Adventure Comics #426: Introducing The Adventurer’s Club!

Behold!

Bronze age

Adventure Comics #426. March 1973.

Joe Orlando: editor. Dick Giordano: cover artist.

***

“The Adventurer’s Club”

Nathan Stong

Writer: John Albano; Penciler/Inker/Letterer: Jim Aparo

We meet Nathan Strong, chairman of the board of the Adventurer’s Club. He “hosts” Adventurer Club stories akin to Cain, Abel, Destiny and others in DC’s horror magazines.

In this application to the Adventurer’s Club: Scorch Jordan accidentally shoots a girl during a hit on a small-time competitor hood. While in police custody, the girl’s father wishes to meet the killer.

Released due to lack of evidence, he sees travels across town and sees the girl seemingly alive and well in the streets! Scorch shoots at the girl again and a ricocheting bullet kills him.

Seems the girl’s father is a hypnotist and tricked Scorch (and his driver who narrates the story) into seeing the girl’s haunting image.

***

The letter column rants (by professional fan Richard Morrisey) or raves about the Supergirl tale in #423 and makes suggestions about who should star in the new format. The editor states Captain Fear will be the main feature for now.

***

Vigilante: “Snow-White Death!”

Writer: Cary Bates;  Penciler: Mike Sekowsky, Inker: Dick Giordano, Letterer: Ben Oda

Amy Bryant tries to steal the Vigilante’s motorcycle to escape her boyfriend, who was trying to get her hooked on heroin. Hired guns chase Vig and Amy to a snow-covered ski lodge. After fighting off the thugs and her boyfriend, Amy reveals who Mr. Big is – the man in charge of heroin distribution.

Vigilante beats the tar out of Mr. Big in his office. Mr. Big chases Vig into the street and is killed by a car sliding on the … snow!

***

Captain Fear: “God of Vengeance”

Writer: Robert Kanigher; Penciler/Inker: Alex Nino; Letterer: Marcus Pelayo

Captain Fear rescues a blonde woman from being sacrificed to Thu by Indo-Chinese natives. He fights off the natives on land and on sea, finally defeating them.

The woman is the daughter of a rich plantation owner and is rescuing her for the reward, but she turns a gun on Fear and orders him to take her home. To be continued …

***

The Vigilante appeared as a back-up feature back in #423. Strange that a semi-super-hero strip appears in an “Adventure”-themed anthology. Was this intended as a Supergirl back-up? Regardless, Sekowsky’s art is 100% improved over his last few Supergirl stories in this magazine. Maybe it was Giordano playing clean-up that improved it!

Captain Fear continues to improve. The chase through the jungle is echoed in the opening scenes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the artwork and layout of the story is exciting and unique – applying DC’s horror comics-style to an adventure storyline!

Nathan Strong was the “host” of the Adventure-themed magazine, akin to Cain or Abel of the House of Mystery or House of Secrets. Oddly, he was not the “host” of every story as his mystery/horror comics bretheren did, but only one. It would have been odd to book-end him in the Vigilante tale …

Nathan Strong 2

Did they think this adventure-themed anthology all the way through?

***

About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

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