Posts tagged ‘Secret Six’

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 620 – Arisia walks out, Wild Pup learns the secret, the Secret Six serve dinner, Deadman enters a voodoo priest, and Blackhawk saves the girl

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The Secret Six get the cover of Action 620.

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David, Howell and Starr end their run on Green Lantern with this issue. Hal manages to defeat many of the Freakshow, but Castle makes it away, running to his boss.

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That turns out to be Lillian Hawkes, not Veronica.  She kills Castle, to complete her cover-up, and Hal is left believing Veronica is the real villain.  Sadly, these sisters never are seen again.  I’m pretty sure that in the long run, Lillian disposes of Veronica and takes over the company herself, and no one is any more suspicious of her than Hal.

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Arisia walks out on Hal at the end of the tale, pursuing her modelling career.  She appears next not too long down the road, in an issue of New Guardians.

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Collins, Rockwell and Nyberg put Wild Pup in the middle of the action in this Wild Dog story.

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Once again the boy does prove himself helpful, but Wild Dog is not at all pleased that the kid is putting himself in such danger.  Wild Pup hides in the back of Wild Dog’s truck as he leaves, and learns his hero’s identity.

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The Secret Six continue their mission about the contaminated meats in this Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin tale.  The team replace the food that is meant to be served at a banquet for the person running the meat processing, replacing it with his own products.

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Meanwhile, in Washington, the powers that be are increasingly concerned that Mockingbird survived the plane crash.  The attacks on Technodyne apparently continue the same agenda that Mockingbird had years earlier.

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Madame Waxahachie explains things to Deadman in this chapter, by Pasko, Jones and DeZuniga.  The rival voodoo priest, Anton LeGros, intends to sacrifice twin girls in order to gain more power.  Waxahachie is out to prevent this.

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Deadman agrees to help, but has little success.  Even when he winds up in LeGros’ body, the twins turn on him and reveal his presence to the voodoo worshippers.

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Pasko and Burchett reveal the truth behind Blackhawk’s mission in this story.

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The Japanese had been working on a microwave generator, as powerful as an atomic bomb, but everything went missing at the end of the war.  The aviatrix has key information, which everyone wants.

 

Action 619 – Arisia loses her patience, Wild Pup enters the fray, Deadman trapped in a zombie, the Secret Six return, and Blackhawk has a spy on the team

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A nice Deadman cover on Action 619, though not reflective of the look of the series at this point.

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Green Lantern, and the reader, finally get to see Veronica Hawkes face forward in this story, by David, Howell and Starr.  Hal does determine that the Freakshow is made up of former employees, but Veronica is an unhelpful as she could possibly be.

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As Green Lantern continues to fight the group of villains, Arisia runs out of patience, waiting for him to get back.  Maybe she shouldn’t have refused to talk to him when he was there.

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Richard Rockwell does the pencils on this Wild Dog chapter, while Collins and Nyberg continue to script and ink.  The story has to do with a mad shooter in a fast food restaurant.

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Wild Dog gets there, but so does Wild Pup, jumping right at the killer.

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Baron, Jones and DeZuniga give Deadman a hard time in this chapter, as the voodoo priest traps the ghost in the body of a zombie, and sends him out to kill a rival voodoo master, Madame Waxahachie.

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She is a great character, and a strong adversary for the other priest.  She is not scared of zombies, and breaks the fingers of the body Deadman is controlling.

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Marty Pasko returns with the Secret Six, but the art is now by Frank Springer and Frank McLaughlin.  I had really wanted to enjoy this series, but the first run was confusingly told, with some undeniable weaknesses.   I don’t think the strip was suited to this weekly eight-page format.  But the change in art was not any improvement at all, it removed the feel of the series, and made the characters far less interesting to look at.

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The story resumes the plot of the contaminated pork products.

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Blackhawk and his crew are captured by the same man who is holding the aviatrix, in this chapter by Pasko and Burchett.

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It’s not too much of a surprise that the man who hired the team has been lying, but Janos is shocked to discover that Chuck is part of the OSS.

 

 

Action 612 – Green Lantern vs Mind Games, the Secret Six and Deadman end, Catwoman on the run, and Black Canary takes a shower

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The Secret Six get the cover of Action 612, as their series pauses for a break.

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David and Smith send Green Lantern round the bend in this story, as Mind Games takes control of him, and has him try to kill a policeman.

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The woman from the modelling agency shows Arisia a spread of Kory Anders, a successful model, whom no one seems to realize is Starfire.  It does make sense that, in the DC universe, the alien look is hot.

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Mind Games uses a machine to send his beams of madness throughout the city. Hal and Arisia both have to fight for their lives.  Lanterns destroys the machine and confronts Mind Games, who is a midget.  Hal is quite arrogant and casual in this encounter.  Not wise.  Mind Games powers are innate, simply boosted and aimed by the machine.

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Pasko and Spiegle sort of wind up the Secret Six storyline in this issue.  It stops, at any rate, coming back down the road.  Yet another person breaks into the groups base, the old waiter who worked for Carlo and raised Rafael.  He tells the new group more about the old group, and their deaths.

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Washington takes an interest in the deaths of the original Secret Six, primarily August Dumont, who was a government agent.

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Baron, Jurgens and DeZuniga bring the Deadman serial to an ending that actually resolves everything, astoundingly.

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Talaoc returns, with the spirits of the other ancient aliens.  The devil is also back, and in Major Kasaba’s body.

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But this supposed devil is really just another of the ancient aliens.  Deadman uses the sci-fi gun to get it out of Kasaba’s body, and into another glass tube.  Talaoc loads him onto the spaceship, to take him back to ehir home planet.

Deadman returns in a little while.

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The Showcase run of Catwoman, by Newell, Kitson and Patterson continues.

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Selina is aided by a cop who has known her since her prostitute days, but she will not allow him to take her in “for her own protection.”

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Selina heads to New Jersey, and finds that Holly opened the gift, against Selina’s instructions. Her husband also saw the present, and went out.

The place explodes.

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Wright, DuBurke and Marcos seem to take delight in making this Black Canary story confusing.

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Canary gets some help and some information from Doug Vallines.

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But the story closes on a completely different Doug Vallines.  Hah!  Gotcha!  Thought you had some idea what was going on, didn’t you, silly reader!

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Between the Dougs there is an effective passage with Dinah taking a shower, as a mysterious man enters the room.  It’s Oliver, and the suspense scene turns into a make-out one.  But it works well.

 

 

Action 611 – Arisia shows her stuff, Deadman sees the real thing, the Secret Six ride the pig, attack on the Superman cult, Catwoman begins, and Black Canary hits the bar

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Superman gets the cover of Action 611, which means his series gets an update in this entry.

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David and Smith give Arisia a chance to show what she can do without a ring in this story.

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As the room service waiter tries to kill her, Arisia fights him off, and shoves his knife into a socket. Hal was in the shower.

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And the day is not over for Arisia.  Waiting to file a report at the police station, she meets woman who wants to sign her as a model.

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Green Lantern talks with the police, and creates a hundred monkeys to search the trash, looking for any note possibly sent by the one causing the outbursts of violence.  The note gets found, but Hal falls victim to the villain, Mind Games.

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Baron, Jurgens and DeZuniga continue with the Deadman story.  the DB Cooper devil finds himself not being believed by the head of the CIA.

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So he shows what he can do.  The devil goes back (to the jar?), taking Yakim with him.

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But the story is not yet over!  Talaoc returns, with the space ship.

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The Secret Six find themselves in danger of being exposed in this Pasko/Spiegle story.

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Some quick changes of costume, and a bit of luck, get them out of the meat processing plant.  The contaminated meat is part of a special “extra-lean”pork creation.

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Stern, Swan and Beatty continue with the Superman strip.  The man who Superman rescued is part of a cult of Superman worshippers.  They have a degree of super-powers, which they believe come from Superman himself.  Clark has no idea why they think this, but the man uses his abilities to show Clark and Perry his cult, under attack by some scary high tech people.

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Catwoman begins a four-part story, of one of a couple to run under the Showcase label in Action Comics Weekly.  By Mindy Newell, Barry Kitson and Bruce Patterson, this story is set a while after Batman: Year One, and brings back Holly Robinson, Selina’s best friend from that storyline.

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Selina is running a small club now, while also operating as Catwoman.  She steals a jewelled cat, and gives it to Holly as a present.  A wedding present, once she finds out Holly is settling down in New Jersey.

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But everyone from the police to organized crime knows that she must have been the thief, and they all come for her.

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Wright, DuBurke and Marcos continue the Black Canary story, which now also involves smuggling Mexicans across the border.  Because it hadn’t been complicated enough in it’s first two chapters.

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Canary hits the bars to extract information.  But while she is terrorizing men who likely deserve it, Rita’s father gets murdered in the hospital.

 

Action 610 – Green Lantern goes ringless, the Phantom Stranger begins, Deadman confronts the devil, the Secret Six cut meat, and Black Canary gets into costume

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Great Deadman cover for Action 610, although it really doesn’t match his story inside.

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Green Lantern faces off against a sword wielding maniac without his ring in this story by David and Smith, and manages to hold him off with just his fighting skills.

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To Hal’s surprise, he sees the that man is more frightened than he is.  The police arrive, and the man collapses, unaware of having done anything with the sword.

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Hal spends much of the rest of the story discussing his lack of fear with Arisia, who doesn’t think it’s a problem.  The room service waiter gets possessed (by the same person who controlled the sword wielder, though that is not explained yet), just as Arisia opens the door to him.

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The Phantom Stranger begins a series that runs sporadically through the Action Comics Weekly run. This opening chapter is by Paul Kupperberg and Kyle Baker, and takes place shortly after the events in the Phantom Stranger’s miniseries. Bruce Gordon is still palling around with him, after the Stranger defeated Eclipso, Bruce’s evil half.

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In this story, the villain is a shy computer geek, into the occult, who gets taken over by his computer.

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He wreaks electronic havoc until the Stranger gets involved.  He wipes the computer’s memory, and the man’s, which eradicates the “demon.”

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The Deadman series hits the Cold War as Deadman, in the body of Raisa Gorbachev, goes after the devil, who is inside Nancy Reagan.

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The catfight is a lot of fun, as are most chapters of this Deadman serial.

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Both Deadman and the devil leave the world leaders’ wives.  Deadman winds up in the body of Major Kasaba, who now knows they cannot control Deadman, but still wants his help.  The devil is now in the body of the CIA director, but his “boss” shows up, in the body of good ole DB Cooper again, and captures the spirit, who is really a demon named Yakim.

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Pasko and Spiegle devote this installment of the Secret Six to their new mission, infiltrating Farmer Ralph’s meat processing plant.

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They are taking samples of the meat there, for examination in their lab, but get caught.

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Black Canary continues, by Wright, DuBurke and Marcos. There is some information about a pilot and a lawsuit, but the plot remains opaque through much of this story.

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Rita and Dinah are shown talking from every conceivable angle.  This might be excusable if the information made the story clear, but we get some background on Rita’s father, and his connection with loan sharks, but nothing that clearly ties together.

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Still, Black Canary does get into a nifty new costume by the end of the chapter.

 

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