Thursday, January 7, 2021

Blue Devil Two By Two 2

Looking back, and picking up where we left off a while back, more coverage of that movie stuntman turned super hero, the Blue Devil!  

(If you missed the previous column, go read it quickly here, and come back!)

Throwing a little more joy into the world with more coverage of a superhero who has fun!


Get Me Out Of Here

To be fair, things didn't start out as fun for Dan Cassidy after being trapped in his Blue Devil suit by the demon Nebiros, but Dan was making the best of it in Blue Devil #2 (July, 1984) by Gary Cohn, Dan Mishkin, Paris Cullins and Gary Martin (with a cover by Paris Cullins... 

...which was slightly misrepresentative... 

...but more on that later).

New villain Shockwave was breaking into S.T.A.R. Labs in Metropolis, as stuntman mystically into his enhanced exoskeleton Dan Cassidy was also dealing with the crowds in Metropolis.  As Blue Devil (which he is all the time now), Dan drew quite a bit of attention, as well as caved an old couple from a mugging.  While in California, his friend, Marla Bloom took him to a doctor, but there was nothing an ordinary doctor could do for Dan.  

So, Dan headed out to Metropolis to check on his investment properties, and while there, earned the ire of the studio head (as Dan was filmed as Blue Devil, messing with the promotion for the upcoming movie release).  While talking with Marla via phone, Shockwave came down Dan's street, wrecking Dan's building....forcing Blue Devil to take super heroic action to stop the destructive super-strong villain.  

While fighting Shockwave, Dr. Jenet Klyburn of S.T.A.R. Labs approached Dan, letting him know that Shockwave stole a new form of "super" Kryptonite from the lab, and that they need him to stop Shockwave from getting away with it and using it on Superman (and, thinking to herself she doesn't want Superman to know of it).  The battle was being televised, forcing Mr. Verner to call Marla, threatening action as Dan was showcasing the Blue Devil before planned marketing (with Marla calling lawyers herself to take action).  

The battle continued, with Dan eventually getting the super Kryptonite away from Shockwave just as he was about to escape with minions of his employer.  Giving it to Dr. Klyburn, Dan asked her if S.T.A.R. Labs could help get him out of the suit.  Then, Blue Devil was approached by the worse menace of all...a lawyer!  Marla had an injunction filed against Dan, to prevent him from appearing as Blue Devil (but, again, Dan is stuck in the suit!!!).  

This issue especially shows the influence of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko on some of Paris Cullins' work!

Heart Of Stone

For a previous issue that tried to make the main villain a bit of a secret, this cover of Blue Devil #3 (August, 1984) featuring Metallo didn't do the greatest job of that (but what a great Paris Cullins cover it was, and to be fair, the previous issue both referred to Superman foe, Metallo, in the next issue blurb and on the letters' page).  But, back to the issue by Gary Cohn, Dan Mishkin, Paris Cullins and Gary Martin.

Blue Devil was at S.T.A.R. Labs, being investigated, probed and scanned by the scientists there (much to the uncomfort of Dan Cassidy, stuck in the suit), while Metallo was chewing out Shockwave for not getting the super Kryptonite, vowing to go to S.T.A.R. Labs and take it himself!  

Meanwhile, at WGBS news, anchorman Clark Kent learned of the Blue Devil/Shockwave battle, and of S.T.A.R. Labs' super Kryptonite.  Meanwhile, back in California, Marla Bloom goes at Mr. Verner for the injunction against Dan, and actress Sharon Scott gets on a plane to go to Metropolis to support Dan (who, via flashback, we know had revealed his feelings for her, but that the relationship can't go anywhere while he is in the suit).  

With the tests completed at S.T.A.R. Labs, Dan was getting ready to wait for the results with Dr. Klyburn, as Metallo and his minions arrived and attacked!  Blue Devil goes to stop them, and is taken out by Metallo's henchmen, Smithers and Rojek, before he faces Metallo (who does get the super Kryptonite).  Superman is on his way...but, doesn't go in the building as Metallo activates his new power source (bathing the whole building in Kryptonite radiation).  As the two comedic henchman take Blue Devil's body to their saucer so Metallo can experiment on him later, Dan recovers, and takes them out.  

Dan puts his super suit through its paces taking out all of Metallo's henchmen and freeing the captive S.T.A.R. scientists, all while Superman can only observe from a distance.  Blue Devil finally faces Metallo, taking out his new Kryptonite heart, so Dr. Klyburn can encase it in lead....allowing Superman to save Blue Devil from the last two of Metallo's henchmen.  

As Sharon arrives in Metropolis, Superman lets Blue Devil know a little of Metallo's history (giving Dan pause, as thought Metallo was just a robot, not a man with his own grafted on super-suit requiring Kryptonite as a power source).  Superman is concerned that S.T.A.R. Labs is developing their own Kryptonite (which Jenet says was to use against Phantom Zone villains should they attack when Superman is not around....).  

Superman lets Blue Devil know he was impressed by his actions, and, with Dr. Klyburn saying there is little S.T.A.R. Labs can do to help, Superman volunteers to take Dan to someone who knows more about magic and demons than he, and they leave, just as Sharon arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs.

The next issue cover lets you know who Superman's magic expert is, and, later installments will cover this, as well as later fun filled (and as of yet, uncollected) issues of Blue Devil, with the life and friends of Dan Cassidy!

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