So last week I wrote about not buying up random issues just because they’re “cool” looking or might be “interesting”, yet the allure of a .25 (or 5 for a dollar) comic is a strong one. When I was flipping through the umpteenth copy of SuperPro #2 or some Malibu POS, I found this bad boy, and I had to make an exception:
It was Super-Villian Team Up #17, featuring The Red Skull, Arnim Zola, and The Hate Monger worshipping the Cosmic Cube. I’d always been curious about The Hate Monger, and this was my opportunity to see him in action, so I relented and I bought the issue.
The crux of the story is that The Red Skull has stolen the last AIM scientist to work on the original Cosmic Cube, and is looking to use him (the scientist is hilariously named George Clinton, so I instantly see AIM in the Parlaiment Funkadelic) in order to build a NEW Cosmic Cube. They hope to accomplish this by using some sort of mind-sucking device to use combined brainpower to produce some omnipotent “element X”, or somesuch nonsense, that gives the Cube its power. This includes one Yousaf, whose sister is working with SHIELD to infiltrate the Skull’s lair.
Eventually it dawns on Red Skull that once the cube is finished, he and The Hate Monger will no longer by allies but rather enemies looking to ascend to power as the ruler of the fourth reich. The Hate Monger recounts his origin to his creator, Arnim Zola (complete with belly-face), for the benefit of the readers only, and tells us that he’s a clone of Hitler after Zola convinced him to use some sort of machine to project his brainwaves out of his body after The (Android) Human Torch killed him in World War II (an established piece of Marvel world history). Why, after projecting his mind outward, he’d still have a clone of Hitler’s body and not, say, one of the Aryan ubermensches he was so gung ho about is beyond me, but regardless, we have a Hitler clone running around in a purple KKK outfit with a big ol’ H on the front – he looks like Hawkeye after a few years of bad choices. The SHIELD agents eventually storm the place, and Red Skull uses the unfinished cosmic cube to trap Hitler’s mindwaves, end scene.
The upside to this quarter bin find is that it’s a really fun book (if you can look past the questionable use of Hitler as a super villain) and it’s worth well over a quarter, fetching somewhere between $3 and $14. And with only 19 total issues (17 regular issues – the one I have is the ragin’ climax, and there are 2 Giant Sizes), combined with the fact I already owned 1 or 2 in my youth (gotta dig those up), and I might get the complete run somewhere along the line. A good quarter bin find, in my opinion.