Grab It Right Over
Welcome to issue number # 9 of Warren magazine's controversial and subversive more adult title, 1984 then it's other titles either Creepy or Eerie. They went quite a bit further upon some of the sexual bits and story elements that are racy even by today's standards. Warren was competing with titles such as Heavy Metal. So consider yourselves warned! This stuff isn't for the kids. Considered yourselves warned!
There's plenty of weird and high strangeness to pull from in these issues for old school gaming, everything from dark and dangerous one shot plot lines for adventures to dangerous characters as NPC's.
But really what was 1984 and what was its backdrop on the comic magazine scene back in 1979?
According to Wiki :
1984 was a black and white science-fiction comic magazine published by Warren Publishing from 1978 to 1983.1984 was edited by Bill Dubay. The title of the magazine was changed to 1994 starting with issue 11 in February,1980 based on a request by the estate of George Orwell.Back then it featured some of the top talent of comic book artists and writers.
Artists who contributed stories to 1984/1994 included Alex Niño, Richard Corben, Jose Gonzalez, Jose Ortiz, Frank Thorne, Esteban Maroto, Rudy Nebres, Abel Laxamana, Wally Wood, Luis Bermejo, Alfredo Alcala and Vic Catan. Cover artists included Nino, Corben, Patrick Woodroffe, Jim Laurier, Sanjulián, Jordi Penalva, H.R. Giger, Steve Fastner, Rich Larsen, Lloyd Garrison, Terry Oates and John Berkey. Writers included Dubay, Thorne, Jim Stenstrum, Jan Strnad, Rich Margopoulos, Kevin Duane, Nicola Cuti and Gerry Boudreau.The magazine featured a set of recurring characters :
- Mutant World (Artist: Richard Corben; Writer; Jan Strnad)
- Ghita of Alizarr (Drawn and written by Frank Thorne)
- Idi Amin (Artist: Esteban Maroto; Writer: Bill Dubay)
- Rex Havoc (Artist: Abel Laxamana; Writer: Jim Stenstrum)
- The Starfire Saga (Artist: Rudy Nebres; Writer: Bill Dubay)
- Young Sigmond Pavlov (Artist: Alex Niño; Writer: Bill Dubay)Issue nine is of special interest because of its line up of stories to pull from for old school gaming.
Break Even has a whole pack of trouble waiting for your interstellar adventurers right out of the gate. Strange technologies, odd interstellar worlds, and plenty of opportunities to get the PC's in the deep end. A nice and perfect little yarn for an X plorers or Stars Without Numbers one shot.
Herma is a well drawn take on the princess frozen in the block of ice motif that got used numerous times in swords and sorcery comics here its the basis for a character whose got far more going on under the plot then first meets the eye. A nice back drop story for use with a retroclone like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Imagine coming across an NPC Viking princess from Old Earth and all of the weirdness that would go right along with such a character. This is a perfect vehicle for such a character.
Clear and Present Danger is a time travel yard with some really interesting wrinkles on how a super science gimmick and device can be used to generate a whole cloth undercurrent for a one shot adventure. Imagine your party trying to prevent the birth of a madman who will go on to end the world far in the future? Suddenly the gateway is open for those old school evil assassin types in your campaigns. A nice yarn to use with all of those science fiction retroclones with super science and technologies.
The Star Fire saga was a really well done series of adventures centering around a regular feature in 1984 and its perfect for something like Stars Without Number. Great 1970's star ships, classic science fiction elements and a perfect one shot adventure piece for fodder for game play. The origin point for one of the characters is pretty damn controversial by today's standards and I don't endorse that particular bit. Moving on.
Rex Havoc and the Ass Kickers of the Fantastic is a strip that had its its tongue planted firmly in cheek, much of this material is perfect fodder for Planet Mother %$%$er or an encounter critical campaign. The art is about on the old Crack Magazine from the 1970's level and Rex is a real one of a kind character.
All in all I think that issue nine of 1984 was a pretty solid issue. The magazine ceased publication with issue 29 in February, 1983 due to the bankruptcy of Warren Publishing. You can read more about that right over HERE
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