Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Classics - World of Wood #2 (of 4)

   If I had to name a list of my top ten favorite artists of all time, it's a safe bet that Wally Wood would be on the list.

   He passed away in 1981, but thankfully his work has been reprinted many times over.

   One favorite is this reprint series released by Eclipse Comics in 1986. Tucked behind a wonderful Dave Stevens cover (an homage to a classic bit of Wood art, reprinted below) are three uncensored stories that show Wood's amazing art talents - although they also demonstrate that his writing could be a bit a bit unorthodox at times.

   The first story is called "The End," and it's an interesting mash-up of Lord of the Rings, Conan and, I don't know, Cinemax? It follows the search for revenge by an Elf who survives a massacre, the kidnapping of a Queen and the revenge of her King.

   Did I mention that the women spend most of the story unclothed? Calm down, the same is true for the male characters. It's a brutal story with lots of twists and turns.

   The second story is "The Cosmic All," and it follows a group of space explorers who travel the universe looking for intelligent life - but they only find death and destruction. Wood, of course, was a master of science fiction settings and machinery. Watch out for the Twilight Zone ending!

   The final story whips us back into the world of fantasy. "War of the Wizards" features the Conan-like Torin, who must outwit several wizards and save the lovely Marissa, who also has trouble keeping her clothes on.

   The stories are all models of short, efficient and imaginative stories. The art is phenomenal - no one drew manlier men or more voluptuous women, more amazing environments or more detailed backgrounds.

   Thank goodness Wood's work continues to be available to new generations of comics fans. His work is always well worth tracking down.

   One of the all-time greatest!

Grade: A



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