The Tomb of Dracula

Alight, before we begin let our get our bearings of what Dracula comic we are talking about. Dracula, the famous literary and film villain everyone has already heard about, got a lengthy stay in a Marvel based comic during the 1970’s. Though the villain appeared in a 50’s comic called Suspense, the modern narrative of Dracula in the Marvel universe began in 1972 with creators Gerry Conway, Gene Colan, and Marv Wolfman. Dracula, as a character based on literature, was used as a way to circumnavigate the Comics Code which prohibited ghastly things like vampires. Tomb of Dracula, as a color comic, ran throughout the 70’s along side a 13 issue black and white magazine publication called Dracula Lives!

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Arion: Lord of Atlantis (1981)

arion lord of atlantis

I know what you are thinking. Yes, Arion is from Atlantis. Yes Aquaman is also from atlantis. Nom it isn’t as easy as them being in the same Atlantis. That makes things more interesting and more confusing is the magic weilding character of Arion is wrapped up more in the stories of Superman and Powergirl and was debuted in a Warlord comic. Yes, he is the lord of Atlantic and is a vital importance to the shaping of the Atlantean world. Yes, he was the child of two Atlantean mages…

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Dungeons and Dragons (2010)

Dungeons and Dragons

When you write a comic for the Dungeons and Dragons game, there are a few things you can expect from the story. As the writers and artist can not drastically change the universe which has been building for a few decades, readers can expect a certain level of uniformity when dealing with the world. Additionally, since the comics have historically acted more as a supplement and possible marketing hook, one can expect characters and setting to not stray too far off the path. When you read a Dungeons and Dragons…

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KULL (2008)

Okay let us be really honest here. We know that you are here because you like fantasy comics and we already know that Darkhorse has a stalker like fascination with the works of Robert E Howard. I know that I have talked before about Dark Horse’s multiple concurrent series of Conan but did I fail to mention smaller albeit still impressive series dealing with Kull? I didn’t? Well then let me inform you. Please sit down, this may take a little bit.

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GRIMJACK – Omnibus (1983 – 1985)


I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a comic about a pan-dimensional detective mercenary swashbuckler. That shit sounds awesome. Grimjack was the name of a comic that got its start in the 1980’s by John Ostrander and Timothy Truman. Ostrander is known for his work outside of this series, particularly his late 80’s run of Suicide Squad for DC Comics as well the more recent Star Wars Legacy comic from Dark Horse. Truman has, and is currently, writing the Dark Horse series for Conan and its many iterations. Before all…

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RED SONJA (Marvel Feature #1-7)

red sonja

Well, it looks like we are going to get into some really nerdy territory, which is actually alright for this type of review. In going through some of the highlights, gems, and forgotten garbage that makes up a basement of fantasy related comics, I have found a genre that interests me despite its quality. Vintage fantasy and sci-fi related material is endearing and comforting despite its quality, and is even sometimes better when hacky and rushed. This may be a terrible way to introduce Red Sonja, but if we are…

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conan the barbarian 1970

If you have been a loyal follower of Hollywood Metal, you will remember my review of the of the Savage Tales of Conan, which was a magazine comic run in the mid 70’s by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith. Savage Tales, which would later be Savage Sword, was sort of a party for the two as they were not chained by the comic code authority. Why did they do this? Well, it is hard to say, but it was probably because they spent 5 years prior making the squeaky…

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CAMELOT 3000 (1982)

I mean, why wouldn’t you read a comic called Camelot 3000? Just by the title, one already has the tone, style, and pretty much all of the plot beaming like a beacon before even stepping foot into the story. Projecting a past legend into the future comes with many expectations, none of which will be able to walk the line of seriousness for long. From the opening pages of Mike W. Barr’s miniseries, Camelot 3000 typifies a pulp adventure by traveling to the furthest reaches of familiarity and ridiculousness. I mean, why wouldn’t I review this type of story? It has knights in space.

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Of all my reviews here at Hollywood metal, my favorite are when I get to review lesser known material. Be it albums, movies, or comics. Delving into a work either lightly tread or momentarily forgotten is a wonderful experience. I do not think Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius, is a particularly obscure comic artist, but rather he is lesser known than other fantasy comic artists. His work lies down a path that is accessible to anyone who travels a little bit farther into fantasy comics. Though it is easy…

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This is the second Dungeons and Dragons comic from the late 80’s I have decided to review. The first was the Forgotten Realms comic, which ran for two years from 1989 to 1991. At the same time, TSR, Inc., the original owner of Dungeons and Dragons property, published what seemed like an endless series of related comics. There was a comic based on the Labyrinths of Madness module, the Dragonlance setting, and who could forget the one based on the space fantasy campaign Spelljammer. There was also the general comic…

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MOUSE GUARD – The Black Axe


This is a review of the third volume in David Petersen’s Mouse Guard. It also may be a possible summary and introduction for others not familiar with one of the more interesting fantasy comics in recent years. If one hasn’t read this story, stop here and go out and read it. I am going to be discussing the plot of the story and wouldn’t want to ruin anything for you. On the surface, Mouse Guard is a simple story of medieval life and warfare just on a tiny scale with…

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Let us just preview what Warlord is all about. Huh. Fighter Pilot gets shot out of the sky. Alright. Plummets through the center of the earth. Sure. Arrives in a mythical land where prehistoric beasts, pirates, half naked women, and wizards all have crazy ass adventures. Yes. I am already on board with this and this is just the first page.  Warlord came at a special time when just about anything could be done with comics. Before things became dark and gritty for young adults, comics in the 1970’s were…

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Well. Holy shit. If there was a comic that could capture the essence of Hollywood Metal, I think I have found it. If there was a comic that could also capture the spirit of genre bending, I think I have also found it. Atlantean viking scifi historical fantasy activate. I know it is difficult to believe but the world outside of the United States has comics. Sometimes the most popular are ones you have never heard of. Enter Thorgal, a fantasy comic that has been dominating the French/Belgian market since…

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While there are newer titles available, I feel that there was a golden period for fantasy comics that hit right around the 70’s into the 80’s. This golden period, in my opinion, was specifically related to the subversion of the Comics Code Authority, established more than a decade prior. While comic books were under strict guidelines of content and theme, comics that ran in magazine publications could do whatever the hell they wanted. Much in the same way underground Comix were sold in head shops and artsy bookstores, fantasy magazines…

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