Kobra #4, Aug-Sept 1976. "Brother's Keeper -- Brother's Killer" Written by Martin Pasko, layouts by Pat Gabriele, finishes by Lowell Anderson, lettered by Ben Oda, colored by Liz Berube, edited by Gerry Conway, cover by Joe Kubert.
In the Andes of Peru, Kobra leads an archaeological expedition. His men carry crates of their findings to the ark. Suddenly, a meteor plummets from the sky (unbeknownst to all it has been dropped from a massive alien vessel orbiting Earth). Kobra recognizes it as an "ovoid," which is confirmed when the landed ovoid bursts open to reveal another Servitor (like the one in issue #1). Kobra attempts to disarm the Servitor, which his men have attacked, but to no avail! The Servitor concentrates on Kobra, dropping the cylinder it was carrying.
The bolt of energy striking Kobra is also felt by his twin brother, Jason Burr, who is in class.
Meanwhile, the cylinder begins to chitter like a small insect, rising in volume. Then, the Servitor takes to the air as Kobra orders his men to shoot at the robot's face-grille. That stops the robot, which Kobra's men chain up and haul towards the ark.
In New York, Burr's sympathetic pains are enough that he's leaving class, his girlfriend, Melissa, following.
In the Andes, Kobra is surprised when the cylinder the Servotor was carrying begins to speak of him, demanding the return of the ovoid, which manufactures the Servitors (which surprises Kobra). Back in NY, Jason takes some painkillers, and tries to talk to Melissa about the events of last issue (she'd said something to Kobra that "flipped him out"), but Mel doesn't want to talk about it.
Three hours later, Kobra's ark returns to Manhattan, landing invisibly on a rooftop. The cylinder asks Kobra if they are going to the pod (ovoid) now, but Kobra wants to get information from it first. He orders his men to take the cylinder (an "Illandian") to Chamber D.
Meanwhile, Jason returns to his dorm, where he's surprised by a man with a turban, who easily judo flips Jason aside when he attacks, thinking the man is one of Kobra's men. The man tells Jason he's India's U.N. delegate, named Randu Singh, and he fears Kobra is preparing to war on India, and he needs Jason's help to stop it.
At Kobra's HQ, the cylinder demonstrates how the pods can manufacture Servitors. Kobra tells the Illandian that he'd gladly give up the pod, but there are evil men who whould not allow him to leave Earth with it. The Illandian demands that Kobra tell him of these men, but Kobra's had enough of talking to a cylinder, and demands to see the alien's true form. The cylinder pops open, and a blue-skinned alien with two heads and four arms steps out. At Kobra's surprise upon seeing it, the Illandian explains his race reproduces by cellular fission, and they are near the time of spawning. Kobra figures that if he could experiment on the alien, he could find a way to sever the symbio-link between himself and Jason Burr. Kobra's just about to tell the alien who the "evil one" is...
...but by that time, Randu Singh has found Kobra through "The Eye of Kharma," and knows Kobra will next strike at an airport... Kennedy International. As Lt. Perez is awaiting the takeoff of his plane on a long-awaited vacation, Kobra's ark appears, and the two Servitors, along with Kobra and his men, emerge from the ark, and attack, tearing the plane apart, and capturing Perez. Meanwhile, Singh and Burr get into a taxi and are on their way. Singh points out to Burr that he could end the threat of Kobra by comitting the ultimate sacrifice... but before the argument can continue, they arrive to see the Servitors attacking. Singh counsels that they leave, as they can't do anything, but Burr says that Kobra is his brother, and his worry. Kobra tells Burr to stay out of it, but Jason says Kobra can't do anything to him without harming himself, but Kobra is willing to risk harm to himself if it means ridding himself of Burr!
Meanwhile, the alien realizes Kobra was lying to him/them, and decide to use their powers to surround Kobra and Burr in a ring of fire as the two begin to battle. Jason finds out that Kobra knew Melissa once, years ago, and demands to know where she is. A kick to Kobra's stomach takes the two of them out of action for a few moments, as the Illandian re-enters his canister, and signals its vessel, which sends a beam of energy to envelop the two Servitors in an ovoid, which is then lifted up by the starship and away.
Kobra, angered at Burr for spoiling his plans, strikes Burr, feeling the pain himself as Burr falls unconscious. The fire wall disperses, and Randu finds Jason laying on the runway as Kobra and his men flee. The two also find Perez, who has been crushed to death. Jason recalls Kobra had said something about a "Project R" before he fell unconcious, and he starts to wonder if making the "ultimate sacrifice" is such a crazy idea after all.
I've got a trio of interesting ads from this issue, leading off with this truly strange one... Bob Kane, creator of Batman, wrote a song and had it recorded... and decided to sell it through the comics, with a bonus offer of an autographed photo of Bob in the TV Batmobile. Did anyone even buy this thing?
Now, this ad is a bit less bizarre... "Comic Book Savers," which appear to have been comic bags designed to fit in a binder... or maybe the binder had the bags built in or something like that...
Of course, one can only assume that this was the beginning of the back-issue craze, which today ensures that you can't find many comics from the 60's and 70's real cheap, with few exceptions... I'm kidding! But this did feature the phrase "ultra-valuable DC collectors classics" -- oh, yeah, like Kobra maybe?
Realistically, the coolest thing about this was the stickers you got to customize your binders with.
Remember the tabloids ad from an issue or two ago? I decided that this time around, it'd be nice to featur an ad for a single tabloid... "Superman Salues the Bicentennial", or DC's answer to Marvel Comics' "Captain America's Bicentennial Battles!" (kidding!)
Now, I've never seen this particular book, but judging from the ad, it appears Superman serves mostly as a narrator in this one.
He probably got more on-panel time in the second tabloid advertised here, the JLA one. This featured two -- count 'em, two -- JLA spectaculars within its pages, and no, I don't know if either or both stories were new or were reprints (and if they were reprints, which issues they reprinted).
As with all the other ads on these pages, if you've got any of these things in your collection, why don't you take a picture of yourself with them, get it scanned, and e-mail it to me at email@example.com along with any story you might have about how you got it? There's a very good chance that if you do, I'll add it to these pages, and you'll have at least a few seconds of your "15 minutes of fame!"
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