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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Secret Society of Super-Villains 2 - Captain Comet joins the team

David Anthony Kraft joins Conway, Marcos and Smith for Secret Society of Super-Villains 2 (July/Aug 76), and brings with him a hero not seen since 1954, Captain Comet.

Captain Comet is given a better uniform than he had back during his run in Strange Adventures, but still has his spaceship, the Cometeer. We learn that he has been out exploring space for the past couple of decades, and returns to Earth at the start of this story.

Captain Comet sees Green Lantern pursuing Grodd and Hi-Jack. Hi-Jack is a former member of the Royal Flush Gang, who has decided to go it alone, or, more accurately, join a different team, the Secret Society. Comet assumes that Green Lantern is the bad guy, so he barges in and defeats the hero, aiding the villains in their escape.

Grodd brings Captain Comet back to the headquarters, while using his own mental powers to learn about Captain Comet's history. Grodd explains to Manhunter, Sinestro, Captain Cold, Star Sapphire, Mirror Master and the Wizard about Adam Blake being born a mutant, 100,000 years ahead of his time. He has great strength, and the ability to fly, read thoughts, and some other telekinetic skills. Grodd is using his own mental powers to shield the team from Comet's thought reading ability, planning to keep the man thinking they are the good guys, so they can use him against the actual heroes.

The team unanimously vote to make Captain Comet a member of the group. Poor guy is shown to have no awareness of how civilization has changed in the decades he has been gone, so he apparently falls for all of this.

But Captain Comet is not as clued out as he seems. That night he goes to visit the grave of Professor Zackro, his mentor back in the day, and Manhunter follows him. Manhunter intends to explain how the Society is really evil, but Comet already has figured that out. Then both men wind up getting attacked by Mantis, the energy vampire, last seen four years earlier in New Gods. The pair manage to hold Mantis off, but his attack prompts Manhunter into changing up the game.

Manhunter brings the various members of the Society to a hidden base, where Mantis and his followers are lurking. Manhunter explains that the read force behind the Secret Society is Darkseid, although at this point we only see his image. Still, this build up is far more effective than the way Darkseid was used in the pilot. And for me, this was actually the first time I had been introduced to the character, so the multi-issue introduction worked perfectly on me.

Mantis and his men fight the Secret Society, and it's a bit of a stand off at the end of the second issue.

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