Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Far-Out Fantasy Week! Black and White Wednesday Groovy Guest-Post: "The Isle of Fear!" by Mantlo and Mayerik

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Mighty Mike Mikulovsky is back with yet another Groovy Guest-Post! This time, the Mighty One is reminiscing about the far-out Hercules back-up found in Marvel Preview #10 (early 1977). Ready? Set? Go!!

I've always been a big Thor fan, but I'm an even bigger Hercules fan. After grabbing Marvel Preview #10 off the shelf, I learned that not only did it have a great Thor cover by Ken Barr, but also a beautiful frontispiece by Jim Starlin! The Thor feature was by Jim Starlin, Tony Dezuniga, and story by Len Wein! To my pleasant surprise, when I got to the second half of the mag I found a even greater feature to me: Hercules by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Val Mayerik of Frankenstein and Man-Thing fame. Val drew similar to Barry Windsor Smith in this story! It looks spectacular! "The Isle of Fear" retells the story of Hercules' greatest battle during his time with  Jason and the Argonauts. Bill sure knew how to write entertaining tales, too. His work a few years later on the Micronauts, then on Rom, Spaceknight, and the Incredible Hulk were always, well, incredible! (Bill's on FaceBook for anyone who like to write on his wall.) Whenever I think of Marvel's/Kirby's Hercules, I think of Steve Reeves! (I was always disappointed Marvel wrote Herc as a buffoon, which I didn't like. Herc could be a hot-headed, ego maniacal, party animal and womanizer--and he could be careless at times, sure. But I never thought of him as stupid.) I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did in the winter 1977 and still do today. For Olympus! No wonder I ended up naming my huge maine coon cat Zeus!


  1. GGGGaaaa....GGGaaaaaaa....GGGGaaaaaa I give this story two biceps up!

  2. Now this is how the Price of Power should have always been portrayed - as a fearless warrior loyal to his comrades. Have at thee!

    - Mike from Trinidad & Tobago.

  3. I had fun with this story for a few reasons; I was able to work with gray tones which only B&W books could accommodate. I'm usually very critical if not embarrassed by of lot of my past work but I'm pleasantly surprised that I rather like seeing this story again after so many years. Reeves was the quintessential Hercules for me too. His films had an indelible effect on me. Sorry Kevin Sorbo. This may have been the last job Bill and I worked on together; maybe Paradox. I don't know for sure. Val Mayerk

    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing this story again, Val! If you spelunk around Groove City long enough, you'll see that you have a lot of fans around here! You should be very proud, indeed, of your work on this story! It's easy to see that you were having a ball and really cut loose on this story. God bless Bill Mantlo.

    2. Hey Val
      Thanks for stopping by & telling us your memories of working on this great Hercule's tale. I'm with you & sure the King. Would agree Steve Reeves was our generations Hercules. Like Sean Connery was out Bond.....James Bond. Sorry I couldn't resist. Loved your other Marvel work also.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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