Bizarre Adventures #31
Issue(s): Bizarre Adventures #31
The reason i bought this is for a Hangman story by Mark Gruenwald and art by Bill Sienkiewicz. This is the only story that's in continuity. It has a movie critic disparaging a violent film, but he happens to be sitting next to the Hangman, who is busy writing down the names of everyone in the credits so he can go kill them.
Not knowing why Hangman wants the names, the critic gives him his press kit. When people start dying and the critic realizes what he's done, he goes to warn people, and winds up standing behind Hangman while he's weeping over killing a woman.
The critic grabs his scythe and kills him.
And the critic subsequently has a much more positive attitude about violent films now that he's participated in violence himself.
I like Sienkiewicz's weird art.
A quick run through of some of the other stories. The first one, written by O'Neil himself, has really nice Frank Miller art. It's about a swordsman in a dystopian future fighting paintings come to life.
The second story, written by Larry Hama with art by Ralph Reese, is kind of a Judge Dredd story, except Dredd is a little kid.
Definitely my favorite of the bunch, and i'm kind of sad it's not really part of my project.
Another story written by Larry Hama has partially has art that looks like 3-D cel animation.
And partially doesn't.
All the art is by Mark Armstrong with inks by Joe Albelo.
Then we have Tom DeFalco and Herb Trimpe doing the Pravda Patrol.
There's also a story written Steven Perry with art by Stephen Bissette (best known as the artist for Swamp Thing during Alan Moore's run). It's about a kid with a disturbed friend that tortures and kills frogs and eventually people.
There is also a two page anti-book burning story by John Byrne and a weird Bucky Bizarre story, which was an ongoing feature in this magazine. I couldn't bring myself to read the latter.
Definitely some Bizarre Adventures, some of them quite fun.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This was published in 1982, and it shows the death of the Hangman. But the Hangman appears (alive, obviously) after this in Spider-Woman #50 (Jun 83) and also in the Iron Man Legacy continuity insert. Hangman's death really did happen, though, because it's referenced in Avengers West Coast #76-79. So this story must take place later than publication date. I've pushed it to shortly after the Iron Man Legacy story.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Interesting that Larry Hama did a "talking animals in Vietnam" story in 1982, predating the more famous manga Cat Shit One (yes, that's really the title) by 15 years or so.
For obvious reasons it was re-titled "Apocalypse Meow" for the US release.
Posted by: Red Comet | December 11, 2015 12:41 PM
Hey I remember seeing those panels of Hangman's death (colorized) in the OHMU Dead Edition. I don't know why but I always thought he'd been a Scourge victim. Well, in as much as I gave him any thought to begin with.
Posted by: Robert | December 11, 2015 1:20 PM
With that description at the start, I'm surprised no one just did a straight-up Punisher story. Though the Hangman story certainly feels like a Punisher story without the Punisher.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | December 11, 2015 3:59 PM
DeFalco and Trimpe attempted to continue using Pravda Patrol in the GI Joe series, but had to rename, rework and redraw them. They morphed into the Oktober Guard.
(more information, including original and final versions of the art, here:
Posted by: cullen | December 11, 2015 5:45 PM
The Perry/Bissette story was actually highly praised by critics back then(even the Comics Journal liked it).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 11, 2015 8:20 PM
Should Hangman's death be brought up in the Historical Significance rating?
Posted by: MegaSpiderMan | December 11, 2015 8:56 PM
The Hangman story has the most literal example of a "can't...must" moment yet.
Also, while it's cut off in the panel, the last bit of the critic's review at the end is a little creepier than "appreciating" violence: he actually sympathizes with "the mutilators" int he movie, and there's a bit about how the film's killers create "works of art from these girls' useless bodies....serves them right for..."
I think the idea is that O'Brien is on the road to becoming a serial killer. It's definitely not the sort of thing you expect from Mark Gruenwald, even taking stuff like the Waxman into account.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 12, 2015 6:11 AM
the Oktober Guard was the coolest thing about gi joe (and unlike the joe team, they didnt need 500 members)
Posted by: kveto | December 12, 2015 7:24 AM
@MegaSpiderMan, i didn't think the death of this minor villain was worth increasing the significance, especially since he's replaced by a Hangman II.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 13, 2015 5:45 PM
Fnord notes that Hangman was seen alive in Spider-Woman #50 which was published after this story. Therefore, this story takes place before SW #50.
Hangman received an entry in the original MU handbook series in #5, along with with other living characters. Handbook #5 was dated May 1983, over a year after this issue and one month before SW #50. All three books had Mark Gruenwald involved as either writer or editor, so it seems unlikely Hangman made it into the living section of the MU handbook by accident. Finally in Deluxe edition MU handbook #17 (dated August 1987), Hangman received an entry with the dead characters. It listed this issue as his final appearance and noted that SW #50 took place before this issue.
I'm wondering if Gruenwald originally intended Hangman to survive this issue, then later changed his mind.
Posted by: Rick | August 30, 2017 12:42 PM
Obviously, you mean this takes place after SW #50 in the second sentence...
Posted by: Morgan Wick | August 30, 2017 2:14 PM
And for my sanity, if you're commenting on placement considerations, please try to make it clear if you're disagreeing with current placement or just adding additional info supporting where it is now.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 1, 2017 1:18 PM
Correct Morgan. I meant to say "after SW #50" in the second sentence.
No disagreement on your issue placement fnord. It makes perfect sense given current information.
Sorry for the confusion. The intent of my comment was wondering if Mark Gruenwald couldn't make up his mind if Hangman was alive or dead.
Posted by: Rick | September 9, 2017 11:29 AM
Comments are now closed.
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