666: The Mark of the Beast (#12 – 13) – Various

3 out of 5

I picked up these two issues of Fleetway reprints as they had some Alan Moore bits and pieces, but between the Future Shocks collection of Moore’s work that’s been released and the recent Monster collection, all of his contributions here have been accounted for elsewhere, and with better printing quality. Still, the absolute bevy of art and writing talent that dropped weekly installments in the various Brit mags (Scream, Tornado, 2000 AD and more) merit – to my under-exposed American eyes – any opportunities to take a gander, so although Fleetway’s stuff always feels a bit cheap and money-grubbing… I’m happy to sift through it as a shortcut to finding some lost gem.

The no-doubt purposefully controversy-baiting titled 666: The Mark of the Beast purports to be a horror highlighting mag; out of these two, issue 13 does that, with vampires and feral cats and monsters, but issue 12 is big on Moore’s Future Shocks, which are certainly more of the sci-fi Twilight Zone twist variety. That aside, there’re some fun choice Shocks here – The Reversible Man, Last Rumble of the Platinum Horde – and the serialization of Monster kicks off well. Gerry Finley-Day’s wartime vampire bit in issue 13 drags, and is a bit wonky art-wise, but it’s a valid genre mash-up.

Otherwise, this is pretty common for Fleetway: loosely hung-together reprint material done up with permissible printing standards.

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