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12.07.2021
Brute: Issues 1-3, The (1975)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger
11.03.21

Brute: Issues 1-3, The (1975) This is another odd title from Atlas Comics in the mid-70's. In Minnesota a trio of young boys are exploring a cave and come across a caveman who had recently awoken from thousands of years of hibernation. We find this out in a flashback, of how he was fighting a cave bear and fell into the ice, only to be frozen in a glacier and eventually transported, via the movement of the ice, to another part of the world. Well, the boys are frightened and only one of them escapes. The caveman crushes one with a rock and it's alluded to that he'll eat the other one. Dr. Turner, a blonde woman anthropologist, here's about this and investigates, eventually having a confrontation with the creature when the authorities shoot tear-gas into his cave. Another person is killed before he's subdued and put behind bars. In court, Dr Turner is granted custody of The Brute, in order to study him-the only living ancestor of modern man. However, others aren't so happy about this and break into the cell to kill him. Instead, he slays them by throwing them into a wall-and escapes. In the second issue the Brute hitches a ride on a small plane, causing it to crash in the woods where he's discovered by a mad scientist and his deformed assistant. This scientist has been trying to create another form of man-an aquatic one-which could survive a nuclear holocaust. He implants a device in the caveman to control his behavior-and has him kill various people who opposed his research. Meanwhile, Dr Turner has tracked him down and when the Doctor tries to hurt her the Brute stops him and his newly created horde of reptile men, destroying his lab in the process. The third issue has him living in the forest and killing a bear, with his bare hands, for food. The police capture him in nets and he's shot in the head, but survives. Doctor Turner shows up just in time to spare him. We're also shown a flashback, when he lived with his wife and boy-child, battling a sabertooth and then another group of cavemen, who killed his family. The Brute escapes from the police but there's another mad scientist who has created a super-powered man-and he sends his creation, via remote control, to destroy the ape man. They start fighting by a construction site and he's last seen plummeting to the ground while the super-human gloats in victory.

This series is definitely influenced by Marvel's horror comics at the time, from TOMB OF DRACULA to WEREWOLF BY NIGHT and FRANKENSTEIN with a large dose of Hammer Film's TROG thrown in. Although the reader is supposed to be sympathetic to the creature, he causes the death of a lot of innocent people.

Script By Mike Fleisher

Art: Mike Sekowsky


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