Astonishing Tales #17-18
Issue(s): Astonishing Tales #17, Astonishing Tales #18
Police liaison to SHIELD, Damian Link, is the brother of Joshua Link, and Joshua can possess Damian's mind and become Gemini (of the Zodiac, although that's never explicitly said here)(i guess it's obvious).
He steals the formula from SHIELD while Ka-Zar is visiting.
Gemini has the power of two men. That makes him 1/3rd lamer than 3-D Man, so he's gonna need some help. That help comes in the form of Ka-Zar's brother, the Plunderer (also lame) and also the alien Gog (pretty cool!).
I know i'm repeating scenes with those two panels, but i like 'em both. Art on these issues is cleaner and nicer looking than the previous two.
It turns out that Parnival Plunder rescued Gog after Spider-Man left him to drown in quicksand. Gog also gave Parnival a disc that created a mental link, allowing Parnival to control the big alien.
I really thought the disc was going to be the way Ka-Zar defeated Parnival, because there's those two panels of Parnival pointing to the disc and going yep, this is the disc that lets me control Gog. If anything were to happen to this disc, i couldn't control him. Here it is, sitting right here on my chest like a bullseye. Sure hope nothing happens to it.
But that turns out to be a red herring. Parnival instead loses control of Gog irregardless of the disc, and Gog goes on a big rampage, destroying the statue of liberty...
...and then climbing to the top of the twin towers...
...where he then teleports off into space.
Gemini and the Plunderer manage to run away during the confusion, but only after the good guys retrieve the serum.
While all of this is going on, we find an AIM scientist independently creating a super-soldier serum. A SHIELD agent shows up to try to stop him, and when AIM goons attack, he blows up the entire facility, killing himself.
But the scientist survives by taking the serum himself.
As we'll see in the next arc, the scientist will become the minor super-villain Victorius.
It probably says something about me that i enjoyed this simpler superhero story more than the past serious-issue stories. The story is decently told and i find the super-serum stuff gives the story a little more weight, and it's nice to see i guess the closest thing Ka-Zar has to a rogue's gallery with the Plunderer and Gog. I think i'd still rather get Ka-Zar back in the Savage Land but it's a fun pair of issues.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Time passes between this arc and issues #19-20, allowing for the appearance of Gemini in Avengers #120-124.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (8): show
FOOM#2 announced that Mike Royer would taking over on art, but evidently that didn't happen.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 31, 2013 5:20 PM
Any Explanation about why the policeman brother turned evil too?
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | December 22, 2014 8:08 PM
By Gemini's appearance in Astonishing Tales #17 we see that Joshua can actually possess Damian.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 22, 2014 8:18 PM
I think Plunderer should have stayed a pirate. At least 3D Man had different powers on each side of his body.
Posted by: david banes | December 23, 2014 12:28 AM
Isn't the damaged Statue of Liberty repaired in the opening of one of the next issues of "Avengers?" Or am I thinking of a different time the statue was damaged?
Posted by: Jeff | June 14, 2015 12:01 AM
No. you're right- it was in Avengers 113.
Posted by: Michael | June 14, 2015 8:53 AM
I must say I'm not fond of Parnival's pea-green variation of his Lucha Libre costume. It kinda makes him look like a minion of the Jolly Green Giant (Ho-Ho-Ho!). Still, it's good to see Gog again, although minus the odd speech bubbles.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | July 8, 2017 9:26 PM
Frank Chiaramonte's inks look much better on Dan Adkins' pencils than they did on Mike Ploog's, IMO (see Werewolf By Night #1 for comparison). Not all that much time has elapsed between these issues for Chiaramonte to have improved his craft so much, so this might suggest that Adkins' pencils here were tighter and more complete than Ploog's were on WBN #1. Some of the faces here are so close to Adkins' style, that to me they look like Adkins could have inked them himself. I was pretty critical of Chiaramonte on WBN #1 but these scans here have improved my opinion of him quite a bit. Whatever the case may be I agree that the art looks pretty good here. Adkins and Chiaramonte together made for a pretty decent combo.
Posted by: Holt | January 23, 2018 7:18 PM
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