Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday Comics: Storm: The Secret of the Nitron Rays

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues. Earlier installments can be found here.

Storm: The Secret of the Nitron Rays (1981) (part 2)
(Dutch: Het Geheim van de Nitronstralen)
Art by Don Lawrence & Script by Dick Matena

After the defeat of the Azurian fleet, the remaining Azurian colonists settle down to live together peacefully with humans. Human and Azurian children are educated together in some places. In one of these, Bitak, the girl found in the nitron caves, is at the center of some strange events. She's got telekinetic powers, apparently.

After he tells Storm, Modegai also reveals that she has a blood group rare among Azurians.He plans to visit the colony where she lives, but he is suddenly struck by a mysterious malady. Benjamin, Mordegai's assistant, is handily also a doctor. He blames it all on stress.

Storm and Ember head off the visit the colony for Mordegai, leaving the old man in Benjamin's hand, who makes some cryptic comments as they fly off.

Storm and Ember observe for themselves Bitak's powers. They plan to take her back with them so her abilities can to studied further. On the way back over the frozen sea, Bitak gets bored and decides she wants to see the moon again. Storm tells her that's impossible; the ship isn't made for that. Bitak doesn't take no for an answer:

Accelerating out the atmosphere, the three lose consciousness. Unguided, the ship is headed toward some asteroids at the Lagrange point. Luckily, they are spotted by an Azurian pirate ship hiding there. When the Storm and the others are brought aboard, Storm is recognized. The Azurians blame him for their current situation. One once to ransom him, but another decides to kill him--only to be stopped by Bitak's power:

The pirates decide Bitak is the real treasure. They put Storm and Ember back on the ship and send it toward Earth. When they try to contact Mordegai, they get Benjamin, He tells them Mordegai's condition has worsened--then tells his suboordinate an Azurian recon craft is approaching and it must be destroyed.

The fighters shoot down Storm and Ember's craft. They survive the crash, but have to walk a ways to civilization. There they are told that Benjamin had declared both of them dead, murdered by Azurian separatists, and was using that story to incite violence against Azurians.

Storm and Ember sneak into the strife-torn city by night.. They confront Benjamin who is in the act of administering poison to Mordegai. Once Balder finds the truth he's about the kill the traitor, but Benjamin bargains for his life and freedom in exchange for an antidote for Mordegai. Storm makes the deal.

Unfortunately, it's a trick. Benjamin escapes while Mordegai dies in agony after Storm administers the "antidote"--actually a fatal dose of poison.

Meanwhile,. Benjamin's craft has reached the Lagrange point. Suddenly, something pulls him off course...


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