Amazing Adventures #35
"The 24-Hour Man"
They have come from the city of Atlanta to the local cemetery, and see
what has been buried over time -- or if not buried, those soon-to-be.
Atlanta, Georgia is now gone with the wind -- and as with Rhett Butler --
the Martians didn't give a damn, either. Even in such a deserted area,
there are still people to be found among the ruins of a manmade city.
He had sensed their arrival, but was not aware that they were none other
than Killraven and the Freemen. M'Shulla eyes the woman, while the
red-haired leader senses her grief. She wonders who has come for her
this time. His mother still harbors fear towards his father, unabated
since his arrival into this new world. For Emmanuel, all this had
occurred a lifetime ago... a mere seven hours in human terms. His mother
senses their presence and wonders if they'll release her from the pain.
It is far too late for salvation, for the son of G'rath now lives. From
her body it came -- and now has come into being at the stroke of
midnight. With the morning, the child will seek out its own father. All
this doesn't make much sense to Old Skull, nor to his friends, either.
The woman speaks in riddles, and now runs from unseen demons.
Emmanuel watches as his mother tries to leave the cemetery, and knows the
desperation that comes from being the 24-Hour Man. While her husband is
elsewhere, she has a chance to escape. Carmilla wonders if they've lost
sight of her, but Killraven still has her in sight. It has been nine
months since G'rath brought her to this place. Nine months with him
standing over her... waiting for the birth of his spawn. Now -- when he
comes back -- she'll... be... gone. Her face now reflects the terror of
discovery. It is her terror that her son has come to know quite well.
Father and son are as one. Her terror of one is as much as for the
TIME, CONTINUITY, SEQUENCE... 07:20. The Mud-Brother warns his friend to
be cautious, but Killraven finds that to be obvious. As the woman fears
her husband's touch, their son watches, and waits for the proper time to
act. His eyes soon shift towards the lone woman in the group. The
red-hair had called her, Carmilla Frost. The leader of the Freeman tells
the Mud-Brother to keep out of his eye-line, but M'Shulla believes that
Killraven is having an attack of nerves. Emmanuel sees that they are
trying to kill his father. Although attacked, G'rath is more than
capable of defending himself. TH-WHACK! SU-WHUCK The Mud-Brother's
hairstyle will never be the same again. Killraven compliments him on his
new look, while M'Shulla is grateful to still have his own scalp. Their
adversary is about to launch a second attack. Emmanuel knows this, of
course, and will seize the opportunity in taking the woman.
TIME, CONTINUITY, SEQUENCE... 0:723. G'rath has been injured. Their
weaponry have wounded him, and Emmanuel shares his father's pain. It
must be ignored, and the son must fulfill his primary life-role.
Carmilla sees that the green creature is backing away from their attack,
as are her friends. He reaches out and touches her hand. Emmanuel has
no time to appreciate the new sensation, with his father in danger, the
spines are released from the left arm. The Freemen turn to see their new
opponent. From the looks of them, these strange projectiles could slice
each of them in two. Killraven can now appreciate the nature of the
woman's madness, and warns Old Skull to stay clear of the danger.
TIME, CONTINUITY, SEQUENCE... 07:27. His father's attackers have fled.
Emmanuel is now able to experience things first hand. He will speak to
Carmilla Frost and soothe her. This will enable him to fulfill his
needs. If the green skinned man in the golden armor does not release
her, she will tear open his head. Emmanuel is able to speak... about his
race... which continues... and ends with him. She is to become part of
its future. The passions of his race are known to Emmanuel -- but he had
never kissed a woman before. In seeking the experience -- he finds anger
in its place instead. M'Shulla sees what is happening to Carmilla, and
is determined to get through the creature if he must. Emmanuel feels
pity for the Freeman, for the woman, and for himself. He has no other
choice, but Carmilla Frost continues to fight him, as he carries her away
TIME, CONTINUITY, SEQUENCE... 07:33. He seeks her embrace, but the woman
resists him. The rain is a new sensation, one which was present at his
birth, and now seeks to chill his flesh. With his father taking care of
them, he flees with the woman. Killraven is confident that Carmilla will
prove to be the death of his Mud-Brother. As the creature reaches out
towards M'Shulla, he decides that this may just be the day. Both tumble
out of the way of the falling stone. The Mud-Brother wants his friend to
keep the thing distracted, while he goes after Carmilla. Killraven would
be happy to oblige -- but it has disappeared from sight. Old Skull has
seen what had happened to it. He tells Mr. Killraven that it just went
"poof." The red-haired leader asks if it vanished, and Old Skull says
that it really did happen that way.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 08:09. M'Shulla has following the trail
with such eagerness, that Killraven wonders if he's looking forward to
meeting the creature again. With the deaths of Grok and Hawk, the
Mud-Brother is in no mood to lose any more of his friends. That was the
day he learned how they could be beaten by the Martians. When his friend
insists that they will never be beaten, M'Shulla admits that he's lost
that loving feeling he used to have. Carmilla has changed his
Mud-Brother, and not for the better. His concern for Carmilla is a
strength, not a weakness. M'Shulla has changed, and has discovered the
strength of commitment, a new type of courage for him. Killraven is
cheered by his friend's words, and the Mud-Brother is glad to hear it.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 08:21. M'Shulla wishes that Killraven would
be able to seek out the location of Carmilla's abductor, as he has sensed
the Martians on past occasions. This ability was given to him by Keeper
Whitman, but the training had been far from thorough. As Old Skull
mutters that they could be walking around for hours, Killraven admits
that his clairsentience is random in nature. It is an ability which he
must develop, and not the other way around. This is something he had
decided long ago, with no aid from Carmilla Frost. It is he who sees the
skeletal figure they had discovered earlier. The woman was kneeling over
it when they had arrived, but now it lacks the uniform it wore. It is
this same attire that is now being used by their opponent. All that
concerns M'Shulla is that they find Carmilla before anything else
happens. The moment comes when they fade off into the distance, then
they will be alone, and Emmanuel will remove his hand from the woman's
mouth. They will be alone together... until his father returns. The son
would not care to think about that. His mother had cried... but he sees
no tears in Carmilla's eyes... while he himself has never known the sting
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 08:57. Emmanuel has never known loss, nor
has he found much else in his brief life thus far. In death, he may
learn more. The woman wonders what to make of his cryptic words. The
lightning above reveals their position, but little else. His is too
brief a time for riddles. He senses no fear from Carmilla, and since his
birth at midnight, he has known nothing but hurt. His mother was the one
who ran from them. Emmanuel has not the time for self-discovery of the
soul and such. She listens to his ravings, and learns of his race's
survival instinct. G'rath has returned, and is the key for Emmanuel's
survival. Carmilla Frost has been chosen to become the mother of their
entire race. She greets this particular honor with horror.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 09:03. Father and son are as one. Through
mental effort, they can be as one. Together. Even though they are
apart, they cannot survive without the other, and must serve each other's
needs. G'rath provides his son with the energy he needs to live a
24-hour life span. This will be his one day of life. By midnight, he
will be gone... consumed by his body's metabolism. Before this occurs, a
mate must be found for his father. After the deed is done, G'rath will
watch over her, as he has with Emmanuel's mother, until the time that
their child is born-- the new recipient of their collective knowledge.
He knows that this shall occur with his son and his -- 24-Hour Man to
24-Hour Man -- forever. If she manages to break free, Carmilla
guarantees that Emmanuel will meet his end before the midnight deadline.
She will not become anyone's pawn, and he will not live to seize the day.
As he holds her, Carmilla's hair tickles his cheek as his father stands
over them. He now sees the seeds of terror beginning to fill her eyes...
and knows that it will remain there always.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 09:12. The shadow of G'rath falls upon
them, and the mausoleum where Emmanuel spent his first three hours of
life. He wonders if the stone guardians have come to life, as Killraven
kicks out towards him from above. He had listened to Carmilla's threats,
and knows that the Mud-Brother needn't have worried about her safety.
Emmanuel has no time for jokes, and lifts the leader of the Freemen above
him. SKRAK! Killraven has interrupted the ritual, and he pays for it by
being hurtled through a window. The pain has returned to him, and
Emmanuel knows that his father is being attacked once more. Both G'rath
and M'Shulla are skilled at releasing their shafts, but the Mud-Brother's
arrows do little damage.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 09:21. Killraven had planned their
first-attack, with M'Shulla providing his support. The son feels his
father's pain. Emmanuel wonders when their lives had grown complicated.
During his fourth hour of life, things had been much simpler. At his
ninth hour, he has discovered that simplicity is but an illusion, and the
past can never be reclaimed again. Father and son confront their
destiny, with the rain passing over Emmanuel, and then through him. He
wants to laugh at the Freemen, but he is now in transition -- and is
unable to do so. Skar had given Old Skull many nightmares, but Old Skull
will not be able to sleep for some time. Carmilla Frost assures their
friends that what was said by the 24-Hour Man must be the truth. As they
watch Emmanuel and G'rath fade from sight, each of them learn that there
can be truth in riddles.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 17:13. KRRAARCK! Killraven and the Freemen
are in search of shelter from the storm. They have not found their
opponent, but if this is where Emmanuel's ancestor now rests, he may
return there soon. Carmilla wonders what they will do if he does return.
Emmanuel cannot be saved, nor could any of his race prior to him. Their
bodies lie unmourned, and their memories reside in the flesh of their
descendant. Even now, she cannot hate him, but sensed his vulnerable
position. Killraven found him far from defenseless when he was sent
crashing through the window. When they had spoken, he had felt a common
link -- as if they shared a common curse. KRAAAWW KRACK! The rainfall
is all they have in common -- and the sounds of thunder overhead mocks
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 17:20. Father and son have reappeared, as
Emmanuel now rides atop G'rath. Although his time has not yet come, the
24-Hour Man's voice is now etched with desperation. He asks for Carmilla
Frost to come with him, and bring meaning to his short life span. He and
his father have no desire to kill them -- but they will do so if
necessary. Killraven acts, with Emmanuel seeing him as his own personal
demon. Looking into his eyes, the leader of the Freemen sees much of
himself trapped there, but Emmanuel insists that they have no common
bond. If the red-haired warrior has come in search of answers, the
24-Hour Man no longer believes that any exist to be found.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 17:27. The only answer they seek is his
death... and the death of his entire race. As Killraven, M'Shulla, and
Old Skull fight with the son, Carmilla fires her weapon at the father.
Now weaponless, she is seized in G'rath's unyielding grip, and Emmanuel
now holds M'Shulla above himself. In the harsh rain and damp earth,
Carmilla Frost shudders at the thought of what is to come.
TIME, CONTINUITY SEQUENCE... 17:30. The father now rises at his full
length -- with the storm glistening down his scaly flesh -- but the
emerald flesh is now dead! The ray-blasts have now had their effect on
G'rath. And the son knows that the woman had not known how his father
had been in life. And his sorrow is immense. Or is it for himself that
Emmanuel feels for? It is the pain that he now feels. And without his
father, he must face it alone. He reaches out towards Carmilla and
pleads with her for his life. He continues his pleas until only the rain
is left, and his armored uniform rests on the ground with no descendant
to replace him. Carmilla Frost had been correct... they could not save
Emmanuel by their own needs and natures. They had been opponents... for
their own survival. She would have been destroyed... the sane way the
woman had been destroyed. But it is strange... that they would seem to
share a common curse. KRAAAWW KRACK! But the falling rain is all they
had shared -- and the thunder continues to mock them.
They see that the woman has returned. They see her and understand her
grief more clearly now. She senses their presence and hopes that it is
not G'rath, whom she must stay away from. She wonders if she knows them?
Have they come to... to save her? They are too late, for she has just
given birth to G'rath's child. Yes, she has. Her body had carried it,
yes -- and given it life, yes -- on midnight. It was midnight when the
child of G'rath came into the world. And now the night has come again.
The Freemen do not follow her again. And they have only vague awareness
of what had happened. Old Skull asks Mr. Killraven what would have
happened if Emmanuel had a child... and it turned out to be a daughter?
And there are still women, even in the cemetery, who can make a man
wonder, and become lost.
On the cover of Amazing Adventures #35 by P. Craig Russell, the cover
blurbs inform us of "The Threat Of The 24-Hour Man!" and promises a
battle between Killraven and the Man-Mutant for the most fantastic prize
Nowadays, when you mention "The 24-Hour Man," the first thing that people
think of is Kiefer Sutherland.
It turns out that thanks to Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell, Killraven
and the Freemen were the first to use this unique format. (Sorry about
Folks who have read Marvel Premiere: Woodgod, Formerly Known As The
Justice League, and Legion Of Super-Heroes are familiar with the name of
The legendary Jack Abel was also known as "Gary Michaels," having inked
Gene Colan pencils on Iron Man in Tales of Suspense.
Another feature lettered by I. Watanabe was Doctor Strange, by Roy Thomas
and Dan Adkins.
Editor Marv Wolfman would later develop his own band of heroes and create
the New Teen Titans.
Don McGregor told me at San Diego a couple of years ago that he and Craig
came up with an idea for a story which would begin and end the same way.
"The 24-Hour Man" was that story, and is one of my favorites.
The sight of a giant reptilian creature with red eyes and flailing
tentacles is enough to freeze anyone in their tracks.
The TIME, CONTINUITY, SEQUENCE... 0720 format is a favorite of mine, too.
No one can accuse this issue of being a ten-minute read on the can.
M'Shulla's probably sore that Emmanuel got to kiss Carmilla Frost before
he had a chance to do so. Unfortunately for the 24-Hour Man, he gets
carried away, and so does Carmilla.
On page 23, panel seven and page 30, panel eleven, Killraven speaks of
the October rain being all they have in common -- and the sounds of
thunder mocking them! Luckily for him and the Freemen, the thunder and
lightning do their KRAAAWW and KRACK! right on cue.
Now, I'm not an Armadillo asking for a No-Prize, but I'd like to ask Don
if this was deliberate or did they accidentally use the same panel twice?
If it was the latter, I must say it was a clever way of getting some
mileage out of the particular panel.
Other issues that came out that week from The Mighty Marvel Checklist:
Fantastic Four #168: The Thing becomes Ben Grimm and leaves the FF,
forcing Reed, Sue, and Johnny to search for a new team member in what is
tentatively entitled, "The Replacement." Guest-starring: Power Man.
The Champions #4: Chris Claremont pinch-scripts the fourth fabulous
team-up of our five fantabulous super-heroes as Hercules and the Black
Widow battle the Ghost Rider, Iceman, and the Angel to prevent a "Murder
At Malibu!" Be here!
Marvel Team-Up #43: Doctor Doom is drawn back to the Salem Witch Trials
to battle the Black Rider in a timeless Spider-Man tome by Boisterous
Bill Mantlo and Our Pal Sal Buscema titled, "The Past Gone Mad!" And
don't miss the guest-starring grandeur of the Vision and the Scarlet
Captain Marvel #43: Thanos is alive and well, and the Destroyer doesn't
like it one bit. Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom present an
earth-shattering Captain Marvel battle called "Destroy! Destroy!" Plus:
Rick Jones and the mysterious reappearance of Fawn!
Iron Man #84: The Freak returns on "The Night of the Walking Bomb!" Will
New York survive? Only Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, and Marie Severin know,
and they're not telling! They want you to buy the furshlugginer book!
Amazing Adventures #35: Killraven meets "The Twenty-Four Hour Man" - and
it just may be the Warrior of the World's last day on earth! Don
McGregor, Craig Russell, and surprise artist Keith Giffen serve up this
heartwarming tale of a man and his slug in the 21st Century.
Howard The Duck #2: Steve Gerber, Frank Brunner, and Steve Leialoha
present the somewhat terrifying and often amusing tale (in which a
rapacious root from outer space takes overt he body of Arthur Wilson,
would-be hero) which will undoubtedly cause you to "Cry Turnip!"
Crazy was the magazine that dared to be dumb (and succeeded with flying
The Battle Of The Century was advertised... Superman vs The Amazing
Joe Weider posed with his famous student, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr.
Olympia winner, and current governor of California.
There were Marvel-Hero Stick-Ons and Life-Size Movable Hang-Ups of
Spider-Man and Galen from Planet of the Apes.
Marvel was Number One and told Marvelites to keep watchin' for the answer
to Ikaris's identity.
Spider-Man was busy solving the Cupcake Caper by stopping Man-Mountain
The next issue would be devoted to "Red Dust Legacy!"
This Review Is Dedicated To Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell.
Writer and Artist of the Worlds.
"The 24-Hour Review"