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World Below, The (1997)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

World Below, The (1997) This is much more of a straight-forward adventure than Chadwick's CONCRETE, about a group of six adventurers who are hired to explore a strange underground world. They are hired by a millionaire to bring back any technology they find. Fifteen years earlier he had discovered a weird flying machine that had emerged from a hole in the ground on his property--and then spent those years reverse engineering its technology. It's how he made his fortune. Now, he needs more of the strange machines. Once the team is down below, complete with a Hummer and some motorcycles, they find themselves in a vast cavern, filled with strange alien plants and animals. There are "air jellyfish" and many more of those flying machines. They witness a battle between two giant monsters and are trapped in some tunnels with rock-boring creatures. After this, the three men on the team are "mind controlled" by a strange creature that looks like a huge vagina and it's up to the women to rescue them before they become food. One of the guys shoots a spider-like creature and gets some of its guts in his mouth--which has some weird repercussions for him later on, when a strange growth begins to grow on his chest. They are all surprised when it ruptures to reveal a third arm! In ZOMBIES! some of them are controlled by these creatures that latch onto their heads and increase their intelligence. I was digging all these off-beat stories until the very last one, in which the source of these odd creatures is revealed. It turns out an alien ship had crashed long ago but the earth's sun was too damaging to them, so they stayed underground, excavating this new world. And the aliens are still there. They have been keeping humans for pets, breeding them into exaggerated forms, and want to keep the six "wild ones" as well. Come on...all this led to aliens wanting humans as pets? Not exactly a great payoff.

However, I enjoyed the rest of the book well enough to recommend it. If you're a fan of Chadwick's CONCRETE you'll like this.

Written & Illustrated by Paul Chadwick

Inks: Ron Randall

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