Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Atom & Hawkman #42

Atom & Hawkman #42 (On Sale: February 4, 1969) has a great cover by Joe Kubert.

"When Gods Make Madness" is by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. In this joint Atom and Hawkman story, Carter Hall and Ray Palmer are leaving a scientists' convention in Midway City, when they are attacked by a man with a tear gas grenade, which knocks out Carter. The Atom attacks him, but is startled to find the enemy is Carter's double. This man disappears in the symbol of Shiva, Hindu god of destruction.

Hawkman and the Atom jet to India, but their flight is attacked en route by locusts, and the pilot, another Carter Hall double, must crashland in India. Hawkgirl joins them there, and they are attacked by Brahma, god of light. The trio is overwhelmed by the faceless Nether-Man, and they are brought before Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, god of restoration.

Shiva explains that eons ago the three gods ruled, until a cosmic upheaval sent them to another astral plane. Later, they found a warp to a limbo in which dwelt souls between life and death. The Nether-Men came back to Earth with them, seeking their former worshipers. When they could not find them, Shiva vowed to create chaos to prove his power and punish mankind, just at the time the Halls were in the country. The god used Carter's face as a model for the Nether-Men for use in infiltration and spying, and also hypnotized Vishnu while he stole Brahma's sight and sanity.

The captive Atom disappears, apparently destroyed; Hawkman and Hawkgirl attack. She blinds Shiva, but is in turn restrained by Vishnu, and the Nether-Men knock out Hawkman. Atom reappears and removes Brahma's blindfold; the god then returns the Nether-Men and his fellow gods to the nether- dimension. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

No comments: