I said we were returning to the Super Powers Collection, and here we are. Starting next time I’m going to begin a proper rotation based on the spreadsheet I’m putting together of all the minicomics I have access to, or plan to in the future. I’ll continue where I left off this time but unless a new minicomic series comes to my attention I’ll stick to that rotation. This also means I will be continuing series in their proper order that I haven’t already finished. So when we get to Masters Of The Universe we’ll be finishing off the illustrated booklet, and Princess Of Power will come after Masters instead of replacing it. I’ll still do a different series each month but you’ll notice a pattern to what’s selected.
However, I really wanted to get to my second favorite DC superhero, Firestorm, so we aren’t playing that game just yet. There’s just so much about Firestorm’s concept that I really like. You have two people formed into one being, one in control and the other giving advice, without all that messy possession problem ghosts and demons usually bring. He has the power of molecular alteration (except for organic matter, although some writers decide that’s a psychological block), can fly, has a cool costume design. My favorite team-up is Ronald Raymond and Professor Martin Stein, which is why I’m glad Justice League Action went with that instead of the current Raymond/Jason Rusch combination. No offense to Jason; he and Ronnie do make a good team. But this is the Firestorm I know and love. I wish I had an action figure of this version, but I haven’t been so lucky. So the internet has to find the comic for me.
Super Powers Collection #16
DC Comics/Kenner (1984)
ALSO FEATURING: Green Arrow, Superman, Delta Probe (vehicle), and Mantis
as usual, no credits given
Firestorm is helping Green Arrow test the Delta Probe when they get an interrupted distress call. Using his powers Firestorm converts the radio waves into bread crumbs because…even I’m at a loss. Don’t worry, though, this is the only questionable science…considering this is a sci-fi superhero story of course. The heroes trace the signal to New York and the Statue Of Liberty. At least it was.
Ignoring that “Darkseid” and “liberty” are rarely in the same sentence, this is a horrible defacing. And the culprit is a Darkseid minion (presumably given that he turned the Statue Of Liberty into the Statue Of Darkseid) is Mantis, a villain I know nothing about. Seriously, I’ve never seen this character before but he did get his own Super Powers figure so we will be seeing him again. He didn’t show up in Super Friends/Super Powers Team or any of the Justice League cartoons afterwards, including the current one so far.
He attacks the Delta Probe and Firestorm, the latter just getting his bearings long enough to convert part of the water into a raft to catch Green Arrow and the ship, and then goes after Mantis, who reveals more of Superman’s powers. Green Arrow uses a ladder arrow to reach the top of the Statue (even though there IS a staircase in the Statue itself and he didn’t use an escalator arrow) and helps with his blinding light arrow. Then Firestorm gets the idea to turn the copper of the statue to Kryptonite, figuring that if Mantis has Superman’s powers he also has Superman’s weakness. And he’s right. Meanwhile, Green Arrow comes across Mantis’ power pod, where Superman is trapped, Mantis using the pod to tap Superman’s powers. Superman traps Mantis in his own pod and puts him into the Probe’s Capture-Pod. After Firestorm turns the Kryptonite back to copper, and I would think restoring Lady Liberty’s head. That was more of a make-under for her.
This story makes good use of the limited space they had for these stories compared to some other minicomics. There’s only 13 pages and only room for maybe two or three panels per page–and that’s only if you count an insert as a panel. One disappointment I have is that Martin is never even mentioned, much less factors into the story. The professor is the brains of the outfit, which isn’t to say Ronnie isn’t smart, but it takes Martin’s knowledge to rearrange atomic structures because that’s how science works. Otherwise it’s practically Firestorm fighting a Kryptonian and holding his own with only a minor assist from Green Arrow, and I can get behind that.
Next in our rotation we check back in to the Mini-Cons and their larger friends as we finish off Transformers Armada in comic form, unless you count the Japanese minicomic. But that’s for another day.