Warlocks #1 Aircel Publishing, 1988, b&w.
1 Warlocks #1 cover Big sister Kate and her little brother Jeff are slogging through the Amazon Jungle in search of their father who has disappeared while on an archeological expedition. Kate is rather sexy in a tank-top and shorts. Little brother Jeff is about 14 and quite a sissy.
Kate and Jeff reach the native-style house of Colonel Hannibal. He is a ghastly shriveled shell of a man, consumed by some hideous force which has left him in constant pain. Colonel Hannibal knows only too well the cosmic evil which lurks within the secret temple where Kate & Jeff's father disappeared!
The next day Hannibal and his native assistant Toomai accompany Kate and Jeff to the secret temple. While exploring inside they encounter the Vampire which has possessed the body of Kate & Jeff's father! This Vampire is some kind of alien mind-entity which can move from body to body, enormously increasing the size and strength of the bodies which it inhabits and leaving behind a burned-out shell when it departs--if it leaves anything at all! The Vampire isn't all bad as he decides not to "ravage a sweet young thing while dwelling in the shell of her father's body." So he merely dumps them all into a pit full of hungry monsters resembling watermelon-sized sow-bugs. Hannibal sacrifices himself à la Grimble, "Flee while they feast on me," an injunction the others are only too willing to obey. Kate, Jeff and Toomai flee through the deeper tunnels until they reach a dead-end. Their only hope is to swim through an underwater passage which may or may not come up somewhere. They strip off most of their clothing (lucky for Kate she's wearing a swimsuit under her clothes!) then plunge into the water. After swimming a long ways underwater they emerge in a cavern containing a big alien spaceship!
This issue was penciled by Barry and nicely inked by Jim Somerville. A very effective first issue with lots of action. The cover is by Barry.
ORIGINAL SECTION: Kate and blond brother Jeff (in short shorts, a rag tied around his neck, and safari jacket) have gone from village to village and know it is not much further. They have to leave the jeep where it is since the rest of the way is too rough for it. A native boy in loin cloth throws a spear and it just misses Kate. He wants them to follow him. Jeff tells her, "We could shoot him with your gun, Kate." She opts to follow him first, "Okay," she asks Jeff. He takes them to a hut on long sticks. Jeff is afraid. Kate says, "Honestly, Jeff, sometimes you can be a pain." Another boy, Oriental with a close cropped haircut and tunic (his tunic has the sides bare from underarm to feet also but he seems to have a lion cloth beneath unlike the Indiana--the father's--aide) tends to a decrepit old man, "Pain!! Use not that word lightly, girl, less you know its true meaning." He asks if his appearance frightens them that much. Kate says, "No" but Jeff says, "Yes," at the same time. This man was once Colonel Hannibal. They are looking for their father who was on an archeological expedition for a secret temple that only Hannibal has ever seen. His sickness makes him howl. The temple was built over something to hold it in. Legend says it feel from the stars but Hannibal thinks it is more likely it came from hell. He was mad for years, possessed. Natives found him, built this hut for him, and send their young to look after or guard him. Kate and Jeff go to sleep. The demon creature has the body of their father. The guard boy outside hears something and finds two muscular, barechested, mutant men who beat on him. The others hear this and get up. The two monsters come in. Kate shoots one in the nose and the other in the chest and middle stomach. They were once human. Outside, the guard boy has his head stuck on a pole, dripping with blood from his eyes and mouth, decapitated. The men-monsters marked them. The muscle monsters were the last of the hapless natives the demon converted. The demon, wearing the tattered clothes of the father has horns and pushes the father to the far regions of his being. His cloak tied by a skeleton clasp is on a skeleton cloak stand, the remains of someone or something else. Where he comes from, there is only time for war. He puts the cloak on. Kate and Jeff will come to him, guided by his former host. Morning at the forbidden temple: the four have come via jeep. Toomai, the boy servant of Hannibal, tells them the guards have been consumed. Toomai is what Jeff would call a sorcerer's apprentice. They follow the tracks, go down the rock embankment, and smell something worse than death. Leaving the darkness behind, they enter the temple where Jeff finds dad's stuff and a skull. And blood. The demon says, "Of course, child, there is always blood when I take residence." This is the body of their dad. This time, the demon is here to stay. He was new to this world when he took over Hannibal. It took Hannibal and a tribe of witch men to drive him out of Hannibal. Jeff has what the demon calls a juvenile tantrum. The demon has probed their minds in the time they have talked and realizes now there is more to this world than jungles and naked savages. The girl is enough to give him pause. But the demon laments, "But alas, even I have scruples. To ravage a sweet young thing while dwelling in the shell of her father's body is in truth a bit too much." He will take their jeep and outside the jungle, awaits a civilization for him to rape. A trap door makes the four fall as he laughs. They fall into slimy worm like creatures with small arms. Toomai has some powder in a bag that will get the things off. Hannibal fell into the middle of them. He pleads with them to go, his life is over. He yells at them to go. They run out past a huge horned skeleton and other odd bone like structures. Toomai tells them to hurry--the things won't take long with Hannibal. The passage ends but Toomai tells them the water here must come from somewhere. They can swim. Jeff takes off his jacket, revealing bare body beneath. Kate has a bathing suit on under!? They swim, Toomai removed his tunic, now only in a thong. Jeff is in his underwear. They surface, Jeff happy, "Air at last." There is an underground grotto. Toomai points, "And that's not all. Look!" They see a gigantic spaceship slanted among the rocks, damaged.