] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Super Friends #31 - Apr. 1980

Comics Weekend "How To Trip An Orchid!: by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ramona Fradon, and Vince Colletta.

I'm dabbling in a little inadvertent numerology here with the Super Friends. After talking about issue #13, today we'll jump ahead a few years and see what's happening in issue #31:
Batman is out on a training mission with the Wonder Twins. They follow him into a building where a jewel heist is taking place, and Batman is shocked to see the ringleader is The Black Orchid, who he always thought was a super-hero!

With Orchid's help, the thieves manage to get away, so Batman and the Twins head back to the Batcave, where Batman learns Orchid's real identity--one Lisa Patrick!

As Batman follows clues as to where she'll strike next, we see the Black Orchid talking to her henchmen, where they are scared off by the idea of the Super Friends getting involved--especially Superman. Orchid is confident though, since she has a hunk of kryptonite (the size of a small boulder!) in her possession!

Back at the Hall of Justice:
Lisa and her gang try and pull off another score at Gotham City's Space Museum, but they are interrupted by the real Black Orchid!

To make matters worse, the Super Friends also arrive! Lisa's henchmen use some of the musuem's far-out exhibits to fight off our heroes, while the kryptonite takes out Superman.

Or does it? Turns out that its not hurting Superman at all--much to his surprise--but it seems to be doing quite a number on Black Orchid. Again, or does it?

lords over Black Orchid, believing that Orchid is from Krypton! But when she gets close enough, Black Orchid grabs Lisa and knocks her cold. Then the Super Friends wrap up her henchmen:
Turns out Orchid put the kryptonite into an invisible force shield, which is causing it to become highly unstable. Superman grabs it and carries it into space, but Orchid follows along, saying when it explodes it would kill Superman!

She can't let that happen, so she grabs it from him, where it explodes, killing Black Orchid!

Or does it?:
...not the end!

I like this story's somewhat twist ending, and writer E.Nelson Bridwell uses Black Orchid well, never really giving us a good idea of who she is and what she can do. Some characters just work better that way.

Aquaman gets even less to do this issue than he did in yesterday's, but what the heck. I'm just happy he's here.


Russell said...

This is another one of my lesser favorite issues, Rob!! (Although that splash page still holds up, 29years later!)
For one thing, I had never seen of Black Orchid before, and this story was just confusing for me. Now I think it reads better, but at the time I liked my heroes cut and dry.
Plus, I was never a fan of Vince Colletta. At this point, I was definitely missing Bob Smith's inks. (Nice to read years later that Ramona and Hembeck didn't like his inks, either. Made me feel a little less bad about not liking them)

Next time you do an issue of SF, Rob, you have to do another Aquaman-based one. Those were awesome!!!

rob! said...

I just buy random issues, and check and see what the Aqua-Content is in each.

It just happened that these two were very low on the Aqua-Scale. :(

Russell said...

Wait...you mean you don't have a full collection of SF in your possession?!