Brad Hardy is what I would term fantasy, or sword and sorcery, though I don’t think either of those terms existed at this period. I am sure it follows some theme of pulp novels of the time, though I am not familiar with any that are like this.
After Lorraine Lewis is kidnapped by the forces of the Underground Kingdom, Brad goes to rescue her, finding an ally in Prince Karados. Together they wind up in the midst of a battle between Snake Men and Rat Men, find Lorraine in the hands of the Black Magician of Dre, free her but lose her again when she is captured by Wicked King Marius of the Grey People.
Their quest for Lorraine gets delayed when they wind up in the hands of Claudia, Queen of the Underwater City of Melronia. She forces Brad to do battle to prove himself worthy of being her king, and though he succeeds, he and Karados escape as soon as they can, and finally make it to the castle of the Grey People.
The serial ends just as Brad is about to kill Pongo, the leader of their army. So perhaps he succeeded in killing Pongo, but I guess the guards burst through the door and killed Brad and Karados, and Lorraine was forced to marry King Marius and become a Wicked Queen.
The oddest thing about this series, for me, is that although it begins with Brad heading underground, and he continues from place to place without ever ascending back to the world we know, he winds up in forests and mountains and underwater cities, all apparently still underground, though it never actually appears that way. The spare art – and the fact that most of the series is in black and white, makes it easy to forget this oddity.
Brad Hardy: New Fun 3 – 6 (Mar – Oct 35)
More Fun 7 – 28 (Jan 36 – Jan 38), 30 – 31 (Apr – May 38)