Big Red Monster

The Guardian Of Forever is, I’m sure, the proper name of that big doughnut thing that Kirk went through to go back in time to bang Joan Collins. It’s also apparently the name of something I previously knew as “big red monster”. Halfway between The Creature From The Id in Forbidden Planet and Ridley Scott’s Alien, it stalks our heroes (and some Imperials that they’re forced to join forces with) in an ancient underground city.

The story World Of Fire starts with Luke, Leia and the droids stealing a ship from an Imperial base, accompanied by a girl called Mici who a) I always got mixed up with an ex girlfriend of Han’s called Katya who actually appeared in Annual #1 b) occasionally wears a metal bikini of the sort you would see in Conan comics and Dungeons & Dragons supplements, and c) never appears again, and doesn’t seem to serve any purpose other than to wear a metal bikini and confuse me.

It’s Infantino art again, but it’s not quite as good as his earlier stuff set on that waterworld. Having said that, when these comics were being published I was at the height of my “in love with Carrie Fisher” phase, and seeing “her” in skin tight shiny spandex certainly did stuff to my impressionable seven year old psyche. She’s something of a bitch, here, it has to be said, constantly belittling Luke for some reason. Maybe that was the attraction?

The sympathetic (ish) Imperial troops are a nice touch, even if most of them end up as cannon fodder for the crazy space beast. It’s a wonder the surviving Imperial officers were never bought back in later stories, as they eventually returned to The Empire, but I guess the fact that this story never appeared in the US version of the comic sealed their fate.

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