Monday, March 25, 2013

Atlas/Seaboard Comics: The Brute

Some think that Atlas Comics monster book, The Brute, was just a crude imitation of the original savage origins of Marvel's green Goliath, The Incredible Hulk, here recast as a blue savage Neanderthal caveman.  This curious choice of a cannibal “hero” was a savage ape man, suddenly frozen during the Ice Age, who slept in a moving glacier until an atomic power plant awoke him in modern times. This beast retreats to a cave surviving on scrawny rats until three young cave explorers stumble upon him by accident...and two become his next dinner. One of these lucky kids escapes and alerts the authorities, as the Brute is captured by an entire police force, brought to trial, and put in a sympathetic woman anthropologist’s care. But as we suspect, the Brute escapes, runs amok and murders more townsfolk in its three issue short-lived series. Michael Fleisher's creepy first two issues were illustrated by the talented Mike Sekowsky highlighted by the moody inks of Pablo Marcos. Gary Friedrich was chosen to script the final issue with Alan Lee Weiss doing the art chores on this unusual book. I never saw the Hulk connection but do see the similarities to a 1970 B movie and the last film for star Joan Crawford. Here is the motion picture's synopsis. Anthropologist Dr. Brockton unearths in a local cave a troglodyte (an Ice Age 'missing link" half-caveman, half-ape) and manages to domesticate him...until he's let loose by an irate land developer to go on a rampage and kidnap a little girl. Sound familiar, just a few slight changes and you have Seaboard's ,The Brute, but it was fun all the same.

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