Posts tagged ‘Roy Harper’

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.

Action 636 – Speedy and the Demon begin, the Phantom Stranger crushed by jazz, the villain in Superman revealed, Phantom Lady debuts, and Wild Dog returns

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The Phantom Stranger is the one series that appears in Action 636 that does not make it onto the cover. Gotta feel bad for him.

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Speedy finally moves into how own series, by Mark Verheiden and Louis Williams. The story begins with a brief recap of his early life, time with Green Arrow, and heroin addiction.

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Roy needs a job to support him and Lian, and gets hired by a private investigator.  He begins his hunt for a missing person.

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Alan Grant, Mark Pacella and Bill Wray begin a Demon story, which follows events from his mini-series, with the death of Harry Matthews.

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Jason Blood no longer wants anything to do with the Demon.  He wanders around blaming Etrigan for everything in his life.

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A woman’s child gets possessed, and she calls Jason to help.  Though he doesn’t want to, he goes.  He tries to exorcise the child himself, but fails.

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So he does the only thing he can, and invokes Etrigan.

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Andy Kibert joins Paul Kupperberg for a Phantom Stranger story that deals with the black musicans ruthlessly exploited by the white music industry. The protagonist is an elderly man, playing on the street for coins, whose recordings had made a company rich.  When he encounters his old “partner” on the street, and the man ignores him, the musician seeks out vengeance.

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It’s scary and sad, and beautifully rendered.  In the end, the man doesn’t want millions, he just wants respect.

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Stern, Swan and Anderson reveal that both sides of the Superman-as-god forces have been backed, and the powers and technology given, by Darkseid.

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Dee Tyler, the new Phantom Lady makes her debut in this story by Lex Strazewski, Chuck Austen and Gary Martin.  Dee has just graduated from an elite finishing school for women in Paris, which seems to be run by Sandra Knight, the origins Phantom Lady. Certainly, Dee has learned a lot more than math.

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She returns home to Washington DC to discover that her father, the Attorney General, is under a lot of pressure, and criminal forces are involved.

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Collins, Beatty and Nyberg return along with Wild Dog, for his third storyline of the run.  This one is a very anti-drug story, centring on a young street kid.

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Wild Dog finds the boy work which is honest, but dull and low-paying.  A teenage gangster offers him big bucks to deliver drugs.

 

 

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

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Very good Green Lantern cover on Action 634.

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Malvolio continues his domination of Green Lantern in this chapter.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.

 

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