Posts tagged ‘Atlantis’

Action 519 – Superman doesn’t trust the alien, and Aquaman learns his mother’s plans

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Superman deals with an alien beast and its hunter in Action 519 (May 1981).

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Conway, Swan and Chiaramonte helm this tale.  Superman gets alerted about signals of approaching aliens.  One has come intentionally, to stop a intergalactic beast that stopped here first.

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Superman has his doubts, even when the beast shows up, in the Grand Canyon.

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It’s a rare story, in which Superman is wrong.  The hunter is exactly who he claimed to be, simply here to defeat the monster.

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Aquaman’s origin, and that of Atlantis, are retold in a different light in this story, by deMatteis, Len Wein and Heck.

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Poseidon claims to be Aquaman’s human father, and explains his story to his son and Cal Durham.  Atlanna is given a sister, and her period on land, and the birth of Aquaman, are placed shortly after the city’s sinking, in contravention of every other version of this tale.  Atlanna has used Atlantean tech to turn her supposedly dead husband into Poseidon, as well as creating robots of Aquaman’s various enemies.  She is portrayed as murderously insane.

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Ocean Master consistently refers to Atlanna as his mother through this storyline, which is very odd.  He has always, to this point, been the son of Aquaman’s father and a human woman.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Action 312 – Clark Kent becomes Metallo

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Bernstein, Swan and Klein conclude Superman’s reign as King of Earth in Action 312 (May 1964).

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Clark attempts to infiltrate Superman’s palace, disguising himself as the former hero.  It’s not a bad idea, and the costume’s bulletproof nature saves him from being killed when he is challenged by two suspicious policemen.  He does get critically injured though, and almost dies.

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Clark is saved by Lori Lemaris, after a fortunate fall into the water.  She brings him to Atlantis,and informs him that he needs surgery.  Clark thinks about John Corben, and the operation that turned him into Metallo, which gets recapped for a couple of pages.  Immune to kryptonite as Clark, he asks Lori to have the Atlantean doctors turn him into a Metallo.

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Clark manages to approach Superman, and reveals the kryptonite in his chest.  As he lays dying, Superman explains that he was not really evil.  He had spotted a belligerent alien race approaching Earth, and took on the king stuff in order to scare them off.

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Then, in a particularly lame ending, the effect of the red kryptonite wears off, and the two become one again.  The Metallo body parts fall away.  Superman convinces everyone that he wasn’t really evil, and everyone believes him.

Good story.  Bad ending.

Action 286 – kryptonite ketchup, and Lex Luthor kills himself

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Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and George Klein tell a story in Action 286 (March 1962) about a group of villains, but not the ones you expect.  Electro makes his second and last cover appearance.

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The Superman Revenge Squad make their first adult appearance, following their debut two months earlier as the Superboy Revenge Squad in Superboy.  These are a group of aliens who spend an awful lot of time coming up with ridiculously complex methods of exacting this revenge.

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In this story, they capture Krypto, and try out a variety of red kryptonite meteors on him, until they find one that induces nightmares.  In Krypto’s case, being tormented by Streaky and Titano.

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So the leader uses an invisibility ray on himself, comes to Earth, and puts the red kryptonite into a bottle of ketchup.  Yes, he does.  Because Clark, Lois and Jimmy all ordered the exact same lunch.  So Superman eats his kryptonite burger, and starts getting nightmares.

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The Revenge Squad are monitoring all of this.  Their monitors are truly amazing.  Not only can they see anywhere on Earth, they can even broadcast Superman’s dreams.  Jimmy is staying overnight at the Fortress of Solitude.  For some reason, he is sleeping directly in front of the door to his room.  Perhaps he really wanted to sleep under the big statue of himself.  But couldn’t Superman have provided something better than fold-up cots?  Anyway, I’ll just leave the mention of Superman quivering.

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So Superman has his first nightmare, meeting descendants of Lana Lang and Pete Ross, who have gotten married, and lead an attack on him.

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Superman’s second dream is even better, with the villains from the cover – Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Electro, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen pitting him against Supergirl.

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Supergirl gets sent to the Phantom Zone, and earth gets destroyed, Superman wakes up freaking out and upset.

While it’s true that the cover image is “just a dream,” at least the story never pretends otherwise, and the dreams are actually part of the plot against him.

The story concludes in the next chapter.

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Supergirl begins a new phase of her career, operating in public, in this Siegel and Mooney story.

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After some pleasant homey stuff, as Linda and Dick Malverne watch tv together while the Danvers look on approvingly, the story shifts over to Lex Luthor, who escapes from prison.  While the story does not directly address the Lesla-Lar Supergirl that Lex had met, his certainty that Supergirl is really a robot seems to be the conclusion he has drawn from this.

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He intentionally draws out Supergirl, but she proves to not be a robot, and Luthor winds up fleeing.  He has a death-ray, which he winds up shooting at himself when the car swerves.

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After a somewhat obligatory stop in Atlantis, with Lori Lemaris and Jerro floating around, Supergirl picks up some rare elements, and brings Luthor back to life.  He is not grateful.

Action 285 – Superman introduces the world to Supergirl

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Action 285 (Feb. 62) marks the first time an issue has been devoted to one story, as Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney have Superman finally reveal Supergirl’s existence to the world.

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Linda’s adoptive parents, Fred and Edna Danvers, go over the edge of a bridge, and she reveals her powers while saving them.  She is worried, as Superman told her to wait until his announcement, but Superman is forgiving.  Good thing.  Was she supposed to let them die?

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Finally, the big moment arrives.  Superman does a world-wide broadcast, introducing his cousin, and explaining her origin. Lori Lemaris and Jerro watch from Atlantis.  Luthor is shown listening to this all on the radio, but does not comment about the mysterious Supergirl her had encountered in earlier issues.

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Superman then heads out for a space mission, leaving the Earth in Supergirl’s hands.  A mysterious menace, appearing as huge legs, starts tromping around, and JFK himself requests Supergirl’s help.  She is at another fair with Dick Malverne, in her guise as Linda Danvers, and leaves him trapped in a maze to answer the president’s call as Supergirl.

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The weird invading legs prove more than she can handle by herself, but she knows where to go for help.  Or rather, when.

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Heading to the 30th century, she heads to see the Legion.  Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl are pleased to see her, but it’s Brainiac 5 who proves helpful, giving her a weapon to use against the creature.

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In gratitude, Supergirl is invited to the White House, where she meets not only JFK, but also the vice-president, LBJ, and Kennedy’s wife, JKO.  Ok, so she wasn’t “O” yet.  It fits the pattern.

 

Action 284 – Superman becomes a baby, and Supergirl becomes a mermaid

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Bernstein, Swan and Kaye have Superman intentionally regress to being a baby in Action 284 (Jan. 62).

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The story opens as Clark Kent reports on a phony medium.  But he is surprised when a hand leaves a ghostly message for him.

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Because of this message, which the reader does not see, Superman uses some red kryptonite to revert to being a baby.  He retains his adult intelligence and speech, though.  A few pages are spent as he continues to act as Superman, having to prove that he really is who he claims to be.

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Eventually we discover that Mon-El sent the message, warning Superman about a gap opening in the Phantom Zone, which gets a long explanation/introduction in this story.  Jax-Ur and Professor Vakox appear.  Jax-Ur had been introduced in the pages of Adventure Comics a few months earlier, while this is the first appearance of Vakox, as well as the first time the Phantom Zone has been shown in Superman’s time period, as opposed to Superboy’s.

Superman had to reduce to infant size in order to penetrate the Zone through the gap.  With the help of Supergirl and Krypto, they seal it.

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Supergirl’s red kryptonite transformations continue, in this Siegel and Mooney tale.

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Linda winds up with two heads, but spends her time at a carnival, where she passes as one of the freaks.

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After a brief red kryptonite induced hallucination, in which she gains death-vision, Supergirl undergoes her third and final transformation, into a mermaid.  That has its advantages, as she heads down to Atlantis to spend time with Jerro.  This story also introduces Lenora, Lori Lemaris’s sister, who is in love with Jerro, although he has no interest in her.

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When the mermaid effect passes, Supergirl is surprised to discover that her immunity to kryptonite has also vanished.  Superman explains that it was all part of one of Mr. Mxyzptlk’s spells, which faded when he went back to his home dimension.

But more importantly, Superman informs her that he is finally ready to reveal her existence to the world.

The story concludes next issue.

Action 270 – Superman gets old, again, and Supergirl enters the Batcave

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Binder and Swan are joined by John Forte on inks, as they take another journey into Superman’s old age in Action 270 (Nov. 60).

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Clark Kent pays a visit to the Midvale Orphanage, encouraging the children to write.  Linda shows him a creative writing piece she has done, envisioning her life as Supergirl.  Clark then goes to sleep, so what follows is obviously a dream.

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In the dream, Superman’s powers have faded due to repeated kryptonite exposure.  His identity is now known to the world, while Superwoman operates in his place.  Jimmy Olsen is the editor of the Daily Planet, Perry White having died, and is married to Lucy Lane, making her first appearance in Action.

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Linda works at Clark’s old job at the Planet, so her secret identity has even replaced his.  Even Lex Luthor has retired.

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Superman finds Krypto, also powerless and being taken away by the dog catcher.

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After seeing that Lana Lang has married a millionaire, Superman finally seeks out Lois Lane, who has spent her entire life alone.

One heck of a downer dream, there, Clark.  Maybe it’s trying to tell you something.  Like, don’t base your entire persona on your powers, and take love where you can find it.

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Siegel and Mooney put Supergirl through the paces in this guest-star packed story.

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Supergirl spends the day rushing from one crisis to another.  Lori Lemaris beckons her to Atlantis, where she defeats a destructive merman, Malo.  Ronal and Jerri cameo in the scene.

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Batman and Robin also call on her for help, when they are trapped in the Batcave by a cave-in.

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As it turns out, none of the emergencies were real. It was all a weird “gift” for Supergirl’s 16th birthday, which all the guests show up to attend.  A bit nicer is the tribute by the residents of Kandor.

Action 269 – the Truth Mirror, and Supergirl goes to Atlantis

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Siegel, Swan and Klein give Lois Lane a magic mirror in Action 269 (Oct. 60).

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The mirror is a gift from Lois’ uncle, and is reputed to have been owned by Merlin.  Whether that is true or not, the mirror proves itself repeatedly, exposing a con artist, a midget thief, a bald woman, as well as showing that Perry White has a heart of gold, and Jimmy has a swollen head.

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Eventually, Superman stands in front of it, and it reveals his identity as Clark Kent.

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To get out of this, Superman works at super-speed building robots of him and Lois, as well as burning an inscription into the mirror.  All to convince Lois that the mirror sometimes lies.  And she believes it, despite all the previous images, and the fact that there would be no benefit at all to a magic mirror that randomly lied and told the truth.

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Siegel and Mooney give Supergirl a boyfriend in this month’s story.

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Supergirl comes to the aid of a ship in danger of capsizing, saving it from below, to keep her existence a secret.  Lori Lemaris telepathically calls her, asking her to come to Atlantis.  This is the first time they meet, and she also is introduced to Ronal, as well as a merboy, Jerro, making his debut.

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Jerro shows Supergirl around Atlantis, and underwater sparks fly (float?) right from the start.

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Jerro puts some effort into his role as guide, while Supergirl just swoons.

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Things are going along swimmingly, until Supergirl suddenly realizes that Atlanteans are telepathic. Jerro, along with anyone else who was interested, was aware of all of Supergirl’s thoughts, which must have been pretty extreme, considering her level of embarrassment.  She flees Atlantis, and returns to the orphanage.

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But no sleep for Linda.  Maybe it’s the wig, or maybe it’s the boy with no genitals.

Action 38 – Superman gets arrested, Pep Morgan hunts down kidnappers, the Black Pirate runs into an old friend, the Three Aces loot Atlantis, and Mr America vs the Gorrah

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Lots of stories to talk about in Action 38 (July 1941), so I’m not even going to banter about the cover.

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Jerry Siegel, Leo Nowak and Ed Dobrotka dish out a Superman story that gives Sergeant Casey a run for his money.

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People are committing crimes with no memory of having done so.  The police are run ragged, and have no idea what is behind the rash of thefts.  Sergeant Casey and Lois Lane get locked in a bank vault, and though Superman rescues them, his presence at so many crimes scenes prompts Casey to arrest him – or at least try to.

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Superman gets away, but then Casey decides that Clark Kent must be behind it, following similar reasoning.  Although not named, Jimmy Olsen cameos in one panel, looking more like himself.

Both as Clark and Superman, our hero must evade the police, until he figures out that the man behind it all is using radio waves to take over people’s minds.

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George Papp puts Pep Morgan through the ringer in this story, when Slim gets kidnapped. His wealthy uncle whines about not having the cash on hand to pay the ransom, so Pep decides to fake out the kidnappers and rescue his friend himself.

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Pep succeeds, and is reunited with Slim. The final panel shows them back in their college dorm, happily bantering.  Aww.

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After skipping last issue (because of a boring Atlantic crossing), Jon Valor lands to rest and restock before continuing on to Barcelona.  Docked alongside him is the ship of Don De Avila, an old friend of the Black Pirate, who has fallen out of favour with the crown.

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Don and Jon are happy to run into each other, and De Avila invites his friend to a banquet that night. Bonnie has misgivings, fearing that De Avila intends to imprison the Black Pirate, and turn him over for the reward, but Jon trusts in his friend.

He shouldn’t.

Nicely ominous ending, the walls of the castle.  The story continues in the next issue.

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The Three Aces continue their trip into Atlantis in this story.

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It reminds me a bit of Jack and the Beanstalk. Our heroes steal radium from the underground city, attack its leaders and leave the palace in ruins.  Hurrah!  Some triumph.

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Although the Mr America series pits Tex largely against spies and saboteurs right now, the Gorrah makes his final appearance in this issue, working with Nazi agents, in this story by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily. The Gorrah betrays them in the end, preferring to pursue his goal of vengeance over their plot against the army.

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At first Gorrah believes Tex to have died, and is out to kill Bob, but he learns the truth, and the identity of Mr. America, just before perishing in the explosion intended for a educator’s convention.  It’s really odd to see the one-eyed character dressed in an ordinary suit.

Action 18 – X-ray vision!, Pep uses his throwing arm, the Gorrah controls Tex Thompson, Three Aces debuts, and Zatara visits Atlantis

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An unusual air battle on the cover of Action 18 (Nov. 39), with Superman firmly ensconced in the corner of the page.

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A rival newspaper, the Morning Herald, is introduced in this Siegel and Shuster story.

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While Clark Kent, and to a lesser degree Lois Lane, are always shown to be respectful of those they interview for the Daily Star, the Herald reporter is quickly shown to exploitative.

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Worse than that, the reporter featured also uses the information he gets to set up a politician to be blackmailed.  Clark learns about by using his x-ray vision, and “super-sensitive” hearing, for the first time.  Indeed, it’s curious to see how slow and detailed the first use of the x-ray vision is, explaining how the wall melts away and allows him to see what is going on inside.

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When the editor of the Morning Herald insists on printing the story and pictures, despite evidence of then being faked, Superman takes extreme action,  First he destroys the paper’s entire delivery fleet, including all the paper already printed, and then demolishes their printing press!

I certainly hope Clark got a raise for wiping out the competition.

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Pep Morgan continues to hang out at Mr. Smith’s ranch in this Guardineer story.  It begins with he and Mary taking a ride together, and could easily go towards romance.

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But Pep is far more interested in a local dispute over a watering hole, and an attempt to frame an old loner for murder, to acquire his land rights.

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Pep saves the day, even using his pitching skills to knock out a man escaping on horseback.  I really like that his athletic abilities are actually used in this story.

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Tex Thompson remains a prisoner of the Gorrah, as Baily continues this storyline.

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The Gorrah has constructed obedient robots, which Tex calls “things.”  The Gorrah seems impressed by this clever word, and takes to calling them “things” himself, showing that he has the same lack of creativity as Tex.  On the other hand, his scientific skills seem impressive, as he forces Tex into a mind-control machine, making the hero his slave.

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Tex heads back to the Prime Minister, getting a map of all the ships in the harbour, and then goes around planting bombs on all of them.  Bob Daley and Gargantua T Potts both notice how odd Tex is acting.  Their attempt to follow him simply winds up putting them into the Gorrah’s hands.

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Tex is ordered to kill them, and only then does he reveal he is not really under the Gorrah’s power.  You might have thought he would reveal that before planting dozens of bombs, but no.  The Gorrah appears to kill himself, but will return.  Ali Baba is barely seen in this part.  Three sidekicks are just too many to fit in the story.

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The Three Aces are Fog Fortune, Gunman Bill and Whistler Will,all pilots who bonded while fighting in the Spanish Civil War (which side is not mentioned). They are now US navy reservists, travelling the world in their biplanes, seeking out adventure.

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The first story sees them in Baghdad, where they learn of a number of planes that have gone missing while flying over the desert.  A distraught young woman enlists them in flying over the desert in search of her father, Inspector Higgins of Scotland Yard, who had gone missing while looking into the case.  They fly out, and spot a lost caravan, land, and are ambushed.  Gunner manages to get back in the air, calls for the British airforce, and circles until they arrive to rescue his comrades and the inspector.

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Zatara has barely left Ophir when Sepat materializes on his ship in this Guardineer story.

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They head down to find the lost city of Atlantis.  At first Sepat stays on deck, but pirates threaten her, and Zatara heads back up to save her, and take her with him.  They also bring along Barnacle Bill, who proves more of a menace than a help, as he wants to steal some Atlantean treasure.

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In fact, there is almost just too much going on in this tale.  A giant bizarre looking octopus attacks, giving some focus to the conclusion.  Sepat decides to stay in Atlantis, obviously hoping for a romance with their leader.  It’s a bit surprising how content Zatara is to work with this woman, who was trying to kill him only one issue ago. But he was also content to work with the Tigress, so I guess one shouldn’t judge him too harshly.

 

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