Posts tagged ‘MD Bright’

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


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.


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.


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


Here’s the dictator.  Nasty looking man.


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


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.


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


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


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

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 634 – Green Lantern vs Malvolio, the real Cassandra Craft, Black Canary, Nightwing & Speedy, and Blackhawk end


Very good Green Lantern cover on Action 634.


Malvolio continues his domination of Green Lantern in this chapter.


The two fight through this chapter, and though Green Lantern has the upper hand as it ends, his victory is not certain.  Only this and the Superman story continue into the next issue.


Kupperberg and Carillo, bring the Phantom Stranger four-parter to a close with this issue.  Tannarak and Tala watch with glee as the Phantom Stranger battles with the cat creature, which drains his power.


Dr. Thirteen gets to be the hero, killing the cat creature and freeing the Stranger.  Tala vanishes, as the Stranger defeats Tannarak.  Cassandra Craft returns from wherever.

While the Phantom Stranger does return later in Action Comics Weekly, Tala, Tannarak and Dr. Thirteen next are seen in the Books of Magic miniseries. Cassandra Craft has to wait many years, appearing next in Grant Morrison’s Zatanna miniseries, part of Seven Soldiers.


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos bring to an end the story of a mother’s vengeance for a daughter dead from HIV, going after those who may have been responsible for her husband’s infection.


It’s a lot of really intense fighting, and the art is superb on it.

Far better than the first Black Canary storyline, this one still did not manage to be the series that the reader’s wanted.  While Dinah would continue as a supporting character in Green Arrow, she would get a miniseries of her own in a couple of years.


Wilkerson and Mandrake put Nightwing and Speedy through a lot of legal hassles as their team-up ends.  At least Nightwing gets an equal share of it.  Justice prevails, somewhat.  The implicated British lord goes free, but is brought down by other troubles.


The best page of this entire storyline is the last, as Roy and Dick hang out with Lian and Starfire.  Nightwing continues in New Teen Titans, while Speedy returns in his own storyline, under his own name, in a couple of issues.


Pasko and Burchett bring the Blackhawk story to a quick and violent end.  The one undrugged Backhawk gets control of the plane, and Janos gets control of himself as they land, and seek the fake Darabont, who escaped with the LSD and the formula.


They get her, and the formula, and the Nazi base, which they leave in ruins.

The one big hit from Action Comics Weekly, Blackhawk moves into is own book right away.



Action 633 – Green Lantern runs from Malvolio, Black Canary finds the torture chamber, Nightwing and Speedy come back to the US, Cassandra’s secret revealed, and the Blackhawks trip out


Blackhawk gets a nice retro cover on Action 633.


Lord Malvolio comes hunting for Green Lantern in this story by Owsley, Bright and Tanghal.  Malvolio’s power level is staggeringly higher than Lantern’s, and Hal flees.


He finds a golden spaceship, people by creatures who know Priest, and are visibly of the same races from that storyline.  Malvolio destroys the ship and everyone on it, except Green Lantern.


Black Canary is on the trail of the actress, as are the cops, as Wright, DuBurke and Marcos take the story to its darkest chapter.


Black Canary finds the torture chamber that the Deb had been held, and killed, in.


Nightwing and Speedy return to the US in this chapter of Wilkerson and Mandrake’s tale.  Thye get picked up right away by the CBI guy who had fired Speedy right at the start.


They trust him, which is dumb, as he simply is setting them up.


The Phantom Stranger struggles against the cat-creature in the third chapter of Kupperberg and Carillo’s story.  Cassandra Craft and Dr. Thirteen hover at the edges of the story,although Cassandra gets threatened by Tannarak.


But by that point, the Stranger has caught an error Cassandra made, and realized that this is not really his former flame, but Tala.


The Nazi impostor dons a parachute and jumps ship as the Blackhawks deal with LSD in this chapter of Pasko and Buchett’s story.


It’s the best installment of the story, as the acid trips make for entertaining art.


And the danger of it all taking place aboard an aircraft makes it perfect.


Action 632 – Green Lantern meets Lord Malvolio, the Phantom Stranger chases Tannarak, Black Canary in live theatre, Nightwing finally shows up, and a suspicious change of mood


Nightwing joins Speedy not only on the cover, but even in their story in Action 632.


Owsley, Bright and Tanghal start this Green Lantern story as he pursues the alien, but he gets pulled off course, and this plot thread is left behind as we meet a new villain.


Lord Malvolio has a Green Lantern ring, in a period when very few did.  He seems unaware of the Guardians of the Universe, and, indeed, his costume shares similarities with that of Alan Scott, whose Green Lantern was also independent of the Guardians.

He demands that Hal serve him.  Hal, of course says no.  Malvolio gets mad.


Tannarak threatens the Phantom Stranger, and then leads him on a merry chase in this chapter, by Kupperberg and Carillo.


Cassandra Craft and Dr. Thirteen are right behind them, as Tannarak heads to the big cats section of the zoo, drawing the beasts to him.


Oh no!  It’s super-cat!


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos reveal that the killer actress has the heroin hooker as her prisoner in this Black Canary chapter, and that her motive has to do with her dead daughter.


She is clearly losing it, and attacks Black Canary from the stage in the middle of a performance.


Lots of double agents, bombing, and general misery in Northern Ireland in this Nightwing and Speedy story, by Wilkerson, Giarrano and Mandrake.


Nightwing finally shows up, which is nice.  But he still manages to stay enough in the background that this is solidly a Speedy story.


The Blackhawks are about to take a flight into madness in this chapter, by Pasko and Burchett.


The Nazis kill Constance Darabont, replacing her with their own operative.


When Janos comes to meet her that night, he finds a far more friendly woman than the one the team had dealt with the previous day.  As they fly off in the morning, she makes the team coffee.  Only Fredrikson is suspicious, and with good reason.  She has spiked it with LSD.

Action 631 – Captain Atom concedes, Black Canary figures something out, the Phantom Stranger’s friends and enemies, Speedy goes to the parade, and Lady Blackhawk gets taken


The Phantom Stranger begins a four-part story in Action 631, and gets a cover appearance to celebrate that.


Owsley, Bright and Tanghal end the team-up with Captain Atom and Green Lantern, although I wouldn’t say they resolve it, or bring it to a conclusion.


After blasting each other, and being trounced by the alien, who escapes, Captain Atom decides that this is really more of an outer space issue than a military one, and basically gives up and leaves.  Green Lantern sets out to find the creature.


Wright, Duburke and Marcos have a third murder in this chapter of Black Canary’s story.


This time the actress disguises herself as a man, in order to get picked up by a gay guy, her next victim.  The man recognizes her, and knows why he is being killed, although the reader does not get informed.


The Phantom Stranger begins a four-part story, by Paul Kupperberg and Fred Carillo, that brings back supporting characters and villains from the Phantom Stranger’s old series in the 70s.  Cassandra Craft, a blind psychic and the one-time romantic interest of the Stranger, had not been seen since appearing in Superman in the late 70s.  She gets attacked by Tala, the Phantom Stranger’s first foe, who had last appeared in the late 70s in a Phantom Stranger/Deadman team-up in the final issue of DC Super-Stars.


Cassandra comes to see the Stranger, who is spending the evening chatting with Dr. Thirteen.  I believe his last appearance was around 1980, in his own series in the pages of Ghosts.

Cassandra tells the Stranger about Tala’s return, but then Tannarak arrives with a blast.  Another of the Stranger’s old foes, he had appeared the most recently, in the Phantom Stranger’s back-up series in Swamp Thing in the early 80s.


Cherie Wilkerson and Tom Mandrake are joined by Vince Giaranno on pencils as Speedy solos in this supposed Nightwing and Speedy team-up.  Terrorists are on the train, but Speedy gets the little girl to safety.


But there still is a child victim, during the Orange Day Parade, as the older sister spots a bomb, and dies getting it away from the crowd.


Lady Blackhawk gets kidnapped as Pasko and Burchett open this story.  But Janos has no idea, being off picking up Constance Darabont.


Darabont is cool and professional.  Janos seems to have gotten over the aviatrix, for all his mourning earlier in the story.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


Mockingbird’s unmasking warrants the cover of Action 629.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


Meanwhile, we see that the villains are leftover Nazis.

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