Heavy Metal 45th Anniversary Exclusive Preview: TAARNA: THE WITNESS

HEAVY METAL #316 is out now celebrating the publication’s 45th anniversary, and Monkeys Fighting Robots is lucky enough to show off an exclusive preview of the issue’s Taarna story.

The story is called “Taarna: The Witness” and it’s by writer Helen Mullane and artist Montos (full name Osvaldo Pestana Montpeller). There is also a Taarna variant cover to the issue by Simon Bisley; the main cover is by Kim Jung Gi.

What the creators have to say about the story:

“For me, working at Heavy Metal has been an old dream come true. And the fact of breaking inside their pages with their mythical Taarna has been a source of double satisfaction. Joseph has been super respectful and has given me big wings to fly creatively in this story. Helen’s script was a shot of love at first sight. When I read it, I visualized it in all its cosmic aesthetics and I wanted to add a little Lovecraftian taste to it.” – Montos
“Like Montos said, for me, writing for Heavy Metal is a dream come true, and for a character as iconic as Taarna no less! Since I first saw her flying on her steed Avis in the Heavy Metal movie, she has been a part of my inner pantheon of legendary female heroes. I wanted to write a story that was cosmic in scale, go as full out Heavy Metal as possible, and I couldn’t think of a better artist to share this journey with than Montos. His incredible art takes us all the way there, a true visual feast. It was a pleasure working with Joe, a keenly creative editor who helped me bind the threads and themes together and didn’t hesitate to let us get weird.” – Mullane
Montos will also be the artist on ENTROPY, Heavy Metal’s event series that kicks off this July, written by Christopher Priest.

Check out our TAARNA: THE WITNESS preview below:

heavy metal 316 45th anniversary taarna the witness

heavy metal 316 45th anniversary taarna the witness

heavy metal 316 45th anniversary taarna the witness

heavy metal 316 45th anniversary taarna the witness
Taarna variant cover by Simon Bisley.
heavy metal 316 45th anniversary taarna the witness
Main cover by Kim Jung Gi.
heavy metal 316 45th anniversary taarna the witness
Credits page showcasing all the stories in this anniversary issue.

About HEAVY METAL #316:

The third of four INTERCONNECTED covers by the master illustrator KIM JUNG GI, an otherworldly TAARNA cover by the legendary SIMON BISLEY, and a blank sketch cover!

Heavy Metal’s flagship character TAARNA returns in an otherworldly story by writer Helen Mullane and artist Osvaldo Pestana!

The debut of the episodic technothriller WIREMONKEYS by creator/writer/artist Dan Schaeffer!

A new battle rages in Heavy Metal’s zombie saga COLD DEAD WAR by David Erwin and artist Vassilis Gogtzilas!

YA horror serial THE AXE continues by Fall Out Boy’s lead guitarist Joe Trohman and writer/actor Brian Posehn with Deadpool artist Scott Koblish! 

Cyberpunk serial ENGAGERS by Beyond Kuiper author Matthew Medney, Bruce Edwards, and artist John Roi Mercado continues!

The strange history of DEATH DEFIED by Joe Harris and Federico Pietrobon continues to unfold!

Heavy Metal’s female space explorer returns in the newest chapter of THE ADVENTURES OF ADRIENNE JAMES by Bruce Edwards, Matthew Medney (Dark Wing) and artist Santa Fung

George C. Romero’s THE RISE begins its second half of the origin of the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with art by Diego Yapur!

Finally, an interview with Simon Bisley showing the process of creating his TAARNA cover for the magazine’s milestone issue!

It’s a massive celebration of 45 years publishing groundbreaking stories of science fiction, fantasy, and horror from The World’s Greatest Illustrated Magazine!


What’s your favorite Taarna story? Sound off in the comments!

Anthony Composto - EIC
Anthony Composto - EIC
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.

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