Back to getting non-serious and non-controversial for now. It'll be no surprise to a lot of you that I've spent quite some time lately on eBay, buying up some cool stuff I haven't seen anywhere else. One of those things is a series about a DC Comics badguy I didn't think was too terribly interesting: Kobra.
Y'see, I've heard about him and seen him in some issues of Mark Waid's Flash run circa #100, but he seemed like just a generic bad guy in charge of a generic bad guy organization. It was Marvel Comics' HYDRA organization done sideways. Blah. At least Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker had that cool Satan Claw and that death-spore virus to make him passably interesting beyond being Supreme Hydra.
Recently, I started hearing rumblings of what Kobra was like before the modern era. Something about twin brothers, one good and one evil. Sounded cheesy, but definitely in a good way. Turns out KOBRA, the series, ran seven issues between 1977 and 1978, and folded as result of the DC Implosion at the time (same one that halted books like STEEL, MAN-BAT, and my personal favorite, FIRESTORM). The first issue even has plot and art by Jack "King" Kirby. It's about this twentysomething named Jason Burr who discovers a brother he never knew he had--Kobra, who's head of an international crime cartel, and one of the most dangerous men alive, besides.
The trick of the characters was that as result of some sort of bizarre accident, Burr and Kobra shared some kind of physiological link which enabled them to share pain. Whatever befell Burr, Kobra would share in the agony. In other words, Kobra couldn't kill Burr without, most assuredly, killing himself. It was a truly unique setup back in the day, and it should have succeeded. I still haven't read the stories--I have them sitting in front of me since I'm missing three of the issues (well, two of the regular and a special edition that published what would have been the eighth issue). But I'm wondering how dismal the execution could have been so that not only was the title canceled, but the story that would have been the eighth issue featured the death of Jason Burr, while Kobra stayed alive! It's amazing to me that the trick of the series proper that should have given it its lifeblood was destroyed so quickly. Could Kobra himself really have been that intriguing? I'm doubting.
Anyone have some thoughts on this? Seeing things the same way I am? Please, respond, 'cause I'd love to hear some comments.