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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Secret Society of Super-Villains 4 - Grodd vs Kalibak

Kraft, Marcos and Colletta are joined by Ernie Chan for Secret Society of Super-Villains 4 (Nov/Dec 76).

Picking up from the end of the previous issue, Manhunter accuses Sinestro and the Wizard of not helping the Secret Society against Mantis. The two villains don't even try to argue their way out of it, and soon they are fighting against Manhunter, Captains Comet, Cold and Boomerang, Grodd, Mirror Master and Hi-Jack. The Wizard makes Hi-Jack disappear, and though we never find out specifically what happened to him, the next time Hi-Jack is seen he is in prison, three years down the road, in the pages of Justice League of America.

Star Sapphire arrives with Green Lantern. He insists that she enter Mantis' base first. Seems like a good idea, but it wasn't. Mantis ambushes Green Lantern, and is able to draw all the energy out of his ring. Mantis brags that he is so powerful he would able to take on Darkseid. Then, you guessed it, Darkseid shows up.

By that point Sinestro and the Wizard have fled. They return to the Secret Society's lair, prepared to work with Darkseid against the rest of the team, but find Funky Flashman waiting for them. Another Fourth World character, this is Flashman's second appearance, following his debut in Mister Miracle four years earlier.

Star Sapphire descends into Mantis' lair and tells the Society that she has brought Green Lantern, but that's because she has no idea what is going on upstairs. It's not Green Lantern who comes down to confront the Society, but Kalibak. Grodd quickly gets into a fight with the son of Darkseid.

The two prove fairly evenly matched, and though Grodd sort of wins the fight, by cheating, both are unconscious by the end of it. Grodd returns a few months down the road in this book, but Kalibak is next seen a year down the road in the Mister Miracle revival.

Not that Darkseid knows any of this. He has been allowing Mantis to expend all his acquired energy. Once Mantis burns out, Darkseid draws his attention to the arrival of the Black Racer, the rarely seen "angel of death" for the New Gods. Considering he makes the cover, it's a horrible tease, as the Black Racer is only in the final panel of the story.

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