Welcome Back Kotter #4, May 1977

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Cover: Bob Oksner

“Tyrannosaurus Rex!”

Writer: Mark Evanier, Pencils: Ric Estrada

Inker: Bob Oksner, Editor: Joe Orlando

Arnold Horshack runs into the Kotter apartment and hides under the couch. Arnold tells Mr. & Mrs. Kotter he is hiding from gym coach Rex Bloch.

Bloch finds Barbarino and Washington hiding in an alley and orders them back to the gym. He spots Arnold and Kotter talking outside and orders Arnold back to the school, too. He also tells Kotter to stick to social studies and leave Phys Ed to him!

Kotter starts his lesson for the day in front of sleeping and exhausted Sweathogs.

Barbarino and Epstein fight in the hallway over a girl and Kotter an Bloch intervene. The teachers argue again until Horshack suggests they resolve their issues by racing each other! The Sweathogs vow to help Kotter win!

Horshack trips up Bloch, Epstein switches the route with a detour sign and Barbarino frames Bloch for purse-snatching. Bloch slips and twists his ankle. Kotter walks Bloch the rest of the route, where Bloch admits he isn’t as smart as Kotter but still loves teaching.

Kotter lets Bloch limp across the finish line. Bloch promises to go easier on the kids.

***

The letter column contains positive reviews on issue #2.

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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!

 

 

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Isis #4, May 1977

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Cover Artists: Mike Vosburg & Dick Giordano

“Treasure of Lost Lake”

Writer: Jack C. Harris; Penciler: Mike Vosburg

Inker: Vince Colletta; Letterer: Ben Oda

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

From DC Wikia:

Andrea, Cindy and Rick drive to the Wolfeboro Summer Resort in New Hampshire. They wish to study an ancient legend concerning Iroquois relics supposedly buried in Lake Winnipesaukee. When they arrive at the lake, a large sea monster reaches out and attacks them with its tentacles. Andrea changes into Isis, but her magic doesn’t seem to affect the creature. Isis retreats from the scene, and the monster sinks back down beneath the water’s surface. Isis changes back into Andrea Thomas and regroups with Rick and Cindy.

Rick begins investigating the case on his own and finds what appears to be the living spirit of an Iroquois warrior named Mocinnivo. The warrior runs into the lake towards the sea monster, whereupon Rick discovers that the monster is just an elaborately disguised undersea vehicle. The monster grabs Rick with its tentacles and begins drowning him.

Isis arrives and fights back against the monster. With the help of Tut, she eventually disables the craft, and pulls Mocinnivo out from the cockpit. Tugging at his face, they discover that Mocinnivo is actually a lodge owner named Mister Marra, who wanted to horde the legendary treasure for himself. The spirit of the real Mocinnivo appears and thanks Isis and the others for helping preserve his people’s heritage.

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“Avalanche!”

Writer: Steven Skeates, Pencils: Mike Vosburg

Inker: Bob Smith

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

From DC Wikia: Andrea Thomas goes skiing in the mountains of New Hampshire. On one of the lifts, she meets a big game hunter named Big Roy, who boasts about all of the elk he plans on hunting in the surrounding area. Andrea doesn’t care for the man’s demeanor and quickly takes her leave of him.

Some time later, Big Roy tracks down an elk and shoots it with his rifle. The echo of the gunshot prompts an avalanche and tons of snow begins rushing down towards the ski resort. Andrea Thomas transforms into Isis and uses her elemental control over the wind to blow several ski lift carriages to safety. She finds that Big Roy is buried beneath some snow and debris, so she flies down to rescue him.

***

The letter column contained more positive reviews of the debut issue and promised more details as to Andrea’s personal life, a headquarters for our hero and a new direction away from the teenage-lesson-oriented themes of the TV show.

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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 #3, March 1977

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“The Return of Augie Berelli”

Cover: Bob Oksner

Writer: Tony Isabella, Pencils: Ric Estrada & Bob Oksner

Inker: Bob Oksner, Editor: Joe Orlando

A thug visits Kotter and his wife at their home. He warns Kotter that Augie Berelli will be at the school that day and Kotter better be there.

Kotter tells his wife that Berelli, one of the most notorious gangsters in the country, was an original sweathog and a classmate of Kotter’s! In fact, Kotter won the heart of a fair maiden also wooed by Berelli, who swore vengeance!

At school, Kotter is beside himself – he believes Epstein’s note from his mother, takes Horshack seriously and apologizes to Woodman! The Sweathogs offer to help their teacher.

Berelli walks into the classroom and says hello to Kotter and his nephew Vinnie Barbarino.

NEPHEW!!? That’s right, Berelli isn’t here for vengeance, but to thank Kotter for the good job he is doing teaching his nephew.  The Sweathogs are impressed by Berelli’s charm … and wealth!

Kotter reminds his class that Berelli is a criminal, infuriating Barbarino who leaves in a huff.

The FBI approach Kotter and ask him to help catch Berelli. Barbarino hears the conversation and throws a punch at the agent. Kotter agrees to help the FBI in exchange for releasing Vinnie.

The next day, Berelli charges into the classroom to confront Kotter. The FBI get the drop on him, until he takes Kotter hostage. Barbarino tries to intervene and is rewarded with a smack from his uncle. Berelli whispers to Kotter to fight back and catch him. Fumblingly (is that a word?) he finally does so.

It turns out this confrontation was planned by Berelli and the FBI as part of a guilty plea. After Berelli found out Vinnie punched a G-Man, he realized his nephew was going down his path and did not want Vinnie to turn out like him. So, he arranged his capture by Kotter; who has the one thing Berelli does not have – his nephew’s respect.

The last panel shows Vinnie at his classroom desk crying.

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The letter column printed positive review of issue #1, most were thankful the comic was not done in the Binky/Scooter (read Archie) mode of half-page gags and two or three-page stories.

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The art here is still wonderful. The team of Estrada and Oksner work on these characters, although at times there is a lack of background art. Perhaps they were rushed by a dreaded deadline doom (to borrow a phrase from the competition)?

Tony Isabella is a wonderful comic book writer, prose author, comic book historian (1001 Comic Books You Must Read Before You Die and July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic Book Life of Tony Isabella, Volume 1) and is a very nice guy – the creator of Black Lightning, the Champions, Misty Knight and more! Black Lightning is the most recent (and welcome) addition to the current “DC/TV” line on the CW network and Tony’s latest comic book work is Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands at DC.

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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!