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Review: Adventure Comics #415

Cover Bob Oksner

Adventure Comics #415
Published and © by DC, February 1972

Title: “The Space Pirates!”
Synopsis: Space pirates plan to destroy the Earth but first their commander hopes to force Linda Danvers to be his bride.

Writer: John Albano
Penciler: Win Mortimer
Inker: Bob Oksner

Review: Written today, this lead story might offer an interesting meditation on the relationship between oppression and power. Those elements are present here, but only superficially. Instead, readers get a simple tale about an intergalactic creeper kidnapping “beautiful Earthling” Linda Danvers. Unfortunately for him, she turns out to be a Kryptonian.

•••

Title: “A-Man: The Hero With Animal Powers”
Synopsis: Animal Man recounts his origin before breaking up a nefarious plot that aims to use sound-controlled animals for criminal purposes.

Writer: Dave Wood
Penciler: Carmine Infantino
Inker: George Roussos

Review: This reprint from Strange Adventures #190 offers a nice recap of Animal Man’s origin, with kinetic art from Carmine Infantino.

•••

Title: “Like a Death’s-Head in the Sky!”
Synopsis: Supergirl must stop a crazed nuclear scientist who stows away on a weapons platform intent on launching a first strike.

Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Bob Oksner

Review: A slight story with a melodramatic ending but, dang, Bob Oksner draws a cute Supergirl.

•••

Title: “Kill – or Be Killed”
Synopsis: Zatanna and her manager/paramour Jeff Sloane return from another dimension and must stop Zatara from conquering Earth.

Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Gray Morrow

Review: It might be Zatanna’s mustachioed manager, but this backup story has the most of-its-time feel of this issue’s four features. 

Grade (for the entire issue): B+

Cool factor: A pair of Supergirl stories, a little Zatanna, an early Animal Man reprint and that disturbing Bob Oksner cover. Yes, please!

Notable: The “Super Fe-Mail” letters page includes an LoC from future DC “Answer Man” Bob Rozakis.

Character quotable: “We are outcasts! Men without a planet … and I grow lonely for the companionship of a female.” – Space pirate commander, intergalactic incel

Editor’s note: This review was written May 10, 2024.

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