As some may remember from the old board I have a ton of comic books that I have never read. My goal is to read at least one a day (yeah right), and when it strikes my fancy to do so to review that comic here. Once again join me as I plow through years of comics that have been lying around unread.

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G.I. Combat #129
Apr-May 1968
Cover art by: Russ Heath


Story: Hold That Town For A Dead Man
Writer: Robert Kanigher
Art: Russ Heath

The Haunted Tanks is rumbling through and unnamed town, and Lieutenant Stuart promises a dead captain in the town that he will keep the town away from the German's for him. As they are looking at the dead GIs in the town a German tanks sneaks up on them and open fire. They crash through a house to escape, and and pretend to be dead when another tank comes upon them in the alley. When it turns away the Haunted Tank blows it away.

They are on the move again, playing cat and mouse with the first tank. The German tank does get the drop on Americans and shoots at them again. The blast throws Jeb Stuart from the tank. The Haunted Tank swings around and both tanks shoot at each other, ending in the death of both crews apparently. A German flamethrower emerges to ensure the crew of the Haunted Tank is dead, he approaches them and sees Stuart standing there, but he still in shock from the initial blast and is unable to draw his weapon. A sudden burst of machine gun fire kills the German. Somehow the dead captain in the town's hand spasmed and pulled the trigger on his gun. Stuart then uses the flamethrower to destroy another German tank entering the town. His crew recovers (they were only knocked unconscious) and more American tanks arrive.

Story: Combat Nightmare!
Writer: Dave Wood
Art: Jack Abel

A soldier has a nightmare of his unit being destroyed and he is the only one left alive. Then he continually thinks some attack on his unit is his nightmare becoming real. When the event does happen he goes berserk and kills the Germans all on his own. It turns out though his unit was only knocked unconscious, and everyone is fine.

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Hmmm, similar endings there for both stories. Anyway, I really dig the Russ Heath cover here. I think he holds his own comparable to the war comic master, Joe Kubert. The Haunted Tank is the star of this comic obviously, and in the 14 pages I thought it was a well told story, and I really liked the urban environment. The second story wasn't bad either, not great, but not bad.
Green Arrow #35-38
August-October 1990
Cover art by: Ed Hannigan & Dick Giordano


Story: The Black Arrow Saga Parts 1-4
Writer: Mike Grell
Pencils: Mark Jones (Part 1, 2, & 4) Rick Hoberg (Part 3)
Inks: Bill Wray


Alright let's try to cram a four part story in here. Well, Green Arrow has been arrested by the federal government on terrorism charges for blowing up a ship in the Panama Canal. The bad part is he did it (tricked into it by Eddie Fyers). He tells Dinah this. On the way to the prison someone shoots out the tires of the car, and Green Arrow escapes. Dinah knowing that the feds will be watching her calls. She brings Shado in to come help.

On the lam Green Arrow meets a homeless girl in this old burned out building. He protects her from a gang that came to rape and/or steal from her. She mends his wounds and then Ollie convinces her to break into his house to steal his bow, arrows, and a duffel bag. She does this pretty easily. Ollie shaves his head and beard to disguise himself. He gives the girl $20,000 to help her start a new life. The money from the duffel bag comes from what he stole from the CIA.

Back at the Lance house, Dinah and Shado are in a discussion. Dinah learns that Shado's son was conceived by Ollie. Shado tells her that it happened when Ollie was fevered after Shado had shot him, and he doesn't know the child is his. Out of the streets of Seattle someone shoots an arrow at Eddie Fyers. Shado hits the streets to look for Ollie. Ollie tracks down Eddie Fyers' in his hovel.

Ollie convinces Eddie that he wasn't the one who shot him, because if he had Eddie would be dead. Eddie still keeps his gun pointed at Ollie and Green Arrow keeps his arrow trained on Eddie. Shado shows up to break up the fight. Eddie tells Ollie that they are both being set-up, and the plan is to have both of them killed.

Someone (it is never revealed who) sets it up to where the three main people behind Green Arrow's arrest are in a meeting. Ollie crashes through the window and confronts them. He explains to the DEA guy he knows he is not involved in the plan at all, since Ollie believed he was working for the DEA, and since he wasn't with the DEA this man's deniability would help discredit Ollie. The men from the CIA basically admit their guilt, and that they chose Oliver because of he is a public figure who is known to be reactionary and will work outside of the law. At the end of the talk Ollie is shot from another building from far away, and Shado kills the gunman with an arrow immediately after. Ollie had borrowed Eddie's bulletproof vest and lived. Eddie also brings Mandell to Green Arrow, the person who was used to get GA started on this whole path. Mandell laughs at Ollie for not being able to kill him. Eddie admits that while Ollie may not be a cold-blooded murder yet he is, and shoots Mandell in the head.

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This was a really good story that had some nice bits going on. In the second issue with the homeless girl the captions the story from the point of view of a story the homeless girl was writing. She is a princess, Ollie is a troll who protects the princess from wolves (the gang). I nice touch. Another part I really enjoyed was while Ollie was talking to the different feds at the bottom of each page we see the progress of the assassin as he gets in position to kill GA. Seeing Ollie shave his head and beard was quite a shocking look for him. Also, GA and Shado are master trackers, it is never shown how they find anyone they do, they just do. We see Shado jumping out of Dinah's delivery truck and next we see her having found Ollie and Eddie.

I ran hot and cold on my opinion of Eddie Fyers. Here, I think he was used rather well, and he tells Ollie who he was “really” working for. I am still not sure if he was telling the truth. As for the art I would rate it good.
The Grim Ghost #3
July 1975
Cover art by: Russ Heath


Story: “He Is...The Grim Ghost”
Writer: Tony Isabella
Art: Ernie Colon


The Grim Ghost stops some punks from robbing an old lady, and he tries to send them to Hell with powers given to him by Satan. A demon appears and stops, and gives the two punks superpowers as well. The demon tells GG he will have to choose fire or brimstone soon, and that the demon will soon defeat Satan and rule Hell himself.
Well, ol' GG runs to Satan to give him a heads up. Satan tells him that the demon is named Brimstone (thus the choice he would have to make), and that Brimstone is one of his servants that has tried to take over before. He imbues the Grim Ghost with power to defeat Brimstone. The Ghost asks Satan how he knows we won't use this new power against him. Satan tells him that if he did defeat him then the Ghost would die. Satan also sends Lady Sarah Braddock with him, and she happens to be the person who betrayed him to the authorities 200+ years ago.
The two go back to Matthew Dunsiname's (The Grim Ghost) home. Side note: people are used to seeing him dressed up in colonial era clothes. Sarah Braddock possesses one of his neighbor's in order to help with their mission from Satan. She uses holy water on the two punks who were given powers by Brimstone. That just reverts them back to normal, and the Grim Ghost sends them to Hell with his gun. Brimstone shows up, and knows now that Dunsiname is against him. GG gets an idea and uses his own powers to shoe Brimstone that like him, if he were to destroy Satan and win he would destroy himself, since he was created by Satan. Brimstone bursts into flame, and end his own existence, not able deal with that reality.


This was a really interesting premise for a comic, and I liked the story that Tony Isabella presented us here. Satan being a named, actual character in the book. Not given some other name that would allude to who was. Satan uses the Grim Ghost to send him souls in Hell, since peoples natural lives are too long now. Of course Grim Ghost is a “hero', so he uses his own code of ethics as to who he sends to hell for Satan. However, Lady Braddock reminds us that the Grim Ghost killed 18 people himself during his mortal days. Too bad this was the last issue.

The art on the other hand was very uneven. Some pages were very well done, and others were blocky and/or ugly.
Iron Man #174
September 1983
Cover art by: Luke McDonnell & Steve Mitchell


Story: “Armor Chase”
Writer: Denny O'Neill
Pencils: Luke McDonnell
Inks: Sam De La Rosa

Obadiah Stane has taken over Stark International and demands that Iron Man remove his armor at once. He laughs at him, and busts through Stane's office wall. Some Stark employees stay and some decide to leave. Two decide to stay after seeing Iron Man and Stane's own armored knight fight, and when IM runs off they decide to stick around.

This is the James Rhodes version of Iron Man, and he is just getting started. He flies back to the lab of Morley Erwin who is helping him. Erwin tells Rhodes that Stane plans on using the Iron Man armors left there to build his own army of Iron Men. Rhodes knows he has to get those away from Stane ASAP. Nick Fury also knows this, and puts his own plan into motion.

Erwin provides Jim with an underground drilling machine, that Tony developed, to dig under the building that houses the Iron Man armor and specs. Once inside Shellhead is again attacked by the Knight. Nick Fury then springs his plan, which uses a gun to create complete darkness in the building the two armored foes are in. Jim is able to execute the back-up plan and he and Erwin devised to send all of the extra Iron Man armors into the ocean. He also repulsor blasts the plans the Knight has picked up. The two decide to fight hand-to-hand, and Iron Man defeats the Knight.

Once Rhodes gets back to Erwin's lab he gets a message from Fury that he is going to salvage the Iron Man suits since they are in international waters. Issue ending cliffhanger! Next issue: Iron Man vs SHIELD (which I don't have)
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Holy cow how did an issue of Iron Man get in here? I don't hate him, but I never cared enough to really collect his comic except for about a year around issue 200. I don't recall how I ended up with this one. That being said it is a fairly entertaining issue. This is fairly early in Jim Rhodes career and he is still on the learning curve. What hurt my enjoyment of it, was when people would quit (or stay) as it had no impact on me since I didn't know who any of them were. I enjoyed the McDonnell/De La Rosa art.

I figure the title of the issue was supposed to be a riff on the Paper Chase TV show, but I could be wrong. What did annoy me? Rhodes using the term “Tin Suit” about a million times, and I don't know why.
Way back when I flicked through the conclusion of the storyline. I think Attuma got involved (edit: the GCD tells me it was Warlord Krang), and Rhodey and Fury ended up coming to an agreement to destroy the extra suits.
They didn't destroy the infamous "nose" suit too?
All of them, except Rhodey's. Incidentally, the nose suit is there on the cover of #174, to the left.

I'd guess the employees in #174 included Mrs. Arbogast and Scott Lang. The former was Tony's secretary, and the latter the second Ant-Man. They're both Micheline/Layton-era characters.
I loved the second Ant-man. I read his origin story over and over. He seemed very 'real', being a single parent and all.

His daughter aged at least 10 years since that story, but I don't think 10 years has passed for everyone else!
Luke Blanchard said:
Way back when I flicked through the conclusion of the storyline. I think Attuma got involved (edit: the GCD tells me it was Warlord Krang), and Rhodey and Fury ended up coming to an agreement to destroy the extra suits.

Ah, okay, Thanks for that info, Luke.

I still have it handy and pulled the issue out:
Mrs. Arbogast quits
Mr. Martinelli stays
Yvette Avril quits
2 regular joes, Bert and Harry stay once they see the Knight defeat Iron Man the first time
It is implied by Iron Man, that Rhodes and Erwin will quit.
Martinelli and Avril were further Michelinie/Layton-era characters. (I remembered the names, but had to look them up. Martinelli was security chief, Avril a French executive.)

Morley Erwin was a Denny O'Neil character and appeared through most of his run, along with his smart sister Cly. (Spoiler Warning) O'Neil killed off Morley as a lead-in to #200, his last issue. That's where Stane donned a suit of armour and fought Tony. Cly was killed off at the start of the second Michelinie/Layton run.
Justice League of America #121
Aug. 1975
Cover art by: Dick Dillin


Story: The Hero Who Jinxed the Justice League
Writer: Cary Bates
Pencils: Dick Dillin
Inks: Frank McLaughlin

Looks like we got a comic book wedding coming! How exciting! Well hold on there bucko. We got a story to get to first. Adam Strange appears in the middle of a Justice League meeting. He drops the uniforms Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, and the Elongated Man, and tells the others that they are dead and he is responsible for it. He the explains that his beloved, Alanna was disintegrated by the ray of a giant magnifying glass, and that later the JLAers were teleported to Rann and they were also disintegrated by a giant robot named, Borg. Dying because his plan to save them failed.

After his account the rest of the League sees a giant cloud creature menacing something or someone back on Earth. They go down to fight it leaving Adam Strange on the satellite. Explaining to Adam, and the readers, if he touches the Earth he will die. The cloud creature makes mince meat of the Atom, Green Arrow, Batman, Hawkman, Red Tornado, and Aquaman. During the fight Adam Strange thinks about how all of the menaces he has fought before during earlier adventures on Rann. At that moment Kanjar Ro appears and tells Adam Strange that he escaped his prison cell long ago, and that he is the one behind all of the attacks. Adam Strange grabs Ro's Energi-rod and zeta-plus beams away. Kanjar Ro isn't really that concerned since the rod will only work for him.

The Lion of Rann has that figured out as well. Strange has Zardath attach a device that will filter his thought patterns to that of Kanjar Ro and enable him to control the rod. He then uses the rod to find the not quite dead JLAers and the also not dead Alanna. This group then goes back to Earth to fight Kanjar Ro who is just sitting on a dock admiring his work of the other fallen Leaguers. The newly restored League easily takes care of the cloud creature and Kanjar Ro.

Now we can have the wedding! It is one panel!
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Okay, first, Hawkgirl appears on the same amount of panels in this comic as she does the cover, and that is the last one with the marriage. I enjoyed seeing remakes of the past menaces Adam Strange has fought as I had actually read all of them before. The League is a hard group to have a proper threat level to give them a hard time so I liked that Cary Bates eliminated half of them before the story even started. The art is nice and clean. As a big Adam Strange fan I really dug this issue.
The issue is actually the second part of a two-part story, continued from the previous issue. I didn't realise this when I first read it either. Another Adam Strange two-parter by Bates, somewhat similar, appeared in Justice League of America ##138-139.(1)

In the first part of the present tale - spoiler warning - the five Leaguers are mysteriously transported to Rann, where they encounter Adam and three menaces he has fought before. The first two times Adam tries the same tricks he'd used to defeat them last time. When these fail, the Leaguers come up with something. Adam thinks he's slipping. The third time, against Borg, he tries something else. But it fails, and Borg zaps the Leaguers.

(1) With #139 the title went giant-sized. The second half of the issue was the start of Steve Englehart's run.

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