Posts tagged ‘Dinah Lance’

Action 635 – Superman, Green Lantern, Black Canary and Blackhawk fight a dictator with too much power, and Green Lantern ends

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Action 635 features a big crossover story, as well as the final chapter of the Green Lantern series, and another two pages of Superman.  Neil Gaiman had written a story for this issue, but a disagreement with John Byrne lead to it being set aside, and this one, by Mark Verheiden, with art by Eduardo Barreto and John Nyberg.

The story by Gaiman was printed, many years later, as a Green Lantern/Superman Special.  But it is very much an Action Comics Weekly story, with a number of cameos.  I’m sooo close to the end of my media library, and also of Action Comics Weekly.  And I debated writing about the Gaiman story here, or at its publication date.

So I am letting the media library decide.  If I reach the end of Action Comics Weekly and have space, I will make my final entry on this blog about Gaiman’s version.

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The story they printed is servicable, but nothing special.  Weng Chan is flying Blackhawk Express, the delivery company the Blackhawks became.  On the flight is Clay, Hal’s old friend from his days at Ferris Aircraft, along with an experimental engine.  A south Asian dictator has shot down the plane, and taken them prisoner.

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Hal is having dinner with Dinah Lance, and discussing their lives and problems, when he hears from Clay’s wife.

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Here’s the dictator.  Nasty looking man.

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Hal decides to set out as Green Lantern to rescue him, and Dinah comes along as Black Canary.

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Using the engine, the dictator takes control of a giant purple energy monster.  News of this reaches Superman, who comes flying to investigate.  He and Green Lantern battle the monster and keep it busy.

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Black Canary rescues Weng, and they get to the computer controls.

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It’s Weng who figures out the solution.  Unplug the machine.

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Owsley, Bright and Tanghal end Green Lantern’s run as they have produced it all along, with great art and dangling plot threads.

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Malvolio has a long fight with Green Lantern, but the end reveals that nothing we have seen is real, so perhaps nothing Malvolio said is true.  Who is this mysterious man?

No one knows.  We never see him again.  The Green Lantern series that launches shortly leaves all this in the astral dust.

 

Action 629 – Green Lantern holds it together, Black Canary sees the show, the Secret Six explained, Speedy moves in, and Blackhawk mourns

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Mockingbird’s unmasking warrants the cover of Action 629.

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Captain Atom finds the alien in this chapter, by Owsley, Bright and Tanghal.

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Captain Atom and the alien have a very destructive, if inconclusive, battle.  It wears on Green Lantern, who is trying to hold together the building above the fight.  The fight does bring down the building, and Green Lantern moves in to confront Captain Atom.

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Dinah Lance meets the murderer in this chapter, by Wright, DuBurke and Marcos.

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Dinah is providing flowers for the production of Peter Pan that the actress is starring in.  She watches some of the rehearsal, and learns a bit about the woman.

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Carlo brings the new Secret Six to his home, and explains the true history of the group to them, and Rafael, in this story by Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin.

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August Durant formed the group during the Cold War, after uncovering some extreme actions within the US government agencies.  As the team got older, Durant took Carlo into his confidence, as they picked the members of the new team, and created the various devices for them.

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But the evil agency (who is encircling the house as this all goes on) had got wind of these plans, and rigged the plane to crash.  Carlo happened to be in a sealed monitor room within the plane when it went down, which saved his life.

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Speedy solos, although Wilkerson and Mandrake still label this story as a team-up with Nightwing.

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Now in Northern Ireland, the story immerses itself in the troubles.

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Pasko, Burchett and Nyberg take a long time getting this third story going.  Janos is still grieving over the girl from the last storyline.  You’d think they knew each other for more than a day or two.

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Meanwhile, we see that the villains are leftover Nazis.

Action 627- Green Lantern and Captain Atom, Mockingbird unmasks, Black Canary gets arrested, and Nightwing and Speedy begin

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Nightwing gets the cover, as he (and Speedy) return to Action with two chapters in issue 627.

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Owsley, Bright and Tanghal’s story becomes a team-up with Captain Atom, with the previous issue serving as a prologue.  Captain Atom comes across the alien, who has taken the form of an action movie hero.

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It doesn’t go smoothly, and Captain Atom figures an attack means he is hostile.  Their battle draws Green Lantern, who suspects that this creature is related to the spaceship nearby.

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Hal’s attempt to reach a peaceable conclusion are interpreted by Captain Atom as a diversion, and he blows up the alien’s ship.  Lantern is furious.  With his ship destroyed, the alien has nowhere to go.

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Pasko, Springer and McLauhglin unmask Mockingbird, in a way, in this Secret Six chapter.  Mockingbird unmasks on front of Rafael, to prove that he could never harm the boy.  Of the six possible people who could be Mockingbird, this scene only makes sense if it is Carlo, his magician father.

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But the rest of the story has the new Secret Six find proof that August Durant created the team.

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Yeah, once again, Wright, DuBurke and Marcos have a problem with undynamic opening pages on the Black Canary series.

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But the chapter is a good one.  Canary goes to hang with the street girls, and learns what there is to learn about the suspected killer, nicknamed the Deb, and her heroin addiction.  Canary helps the girls fight off some wanna be pimps, but gets picked up by the cops.

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Michele Wolfman and Cherie Wilkerson have two chapters to start off the Nightwing and Speedy story in this issue, with art by Tom Mandrake.  Both heroes are billed this time, but it’s still more a Speedy story.

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Dick is travelling with Roy as he heads to Ireland,his ancestral homeland, with Lian.  Roy uncovered some information about drug smuggling to Ireland, and was promptly fired by the CBI.  Nightwing and Speedy also run into drug smuggling on the ferry they take, and wind up in the Irish Sea.

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They make it to land, and the story lets us know that “the troubles” will be a big part of this as well.

Action 626 – the dangers of duplication, Captain Marvel ends, Rafael gets free, Deadman ends, and Black Canary on the hunt

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Green Lantern returns to Earth in Action 626, and one can actually perceive this cover as related to his story.  Loosely.

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Owsley and Bright are joined by Romeo Tanghal as Hal heads back to Earth, and comes across an apparently hollow ship heading there as well.

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But inside the ship was an energy being, which duplicates what is sees.  So it emerges from the ship in Green Lantern’s form.

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The narration helps immensely.  The creature sees an explosive action film, and destroys everyone around him.  But there is no malice in this at all.  Simply mindless duplication.

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Captain Marvel’s series comes to a close in this chapter, by Roy and Dann Thomas, Stasi and Magyar.

Captain Nazi proves not terribly inclined to follow the orders of the ones who created him, and is eager to join the poisoning of the reservoir.

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There, he comes across Billy.  Recognizing him, he thinks Billy has been bound and gagged by his own enemies, and frees him.  Bad move.  Billy says the magic word, transforms into Captain Marvel, and then drops a hill on top of Captain Nazi. Poor guy doesn’t even make it to the end of the story.

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An ending that announces an upcoming Shazam comic.  Which never came.  Captain Marvel would continue to appear sporadically, but would not get a series until the Power of Shazam reboot, which changed his origin, and removed this Billy Batson, and Captain Nazi, from continuity.

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The action moves to Washington DC as Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin begin winding up the Secret Six.  The team has learned about the agency attacking them, and realize this is the same group Durant has been fighting, and that they brought down the plane with the original team.

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Mockingbird is glad they no longer think he killed them.  Rafael manages to break out of his room.  he confronts Mockingbird, who is simply disappointed that he took so long to escape, being the son of a magician.

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Deadman’s series also comes to a close in this issue, by Baron, Jones and DeZuniga.

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It’s a body-hopping, knock-down drag out fight with Deadman, Madame Waxahachie and the evil voodoo twins.  With all possible bodies lost to them, they are reduced to living in rats.

Deadman returns, very shortly, in the Spectre crossover at the start of Invasion!

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The body gets discovered as Wright, DuBurke and Marcos open this Black Canary installment.

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We see the actress rejoicing in the news that the hooker is suspected, clarifying the guilty party.

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And Dinah is certainly stylish as she goes out to look for the false lead.

Action 625 – Hal unites enemies, Billy gets caught twice, the Secret Six tie it together, Deadman pulls her out, and who spikes the drink?

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While I like this image of Deadman, none of the supporting characters shown are in this story, or anywhere in his run in Action Comics Weekly.  And despite saying that he “wraps it all up,” issue 625 is not the resolution to his storyline.

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Owsley, Bright and Marzan have Hal end the war in outer space, as his Green Lantern ring is a far more powerful weapon than either side has.

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Of course, the result is that the two sides ally together against him.  This subplot is not resolved in these pages, but does get a follow-up in a Green Lantern Special in 1989.

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Billy Batson falls right into Captain Nazi’s arms at the opening of this story, by the Thomases, Stasi and Magyar.  Billy is presumed to just be a rambunctious boy, but otherwise good little white racist.

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But later, as they all go on an outing, Billy gets recognized by one of the other campers, and instead of taking part in arson, he becomes the kindling.

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Some degree of explanation is given in this Secret Six chapter, by Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin.  August Durant had all the background and motivation to form the original Secret Six, as he worked to stop the people who had created the virus he was infected with.  Technodyne had been working with it, as well as the meat processing – it was what contaminated the pork.

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The Six have pretty much put this together, as has Washington.  But why did Durant kill the rest of the team?

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Baron, Jones and DeZuniga’s zombie-laden voodoo queen story is an awful lot of fun, and probably deserves better coverage than I am giving it.

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Deadman manages to scare of the twins out of the girl she is inhabiting, and can hold onto her, preventing her from entering anyone else.  He uses this to get the other sister to leave the other sister.  But the ghostly girls then enter the bodies of Madame Waxahachie and her handyman.

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Wright, DuBurke and Marcos give Dinah some workout time as Black Canary, because the bulk of this chapter follows the killer and her victim.

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The hooker accompanies a man, Sarno, up to his room, then leaves shortly after.  We see that he is dead.  But was it really the hooker, or the actress dressed up as her?

 

Action 624 – what’s really needed, Nazi camp, backstory, an angry ghost, and Black Canary returns

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Black Canary gets the cover of Action 624, as her series returns to the book.

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Green Lantern is in a region where he his ring does not function as normal, and is being trained by the alien who brought him out there, in this story by Owsley, Bright and Marzan.

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The being, called Priest, tells Hal that his rang and lantern are not needed for him to survive.  He almost dies putting this to the test.  But indeed, the lantern he used to charge his ring was not real, just an illusion created by Priest.  But aside from this storyline, this idea is not kept.

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The Thomases, Stasi and Magyar have Billy Batson go undercover to a christian kids camp, which is a training and breeding ground for white supremacism.

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Billy pretends to be completely into it, even when talked to by another boy who isn’t as racist as the camp demands.  But Billy is not sure if the boy is sincere, or this is a test.

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There is even worse stuff happening, as an experiment takes place to make a super-soldier, and creates a version of Captain Nazi.

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The Secret Six chapter in this issue, by Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin, is all backstory on the gay member of the team.  Since the group never appear again, and I am past 90% of the storage space on this blog, it gets one pic only. His boyfriend got killed, to be concise.

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Madame Waxahachie brings Deadman to the Wildwood Plantation in this chapter, by Baron, Jones and DeZuniga.

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The twins have animated the ghost of their dead father, for their own pleasure.  But when Madame Waxahachie makes him realize he is a ghost, he is none too pleased with his girls.

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Wright, DuBurke and Marcos return, along with Black Canary, in a less confusing tale of vengeance.  Dinah is all pumped, having just landed a major floral contract.

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There is a hooker and heroin addict, and an actress involved in the story, with a past link between them.

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And when the story is right, DuBurke’s art works very well.

Action 615 – Green Lantern at the trade show, Blackhawk and Wild Dog return, Nightwing suspects Speedy, and Black Canary finds a body

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Is it the cover of Action 615?  Or an ad for a new Friday the 13th movie?

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Peter David is joined by Richard Howell and Arne Starr as Hal begins a storyline centred on the Hawkes sisters.

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Arisia is working a trade show, and Hal is wandering around, amusing himself.  Veronica Hawkes debuts, but we only see her briefly, and from behind.

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Two new villains attack the trade show, part of a group called the Freak Show.  Castle has powers I really like, teleporting and exchanging places with someone else.

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Castle is fairly skilled at using this to manipulate an opponent, and traps Green Lantern in a yellow vault.

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Marty Paske and Rick Burchett bring Blackhawk back, as Janos runs into Natalie Reed, the former actress with communist affiliations, the Lady Blackhawk of this era.

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Janos accepts a dangerous mission, simply because the person asking is named Leslie, and is really crushed when Leslie turns out to be a man.

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Collins, Beatty and Nyberg bring back Wild Dog in this issue as well.  He shoots a lot of criminals in this story.

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But the storyline itself will focus on a young boy who sees Wild Dog in action, and becomes his biggest fan.

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Wolfman, Patton and Poston do give Nightwing some solo time in this story, as Roy Harper is off tracking Cheshire.  Dick finds out the CBI have not informed the proper channels about their operation in England.

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We see the softer side of Cheshire, as she tends to Lian.

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After Dick catches Speedy in a lie, he calls the New Teen Titans to speak to Danny Chase, who tells him Roy is no longer CBI.  Changeling gets a line, but Cyborg, Starfire and Raven are just seen.

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Wright, DuBurke, and Marcos approach the end of the Black Canary storyline.  Isn’t that an exciting page to open the story on, so near to its climax?

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Dinah finds a dead body at one point.  That’s mildly exciting.

Action 610 – Green Lantern goes ringless, the Phantom Stranger begins, Deadman confronts the devil, the Secret Six cut meat, and Black Canary gets into costume

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Great Deadman cover for Action 610, although it really doesn’t match his story inside.

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Green Lantern faces off against a sword wielding maniac without his ring in this story by David and Smith, and manages to hold him off with just his fighting skills.

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To Hal’s surprise, he sees the that man is more frightened than he is.  The police arrive, and the man collapses, unaware of having done anything with the sword.

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Hal spends much of the rest of the story discussing his lack of fear with Arisia, who doesn’t think it’s a problem.  The room service waiter gets possessed (by the same person who controlled the sword wielder, though that is not explained yet), just as Arisia opens the door to him.

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The Phantom Stranger begins a series that runs sporadically through the Action Comics Weekly run. This opening chapter is by Paul Kupperberg and Kyle Baker, and takes place shortly after the events in the Phantom Stranger’s miniseries. Bruce Gordon is still palling around with him, after the Stranger defeated Eclipso, Bruce’s evil half.

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In this story, the villain is a shy computer geek, into the occult, who gets taken over by his computer.

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He wreaks electronic havoc until the Stranger gets involved.  He wipes the computer’s memory, and the man’s, which eradicates the “demon.”

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The Deadman series hits the Cold War as Deadman, in the body of Raisa Gorbachev, goes after the devil, who is inside Nancy Reagan.

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The catfight is a lot of fun, as are most chapters of this Deadman serial.

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Both Deadman and the devil leave the world leaders’ wives.  Deadman winds up in the body of Major Kasaba, who now knows they cannot control Deadman, but still wants his help.  The devil is now in the body of the CIA director, but his “boss” shows up, in the body of good ole DB Cooper again, and captures the spirit, who is really a demon named Yakim.

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Pasko and Spiegle devote this installment of the Secret Six to their new mission, infiltrating Farmer Ralph’s meat processing plant.

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They are taking samples of the meat there, for examination in their lab, but get caught.

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Black Canary continues, by Wright, DuBurke and Marcos. There is some information about a pilot and a lawsuit, but the plot remains opaque through much of this story.

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Rita and Dinah are shown talking from every conceivable angle.  This might be excusable if the information made the story clear, but we get some background on Rita’s father, and his connection with loan sharks, but nothing that clearly ties together.

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Still, Black Canary does get into a nifty new costume by the end of the chapter.

 

Action 609 – Black Canary begins, Deadman takes over Reagan, Rafael gets caught, Wild Dog ends, and Oprah puts Hal on the hot seat

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Black Canary gets the cover of Action 609, as her series launches.

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Dinah Lance had been a regular supporting character in Green Arrow for the last couple of years, but had not been seen in costume since she left the Justice League.  She does burn her old costume during this story, by Sharon Wright, Randy DuBurke and Pablo Marcos, but does not put on her old one.

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Sadly, neither the story nor the art on this serial are really good.  This first chapter is ok, as it largely just introduces Dinah and Oliver, and brings back Rita, a recovering addict who appeared in an issue of Green Arrow.

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Another fun Deadman chapter, by Baron, Jurgens and DeZuniga, as he attends an embassy ball in the body of the director of the CIA.

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The Devil has followed Deadman out of the jar, and they wind up in the bodies of Reagan and Gorbachev, as Deadman tries to find out what the devil is up to.

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Things get even crazier as they jump to Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev, who begin a cat fight in front of the crowd and media.

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We get to see some of the personal life of one of the new Secret Six members in this Pasko and Spiegle chapter.  There is some drama with the guy and his ex-wife, as the rest of the team try to figure out what happened to Rafael.

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Mockingbird has the answers, as he sends more of his people to capture Rafael.

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Wild Dog’s first storyline comes to an end in this chapter, by Collins, Beatty and Nyberg.

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Despite all of Layman’s actions, his people will not turn on him, and the only possible witness to his crimes in Wild Dog, who has no legal standing. So even though the villain gets defeated by the hero, he remains free and in power.

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Well, at least until the woman he has seduced finds out that her son was one of the victims of his terrorists.

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A madman wielding a sword is introduced at the top of the Green Lantern installment this month, by David, Smith and Bulanadi.

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Hal is getting just toasted on the Oprah show.  Called crazy for not having fear, his courage is also then challenged, because of the ring that protects him from injury.  Arisia probably regrets coaxing him to go on the show.

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And the show clearly has quite the effect on Hal, as he tosses his ring away at the end, to face the crazed killer with his bare hands.

 

Action 458 – Blackrock debuts, and Green Arrow and Black Canary end

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A rival network, and all that entails, are introduced by Maggin, Swan and Blaisdel in Action 458 (April 1976).

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UBC has been causing a lot of problems for Morgan Edge.  We discover that they have lured a number of anchors away from WGBS, including Lola Barnett.  But the one thing WGBS has that UBC doesn’t is a super-hero.  The head of the network, Tanner, orders the company scientist, Peter Silverstone, to create one.  We see Silverstone fashion the gear and the costume, and decide on who the person inside must be.

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But neither the reader nor Superman has any idea who is beneath the mask as this new hero appears, during a robbery by a vacuum truck.  Superman mistakes the man for a criminal, and they wind up in a brief fight.  This new hero can travel through the airwaves, and channel them through a miniature tv aerial he carries.

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The story uses parallel structure well, as in the second robbery by the vacuum truck.  Superman follows the radio control waves to the truck’s operator, while the new hero deals with the truck directly. Both believe they are responsible for the victory.

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The new hero than manifests in Lola Barnett’s office at UBC, and she christens him Blackrock.  About time. Was getting tedious avoiding using his name.

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The issue concludes with some more pleasing parallel structure, as Edge and Tanner both freak out, wanting to know more about Blackrock.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Black Canary really loses it in the final back-up story that she shares with Green Arrow, by Maggin and Grell.

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Luthor attempts to hypnotize Canary into killing Green Arrow, but it backfires, and she gets hypnotized into killing Luthor, and really tries.  He barely escapes with his life.

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When Green Arrow finally arrives, he is far more concerned with calming Dinah down, and bringing her back to herself.  Luthor gets away, and a note informs us that he can be found next in the Joker’s book, where they work together.  For part of it.

As for Green Arrow and Black Canary, they head back into Green Lantern’s series, as that gets revived.

And the Nutty Kid actually does sort of resemble Jerry Lewis in the final panel.

 

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