Skip to content

Have Keith Hernandez mail this gentleman some Just for Men – Kona #12

February 3, 2011

I realized as I was about to post this that it would be my second “scantily clad beefy man” themed post in as many days. I guess I’m on a kick.

I confess to knowing nothing about the “Monarch of Monster Isle” before I opened this book (btw, that sounds like a great nickname for a boxer or MMA fighter), and even after finishing the story I don’t really know whether I’m much better informed about his backstory. I won’t waste any keystrokes recounting what can be found elsewhere on the web — others better informed than I have done the work of recounting Kona’s publication and fictional history (the former being somewhat interesting) here and here, so you can find edification in those spots if you so desire.

Kona’s basically a guy who specializes in grappling with oversized beasts and he’s a product of the Dell/Gold Key split. That’s the Cliff Notes version for you.

Let’s plunge right in to “The Unsees Foe,” written by Paul S. “Not Cool Hand Luke” Newman with art from Sam Glanzman:

Kona and his Edgar Winters white hair are in the service of the Dodd family (a scientist father, a daughter and two grandchildren), a well equipped set of folks who dart around in a flying ship. The comparisons to Benton Quest, Race Bannon, Jonny and Hadji come to mind, but all together they’re a more conventional arrangement than that rather odd Jonny Quest grouping, whose homosexual possibilities (not that there’s anything wrong with that) were parodied so hilariously in an episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Yes, a man in fur underwear somehow seems more conventional. But maybe there’s a little of Race in Kona, and a little Benton in Dr. Dodd.

Dodd gets a message from some museum honchos — another scientist, who was investigating a lost city, has gone missing, and it’s up to our subjects to find him. It doesn’t take long for him to find them, as he comes out of the jungle mumbling and bumbling:

Apparently not having heard the old “curiosity killed the cat” adage, Kona and the Dodds head to the “lost” city. It’s a place called Capitolia, which has a futuristic look to it but is devoid of human life. Kona does not like all that he senses there:

With good reason. During the night vines come and carry away the kids. Kona and Dr. Dodd move to rescue them, with Kona spouting his primitive motivational sayings all the while:

Sort of a Tarzan-like Tony Robbins. A Paleolithic life coach.

They soon get, if not to the root of the problem, at least the pods of it — things straight out of Little Shop of Horrors, but without the obnoxious singing:

And, in case we doubt their lethality:

Bambi! No!

Dr. Dodd surmises that the giant beetles (that they’ve also tangled with along the way, with Kona displaying his wrestling-giant-things skill set) are in a symbiotic relationship with the pods and their vines, and when he tricks the pods into eating their insect partners both groups die off. But when they all head back to Capitolia to rest on their laurels, we cut to those museum honchos:

I was a bit confused by this at first. The lack of a “To be continued…” or anything else made me wonder if there were pages missing or something. But no, that’s the end of the issue (apart from a one page text story and a brief Anak backup) — we’re left with a cliffhanger and also left to wonder how Kona is going to wrestle an earthquake into submission.

Glanzman, whose work based on his own World War II experiences is very, very good (and is definitely worthy of a future blog post), did fine, solid things with the art here. The action was fluid, and the contrasts between the savage jungle (and the rugged Kona) and the clean, lifeless Capitolia were pleasing to the eye. They way the story just lurches to a halt, though, leaves me scratching my head. It’s not that I need some stupid notation to let me know that the adventures will be continued in the next issue, but it nevertheless seems to be lacking something. But I suppose I’m getting too hung up on something trivial. Believe it or not, that can happen.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: