Posts tagged ‘Green Arrow’

Action 457 – Jon Ross debuts, and the Nutty Kid revealed

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Not even going to talk about the cover of Action 457 (March 1976). Shooting fish in a barrel.

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A villain and a supporting cast member are both introduced in this story, by Gerry Conway, Curt Swan and Tex Blaisdel.  Whirlcaine, with the powers of a whirlwind and a hurricaine, proves to be an interesting, if minor, villain over the next few years,  Jon Ross would be a much more significant player than this story implies.

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The boy is introduced as dying of some ridiculous disease that has no symptoms, and can be cured by Superman revealing his identity.  There is a story from the 1940s with a similar premise. But that was the 1940s.  Pete Ross, his old high school buddy, is Jon’s father, and asks Superman to reveal his identity.  The great irony, although not explained till the end of the story, is that Pete Ross has known Clark was Superboy(man) since they were kids, but Clark never knew.

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Superman reveals that he is Clark Kent, but Jon Ross does not believe him.

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In the story’s best scene, he tries to prove it by taking Jon to the WGBS office, and showing him how everyone believes that he is Clark.  But Steve Lombard overhears, and misunderstands, the plan, and exposes Superman.

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I alos love the intelligent touch in having Superman wrap Jon in his invulnerable cape when he winds up having fight, and defeat Whirlcaine.

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In the end, Jon proves to himself that Clark is Superman, by the lack of normal bathroom crap.  Lazy, Clark.  You should have known better.

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Maggin and Grell have the middle chapter of their Nutty Kid story, and it largely belongs to Black Canary.  She had disguised herself as a clown to get on the helicopter with the kidnappers.  Her identity gets exposed, and she id forced to fight them while still in the air.

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Green Arrow is racing to reach her, but Dinah has already beaten the bad guys, when she “saves” the Nutty Kid, who turns out to be Lex Luthor in disguise.

 

Action 456 – Superman vs jaws, and Green Arrow and Black Canary and a telethon kidnapping

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Action 456 (Feb. 76) is packed with pop culture references, right from its “Jaws” cover.

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Captain Strong, the Superman version of Popeye, has a small role in this story, visiting an aquarium with a couple of children, one of whom gets turned into protoplasm by the Shark, as he steals the boy’s form in order to re-evolve his own.

The Shark had not appeared since the mid-60s, but the success of Jaws saw his return this year.  Originally a Green Lantern villain, this was his first outing against a different hero.

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The Shark takes some water with him, as he goes flying through Metropolis, seeking out Superman.  He often wants to defeat anyone powerful, in an animalistic battle for dominance.  Superman wins, and forces the Shark to de-evolve, bringing back the child.  But this is a very temporary defeat, as the Shark returns shortly to become a major problem for Aquaman in the pages of Adventure Comics.

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Maggin and Grell begin a three-part story about the kidnapping of the “Nutty Kid,” a comedic actor who hosts a charity telethon every year – in other words, Jerry Lewis.  Clowns take him captive during the broadcast.

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Green Arrow and Black Canary go into action to stop the kidnappers, but split on how to pursue them.  Canary winds up following them right onto their helicopter, which is not such a good thing.

 

 

Action 455 – Superman, Green Arrow and the Atom battle junk

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Action 455 (Jan. 76) has never been an issue I cared for.  Maggin, Swan and Blaisdel seem to be begging for laughs, with a central character based loosely on Mel Brooks.

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Morty Rivers is a film producer, and one of Oliver Queen’s client’s.  While watching a game show (meant to be Let’s Make a Deal, by the reference to costumes) he gets the idea to build the main character for his next film,and contacts Oliver to promote it.

Superman leaves the Atom in Kandor, where he is helping them work a new viewer.  Oliver contacts him, and gets him to interview Rivers as Clark Kent.  A chain reaction of accidents result in Kryptonian energy passing through the viewer, trashing Rivers’ creation, but also bringing it to life.

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The Junkman rebuilds himself, and heads towards any Kryptonian source of energy – like Superman, or, later Kandor.

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Green Arrow helps Superman as they follow the robot to the Fortress of Solitude.

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The Atom gets very little to do in the story, spending all but the very end in Kandor.  It’s doubly unfortunate, as his back-up series has also ended.

 

Action 452 – Superman slugs it out, and Davy saves the day

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Shooter, Swan and Blaisdel create the Superman story in Action 452 (Oct. 75).

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It’s a straightforward, but kind of blah story.  Superman faces off against a man who draws his strength off of those he fights.  So the longer he fights Superman, the stronger he becomes.

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It’s not a bad idea, but not executed as well as it might be.  The man himself is a victim, to a degree, of a mad doctor’s experiments.

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Wonder Woman has a sort of cameo.  I mean, it is her, but neither of the two panels she appears in show her clearly.  It was while battling her that the man discovered his energy-leeching power.

Superman imprisons the man in Kandor until he can be healed. Which I highly doubt is legal.

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Maggin and Grell concludes their Davy three-parter with a high action finale.  Everyone gets something to do as Green Arrow, Black Canary and Davy face off against the global conspiracy nukers.

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They succeed at blowing up the base, but Davy vanishes in the confusion.  Clearly meant to make us wonder if this is the Biblical David, it’s kind of a shame that no one ever brought this character back.

 

 

Action 451 – Superman gets beaten, and Green Arrow gets captured

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Action 451 (Sept. 75) was the first issue of this book that I bought.  I must have liked something about the cover, but the story did not much grab me.

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Looking at it now, the tale by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez is really quite charming.  A rural hick comes to Metropolis, following the girl he loves, who has been lured into the evils of high fashion modelling.  The hick buys the bridge from a con man, but then stuns everyone when he lifts and shrinks it.

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Superman learns that the boy is actually an alien, with super-powers, though he has no idea of what he can do.  The girlfriend falls for Superman, the first super-powered person she has seen.  To win her back, the boy starts manifesting his powers, and attacks Superman.

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Superman allows himself to be overcome, and makes the boy out to be the big hero, which wins back the fickle girl’s love.  Awww.

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Maggin and Grell’s story made much of an impression on me, although being the middle part of a three part story, I wasn’t sure what was going on.

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Davy explains to Green Arrow and Black Canary that the people he is killing are part of a global conspiracy, behind wars and assassinations.  He claims to have been around for hundreds of years, fighting them.

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But he doesn’t prove terribly useful when the bad guys show up.  All three heroes are captured, and kept bound next to some nukes.

Action 450 – Superman in Las Vegas, and Green Arrow meets Davy

act_450 Clark Kent and Lois Lane take a vacation to Las Vegas together in the Bates, Swan and Blaisdel story from Action 450 (Aug. 75). act_450_001 Johnny Nevada is also there, performing at one of the hotels. He gets mugged in the afternoon, and suffers an unusual head injury – one that brings to life the sand in the desert, forming it into a monstrous version of the talk show host. act_450_002 People run in terror from the sand monster, although Superman notices the creature is not actively destructive or harmful, and in fact seems rather clumsy. act_450_003 Superman eventually figures out that the creature has the same motivation as Johnny Nevada – to make people laugh.  It’s not clumsy, it’s doing slapstick routines.  Superman leads the crowd in laughing at the sand man, which pleases it, and it dissipates. act_450_004 Green Arrow and Black Canary begin a multi-part story by Maggin and Grell in this issue.  The tale deals with a number of mysterious murders, and the opening of a chocolate factory. act_450_005 The factory’s owner has a son, Davy, who I just noticed bears more than a passing resemblance to the Michaelangelo statue. act_450_006 Davy does prove to be quite a piece of work, as Arrow and Canary discover that he is the slingshot wielding killer.

Action 446 – how does Clark Kent summon Superman?, and Canary vs Cherry

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Bates, Swan and Oskner craft a fun tale in Action 446 (April 1975).

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A hostile foreign power is convinced that Clark Kent has a method of contacting Superman.  To find it, they leave him, along with Lois Lane, in a falling helicopter.  Clark saves them, but the incident piques Lois’ curiosity as well.  Just how does Clark summon Superman?

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Lois borrows some heavy duty binoculars from Lola Barret to spy on Clark, unaware that the foreign power has bugged her office, to learn what she learns.

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Superman is on to the whole thing, of course, and rigs the binoculars to back up his secret identity.

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And in an entertaining twist, Lois believes that she actually figures it out, that is has to do with Clark’s hair curl, completely misunderstanding that this is part of his “disguise.”

The ending also sets up a plot line about their being a foreign agent working for Galaxy Communications, but I do not believe this gets followed up on.  If it does, I’ve completely forgotten, and it will be a pleasant surprise.

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Black Canary finally gets into the action in this final part of the Maggin and Grell Green Arrow story.  She uses her canary cry to take down Cherry and her gang, and then gets down and dirty into the fighting.

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Green Arrow helps, and brings the police, but it’s Canary who fights Cherry, sending both into the water.  That doesn’t stop Canary from fighting though.

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