Isis #5. July 1977.

“Perilous Pyramid Power”

Cover Artists: Mike Vosburg & Vince Colletta

Writer: Jack C Harris; Penciler: Mike Vosburg

Inker: Vince Colletta; Editor: Dennis O’Neil; Managing Editor: Joe Orlando

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From DC Wikia: During a class field trip to the observatory, the astronomer spots a UFO in Earth orbit. Andrea slips into another room and becomes the Mighty Isis. When she reaches the alien spacecraft, she finds that the air is too thin, so she cannot utter a spell to stop it. She is stunned by a force beam and plummets back to Earth. She lands near the highway and, unconscious, changes back into Andrea.

As Rick starts to look for her, Andrea awakens and begins to doubt why she has to put up with the pressures of being, “The World’s Only Human Goddess”. Andrea comes back to her apartment where Rick is waiting for her. When he demands an explanation, she says that where she goes is none of his business. Rick then has to tell her she’s been laid off by the school board. After throwing Rick out of the apartment, Andrea decides that this is the last straw and says, “Oh Mighty Isis — FOREVER!”

The next day, Isis shows up at the high school to take Andrea’s place. She is appalled when the students ask her about the secrets of nature and she walks out.

Meanwhile up in orbit, the alien observes Isis as she flies back to Egypt. Isis brings forth her sacred dwelling from its hiding place, near the Great Pyramid at Giza. The alien, having landed nearby, declares that he is Aten, the Sun God of the Egyptian heretic, Akenaten. He tells Isis how thousands of years ago he was forced to land his damaged spacecraft in Egypt. He came to be worshipped by Akenaten and his Queen, Nefertiti. He taught them Astronomy and other sciences. The Egyptians taught him the powers of the Gods and their pyramids. When Akenaten died, Aten knew the people would soon revolt, so he buried a signal device to warn him if the Gods of Egypt returned and left for his home planet. The planet’s high council then banished Aten for interfering with Earth’s development. Now, to gain revenge on the council, he returns to use the power of the Great Pyramid; the same one that Isis receives her powers.

Isis tells Aten that she would destroy the pyramid before letting him use it, so Aten attacks Isis with a power bolt. She replies with a power bolt of her own, but Aten absorbs it and hurls it back at her. True to her word, Isis then destroys the source of her power, the Great Pyramid. Aten marvels at the Goddess who gave up her powers to stop his plans for revenge and leaves the Earth. Isis smiles a knowing smile, then uses Andrea’s knowledge of geometry to magically reshape the pyramid.

Back in the United States, Rick and Cindy discuss Andrea’s disappearance and Rick decides to go look for her. However, Andrea Thomas no longer exists. The Mighty Isis has returned — forever.

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The letter column promises us a new direction: is Andrea really gone forever?

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A great story – we see that Isis and Andrea really are two separate individuals who share the same space! At times in this comic it seems they disagree on issues – they might not even like each other!

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

Kobra #4, September 1976

Behold, the Bronze Age!

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“Brother’s Keeper – Brother’s Killer” Written by Martin Pasko, Art by Angel Gabriele. Inker: Lowell Anderson, Colorist: Liz Berube, Letterer: Ben Oda, Editor: Gerry Conway, Assistant Editors: Paul Levitz and Jack C. Harris

Cover by: Joe Kubert

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Synopsis: Kobra leaves his New York headquarters to go to Peru to oversee an archeological dig. There his crew find another Ovoid similar to that found in issue #1. As before, the Ovoid opens and a second Servitor attacks! The blast to Kobra’s arm also causes Jason to flee from his graduate school class. Melissa follows Jason, a synopsis of the comic’s plot is given (“I just met my brother … we have a symbiotic link…”) and Jason questions Melissa about her past relationship with Kobra. Melissa runs out before giving any answers.

Meanwhile, the battle with the Servitor ends in the machine’s dismantling. During the battle it carried a metallic cylinder that spoke to Kobra after the battle. It is an alien from the planet Illandus, who came to retrieve the pod that creates the Servitors.  Kobra takes the Illandian to his New York City lair.

Jason returns to his apartment after a late class to find Randu Singh waiting. After a quick confrontation Randu asks Jason’s help in defeating Kobra – Randu fears Kobra will soon declare war against his native India.

The Illandian reveals its physical form to Kobra – a two-headed four-armed alien that shall soon split in two again. Kobra is intrigued by its duel nervous system and plans to examine the alien to eliminate the link between himself and his brother. They discover the first ovoid has again produced a Servitor. The Illiandian wishes to take his probes and Servitors and return to his home, but Kobra says there are forces on our planet that will stop the alien from doing so.

Well, he IS correct …

And convinces the Illiandian to help Kobra stop him! Kobra’s first victim is Lt. Perez – whose outgoing plane is torn apart by one Servitor and Perez crushed by another! Jason and Randu arrive in the midst of the “Chaos at Gate 57”. Jason confronts his brother.

The Illiandian realizes that it is Kobra who is preventing him/them from retrieving the pod and unleashed a wall of flame at the airport. Jason and Kobra continue to fight over what happened to Melissa – Jason is convinced Kobra is involved in the disappearance.

An ovoid appears around the Servitors and the Illiandian and whisks them back into the alien vessel. Kobra is enraged and strikes Jason now that all his plans have been thwarted – even Project R might be abandoned, he says!

Jason awakes to find the airport in chaos, Perez dead and Kobra long gone (but how, he thinks? Kobra would have been knocked out cold, too!). Perhaps he should seriously consider Randu’s suggestion about making the ultimate sacrifice…

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The letter page explains that the magazine was reprieved from the pending cancellation of #3, but also says its mailbox is almost empty of letters! AND this is the fourth artwork team in as many issues! Bad signs …

This issue had the famous editorial that ran in all the Conway’s Corner magazine:

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Oh how I yearned for a team-up between Kobra and Kamandi!

And as for Jason’s foreboding dread of Kobra being more powerful than he (Jason was knocked out while Kobra escaped). Even when I read this back in 76 my first thought was … “Well, wouldn’t his followers have carried him away … or wouldn’t he still be teleported to his ship…?”

This issue is a nice book-end with issue #1 – explaining some of that storyline while (thankfully) forgetting the super-hero-y aspects of #s 2 & 3. No one was expecting the series to get better.

But it did!

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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 #51; May, 1977

 

Behold, the Bronze Age!

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Cover: Walt Simonson

“Killing Me Softly With His Scream!”

Writer: Jack C. Harris & Martin Pasko; Penciler/Inker: Joe Staton

Colorist: Liz Berube

Story editor: Paul Levitz; Managing editor: Joe Orlando

#50 had new material book-ending the excellent reprint of MM#6. Remember, this is a blog about the Bronze Age – there is no place for even an excellent Silver Age story here!

The new story in #50 (Consisting of only just over two pages) was as follows: Magnus and his robots are ordered to a secret military base wherein lay “Project Automaton”. When they arrive, they are informed the Metal Men are now in the custody of the US Army!

The robots are locked into a chamber while Colonel Craven tries to convince Doc Magnus to use his robot building technique for Project Automaton. An attack on the Metal Men by unknown armed terrorists is foiled by our friends, and one of the unspeaking attackers kills himself during the interrogation.

We meet Vox – a man with a mechanical jaw and voice box whose scream can kill and who is building a cyborg army for America’s enemies. Vox and his cyborg army invade the army base to capture Magnus and the Metal Men. The robots fight off the cyborgs, but Vox manages to make off with Magnus, Iron and Colonel Craven! Vox demands the secret on how the Metal Men can alter their forms – with this knowledge his own cyborgs will be invincible!

Magnus refuses to tell his secret – but Craven tells Vox in exchange for a mechanical heart to replace his pacemaker! Craven tells Vox about the Metal Men’s responsometers, that allows them to change their form. Vox refuses to honor his end of the bargain and his heart gives out in his rage.

The Metal Men trick the Cyboriginals (Vox’s cyborg army) into leading them to where Vox is keeping Magnus and rescues him.

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The letter pages ranged from complimentary to scathing in their reviews of issue #49, which the editor says is the start of their new “tongue in cheek” version of the Metal Men. Did I read the same issue? That was part two of the Eclipso story … tongue in cheek? Wha…?

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I suppose this issue shows the “tongue in cheek” direction of Metal Men. A strange villain, true, but not in the goofy mode of, say, Plastic Man.

The eclectic story is magnified by the dual writers. The prior issue said Harris came in to help with Pasko’s plot.

The artwork is fine and solid – a good description of the style of Joe Staton. His fluid style complements strange plottings of the story in addition to the Metal Men themselves. Staton captures their powers and abilities cleanly and clearly. By this time, he has already become the Bronze Age artist for all things Earth-2 and will shortly become THE Green Lantern artist. He is currently doing his usual thorough workman-like job for the Dick Tracy comic strip.

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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 #48. November 1976

Behold, the Bronze Age!

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“Who is Bruce Gordon and Why is He Doing All Those Terrible Things to Himself?”

Cover: Walt Simonson; Editor/Plotter: Gerry Conway

Writer: Martin Pasko; Penciler/Inker/Plotter: Walt Simonson

Colorist: Carl Gafford; Letterer: Gaspar Saladino

Assistant Editors: Paul Levitz and Jack C Harris

Robert Kanigher is given a creator credit.

Doc Magnus and the Metal Men meet Mona Bennett, Bruce Gordon’s fiancé. She needs their help: Bruce Gordon is really the evil Eclipso! He was scratched by a black diamond and anytime he is in the presense of any sclipsed sphere of light he turns into the evil spirit! While trying to destroy his alter-ego, Bruce accidentally releases him instead!

Eclipso finds a letter from Gordon’s father saying the data he seeks can be found in a library in West Germany. Mona tells the Metal Men the “data” is ancient Incan parchment saved from destruction by a Spanish monk. The Metal Men fly to the German library to find Eclipso already there! Eclipse fights off the Metal Men and leaves with the parchment.

A dying librarian points to a Peruvian map. The Metal Men deduce this must be where Eclipso is headed and they go back across the Atlantic.

The apparently beat Eclipso to an ancient abandoned Peruvian city, but not by much… Before they can make a plan Eclipso attacks!

Tin counters with the bright light of a welding torch. Eclipso screams and turns back into Bruce Gordon.

Another clue leads our heroes to Diablo Island – where Gordon first became Eclipso. They find Mophir’s cave (Mophir was the sun-god priest who fought Bruce causing his black diamond scratch …). They find an ancient tablet.

Unfortunately, retrieving the hovercraft causes an “eclipse” as it flies past the sun releasing Eclipso! He snatches the tablet and heads to a cliff overlooking the sea. Before the Metal Men can stop him, Eclipso reads from the tablet and releases the ancient god Umbra from his undersea prison!

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The letter column explains that Gerry Conway has moved on, leaving Walt Simonson and Martin Pasko to finish the story and printed two positive letters.

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One writer praised Simonson’s art and said it was an unusual style for the Metal Men. I agree. Although his usual excellent workman-like effort fits Eclipso and this grittier-style of story (it would not work with a lighter style of story). He captures the possibility of a grim apocalypse!

Gerry Conway (with help from Martin Pasko) advance the story of one of DC’s most interesting characters in Eclipso – he makes an unusual villain for the Metal Men which makes the story interesting and exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens next issue! Can you?

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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!