Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mystifying Marvels: Krull #1-2 (1983)

The 1983 Sci-fi movie Krull is a guilty pleasure of mine. There's a lot for me to like about this movie even if the acting wasn't so great: Amazing cinematography, a kickass weapon called the Glaive, Rell the Cyclops, a young Liam Neeson, and the Black Fortress and it's monstrous overlord, The Beast. The soundtrack is pretty fantastic as well.

Marvel released the official comic adaptation of the film in two formats. The first was in a magazine sized Marvel Super Special, and the second was a two-issue limited series. Both formats were penciled by Bret Blevins (New Mutants) and inked by Vincent Colletta, best known for his work with Jack Kirby.

It appears that this adaptation was rushed, probably in an effort to coincide with the movie. There are some shades of amazement in some of the panels, while others are just downright awful. Check out a few pages from the two-issue version below:

If you've never seen the film, it's basically about a planet called Krull that has been invaded by The Beast and his army of Slayers. The Slayers attack the kingdom and kidnap Princess Lyssa, and it's up to Prince Colwyn to try and rescue her.

Colwyn gets help from Ynyr the Old One, who tells him he needs to find the Glaive, a magical star weapon that is hidden in a cave on a mountain. Glaive in hand, he must find the Black Fortress, a dark castle that changes location every sunrise. Along the way the duo run into an unlikely band of heroes, such as clumsy magician Ergo the Magnificent, Rell the Cyclops, and a group of thieves.

Eventually the group visits the Emerald Seer in hopes of obtaining information on where the Black Fortress is located. But the Beast destroys the Seer's gemstone before the location is revealed. The Seer tells the group there is a place within the Great Swamp where his magic is safe from the Beast, and the first issue ends as the group sets off for the journey.

The second issue of Krull has this pretty cool, pinkish cover going for it:

This issue picks up where the last issue left off with the group heading for the Black Swamp. They find themselves knee deep in Slayers and other such obstacles such as a Changeling, which had possessed and killed the Seer.

With no way to find the Black Fortress, Ynyr heads off alone to the Lair of the Crystal Spider, to ask his ex-lover Widow of the Web for assistance. The Widow had been banished there after killing their only child, and only the sands of the Enchanted Hourglass protect her from the spider. She reveals the location of the Black Fortress to Ynyr and gives him the sand so he can escape, sacrificing herself instead.

Ynyr tells the group where the Black Fortress is and then dies, having run out of sand. They head for the fortress and climb it, and Rell the Cyclops holds open the moving door so the group can get inside. Here is where the comic differs from the movie a bit, because in the movie the group try their best to save Rell, who is unable to escape the closing doors in time. But in the comic he just accepts his fate and lets the doors crush him willingly.

The rest of the group begin to drop like flies as Colwyn infiltrates the Fortress and makes it to the Beast's Lair. He rescues the Princess, but before they can escape the Beast arrives, and the final epic battle begins.

And that's that. With the Beast dead the lovers escape before the Black Fortress tumbles on top of them and then gets sucked up into the sky. Torquil, the leader of the thieves survives and Colwyn names him Lord Marshal. The comic ends as the voice of Ynyr the Old One declares: "A girl of ancient name that shall become Queen, that she shall choose a King, and that together they shall rule their world, and that their son shall rule the galaxy!"

All in all, even in the obvious rushed mess of a form it's in...I'm glad Marvel put this movie in a comic adaptation. Too bad they didn't try a continuation format as they did with the fantastic Logan's Run series, but beggars can't be choosers. As a big fan of the movie, I'm happy with what Marvel put out. If you have yet to see the movie, what are your reading this for? By all means check it out. It's a classic 80's sci-fi romp!


HA! never realized that was Liam Neesam in that movie but i can see it now. i used to have these issue back in the day and i kinda liked the movie at the time although i don;t know how it would hold up in the here and now.

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