Friday, December 22, 2017

An Odd Team Up

Super-Team Family Vol. 3 #12 (DC, August-September 1977, 60 cents)
"The Eternity Pursuit" Writer: Gerry Conway, Artists: Arvell M. Jones and Bill Draut, Letterer: Ben Oda, Colorist: Jerry Serpe.

This 30-page issue is "a new double-length novel" presenting Green Lantern and Hawkman plus the Atom. After a cover by Al Milgrom and Jack Abel, one might be disappointed by the interior art, but Jones and Draut, while unknown to me, do quite well. Not at all a drawback.

Nevertheless, it's an odd team up, and hardly the stuff of "family" as seen with the similarly named Batman and Superman titles of the time.  The three begin the issue in hyperspace, "that peculiar dimension between universes where nothing may travel at less than the speed of light."

Seeking Jean Loring, the Atom's fiancee, they are attacked by aliens, the Dhrune, there to subjugate the Aurians, who had somehow been weakened by Loring's "unnatural scream," able to tear the actual fabric of reality. Hawkman and the Atom search for Loring on the planet below while the Lantern goes to another planet. There, he finds a battle underway between the soldiers of Brewtus the Black Duke and Prince Simax, regent of Titan.

Captured, Hawkman and the Atom are imprisoned, where they meet an old woman. The Atom escapes, and on Titan, the Lantern is forced to fight Brewtus—but without his ring. He struggles, but, reclaiming his ring, succeeds—to return to find the Atom, Hawkman, and the Aurians now free of the Dhrune.

Taken to Titan to find a new home, the Aurians realize the danger posed by the swollen sun. They "pool their common mentality" to push the planet back into its original orbit. All is well, but Loring remains missing.

The issue also includes a one-page letter column and the three-page "How Hawkman Won His Wings," written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Joe Kubert, reprinted from the 1962 Brave and the Bold #42. This is a wonderful short piece, worth reading on its own!

Interestingly, this issue and #11 were reprinted in 2007 as Countdown Special: The Atom #1 to highlight key events that tied into the Countdown event, or Countdown to Final Crisis. Other specials featured the Flash, Kamandi, the New Gods, Eclipso, OMAC, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew, and Jimmy Olsen.

Availability: While this issue hasn't been collected per se, related Atom stories can be found in Showcase Presents: The Atom, Vol. 1 and four volumes of Countdown to Final Crisis (1, 2, 3, 4).

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