A pack of Soviet villains, plus a very-goofy-looking bad guy called The Griffin, have captured the Black Widow and buried the rest of the Champions in a windowless vault deep inside the San Andreas fault. The bad guys sneer that trying to break out of the vault will trigger an earthquake that will destroy Los Angeles, which doesn’t seem to bother Hercules at all, who promptly goes berserk (go Herc!)
While Ghost Rider and the rest of the Champions try to roll Hercules in a wet mattress, the Soviet bad guys go on a big exposition dump about the truth of the Crimson Dynamo’s origins. He’s got some father issues … and because the flashbacks are all set in the Soviet Union, there’s a lot of swearing by Lenin’s beard and railing against Capitalism. Bill Mantlo is as reliable a writer as Marvel ever had, but this script … yeesh. The Champions escape — through no effort of their own — then they punch it out with the bad guys and its over. Ladies and gentlemen — The Champions!
- Script: Bill Mantlo
- Pencils: Bob Hall
- Inks: Frank Giacoia
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FOOM #13 had a one-page feature spotlighting the work of students attending John Buscema’s School of Comic Book Artists.
What became of this next generation of talent, circa 1976?
Bob Hall went on to work for Marvel and DC Comics, enjoying a long run on Avengers in the 1980s, and turning in some of my favorite issues of Super-Villain Team-Up. He also worked for Valiant Comics in the 1990s.
Larry Mahlstedt went on to become an inker and cover artist for Marvel and DC.
Bob Downs became an inker for Marvel and DC, and I see he did some Ultraverse work, as well.
Mike J. McCann appears to have had no comics career, and he’s not the same as the Michael J. McCann who has enjoyed success as a crime novelist. Along with Charles Nanco and Josh Zissman, Mike appears lost to the mists of time!
Do you know more about Mike, Charles, and Josh (or any of the pros listed here?) Sound off, in comments, below!
See you soon for another FOOM Friday!