Posts tagged ‘Stripesy’

Adventure 443 – Aquaman vs the Fisherman, and Seven Soldiers of Victory ends

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Aquaman did not have many recurring villains in his own comic, but Adventure 443  (Feb 76) brings back the Fisherman, a third-rater at best.  Still, the story, by Paul Levitz and David Michelinie, with art by Jim Aparo, is pretty good.

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Aquaman intercepts some people hunting a dolphin, but discovers that they are French police, and the dolphin is being used for heroin smuggling.  Following the animal, Aquaman discovers the Fisherman is running the operation.  This was the first appearance of the character since the 60s, and though he captures Aquaman, another long-unseen character frees him.

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Topo had not been used in an Aquaman story since issue 36 of his old book, but becomes a regular supporting character again with this issue.

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The kicker to the story comes only on its last page, as Aquaman is dethroned by vote of the council, and the mysterious Karshon becomes the new King of Atlantis.

 

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The conclusion of the Seven Soldiers of Victory saga, with art by Dick Dillin, is a bit of a let-down.  The team reconvenes, and Willie the Wisher sends a battery of beasts against them.

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They defeat the creatures, and make Willie feel bad for his actions simply by talking about it.  Willie makes himself disappear.  Well, that was easy.

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In the end we discover that the events were all made into a film, but no one believes it because no one remembers Willie – even though all the activity occurred not on Earth, but in the Land of Magic.  So why would anyone on Earth be aware of it anyway?

Still, most of  the original tales of the Seven Soldiers of Victory were similarly pretty weak, so this is simply on par with their published adventures.

As a team, the group never appears again, except in flashbacks, or in All-Star Squadron issues, set in the 1940s.  The story clearly takes place before the events in Justice League of America 100-102, as Wing is still alive.

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Adventure 441 – Aquaman begins, for the third time, and the Star-Spangled Kid chapter of the SSoV

Adv_441__Aquaman

After the success of his back-up series, Aquaman returns to become the lead feature in Adventure 441 (Oct 75).  Paul Levitz and David Michelinie are credited as writers, and Jim Aparo, who did superb work on Aquaman’s own book in the late 60’s, does the art.

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Captain Demo makes a mysterious threat, and in response Aquaman turns over the city of Atlantis to the one-armed pirate.  Mera actually gets to do something, instead of just standing around being wifely, but her attack on Demo is thwarted when Aquaman attacks her to defend him.

Vulko gets the just-standing-around role in her place.

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Aquaman shows his true colours towards the end, using a clam to block the radio signals in Captain Demo’s fake hand, preventing him from destroying Atlantis (his threat, now finally revealed).

An adequate tale, nothing really special, but this run in Adventure would climax with one of the most powerful Aquaman stories ever told.

Adv_441___SSK

The Star=Spangled Kid chapter of the Seven Soldiers of Victory saga has art by Ernie Chan, though it looks nothing like his usual work.  It does, however, highly resemble the art on the Kid’s strip from the 1940s.  Which is to say, horrible.

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The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey wind up in a place with talking animals who behave like street toughs (or “dead end kids”, as the title reflects).  The heroes convince the furniture to stand up to the brats, in a scene that feels like it’s straight out of a Disney cartoon.

 

Adventure 438 – The Spectre and a human museum, and the Seven Soldiers of Victory begin

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Adventure 438 (April 1975) has the shortest Spectre story of the run, a mere 10 pages, because of the extended length of the back-up feature.  As a result, the story by Mike Fleisher is very simple, but the art by Ernie Chan and Jim Aparo makes it rewarding anyway.

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The tale deals with another madman, who is having people kidnapped and killed to be put in his personal museum.

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Corrigan is put on the case, tracks him down, and as the Spectre frees some gorillas from their exhibit to kill him.

Adv_438___SSoV

The Seven Soldiers of Victory begin a serialized story in this issue.  The story itself was written in the 1940s for their run in Leading Comics, but never published, or even drawn.  It follows the standard format of SSoV tales, with the entire team together for the first and last chapter, and five middle chapters featuring the team members in Individual action.

As this is the first time I am writing about the team, I will point out the curious fact that there are not seven members in the Seven Soldiers of Victory.  Shining Knight, Green Arrow, Vigilante, Crimson Avenger and Star-Spangled Kid are the heroes.  Sidekicks Speedy and Stripsey are counted to make up seven, but Wing is not.  Only white people count, maybe?

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The first chapter, with art by Dick Dillin, introduces the villain, who is really more of a trickster than a bad guy, Willie the Wisher, whose wishes become reality, hence his name.  He wishes the team off to the Land of Magic.

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The Shining Knight’s chapter follows immediately, with art by Howard Chaykin, which really manages to capture the look of Frank Frazetta’s work on the Knight.

He is menaced by a duplicate of himself, which emerges from a mirror.  He defeats his double, but winds up captured by a wizard and bound, back in the room he began in.

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This time, knowing the mirror will produce a duplicate, he uses the other knight’s sword to undo his bonds before he emerges, giving him the upper hand.

 

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