Thursday, August 27, 2020

Kobra Two By Two The Second

Continuing Kobra coverage, with the next two issues of his short lived series from the 1970s, this time looking at the third and fourth issues of his run from the mind of Marty Pasko and an ever changing array of artists!


Vengeance In Ultra-Violet

Ernie Chan gave us the cover for Kobra #3 (June-July, 1976), with interiors by written by Martin Pasko, and art by Keith Giffen, Terry Austin and Dick Giordano, continuing the battle between Kobra and Solaris, as well as the duel between Kobra and Jason Burr!


The issue picks up where the last one left off, with Kobra and Jason falling to their doom over Montville....with Jason Burr being saved by NYPD Lt. Ricardo Perez.  But, Jason has to wonder....why he didn't die if he and Kobra are linked?  Perez calls to tell him they didn't find a body, and Jason and his girlfriend, Melissa they are surprised by Kobra!  Kobra came by to recruit Jason for help against which Jason reluctantly agrees.  

Readers also find our that Kobra and Melissa had a past, and she had thought him dead as well (though Jason doesn't directly find out of this).  At Kobra's Ark, Jason finds out of Kobra's research into Siamese twins, and how he is working to break their link as they arrive over Solaris' base, and begin their attack.  While the Cobra Cult keeps Solaris and his forces busy, Kobra and Jason break into Solaris' base, and Jason finds out about Natalie Crawford-Thomas (a young woman who Kobra fell for as he recovered in an English hospital when he was 18).  The pair fell in love (she was a notorious jewel thief), and their relationship ended when the police killed her during one of her robberies.  This inspired Kobra to return to his cult and turn them against the law (oh, and by the way, Natalie was a dead ringer for Melissa, other than hair color!)

Meanwhile, ex-NASA astro-physicist Clifton Lacey (the man now known as Solaris) was preparing to save the Heliotron (and waxing on about how he was fired from NASA by small minds who could not appreciate his genius).  Kobra and Jason take different routes to Solaris' main lair, and after Kobra kills Solaris, he tries to take the Heliotron.  Jason tries to stop him with the government super suit he mysteriously got to keep, but Lt. Perez shows up and destroys the Heliotron instead (Perez seemed to have a tracker in the suit). 

Kobra then explains he only wanted the Heliotron to help break the link between himself and Jason, and storms off.  Jason, frustrated, returns the suit to Perez, disgusted with him and suddenly seeing some nobility in his brother.

Though there was a next issue blurb in the issue, the letter's page proclaimed this the last issue of Kobra

Brother's Keeper -- Brother's Killer

A Joe Kubert cover for Kobra #4 (August-September, 1976, and #1 was supposed to have had a Kubert cover, but didn't) showed Kobra (and his comic) was still alive, with story by Martin Pasko, Pat Gabriele and Lowell Anderson, and a new scheme (and art team) for Kobra!

This time, Kobra is directing his cult to find ancient alien tech, when an Ovoid falls from the sky on them.  Previously, the Ovoid gave Kobra a Servitor (a giant robot) and this one did the same, but also had an alien Illandus (creators of the Servitors and Ovoids), which had two heads (though was evolving "up" to split into two beings).   In subduing the Servitor, Kobra was injured, the feelings of which where shared with his brother, Jason, who had to leave his Columbia business class because of the pain.  Jason was followed by Melissa, but Jason is still upset about the unknown past Melissa and Kobra seemed to have shared.  

Kobra takes the alien to his Manhattan base, as Jason returns to his college dorm....where Jason encounters an intruder in a turbin....which Jason quickly attacks and is thrown by.  The intruder is Randu Singh, a United Nations delegate from India, who was trying to convince the U.N. to help him and his country against Kobra (but they would take no action).  Instead, Randu looked to Jason for help (instead of his usual friend, Jason Blood and his demon, Etrigan...though this link is never mentioned in the Kobra title).  Back at Kobra's HQ, the alien explains that it is here to retrieve the Ovoid that Kobra got (which has now produced another Servitor as well).  The alien wants to collect it and go before "I/We" undergoes "the division" (splitting from his current form into two beings....which Kobra desperately wants to study in his lab).  

Meanwhile, Randu uses his extra sight (gained via "the Eye of Kharma"), to see that they need to go to the local airport.  At the airport, Lt. Perez is trying to head home to Lima, Peru, when his plane is attacked by Kobra's forces and the two Serivtors, with Kobra first blinding Perez with his venom, then having a Servitor crush him (to death!).  While on the way to the airport, Randu asked Jason is he is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice to stop they arrive and Jason confronts Kobra and his Servitors.  The alien, realizing Kobra had duped him, uses "his/their" power to encircle Kobra and Jason in flames, so they can battle privately, at least until the alien takes off with the Ovoid and the Servitors....infuriating Kobra to leave himself, leaving Jason and Randu with the broken airport and deceased Lt. Perez.

Not the best of ending points, but an interesting place to take a break, as now, it is established Kobra and his schemes are a part of the DC Universe, which later issues (and Kobra appearances) would expand upon!

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