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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Super-Team Family 13 - the Atom, Aquaman, and Captain Comet find Jean Loring

Conway and Jones are joined by Romeo Tanghal for the third chapter in the Atom's quest for Jean Loring, in Super-Team Family 13 (Oct/Nov 77). I really loved this story when I was a kid, though I don't care quite as much for it now. The story ties in to events in Secret Society of Super-Villains, and even references the current issue of Justice League of America, to explain why only the Atom and Aquaman are involved in this tale.

Captain Comet opens this story, arriving at the JLA satellite with a severely wounded Kid Flash, following the events in Secret Society of Super-Villains 9. He finds the satellite deserted, but then the Atom shows up, exhausted, and collapses. He puts both into the medical bay, and then sees world wide natural disasters taking place, on the monitor board. Aquaman contacts the satellite to see if anyone is there, and Comet answers the call. Aquaman explains that most of the rest of the team are out of touch (actually out of reality, in the Carnival of Souls story)

Aquaman explains to Captain Comet that he has left the satellite to deal with a tidal wave threatening New York City, and asks the Captain to handle whatever else comes up. But disaster keeps following disaster, with earthquakes, volcanoes and tornadoes all over the planet.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains wonder why Captain Comet is now paying more attention to these disasters than to them. Funky Flashman, Grodd and the Wizard get cameos, but it's Star Sapphire who takes off to follow Comet and find out what is going on.

The Atom recovers, and after saving some people from an earthquake, heads back to his lab, and with the help of Enrichetta Negrini determines that the disasters are all being caused by power emanating from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

That proves to be not entirely true. There is another player involved, the Wind Pirate. It was his assistants that we saw a couple of issues back. He has constructed a really impressive craft to create the disasters, although without his awareness he is drawing off energy imparted by Jean Loring, who has returned to Earth, winding up in Lemuria. Atom, Aquaman and Captain Comet all wind up there, but find Jean totally out of her mind, and with massive mental energy, caused by her space travels.

So the Atom shrinks down and enters Jean's brain, to try to find and neutralize the source of this energy, while Comet and Aquaman deal with the effects. Star Sapphire learns all of this, and will share the information with the rest of the Secret Society of Super-Villains in the next issue of their book.

That's the Wind Pirate's ship. Holy crap, eh? His plan is to cause these disasters until the Earth is in ruins and he can loot it. But seriously, how rich does this guy have to be to have built and launched this airship? And he has a large staff to pay as well, who clearly have to comprise of at least some highly skilled technicians. Not that I considered any of that when I was 11 years old.

Aquaman and Captain Comet discover the Wind Pirate and his ship. The villain is drawing energy through a solar sail, and channelling it through a tube thing inside the ship. The pair of heroes take out both devices simultaneously, which puts an end to the Wind Pirate's schemes. At the same time, the Atom finds a pulsing thing deep in the core of Jean Loring's brain and penetrates it, releasing all the stored up energy.

Unfortunately, this also leaves Jean Loring comatose, and the Lemurians explain that she must stay this way, or the whole thing will start again.

The story continues in the next issue of Secret Society of Super-Villains.

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