Vigilante deals with white supremacists murdering black cowboys in Adventure 422 (Aug 72), with Gray Morrow art, which always seems to suit this character.
The story is fairly simple and straightforward, but that simply adds to the realism of it. After a black cowboy is killed by a sniper at a rodeo, a racist organization proudly claims responsibility, insisting that they are merely protecting the purity of the cowboy image. Vigilante hunts them down. By not adding any big twists it makes a far more effective statement.
Greg Saunders, the singing cowboy performer who slipped a red bandana over his mouth to become the crime fighter Vigilante, begins a sporadic back-up series in Adventure, beginning with issue 417 (March 1972).
Vigilante had appeared a couple of years earlier, in Justice League of America, but had not had his own series since the end of his long run in Action Comics, in 1954.
Marv Wolfman and Steve Skeates penned this story, with Gray Morrow doing the art.
The story is set in San Francisco, as Vigilante hunts down a cop killer.
Chinatown gets dragged into the story, and it seems to be going the old “inscrutable” route, but the story avoids the racism it hints at, using this as a bit of a red herring instead.
All in all a decent return for the character, a solid and intense little tale.
Adventure 415 (Feb 72) has the climax to this tale by Len Wein and Gray Morrow. Zatanna uses her spells to return Jeff to human form, and take them back to New York City.
They discover Zatara running rampant in the city, having conjured up dragons.
Father and daughter battle, and Zatanna wins, but Zatara was not quite himself. He had been possessed by Allura, the sorceress/demon who had possessed him back in the story that first introduced Zatanna back in the 60s.
Adventure 414 (Jan 72) has the second part of Len Wein and Gray Morrow’s Zatanna story, as she and Jeff wake to find themselves prisoners of Varnu, the king of the other-dimensional world.
He brings Zatanna and Jeff to the Tower of the Dead, forcing them to enter, though never explaining exactly what he intends of them.
They encounter the monster Gorgonus, whose gaze turns Jeff to stone.
Zatanna begins her back-up series in Adventure 413 (Dec 71), which would run sporadically during the rest of Supergirl’s run in the book. Despite having been around in the comics for 7 years, this was the first time the character had a series of her own. The story is by Len Wein, and Gray Morrow provides the evocative art.
This story, in which Zatara is kidnapped and Zatanna must track him down, resembles the storyline that introduced her character across the DC line in the mid 60s. The family estate is called Shadowcrest for the first time in this story.
She has a manager/boyfriend, Jeff Sloane, who functions as her sidekick in the series.
Zatanna tracks her father to a different dimensional world, where she and Jeff are both captured at the end of the tale.