1st Issue Special had its share of ‘So Bad It’s Good’ issues (see Dingbats of Danger Street), but this one is purely ‘So Bad I Can’t Even Begin to Look for the Ironic Humour’. It’s so bad that I’ve lost a degree of respect for everyone involved, especially Steve Skeates. Skeates wrote some of my favourite stories, but this one would make Charlie Droople reconsider his comic book obsession. This comic has the look and feel of something that was rejected at Marvel, and then later rejected at Atlas-Seaboard only to wind up at DC where someone must have had some very dirty pictures of their boss.
The real problem here is that the Assassin (or is his full name actually Code Name: Assassin?) is generic with a capital ‘G’. From his costume, to his powers, to his origin, it seems like no comic book cliché was left unturned. I can forgive much of this series as well intentioned kitsch, but this one is guilty of showing zero imagination. Let’s look at a few obvious prerequisites for a stale 70s superhero concept.
Yup, he wants to bring down the mob because it killed his sister. After the death of his parents, Assassin was raised by his caring and intelligent sister. I guess her intelligence had its limits, as she took a job working for the mob to help him through college. Bald men need to be screamed at because they simply do not understand the special bond between a sister and a brother.
This is the lazy writer's way of coping with a half-baked idea. If you leave the whole ‘powers’ issue a bit open-ended, you can always throw in something new when necessity dictates. His very original origin reveals that as a college student, Assassin was strong-armed into volunteering for an experiment. An explosion at the lab gave him his power, man. As far as I can tell, his powers include reading minds, rapid healing, air walking (that’s what those ribbons of colour on the cover indicated) and some sort of death dealing mental blast.
Déjà vu Rogues Gallery
After Assassin takes out of some his underlings, the mob boss hires Cobra and Mr. Hyde… I’m sorry I meant to say Snake and Powerhouse. These two demonstrate their powers by making mince meat of some mod henchmen. Unfortunately (or perhaps mercifully) the issue ends just as Assassin is about to lock horns with these two baddies. It must have been quite the fight as none of them was heard from again.
Verdict: Luckily, it was a single issue special
Groovin' Back In the Summer Time: June 1978
3 days ago