Sunday, February 12, 2012

Killraven and His Freemen

To celebrate my birthday - that's right, February 12, same as Abraham Lincoln's - at age 65 I thought I'd take a look back at an image from a comic book that stuck with me low these many years and a more recent tale I particularly like. I remember seeing George Pal's movie War of the Worlds as a youth and it scared the crap out of me. Then I got the Classics Illustrated version of the H.G. Wells story and the tripods on the cover scared the crap out of me. So in the early 1970's when Marvel comics began publishing Killraven in the pages of Amazing Adventures I was likewise smitten. The story of Killraven is set in the early 2000's - you know, the period we're living in right now - and the world has been taken over by Martians on their second invasion - the H.G. Wells version was really true in this tale. Killraven ends up as a gladiator participating in games for the amusement of the Martians but he escapes and joins the Freemen - a diverse band who are fighting to free the earth from the Martian overlords, generally with mixed results. The core of Killraven's little band are the group pictured. In the center is Killraven himself, made from a Streetfighter head and some GI Joe parts. On the right is his African-American "mud-brother," M'Shulla Scott and the slow-witted but fiercely loyal Old Skull, who helped Killraven escape. On the left are Camilla Frost, a feisty scientist who's usually at odds with Killraven's leadership but has a relationship going with M'Shulla (in fact they share the first known interracial kiss in comics history), and at far left is the Native American named Hawk, rather a bitter and quarrelsome fellow who you can still rely on in a fight. I confess Camilla is a figure from a line (don't remember which) which is unmodified but looked pretty good so I didn't mess with her. The rest are taken from various GI Joe figures with the parts and pieces fit together. I had to do some sculpting on M'Shulla, including the top knot on his hair. In the lower picture is the war machines from the Classics Illustrated War of the Worlds comic along with an epoxy resin version of it from a company called Lunar Models, which I don't think is around any more. At the base is a "Martian" made of metal and holding a blaster in one of its tentacles from an unknown manufacturer.

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