BHOC: ALL-STAR COMICS #65

I think I would have bought this issue of ALL-STAR COMICS during the Christmas break–a new issues of ALL-STAR was always a welcome sight, as I was totally in the can for the Justice Society of America. It’s got a pretty basic Wally Wood cover–by this point, Wood was pretty much the whole show on this series, but as this issue would point out, it seemed as though he was getting a bit bored with it all.

Poor Power Girl is such a new creation that she didn’t even rate a proper logo–look at that thing! This is also the issue where Wood’s little “joke” hit its maximum expression–after having been asked to rework Power Girl’s costume so that her boob window was removed, Wood (either playfully or willfully depending on who you ask) made it a point of rendering her bust size larger and larger with each passing issue as payback. Here’s the point where Kara’s boobs got larger than her head. It’s probably a good thing for her, even with Kryptonian super-strength, that this turned out to be Wood’s final issue as artist.

Wood (who plotted this issue as well as drew it) doesn’t seem especially interested in any of the characters other than the Golden Age Superman and Power Girl, so while we do get business with them all, it’s relatively slight. The story picks up where the last one left off, with Superman and Power Girl imprisoned by Vandal Savage. They break free of their cage, only to fight a running battle with Vandal’s forces to recapture them–a battle aided by the fact that they’re no longer on Earth at all, but rather an alien world whose green Kryptonite-infused suns reduce the pair’s powers.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Flash has freed the imprisoned King Arthur, and then begins a fruitless search through all of time for the missing Superman and Power Girl. And in the present, Green lantern stands atop a building and broods about his upcoming bankruptcy until he is interrupted by the arrival of a visitor with a piercing stare. More on this next issue.

Back on teh alien world, Vandal Savage hooks Power Girl up to a device that allows him to siphon off her strength, and he goes out to punch out Superman–his ultimate goal is to drain the Man of Steel’s vitality to prolong his own eternal life. While he does so, the true Merlin (impersonated by Savage last issue) is able to free Hawkman. He gives Carter Hall a gun, telling him that his wings were destroyed by Vandal (!!!) Nevertheless, Hawkman makes his escape, aided by his gravity-defying belt of Nth metal.

Hawkman locates and rescues the imprisoned Star-Spangled Kid, who uses his Cosmic Converter Belt to first whip Hawkman up a new pair of wings and then some protective attire for Superman, shielding him from the weakening rays of the green sun. I don’t know that this would really work, it’s the absence of yellow sun rays that would be depleting Superman as much as anything, but whatever. Now the Golden Age Superman is ready to open up a can of whup-ass on Vandal.

Vandal’s whole plan is going to hell at this point, as the Kid rescues Power Girl as well, cutting off the source of his strength. A depleted Vandal’s robot servitors swarm the Man of Steel, giving Wood a chance to hit one of his favorite visuals and have Superman topple pillars in the manner of Samson, bringing down the roof. But Vandal himself escapes, drawn through a warp by several shadowy figures. And then the issue closes with Wildcat back at JSA HQ, who is ambushed by the Icicle and a mesmerized Hourman, as the Injustice Society begins its attack on the team. And then, Wood was gone.

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