gabriel Levy
Artist: Sparling

Review: Less a story than an excuse for Jack Sparling to draw man-vs.-nature action and topless women. Adequate, at best.


Title: “Lawrence of Arabia”
Synopsis: A “quiet archaeologist from Oxford” becomes a hero helping the Arabian people fend off Turkish invaders.

Writer: Jeff Rovin
Artist: Frank Throne

Review: Jeff Rovin’s story is a bit tough to follow, but Frank Thorne’s stylish art is the nicest in this issue.


Title: “Escape From Nine By 1”
Synopsis: An American prisoner of war must outsmart both a spy and the Stalag commander to escape alive.

Writer: Russ Heath
Artist: Heath

Review: Another solid-but-unspectacular story, this one by the legendary Russ Heath. It’s not vintage Heath, but his storytelling chops are strong.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Cool factor: It’s Atlas (Seaboard) trying their hand at the B&W magazine format that was popular in the ’70s.
Not-so-cool factor: Again, the racism can be pretty abhorrent in these ’70s adventure mags.  

Notable: First appearance of Tigerman. … Includes text features on the films of Alistair MacLean and Doc Savage. … Also features two one-page pinups of the Atlas (Seaboard) characters, illustrated by Ernie Colón.

Character quotable: “Black – like the color of your heart, whore!” – the thoroughly unpleasant Erich, “hero” of “The Sting of Death”

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Oct. 14, 2010.

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