Posts tagged ‘Jeff Sloane’

Adventure 419 – Supergirl’s bad boyfriend returns, Black Canary ends, and Zatanna faces Gorgonus

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Mike Merrick returns in Adventure 419 (May 1972), with a new girlfriend in an unusual, and surprisingly sad, story by John Albano, with art by Tony de Zuniga and Bob Oskner.

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Supergirl battles magical threats, and the reader discovers that these have been created by Lorelei, Mike Merrick’s new girlfriend, to divert Supergirl and keep her from tracking him down.

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It’s a bit of overkill, really, as Supergirl has shown no inclination to find Mike over the last 6 months since he appeared, but he calls her and informs her of what has been going on.  This phone call is the only contact Supergirl and Merrick have in the entire story, never even sharing a scene together, but the story works extremely well despite this.

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Remorseful and self-loathing, Mike kills himself and Lorelei in a car accident.  Supergirl is informed of his death, and comments that he “escaped from a world in which he never quite belonged.”  There is an absence of sappiness in this tale that makes it genuinely touching.

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Black Canary’s 2-parter by Denny O”Neil and Alex Toth concludes in this issue, as she wakes to find herself bound and at the mercy of the gang she helped train.

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While I kind of hate the fact that she only finds the strength to fight back from this situation by remembering advice from Green Arrow, I can’t fault the beauty of Toth’s art on the flashback.

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And fight back she does, defeating the gang, and at the end discovering that it was all a plot to free Catwoman, in a surprising cameo.  It’s a nice touch, but does make one wish that there had been some bigger scene between the Cat and the Canary.

Black Canary’s next solo series is in World’s Finest Comics in the late 70s.

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Zatanna returns in this issue, in a story that is sort of an epilogue to her earlier adventure, written by Len Wein with great art by Dick Giordano.

While rehearsing for a new act, Gorgonus suddenly appears, having been expelled from his dimension as an unwitting side effect of the spell Zatanna used to help her and Jeff escape.

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She defeats the monster  by subterfuge rather than magic, tricking him into staring into a mirror, which turns him into stone.

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Adventure 415 – Zatanna finds Zatara

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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.

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They discover Zatara running rampant in the city, having conjured up dragons.

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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 – Zatanna meets Gorgonus

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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.

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He brings Zatanna and Jeff to the Tower of the Dead, forcing them to enter, though never explaining exactly what he intends of them.

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They encounter the monster Gorgonus, whose gaze turns Jeff to stone.

 

Adventure 413 – Zatanna begins

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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.

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