Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dojo Classics - Edge Of Chaos!


Pacific Comics was one of the more interesting Indy publishers in the early days of the direct-sales market. One title the Pacific crew came up with was a potential opus by Gray Morrow called Edge of Chaos which has a pretty dandy high-concept.


A man named Eric Cleese ("Hercules" of course) is lost in the Bermuda Triangle and whisked into the ancient past (vague timeframe) by aliens who have been stranded on Earth and have become the basis for our mythological gods. He meets a beauty named Diona and accepts a mission to undo the harm the alien-gods have done so that the aliens can at last go home. He must battle a renegade alien named Moloch who mourns for his dead mate, and he does this with a couple of buddies he picks up in a local bar named Flan (a drunken fellow with a baboon face) and Slag (a neanderthal looking chap). As the first issue ends the trio ride off to complete their mission riding prehistoric beasts.


The final two issues of the run though fail to really follow through on the excellent set-up. In the second issue Eric and his buds fight the "Hill Hag" a sorceress and her monsters. They overcome her fairly readily, then in the next issue we have to see all this great landscape wrapped up as characters are eliminated and the status quo is transformed because the three-issue series is coming to an end. It's a pretty random and confusing conclusion with characters popping up faster than the reader can process them, though given the space crunch Morrow does okay I guess.


It's a disappointment because this series had great potential. A strength is the artwork of Morrow, a man who was unusually gifted at drawing lovely women in all manner of undress. A weakness is his writing. Many of the pages are overwritten, with words overcoming the pace of the story. There are instances where captions get lost on the page and the text almost contradicts what we're seeing on the page. This series seems to have fallen victim to some scheduling or contractual problem that made its conclusion rushed and ironically chaotic. It's a pity.

UPDATE: Gray Morrow's artwork continues to shine through the years. He was a singular talent who seemed unusually capable of rendering lovely, sexy, realistic women. (Not like the sex doll fantasies which pass for women in so many comics in recent years.)  His heroes were grounded in a base reality which added to the fantasy which always seemed to erupt.

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4 comments:

  1. Well Rip! You opened my eyes there! I did NOT see the Eric Cleese name at the time - maybe I was too stuck on Eric Idle and John Cleese to spot the pun! I only saw the first issue and that was bad enough when it came to the story, so maybe I only missed the art of the 2nd and 3rd! Morrow was so refreshing, wasn't he?

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    1. The singular nature of Morrow's work grows more and more obvious as the years roll by and no one appears who does what he did. His style was immediately identifiable and almost always outstanding. His origin of the Man-Thing (which I'll be looking at next month) is one of my all-time favorite comic book stories and it owes much of its power to Morrow's atmospheric artwork.

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  2. I agree. I've been meaning to collect more of his work as everything I've seen is really great.

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    1. A fantastic artist. His sci-fi covers are amazing.

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