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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Super-Team Family 11 - Atom, Flash, and Supergirl vs T.O. Morrow


With issue 11 (June/July 1977) Super-Team Family begins telling new, full-length tales teaming up various heroes. The first four issues in this format comprise a linked storyline centring on the Atom, who at this time had no ongoing series of his own. The Flash and Supergirl take part in the first shared adventure, by Gerry Conway, Alan Weiss and Josef Rubenstein.


The story begins with Supergirl swooping in to help the Atom and the Flash take out a bunch of pirates in matching outfits. They do not appreciate her help at all, since they were planning on letting one escape, in order to follow him back to his leader. Flash starts acting like a jerk again right away, dismissing Supergirl as a "pushy teenager."


For some reason, this book makes the Flash so much worse than any other. After insulting Supergirl, Barry Allen and Ray Palmer head to a symposium, and Barry tells Ray he is "just" a theoritician. 


Before Barry has a chance to dis anyone else, his wife Iris, Ray's girlfriend Jean Loring, and Supergirl, in her civilian guise as Linda Danvers, mount the stage for a panel on, one would guess, women in various jobs, when all three women vanish in a burst of light.


There are small piles of dust left behind, which the Atom shrinks into to check out. Flash zooms around at super speed to see if he can find any radiation trail. Both heroes encounter the same featureless creatures, though on different scales. The entities are very powerful, and after grabbing some of the residue, the Atom and Flash rush off to check it out.


Meanwhile, Linda Danvers wakes up in a tube on an alien world, alongside Jean and Iris. The other women are unconscious, not being Kryptonian and all. Supergirl bursts out of her tube and changes costume, battling the robotic guards. To her surprise, even though the robots are metal when she makes contact with them, after being defeated they crumble into a clay like dust. Flash and Atom find that the creature they were battling are of much the same substance, and find a teleportation trail which takes them to the planet the women are on. Supergirl frees Iris and Jean, but the very walls around them come alive to keep them captive.


When Flash and Atom reach the planet they find their old foe, T.O. Morrow is the one behind all this. Morrow had last been seen in 1973 in Justice League of America, and at the end of that story he "ceased to exist." Here, he explains that that phrase turned out to be referring to existing on Earth, and his super computer teleported him to the world he is on now, where he exercises complete control over everything with a power rod. He kidnapped Iris and Jean specifically to draw the heroes to him, in order to get revenge.


Morrow doesn't seem to want to kill them, just to keep them captive and play with them. He has the Atom and Flash chained up alongside Supergirl, Iris and Jean. Although the chains look and feel like metal, they are some other substance, which the Atom cannot shrink out of, nor can Flash vibrate through. Iris handles this all pretty well, but Jean Loring does not. She goes catatonic. The Atom gets Supergirl to use her heat vision on the floor, which she thinks is odd. But the Atom has determined that everything around them is alive, and heating the floor hurts it, and causes their entire dungeon to vanish.


The planet itself is alive, and everything on it created by Morrow and his power rod. While Supergirl confronts Morrow, the Atom gets the Flash to hurl him into the planet's core, it's brain, which he punches and "knocks out."


All seems well, until Iris explains to Atom that, during the big climactic battle, Jean went from catatonic to raging, and the planet teleported her away. None of them have any idea where she has gone.

The story continues in the next issue, though only the Atom appears in the tale. A very different version of T.O. Morrow appears next in World's Finest Comics in 1980.

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