A Warrior Princess of Hy Brasil

February 16, 2000...March 2000
(24 pgs.)


Astonishing Stories presents:
Promethea appears to be trapped inside a large crystal ball being held by Marto Neptura. This is Grace Brannagh's version of Promethea wielding a battle axe. Neptura appears too large for her to overcome. Nice coloring. In the Collected Book 1 reprint of the first 6 issues this cover can be seen in its original art before it was colored. As JHW3 says about it:
highlighting the lithographic effect meant to recall old pulp illustrations
Based on the work of Weird Tales cover artist Margaret Brundage (1900-1976). Here are some of her covers.

A Warrior Princess of Hy Brasil
Grace Brannagh's version of Promethea is the warrior princess.
Note: variant titles for this issue could be
Amazing Grace! - after Grace Brannagh
The Scheme of the Scarletine Sorcerer! - Marto Neptura is the sorceror
The 5 Swell Guys in Firefight on 5th Avenue (Marv's last memory mix) - shown on pages 2-3 of this issue
There is a 1947 film called It Happened on 5th Avenue.
Marv's last memory is of the painted doll shooting him at point blank range.

Whilst Sophie lies asleep in hospital in the kingdom of Hy Brasil Grace Brannagh's version of Promethea saves Sophie from some manigators or man lizards. Using reductionism Sophie manages to help Grace to get rid of Marto Neptura who had usurped Promethea's Kingdom. Meanwhile Benny Solomon arrives in New York and summons a host of demons to get rid or Sophie/Promethea.

"You're another Promethea" - Sophie
"No, dear. You're another Promethea. I am the Promethea. I'm Grace Brannagh, and I'm rather the classic model" - Grace Brannagh, pg. 8
"You've no idea how throughly sick one can become of torture chamgers, demon altars, hunchbacks and skeletons" - Grace, pg. 10
"If you're going to be Promethea, I'm sure you'll end up with much stranger things between your knees" - Grace, pg. 10
"Every time I leave her alone I come back, she's unconscious and there's some old bald buy feeling her up" - Stacia, pg 16
"I've finally had about as much of your shaky grammar and leering descriptions as I can bear" - Grace, pg. 19

Page 1, panel 1: Nice effect of Kenneth's glasses reflecting the patient in the bed which is repeated on Page 5, panel 2.
Page 1, Panel 3: Kenneth seems to be able to read minds better when he is touching the side of a person's temple.
Page 1, Panels 5 & 7: Very nice effect of zooming out from an extreme close-up of the Panel on the next page.

Page 2: The Dollogram and the Painted Doll are extremely athletic.
Roger appears to have superhuman powers having just ripped up a streetlight. Lots of ads in the background a la Blade Runner. Most of the ads appear to be of a sexual nature. Note numerous bullets in the air as the dollogram fires off his submachine gun.
Claire Jordan asks a good question:
Why is the pipe-wrench which Stan is brandishing on pages 2-3 surrounded by mauve light and bubbles, as if it had occult significance or was a source of static electricity? In a subsequent issue we get the same effect with a spanner - is this some special power of Stan's? I note there is a flying eyeball, or a flying camera resembling an eyeball, on page 2 just to the right of the street lamp which Roger is waving.
Page 3, Panel 1: Dollogram seems to be a variation of hologram - " a 3 dimensional image reproduced from a pattern of interference produced by a split coherent beam of radiation".
Page 3, Panel 4: If you ever wanted to know what it looked like to see someone firing 3 hollow points into your chest at close range here's your chance.
Bottom of an Elastagel Street Sign visible besides the Painted Doll.
Page 4 middle panel(s) Uses the perspective of what I like to refer to as a Hitchcock shot after Alfred Hitchcock who used this sort of camera perspective for effect in some of his films
Page 4, Panel 5: Ally McBeal.
Page 5, Panels 4 & 6: Repeat of same effect shown on Pg. 1, panels 5 & 7.
Pages 6-7: The manigators conversation is almost enough to turn you into a vegetarian.
Note that there are two suns in the sky. This planet with a double sun idea was used in the original Star Wars film (1977).
Note the grasshopper transforming into a missile at the bottom of these pages.
Pages 8-9: Our first view of Grace Brannagh's Promethea in action. Nice swordplay
Claire Jordan notes
the band of Maori decoration on pages 8-9 (or could be Northwest Coast Native American art, which is similar in style - but the pink bits look like shell inlay which is typical of Maori art). The Maori-style sun is Grace's personal sigil.
Pages 10-11: Nice Aztec like figure separating the two pages
Page 10, Panel 3 Lizard Men...Manigators- No doubt from man + alligator
Page 11, Panel 4: Fairyland
Pages 12-13: The planets and constellations in the night sky behind Neptura are a slight foretaste of a later issue of Promethea.
Flying fish, floating rocks, Arabian style city with miniarets and two large statues overlooking the walled city.
Page 12, Panel 1: 1927 issue of Astonishing. There was no pulp magazine called Astonishing but there was one called Astonishing Stories and another one called Astounding Good information about Pulp Magazines can be found at the Pulp Zone.
Panels 2 & 3: Note the consistency in the typewritten 'a's which are placed just slightly above the other letters.
page 13 Panel 4: Note the name Ectopia on the barred door
Definition from Dictionary.com
An abnormal location or position of an organ or a body part, occurring congenitally or as the result of injury.
[New Latin, from Greek ektopos, away from a place : ek-, away from, out of; see ecto- + topos, place.]
Probably the Greek definition is more relevant than the medical one
Page 14, Panels 1, 2 & 3: "Claws of the Cat Cult, Eyre of Evil...Leech-leaves" - Marto Neptura seems to have been overly fond of alliterative allusions.
Page 15 Panel 2: More planets visible in the night sky.
Page 17, Panel 4: We finally learn Stacia's surname Van de Veer although in later issues there is a slight change to Vanderveer.
Page 19, Panel 2: Glob-goblins - Another alliteration.
Page 20, Panel 1: Sophie's reductionism reduces Marto Neptura to 5 smaller versions of himself- one head, two arms and two legs.
Page 21, panels 4 & 5: The fish are back swimming in the sky again.
Claire Jordan notes that
when Sophie sets out on "the highway east from Hy Brasil," Grace is still standing in a quasi-early-Mediaeval archway but Sophie is walking along a modern tarmac road, with centre-stripe and electricity pylons.
Page 22, Panel 2: Benny Solomon's full name appears to be Benjamin (M)eyer Solomon.
Page 22, Panel 3: Note that this must be an old poster of the 5 Swell Guys as Roger is still a male.
Claire Jordan adds
I noticed that Marv has been marginalized and is just a pair of eyes peering over someone else's shoulder. Is this because he is naturally retiring/more of a "backroom boy" - or has he been marginalized because he is "the black one"?
Page 22, Panel 4: William Blake
Pages 22-23:
Claire Jordan notest that
the plane which is taxiing along Kennedy Airport is made to look like a blue whale, with the folds of the neck painted on, and the windows where the mouth would be, and a little painted eye. Do we know what the brown and pink advert which is reflected in the windows of the car at the bottom of page 22 is for? The visible letters say AXO, plus part of a letter after the O.
Page 23, Panel 3: Goetia Links
Full Text of Goetia
or just click this link to download the
Key of Solomon
Lesser Key of Solomon
Sigils from above
72 spirits
Page 24: The demon sitting in a chair with a bandage over his eye appears to be Marchosias.
The Goetic Spirits and their seals can all be found here.
The most visible sigils above the demons' heads include:
Crocell, Balam, Bifrons, Murmur, Gremory and Decarabia.


Page frozen: 3 December, 2003