Monday, November 30, 2020


NOVEMBER 6TH, 1976 - JANUARY 22ND, 1977
OCTOBER 30TH, 1978 - FEBRUARY 3RD, 1979
FEBRUARY 5TH, 1979 - JUNE 16TH, 1979
JUNE 18TH, 1979 - NOVEMBER 3RD, 1979
NOVEMBER 5TH, 1979 - JANUARY 2ND, 1980
By Al Williamson & Archie Goodwin

Corrigan's next mission (drawn by a fill-in artist) finds him dispatched to the Middle Eastern nation of Sumeran in an elaborate plot to "steal" a gem, one half of a pair, in a ploy to draw out the thieves who stole the other gem in order to get it back. He's partnered with Yahzid, bodyguard to Sumeran's prince, for the duration of the mission. They meet Madame Kohbra, the leader of a band of insurgents, and follow her into Sumeran's desert, where the ultimate showdown takes place between Corrigan and Yaz against Kohbra and her army. Corrigan of course wins, and Kohbra is branded a traitor by her own followers thanks to his duplicity.

Corrigan has wandered a few Middle Eastern deserts in the time I've been reading this strip, but this one may be my favorite such story. In a weird way, it feels like something Carl Barks might have come up with for the Disney Ducks, and that's something I can never complain about.

Friday, November 27, 2020


Written by Brandon Auman | Directed by Vinton Heuck

The Plot: Simon Williams visits Tony Stark in an attempt to stop Stark's hostile takeover of his company. But when Stark reveals he's now the majority shareholder of Williams Innovations, Williams storms out. Meanwhile Thor and Wasp battle AIM in the skies over Manhattan. At Avengers Mansion, Nick Fury visits Captain America. Elsewhere, Williams asks his brother, the Grim Reaper, for help in dealing with Stark. They go to an AIM facility, where MODOK invites Williams to become a test subject.

Fury takes Cap to SHIELD headquarters, Fury gives Cap his motorcycle from WOrld War II, which was passed down to him by his father, Jack Fury, and then promises Cap that SHIELD will always help him with anything he needs. Elswhere, Thor and Wasp have pursued the AIM agents back to their base. They raid the place, interrupting the Williams experiment. But Williams emerges, now made of ionic energy, and flies out of the base, straight for Stark Tower. Williams attacks Iron Man, but Ant-Man comes to his aid.

At AIM, Thor and Wasp continue their fight against MODOK, who kicks them out and seals the base, revealing it as a flying ship in which he escapes. Meanwhile, Giant-Man battles Williams in the streets of Manhattan, appealing to him as they go at it. Williams finally stops fighting, but when Iron Man shows up to continue the fight, Williams re-engages. Cap shows up, but Williams' body suddenly becomes unstable. Iron Man tries to help him with his arc reactor inside Stark Tower, but Williams fights back and disintegrates before he can be cured.

Later, after the Avengers have departed, the Echantress (accompanied by Baron Zemo and the Executioner) brings Williams back, and tasks him with destroying the Avengers.

Monday, November 23, 2020


NOVEMBER 6TH, 1976 - JANUARY 22ND, 1977
JANUARY 24TH, 1977 - JUNE 11TH, 1977
JUNE 13TH, 1977 - OCTOBER 1ST, 1977
OCTOBER 3RD, 1977 - FEBRUARY 4TH, 1978
FEBRUARY 6TH, 1978 - JULY 8TH, 1978
By Al Williamson & Archie Goodwin

Phil Corrigan closes out 1976 and enters '77 with a case that finds him summoned to Brayne Computer Industries, ostensibly to investigate a security breach. However when he arrives, Corrigan finds that the company's CEO, Amberson Brayne, fabricated the issue in order to set up a meeting with Corrigan. Brayne wants a new head of security, and he believes Corrigan fits the bill -- but Corrigan refuses the offer and leaves. Brayne, used to getting his way, bristles at this and brings in his second place candidates for the security job: industrial spy Satin Sherwood and mercenary Rip Tower. Whichever "destroys" Corrigan will get the security job.

Satin plans to ruin Corrigan's reputation and sets about framing him for stealing secrets from Brayne's factory -- but Rip simply wants to kill the guy, and Satin as well, to get the job. In the end, Corrigan and Satin team up to defeat Rip and bring down Brayne, with Satin suggesting that she may return to the straight-and-narrow thanks to the experience.

The story is typical Corrigan fare; well-written and beautifully drawn, but never feeling like there's any real danger for anybody involved. However, we do get an interesting explanation of exactly what Corrigan does for the FBI, here. He's described by Brayne's assistant, Huggins, as a "special troubleshooter" who goes on missions all over the place and typically works alone. This seems to be a case of Archie Goodwin explaining (very, very late in the game) why Corrigan feels more like James Bond or the Man from U.N.C.L.E. than your typical domestic FBI agent. And though it is a bit late to make the distinction, it's nonetheless appreciated.

Friday, November 20, 2020


Written by Kevin Burke & Chris Wyatt | Directed by Vinton Heuck

The Plot: The Avengers search for Hulk in the arctic, but instead find Captain America, frozen in suspended animation. They defrost him in their Quinjet en route home, and Cap flies into a rage, briefly fighting the group before leaping out of the jet into the water as it approaches New York. The Avengers go after Cap on Liberty Island, where he holds his own against them until Wasp helps him realize what has happened.

Meanwhile, in Hydra's secret island lair, Baron Zemo confronts Baron Strucker for leadership of Hydra -- but learning that Cap is back, Zemo leaves the organization to Strucker and departs to seek out Arnim Zola instead. Zola gives Zemo a treatment which apparently prolongs his life. Zola and Zemo then sic Zola's creation, Doughboy, on Liberty Island. Thor, Iron Man, and Ant-Man head out to stop the monster, while Wasp stays behind, trying to comfort Captain America. Another Doughboy invades Avengers Mansion, but Wasp defeats it --then Zemo shows himself, knocking Wasp out, and attacks his arch-enemy.

The two old foes duel, and when Zemo briefly gains the upper hand, Black Panther appears and saves Captain America. Cap then continues the fight, defeating Zemo, but the villain escapes with the aid of a bomb. Realizing that the Doughboys are vulnerable to Wasp's stings, Cap and Wasp quickly depart to aid the overwhelmed Avengers on Liberty Island. After Cap explains, Ant-Man and Iron Man team up to create an energy frequency that destroys the humongous Doughboy.

Back at Avengers Mansion, Tony Stark invites Cap to join the Avengers, and he accepts. Meanwhile, Zemo returns to Zola's lab to find the scientist unconscious, and the Enchantress and Executioner waiting for him with an offer.

Monday, November 16, 2020


DECEMBER 29TH, 1975 - MARCH 27TH, 1976
MARCH 29TH, 1976 - JULY 24TH, 1976
JULY 26TH, 1976 - NOVEMBER 6TH, 1976
By Al Williamson & Archie Goodwin

Notwithstanding Doctor Seven's giant robot, Corrigan's adventures have been as down-to-Earth as always since he returned from the lost world of dinosaurs in 1970. But here, in late '75, Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson have decided to throw Corrigan into an adventure that's as far from grounded as (in)humanly possible! In this one, Corrigan is assigned to recover a manuscript stolen from a literary museum. The author's great-granddaughter, Trisha St. Cloud, tags along with him as he conducts his investigation. At first, all seems straightforward; Corrigan deduces that one Professor McQueen masterminded the heist. But when Corrigan and Trisha catch up with McQueen aboard his chartered freighter down near the Arctic Sea, things get... weird.

It turns out that the manuscript details the true-life adventures of Trisha's great-grandfather, though no one has ever believed it. In the book, he and his fellow passengers are kidnapped from their boat and taken to a tropical island in the arctic inhabited by cavemen and aliens. Trisha's great-grandfather escaped and wrote his book, and McQueen found the diary of a sailor who got away with him, corroborating the story. Thus, McQueen now believes the aliens are real and wants their technology.

So naturally, the freighter is wrecked and Corrigan, Trisha, McQueen, and McQueen's henchman make it to the island. The last of the aliens shows himself, and reveals he's been contemplating destroying his ship since he will likely never escape Earth. When McQueen demands, at gunpoint, the ship's secrets, the alien tricks him into destroying it and the island instead. Corrigan and Trisha escape, but everyone else is killed.

Friday, November 13, 2020


Written by Brandon Auman | Directed by Sebastian Montes

The Plot: The Avengers stop the Mandrill from robbing a bank. Subsequently, the group meets with Tony Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts, to tour their new home, Avengers Mansion. The Avengers test out the facility's training room, then Iron Man briefs the team on the escaped villains.

That night, Hulk begins seeing visions of Bruce Banner, taunting him over his submissive position with the Avengers. Meanwhile, JARVIS informs Thor that there's an intruder in the mansion. "Banner", revealed as the Enchantress, pushes Hulk to attack Thor, but the Jade Gaint leaves instead. When Pepper tells Thor that he needs to find the Hulk, the Thunder God tracks him down in Manhattan and a fight breaks out between the two.

Elsewhere, Nick Fury meets with Tony Stark and tries to convince him that SHIELD wants to help the Avengers, but Stark doesn't agree. When word of the Thor/Hulk battle interrupts their meeting, Tony assembles the Avengers to break it up. Iron Man and Thor quickly realize that the Hulk has been enchanted, and when Hulk injures Wasp, he comes to his senses and leaps away. As soon as he departs, Enchantress and the Executioner ambush the remaining team members.

The Avengers find themselves on the defensive, but Banner convinces Hulk to return and help them. With his help, the group overcomes the villains, but they escape before the Avengers can capture them. Following the battle, Hulk maintains his desire to quit, and leaps away. As he rages somewhere in the arctic, he doesn't notice Captain America's frozen shield nearby.

Monday, November 9, 2020


MAY 13TH, 1974 - NOVEMBER 2RD, 1974
NOVEMBER 4TH, 1974 - FEBRUARY 15TH, 1975
FEBRUARY 17TH, 1975 - MAY 24TH, 1975
MAY 26TH, 1975 - AUGUST 30TH, 1975
By Al Williamson & Archie Goodwin

Corrigan's next adventure begins as he flies home from Dragon Island. When he lands in the U.S., a fellow passenger is attacked by a female vigilante, and Corrigan finds that the man was transporting heroin into the country. This leads our hero into in investigation of both the drug-running ring and the mysterious woman, who calls herself Lady Vengeance. But Corrigan is stalked by a mob assassin called the Dispatcher as he conducts his investigation.

This all sounds pretty intriguing, right? And on paper, I think it should be. But there's something off about the presentation. We learn halfway through the arc that Lady Vengeance is actually Michele Fortune, daughter of an assassinated mob boss who has teamed up with some of his old associates to tackle the syndicate with the aid of her father's incriminating diary. But Corrigan quickly (and far too easily) gets her to realize that she's basically a mosquito to the mob right now, and that if the FBI had the diary, they could do a lot more damage. So Michele happily agrees to turn the book over to Corrigan, and Lady Vengeance is never seen again after this point.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the Dispatcher is the one who killed Michele's father, so we probably have a big showdown between the two at the arc's climax, right? I mean, Goodwin and Williamson have shown capable women taking out bad guys before in this strip, so it wouldn't be unexpected. But that's not what happens here... instead, the Dispatcher and his henchman, Ajax, catch up with Corrigan and Michele, and the Dispatcher is killed by ricochets from Ajax's gun when they attempt a pincer maneuver, after which Corrigan easily dispatches Ajax and brings the arc to a perfunctory end.

Friday, November 6, 2020


Written by Christopher Yost | Directed by Vinton Heuck

The Plot: Graviton harasses Nick Fury above the East River, but Thor intervenes. The Raft falls back into the river as Wasp rescues Fury. Meanwhile, Iron Man crashes in a cornfield following his escape from the demolished Vault. He summons a new suit of armor to resume his journey. In New York, Thor continues his battle with Graviton, while elsewhere, the Hulk wanders into a diner with Leonard Samson. Seeing Thor's fight on TV, Hulk has an inner debate with Banner, which leads to him leaving for New York after extracting a promise from Banner that he will allow the Hulk to remain the Hulk going forward.

Graviton gains the upper hand on Thor and continues his search for Fury, but the Wasp intercepts him. He dispatches her easily, then Iron Man arrives -- only to be knocked into orbit by Graviton. Ant-Man turns into Giant-Man and joins the fray, but is also unable to make a difference. Graviton attempts to kill Fury, but the SHIELD commander is revealed as a robotic Life Model Decoy, with the real Fury watching from cover. Graviton next goes on after Manhattan, lifting the entire island into the sky. Thor reappears ant attacks again, causing Graviton to lose his concentration. Manhattan returns to Earth, and so does Iron Man.

As Graviton continues his rampage, Thor attacks again. Iron Man joins him, as do Giant-Man and Wasp. But the assembled heroes are still insufficient, until Hulk arrives. The Green Goliath proves stronger that Graviton's power and holds his own long enough for Ant-Man to distract the villain. The heroes team up and finally defeat Graviton. SHIELD immediately shows up to apprehend the Hulk, but the heroes stop them. Iron Man proposes that the group join together as a team, and Wasp christens the group, "the Avengers".

Monday, November 2, 2020


MAY 21ST, 1973 - AUGUST 18TH, 1973
AUGUST 20TH, 1973 - NOVEMBER 10TH, 1973
NOVEMBER 19TH, 1973 - FEBRUARY 7TH, 1974
FEBRUARY 9TH, 1974 - MAY 11TH, 1974
By Al Williamson & Archie Goodwin

At long, long last, as we begin this week, Corrigan delves into some of that inter-arc continuity that that strip has been missing. When last we left our intrepid FBI agent, he was in South America following his latest encounter with Doctor Seven. The next storyline opens with Corrigan still there, preparing to head home, when he's drugged at the airport by a pair of kidnappers who fly him to the Caribbean island of eccentric millionaire Sebastian Quint. Quint had abducted ten men of action for a "survival of the fittest" type of competition, to determine which of them will serve as host for his brain when he dies. But after the group is whittled down to the final four candidates, who Quint forces into a gladiatorial match, Corrigan rallies them to fight back together, and they escape.

From Quint's estate, Corrigan heads to civilization on a neighboring island, where he catches his flight home. But aboard the plane is a small-time crook, Slade, who our hero sent up the river some time back and who was in the Caribbean to lure an old associate, Granite, back to the U.S. for a big score. Panicking, Slade tries to bump Corrigan off upon their arrival in the U.S., but fails and is himself killed instead. This leads to Corrigan investigating Slade and learning that he was planning his robbery in the Southestern United States. Corrigan heads down there and matches wits with Granite and with Slade's widow, Amber. In the end, as expected, the G-Man is victorious.

Neither of these storylines sets my world on fire exactly, but they're both decent enough page-turners. However their very existence is enhanced greatly by the inter-arc momentum mentioned above. I know maybe this is weird, but that sort of thing really can elevate an otherwise pedestrian plot for me. Give me three adventures where the main character wraps everything up in a bow at the end, with a clean break between stories, and if the plots themselves aren't riveting, I'll call them mediocre and complain. But give me those exact same plots with threads running between and connecting them -- serializing them -- and I will sing their praises to the rooftops even if they actually are mediocre.