Adventure 464 – Flash vs Abra Kadabra, Deadman gets trapped by psychics, Wildcat retires, Aquaman defends Atlantis and Wonder Woman ends
Deadman gets featured on the cover of Adventure 464 (Aug 79), which was intended as the cover for an issue of Showcase, before its cancellation in the DC Implosion.
The Flash deals with Abra Kadabra, the “magician” from the future who uses advanced science as if it were magic, in this story by Cary Bates, with art by Don Heck and Joe Giella.
Kadabra makes everyone in Central City perceive the world as being upside down, primarily to distract and disorient the Flash, while he seeks for the thing he plans to rob – an applause machine, used in tv recording. Abra Kadabra’s primary motivation was always to get attention and applause, so it’s an appropriate goal, with the explanation that these no longer exist in the 64th century.
The Flash defeats him and turns him over to police from his era, but in a nice touch, allows him to keep the machine anyway.
As with the cover, the Deadman story in this issue, by Len Wein and Gerry Conway, with art by Jim Aparo, was intended for Showcase. The cancellation of that series as part of the DC Implosion resulted in the story being printed here instead, and is the reason it does not use any of the locations or supporting cast from the previous issues.
A group of scientists doing psychic research attempt to contact the spirit of Boston Brand in a seance, and succeed better than they expected, as Deadman gets pulled against his will to them.
A fire breaks out, and the team believe the ghost is responsible, but Deadman knows it had nothing to do with him. Taking over the body of one of the team, he tries to figure out the solution with them, and suggests the one acting as the medium, Annabelle, may have telepathic powers of her own.
Eventually, Deadman figures out that it is the head of the project who is manipulating events. He is an “omnipath, ” capable of controlling other psychics and supernatural beings, like Deadman. Their battle winds up destroying the lab entirely, and the facility closes down.
Not a bad Deadman story at all, but very different than the series aleady running in Adventure, and as a kid I was disappointed in the tale. I suspect had it been published in Showcase as intended, I would have enjoyed it much more.
Paul Levitz and Joe Staton follow up the last Justice Society epic with a low-key tale, which is almost a Wildcat solo story. Power Gir, Huntress and Robin appear only on the first and last pages. The rest of the story has Ted Grant going out to his old gym, now closed down, and encountering kids coping with slum life and street gangs.
He decides that he can do more good by re-opening the gym and being himself, rather than hanging around heroes much more powerful than he is, and chooses to retire from being Wildcat.
This is, I think, the third story that has Wildcat retire. It was no more permanent than any of the previous ones.
Wonder Woman’s series in Adventure ends with the conclusion of her battle with the Queen Bee, by Gerry Conway, wit art by Jose Delbo and Joe Giella.
Zazzala attempts to murder Wonder Woman with a huge dose of bee venom, and there are a couple cool pages that show her “inner battle” with the bee poison, shown as giant bees.
Zazzala manages to use her scientist-brain powered craft to short out the Justice League satellite, incapacitating the members on board, but Wonder Woman recovers from the poison and catches up to her. She defeats Zazzala by throwing her into her own machine, shorting out her brain – although only temporarily, as she shows no lasting effects of this.
Wonder Woman continues in her own comic, and Queen Bee next appears in the Super Friends comic, the same issue that forms the Global Guardians.
The issue ends with a largely unremarkable Aquaman story, written by Bob Rozakis, with art by Don Newton.
The story pits him against Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Markos, who sets up a pollution nullifying plant above Atlantis, but as a front for his armed goons to attack it.
Aquaman defeats Markos’ men, and exposes his Detox ship as a front, but Markos sails away, vowing revenge.