Heroes Inc – Summaries of Issues 7 to 11

26 January, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, Summaries of Issues Seven through Eleven (September 1963 – March 1964)

Issue 7: Challenge of the Grand Master
Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Rebel, Kid Comic (full members), Askar the Untamed, Jet-Man (probationary members). First Appearance: The Blue Archer, Plasma-Man.

Villains: The Animal Farm.

First organization meeting of Heroes Inc., Blue Archer and Plasma-Man are introduced, Jack Diamond (aka Playboy) is confirmed as team leader. The Heroes are called into save Wall Street as the NY Stock Exchange trading floor is under attack by the Animal Farm. The heroes arrive and after a close battle, defeat the Animal Farm who are then spirited away. A black chess king is left behind for Jack with a note reading, “Next time, I will win. The Grandmaster.”

Issue 8: Escape from Checkmate
Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Rebel (full members), 54-40, Doctor Unknown, Jet-Man (probationary members).

Villains: Grandmaster, Infamy Inc, and the Vivisector.

The issue opens with the characters in small cells reflecting on how they were ambushed at a public ceremony by Infamy Inc and captured (flashback to ambush). Oxen, leader of the Animal Farm, comes and talks with Jack. Jack promises to help Animal Farm escape their dependence on the Grandmaster in exchange for helping Heroes Inc escape. The Heroes escape, regain their equipment and confront most of Infamy Inc (capturing three of the four members) and the Vivisector (a Nazi scientist now working for the Soviets) but the Grandmaster escapes. The Heroes emerge on 22 November to find that JFK has been shot in Dallas.(1)

-Interlude- Jan 1st, The first Rebel television special airs with guest stars Ann Bancroft, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Ernie Kovacs(2), Sophia Loren, and Anna Meridian.

Issue 9: Heroes Inc no more? and Diamonds
Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Askar the Untamed, Blue Archer, the Human Jackrabbit, Kid Comic, Plasma-Man (all full members).

Villains: The Mind Mistress, her Sycophant and her Janissaries.

Part 1: Heroes Inc no More? President Lyndon Johnson has temporarily revoked all Government charters for superheroes, LBJ wants to draft heroes as the US did in WW2. Jack is appointed to the Warren commission as their ‘expert on paranormal capabilities.’ The other heroes gather at the Heroes Inc base to discus what to do and end up going bowling and then having a session in the practice room.
Part 2: Diamonds. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) has pushed through the Superhero Samaritan Act (SuSA) and LBJ has, grudgingly, restored Heroes Inc charter. The Heroes attend the opening of DeBeers ‘Diamonds Now and Forever’ exhibit. The heroes stop Mind Mistress and her thugs from robbing the exhibit and capture all the criminals.

-Interlude- Feb 6th, Black Label Cigarettes presents ‘The Rebel Variety Hour‘ as it premiers in a weekly Thursday nighttime slot.
Feb 7th, Beatles arrive in the US to mass hysteria. 25,000 fans greet plane at JFK airport.

Fashion!Issue 10: Fear of Fashion
Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Askar the Untamed, Blue Archer, Kid Comic, Plasma-Man (all full members).

Villains: The Mad Mod and Modern Crimes (Big Wig, Runway and the Mannikan).

The Heroes are invited to a charity fashion show and, of course, accept. Capt. Marcus Grimm, USAF, is assigned to work as the Government’s liaison to Heroes Inc and arrives. The fashion show is interrupted by the Mad Mod and Modern Crimes after a furious battle (which our heroes almost lose) Jack philosophically confronts the Mad Mod and he retreats with his team.

Issue 11: Dead Man’s Hand
Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Askar the Untamed, the Human Jackrabbit, Kid Comic (all full members). First Appearance: Lt. Steel.

Villains: The Hand of Glory and assorted demonic entities.

The Blue Archer leaves the team to move to San Francisco.  Lt Steel of the US Army’s Special Equipment Division, is assigned to assist the team.  Heroes Inc is called in by the Chief of the NYPD, there has been an alarming rise in the rate of domestic violence leading to murder.  Several of the people involved, including one mind scanned by Mentus (one of Kid Comic’s forms), reported seeing a spectral image of a dark hand with each finger tipped by a burning wick before they went into a murderous rage.  Jack took the team to Scotland in his private jet to consult with the Duke of Sterling (a sorcerer, who Jack had met during WW2).  Then they returned to NYC, investigated a building sight for a new subway where they fought several dark creatures and saw the creature bearing the Hand of Glory who is behind the violence.   The characters were contacted by Doctor Unknown, who let them know that the Hand fed on fear and that he was slowly using wards to trap it.  The Duke sent a box to contain the Hand.  Heroes Inc confronted the Hand, were sucked into the realm of nightmare, freed themselves, and finally defeated the Hand (saving the life of Kitty Genovese (3) in the process).

Flip back to Issue Six.

Onward to summaries of Issues 12-15!

Or Sideways in time to Annual Zero

Back to Heroes Inc Roll Call.

Notes: (1) It was important to have the heroes sidelined during the Kennedy assassination for a variety of reasons, conspiracy theories and others, thus their capture and imprisonment here. (2) In the Heroes Inc timeline Ernie Kovacs was not killed in an accident on an wet road in California in 1962 and went on to work with Rebel and others.  (3) The Murder of Kitty Genovese being quite a cause célèbre in our world.

I do not recall why I did not do full writeups of these games but such is life . . .

Photo: Group of minidresses designed by John Bates for Jean Varon, mid-late 1960s, including a fluorescent green micro-mini. Exhibited at the Fashion Museum, Bath, 2006.  Source Flickr by Dani Lurle and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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