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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Super-Team Family 2 - the Creeper teams with Wildcat


With issue 2 (Dec/Jan 75/76), Super-Team Family starts including a new team up story with its reprints. This was the first issue of the book that I bought, and served as my introduction to the Creeper, Wildcat, and Deadman. The reprints include the first Batman/Deadman team up, from Brave and the Bold, and an unusual variation of a team up, a Green Arrow story from Adventure Comics where Superman plays a role, though that is not revealed until the final pages.


Denny O'Neil, Ric Estrada and Bill Draut provide the new story in the issue, which pairs up the Creeper with the Earth-1 version of Wildcat. The older hero is taking part in an exhibition boxing match, while the younger one, in his civilian guise as Jack Ryder, is covering the game for the news. The Creeper had just appeared in his solo outing in 1st Issue Special, while Wildcat had last been seen a few months earlier in Brave and the Bold.


Wildcat is boxing against the current champion, who is about to take part in a title bout in a small island nation, San Lorenzo. Jack becomes the Creeper when hoods toss a hallucinatory smoke bomb into the ring, using it as cover to kidnap the champ. The Creeper comes off as oddly suggestible during this. The cameraman yells out that Wildcat is really Proteus, the main enemy of the Creeper, though not seen since the cancellation of that hero's book back in 69. The Creeper then sees Wildcat become Proteus, and the two fight it out until the effects of the gas wear off. By that time, the champ is long gone.


Wildcat doesn't take any offence, which is awfully nice of him, and the two decide to learn what they can, and meet up later to plot strategy. The reader gets to see that the real Proteus was behind the kidnapping, and is using his face changing ability to make it look like the rival for the presidency of San Lorenzo is the one behind it, to discredit him.


The new president of the country convinces Wildcat to stand in for the champ during the match, so it won't have to be cancelled. The Creeper winds up on the trail of Proteus, recognizing one of his men.


So the story culminates in the Creeper fighting Proteus, to stop him from killing the champ by throwing him down into the ring from the rafters, while Wildcat is busy boxing. Wildcat uses his own body to break the champ's fall, and the Creeper pegs the new president as the mastermind behind Proteus, trying to secure power by framing his opponent.

The two mismatched heroes work pretty well together in this outing. I sure enjoyed it when I was 10.

The Creeper and Wildcat both return a few months down the road, Wildcat back in Brave and the Bold, and the Creeper in a back-up series in Adventure Comics. Proteus is not seen again until 1981, in the pages of Justice League of America.

2 comments:

  1. I was 10 years old also when this came out and LOVED it. I always thought the team-up of these 2 odd-ball characters would have made a pretty interesting series, but sadly that never happened.

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    1. yeah, I agree. I could easily have seen more of this pairing!

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