Isis #6. September 1977.

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“The Ominous Ooze”

Cover Artists: Rich Buckler & Vince Colletta

Writer: Jack C Harris; Penciler: Mike Vosburg

Inker: Vince Colletta; Letterer: Ben Oda

Editor: Dennis O’Neil; Executive Editor: Joe Orlando

From DC Wikia:

A unit of the Egyptian Army is on the march. From the air, the Mighty Isis magically stops their tanks and lands before their commander. She tells him that she will not allow them to take human lives. Suddenly, a purple, malodorous Ooze moves over the desert sands. Isis uses the sand to lift her into the sky as she tries to think of a way to destroy the Ooze. She watches in horror as the Ooze digests a camel. Then, the Ooze disappears, leaving a puzzled Isis to ponder that, since this defies the laws of science, what would Andrea Thomas do in a situation like this.

Back in the United States, Rick begins his search for Andrea and drives to the home of Andrea’s mother in Missouri. The target of Rick’s search is flying over the trail of destruction left by the Ooze, which ends in an abandoned oil field. She lands and confronts Mister Emal, the creator of the Ooze. He orders his henchmen to release it, but the Ooze machine runs out of its plutonium fuel. They pull out their guns to kill Isis, but the local military General, Abdel, orders them not to. Isis warns that she will keep a close watch on them, then flies away.

Rick arrives in Fairfax, Missouri and meets Viola Thomas, Andrea’s mother. He tells her that Andrea is missing and asks where she might be. At the same time, Dr. David Munch, who works for General Abdel, drives to a top secret government research lab to sneak out the fuel for a large scale version of the Ooze machine. Isis locates Abdel and Emal and hitches a ride on their airplane to the USA. In overhearing their plans for their Ooze Machine, she learns that their destination is Fairfax, Missouri, where Andrea’s mother lives. Isis leaves the plane and flies to Fairfax.

After landing, Isis changes back into Andrea to explain to her mother that she wants to remain as Isis forever. She spots Rick there and waits for him to go away. In a nearby clearing, Abdel, Emal and Munch start up the full-size Ooze Machine. As it begins to digest the trees and grass in the clearing, the Ooze engulfs the machine and flows out of control. Rick is about to leave when Andrea’s mother spots the approaching Ooze.

Andrea becomes The Mighty Isis and takes to the air. She tries to destroy the Ooze by removing the ground moisture and by using solar heat, but to no avail. The Ooze now catches up with its creators. Isis tries to rescue them but arrives too late. Now it goes after Rick and Mrs. Thomas. As Isis rescues them, she realizes that the Ooze feeds on organic matter. Remove it and the Ooze should die. As Isis separates the ground, the Ooze digests the remaining matter on it and dies. After Isis replaces the ground, Rick asks her why she just happens to be in Missouri. When she replies that she is where she is needed, Rick demands that she explain the connection between her and Andrea. Andrea’s mother asks Isis if she knows where her daughter is. She replies, “I cannot tell you the location of your child”. As she takes to the air, Rick begins to wonder if Isis has kidnapped Andrea.

***

The letter column still has positive letters and Cary Burkett hints at a visit in the book by Captain Marvel! They also promise they will pin down Isis’ powers and origin, as promised in the final panel blurb – next issue, the Origin of Isis!

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Mike Vosburg’s art is a mixed bag here – honestly as much as I love his work he is an acquired taste. But look at this beautiful full-page spread …Isis 6 page

Other pages, however, appear rushed and sketchy.

So Andrea is not gone for good, but the comic certainly goes into a direction far from the television series, which by now is in its final months of summer reruns. Perhaps the sales reflected this and the editors allowed Mr. Harris to do what he wished with the characters – add romance, make Isis a little more arrogant, etc. I wish they would have had more time to develop these ideas.

But the end is coming…

***

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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Shazam #30. August, 1977

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“Captain Marvel Fights the Man of Steel”

Cover Artist: Kurt Shaffenberger

Writer: E. Nelson Bridwell, Penciler: Kurt Schaffenberger

Inker: Vince Colletta; Colorist: Jerry Serpe, Letterer: Ben Oda

Editor: Joe Orlando

From DC Wikia:

Billy Batson and Uncle Dudley travel to Ft. Pitt in Pittsburgh, where they discover that Doctor Sivana broke into the facility and stole a copy of a DC Comics comic book. In his hidden lair, Sivana reads about the adventures of Superman and decides to create his own Man of Steel. He produces a robotic brain and then dumps it into a smelting vat at a local steel factory. The molten metal forms around the robotic brain, taking the form of an old folk hero, Joe Magarac.

As Joe Magarac begins sabotaging the steelworks, Billy Batson changes into a Captain Marvel and confronts him. He punches him through the ceiling, but Magarac comes back and later captures the hero while he is in his human guise of Billy Batson. Sivana has Magarac place a metal gag across Billy’s mouth, but Billy manages to trick Joe Magarac into removing it, thereby allowing him to transform back into Captain Marvel (Actually he wrote a note calling Magarac a big ape, Magarac nearly breaks Billy’s jaw punching him and knocking off the gag).

Cap defeats Magarac, but Sivana creates steel animals to destroy ever steel mill in the area!

Captain Marvel uses the eterni-phone to consult with the elders. The spirit of Atlas informs Marvel that he will need the aid of the entire Marvel Family to stop Sivana’s scheme. Captain Marvel flies across the country and rounds up Captain Marvel, Jr., Mary Marvel and the Lieutenant Marvels. They all return to Pittsburgh and shatter the steels animals. Captain Marvel has one final showdown with a steel Superman, defeats him and apprehends Sivana.  Seems the Superman of Steel was made of a special formula created by Sivana. This super-steel will help him rule the world! Fortunately for the world, Captain Marvel snatches the formula from Sivana’s hands to be used for good …

***

The letter columns were all positive – still praising the new format and the return of Black Adam – who has over the past forty years been the most durable of Captain Marvel’s villains!

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I still have my original copy of this comic – I was enthralled with it! Superman appears – kind of … and I learned about Joe Magarac, a folk hero I had never heard of! In these days of the internet, Magarac research is made easy – Google it!

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Per my research, and I might be wrong, this is the first appearance of the Lieutenant Marvels since the Golden Age (flashbacks and cameo panels aside). Of course, they were retconned out with the Crisis…). It took me well into the 1990s to get “Hill Billy”.Shazam 30 page

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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!

 

Hercules Unbound #9, March 1977

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“Finale”

Cover: Walt Simonson, Editor: Joe Orlando

Writer: David Michelinie; Pencilers: Walt Simonson & Bob Layton, Inker: Bob Layton

Story Editor: Denny O’Neil

Dave Rigg and his plastic robots fight Hercules, Kevin, Jennifer and their female-android army. Rigg dispatches Jennifer and the robots but Herc and Kevin (and faithful dog Basil) go deeper into the compound. Jennifer awakes among the android rubble and escapes a seemingly comatose Rigg.

Miss Agatha Simms senses their defeat and brings forward a simulacrum of the Enola Gay and its payload – the first atomic bomb – to defeat her enemy!

Working their way back to the control room – Hercules and Kevin see Riggs confronting the real enemy. I’ll use his words: He is the “representation of the Simms Analogue Data Energizer – the most advanced computer defense system ever devised and I have been under unprovoked and ever-escalating attack for the last several weeks.” Nuclear retaliation is inevitable, it says, but because of a fail-safe in its programming, only a human can launch his nuclear weapons. It destroys the Enola Gay and forces Rigg to launch its nuclear missiles. Hercules is too late to stop them!

Jennifer, lost in the compound, decides to smash some equipment. Unknowingly, she overloads Rigg’s system and releases him from SADE’s clutches! She finds an auto-destruct button and activates it before running out of the Command Center where she finds Hercules, Kevin and Dave.  They escape on Simm’s fleet before the auto-destruct hits the nuclear stockpile.

Simms, meanwhile, diverts the nuclear missile fired upon her back in time. Not far, just to October 1986, somewhere in Greece. Now on to curing Kevin’s eye sight.

Kevin refuses to let the witch touch him! He reminds Hercules of how World War III started – with a nuclear attack in Greece in October of 1986!

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The letters page announces that Cary Bates will assume scripting duties next issue.

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Simonson takes command of the art here, although it is not his usual beefy style. This is because he did only the layout and Bob Layton did most of the details and inks. Great job regardless. Jennifer is as beautiful as she was under Wally Wood’s inks (and that is saying something).  Plus, dig this full-page explosion of SADE’s island. WOW!Hercules Unbound 9 illo

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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!

Kobra #6, February 1977

“The Crack-in-the-World Conspiracy”

Cover Artists: Michael Netzer, Joe Rubinstein, Tatjana Wood

Writer: Martin Pasko

Penciler: Michael Netzer, Inker: Joe Rubinstein

Colorist: Liz Berube, Letterer: Ben Oda

Story Editor: Paul Levitz, Managing Editor: Joe Orlando

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Jonny Double uses the glass shards of his wrist watch to cut the ropes binding him to the Golden Gate Bridge. He engages Kobra, knocks off his wrist weapon-unit, and is flung with him over the bridge! Kobra uses his teleportation ray to safely get back to the Ark. Double climbs back on the Bridge and retrieves Kobra’s wrist weapon-unit to stop the earthquake-causing mechanism.

Meanwhile, all the passengers on Jason Burr’s plane – which is crashing in Oregon – disappear! Kobra appears on the plane and tosses an envelope to Burr containing a lock of Melissa’s hair. Kobra advises Burr he shall not make it to his meeting with Double in San Francisco.

But Randu Singh DOES make it to Double’s office. They discuss their missing friend and meet Professor Ross Emerson – electronics expert – who examines Kobra’s wrist weapon-unit.

Disguised as Kobra henchmen, Double and Singh return to Kobra’s computer bank he visited in the previous issue to discover why Kobra forced the earthquake. Kobra catches them mid-hack and engulfs the room with poison gas as Kobra’s goons invade to finish them off. With the help of the wrist weapon-unit, Double kills the Kobra agents allowing Singh to retrieve computer tapes. They escape out the window.

Jason Burr lies unconscious in the airplane – which, to the amazement of the two pilots, landed safely on an Oregon lake.

Double and Singh discover Kobra’s plan – using the earthquake to damage global communications cable. Disguised as repairmen, Kobra’s men will “repair” the cables and plant a “bug” – effectively tapping the entire world! The find and board Kobra’s Ark, hidden in the Bay.

Kobra blinds Singh and engages Double. Double shoots at Kobra with the wrist weapon-unit – who was aghast that Double had his weapon. His one error in calculation …

Double shoots and shoots at the Ark, finally causing it to explode in mid-air! Singh cries out – with Kobra dead, so is Jason Burr!

The Coast Guard investigate the explosion and then report that the telephone company will repair the cables near the explosion tomorrow. One of the officer’s hand-held radios is marked with a cobra-symbol.

To be continued!

***

The letter page announces this as Rich Buckler’s second appearance as artist in this issue. He wasn’t the artist.

Also, Double and Singh escape Kobra’s computer room by jumping out the window. Window? In last issue the computer room was in a sub-basement … oops!

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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!

 

 

Welcome Back Kotter #5, May 1977

“Friends! Romans! Sweathogs!”

Cover: Bob Oksner

Writer: Bob Toomey, Pencils: Ric Estrada

Inker: Bob Oksner, Colorist: Liz Berube, Editor: Joe Orlando

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Due to budget cuts – and the fact the Sweathogs knocked him over one time too many – Woodman gives Kotter and the Remedial Academic Program the ax! But after Kotter’s begging, Woodman gives him one more week to “prove themselves”.

Kotter enters the Sweathogs in the Brooklyn Shakespeare Boosters Amateur Production Contest to donate the winning prize of $1,000.00 to the school. If they win!

Unfortunately, Kotter’s cold gets worse and worse – he eventually loses his voice and his wife and Horshack take over direction of Julius Ceasar!

The play goes on … not badly … until someone throws a tomato at Freddie and the Sweathogs brawl with the audience. They blew it, but even Woodman admits it proved the Sweathogs want to stay in school and keeping kids in school is their business. Woodman gives them another chance.

Friends! Romans! Sweathogs! Dig it!

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The letter column is still positive, with one writer saying if the art “loosens up” the comic can recapture its old glory … of two issues ago?

Forty years after publication, I still remember the pun: “Et tu, Brute?” “No, only et one, honest!”

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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!

 

 

Hercules Unbound #8, January 1977

“Game”

Cover: Walt Simonson & Wally Wood, Editor: Joe Orlando

Writer: David Michelinie; Pencilers: Walt Simonson, Inker: Wally Wood

Story Editor: Denny O’Neil

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While rafting across the Irish Sea, our heroes are strafed by jet fighters, destroying their raft and killing Dave Rigg! Herc dispatches three of the jets, and he, Kevin, Jennifer and Basil follow the fourth to a strange citadel. They are again attacked, this time by gorgeous Wally- Woodish women in spandex and metal hats! Discovering they are androids, our heroes quickly destroy them.

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They are invited into the compound and meet Miss Agatha Simms: a paraplegic military and scientific genius who built the compound (and the androids) to further her “game”. Game? She and her unknown opponent, who also has a military compound, have been hammering at each other for weeks. She mistook our heroes for agents of her opponent, hence her jet fighter and android attack. She explains she plucks her weapons from earth’s past, going back only as far as World War II. As an example, she tries to bring forward PT-109, but instead a … slight miscalculation … brought in the Bismark

Dave Rigg comes ashore, alive and well, and finds his way to a small village. He finds a robotic army recruiter and is knocked unconscious!

Simms promises to restore Kevin’s sight if Hercules helps her with the Game. With the Bismark laying down diversionary fire, Hercules, Kevin, Jennifer and a troop of androids fight their way to the Enemy’s Control Center on the Isle of Man.

Finding a hidden door, they batter their way to the control room to find Dave Rigg in the Commander’s chair!

To be continued!

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The letters page announces that Michelinie, Simonson and Wood will be the permanent creative team under the editorial guidance of Denny O’Neil!

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Simonson’s art is once again nearly hidden by Wood’s dominating inks, but it this is still cracking good story and art!

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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!

 

Metal Men #54; November, 1977

“After the Ending”

Cover: Jim Aparo

Writer: Gerry Conway; Penciler/Inker: Joe Staton

Colorist: Liz Berube

Story editor: Paul Levitz; Managing editor: Joe Orlando

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The rest of the Metal Men join Platinum’s walk-out at the end of the prior issue. We later learn that it was with Doc Magnus’s blessing!

Meanwhile, the Guardians of Oa tell Green Lantern that the Missile Men are invading planets and stripping them of all metal! They are heading to earth! GL discovers them on the moon, where the leader tells the other Missiles they were created only for the pleasure of their queen – Platinum!  The leader of the Missile Men has had a thing for Platinum since issue #5.

Green Lantern wonders if the Metal Men are involved in goes back to earth to find them, not knowing he is a pawn in the Missile Men’s plan!

Green Lantern greets the Metal Men; but the Missile Men leader changes what the robots hear – GL threatening our heroes instead! A fight ensues with Lantern getting the best of Lead, Iron, Platinum and Mercury. Gold (being yellow based) smothers GL, leaving only himself and Tin alive in the final page cliff-hanger!

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The letter column printed letters for and against the “tongue-in-cheek” approach to the comic. The editor mentions that with Gerry Conway back at the typewriter, a comic will see a more serious approach.

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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