Continuing our stroll through the pages of CCC #2…
As noted in last week’s column, SHOWCASE #106 was to have featured The Creeper in “Enter Dr. Storme” by Steve Ditko. In Gotham’s Cosmic TV studio, Jack Ryder finds himself turning halfway into the Creeper without having activated the change. Before he can deal with the problem, he’s in the middle of an energy blast created by Dr. Storme. Seems Storme is really Al Whetly, the former weatherman at Cosmic, who was replaced by his former assistant, Sunny Daze, and now he seeks revenge. (Today, he’d be seeking an attorney and filing an age discrimination suit.)
Another half-change to the Creeper takes place just as Storme attacks again. (The Odd Man makes a cameo appearance, getting caught in the attack, but doing nothing to stop the villain.) Throughout the tale, every time someone makes a comment with the words “all wet” in it, Ryder and others try to figure out what it means. This particular bit gets beaten to death by the end of the tale, though long before we’ve decided that every one of the characters is a dolt.
The Creeper does stop the villain, who dies when he completely dehydrates himself whipping up a storm. Ryder also solves his half-change problems. And they all live happily ever after.
Up next is STEEL #6, featuring “Super Soldier” by Gerry Conway, Don Heck and Joe Giella. We’re in London in 1940 and Steel finds Nazi spies attacking the British Ministry of War. Their leader, “Die Schwartzer Meuchelmorder” (or “The Black Assassin” for those of us who don’t speak German), escapes while Steel makes short shrift of his henchmen. The target of the assassins is Winston Churchill, who invites Steel to join his team.
In a flashback, we learn that Dr. Gilbert Giles, Hank Heywood’s mentor and the father of his fiancee, has learned of Hank’s dual identity. He demands that Hank give up being Steel or break his engagement. (And since the book is called STEEL, not HANK HEYWOOD COMICS & STORIES, you can guess what he does.)
Back in London, Churchill recruits Steel to join a commando team he’s sending to Germany to kidnap Adolf Hitler. Action follows as their plane is shot down and the commandos are captured by a colonel known as “The Butcher.” Steel, minus his costume, awakens in a concentration camp. (Conway plays a bit fast and loose with historical continuity here, particularly when one inhabitant of the camp describes the “bath-houses” and the experiments being tried on the captives.) A battle in the camp hospital leaves “the Butcher” splattered by a bottle of acid Steel has thrown, setting the stage for some future super-villainous revenge. And the cliffhanger has the melee abruptly halted by the arrival of Hitler himself. Alas, we are not privy to the next issue’s confrontation and the debut of Baron Blitzkrieg.
We’re going to jump now to the final story in CCC #2. (Yes, I know. You’re asking, “Just how long is he going to keep us waiting for the Secret Society / Freedom Fighters / JSA installment?” Well, after this week, there’s nothing else left!)
The last full-length book included in is THE VIXEN #1. Is she the same character who finally debuted in ACTION COMICS #521, three years after the DC Implosion? The same one who became a member (with Vibe and Gypsy) of what’s been referred to as the Justice League of Detroit? Well, yes…and no.
Super-model Marilyn McCabe is on top of the fashion world and a modern businesswoman, but after seeing President Manitoba of the African nation of D’Mulla on TV, she faints. This brings back awful memories of her childhood, memories buried in her subconscious oft her father being murdered by Manitoba.
After consulting with her attorney and realizing she can not pursue Manitoba from a legal standpoint, Marilyn discovers that a necklace left with her by her father has mystical powers. It awakens powers within Marlyn and she dons the costume of The Vixen.
The Vixen learns that Manitoba, while now preaching peace, intends to unite all of Africa under his rule…by force. His true mission in coming to the United States is not to preach peace, but to murder the sole remaining witness to his crimes in his own country. Luckily, The Vixen is there to save the day. In the battle that ensues, Manitoba is killed by his own manic attack, bringing down a massive cross which crushes him.
The story ends with Marilyn feeling that a new energy has taken control of her, that she has been reborn. And the bottom caption promises us that this is “The End…and The Beginning.” (Well, so, it took three years before she actually appeared. Maybe she was just a slow starter…)
Beginning with issue #2, there was to be a back-up feature in THE VIXEN, one that I was going to be writing. It never got past script stage… and a few columns from now, I’ll be sharing all the details about a series SO canceled that it never even made it into CCC!
But next week, at long last, we’ll look at the part of CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE #2 that I can call my own: SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #s 16 featuring the SSoSV, the Freedom Fighters, and the Justice Society!
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ:
1. Late shipping champion of the 1980s was what Neal Adams-created heroine, with #2 coming out a year and a half after #1?
2. On this side of the Atlantic, Britain’s Marvelman appeared under what name?
3. The Comicmobile was the brainchild of what DC executive?
4. Snapper Carr was immune to whose mind control?
5. Oceanographer walter Newell, a friend of Namor, donned what costumed identity?
6. Farmer Boy, 4-Eyes and Worry-Wart all fought under whose command?
7. This “Secret Chimp” of TV fame had his own comic in the 70s; name him.
8. “America’s Home Front Superheroes” comprised what team?
9. Lead, Iron and Platinum were partners-in-peril with other Metals?
10. Legion of Substitute Heroes member Staq Mavlen is better known by what identity?
11. Pa and Ma Kent died when they contracted what?
12. Employee of Metallo and the 1000, what villain battled Booster Gold and Blue Devil?
13. Once known as Hawk, who did Hank Hall next become?
14. Partners of Americommando and Fireball of Crusaders fame; their names?
15. Lonely Adam Blake built and blasted off in a starship to find himself; name that ship?
16. Egyptian police might have years-old warrants to arrest which member of the X-Men?
IN QUOTATION MARKS:
“We’re at ground zero. Who’s got the next great invention? Who’s got the next great technology? Who’s gonna be creating the new ‘Star Wars’? Who’s gonna be the next director? Could be anybody in this room, so %#$@ it, you know what? I’m just sorta immature enough to go ‘Yeah, okay, well, why not me?’ That’s gonna be my new slogan: Why Not Me? Anyone got a problem with that?”
? Todd McFarlane
Among other things, said slogan could be the answer to the question, “Who would possibly spend $3 million for Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball?”
And on that note, I’ll see you back here next week.
TRIVIA QUIZ ANSWERS:
It’s a new season for the WNBA and all sixteen teams are represented by this week’s theme…
1. Ms. Mystic (Washington Mystics)
2. Miracleman (Orlando Miracle)
3. Sol Harrison (Miami Sol)
4. Starro’s (Utah Starzz)
5. Stingray (Charlotte Sting)
6. Sgt. Rock (Cleveland Rockers)
7. Lancelot Link (Minnesota Lynx)
8. Liberty Legion (NY Liberty)
9. Mercury, Gold and Tin (Phoenix Mercury)
10. Fire Lad (Portland Fire)
11. The Fever Plague (Indiana Fever)
12. Shockwave (Detroit Shock)
13. Monarch (Sacramento Monarchs)
14. Rusty and Sparky (LA Sparks)
15. Cometeer (Houston Comets)
16. Storm (Seattle Storm)
For more trivia, check out the daily Anything Goes Trivia.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.