Kobra #5, Nov-Dec 1976. "The Eye of the Serpent!" Written by Martin Pasko, art by Rick Buckler & Frank McLaughlin, colored by Clar Gafford, lettered by Ben Oda, edited by Paul Levitz, cover by Buckler & McLaughlin.
San Francisco: Kobra's ark floats invisibly above the Golden Gate Bridge as Kobra listens to surveillance of Jason Burr. Burr (still in New York) tells Randu Singh that Melissa's been missing for months, and he's going crazy. Kobra is amused that Burr still grieves for her. Kobra instructs Sarwan, his hnechman, to keep an eye on Burr, as he is the only one who can interfere with his mission.
Operation Chrysoplae is in progress, and soon, so shall Project R, which pleases Kobra. However, his pleasure is short-lived as Burr tells Singh that maybe he was right, that he should sacrifice himself to stop Kobra... but stop him from doing what? Kobra promises to crush Jason as soon as he is free of the link that binds them.
Meanwhile, in the city below, detective Johnny Double is secretly watching a client of his, who claims she's on bail from a manslaughter rap. When Double investigated, he learned that the man his client supposedly killed didn't have a birth certificate or any other trace... as though he never existed. Double now sees his client with a man who appears to be the "victim" of the killing, alive and well!
Double figures he's on a wild-goose chance, and starts to follow the two in the cab he borrowed from a friend when someone flags him down, telling him to take him to California and Grant. After dropping off his fare, Double decides to get back to his client, until he spots the man's briefcase still in the back. Realizing the sensitive digital meter in the cab went crazy when the man entered, Double figures there's a bomb in the case, and drives the cab like mad towards the nearest pier, dumping the cab into the water just before it explodes. Double notices a strange symbol on the remains of the case... the mark of Kobra!
Meanwhile, at Kobra's ark, Kobra is informed that Double has escaped the trap. Kobra's operative at the scene spies on Double as he approaches the building he'd just dropped off his fare at. Double breaks in, and as he's about to investigate further, three of Kobra's men jump him, but Double downs them easily. A fourth tries to shoot him, but Double gets him first before entering an elevator, which takes him to an upper level, where he finds a computer center. Double tries to get some answers out of the computer, but every question he asks is answered by another question. On a different monitor, some photos and data are being displayed, which Double takes pictures of before leaving, including data referring to "Operation: Crysopylae." From the information he does get, Double assumes that the CIA is involved and trying to kill him.
At his office, Double contacts a friend, Harry, to ask about Lt. Ricardo Perez (whom he saw a listing for on the computer), and learns that Perez was really CIA, assigned to investigate Horst Buchner, a hitman whom Kobra killed back in issue #1. Another contact tells Johnny his sources indicate it had something to do with cobras. Double then calls an third contact at the CIA, who tells him Double's in big trouble, and they'd better meet, but first he gives Double Jason Burr's phone number.
Double calls Burr, and tells him to meet him in San Francisco. The next day, there's heavy traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge, stranding Johnny Double in his car. This jam has been caused by Kobra's men, who follow Double as he heads to the Martial Arts Cinema in Chinatown, where he's to meet his CIA contact. Johnny finds his contact, but the man's been shot, and if Double's not careful, he'll be next!
Meanwhile, in NY, Burr struggles to get on a plane to SF, manipulated by Kobra henchmen into taking a flight on a smaller airline. Back in SF, Double tries to stop the gunman, knocking him out. However, Double then faces two more of Kobra's men, pointing guns in his direction. Double takes them out and flees the scene, catching a convenient cable car, where he runs into Kobra himself! Kobra dislodges the streetcar from the cable, and sends the car rolling downhill backwards, out of control!
Back in NY, Burr enters a small airplane, unaware that the pilot is one of Kobra's men! In SF, Double kicks at Kobra, which angers the villain, but Kobra decides to catch the anti-grav beam back to the ark, and let Double deal with the runaway cable car on his own. At the last possible second, Double leaps from the car, being knocked unconscious when he hits the pavement, making him unaware that Kobra's caught him in the anti-grav beam.
Several hours later, on the plane, Burr notices the engines are on fire, and the plane begins to plummet towards the Oregon wilderness. Meanwhile, Double regains consciousness to find that he's been tied to the Golden Gate Bridge itself (note: "chrysopylae" is Greek for "golden gate), below a solar panel which will cause his demise, and shortly after that, Kobra will then cause an earthquake in SF, destroying the city... in 20 minutes!
A big ad starts off the ads of the issue, with this two-page spread promoting CBS' Saturday Morning programming. Who can forget watching classic Warner Brothers cartoons for an hour and a half each morning, followed by Filmation's excellent Tarzan series (probably the most accurate interpretation of Lord Greystoke outside the comic strips ever), then a whole hour of live-action superheroes, with Isis, starring the sexy Joanna Cameron, followed by Shazam, which I don't recall who played the Big Red Cheese at the time (there were two or three different actors in the tights as the show progressed). then, Ark II, a really cool SF show that deserved much more success, followed by Clue Club (CBS' lame attempt at recapturing the audience they lost when ABC snapped up Scooby-Doo), Fat Albert, Way Out Games, and the CBS Children's Film Festivval! That was a solid 6 hours of Saturday AM shows!
So, what's your hang-up? Posable life-size hang-ups with movable arms and legs were quite the rage for a while, and this is where it began, with the World's Finest heroes! I wanted to get these sooooo badly when I was a kid (and you can bet that I wouldn't put them into a pose like this one, which seems more suited for "The Ambiguously Gay Duo!"), but alas, I never did... If you want a slightly better look, open the picture in a new window.
If not, well, then, feast your eyes on the beauty below! If anything, the 1977 Super DC Calendar was even cooler than the first, with artwork by a line-up of some of DC's greatest artists! It's a shame DC isn't even considering reprinting the pictures from these as posters... in today's market, they'd kick butt, even if some of the characters are different than they were back then!
Last (but not least) is the inevitable NCG Enterprises ad, this time for Super Friends school supplies! You could get a superhero pencil sharpener, four book covers, a portfolio, a spiral-bound notebook, a note pad, pencil case, and ruler, all for $4.95! Geez, if only these things had been out when I was in grade school (I was in junior high at this point... bringing this kind of stuff to class just wouldn't have been "cool" you know). But wait, there's more stuff! Super Hero stamp albums, and a bat-copter!
Too much freakin' cool stuff here... and I don't own a single one of them. Do you? Really? Prove it! Come on, prove it! Take a picture of the stuff you've got from these ads, and make sure you're in the shot too, and e-mail a scan of it to me, along with a story about how you got it if you feel like it, and I'll add it to this page, making you the envy of all the netsurfers who cruise these pages!
In the meantime... close the window to get back to the index, okay?