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Crusaders Comics Reviews #3

"Double Cross" (Alberto Part 2 / Crusaders #13) review by Richard Lee!

This exciting sequel picks up immediately after the events in the first "Alberto" comic. Our protagonist, Alberto Rivera has escaped from the "Roman Catholic Institution" with his life. He recounts the adventure to the Crusaders Tim Clark and Jim Carter.

After spending years of infiltrating Protestant churches, Alberto was converted to the Protestantism he was sworn to destroy. He had a one-way ticket to Washington, D.C. but missed his flight due to him trying to contact his sister. His sister Maria was a cloistered nun in a London convent. While gabbing on the phone, Alberto missed his scheduled flight, but lo and behold, ONLY ONE more plane was leaving from Spain that night and it so happened to be heading for London, England. "Only God knew the terrible danger Maria was in and how close she was to death. He was directing me to London," Alberto recounts.

Upon arrival, Alberto contacts an anabaptist church to take him to the convent. Sister Maria is held captive by an obese Mother Superior who calls the cops on Alberto. It turns out (TADA!) that one of the police was a "real Bible-believing Christian" who stood with Alberto, and insisted to the Mother Superior to let him see Maria.

When Maria's cell door was opened, only 60 lbs. of her is left under a blood soaked habit. Her flesh was rotting away, in spite of a daily feast on "death cookies." Then again....J.T.C. doesn't call them "death cookies" for nothing!

Alberto seized the crucifix from her bony grasp and threw it in the other nuns' direction while he carts her off to safety! Alberto subsequently gets placed on "Rome's death list" thanks to this action. "He is damned forever! The Virgin will take care of this Father Rivera. He is another Judas that has sold out our Holy Father, the Pope," Mother Superior says. Or so we are told, since it's hard to figure out how Alberto could have heard her saying this after he left the building.

Tim and Jim cross examine Alberto on these facts in the safety of a living room. "Were they concerned about you in the Vatican?" Jim Carter asks. "Oh yes, James," says Alberto. So concerned were Vatican officials that they called a emergency session in Rome to scheme to make Rivera's death look like an accident. Furthermore, they were deeply concerned about help that Alberto could recruit. "Only those that say we are not a Christian church will help him," a wine-bibbing cigar smoking cleric says. "Are there many churches like that, Father?" another asks. "Thank God, no!" the first cleric responds.

What must stroke the egos of the churches that buy "The Crusaders" comics in bulk is the comment from another Vatican crony: "There are not many, but they are very strong and dangerous. Those who are completely dedicated Bible-believers and totally committed to Christ are the ones we must fear. Unfortunately, Father Rivera has become one of them!" The reader is encouraged by asteric to read Sabotage? to find out what a Bible-believer is.

Another wine-bibbing priest asks, "Would Father Rivera go to the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons?" "Never!" responds another priest. "He's a real Christian and he knows about their false teachings!" This indicates the Catholic leadership does not consider themselves real Christians, but secretly admit the Protestants are. No wonder they wear black!

The secret oath of the Jesuits order is recounted, including all sorts of promises to murder and destroy heretics (true Christians) for the Pope. Only key Jesuits supposedly take this oath before infiltrating governments and assassinating leaders. Alberto also recounts the unsuccessful assassination attempts on his life including one from a dentist! (I never did trust those guys.) We're told that one of Rome's best agents was the flamboyant healing evangelist of the 1970s: Kathryn Kuhlman who pushed for ecumenical unity among Jews, Protestants, and Catholics. Worse, the Vatican planned the infamous Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978. Jim Jones was a Jesuit under that secret oath with instructions from Rome to commit mass murder in order to discredit Christian camps. According to Alberto, "The cry went up that politicians should pass laws forbidding groups from setting up retreats. This way, Bible believers would have to hide when the great wave of persecution from Rome begins." Tim Clark tells Alberto "...we've been betrayed! Why haven't our Christian leaders warned us? They never say anything about it on television." Alberto replies,"Because many are not real Christians (like Alberto, who has now become a REAL one)!"

How much of this is true and how much is not? That's up to you to decide! All in all, this makes for a better episode than "I-Spy" or at least "The A-Team."

"Double Cross" ends with this warning in the epilogue: "The government will soon wipe your churches away through new taxes...." Too bad we don't have a retreat to hide in!

Grade "A+" for Assassination Attempt! Return to Comic Index.

"The Godfathers" (Alberto part 3/The Crusaders 14.) Review by Rich Lee!

Among the most inflammatory Chick comics ever, this installment of "Alberto" promises the reader that "YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE THE MOTHER OF ABOMINATIONS (REV.17:5) IN ALL HER POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY MIGHT." A rabbi and his nephew stumble upon a neo-Nazi spray painting antisemitic comments on a temple. After detaining him for the police, the evening news plays the story up big on television. The neo-Nazi vandal tells the reporter that the Holocaust was "...all a big lie!" Meanwhile, Crusaders Tim Clark and Jim Carter are watching the news with Alberto who says, "What a devil! That man is serving the Vatican and he's lying through his teeth!" He proceeds to tell the Crusaders what he allegedly learned while he was a Jesuit priest.

According to Alberto, both the Nazi and Communist parties were started by the Vatican. The Vatican has supposedly wanted to move to Jerusalem and set up shop there, since that is where Christianity started. However, the Orthodox Jews have stopped her, and that's why they are on "Rome's hit list." During the Crusades in the Middle Ages, children from Jewish and Roman Catholic unions were later recruited to serve as crusaders to capture the Holy Land from Islamic control. Of course, this effort failed. The Vatican had another rival to contend with: the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches. Under Vatican influence, the Communist party was created for the sole purpose of destroying the Czar of Russia since he protected the Russian Orthodox Church. The Communist revolutionaries were nothing but a tool to wipe out these rivals. Later, the Vatican bankrolled the beginning of the Nazi party to destroy the Jews so the Vatican could realize it's dream of moving to Jerusalem. In the 20th century, various popes from Pius X, Benedict XV, and Pius XII supported World Wars I and II to wipe out Jews. Alberto says that Hitler's seminal work "Mein Kampf" was ghost-written by a Jesuit priest named Staempfle. This book served to fuel the Nazi party in Germany, but what history books don't record is that the Holocaust was another Inquisition orchestrated by the Vatican. During World War II, the Jesuits propped up Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco as "The Defenders of the Faith" to conquer the world for the Vatican, since she wasn't satisfied with merely taking over the city of Jerusalem alone. The Vatican wanted to take over the whole world, but Protestants, Jews and democracy got in their way.

The other rival, the Greek Orthodox churches, were subjugated in Yugoslavia by the Ustachi killing squads made up of Roman Catholic priests. While all of the killing and maiming occurred during the 20th century, the Vatican also plotted to cover itself in the event that the Nazis lost World War II. This plot included making everybody believe the Vatican had nothing to do with the war, and in time convince the world the Holocaust never happened. In America, the Vatican's agents were at work to wipe out the Protestant movement through ecumenism. The secret sign to be given to the Jesuits worldwide when this was accomplished by the Vatican was when a President of the United States took his oath of office facing an obelisk (a four sided pillar that resembles the Washington Monument and the one in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican). For the first time in history, the swearing in ceremonies were moved to the West front of the Capital, and President Reagan faced the Washington Monument on January 20, 1981.

After the obligatory bloody depiction of Christ's crucifixion and calling the reader to salvation through Christ, Alberto continues his anti-Vatican diatribe. Fidel Castro is a Jesuit priest under oath, the Ku Klux Klan was also created by the Jesuits as a masterpiece to make Jews, Catholics, and blacks suspicious of true Protestants, and the Masonic order is controlled by the Jesuit General AKA the "Black Pope." In summary, these revelations from Alberto support the opening page's contention that the Vatican is indeed "THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS" of Revelation chapters 17 and 18 in the New Testament. The Vatican created competing organizations and masterminded the United States Civil War, both World Wars, and the Shriners Convention. They sure make our C.I.A. look like a bunch of lazy bones. (They couldn't even make Castro's poison cigar work right. What losers!)

Grade "A" for Abomination! Return to Comic Index.

"The Force" (Alberto Pt. 4, Crusaders # 15.) Review by Rich Lee!

This volume reveals the occult side of "Babylon the Great" from Revelation chapter 18. A village has become quiet at night as the residents are in fear. An evil thing had come to their village and even their animals are frightened. Unearthly noises came from the home of a widow named Carmen. In spite of her candles lit to the Virgin Mary, the "thing" came back at sundown! It all began when Carmen dedicated her daughter to the Virgin Mary after the Blessed Virgin healed the child of seizures. Little Marguerita would become a Carmelite nun in gratitude for the healing miracle. While Marguerita recited the Rosary, objects flew around the house. Alberto Rivera was summoned to perform an exorcism by saying the proper Mass for this occasion. A local priest was to assist Father Alberto, but entered the haunted house before he arrived. When Alberto arrived on the scene, the priest was ripped to shreds and tossed out the front door by an unseen force. Undaunted, Alberto goes inside and performs the exorcism despite being spun like a top and suspended in midair. The laughter of the "souls of the dead" died down after Alberto served the Eucharist to Marguerita.

In after thought, Alberto (now a Protestant) says that these weren't the souls of the dead but demons. The reader is taken down "memory lane" to review a theme common to many Crusaders volumes and Chick tracts: Satan and his demons were tossed out of Heaven, they corrupted humanity which invoked God to flood the world while only saving Noah and his family, Nimrod and Semiramis set up a counterfeit religion in Babylon, and this system in time evolved into Roman Catholicism. Alberto claims that the Egyptian priests invented the doctrine of transubstantiation (turning ordinary bread into divine flesh) that later was incorporated into Catholicism. Satan inspired the ungodly Apocrypha, a set of books found as Scripture in Roman Catholic Bibles.

After Christianity grew in numbers, Satan infiltrated the Christian Church and borrowed Christian terminology to create a counterfeit religion. "Satan's church was off and running. Anything in its way was destroyed....This religious machine controlled Europe. As it grew, so did witchcraft. The land was filled with hexes, spells, curses, soul travel, black Masses, sacrificial murders, and drinking of human blood. Much of this went on in the convents and monasteries throughout Europe." Joan of Arc was burned to death only because she was a witch who wouldn't serve the Vatican. Otherwise, being a witch alone wasn't that bad...

Alberto purports that any newly formed religious body is visiting by Jesuits working undercover to develop it to serve the Vatican. Some of these groups include Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, and Christian Science. Even the Christmas holiday is from Babylon, while Thanksgiving (a Puritan holiday thanking God for their religious freedom in the New World) was tainted by Satan thanks to the infamous Salem witch trials.

Count Dracula puts in a cameo to illustrate the power of the crucifix in warding off weaker demons, since strong demons are behind the crucifix. Crucifixes are tools of the occult since they're charged with dark powers that attract demons. Alberto relates when he was a young seminarian, he and his classmates visited a Salesian monastery that worked with orphans. They stumbled upon seven dead babies with their hearts cut out and crosses cut into their bodies. These babies, says Alberto, were sacrificed to the Virgin Mary, aka Semiramis from ancient Babylon. One of Alberto's friends who witnessed this made a disasterous mistake in telling his sister, who in turn told her priest about this discovery. She was found dead with her heart cut out, and Alberto's friend disappeared, never to be seen again.

The demonic force that worked through Babylon now works through the Roman Catholic charismatic movement, and Protestants who participate with Catholics in the charismatic renewal are compromising with Satan. Strong stuff. This volume does not end on a high note, but is inspiring enough to rent a few vampire videos to see the power of the crucifix in action. Best panel award goes to page 29 where we see Count Dracula dance the funky chicken.

Grade "B" for Black Mass! Return to Comic Index.

"The Prophet" (Alberto Pt. Six/ Crusaders # 17.) Review by Rich Lee!

Fred Carter's stunning cover depicts a little known blasphemy. The founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammad is shown with a flag and a crescent sword. The Islamic faith forbids any picture or image of Muhammad to be done, but "The Crusaders" series has broken bold ground in previous issues. This is the last issue of The Crusaders, issued in 1988.

For an unknown reason, the inking in this issue is not Fred Carter's, but another unknown artist. The inking appears to only be a tracing over the coloring in order to provide a border. The poor artistic quality is disappointing in light of the vividly detailed inked features in prior issues. This issue ends The Crusaders series with no memorable images other than the cover.

The story begins in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983. A reporter named Rosco can't wait to leave because the shelling is driving him nuts. He has one last assignment, which is to do a report in the streets of Beirut. Muslim fanatics accost him and threaten to kill him. After Rosco's return to Los Angeles, he runs into Tim Clark who knew him back in Vietnam (a clever tie-in to volume 1 of The Crusaders). Tim introduces Rosco to Jim Carter and Alberto who doesn't miss this opportunity to tell this reporter "the truth" about Islam he learned while a Jesuit priest.

In 570 A.D., Muhammad was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He founded Islam ater he received his call from Allah. Alberto promises "What I'm going to tell you is the most incredible story of intrigue you will ever hear." After he gives a brief overview of how Islam supposed came into existence, Alberto says that the Vatican needed to create a weapon to eliminate "both the Jews and the true Christian believers who refused to accept Roman Catholicism."

Basically, many Arabs who converted to Roman Catholicism were seen by the Vatican as useful tools to report information to Rome. The Vatican wanted to create a "messiah" who would unite the Arabs, and thus eventually creating an army to capture Jerusalem for the Vatican. An Arabian widow named Khadijah was a Roman Catholic who retired to a convent. She was commissioned to find a young man who could be used by the Vatican to build up a new religion for the Arabs. She met and married Muhammad. Eventually, Muhammad's religious visions were the basis for the Koran. (They were intepreted by Khadijah's Catholic cousin.) Other unpublished works from Muhammad are in the hands of high ranking Ayatollahs in the Islamic faith that contain information that links the Vatican to the creation of Islam. According to Alberto's recollection of his teacher Cardinal Augustine Bea, "Both sides have so much information on each other...that if exposed, it would create such a scandal, it would cause a major disaster for both religions." The Vatican created Islam and financed the Arab armies for the purposes of eliminating Jews and "true Christians," protect Roman Catholics, and capture Jerusalem for the Pope. However, the Muslims betrayed the Pope and kept Jerusalem for themselves. Later, the Muslims wanted to capture Europe. The Pope in turn built up the Crusades to fight the Muslims. The Muslims and Roman Catholics had a common agreement to prevent "Bible believing Christian missionaries" from reaching Arabs and converting them. Alberto says this explains why missions to Muslims have largely been unsuccessful.

Another commonality between Roman Catholics and Muslims is their mutual respect for the Virgin Mary, and the Vatican under Pope Pius XII pushed his "dancing sun" visions and tied it in to the Virgin Mary's appearance in Fatima in Portugal. Since "Fatima" is also the name of a daughter of Muhammad, some confusion erupted when Muslims heard Roman Catholics speak of "Our Lady of Fatima." According to Alberto, more visions of the Virgin Mary will appear all over the world.

Rosco asks Alberto, "Dr. Rivera, wasn't it a Muslim who shot the pope?" Alberto responds, "Oh, yes. The Jesuits planned that very well. A lot was to be gained by that incident." What could be gained? Well, since it was a Muslim who shot the pope, Muslims around the world were humiliated to think that "one of their own shot the one representing the prophet Jesus on this earth...that the Ayatollahs sent condolences and apologies to the pope." Furthermore, the would-be assassin of Pope John Paul II in 1981 was one of Europe's top hit men and an expert marksmen. "He fired his weapon at a distance of only ten feet. Each bullet hit the pope below the navel. You see, Rosco, he had no intention of killing the pope. He was simply following the instructions of the Jesuits. The upshot was when the world saw the pope forgive Mehmet Ali Agca for shooting him...almost one billion Muslims had nothing but admiration for 'His Holiness.' ...The Whore of Revelation 17 will stop at nothing to gain her ends, including shooting one of her own popes!"

The epilogue tells the purported Muslim readers of this issue that "Some Ayatollahs, who are in command of your religion, know from reading the unprinted works of Muhammad that what I've told you in this book is true. But in their desperation to hold onto their power as religious leaders, they dare not admit to the betrayal of the children of Islam. Even the Vatican knows this is true."

It is unfortunate that The Crusaders series has not continued so we could see how the Vatican also created Buddhism, but that can wait for another day. This story of intrigue is captivating, in spite of the shoddy artwork and incomplete feel of this volume. The unfinished artwork makes this volume end this series on a down note.

Grade "C" Conquer Jerusalem! Return to Comic Index.


"King of Kings: The Bible in Pictures" Review by Rich Lee!

This comic is twice the size (64 pages) of The Crusaders series, and was the first issue under The Sword Series. (The Big Betrayal was the 2nd and last.) This is undoubtedly the reason why current printings of both comics are now independent "stand alone" comics which are no longer a part of any series. The emblem The Sword Series is removed from the current printings. The Korean version is printed on slick paper.

Simply put, this is a very abridged version of selected Bible stories adapted in comic book form. The Old Testament portion begins with creation and the fall of Lucifer. Unrecorded in the Bible is the event of fallen angels becoming grotesque demons. The serpent in the Garden of Eden is a weasel who loses his legs after God curses him.

The stories of Cain and Abel, Noah's ark, the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Joseph with his brothers is recounted in several pages. The story of Moses and the plagues on Egypt, the Exodus, and giving of the Ten Commandments is told in the remainder of the Old Testament portion. The New Testament focuses upon the Gospel accounts on the birth of Jesus, his temptation in the wilderness, the Last Supper, the crucifixion and his resurrection. An interesting interlude tells the reader how Satan hatched up the veneration of the Virgin Mary with the advent of the Roman Catholic Institution. "Wars would be fought over this little Jewish maiden, and bloody executions and tortures of Christians and Jews would take place, all in her name." A killer waiving a spike in his upraised hand yells "Die, you dog...for the Blessed Virgin!" During the Last Supper, we see the founding of the "Lord's Supper" consisting of bread and wine with the assurance that "The bread didn't change into another Christ like the Roman Catholic institution claims..." Thus Roman Catholicism is a target in post-Alberto Chick understanding even in a Biblical adaptation.

The account of the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost recorded in the New Testament Book of Acts preceeds yet another anti-Catholic swipe: The narration states that while "the true believers set up a church, so did Satan!" "Mother Church will save us," one marcher says. Another marcher says "We are the true church," and yet another says "We are the only church" while Satan watches in approval.

The epistles of Paul are ignored since they don't really convey sequential stories. King of Kings concludes with a Dispensationalist fundamentalist interpretation of the book of Revelation. Surprisingly, the antichrist's picture doesn't resemble the pope in the newest version of this comic, unlike the updated version of The Beast tract. All's well that end's well when the last frame shows Jesus submitting to his Father after the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth.

King of Kings: The Bible in Pictures is Chick's only single volume work that shows a full color chronology of main Bible stories in one volume. This is a precurser to what is promised in the upcoming Chick Publications motion picture.

Grade "B" for Bible Adaptation! Return to Comic Index.

"Evolution" poster review by Rich Lee! (Art by Fred Carter 1973)

This poster has been a Chick best seller for decades. The original painting sans wording under each primate hangs in the hallowed halls of Chick Publications, and is much larger than the mass produced poster. A similar depiction of the ascent of man appears in the anti-evolution tract "Big Daddy?" but the difference here is that the poster is all color! Fred Carter painted each primate ending up with a modern man, shirtless and with a gut. Yucky, that ALONE is a rather convincing argument FOR evolution!

Each primate is Carter's depiction of various bogus links on the evolutionary scale that purported to be modern man's ancestor. In summary, the poster attempts to show that evolution is a presumptuous fraud and that many scientists falsified the facts.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with Chick's premise that all evolutionary theory is false, Fred Carter's artwork doesn't get much better. From the erupting volcano to the Triceratops and Sabretooth tiger, you feel like you are right on location. Even the mysterious eyeball looking out a treetrunk seems real! The best way to appreciate this poster is to have it professionally framed with nonreflective glass. Carefully placed leaves, bones, and legs hide the private parts from innocent eyes. The original painting measures about five feet long. By comparison, the production poster is about three feet long.

Rumor has it that Jack Chick personally modeled each primate for Fred Carter as he painted the creatures' expressions. Let's hope that JTC didn't take the posing down to the last detail, since each primate is in a birthday suit! (Haw-haw-haw, or should it be "Oo Oo Oo"?).

Grade "A" for Apes! Return to Comic Index.

Going Bananas

"Going Bananas? Isn't Everybody?.....Here's Help!" Review by Rich Lee! (Art by Fred Carter 1979.)

This 224 page book is a companion to "A Solution to The Marriage Mess." It basically is an illustrated novel that acknowledges Fred Carter as the artist. This classic is no longer in print. The book's seven chapters feature the story of Janet and Jerry Roberts who take in extended family members. They are unsaved heathen who drive this Christian family "bananas," resulting in Janet's breakdown.

Janet's niece Cathy had abortions, drinks vodka, is a victim of incest from her good-for-nothing father and she hates her mother. The nephew Freddy is a foul mouthed brat who smokes and also hates his parents. Doreen is their dysfunctional mother who crashes in on poor Janet and Jerry. When Freddy gets saved at church, Doreen goes berserk. She hates Janet and Jerry for "doing this" to her son. Later, Doreen's creepy husband Chester comes over to feed mud to little Freddy for daring to become a Christian. "YOU @!!*#! LITTLE FOOL...I WISH YOU WERE BACK SIZZLING YOUR BRAINS ON DRUGS INSTEAD OF HUMILIATING YOUR MOTHER AND ME LIKE THIS," Chester shouts. Nice parents.

In true Chick fashion ala "The Next Step," Freddy takes his persecution without resisting while the mud oozes down his face. "(GASP...GASP HE'S MY LORD AND MY GOD...(GASP) AND I LOVE HIM MORE EVERY MINUTE!" Gotta face it, this is more fun than an hour of the Jerry Springer Show!

If this isn't bad enough, Janet's and Doreen's mother imposes on them. She is a dominating hag on the rag who is the source of this family mess. A Christian psychiatrist Dr. Morgan gives the sane remedy: get rid of Mom! Now! She is the one responsible for messing up her daughters Janet and Doreen all these years. Janet has to go for treatment, while her mother insists on making herself useful being the codependent walking incubater she is. Jerry musters up the courage to kick the old battle axe out on the street while she manipulates the situation in her favor. "YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE @!!*#! HOW DARE YOU SAY A THING LIKE THAT TO ME!!...I WILL NOT LEAVE MY BABY!" She eventually caves in and leaves before poor Janet suffers a seizure. "GOODBYE, JANET...I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY BREAKING MY HEART LIKE THIS... BUT THEN YOU ALWAYS WERE SELFISH." Jeez, enough already. Later, Janet goes for Gesthalt therapy and pretends that a chair is her mother. Dr. Morgan tells her to tell her "mother" off. "I'M NOT CRAZY..." says Janet in therapy. "IF THE TRUTH CAME OUT, YOU'D BE THE CRAZY ONE!" Janet is cured and eventually helps others as she was helped. Interestingly enough, many Christians do not believe in telling off their parents no matter how messed up and controlling they are. Jerry didn't even want to kick out Janet's mother in the first place and told Dr. Morgan "We're trying to show our Christian testimony to her mom." The good Christian doctor says, ""What's more important?...Your wife's sanity or your Christian witness?" This is a surprise, since fundamentalist Christians tend to go for the Christian witness over keeping one's sanity. Being sane is more important than witnessing! And this comes from Chick! Of course, if mommy dearest had been a Christian, you can bet the good doctor would have insisted she stay, no matter what the consequences. Haw-haw!

Another shock is that this book endorses Christian psychology and psychiatry. Most fundamentalist Christians view psychology and psychiatry with suspicion since the founders of these disciplines were atheists and secular humanists like Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, and Albert Ellis who strongly disliked religion. In fact when this book was published (1979), traditional psychology and psychiatry were openly hostile to religion and blamed it for neurosis. Born again Christians tend to believe that these disciplines are unscriptural substitutes for repentance and prayer. In fact, if Christians are openly blasted by their mothers as in Janet's case, they should happily put up with it and not resist lest they be guilty of dishonoring their parents! If the parents want to dominate the household, then they "should" because parental authority never ends over one's life. Hence, the fundamentalist Christian subculture is filled with 40 and 50 year olds who still live with their dominating parents in trailer parks. Now THAT'S bananas!

Grade "B" for Bananas! Return to Comic Index.

"The Ark"(Crusaders #7 Review! (Art by Carter 1976.) Those dirty low-down commies are up to their old tricks again! This time, the Reds are trying to cover-up the truth about Noah's Ark. (No wonder they went bankrupt-- they spent too much time fighting Jesus.) A small group of Christians go on an expedition to uncover the remains of Noah's Ark. The air-craft carrier size vessel sits atop Mt. Ararat, yet no satellite has noticed it yet. (They were probably too busy photographing missile sites.) A Russian pilot first spotted the Ark in 1916, but the messenger was caught up in the Bolshevik revolution. "Rumor has it, he was captured and the documents fell into the hands of a Communist leader, Leon Trotsky. The messenger was silenced. He was shot to death." Not mentioned in the comic is the fate of Trotsky, who later winds up with a rather uncomfortable ax in his forehead. (Call it "Russian Retirement".) It turns out the Soviets don't want news of the Ark to leak out because, in the words of one K.G.B. big shot, "There would be renewed interest in the Bible... God forbid!" This same spy explains to his fellow comrades, "In the 1920s we successfully penetrated Christian seminaries in the U.S. And now in the 1970's roughly 75% of their ministers deny the Bible history of the ark... In the U.S. schools, most of the professors and teachers believe and teach evolution and laugh at the Bible. We used these people to destroy the Christian faith of their young people. Also the American press, TV and motion pictures have been a tremendous help to us." Hey, don't forget the comic books either! (Present company excluded.)

The Reds send Col. Solkov to neutralize the Christian's Ark efforts. He goes to the Turkish Military Intelligence Headquarters and harangues General Kemal to arrest the Christians as spies. A trip into town for supplies prevents Crusader Jim Carter from being arrested along with the rest of his fellow explorers. He quickly calls Crusader Tim Clark in L.A. for assistance. Tim gets a briefing on Noah's Ark by an expert, Dr. Bob Helton. Why any Bible reading Christian would need to have the story of Noah recounted is rather amusing. It's one of the most famous stories in the Bible. What's next? The story of Adam and Eve? But Tim politely listens to the expert retell the story one more time.

Tim goes to Turkey and is promptly arrested along with Jim Carter. The two are thrown in a different jail from the other Christian explorers. A Russian diplomat is also arrested for being drunk and tossed into the same cell. He must be really drunk, because any other diplomat would claim diplomatic immunity and get right back out. Perhaps the Lord made him forget that loop-hole so he would have the opportunity to be converted by the Crusaders? After two hours of pressure from the Christian mod-squad, Sergei Malik surrenders to Jesus. (He never really stood a chance against the tag-team approach. They know just which buttons to press.) Sergei says he'll arrange for The Crusaders and their friends to be released once he's let go. Within seconds, he's freed and does as he promised. The Christians all unite and pile into a truck and speed to the nearest border. A convenient wind storm breaks the telephone lines and prevents the border guard from checking the truck. It's another close call for The Crusaders. As usual, they win and the bad guys lose thanks to God tipping the scales in their favor.

On the last page, a fellow Christian wonders if the Ark will always remain hidden from the world. "Who knows? Politics could change and some team may be allowed to find it." WISH GRANTED! Turkey is now our big buddy, allowing us to stage troops there and everything. I wonder what's taking the Crusaders so long to get back and blow this story wide open. They must be too distracted listening to Alberto.

Overall, this is a fun conspiracy filled tale with plenty of cold-war intrigue. Too bad Sergei Malik converted to Christ. After reading the comic, I wanted to nuke ALL of Russia! But alas, we couldn't hurt Sergei... Grade: A+ for Ark Adventure! Return to Comic Index.

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