All-American 98 – Green Lantern competes against the Sportsmaster, and Dr. Mid-Nite vs the Sky Raider

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The Sportsmaster, last seen a few months earlier in the pages of Green Lantern, returns to challenge the hero in a story by Kanigher and Toth in All-American 98 (June 1948).

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The story opens in the Gotham City Athletic Club, where a man named Corck makes an unusual bet that neither hockey team will win the game they are playing that evening.

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Alan Scott is a member of the Club, and was there when the bet was placed.  He saw Corck face to face, but does not connect him with the Sportsmaster, which is really sort of ridiculous.  It is easy for the reader to tell they are the same man.  But Green Lantern is surprised to hear that the Sportsmaster is on the loose.

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Corck continues to place his bets against anyone winning competitions, while the Sportsmaster keeps sabotaging sporting events.

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The Sportsmaster challenges Green Lantern to a series of athletic games, and the Lantern agrees.  They prove fairly equally matched, although Green Lantern winds up having to deal with various traps that Sportsmaster has set up.  The last contest takes place in a pool.  The Sportsmaster and Green Lantern fight underwater, and the villain escapes through the open drain.

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When Corck shows up with the imprint of Green Lantern’s ring on his jaw, the Lantern is able to finally identify him as the villain.  Aside from the silliness of not recognizing the villain he has faced before, this is a decent tale, with very good art.

The Sportsmaster returns in the pages of All-Star Comics, as a member of the Injustice Society.

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Dr. Mid-Nite gets one of his better villains in this story by Rudolph Palais.  The only real drawback to the tale is its brevity.  The Sky Raider uses a flying dogsled, and looks like a Mongol raider dressed as Santa Claus.

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He pulls off some impressive aerial crimes, and has a gun that sprays a quick hardening plastic, which he uses to trap Dr. Mid-Nite.  The action is fast and furious.  Mid-Nite guesses that the sled is kept in the air by helium, and deduces Sky Raider’s identity by checking out helium purchases.  He shows up at the man’s lair, while Sky Raider still thinks that Dr. Mid-Nite is dead at the bottom of the lake.  A blackout bomb, and Mid-Nite takes down the Sky Raider and his ersatz Mongol horde.

 

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