Thursday, 26 July 2012

Atlas Comics' Morlock 2001 #2.

Morlock 2001 #2, Atlas Comics

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.

Atlas Comics, Morlock 2001 #2, Droogs on a train

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.

Atlas Comics, Morlock 2001 #2, Morlock turns into a tree and eats a blind girl
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.


Boston Bill said...

'Little Otik', a Czech fantasy/horror about a tree stump Homunculus that comes to life with a disturbing appetite. First thing I thought of when I saw the illustration on your post!

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Bill. The name of that rings a bell though I don't know where I've heard of it before.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic completely, but will we be seeing Steve Does The Olympics Opening Ceremony?

Everyone else in the online world seems to have had their say, so c'mon, give us your thoughts...

B Smith

Boston Bill said...

Steve, off topic again, but check this out: Silver age Marvel, done DC-Style!

Steve W. said...

B; I did indeed see the Olympic opening ceremony and had strong feelings about it.

Sadly, I fear it's probably too late in the day to launch a brand new blog dedicated to it - plus there'd be only one post, which wouldn't make it much of a blog.

Therefore, I'll give my thoughts on it a quick mention at the start of my next post on here and hope its slightly anomalous presence doesn't annoy people too much.

Bill; Thanks for the link. I really do love that post. It almost makes me wish DC HAD done Marvel's Silver Age covers for them.

Steve W. said...

Hmn, I don't know why I capitalised "had" in that last comment. Now it looks like I was randomly shouting, like a madman.

R. W. Watkins said...

I've been re-reading and contemplating the old Atlas titles lately. I think Atlas actually did up the ante on violence, gore, sex, etc in its brief period. Given this and its brief tenure as a company, Atlas may very well have been to prepubescent Gen-Xers as EC in the early '50s had been to prepubescent baby boomers.

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