Action 623 – Green Lantern joins the battle, Captain Marvel begins, Deadman learns why 17 is important, who the bad guys are in Superman, the Secret Six run and fight, and the Phantom Stranger and the demon baby
Superman gets the cover of Action 623, and an update on his strip in this entry.
Green Lantern finds an alien at the end of the trail in this chapter, by Owsley, Bright and Marzan.
The creature is able to take control of Lantern’s energy beam, and drag him along by it.
Hal finds himself amidst an alien race that is being slaughtered by an enemy, and decides to fight to protect them.
Captain Marvel begins a four-part Showcase tale in this issue, by Roy and Dann Thomas, Rick Stasi and Rick Magyar. This incarnation of Billy Batson follows the Shazam: A New Beginning miniseries, also by Thomas.
Captain Marvel winds up causing the death of a shooter, as he protects the victim from being killed. It’s really all the shooter’s fault, but Billy is consumed with guilt.
He visits the victim’s sister, who hates Captain Marvel, but also lets Billy know about her brother’s connection to the Aryan Nation.
Baron, Jones and DeZuniga lay out the plot in this Deadman chapter. We see the possessed Brigdan twins preparing for the ritual that will allow them to keep their new bodies, and regain the power they had before dying.
Madame Waxahachie fills Deadman in on the twisted history of the southern girls, who died at 17, and now are to be reborn, 17 years later. The doubling being even more powerful when dealing with twins. She brings Deadman to the ruined plantation where the girls had lived.
Stern, Swan and Anderson have been exploring the bad guys in the last few chapters of the Superman strip. They are convinced that Superman is the anti-christ, and that the group who worship him are bringing about the end of the world. So they are really just as loopy as the Superman worshippers, but violently opposed to them.
Last issue ended promising revelations about August Durant. This issue sees many members of the Six on the run.
One of the group has been being pursued for a number of chapters, and has been travelling with a model, who he first held captive, but now has fallen in love with him. As a pleasant twist, this member of the team is gay, and not interested.
Another Phantom Stranger story in this issue, by Kupperberg, with art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.
The story deals with a baby possessed by a demon, wreaking havoc in a church. The priest must overcome his fear, and regain strength in his faith, in order to stand up to, and exorcise, the demon. The Phantom Stranger himself does not do an awful lot, being largely a narrative character in this tale, but that’s ok, and the art is wonderful.