Posts tagged ‘Paul Kupperberg’

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 455 – Superboy vs Lex Luthor, and Aqualad ends

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Adventure 455 (Feb 78) has the concluding half of Bob Rozakis’ tale of the people of Smallville turning into kryptonite beings.

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Superboy flies back to town just in time to conveniently overhear Lex Luthor bragging about the fact that he is the one behind the situation.

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Even still, Superboy doesn’t quite figure it all out, until he covers himself in lead and attacks Lex, but finds himself still vulnerable.  Without even needing Lex to explain his plans in detail, Superboy figures out that the new satellite above the town is responsible, and destroys it.

Not a great story.  Frankly, none of the Superboy tales in this run are.

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Aqualad’s concluding chapter makes up for the weaknesses in the Superboy tale, both in terms of art and story, as Paul Kupperberg, Carl Potts and Dick Giordano bring his solo run to a satisfying, if not happy, ending.

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After some action battling a cool robot, Aqualad learns the painful truth about his parents, King Thar and Queen Bekka.  His father had become a dangerous tyrant, and was deposed and executed, while Bekka was deprived of her child, who was sent away with no knowledge of his past, in fear that he would one day seek vengeance.

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Instead, Aqualad accepts the hard truths, and realizes that Aquaman was more of a father to him than his real parents had been.

This paves the way to his next appearance, in Aquman’s own book, and their reconciliation.

 

Adventure 454 – Superboy vs Kryptonite Kid, and Aqualad learns his parentage

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The Kryptonite Kid makes a rare appearance in this Bob Rozakis story from Adventure 454 (Dec 77), though the adult version of the character had appeared a year earlier in the pages of Superman.

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The people in Smallville all start turning green, and emitting kryptonite radiation. Pa Kent gets Clark out of town, where he quickly recovers.

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Superboy guesses that the Kryptonite Kid is responsible, as the villain has the same properties, and finds him out in space, but not too far away.  They battle, and though Superboy defeats him, he also realizes that the Kid was not responsible for the situation in Smallville.

This is also the final appearance of Kryptonite Kid.

The story concludes next issue.

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Aqualad continues the search for his background in the story by Paul Kupperberg, with art by Carl Potts and Dick Giordano.  He spends much of this chapter terrorizing an old man and beating up his pet shark.

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He does, however, learn that the man was responsible for the death of King Thar, the former leader of the Idyllists, who looks an awful lot like Aqualad.  Could it be…?

The story concludes next issue.

 

 

Adventure 453 – Superboy and Aqualad begin, for the second and first time, respectively

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Superboy had been pushed out of his own comic by the Legion of Super-Heroes, much as had happened earlier in Adventure Comics.  After a couple of solo stories in Superman Family, he returned to headline Adventure with issue 453 (Oct 77).

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The story, by Bob Rozakis, with art by John Calnan and Murphy Anderson,  has Clark at a summer camp, along with Pete Ross and Lana Lang.  For some reason, he also brings the magical crystal from a recent adventure with the Legion, which has the effect of giving a young girl the super-powers she wishes for.

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These first manifest that night, as Lana tells a ghost story to the campers, and Pete and Clark attempt to scare them.  The girl transforms into Mighty Girl, and battles Superboy to a standstill, until he figures out the crystal was responsible and throws it into the sun.

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There is a nice twist in the final panel, as we discover that the girl is the young Barbara Gordon, later to become Batgirl, which makes her older brother Tony Gordon, currently appearing in her series in Batman Family.

 

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Aqualad begins a three-part solo feature, written by Paul Kupperberg, with art by Carl Potts and Joe Rubenstein.  It follows directly on the previous issue, with Aqualad confronting the Idyllists, attempting to find out who his parents were.

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Their refusal to tell him simply motivates him to attempt to break into their records and find out for himself, but they fend him off.

After having Aquaman try to kill him last issue, poor Garth is having a rough time of it.

This is Aqualad’s first ongoing series, although he did have a couple of solo adventures in the pages of Teen Titans.

 

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