Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finally, something good came out of "Countdown"...

...And it was this comic.

For those of you old enough to remember, the comic above reprints a storyline originally presented in a book called SUPER-TEAM FAMILY just over 30 years ago.

The story, originally featured in SUPER-TEAM FAMILY #'s 11-14, featured some nice 70's art by Arvel Jones as well as Alan Weiss (inked beautifully by premier inker Joe Rubinstein), and was conceived and written by Mr. "Law And Order: Criminal Intent" himself, Gerry Conway. (I guarantee that if Detective Bobby Goren had been involved in the search, it would have only lasted 2 issues.)

It was part of a 4-part "Search For Jean Loring" arc, with the Atom (Ray Palmer), along with a cast of other heroes (Flash, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Captain Comet, Aquaman (WTF?), and Wonder Woman), which varied from issue to issue(??? - I'll get to that later), tracking Jean as she was being bounced around from planet to planet and universe to universe, thanks to a serendipitous combination of the residual energies from a living planet and Jean's own batshit psyche.

Ah, Ray. If only you could have known the crap she would later put you (and us readers) through, you might have just left her out there. At the very least, you could have spared us Dark Mary Marvel.

When I tell you that Ray and Jean are reunited at the end, I'm probably not spoiling the ending for anyone who hasn't finished reading that story arc.

That would include me. It was a four-issue story, you see.

I only read Part 2.

Being a kid with no access to comic book shops, I generally got my comic fix courtesy of local grocery stores, pharmacies, and 7-11's. Direct market was not an option, at least for me. So I never was able to find parts 1, 3, or 4, despite my interest in this storyline, and had given up hope of doing so.

Until now.

Now, 30 years later, because of some convoluted crossover "event" involving a still-unseen Ray Palmer being the key to saving the multiverse, I get to read the whole story. (Parts 3 and 4 come out in another volume.)
I'll finally resolve some unanswered questions.

Like why the heroes from each of the early parts apparently didn't stick around all the way through to help Ray with the search. I know it was because the format of the book was to feature different characters each issue, but in a four-part quest like this it strained credibility just a bit. I can just picture the exchanges:

Atom: "No matter what it takes or where I have to go, I'll find you, Jean! I swear it!"

Green Lantern: "Well, that's it for me. Got a date tonight."

Atom: "But what about Jean?"

Green Lantern: "Don't worry. Aquaman can fill in for me."

Atom: "WHAAAAT?????"


At 10:59 AM , Blogger SallyP said...

Heh heh. That's EXACTLY what Hal would say.

I also think that the Ryan Sook cover is gorgeous.

At 3:20 PM , Blogger notintheface said...

I wanted to work in the next part where Atom said: "You couldn't get Superman?" And Hal would respond with "Sorry, not allowed."

Which was apparently the OTHER main rule regarding Super-Team Family's format: No Supes or Bats.


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