Posts tagged ‘Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez’

Action 641 – The Demon and Phantom Lady end, a Human Target story, Superman makes peace, the Phantom Stranger and Wild Dog end


Superman gets the cover of the final issue of Action Comics Weekly to feature multiple stories, issue 641.


Morgan le Fay finds herself attacked by both Jason Blood and Etrigan in this final story by Grant, Pacella and Wray.  Jason has her severed hand, which he throws right in her face.  Etrigan’s demon fire is more useful, but less humiliating.


But Glenda and Randu are now trapped in Hell, with Jason determined to find them, just as Merlin’s torturer planned.

The story continues in the Demon’s own book, which begins in a few months.


Phantom Lady confronts her father in the final chapter of her series, by Strazewski, Austen and Martin.  The photo shows Dee Tyler’s father as a young man, participating in lynching a black boy.


The father explains the circumstances of the photograph, and being dragged into the lynching against his will.


Dee understands her father’s explanation, so all is well between them.  But a blinded Guerreheart vows revenge.

Phantom Lady does not get another solo series, but is next seen not too long down the road in the pages of Starman.


Mark Waid, Curt Swan and Dick Giordano share a fun little Human Target story, in which Christopher Chance takes the place of an Adam West-type actor, on a tv series clearly based on the old Batman show.


This story may well have been sitting in the DC files for a while.  A Human Target story from many years earlier ended announcing a story with this title in the following issue, which never got printed.

The Human Target next appears in a one-shot special, corresponding to his short-lived tv series.


Superman’s tale of anger against Quraci immigrants comes to an end in this chapter, by Stern, Swan and Anderson.  Unfortunately, Superman uses the lame reasoning that everyone in North America is an immigrant, an argument usually used by white supremacists against native rights.


Kupperberg and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez give the Phantom Stranger a final story, as a young boy manifests the power to make his wishes reality.  Never a good thing, when an impulsive child can make their slightest whim come true.


The Phantom Stranger triumphs over the boy, making him realize how deadly his actions are to those he loves.  But the Stranger also implies that he will force a control over the boy’s power, to prevent this happening again.

Phantom Stranger continues to appear regularly in both the Spectre and Swamp Thing.


Collins, Beatty and Nyberg bring the Wild Dog story to a close, as he follows the drug chain to the top of the corporate ladder.


Although the story makes nothing of this, one cannot help but notice that the dealers in direct contact are black, while the ones running it from above are white, exploiting those below them.  Not that this makes much difference to Wild Dog, who mows down everyone in the meeting room.

Wild Dog does not return for about a decade, showing up next in the Lobo series.



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.



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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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