There’s no sophomore jinx for the second issue of MEN’S ADVENTURE QUARTERLY. It remains one of the most impressive, beautifully designed publications available today. The theme this time around for this oversized trade paperback is Espionage. It features a lot of vividly reproduced artwork, including both covers and interior illustrations, from a variety of the Men’s Adventure Magazines published in the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies, along with seven stories (mostly fiction, even the supposedly true ones) from those magazines.
My favorites were “The Deadly Spy Mystery of the Formosa Joy Girls” by Brand Hollister, an acknowledged pseudonym, real author unknown (MAN’S ACTION, March 1963); “Operation Maneater” by Donald Honig (FOR MEN ONLY, February 1969); and “She Knew Too Much to Live” by H. Horace, another pseudonym, I’m thinking (MAN’S LIFE, October 1973). These are all action-packed yarns, and “Operation Maneater”, which is about an American agent’s efforts to bring down a counterfeiter headquartered in a compound on the Amazon in South America, is especially good and would have made a fine novel if it had been expanded. You can’t go wrong with a bad guy who has a pool full of piranha. Of course, a pool full of sharks or alligators would have been pretty good, too.
In addition to the stories and great artwork, there are also informative, entertaining essays from editors Robert Deis and Bill Cunningham and guest editor Tom Simon. MEN’S ADVENTURE QUARTERLY #2: THE “EYES ONLY” ESPIONAGE ISSUE is just great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended. (It's also available directly from the publisher.)