Posts tagged ‘Mn’torr’

Adventure 478 – Aquaman, Starman and Plastic Man end

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Aquaman gets the cover for his final, really final, story in Adventure 478 (Dec 80), by Jean-Marc DeMatteis and Dick Giordano.

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Black Manta has gathered an army of homeless and disaffected people, and told them lies to make the Atlanteans seem like evil monsters.  Aquaman and Cal manage to escape, and Aquaman swims right by Manta and his men, who probably could have at least tried to stop him, but don’t.  They just…don’t.

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Pretty dumb move, as Aquaman convinces Vulko and the Atlanean troops to open the gates.  Must have done some really fast convincing, as it happens almost immediately.  But it works, and Manta’s men desert him.

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Mera captures Manta in a hard water bubble, and Cal Durham shows up as well, just as everything goes boom.

The story continues in Action Comics, as Aquaman’s series moves over there.

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Starman’s tale concludes a bit more than the Aquaman one does, but not by much.  Paul Levitz and Steve Ditko do bring Mn’torr’s story to an end though.  He is sentenced to death for saving Prince Gavyn, and as Starman showed up to try to save him, he faces the same sentence.

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Not content to die, Starman fights back against the monsters that are meant to kill them, saving Mn’torr once again.

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Meanwhile, Jediah Rikane and Lady Merria return to Throneworld, only to learn that Empress Clryssa is on her death bed.

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Mn’torr insists that, no matter how much Starman wants him to survive, his time is at an end, and dissolves in a really cool, very Ditko way, bequeathing Starman his staff of power.

As promised, the story does get resolved in an issue of DC Comics Presents, though not exactly “soon.”  More like eight months.

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Plastic Man’s story really does end.  And begin for that matter, as it’s complete in this issue, by Marty Pasko, with Joe Staton art.

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Plas and Woozy Winks deal with thieves who resemble Groucho Marx and Harpo, and I do like the layout of this page, integrating the building into the panel lay-out.

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Plastic Man’s series continues as a back-up in Super Friends, which it would fit in with pretty well.

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Adventure 477 – Aquaman faces Black Manta, and Starman learns the origin of Mn’torr

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Another split cover on Adventure 477 (Nov 80), and the final one to really feature Starman and Plastic Man.

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Aquaman leaves New Venice by mutual agreement as this story, by J.M. DeMatteis and Dick Giordano, begins.  The mayor is furious with him for abandoning so many of this plot lines from World’s Finest Comics.

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But another long-abandoned character shows up, Cal Durham, formerly one of Black Manta’s men, now forced to live underwater.  His young sister goes to Aquaman for help.  Cal had last appeared in Aquaman’s brief 70’s revival, along with Manta.

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And it’s Black Manta that is the trouble once again, capturing the two after Cal stumbles across Manta’s new base, from which he plans to attack and conquer Atlantis.

On the last page, Mera re-appears.  She had not be taken, so much as phased away, and now back, still all feverish and comatose.

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Starman goes in search of Mn’torr in this chapter, by Paul Levitz, Steve Ditko and Romeo Tanghal.

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He heads to a trippy temple Mn’torr was connected with, which speaks to him and allows him to essentially teleport to Mn’torr’s homeworld.

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We discover that he broke sacred vows about the balance of the universe when he rescued Prince Gavyn, and that he was not defeated by Oswin, but by his own people, who gave Oswin the staff to balance the power.

 

 

Adventure 474 – Starman fights without his powers

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Once again, but for the last time, a cover that features Starman and minimizes Plastic Man (who battles villains called Acid-Tongue and the Skunk), in Adventure 474 (Aug 80).

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Starman leads the search for Lady Merria in this story by Paul Levitz, Steve Ditko and Romeo Tanghal.  Following instruction from Mn’torr, he and Clryssa head to Asryx, the prison planet, but wind up getting captured themselves.

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Clryssa is in “disguise” – which means she has a strip of cloth over her imperial tattoo.  Starman bracelets are taken from him when they are captured, and he is forced to fight some robots single-handed in order to retrieve them and regain his powers.  This scene actually looks better on the cover than in the story.

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There’s more awkward romance between Starman and his oblivious sister, before they free Merria, as well as Jediah Rikane.  Clryssa pledges to reward Jediah for his service.

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The chapter ends with a wholly unexpected scene, as Mn’torr suddenly shows up to confront Lord Protector Oswin.

 

 

Adventure 471 – Starman vs Captain Krydd

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Another split cover on Adventure 471 (May 80), showing Plastic Man saving Woozy Winks from Brickface, and the story I am going to talk about instead.

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Lord Protector Oswin has become obsessed with Starman, seeking to learn the secrets of his powers.  He also sends his forces under Captain Krydd to attack Akademe, a training world for merchant spacemen.  If those two things are related, it’s not clear how.

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Jediah Rikane is now living with Starman and Mn’torr on the asteroid, and knows he is really Prince Gavyn.  He seems content to take the sidekick role in the story.  Mn’torr alerts them to Oswin’s assault on Akademe.

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So after a few issues of backstory, we get one of action, as Starman faces not only the normal soldiers, but also the massive Captain Krydd.  Not that it proves much of a difficulty to him.  Jediah does get briefly captured, but also gets saved by Starman.

 

Adventure 470 – the origin of Starman

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The flashbacks continue as the origin of Starman concludes in Adventure 470 (April 1980), by Paul Levitz, Steve Ditko and Romeo Tanghal.  And look, he almost gets the cover all to himself!

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Mn’Torr rescues Prince Gavyn, and brings him to his bizarre little asteroid.  He informs Gavyn that he was not, in fact, dying, and gives him the bracelets that allow him to channel his power.  Gavyn learns little of Mn’torr, or how he knew all this.

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Mn’torr also provides Gavyn his Starman costume, and trains him in the use of his powers.  Starman makes his first outing protecting a mine colony from a space beast, which looks much cooler on the cover than in the issue itself.

With Lady Merria all filled in, the trio return to Throneworld to see Clryssa safely crowned.  Gavyn no longer has any interest in the crown, and stays in the background, content with his new life, but also determined to protect Clryssa from Lord Protector Oswin’s schemes.

Adventure 468 – Starman unmasked

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Plastic Man fights a killer ballet dancer in Adventure 468 (Feb 80).  Look, there he is on the cover.  No need to say anything else.

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Starman heads to Throneworld, the central planet of the Empire, in this story by Paul Levitz, Steve Ditko and Romeo Tanghal, in hopes of preventing Lord Protector Oswin from assassinating Empress Clryssa.

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He deduces that the crown itself must be part of the assassination plot, and as he fights to obtain it, Mn’torr shows up to help, displaying even more mysterious abilities.

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Starman prevents the guards from fulfilling Oswin’s plans to turn the crown into a weapon, but Lady Merria, who comes to retrieve it, is far from thankful, even when he unmasks.

Although his specific identity is not made clear, there are two intriguing hints.  Firstly, he has the same forehead tattoo as Clryssa, which Merria got as well in this issue, referred to as the sign that one is a member of the imperial family, and Merria’s statement that Starman has a claim to the throne!

Adventure 467 – Plastic Man and Starman begin

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Two new series begin in Adventure 467 (Jan 80).  Plastic Man gets his first ongoing series since the cancellation of his own comic in 1977, and though it was hugely popular and I admire it, I never enjoyed it, and likely will not write about most of the stories.  The Starman series is an entirely new character, despite having the same name as two former heroes, which I loved so much as a teenager that I bought this book despite Plastic Man.

I do have to admit, the series do compliment each other in a way.  The Plastic Man stories are all pretty much self-contained, while Starman runs as one long serial.

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Len Wein and Joe Staton provide the story and art on Plastic Man, and I have to admit, Staton is perfect at capturing the frenetic and humourous look of Plas and his sidekick, Woozy Winks.  This story briefly recaps Plastic Man’s origin, as hoodlum Eel O”Brian gets wounded in a shootout and doused with chemicals. He is rescued and tended by monks, discovers his new abilities to stretch and reshape his body, and begins to fight crime instead of committing it.

He works for the National Bureau of Investigation, the NBI, which his sidekick Woozy longs to join as well.

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In this story, he is assigned to protect an informant, Carlton Canary, from mob killers.  Which he does.

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Far more interesting to me was (and is) the debut of Starman, byPaul Levitz, with art by Steve Ditko and Romeo Tanghal.  The story begins mid-stream, with the mysterious masked figure rescuing Jediah Rikane, who is being tortured by Lord Protector Oswin.

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Despite being set deep in space, there is a very medieval quality to this series, both in terms of the feudal structure of the society, and also the costumes and weapons.  We briefly meet the new Empress, Clryssa, as well as Lady Merria, her lady-in-waiting.

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Starman is considered a dangerous rebel, so Rikane is surprised that he fights against Oswin, who plots to take the throne.  Starman’s identity remains a secret, as do the full nature of his powers, but he is capable of surviving unprotected in space, and has bracelets that emit intense heat, and force blasts.

After rescuing Rikane, Starman brings him to his asteroid home, where we meet, again briefly, Mn’torr, whose name pretty much assures the reader that he is Starman’s mentor.

 

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