Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lo! There Shall Come...Endings! Morlock 2001 #3

One of the most popular posts on the ol' Diversions so far was way back in October, when Ol' Groove gave ya the lowdown on Morlock 2001 (any last-minute party crashers can read that pulse-pounding post right here). Well, since we're celebrating endings, I thought I'd share the fateful finale to that screwy series. As you'll see, this was a last-ditch effort by Atlas/Seaboard to save their sci-fi/horror mash from oblivion. New editor, Larry Lieber and new writer, Gary Friedrich teamed with the new (and far-freakin' out) art team of Steve Ditko and Bernie Wrightson to kill off Morlock and turn the mag over to a group of whackos called the Midnight Men. We'll never know if Morlock was truly dead or if the revamp would'a worked as there were no more issues of Morlock 2001 published after this one. Still, ish 3 (April, 1975) was a hoot-n-a-half. Well worth checking out, Groove-ophiles!


  1. WOW! i used to have this book and i completely forgot that it was inked by berni wrightson. that is super-cool!!!

  2. Berni Wrightson had begun to do a lot of 'journeyman' comics inking in 1975-6 whilst studying painting on his own time before launching into a memorable poster series for Christopher Enterprises, culminating in his A LOOK BACK hardcover which, with his FRANKENSTEIN portfolios and book, signalled the end of an era in his work. His art in the 1980s was not as fresh or innovative as his '70s work where he seemed to be breaking new ground with just about every job.

  3. Wow, what a wild ride! Friedrich seemed to be taking the story into an exciting direction, and the Ditko/Wrightson art worked wonderfully well for this story. I'd be willing to bet Morlock didn't die, though. The Midnight Men were a good addition, but not good enough to replace Morlock. Of course, there was still that second pod, which presumably could have produced another plant-man like Morlock.

  4. After leaving SWAMP THING in mid 1974, Wrightson for a while limited his comics work to doing a cover here and there, and inking covers by others, probably helping artist friends meet deadlines. Good as Wrightson is in any form, I felt these for the most part diminished Wrightson's overall image, many of them not even recognizable as Wrightson, and certainly not among his best work.
    This one inking Ditko is arguably in that category, not even recognizable as Wrightson art. But still an interesting one-time combination of two great comics artists.

    Compare also with BATMAN 265 (July 1975), with Rich Buckler pencils/ Wrightson inks, that I think is a much nicer collaboration.

    See also these Neal Adams pencils / Wrightson inks issues:

    GREEN LANTERN 82 (Feb Mar 1971) 1 page of a 22 page story, the rest inked by Giordano
    GREEN LANTERN 84 (June-July 1971) all 22 pages inked by Wrightson
    BATMAN 241 cover (May 1972), perfection !
    WEIRD WESTERN 12 (June-July 1972) "El Diablo" backup story, 4 pages.

    Keep in mind this was also the period (1974-1979) that Wrightson did about 9 scattered masterwork stories and about 30 decorative intro splash pages for CREEPY and EERIE magazines, the time from 1975-1983 that Wrightson began his definitive illustrated version of the FRANKENSTEIN novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley(finally published in 1983), and his work on gorgeous posters and prints, collected in the books THE STUDIO (1979) and A LOOK BACK (1980).
    So Wrightson's primary focus was clearly not comics in this period, although he kept a small hand in it.



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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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