Posts tagged ‘Woozy Winks’

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 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 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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