The number of series in Adventure 461 (Feb 79) drops from six to five, though with no drop in pages. Rather, the Justice Society is given a double length series as they move from their own comic, cancelled as part of the DC Implosion.
The Flash gets an entertaining and off-beat tale by Cary Bates, with art by Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin. Barry and Iris are travelling by car, and stop at a gas station. A hunter comes out, drops his gun, and Barry picks it up and shoots the man dead.
Iris cannot figure out what is going on, and upon visiting Barry in prison, discovers that he has no idea either. The gun shot itself, and when he raced to stop the bullets, he discovered there were none, the man had squibs planted in his coat that exploded.
Sticking around to try to figure out the situation, Barry is set up by another faked death, and then meant to be killed escaping. But of course he uses his super-speed to avoid that fate, and manages to find the supposed victim and clear his name of the crime. It was all an attempt to frame and kill an outsider, while allowing a wanted criminal (the hunter) to fake his own death.
In this instalment of the Deadman story, Len Wein and Jim Aparo slow down a bit, recapping past events as Deadman tries to figure out what is going on. He figures out that the man behind the fire and attempted murder was Solomon, a wealthy industrialist, and tracks him down, learning that the other man who escaped, Kronsky, was being held by him to extract information.
Inga reveals more of her past to Cleveland, that her father was a prominent scientist who disappeared a few years before she escaped from Russia.
So all in all it’s really no surprise when Kronsky shows up at the circus, and we discover he is Inga’s father.
But at least the story has taken a clear form before its climax.
The Justice Society begin their run in Adventure with a three-page introduction, of the team itself, as well as Earth-2. Paul Levitz and Joe Staton then give play to Power Girl, trying to prove herself to the dismissive older heroes, Green Lantern, Flash and Wildcat.
Robin shows up at the headquarters, where he reveals that he has known Helena was really the Huntress all along, even if Bruce never figured out what his daughter was up to.
Then the action gets going as a powerful madman, Bill Jensen, takes over some twin towers and demands that Bruce Wayne, the current Police Commissioner of Gotham City, be turned over to him for vengeance. Jensen quickly takes down Power Girl, Flash, Green Lantern, Huntress and Robin before Wayne arrives.
He blames Wayne for framing him for a murder he didn’t commit, and his attempt to kill Bruce is only thwarted by the power of Dr. Fate.
The story continues next issue.
This beginning chapter to a new Aquaman storyline is a less than impressive start, although the story will improve as it goes on. Paul Kupperberg and Don Newton have Aquaman discover that a company, Universal Food Products, has begun extensive farming of the lands around Atlantis.
Aquaman distrusts the company immediately, and Vulko’s defense of them certainly calls into question his abilities as king. Aqualad joins Aquaman as he seeks out information on land from the company headquarters, and discovers that UFP’s real plan is the destruction of Atlantis.
Wonder Woman gets an extremely rare team-up with Wonder Girl in this story by Jack C Harris and Jack Abel. Wonder Girl had been introduced as a member of the Teen Titans, an a backstory involving Wonder Woman was ascribed to her (and flashbacked to in this story), but in truth she had never been a sidekick in Wonder Woman’s comic.
Wonder Woman finds her at a special school, while tracking down some Amazon-costumed thieves. Donna refuses to accept any connection between the school and Diana’s case, but Diana sticks around and discovers that the head of the school is really the old, lame, JLA villain Headmaster Mind. He has conned the girls into believing they are drawing powers from Wonder Girl as she sleeps. The Wonder women simply turn the tables on him, convincing the girls that they have stopped the fake device from working, their powers in reality just came from their belief in the machine.
It’s not a bad story in concept, though not great in execution.
Wonder Girl had last appeared in a Flash Super-Spectacular, and next appeared in an issue of Brave and the Bold later in the year, both times as part of the Teen Titans.
Headmaster Mind had not appeared since battling the JLA in the late 60s, and as he made no further appearances, it seems he really did die in the explosion at the end of this story.