DEATH FROM ABOVE, BELOW, AND BEYOND ON THE . . .
DANGER TRAIL! Is a secret agent mini-series comic book published by DC Comics in 1993. It stars King Faraday and Sarge Steel – the two top secret agents in the DC universe and features the return of Kobra a criminal mastermind and would-be world conqueror. The four-issue mini-series was written by Len Wein, penciled by Carmine Infantino, inked by Frank McLaughlin, with covers by Paul Gulacy. That is four aces in anyone’s book!
Our hero – King Faraday – is an American secret agent whose adventures first appeared in 1950 – predating the appearance of James Bond. Nevertheless, the two of them are cut from the same cloth in terms of bravery, derring-do, and girls! His first name is actually King. His father named him that as a joke because of the phrase “king for-a-day.” With a sick father no one wonder he became a secret agent. King possesses no superhuman abilities but is a highly trained espionage agent, expert in demolitions and hand-to-hand combat, weapons master and marksman, and he likes girls!
King works for the Central Bureau of Intelligence and his chief is Sarge Steel. Sarge is another long-standing hero in the DC universe and he is their answer to Nick Fury so it was nice seeing him here even if it is as just the chief.
PROFESSOR GREGOR MENDEKOV
When the Central Bureau of Intelligence receives word that Natalia Sokoloff – the assistant of an abducted nuclear physicist is in possession of sensitive information – King Faraday is sent to Russia to rescue her and retrieve the information. The danger involved is that the abductor is Kobra – one of the most insidious super-villains ever to stalk the planet with a massive secret army and covert organization at his disposal. His plan is to turn what could be a great boon to mankind into a weapon for mass destruction and personal gain. It’s up to Faraday to get the girl to safety, render Kobra’s threat harmless, rescue the captured scientist and destroy Kobra’s organization. All in a day’s work for America’s premier secret agent King Faraday! Did I mention that he likes girls?
- Unfortunately, after eighty years of secret agent adventures we have seen it all before. This is also how I’m beginning to feel about the James Bond movies. Whether it is helicopters, or speedboats, or the Eiffel Tower, I’m left with a feeling of been there done that.
- The mini-series is drawn by Carmine Infantino. If the name is unfamiliar to you for shame. Not only does he go way back in comic book lore he was the co-creator of the Barry Allen Flash. This guy can draw anything and has! What is especially wonderful in this case is that he is also one of the co-creators of King Faraday. He is drawing his baby and it shows.
- They take a ride on the Orient Express! Wow! I have a thing for trains and most especially the Orient Express. And King and Natalia actually go on it and it has never looked better. Nicely done. Thank you!
- I like King Faraday! Now I have seen a ton of secret agents come and go believe me. Most are pale imitations of James Bond and the rest are generally forgettable. It’s rare when you get a Derek Flint, Matt Helm, Harry Palmer, or Lorraine Broughton. Now King at first seems like an imitation Bond until you realize that he predates Bond by four years. He is also more laid back, more I-don’t-give-a-damn, and a tad funnier than Mister Bond. In other words he is very American and I liked that.
- Did I mention he likes girls?
Do I recommend this mini-series? Yes, I do! If you like non-super-hero comic adventures this one is terrific. If you like wisecracking tough guy heroes then check this one out. If you like secret agent stuff then this is for you. Is it award-winning comics? Nope. Is it fun and enjoyable? Yes it is!
On our rating scale I give this one Four Gray Geeks.
Okay my peoples it is time to say adios! I thank you for spending some time with me I truly appreciate it. I love it when we get together and I am sad to see you go. Until next time may the wind ever be in your sails and may no tear ever touch your cheek.
Hasta la vista!
I did mention he likes girls.