Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Dojo Classics - Weirdworld!

Thoroughly enjoyed reading Doug Moench's Weirdworld stories once again. The way these stories tumbled out bit by bit from Marvel during the late 70's and into the 80's shows at once the durability of the concepts and the abiding patience of creators who know they have something special to share. Weirdworld was lucky to have some excellent artists in its time such as Mike Ploog, Alex Nino, Pat Broderick, John Buscema, Rudy Nebres, and Marie Severin among others. It seemed that each time a Weirdworld story managed to surface it offered a somewhat different take on the totally peculiar environment which at once evokes the arch danger of Middle Earth by Tolkien and the sardonic whimsy of Wonderland by Carroll.

The first story was a back-up feature in a magazine featuring The Punisher of all people. The first time the Weirdworld rated a cover was when it appeared in an issue of Marvel Premiere. For a more detailed analysis of these two early appearances check this post from about five years ago titled "The Lord of  Tyndall's Quest". 

Though not published until the later 1980's the next story in the saga chronologically appeared in three issues of Marvel Fanfare. Check my review of those issues here

The most spectacular appearance of Weirdworld was in three mind-blowing issues titled Warriors of the Shadow Realm. This is a true epic tale with eye-popping artwork by John Buscema and Rudy Nebres with painted treatments by Peter Ledger and others. Here is my examination of those fantastic magazines. 

And finally the collection wraps up with a sequel to Warriors of the Shadow Realm with another tale by Moench and more artwork by John Buscema. This time the finishes are done by Marie Severin in a rougher but still attractive style. These stories appeared in four issues of Epic Illustrated, and here is my review of those stories. 

The Weirdworld stories hold up exceedingly well, better than many such works that evoke the Tolkien feel. Moench says he wasn't influenced by The Lord of the Rings and certainly this is not a copy, but details in both do make yoiu scratch your head. Great stuff!

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