Friday, 4 February 2011

The Mighty Isis #7. Snakes alive!

Mighty Isis #7, Serpenotep. A beautiful half-naked woman chained to a giant snake? I think I might be spotting an attempt to firm-up flagging sales
The Mighty Isis was, it seems, a 1970s TV show in the same vein as Wonder Woman although, as I never saw a single episode nor had even heard of it until I bought this comic, I can only assume it wasn't as celebrated or as popular as that venture. Upon Isis' TV excursion I can therefore pass no judgement but I can say that, given its TV tie-in nature, the comic's noticeably better than you'd expect.

From what I can make out, a woman called Andrea Thomas is in some way the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian battler of evil, known as Isis, and is continuing the good work here in the 20th Century. With her mix of physical and magical powers, she seems to be an amalgam of the aforementioned Wonder Woman and Zatanna.

But, despite her heroic ways, not everyone's a fan. Believing her to be behind Andrea Thomas' disappearance, a man called Rick Mason - who I assume to be Andrea Thomas' boyfriend - sets out to discover who Isis is and what she's about.

The quest leads him to the local museum where, after ignoring all warnings not to read aloud from an ancient text, he's promptly possessed by the original arch-enemy of the original Isis, an evil priest called Serpenotep who sets about turning everyone into snakes, while Isis sets about turning them back again. It all ends with a fight in the museum, in which Isis' modern understanding of the behaviour of gases and vacuums enables her to defeat him.

Or so it seems.

As we leave the museum, we see the face of Rick Mason trapped within one of its exhibits, implying that the man who now appears to be Rick Mason is in fact Serpenotep.

From the letters page, I gather the strip had something of an overhaul in the issues directly preceding this one, and most of this tale's really about Isis trying to work out just who she is. Is she Andrea Thomas? Is she the original Isis? I suppose there's a similarity to Mighty Thor #158-159 where our hero was trying to work out if he was really Thor or Don Blake.

In fairness, The Mighty Isis #7 isn't really on that level of either creative aspiration or achievement but the introduction of such internal conflict does lend a greater level of depth to proceedings than you might expect given the strip's TV cash-in provenance. I also like the fact that Isis has to keep inwardly chiding herself for talking down to mere mortals.

Sadly, these efforts to make Isis an interesting comic book character in her own right were all for naught, as the strip was cancelled after the very next issue. It's a shame as there was clearly potential for it to be an interesting strip. Still, I gather the girl's made multiple returns over the years, so perhaps it's a bit early to be shedding a tear over her just yet and, with her power of reincarnation, she's demonstrated that coming back from the dead really is her greatest power.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Wasn't very good but actress Joanna Cameron was a babe and a half.

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