Posts tagged ‘Jose Marzan Jr’

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 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

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Superman gets the cover of Action 623, and an update on his strip in this entry.

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Green Lantern finds an alien at the end of the trail in this chapter, by Owsley, Bright and Marzan.

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The creature is able to take control of Lantern’s energy beam, and drag him along by it.

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Hal finds himself amidst an alien race that is being slaughtered by an enemy, and decides to fight to protect them.

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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.

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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.

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He visits the victim’s sister, who hates Captain Marvel, but also lets Billy know about her brother’s connection to the Aryan Nation.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last issue ended promising revelations about August Durant.  This issue sees many members of the Six on the run.

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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.

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Another Phantom Stranger story in this issue, by Kupperberg, with art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.

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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 622 – Superman threatens Green Lantern, Wild Dog ends, a Starman promo, the Secret Six on campus, and Blackhawk ends

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Green Lantern may be cleaning up on Earth on the cover of Action 622, but is in outer space in the story.

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Owsley, Bright and Marzan have Green Lantern travel through space on the trail of the beam that destroyed his lantern in this chapter.

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There is some beautiful outer space art, and an entertaining series of memories of a meeting Hal had with Superman.  Each time Hal remembers it, it becomes increasingly insulting, but that simply spurs his will.

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Beatty returns, to join Collins and Nyberg as they wind up the second Wild Dog storyline.  The serial killer woman is shocked to find that she has stabbed a child.  And Wild Dog is more concerned with getting the boy to the hospital than stopping her.

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She winds up willing to turn herself in, as it turns out, and comes to the hospital to watch over the boy.  Which is probably a more re-assuring site than a man in a hockey mask.

Wild Dog returns later down the road.

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No Deadman story this week.  Instead, as a filler, there is a Starman story by Roger Stern, Tom Lyle and Robert Campanella.

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This is the Will Payton Starman, currently in his own book.  The Starman no one liked, as he was later to be known.  There is little to this story, just an introduction to the character, really.

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The Secret Six storyline swirls towards August Durant, from the original team, in this chapter by Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin.

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The university plot, and the Washington DC plot, both connect when it comes to Durant.  And aside from him and Carlo, none of the other members of the original team are really dealt with at all in this sequel.

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Pasko and Burchett have a quick ending to this Blackhawk story.  The team gathers and flees from the plantation, flying directly over a volcano.

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The bad guy flies right into a eruption.  The connection between the CIA and the Blackhawks is being forged during the flight, but all Janos notices is the dead aviatrix.

Action 621 – Hal gets a new job, Wild Pup gets it in the shoulder, the Secret Six get on the case, Deadman gets stuck, and Weng Chan gets crazy

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A nice Blackhawk cover on Action 621.

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Hal Jordan begins a new job as a test pilots with the Gremlins in this story by Owsley, MD Bright and Jose Marzan.  The Gremlins were introduced a few weeks earlier in Green Lantern’s story in Secret Origins.

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As the Green Lantern ring automatically protects one from injury, Hal does not feel he can accurately do his job with it on, and leaves it behind.

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He almost regrets it, but the scene demonstrates his flying skills.

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When he returns to get his ring, his battery explodes.

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Wild Dog goes after the Night Slasher in this chapter, by Collins, Rockwell and Nyberg.  And though he does not realize it, Wild Pup is right behind him.

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This time, Wild Pup does not help out, he just gets stabbed.

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Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin continue with the Secret Six, as they begin their next mission, one involving academia.

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Mockingbird no longer seems to be keeping such close tabs on the new group, as they begin to actively research their dead predecessors.

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Deadman has a harder time of things than he expected, in this chapter by Baron, Jones and DeZuniga.

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Deadman gets stuck in the body of LeGros, while the twins are possessed by the spirits of twin voodoo queens, long dead.  Madame Waxahachie knows what is going on, but is hard pressed to help.

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Weng Chan gets the impressive stuff in this Pasko/Burchett chapter of Blackhawk.  He is being tortured, steamed to death slowly, along with the bulk of the team.

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Janos is busy messing around with the aviatrix, as Weng risks a severely sliced face to free himself, and the rest of the group.

 

Detective 624 – Batgirl kills Catwoman

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Detective 625 (Dec. 90) sees the big finale to the Ostrander/Sprang/Henry/McKone/Marzan Jr comic-within-a-comic storyline.

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Batman has managed to deduce the identity of the killer claiming to be him, and confronts the psychiatrist who had released back into the public.  Her guilt and anger are very sad, and real, and one is left feeling sorry for her, rather than upset.

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The third issue of the Batman comic sees the creation of a Catwoman, also supernatural, determined to devour the soul of Batman.

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Catwoman almost succeeds, but is killed by Batgirl, who unrequited love for Batman prompted her to adopt the identity.

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The climaxes of the two stories are intertwined, and though the Batman-killer is a dangerous and deluded maniac, there is little that feels like a triumph in his defeat, much as there is little triumph in the conclusion of the comic-within-the-comic.

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Though the sales on the book have been excellent, the resulting murders have repulsed the author of the comic, and he ends publication with the third issue, killing off his version of Batman.

An excellent story from start to finish, the comic-within-the-comic could have simply been published as an Elseworlds, but is so much more effective in the context Ostrander placed it.

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And you just gotta love Alfred’s closing observations.

 

Detective 623 – Bathound becomes the Batmobile

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Ostrander, Sprang, Henry, McKone and Marzan Jr continue their story of the comic book Batman in Detective 623 (Nov. 90).

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The second issue of the comic within the comic pits the demonic Batman against the Joker, who actually isn’t that different from the real one.  A young boy wishes for the ability to help Batman, and is transformed into Robin.

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There is a Bathound in the tale, which is capable of turning into a Batmobile, and this second issue seems much lighter than the first.

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At least, until the Joker gets his hands on Robin, and “steals his innocence.”  In the “reality” part of the story Batman starts hunting for the killer claiming to be him, and the comic’s writer is questioned, and blamed, for the murders.

I do feel a little bad about mostly taking captures of Henry’s work instead of that by McKone and Marzan Jr, but it is, by design, so much more dynamic than the “reality” parts of the story.

The story concludes next issue.

 

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