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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Super-Team Family #13 - Nov. 1977

Comics Weekend "Ragnarok Night" by Gerry Conway, Arvell Jones, and Romeo Tanghal.

This was one the more unusual team-ups DC ever put out--Aquaman, The Atom, and Captain Comet, with no Superman or Batman in sight? Amazing!

Super-Team Family was a sort on unofficial Atom solo title, as the book featured a continuing story featuring Ray as he ran into other heroes, in the search for his wife Jean (that girl has been nothing but trouble!)

Anyway, by this issue, we The Atom beaming aboard the JLA satellite, just as Captain Comet is there, tending to a wounded Kid Flash after a battle with the Secret Society of Super-Villains:
After we get a brief recap of what has happened previously, we catch up with Aquaman as he tries to stop massive tidal waves from crashing into New York Harbor:
While Aquaman lay unconscious, a mysterious, alien-looking ship appears on the horizon, and a green-skinned being comes out of it, talking about offering aid to the fallen hero. Hmmm...

Meanwhile, The Atom tries to contain some of the damage being inflicted on the world, as does Captain Comet. After Comey stops an erupting volcano from killing anyone, he receives a call via his JLA signaler (that Hawkman gave him), and he disappears.

The Atom leanrs that some strange radiation is emanating from a spot near Easter Island, and he heads there, too. When he gets there, he finds Aquaman, Captain Comet, the green-skinned alien...and his wife Jean!

Unfortunately, Jean is Coco for Cocoa-Puffs. The alien explains Jean was found in his underwater city two days, completely insane, and its this insanity that it connected to all the disasters befalling the world! He says only one man can save her--and that's The Atom!

The aliens set up a contraption that will allow The Atom to enter Jean's brain, and from there he'll be able to tackle the problem from the inside. But just as The Atom does this, more trouble hits:
While The Atom roots around inside Jean's mind, Captain Comet and Aquaman discover some of the world's problems are being exacerbated by the villainous Wind Pirate (no laughing, please), and they engage in a two-pronged attack.

Comet goes after the Wind Pirate's space-faring sailing ship, while Aquaman goes after another one of the Pirate's vessels, this one on the ocean:
...I love how much whoop-ass Aquaman gets to kick in these two pages. Panel one of page 29 is especially fun, as Aquaman gets to beat up like five guys at once. Don't mess with the Sea King, especially if you're dressed like a greeter at Red Lobster!

While Captain Comet takes on the Wind Pirate one-on-one, Aquaman communicates with Comet telepathically, telling him where the ship's main control panel is. If he and Aquaman destroy both ships' main power sources simultaneously, it will stop all the destruction!

Captain Comet pastes Wind Pirate one good, and gets to the control panel, while Aquaman does the same:

Aquaman and Comet rejoin The Atom and the aliens, just in time for Ray to learn that the malevolent energy in Jean is only dormant, not gone. So for the Earth to remain safe, Jean must remain comatose!

As The Atom screams in agony, we are told this story will continue in Super-Team Family #14, guest-starring Wonder Woman! Ah, finally an A-lister!

While certainly isn't one of comics you'd use as an example of the creative pinnacle of the form, it has an easy, goofy charm, and with its myriad locations and characters, it feels like one of those big budget disaster films of the 1970s. Plus, Aquaman gets to kick a lot of butt, something I always enjoy.

Fun fact: On the letters page, a reader asks why The Atom was chosen to be the star of this multi-issue storyline. The response is: "The Atom was picked to 'star' in S-TF because he proved the most popular with fans polled over the DC Direct Currents Hotline several months ago." Yeah, I'm shocked, too!

Also, its mentioned that after this storyline concludes next issue, the Martian Manhunter takes over the lead slot for a series of adventures! But Super-Team Family #15 starred The Flash and the New Gods, which was the final issue of the series. Man, the Manhunter can never catch a break (sorry, Frank).


Diabolu Frank said...


I never knew this. I'm glad to know, sort of, but it still hurts.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Wind-Pirate is a little too suggestive...in a very bad way.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Great fun issue. I actually own the original art from the "Hold! Hold! Hold!" page up there.

Pete said...

The art's nice, I only really know Arvell Jones from his stint on All-Star Squadron. But that is one really off-model JLA satellite there!