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Creatures On The Loose

Creatures on the Loose
Creatures on the Loose was Marvel's catch-all fantasy-horror title of the early 70's, bringing new new features (and backup tales from Marvel's monster-ridden pre-hero era) to the comic-reading public. Conan the barbarian was still a red-hot property at the time, and (continuing the numbering from the Tower of Shadows title) CotL prominently featured another Robert E. Howard-created hero, Kull, to feature in the first issue.

After a few all-reprint issues, #16 introduced a new feature in the form of Gullivar Jones, a little-remembered creation who predated even Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter stories. Roy Thomas scripted, and even named a minor character after writer Dick Lupoff, who helped bring Lt. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation by Edwin Arnold to the attention of the wider science-fiction-reading public of the time. Jones was similar to John Carter in that he magically found himself transported to Mars where he found himself in possession of enhanced strength, and who immediately set about helping a beautiful princess and her people fight off an army of uglier, meaner Martians.

#22 saw the introduction to the comics of Lin Carter's Thongor character, a none-too-bright, sword-swinging warrior very much in the Conan mold. This lasted until #29, when the Man-Wolf, a grey-furred werewolf first introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #125, took over the title until its last issue, #37. The Man-Wolf saga would continue later in Marvel Premiere.

Basicallyl, CotL existed as an attempt to recapture some of the magic of the Conan series. It failed, but even still, the resulting stories - including the reprints - were colorful, fun, and full of imagination.

You can see a gallery of Creatures on the Loose cover images here.

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