Wednesday, September 24, 2008

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Strange Adventures #215

Strange Adventures #215 (On Sale: September 24, 1968) has a beautiful cover by Neal Adams. This is the second Deadman cover where our hero is depicted as a disembodies head superimposed over the action of the cover. Within a year Adams would perfect this style of cover on the revised Phantom Stranger book.

"A New Lease on Death" is written and drawn by Neal Adams. Neal really moves the basic plot line of the series forward with this issue, moving towards a redesign of the strip's premise. Continuing from last issue, Deadman tracks assassin Willie Smith to Hong Kong where he receives a new assignment. Deadman learns that the target is his own killer, Hook. Willie catches Hook and brings him before a Society of Assassins for which both killers work.

The leader of the assassins known as the Sensei accuses Hook of failing in his initiation assignment, the murder of Boston Brand. The killers believe Boston is still alive since Cleveland Brand has taken his brother's place at the circus.

Sensei then orders Hook's death. Deadman tries to intervene by taking control of Willie's body. However, the Sensei is able to defeat him and is immune to Dead man's powers of possession. Hook is killed and left behind, while the Sensei and the others leave. Deadman is contacted by Rama Kushna, but he feels no satisfaction in the fact that his killer is dead. Reprinted in Deadman #6.

The back-up story is "The Incredible Mutated Man" drawn by John Giunta. Since Giunta had not drawn anything for DC in five years I assume this is a reprint, but I don't know from where.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

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