Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesday Comics: Storm: People of the Desert

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues. Earlier installments can be found here.

Storm: The People of the Desert (1979)
(Dutch: Het Volk van de Woestijn; Alternate English title: The People of the Plains)
Art by Don Lawrence & Script by Dick Matena

Storm and Ember stumble through a salt flat desert that was once a sea bottom. Ember soon passes out from heat and exhaustion, but Storm manages to carry her to the shelter of an ancient coral reef. despite an attack by vultures sensing their weakness. Finding shade and fresh water, the two rest until the hear someone:

The oddly white-skinned stranger collapses. They notice he has a red circle on his forehead. They are about to get the man water when:

One of the men fires a gun that places another red disk on the man's forehead. When Storm tries to remove if, he gets a strong shock. The disk seems to place the man under the control of the two strangers. Under their command, he stands then easily overpowers Storm knocking him out with a chop to the neck. Storm and Ember are taken prisoner.

On the March to their camp, one of the men explains what's going on. The United Cities want to colonize the salt desert, so they commissioned "the Prof" to engineer a race of people capable of living and toiling there. This guy and his crew raid the tribes at the edge of the desert to supply test subjects. The place a "hyno" on them to get them under control. He plans to turn Storm over to the Prof and give Ember to "the Boss," who he thinks will like her.

Later, in the raiders' cave base, the Boss, Hanyin1, is indeed impressed with Ember's beauty; Ember's response to his advances is predictable:

Storm wakes up and manages to get a knife to Hinyan's throat. One of the raider's fires a hypno at Storm, however, and he is quickly under their control. Ember tries to remove it and is shocked to unconsciousness. Hinyan has her thrown in a cell to await his return.  He gets a message the Prof wants to see him.

Hinyan takes a glass tube elevator to the Prof's lab. The Prof's experiments to perfect homo incultus--the desert people--are almost done. He only needs one more batch of test subjects. Hinyan doesn't want it to be the last one; there's still a lot of work to do in the cortite mines. The Prof is adamant, however, He only worked with Hinyan and his crew and put the desert people to mining to fund his research. Now he's close to a solution to the cities' overpopulation.

Hinyan isn't happy about any of this. He takes the elevator to his heli-jet and heads over to the mines. Storm is at work there beside the mind controlled desert people. Hinyan tells his confederate about the Prof's orders. They begin to plot on how to insure the mines stay open--unaware that the Prof has them under surveillance.


1. "Banjo" in the original Dutch.


The Angry Lurker said...

Ember is my type of girl!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see some appreciation for Belgian comics. Storm has been one of my favourites ever since I was a wee Dutch lad. Staying tuned for your possible take on Vandaahl the Verderver, the bestest Storm comic of all time.