MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1-11 (1973-1975)

Monsters Unleashed was a magazine that largely offered non-616 stories, but there were canonical tales tucked into each issue. I’m covering them in a single post.

Issue #1 had the first appearance of Solomon Kane. He would appear in a bunch of Conan stories, but would also get his own miniseries in 1985. All of it is technically canon, but not clearly so and thus I haven’t covered any of those comics on this site. At least not yet. But he did have two solidly canon cameos in Dracula Lives! #3 and in Doctor Strange #37.

Nearly every issue had Frankenstein tales that were serviceable but didn’t clearly tie into the 616. Still, he’s a canon character and there’s no reason why the stories couldn’t have taken place in the 616, so I’m noting them. Also notable is that they were written by Doug Moench and drawn by Val Mayerick. So, yeah, they’re pretty good for what they are. Here’s a fun out-of-context panel from one of the tales…

Issue #5 reprinted Man-Thing’s origin. An article about Son of Satan (talking about his upcoming series) and a Ka-Zar reprint also appeared in that issue.

Issue #7 had a very short Jack Russel story. Then #8 and #9 had a two-part Man-Thing story by Gerber and Broderick.

But it was a text piece with a few illustrations. Not really a comic. Boo! I remember reading once that there was some code rule about having text pieces to justify a magazine publication or something. That’s probably what this was.

The same issue had a Wendigo appearance by Chris Claremont. He had already appeared in the pages of X-Men, and this is very clearly the same dude because he loves shouting his own name.

And Peter Gillis wrote in to say that this comic had made him cry.


Issue #10 had a Tigra story. A hype page in #9 says #10 is the debut of Greer Nelson, but it’s not. She had already appeared in 1974.

Finally, issue #11 ended the short-lived magazine. Gabriel the Devil Hunter appeared.

It’s fun reading these in the present day. They’re dated for sure, but also they’re so much different from anything being produced in modern comics that they feel refreshing.

2 thoughts on “MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1-11 (1973-1975)”

  1. I totally agree! I would love to get my hands on some of those old magazines again. I particularly enjoyed the adventure where Solomon Kane defeated Dracula by hitting him with his change purse! ( filled with silver coins, naturally ) Brilliant! Wouldn’t mind reading that ‘Wendigo’ adventure. Every ‘Wendigo’ story is a big, fat lose/lose for any character trapped up there with that hairy horror, unless you’re the Incredible Hulk. Always wondered how the Wendigo would hold out against the full power of Havok. Even though the Wendigo is a magical force of nature, Havok’s full power could theoretically vaporize him before he could reform. Whether or not the Wendigo could reconstitute himself from that would be interesting to see. Maybe Alex and Lorna will take a vacation to the Canadian North some day!

  2. P.S. Speaking of Havok and the X-Men, your observation here that the Wendigo “had already appeared in the pages of the X-Men” is factually incorrect. As of the time of this magazine’s publication, ( 1974 ) the Wendigo had not yet made it into the pages of the X-Men. That would not transpire for another six years, in ‘Uncanny X-Men’s #139 and 140. ( 1980 ) However, Wendy did make a couple of appearances around the same time as of this magazine over in the pages of ‘The Incredible Hulk”, in issues #162, ( where he actually defeats the Hulk, although he fails to have him for dinner ) and again, in the very-celebrated issues #180 and 181. Gotta watch those details!


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