Friday, February 01, 2008

Abominable Sisterhood

John Eagle is a Caucasian who was raised by Apaches. For some reason, pulp fiction and comic books are filled with white guys who were reared by Indians. I suppose the strange reasoning is that the authors wanted to exploit various Indian folklore, but didn't want to alienate readers they believed would only identify with white men. Seems silly to me, though so does much of THE ICE GODDESS, #7 in Pyramid's adventures of "the most exciting new adventure in paperback," written by Paul Edwards.

Eagle is a member of the Expeditor Group, which is owned and operated by the mysterious Merlin, an extremely wealthy man who uses his power and money for good. Eagle functions as an agent of sorts. Merlin calls, and Eagle comes. He has never seen Merlin, who prefers to contact his operative through one-way closed circuit television.

Eagle's assignment is to investigate the polar ice caps, which appear to be melting at an exorbitant rate, almost as though they're being melted by an outside force. Cruising beneath the water in Merlin's one-man atomic sub, Eagle eventually discovers a bizarre society dominated by women in brightly colored jumpsuits.

It isn't until close to the end when THE ICE GODDESS really perks up with sleaze and scope, presenting an epic sci-fi setting of an above-ground Arctic community hidden beneath an enormous ice dome and dominated by a megalomaniacal female leader who demands the men in her employ undergo sex change operations to remove their genitalia. The last sixty pages or so is where all the action and pulpy stuff take place.

The middle is dominated by what I can only describe as padding. Eagle is stranded in the tundra, where he befriends a teenage Eskimo couple who provides him with food, shelter and sex. Eagle does fight a polar bear that he dispatches with an axe, which is cool, but outside of this, THE ICE GODDESS feels like a short story padded to feature length. It's rare, though, to find a hero who willingly sleeps with a 14-year-old girl while her husband is in the room, so that's unusual, at least.

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