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.

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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…

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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 #3. March 1977

“The Wrath of Set”

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Cover Artists: Mike Vosburg & Vince Colletta

Writer: Steve Skeates; Penciler: Mike Vosburg

Inker: Vince Colletta; Letterer: Liz Berube

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

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From DC Wikia: Andrea Thomas and Cindy Lee are walking back to school. Suddenly, a storm of hail begins falling down upon their heads, despite the fact that it is nearly Summer. They rush back to school, but Andrea is concerned that something nefarious may be responsible for the unexpected weather.

Andrea steps out and transforms into Isis. She flies into the sky and finds Set, the Egyptian God of the Desert. Set declares his intention to wrest control of Isis’ worshipers from her, so that they will instead pay homage to him. Isis explains that she does not demand worship from others, and that she only wants to help people. This concept is completely alien to Set and he cannot abide the notion of a humble god. Frustrated, he leaves her presence, vowing to return.

Isis returns to the school and switches back into her Andrea Thomas identity. She goes into class where she confers with Doctor Barnes. During the conversation, a prankish student named Jeffrey Carter tosses a paper airplane, striking Andrea in the head. She dismisses the act, but Barnes feels that she is too easygoing with her students.

During class, Cindy tells Andrea about a radio report concerning a nearby fire. Andrea excuses herself and changes back into Isis. She flies to a burning apartment building, and rescues several children caught in the blaze. Set appears before her, and confesses to perpetuating the fire in order to draw Isis out. He again announces his intention to become the patron deity of Earth, demanding worship from all those around him.

A crowd of students gather on the street to witness Isis’ confrontation with Set. Isis notices Jeffrey Carter amongst the crowd and uses him as a means of offsetting Set’s plan. Jeffrey, who apparently enjoys playing pranks on super-heroes as much as he does chemistry teachers, tosses a custard pie in Isis’ direction. Isis allows the dessert to hit her squarely in the face, but takes no action afterwards. Set is furious. It is obvious that the people of Earth have no respect for the Gods and he cannot believe Isis would allow herself to be humiliated in such a fashion. He no longer desires to have anything to do with these people and disappears

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“Politcal Rally Panic”

Plot: Steven Skeates, Writer: Jack C Harris, Pencils: Jose Delbo

Inker: Vince Colletta; Letterer: Liz Berube

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

Isis is flying through the city when she sees a man named Lattimer falling out of a top-story window. She catches him and brings him safely down to the street. Lattimer explains that he is an ornithologist, who had been birdwatching so intently that he fell out of his window. After telling Lattimer to be more careful, Isis takes her leave of him.

She switches back to her civilian identity and goes to the fundraiser of a local politician named Bob Carver. Andrea is Bob’s friend, and she supports his strong anti-crime bill. During the fundraiser, several people including Andrea, begin to lose their voices. She discovers that somebody has poisoned the punch bowl. She races outside and strains her constricting vocal chords to mouth the words, “Oh, Mighty Isis”. Switching into her super-hero guise, she swoops back in and finds that the man responsible for spiking the punch is Carver’s assistant, Watkins.

Watkins, realizing that he has been exposed, runs out of the building and jumps into his car. Isis follows him and easily stops the fleeing criminal. Lattimer approaches the crime scene and reveals that he is actually an undercover police officer investigating a potential murder attempt against Bob Carver. Thanking Isis for her assistance, he takes Watkins into custody.

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The letters in the letter column all praise for the debut issue.

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The resolution of the first story is well in keeping with the TV show – you could even say Isis defeated her foe with Gandhi-like resistance by humiliating herself to reveal Set’s ego.

The art in the first story looks vaguely like Carmine Infantino’s … it’s not, but there IS a resemblance! The second story’s art by the wonderful Jose Delbo is softer than Vosburg’s sharp style.

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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!

Isis #2. January 1977.

Cover Artists: Mike Vosburg & Jack Abel

Isis 2 banner

Isis 2 ad

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“The Creature from Dimension X”

Writer: Steve Skeates; Penciler: Mike Vosburg

Inker: Vince Colletta; Letterer: Ben Oda

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

From DC Wikia:

Two of Rick Mason’s students, Roger and Gini, are working on a project for the school science fair. When they activate the experiment, it produces a black hole hanging in midair. While Roger takes notes on how it happened, Gini goes to tell Rick and Andrea. A creature from another dimension steps out of the black hole. Behind Roger’s back it sneaks out of the room, then blasts an opening in the wall so it can escape.

Hearing the noise, Andrea, Roger and Gini, rush back only to find the hole in the wall and a puzzled Roger wondering what the noise was all about. Andrea sees smoking footprints on the outside and suspects some monster created the hole. She slips outside the building, changes into The Mighty Isis, and takes to the air in search of the creature. When Isis finds it, the creature blasts her out of the sky. Quickly recovering, she commands the water in a nearby fountain to spray the creature. Because it is made of pure electricity, the creature is in pain and it runs back to the high school. The creature returns and leaps back into the black hole as Roger continues with his experiments. Its foot catches part of the machinery and it explodes. Hearing the blast, Isis flies back to the school and takes Roger to the hospital.

Next day, when Gini visits Roger, he tells her about the monster, but Gini refuses to believe him. Later on, Gini recreates the experiment for Rick and more of the creatures appear. Andrea hears the commotion, changes into Isis, and magically activated the school sprinkler system to drive the creatures back to where they came.

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“Lost and Found”

Same creative team as above but with art also by Frank Giacoia.

From DC Wikia:

Flying over a lake during a thunderstorm, The Mighty Isis rescues two children from their capsized canoe. She brings them back to their worried parents and flies away to change back into Andrea. She goes on to a faculty/student party at the High School.

At the party, Rick and Dr. Barnes tell Andrea about a scavenger hunt that got called off because of the bad weather. Cindy was the only person they couldn’t reach. Looking over the hunt checklist, Andrea finds that Cindy was sent to find a sea shell on the shores of the same lake Isis rescued the children from. Sensing danger, Andrea transforms herself into The Mighty Isis while running down the high school corridor. Isis soars like a falcon towards the lake and saves Cindy from being swept over a waterfall.

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The text page by Denny O’Neil introduces the creative team and discusses the history of Isis from TV show to comic book.

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This comic was on the shelves in the second week of September, 1976. That same weekend the TV show Isis was debuting its second season (comprising only seven new episodes – such a small number was typical of Saturday morning kid’s shows). Fans of the comic would be watching the show for the first time and fans of the show are enjoying this sophomore entry.

Steve Skeates is a legendary writer. He would be in any Comic Book Hall of Fame for his run on Aquaman alone. I’m always pleased to see his name in the credits!

Mike Vosburg was everywhere in the Bronze Age. From Wonder Woman in Adventure Comics to the later issues of Secret Society of Super-Villains. He was stylized – dark, sketchy and moody. A great artist, but an odd fit for a Saturday morning cartoon strip. He gives Isis a grittiness missing in her prior two appearances. Oddly, his art looks completely different in these two stories if only because of the inking – in the first story his style is hidden in the first few pages – although it comes out in the last two-thirds of the story. Vince Coletta was given the first credit in the second story; which it why it looks more like his work than Vosburg’s. But that is expected for an inker who stood up to Kirby’s Bronze Age style.

“Lost and Found” was much more like the television show with its lack of singular menace and moral at the ending. “The Creature from Dimension X” … well, even the title smacks of a Young Adult science fiction tale. It could have been a 1950s sci-fi radio drama.

Not an outstanding second effort, but a good one. Hopefully with the third issue the creators will find more solid footing with the characters; so far characterization has been a bit … thin.

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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!