Posts tagged ‘Metron’

Adventure 460 – Barry Allen lives Jay Garrick’s nightmare, Deadman deals with a circus fire, Wonder Woman battles for Steve Trevor’s soul, Green Lantern and New Gods end, and Aquaman begins for the fourth time

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The line-up changes almost immediately with the second Dollar Comic issue of Adventure, 460 (Dec 78), partly as a result of the infamous “DC Implosion.”  Having lost his own comic, Aquaman moves back into Adventure, which causes the abrupt end to Green Lantern’s run.  Other victims of the Implosion would also find homes in this book in the coming months.

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Cary Bates, Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin craft an enjoyable variation on the long-running team-ups of the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Flashes.  After hanging out for the first couple pages, Barry Allen tries to head home, but instead gets pulled into a weird alternate reality.

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He encounters The Shade, and though he tries to fight him, the Shade appears confused by this, and insists they are friends – as well as insisting that Barry is really Jay Garrick.

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Jay’s wife Joan has the same view of Barry’s identity, though in this world she has become the wife of the Fiddler, another of Garrick’s old foes.

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Finally the Wizard shows up, bragging about his plan to drive Jay Garrick insane.  Barry simply fell into the magical trap by accident, but as it was not designed for him, he also escapes with ease.

The Shade and the Fiddler, both last seen in JLA/JSA team-ups, do not really appear in this tale, they are simply magical constructs.  The Wizard appears between the final story in Secret Society of Super-Villains, and its follow-up in the pages of Justice League of America.  But again he is not really there, hia appearance is part of the spell he had set-up before the events at the conclusion of SSoSV.

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Len Wein and Jim Aparo continue the Deadman saga begun in the previous issue, as Lorna finds herself pestered by agents of a mysterious businessman trying to take over the circus.

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Once again Inga is certain that she is the cause of the problems, even though this appears unlikely to the other characters.  The bad guys start a fire in the circus, and Deadman inhabits his brother’s body once again to help save people.

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Meanwhile, a second mysterious man, being tortured at orders of the first, escapes from his captors.  The story continues next issue.

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The New Gods saga by Gerry Conway and Don Newton comes to a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion in this issue.

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Darkseid beats up Highfather, in a sequence that is not particularly impressive for either character.

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On Earth, the humans assembled by Darkseid join together and emit the Anti-Life Equation, which simply wipes out the Antagonist.  Lightray, Forager, Metron and Jezebel just sort of stand around looking impressed.

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Darkseid attempts to pierce the Source Wall, but his approach causes him to increase in size, like the Promethean Giants.  DeSaad mistakes this as an attack, and fires a cannon at him, blasting Darkseid to pieces, and the story comes to an end, without even the long forecast battle between Darkseid and Orion.

Most of the major players return a couple years down the road in the JLA/JSA crossover in which the Apocalyptians try to bring Darkseid back to life.  Others have to wait until Kirby’s next work on the series, in the mid-80s.

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His own book having fallen prey to the DC Implosion, Aquaman returns to the pages of Adventure, Mera in tow, as he deals with Landau, an arrogant hunter of whales.

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The story, by Paul Kupperberg, is pretty basic, and Don Newton is far from my favourite artist on Aquaman.

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Green Lantern’s last story in this book, by Cary Burkett, with art by Joe Staton, sees him deal with one of his rarer foes, a magical being called Myrwhydden.

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Their last encounter had been back in the mid-60s, in Green Lantern’s own book, and concluded with Myrwhydden imprisoned inside Hal’s ring.  He reveals that the energy leeches from the previous issue had drawn him out of the ring, and so once again he pursues his goal of stealing Green Lantern’s battery and ring to use to power his own magic.

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And once again Green Lantern whups him.  But this time, rather than putting him back in the ring, he delivers Myrwhydden to the Guardians of the Universe to imprison.  Myrwhydden returns in the early 80s, in Green Lantern’s own book.

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The final story in the issue, a Wonder Woman tale by Jack C Harris and Jack Abel, is the best in the book.  It’s an epilogue of sorts to the death of Steve Trevor that occurred the previous month in her own book.

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Distraught, Diana pleads with Aphrodite to bring Steve Trevor back to life, as she had done once before, in the early 70s.  Aphrodite refuses, and Diana decides to head to the afterworld to take on Pluto himself in order to save Steve.

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They battle, but it becomes apparent to Wonder Woman that Pluto does not have Steve Trevor, that he has passed on to a different plane.  Pluto was merely delaying Diana in his realm, waiting until her separation from her physical form brought about her own death.  Steve’s ghost leads Diana back to her body, and she has no choice but to accept his death.

In fact, Steve’s absence from the realm of Pluto was due to more of Aphrodite’s manipulations, but that will not be made clear, or even hinted at, until the 80s.

 

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Adventure 459 – Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Deadman, New Gods begin, plus an Elongated Man story

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Major changes in Adventure Comics 459 (Oct 78), as the book expands to be a “Dollar Comic,” and the format becomes reminiscent of the 1940s anthology series “Comic Cavalcade, ” which also featured Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, as well as a host of other characters.  Deadman begins as a regular feature, and the New Gods conclude the storyline from their recently cancelled book.  The Elongated Man story was always intended as a one-shot, rather than the start of a new series for him.

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The features that had their own comics tried to do something different with their runs in Adventure.  For the Flash, this meant telling single issue tales, without the emphasis on the Rogue’s Gallery.  Still, the story had the standard creative line-up for the hero, with Cary Bates writing, and Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin on the art.

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The story sees Barry Allen go to a high school reunion, and chaos and crime take hold when a psychic ex-classmate reveals that she has read the mind of one of the alumni, and discovered that he is the Flash.  She chooses to share this information with a man in debt to the mob, who kidnaps the Flash in order to have him fight the mobsters who are out to get him.

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Unfortunately, the mind she read was not that of Barry Allen, but instead a different classmate, who had become an actor, and was recently cast as the Flash.  Still, amid all the confusion the Flash swoops in to save the day.

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Deadman had been a frequent guest star in the DC Universe throughout the 70s, most recently in the Challengers of the Unknown revival, but had not had a solo series since his back-up in Aquaman in the early 70s.

This storyline brings Boston Brand back to his Hill’s Circus beginnings, and brings back much of his original supporting cast: Lorna, Vashnu, Tiny and his twin brother Cleveland, as well as introducing Cleveland’s wife, a Russian defector Inga, and their daughter Lita.  Len Wein scripts, with Jim Aparo on the art.

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Deadman spends a few pages remembering his origin and recapping his original series from Strange Adventures, while inhabiting his brother’s body as he performs his aerial act.  A gunman tries to kill him, and then manages to kill himself while Deadman inhabits his body, which should not be possible.

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Though there is no real explanation given for the events in this issue, Inga suspects it has something to do with her past and her defection, and later issues will prove this correct.

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Green Lantern had been sharing his comic with Green Arrow for the better part of the decade, so his short run in Adventure gave him solo stories for a change.  Cary Burkett and Joe Staton provide this brief tale, as a beautiful alien woman comes to Earth seeking Hal’s help.

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He fights off the energy leeches that have crippled her ship, but his ring informs him that she is disguising her identity, so he also blasts apart her deception.

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She reveals that she is not the hot babe she pretended to be, but lusted for Hal and figured he would not be interested in her if he saw what she really looked like.  Silly woman.  Hal Jordan will bed anything that moves.

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The New Gods continues the storyline from its recently cancelled revival in this and the following issue.  Gerry Conway and Don Newton did some commendable work on the series, but it paled next to Kirby’s original.

DeSaad gives a brief recap to Orion, explaining how the captured human Orion has freed were taken by Darkseid because they unwittingly possess the Anti-Life Equation he has been searching for.

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Highfather also gives some background on the New Gods and the long war between the forces of New Genesis and Apokolips, before the story shifts to Earth, as Lightray, Metron, Forager and Jezebel deal with the Antagonist and his mind-controlled hordes. as they attempt to assassinate President Carter.

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Darkseid and Orion meet and finish the recapping, discussing the long-foretold final battle between the father and son.  All of this basically a set-up for the big finale next issue.

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The Elongated Man gets a fun little mystery, which apparently needed five writers for a seven page story, as Len Wein, Paul Levitz, Mike Gold, Ann Delany-Gold and Steve Mitchell are all credited, along with George Ruppert and Bruce Patterson on the art.

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The story sees a group of diners at a chinese restaraunt receive fortune cookies stuffed with thousand dollar bills.  Raplph runs headlong into the mystery, while Sue calmly sits and watches, filling him in on the important information he missed by running around.  Gotta love her.

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Some fun stretchiness as Ralph boards a airplane already in flight, and confronts the mysterious cookie stuffer, who turns out to be a well-known comedian with a criminal past, trying to right his long ago wrongs.  As the comedian is known for being a cheapskate (and is pretty clearly based on the non-criminal Jack Benny), he wanted to pay back the town without ruining any part of his reputation, and Ralph, satisfied with the solution, agrees.

Though the Elongated Man appeared regularly in Justice League, he had not had a solo story since his run in Detective Comics a couple of years earlier.  His next solo outing was a couple years down the road, a back-up story in an issue of Justice League of America.

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Wonder Woman faces the Shark in this story, by Jack C Harris, with art by Jack Abel and Frank Giacoia.  Most of her tales in Adventure pitted the Amazon against other heroes villains, which was not such a bad idea.

The Shark, who last appeared in these pages battling Aquaman, invades Paradise Island in his quest for Wonder Woman.  She is secretly flattered by his interest, as she deems it an indication that he views her as a hero on par with Superman, Green Lantern and Aquaman.

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Sad that she bases her view of her worth on the attitudes of those who want to fight her, but even worse is the fact that the Shark simply wants her as a mate.

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It takes her an embarrassingly long time to realize that she did not lose her powers by being bound by the Shark, as he is not a human male.  You’d think she would actually be able to tell whether she had her strength and such, but not in this story.

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She compounds this error at the end, using her lasso to command the Shark to never “return to human form.”  But he WASN’T IN HUMAN FORM!  That was the whole point of why she did not lose her powers!

While not a bad story, per se, it certainly does not come off making Wonder Woman seem particularly competent.

The Shark returns the following year, battling the Justice League in their book.

 

 

 

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