This cover has Blocker and Suzi Cho in (what looks like) a Nazi jet as it straddles two time periods while stuck (?) in a time portal. Cho looks safe enough in Time Control, though Blocker is half in, half out of the portal, so let’s hope it doesn’t close before he gets all the way through. I think our hopes are high here, as grizzly deaths by dismemberment of bodies seems much more an Inferno / Flesh thing than anything that’s appeared in Star Lord yet. Of main characters, at least. p.s. that cover line confirms I guessed the year right last week!
Last week’s Mind Wars had an ‘end of book one’ feel in the last panel. My imaginary ‘book two’ begins with Controller of the Federation Doctor Varn blaming the twins for destroying the world of Yu-Jubum (the one the Controller ordered destroyed) and a major warship lost (Jugla did that) and so sends a reserve space-fleet – no messing about with a warship or two now! Meanwhile the new character Zazda, who Ardeni likes, and is such a great friend of Kola goes down to the drive chamber and gets killed, but not before telling the twins to search for the green star (or should that be The Green Star?) Meanwhile meanwhile, the Cosmol Na-Rutha spends some quality time with his beloved Klee-Fang, though fears for his life companion for a moment when he thinks the shoulder-dragon is going to be ripped apart by piranhas. Klee-Fang wins. Na-Rutha finds out that an entire space fleet has left Earth so takes the opportunity to launch a full scale invasion and also increase the neural irradiations to control the twins and send them to Earth as as the other prong of a two-pronged attack.
The second episode of the Space Ritz Hotel story is similar to the first – the double page spread shows us the hotel, then the actual story starts on subsequent pages. Ro-Jaws waiter disguise consists of… well, nothing – he’s just the same as normal – the other waiters have mouths supposed to smile at customers while Ro-Jaws has jaws meant for grinding garbage. Before R-J and HS leave the Preying Mantis, however, they discover a stowaway, ½ Tough has stowed aboard to try to convince the Chairman of British Leymek to make one last arm to replace his. I predict things will go thusly: ½ Tough will get his chance but the Chairman will give him short shrift. Shortly afterwards the Space Ritz Hotel robots will go on the rampage, ½ Tough will save the Chairman, who will relent in gratitude. That’s the optimistic version, of course – the other is that ½ Tough will save the Chairman but continue to be treated as a slave, no gratitude in sight, or that the broken droid will get destroyed. I can’t recall the robot appearing in later Ro-Busters stories, so things possibly do not look good. But R-J and HS aren’t there to chat all day, they’re at the hotel to investigate if anything untoward is afoot. They discover human clothes in the dressing room of Swing-Alonga-Max. The conclusion the duo come to is that Max is actually a human in disguise, but as this is supposed to be a mystery I’m going to also suggest they could just be the clothes of the human owner of the hotel, who was killed last week. It’s probably going to be the answer the duo came up with, but depends on how much of a whodunnit vibe Pat is aiming for in this story (probably not much).
Starfax next, with the rules to the boardgame that’s been taking up the centre-spread for the past four issues.
On to Strontium Dog, where Alpha and Sternhammer are arriving on the deserted planet of Circes, devastated by Neutron weapons, which have killed (almost) all residents but left the buildings largely untouched. Their patron is the apparently senile computer McIntyre, who speaks through Cringe, an intermediary robot. Their task is to locate and return the twenty natives who survived the Great Neutron War in return for any one object of value from the city. It’s quite obvious that the native’s days will be numbered if Johnny succeeds in this task, so it’s unclear why he accepts. What is obvious is that the one object of value he’ll collect when he succeeds is going to be Cringe, leaving the despotic computer alone for eternity. In the meantime the cliffhanger is that the two bounty hunters are surrounded by the natives, who have lured them into a trap. Except that the natives are armed with clubs and the S/D agents have a panoply of weaponry, gizmos and combat experience on their side.
Planet of the Damned takes a turn for the worse, with Flint acting like a despot, dooming Hackmann to certain death for wanting to go home, and the Professor dooming everyone in Sanctuary to certain death for notwanting to go home! The professor gives full instructions on what to do and acts as if he won’t be going to the plane. After an interruption he gets killed – lucky he gave those instructions, eh?
Hell Planet hasn’t finished – there’s something called Mutie Cards for a full-colour page – some of the 16 cards have creatures who look like they’re fresh from an early Dungeons & Dragons bestiary with spaceships looking like they’re from some of those FutureFocus PosterGraphs. Now Hell Planet has finished. Unless there’s going to be a few weeks of alternative rule systems?
The cover story, Time Quake, has Blocker finally figure out that Martin Bormann is Zeidler. Oh, they also escaped from the 2478 Naziworld, an atomic bomb exploding in Berlin in late May 1945 but have ended up in Berlin on 1st of May 1945, with Dr Zeidler/Martin Bormann pointing a gun at them.
Grailpage: I was tempted by the opening spread of Strontium Dog with Johnny and Wulf meeting the City 4 computer but I’m instead going for Redondo’s page dominated by the Cosmol’s palace, birds flying through the sky, Na-Rutha and Klee-Fang.
Grailquote: following that page is Alan Hebbden, Na-Rutha: “Klee-Fang… No! Those fish will tear you to pieces!” Klee-Fang: “Quoooooorkkk!” Na-Rutha: “Klee-Fang! It was you who did the eating – forgive me for doubting you!” Klee-Fang: “Quooorkk… hic!”