Friday, September 5, 2008

black orchid...

Here are Adventure Comics 428, 429 & 430, featuring the character Black Orchid. Black Orchid is a pretty cool character, designed to fit to be kind of a superhero and kind of a mystery/horror figure with a real sort of pyschedelic/romantic element. Almost nothing about the character is really explained. She had a vague origin and set of abilities. It is not even entirely clear who exactly she is, often she disguises herself as other people for extended periods of time. Created by writer Sheldon Mayer and artist Tony DeZuniga, Black Orchid proved to be the perfect bridge between the pseudo-horror/action "Adventurer's Club" stories in "Adventure Comics" and the subsequent Spectre stories, which were more straight horror with a superhero element. After these three issues of "Adventure," Black Orchid had a run in "the Phantom Stranger," which I'll put later, and in the 1980s was briefly a member of the Suicide Squad (covered pretty extensively during Negative Pleasure's Deadshot phase) before being given the Neil Gaiman/Vertigo treatment. She had her own ongoing series from 1993 to 1995.

428, cover by Bob Oksner...

Written by Sheldon Mayer, art by Tony DeZuniga...



Backup "Dr. Thirteen" story by Steve Skeates & Tony DeZuniga...

429, cover by Bob Oksner...

Story by Sheldon Mayer & Tony DeZuniga...



430, cover by Bob Oksner...

Story by Mayer & DeZuniga...



These issues were edited by Joe Orlando. Doctor Thirteen, the backup story from issue 428, was a regular in the Phantom Stranger series. A professional skeptic, he'd show up at the scene of seemingly supernatural happenings to look for a rational explanation to them, often putting him at odds with the Phantom Stranger (more on him in the weeks to come) and his gang of travelling hipsters (ah, the 1970s)...

Next up- the Spectre!

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