Posts tagged ‘Frank Springer’

Action 640 – Speedy ends, Glenda and Randu go to hell, a singer shows her gratitude, Phantom Lady gets the picture, and Wild Dog makes threats

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Wild Dog gets the cover for Action 630.

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Verheiden, Springer and McLaughlin bring the Speedy story to a close in this issue.

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The actor has kept a tail on Speedy, but when he finally sees her dying brother, he realizes that no one is trying to embarrass him.  That he has just been a jerk.  The two brothers reconcile.

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Speedy’s series comes to an end, teasing another case to come.  Roy returns in the next Green Arrow annual, but we don’t see him working for this agency again.

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Morgan le Fay gets the better of Etrigan in this chapter of Grant, Pacella and Wray’s Demon series.

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Things are not looking good for Glenda and Randu either.  They have followed a false trail, lead by the Philosopher’s Stone, and wind up entering Hell.  Etrigan winds up imprisoned by Morgan le Fay, but she does not pay attention to Jason Blood.  At this point, the Demon and Jason exist separately, and Jason sneaks up behind Morgan.

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A dog sealed in unbreakable plastic and a man holding up the subway with a water pistol full of gasoline are the main problems that Hero Hotline have to deal with in this chapter, by Rozakis, DeStefano and Wray.

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But the best moment is when the country singer, rescued in the previous issue, shows her appreciation, avoiding the muscly guy and going for the geek who actually saved her.

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Phantom Lady breaks into Guerreheart’s estate in this chapter, by Strazewski, Austen and Martin.

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She fights off dogs and guards, and hits the bad guy right in the face with her wrist laser.  She gets the picture that is being used to blackmail her father.  We do not see it, but Dee does, and is shocked.

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Wild Dog continues his spree of vengeance in this chapter, by Collins, Beatty and Nyberg.

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He heads after the big dealers, after getting their names from the gangster boy.  Two headbangers have come to buy drugs, but get held as hostages by the dealers when Wild Dog breaks in.  Wild Dog kills all but one of the drug lords, and the headbangers run for their lives.

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Action 630 – Green Lantern vs Captain Atom, Black Canary saves the Deb, the Secret Six ends, Superman meets his followers, Speedy gets paranoid, and Blackhawk meets the president

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Superman can lift an elephant, but looks none too pleased about that on the cover of Action 630.

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Owsley, Bright and Tanghal have Green Lantern and Captain Atom go head to head for much of this chapter.

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It’s a big, but enjoyable, battle.  Captain Atom comes out the winner, but it’d a moot point, as the alien promptly takes him down.

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Wright, DuBurke and Marcos have Black Canary come to the rescue of the Deb at the start of this story.  With people thinking she is a murderer, she is finding it hard to secure a heroin dealer.  Canary saves her from some angry dealers, but the Deb gets away from Canary as well.

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Some lovely art, and a far better story than the previous one, but still not quite up to par.

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Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin bring the Secret Six saga to a conclusion in this issue, as the agency mounts their final attack on the group.

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Carlo winds up getting killed in the battle, so the original team are all dead, as they were believed to be.

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The new team disband at the end, although Mockingbird makes a final appearance, tagging a possible continuation.  There never would be one.

Instead, the name Secret Six would come to be applied to other groups, the first of which being a team of heroes in the Tangent Universe.

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Clark Kent is brought to the secret temple of the Superman worshippers, as the Superman worshippers haters approach. Superman determines that the powers they believe come from him really are coming from somewhere far away.

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Speedy continues his team-up story single-handedly, thanks to Wilkerson and Mandrake.

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Although he contacts the police about the fire-bombing, it turns out the police are in on it.  The story does evoke some good paranoia, as he has no idea who to trust.

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Blackhawk is summoned to see President Truman in this chapter, by Pasko, Burchett and Nyberg.  Recruited into the CIA, they are given the mission to escort a shipment of LSD from the European manufacturer.  At this point, it was considered a potential truth drug.

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But the Nazis know what the CIA are up to, and the Nazi lady plans to disguise herself as an executive from the drug manufacturer.

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 628 – Green Lantern and Captain Atom disagree, a second murder pinned on the Deb, Speedy takes the train, Mockingbird revealed, and Blackhawk returns

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Blackhawk has the cheap seat on the cover of Action 628.

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Green Lantern and Captain Atom continue their team-up in this story, by Owsley, Bright and Tanghal.

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Captain Atom has already referred the alien problem to the military, and Green Lantern is not pleased about that.  He has a better understanding of the creature, who had no malevolent intent.

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They both rush off to deal with the damage he is causing.  Hal is using his ring to stabilize a collapsing apartment, holding it until it can be evacuated.

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Captain Atom takes advantage of this, and flies off to confront and kill the alien himself.

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Wright, DuBurke and Marcos ended the last chapter with Black Canary getting arrested.  She fares better at the station, where she is recognized, and her work appreciated.  She is not only released, but her pictures and prints are destroyed.

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For the rest of this chapter we follow the second murder, of a drug dealer.  The actress comes to see him first, as a new customer, and poisons his drink.  The Deb is right behind, so once again she is believed to be the killer.

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Wolfman, Wilkerson and Mandrake continue to label this as Nightwing and Speedy, even though the story now follows Roy and Lian, on the train, with Nightwing nowhere in sight.  Issue after issue I became less interested in the story, and increasingly annoyed at this situation.

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There is a shady guy who runs into Roy on the train, and follows him through many chapters.

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Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin continue to wind up the Secret Six saga, as they find the bodies of five of the six people from the plane crash.  But then, we sort of already knew that was the case.

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More puzzling, after all the evidence that Durant created the group, is the revelation that Mockingbird is the magician, Carlo di Renzi.

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Pasko, Burchett and Nyberg begin the third Blackhawk tale seconds after the first, with Janos still mooning over the corpse of the aviatrix from the previous story, as the team form their links with the fledgling CIA.

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And we get a glimpse of the bad guys, German scientists doing what appear to be nasty experiments on humans.

 

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?

 

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