In my last post, I bravely made the claim that Morlock 2001, with its pea-pod born protagonist, was one of the few Atlas Comics titles that had the potential to generate interesting stories.
Today I'm going to put that claim to the test by reading issue #2 and seeing just what magic Michael "The Spectre" Fleisher can weave from his homicidal herbman.
We start with Morlock on the run from the police. This leads him to flee on a train but, with the sort of luck only he could have, on board, he encounters the cast of A Clockwork Orange and promptly kills them.
After getting off the train, he then encounters The Heap - two of him.
The Heaps are threatening a blind girl, causing Morlock to leap to her defence. It turns out the Heaps have been created by her father, a scientist out to create a race of plant men to help humanity.
At first it looks like the three of them are going to get on famously but the scientist gets wind of the fact there's a reward out for Morlock's arrest and promptly locks him in a shed.
Sadly, that scientist hasn't counted on the daring of his blind daughter who frees Morlock - only for him to turn into a tree and eat her.
I'm starting to spot a certain pattern to Morlock. He meets someone unpleasant and kills them by touching them. He then encounters a girl, befriends her then eats her. There's probably some sort of metaphor for life in there though I'm struggling to spot what it is.
But it's a bizarre tale, mostly for Fleisher's bafflingly shameless pilfering of other people's ideas. We don't just get the aforementioned swipes, we even get a cop show up who's clearly Kojak.
As with issue #1, we finish with Morlock wandering off into the distance, wondering what'll become of him.
There is a progression though. At the end of last issue, he'd just found the potion that can keep him human. At the end of this one, he's lost it, meaning there's nothing to stop him transforming from now on.
And so, as our sort-of-hero disappears into the sunset, we hear the Bill Bixby Hulk play-out music in our heads and can only ponder just what further vicissitudes issue #3 can throw at him and at all those he encounters.
I inflicted the novels "Danny Yates Must Die" and "Mr Landen Has No Brain" on the world, as well as a bunch of short stories under a bunch of pseudonyms.
I also run the blogs "Steve Does Comics" and "Steve Does Dr Who".
My latest novel - "Fatal Inheritance" - is out now on Amazon Kindle. If you like women fighting the forces of evil, it's the book for you.