[Superman Fan Club] Presents: Challenge of the Secret Society of Super-Fans!
Welcome to Week 4 of a very special challenge / contest , reading one single issue a week (as they are digitally published that is) of THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS (1976) #1-14.
This time around: THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #4, as we continue to feature the first appearances of Darkseid and the New Gods / 4th World for the first time since Kirby left DC in the mid-70s!
To join the [Superman Fan Club] (and enjoy the chic benefits of membership such as direct messaging for club members only and our occasional audio Discord [Superman Fan Club] chats), click here: Click Here to Join the Superman Fan Club
And be sure keep an eye out for our once a month first Thursday evening of the month Listen A Long of the classic 1940’s Superman Radio Show adventures (in the Watchalong aisle). The next one is planned for Thursday October 6th!
To start, it was really great to see a Stan Lee cameo in this issue! Now onto the questions:
I think that the Flash Rogues are usually thrown into teams like this for a reason. Outside of Grodd, they aren’t really about conquering the world, so you can throw them into these big villain groups like glorified henchmen. Also, most of them are just average criminals with fancy gimmicks. That makes them slightly more relatable than tyrant masterminds like Sinestro. Yet, they still fit in the colorful world of superheroes vs. supervillains in a way that some of the Bat-villains wouldn’t match the tone of. So, yeah, Flash Rogues are generally a good choice to fill out the ranks of your supervillain group.
I think Hal should’ve hit him with the ole boxing glove construct. That would’ve done the trick. The energy blast really played into Mantis’ hand. In the end, I get that Mantis had enough will power energy to suck the remaining power from Hal’s ring. However, I have to figure there was a point before that where Hal should’ve realized that he messed up and changed tactics. You live, you fight supervillains, you learn, I guess…
Ummm… neither were stellar, really. Far be it from me to criticize anyone else’s art. Mine is really bad. However, Jack Kirby this was not. The writing didn’t exactly sweep me off my feet either, but I did like the Mantis trick with the GL energy and I thought David Kraft did a relatively good job writing Darkseid’s dialogue (which can be hard to do without making it ridiculous). So, I guess I give a slight edge to the writing.
No. No Super Cars… Only Death…
Edit: I posted that and then remembered that in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle, The Black Racer took the form of a car.
So… technically, I guess I did spot a flying super car…
I totally forgot about the Black Racer’s appearance in Seven Soldiers: Mr Miracle! Now I’ll have to go back and check that as is my wont in these threads LOL, plus I’ll take another gander today at a real nice hard cover archive I have of one of the volumes the Seven Soldiers of Victory from the 1940s (there just aren’t enough cowboy superheroes, don’t you agree?).
I was also amused to see Funky Flashman appear or as you say “Stan Lee,” especially after your comment earlier that that’s probably where Mantis got his henchmen from.
There’s something strangely bad about the artwork hopefully only in the specific issue that I’ll plan to highlight later, in the coming days. It was definitely done by committee, but I suspect someone just crassly cut out heads from other comic strips and pasted them in here as well.
Do it! Mister Miracle is probably my favorite miniseries out of Seven Soldiers.
The moment that really solidified my love for (Golden Age) Vigilante was his serenade from the first chapter of his film serial series:
It starts about 1:09 in. But, yeah, there’s a lot of unexplored potential in a cowboy troubadour superhero. I also wish DCUI would digitize the Golden Age Seven Soldiers appearances.
As petty as the Funky Flashman’s character is, I’ve always loved the fact that he’s supposed to be Stan. There’s a lot to unpack from how Kirby characterized him in his first appearance in Mister Miracle issue 6. Funky exists as proof that there were hard feeling between the two comic legends after Kirby first left Marvel. I’m glad he stuck around for a while after Kirby left DC.
I’m hopeful that, based on the two hardcover volumes of this series that you can buy having all the issues including #16 and #17 as well as the one you mentioned here, that all these goodies will be digitized.
Speaking of the Seven Soldiers of Victory and Vigilante, I was a little surprised and perhaps even embarrassed to realize that the issue that marks the return of the Seven Soldiers of Victory to modern DC Comics in the Bronze Age is an issue I own, but didn’t even know it was in the issue… the main feature must have clouded my brain all these decades…
This is actually an unused script from the early 40s by Joe Samashon that was supposed to be in Leading Comics #15 (July 1945) until the decision was made to change from Seven Soldiers of Victory over to funny animal stories.