Time Capsule: Here's to the Losers Part I

This one goes out to the losers... No, not the World War II team. No, this is me paying at least some due to the series that were NOT selected as Spaceknight Saturdays' successor. First up by way of a Time Capsule, is the biggest loser of them all: Arak Son of Thunder, who managed to attract a paltry 8% of the vote. Is he just another of Roy Thomas' Conan clones? Or did he have something more to offer?The label says August 1981...

ARAK SON OF THUNDER PREVIEW in Warlord #48, DC Comics, August 1981
Arak first appears in a preview at the end of an issue of Warlord, with no real indication of what his origins might be. That's left to his first issue. But I can tell you that he's an American Indian who was found in a canoe by Vikings as a boy. Raised as one of their own, he eventually embarks on Conan-like adventures through medieval/fantasy Europe and, you know, chops up monsters and rescues near naked ladies.

Speaking of near-naked ladies... This issue of Warlord is already full of them (Tara, the not-so-safe-for-work Shakira, a sacrificial virgin and Jennifer Morgan who actually GETS naked, not to mention the underboobage in the Claw the Unconquered back-up), but none of these are drawn by Ernie Colon. Yes, the dude who once worked on Casper and Richie Rich. But have you seen his ladies?
She hasn't gone unnoticed by Arak - forest stalker (!).
I don't want to attract attention to Roy's next metaphor which makes him still like stone, but I just have. He kills the two hounds she sics on him, cuts her bow in half with his tomahawk and gets one last look at her upskirted behind...
...before stopping her horse with his "war whoop". In any case, he's not looking to get his groove on (purely a voyeur, then), but for the treasure trove of amber rumored to be in these parts. Before she can help him with directions, he gets hit upside the head by a spear.
Don't worry, he survives, but they take the girl. Arak follows the trail of his Svear (Swedish) attackers straight to the amber trove where they've deposited the girl, something which frees a monster from the amber (it's Jurassic Park all over again).
Arak plows through the sea raiders to get to the girl, but the creature's got more than one head to rip off.
Thankfully, the girl's got some magic (other than the obvious kind, I mean) and voices an incantation that turns the monster back into amber. The raiders have fled and they were the only real threat to her. The monster is her guardian and helps her protect the treasure. She does take pity on poor Arak, though, who is not only wounded, but hasn't seen any nudity in over 9 pages.
Is it sexist if I say I'd like to see more women wear their hair this way?
Yeah, I guess it is. But I'm just getting into the spirit of the times! And that means it's ok.



De said...

In the immortal words of George Takei: "Oh my!"

I'll have to dig through the quarter bins and give Arak a second look. My adolescent self thanks you, sir.

Siskoid said...

Hahaha. And no Valda yet either... she was scrumptious.

Quarter bin is right. Arak gets no respect.

Austin Gorton said...

Hmm...I might have to check this out as well. I like the sound of the premise. Plus, you know...

Anonymous said...

"Arak" was like the History Channel for the young adolescent nerd crowd. I dug it, but man, there has never been a writer as uneven as Roy Thomas.

My introduction to "Arak" was #7, the first issue in Rome with the Wandering Jew. Everything about that comic rocked, down to the choice of ending the issue with Arak threatening the bad guy (rather than the traditional hero-surprised-with-jaw-agape reveal). Then the issue after that was absolutely craptacular, devoted mostly to Arak fighting gladiators.

I guess the good issues of "Arak" were a lot like the HBO series "Rome": they created a remote time and place without seeming forced. Then the other half of the stories, Carmine Infantino would draw the midget pickpocket hopping around like a ninja (because, if D&D taught us nerds back then anything, it's that that surgeon-like manual dexterity and acrobatic talent are inextricably interwtined).

Jack Norris said...

"Is it sexist if I say I'd like to see more women wear their hair this way?"

Do you mean "oddly tucked into the halter-y bra-like contraption holding their boobs"?

Because I don't know if it's sexist, but it does seem a tad over-specialized...


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