Friday, December 12, 2014


Marvel Comics' Ulysses Bloodstone was originally featured in Marvel Presents #1 & #2, followed by Rampaging Hulk (magazine) #1-#6. A prominent tie-in ran in Captain America #357-#362.

John Warner developed ideas for the ongoing Ulysses Bloodstone story describing the planned ideas as "grand and epic and sweeping in scope" and "very cosmic and complex. Most of the rest of the planned stories would appear in the back-up story in The Rampaging Hulk magazine, ultimately leading up to Bloodstone's death, as told in issue #8
Marshall Rogers illustration from Rampaging Hulk #2!
Fabulous Rudy Nebres art!
In the Hyborian Age, a meteorite landed on Earth in Northern Vanaheim on the European continent, circa 8250 B.C. It was controlled by an entity called the Hellfire Helix, who wanted to take over the world. To that end, it sent its agent, Ullux’l Kwan Tae Syn, to get the meteorite and find a host for it. 

However, a local human hunter/gatherer found the rock, and fought Ullux’l Kwan Tae Syn. In the fight, the meteor was smashed, a part of it (also called the Bloodgem) was imbedded in the human's chest, and the explosion killed the human's tribe. The human vowed revenge on Ullux’l Kwan Tae Syn. Because of the gem in his chest, he became immortal, and later became known as Ulysses Bloodstone.

Ulysses Bloodstone was one of the most successful mercenaries in the world. His long life
allowed him to assemble a vast fortune, which he used to set up a series of outposts, fully staffed and equipped, in various corners of the world. He gained mastery of most of the world's weaponry, and a large portion of the world's martial arts and languages. Bloodstone gained a reputation as a monster hunter.

Alan Kupperberg art from Rampaging Hulk!
The mystic Bloodstone fragment embedded in Bloodstone's chest emanates magical energy which increases his physical strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and senses to superhuman levels. The Bloodstone also provides vast regenerative capabilities that enable him to rapidly regenerate damaged or destroyed bodily tissue with much greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. The more extensive the injury, the longer it takes for him to fully heal. Bloodstone's healing ability is sufficiently developed to regrow severed limbs, which he has done at least once. On this occasion, Bloodstone enters a state of self-induced hibernation which lasts about 10 years. Aside from his greatly enhanced healing, the Bloodgem renders Bloodstone virtually immortal in the sense that he is immune to the effects of aging and to all known diseases. Bloodstone's life is dependent upon the presence of the fragment. As a result, Bloodstone doesn't require food, water, or air to survive. However, if he is forcefully separated from the gem, he will die.

More of the background to Bloodstone's death was filled-in by The Bloodstone Hunt storyline in Captain America #357-#362.  
Led by Baron Zemo, the villains steal the corpse of Ulysses Bloodstone, hoping it will lead them to the various fragments of the stone. Using the skull of Bloodstone, Captain America and Diamondback track the next stone to an Incan temple. In the Amazon jungle, the heroes and villains must ward off a tribe of lost Incas. In an Egyptian pyramid, Cap and Diamondback come across the Living Mummy. Baron Zemo, body briefly possessed by Hellfire Helix, uses the Hellfire Helix to resurrect his father, Baron Heinrich Zemo.
However, the assembled Bloodgem summoned the Exo-Mind, which possessed Heinrich’s form and made plans to take over the Earth. The Bloodgem was shattered and fell into a volcano, banishing the Exo-Mind once again.

Marvel Presents #1  Fear-Fraught First Issue! He has Lived for Untold Centuries--but Today is the Day he may Die! Demon from the Depths!
"Dweller from the Depths"
Ulysses Bloodstone battles a creature the Possessor calls from the sea.
Written by John Warner with Mike Vosberg & Bob McLeod art. 
This story was originally planned to be the first in a Bloodstone series in Where Monsters Dwell.
"Part Two: The Lurker Within" 
Bloodstone fights the Possessor and during the battle the Possessor attempts to possess Bloodstone and is able to reach into Bloodstone's mind and see his life before he obtained the bloodstone. 
Written by John Warner with art by Pat Boyette.
Cover by Gil Kane. 
This story was originally planned to be the second in a Bloodstone series in Where Monsters Dwell.  

Marvel Presents #2  Special! The Astonishing Origin of the Man Who Cannot Die! The Curse of the Helix Hex!
"Hellfire Helix Hex"
Bloodstone's origin is continued with Brad Carter seeing a portion of it, but not the conclusion when the Bloodstone is shattered into many pieces. Bloodstone battles the Possessor to the death.
Written by John Warner with Sonny Trinidad art. 
"Reader's Space"
Background on how the Bloodstone series first began and where it was to be published, a mention of the guest stars Brad Carter and P.D.Q. Werner and more information on the Hellfire Helix.
Text by John Warner.  
Rich Buckler cover.  
This story is continued in Rampaging Hulk #1-#6.

Rampaging Hulk #1 
"Trail of the Startstone"
All stories written by John Warner. This issue's art by "Big" John Buscema & Rudy Nebres. 
While on a cruise, Ulysses and Brad are attacked by Ulluxy'l's men and a monster named Goram.
Continued from Marvel Presents #2.   
Painted Ken Barr cover, has painted a lot of terrific paperback covers. 
By the way, some of Walt Simonson's best work on the Rampaging Hulk #1-#3 title feature. 

Rampaging Hulk #2
"Scream, the Shrike"
Art by Bob Brown & Rudy Nebres. 
One page illustration of Bloodstone by Marshall Rogers!
Painted cover by Ken Barr. 

Rampaging Hulk #3
"And There Shall Come Death"
Art by Sal Buscema & Rudy Nebres.  
Text article on Bloodstone by John Warner with Rudy Nebres illustrations. 
Painted Earl Norem cover. 

Rampaging Hulk #4
"Return from Oblivion"
Drawn by Val Mayerik & Sonny Trinidad.  
Painted cover by Jim Starlin, who also plotted & penciled the Rampaging Hulk title feature with inks by Alex Nino!
Rampaging Hulk #5   
"Suite Fear"
Art by Val Mayerik with inks by Bob Wiacek.
Painted Jim Starlin cover, one of my faves!  

Rampaging Hulk #6
"Conspiracy Ascendant" 
Allen Kupperberg pencils with Sonny Trinidad inks. 
Painted cover by Ken Barr.

Rampaging Hulk #8
"Earth Shall Have a New Master"
Written by Steve Gerber, penciled by Alan Kupperberg & Rod Santiago with Rudy Mesina inks. 
Patrick Broderick illustration of Ulysses Bloodstone
Cover painted by Ken Barr. 

Marvel Firsts: The 1970s Vol. 3 reprinted Marvel Presents #1. Marvel Firsts has been a great series, three volumes for the 1960s & 1970s, featuring some rarely seen classic Marvel comics of old. Marvel is up to the first volume of the 1980s. I highly recommended them! 

Unfortunately, the terrific black & white stories in Rampaging Hulk magazine have never been reprinted. You'll be glad you checked out these comics as well. The Hulk stories have yet to be reprinted as well! Earl Norem painted an outstanding cover for the last issue, #9

Bloodstone was never the same. I really enjoyed Ulysses Bloodstone from Marvel Presents & Rampaging Hulk and most unfortunate, it never lived up to John Warner's grand & epic expectations. 

Rudy Nebres artwork!
Pat Broderick illustration from Rampaging Hulk #8
Live Large My Friends!

Thank You! 

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