A Kirby/Ayers reprint spectacular issue of WMD this time. First up is a reprint of “From Out of the Black Pit Came… Grogg”, from STRANGE TALES #83. Note that his reprint seems to have some lettering changes from the original. I’m guessing the “small dictatorship in central Europe” was more explicitly the USSR first time around. Anyway, a freedom-loving scientist is captured in said dictatorship, and forced or work on a bomb test in Asia. The test ends up waking up Grogg, who seems to be the bigger, non-speaking brother of Fin Fang Foom. The scientist eventually manages to escape to America, leaving Grogg to take care of the commies, and we find out that he knew about Grogg, and it turns out he knew about Grogg, and he had earlier found proof that the Great Wall of China was built to keep out dragons. Who knew? Very cool panel of a bunch of monsters attacking the wall. Grogg’s a very fun looking monster, so much so that he’s one of the handful of the monsters to get a sequel, four issues later.
Also in this issue, “Follow the Leader” from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #76, which has a story that would have fit in Kirby’s 1950s sci-fi work like RACE FOR THE MOON (and some of the art looks a lot like the Kirby/Ayers SKY MASTERS strips), with a group of explorers finding a planet that turns out to be populated by a variety of monsters. Over the protests of the peace-loving member of the expedition, they kill the lead monster, only to find out that he was the only thing keeping the other monsters in check, so they flee the planet.
The cover is from the Kirby/Ayers cover of STRANGE TALES #83, with a bunch of figures added clinging to and falling from Grogg’s hands. It’s kind of weird, since some of the figures don’t seem like the kind you’d find in the Chinese countryside (like the blonde woman in a green mini-skirt and heels).