Posts tagged ‘Lee Elias’

Adventure 439 – The Spectre gets engaged, and the Green Arrow chapter of SSoV


Adventure 438 (June 1975) begins a 2-part story that concludes the Spectre’s run.  It is based, oddly enough, on the 2-part origin story of the Spectre in More Fun Comics, but Mike Fleisher puts a different spin on the tale, with art by Jim Aparo.


After rescuing Gwen Sterling yet again, Jim bemoans his fate, to be a living dead man, and the voice that empowered the Spectre (God?) decides to fulfill his wishes, and brings him back to life, although Jim does not realize this.


The following day, he pursues a gunman with no thought to his own safety, but gets shot and wounded in the process, to his great surprise, and delight.


Realizing that he has gained his life back, he proposes to Gwen.  But the story ends with a note of danger, as the mobster “Ducky” plans vengeance.

The story concludes next issue.


Lee Elias returns to draw the Green Arrow chapter of the Seven Soldiers of Victory tale. A great choice, as he has no problem duplicating the look he gave the character back in the day.


The story is a fairly silly one, enlivened by the art.  Two crescent moons, the waxing and the waning, get into a fight at Father Time’s Inn, due to an eclipse that prevented one from being seen, and the fight threatens to draw in other heavenly bodies, until Green Arrow proposes that the two crescents merge and substitute for a full moon.

Adventure 267 = The Legion imprison Superboy, and Aquaman and Green Arrow trade locales


Adventure 267 (Dec 59) features not only an early appearance by the Legion of Super-Heroes, but also an interesting not-quite-team-up by Aquaman and Green Arrow.

Of the three stories, the Superboy one is the least impressive; and if a Legion freak like me is saying that, you can be sure it’s true.

The costumes are almost right, but there is really little else to recommend this story.


Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up in Smallville again, stopping crimes and treating Superboy badly.  Even Krypto and the Kents turn against him.  He leaves, and discovers a world built in his honour by Legionnaires, who promptly imprison him in a kryptonite cage.  They had seen him on a time viewer destroying military property, so feel he deserves death.  Saturn Girl had used her telepathy to turn everyone against him.

Of course, it’s all a misunderstanding, and everyone is buddies again at the end of the story.

Hate to say it, but this mess was written by Jerry Siegel, although I’m not sure he’s the one to blame for Saturn Girl emitting destructive beams from her eyes, as that detail is in the art, but not the text.


Aquaman’s story begins with Shark Norton and the Wizard, old enemies of Aquaman and Green Arrow respectively (although this was in fact the only appearance of either villain), each deciding to switch their areas of operation.  Shark Norton will evade Aquaman by committing crimes on land, and the Wizard will elude Green Arrow by heading out to sea for his larcenous activities.


This story is also the earliest I can find that specifies the one-hour time limit for Aquaman, so delicately phrased by a police officer, “you gasp for water like a dying fish.”


Nevertheless, Aquaman pursues Shark Norton, and once again Ramona Fradon has fun with Topo, who uses his tentacles to shoot four arrows at the same time.  Aquaman goes through the tale with his head in a bowl of water, but triumphs anyway.


Meanwhile, Green Arrow and Speedy don underwater gear to pursue the Wizard.  Some really nice art by Lee Elias on this, I do like his work on the Green Arrow series.


The Wizard is using an artificial iceberg as his base, and while Green Arrow and Speedy attempt to melt it with arrowheads made of salt, they stumble across a Godzilla-type sea monster awakened by atomic testing, whose fire breath proves more effective at the task.


The two heroes interact only in the very last panel of the story, congratulating each other.  Not a real team-up, but an enjoyable way to link the two back-up features in this issue.

Adventure 266 – Aquaman meets Aquagirl, and Green Arrow gets a surprise guest


Adventure 266 (Oct 59) introduces Aquagirl, a one-shot character who nonetheless lays some important groundwork in the series.


Lisa Morel sees Aquaman trapped by a giant clam, and dives down to rescue him, discovering, to her surprise, that she can breathe underwater and control sea creatures as well.

She adopts a matching costume, and starts calling herself Aquagirl.  Aquaman is not pleased, and it seems as if this story will be like the Johnny Quick – Joanie Swift one, of male insecurity.

But more is going on.  Aquaman has realized that Lisa is really from Atlantis, and that her father has been lying to her about her birth.  She was exiled at birth from the undersea city, because she was incapable of living in the water for an extended period of time.  Her purple eyes are the key to this, the sign of her being a “throwback,” as the story terms it.


While Ramona Fradon once again has fun drawing Topo – love his one-octopus-band – the panel of the baby being  jettisoned from the city just looks funny to me.  And sadly, the panel of the purple eyes was drawn on in the scan I have.  Boo.

The purple eyes would continue as a significant trait in the Aquaman series, though they would not indicate an inability to live in water in later stories.  What do they signify?  Wait and find out.  I’ll get to it.



This issue also features an unusual Green Arrow story.  It seems fairly run-of-the-mill, with Oliver and Speedy dealing with an escaped tiger and some thieves.  They have some new green arrowheads that they are using, which act very strangely.

After the arrows have been used, they keep disappearing, flying up into the sky most often.  Green Arrow and Speedy are completely mystified until the end of the story.


Superman shows up on the last page, and all is made clear.  The green ore that was used for the new arrowheads was kryptonite!  It was Superman who made the arrows vanish, disposing of them from a distance.  And you can’t help but notice that Lee Elias art works better on Green Arrow and Speedy that it does on Superman.


Aside from the unexpected cameo by Superman, this story is also the first to show the Daily Star Building, although it is not labelled as such.  The Daily Star would not become important in the Green Arrow series until the late 70s.

Adventure 262 – a new-ish origin for Speedy


Speedy’s origin is retold in Adventure 262 (July 1959), and the story is similar in respects to the one a year or so earlier.  Once again he is orphaned and raised by natives, but this telling emphasizes how he came to be partnered with Green Arrow, with some nice art by Lee Elias.


In this version no mention is made of his mother, and his father’s occupation is unclear.  He saved Chief Brave Bow from a fire, and in return the Chief raised Roy after the father perished in an avalanche.

Roy himself desires to be Green Arrow’s partner, and meets him at a charity event, asking to be his assistant.  Unfortunately, all of Roy’s shot go wildly askew, and he appears to be a dreadful archer.

He helps Green Arrow capture some thieves at the end of the story, and Green Arrow realizes that the boy’s arrows had become magnetized, which was why they went off in the wrong direction.  He nicknames Roy Speedy, and takes him away from the reservation.


Far better than the Chief just sending the boy off to find Green Arrow on his own, Brave Bow appears a few more times, and this story remains the origin of Speedy, with only minor variation, until the New 52.

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