With 150 pages and the $13.99 cover price, and the Frank Frazetta self-portrait on the cover A, I got this issue from mycomicshop.com in April of this year. Photo of my copy:
There's also an interview with Frank Frazetta Jr in the mag. As I've noted before, there's less Frazetta in HM's history than one might think. There are a number of instances, but it's kinda sporadic, with the most significant items in recent issues. I looked and started thinking to go into more detail on Frank Frazetta's entries in Heavy Metal Magazine here, but it may be enough for a post on its own someday. Good for Frank Jr to trumpet his father's legacy in the interview coming later. I will not be so rude as to put a number rating on this.
The three big shots put out their editorials, this time about sex, mostly sex in Heavy Metal magazine. Too bad there isn't all that much of it in this issue. The masthead is unchanged from #304, including an apparent typo in Justin Mohlman's name, that I did not notice until #305. Hope they get that fixed.
"Swamp God - Chapter 1" by Ron Marz, Armitano, DC Alonso, ALW Studios' Troy Peteri - 6 - With Tim Seeley and Joseph Illidge getting respective Editor and Co-Editor credits. Fugitive Confederate soldiers, fleeing an all-black Union squad, encounter a Swamp Witch. A topless Swamp Witch. Besides that it's pretty comic-y.
"Vasator and Crunch" by David Erwin, Kevin Molen, DC Alonso, David Sharpe, Morgan Rosenblum - 6 - Mercenary warrior brothers in ancient (Assyrian?) times, one is a golem/robot? I have enjoyed Molen art in previous HM entries, "The Aftermath: Big Clean" and "The Savage Sword of Jesus Christ". But unfortunately, neither of these finished in Heavy Metal Magazine, despite stating "to be continued". This one does not hint of more, but I'll bet there will be.
"The Rise - Part Three" by George C. Romero, Diego Yapur, DC Alonso, Saida Temofonte, Joseph Illidge - 6 - The scientist pays for the secret he seeks. This entry's storytelling a bit less cohesive, but it still looks pretty cool.
Interview with Frank Frazetta Jr. by Joshua Sky - 7 - Titled "The Once & Future King", for some reason. A warm and insightful reminicense of Frank Frazetta by his son Frank Jr. Jr says he has a novel about the Death Dealer, and wants to get it published, and working with HM seems to be one of his tactics.
"Cryptwalker" by Michael David Nelsen, Jason Danzeisen - 7.5 - The titular character is a Barbarian, looking for answers to his past for thousands of years. The story has him failing to rescue a captive from the arcane ritual of an unholy cult, but gaining the power they sought. I quite enjoyed how the art succeeded showing me expanses of mind and space, illustrating a grand scale. There's some to the story I am missing, but it finishes with an "End Chapter" so maybe there will be more.
"Dark Wing - Chapter Five" by Matthew Medney, German Ponce, Protobunker Studios, Bruce Edwards, Pete "Voodoo Bownz" Russo, Saida Temofonte - 4 - This has lost my interest. It skipped an issue and I didn't even notice. It's oozing with wordy balloons failing to expound a contrivance of a story, and unfortunate two-page spreads. Sorry but I never got into this and now it's starting to rub me the wrong way. It may get somewhere someday, but I am not optimistic.
"The Grasping Dark" by Mark McMann - 4 - A short prose piece, a rant about humanity. Pretentious presentation with weird font changes and annoying typos. An ok premise without an impact.
"The Queensbury Company - Episode 1" by Patrick Smith, Carlos Pedrazzini, Arthur Hesli, Victor Uchoa, David Sharpe, Ismail Nihad, Morgan Rosenblum - 6 - The ragtag group of miscreants needing to coalesce into a fighting unit trope. This time with "Mythicals" - characters based on creatures of myth and fantasy, in a post-alien-invasion world. A handful of interesting bits try to raise this from comic mediocrity. It's Episode 1, so presumably we'll see more.
"Maiden - Neoma: The Bride - Chapter Four: The Lord's Sin" by Michelle Sears, Bart Sears, Ilaria Fella - (-4) - My first negative rating. I might normally give this another 6, but it's getting (-10) points on top of that, since it Actually Went There with child sexual abuse and murder. Fuck that. I can handle fantasy murder and mayhem in HM, it's part of what helps remind me of man's capacity for inhumanity. Sexiness is cool. Leering prurience, juvenile drooling, sexual assault of (supposed) adults, sexualizing too-young teens, are all unfortunate realities in HM's history, but this shit gets called out. Reprehensible.
"Savage Circus" Chapter Five by Brendan Columbus, Al Barrionuevo, Candice Han, Dave Sharpe, Joseph Illidge - 4 - I'm starting to feel about this one like I did about "The 49th Key", last seen in issue #281, less than effective storytelling with only slightly better art. At least if this ever gets made into a movie it'll probably be better than this story.
"Off" by Chris Anderson - 7 - Reports of "little green men" and people seeming "off" distress the populace. Gratuitous nudity and comically fanciful body horror push this over the top of the "pretty good for HM" threshold.
"Cyberarchy" by Matt Hardy, Clark Bint, Rob Jones - 7 - A delightful commentary on existence, told by robots born to die. Very nice art that did well to show worlds near and far, despite the unfortunate preponderance of two-page spreads, helping move along the wryly told story.