So, when last we left Dan, he’d just been through events that led him to dealings with new villain Shockwave and also the questionably-vehicled S.T.A.R. Labs, who were creating a super-kryptonite they’d really rather that Super-guy not find out about.
But Shockwave was assigned to steal the stuff, and now we know who by: Metallo! The Man with the Kryptonite Heart! I think we can guess what he wants to do with it.
But first, Dan is being analyzed, as promised by Klyburn, by the equipment at S.T.A.R. and it clarifies something of what happened: he was bonded to the suit, but it wasn’t exactly made plain ol’ devilflesh (can that ever be “plain ol'”?). X-rays (or similarly penetrative visuals) show that there’s still circuitry underlying the whole thing.
But that’s of little concern to Metallo, whose frustration with Shockwave seems mildly misplaced in light of his henchmen, who have missed their classes on basic firearm safety, and possibly the line where folks were passed functional brains. Still, all of this does indicate that sending others to do your work etc etc, and he decides to break in himself.
But Metallo and Shockwave aren’t the only folks we get to check in on!
Norm and Sharon (after only a silent, single-frame appearance last issue) moved onward, story-wise. Sharon reveals that Dan told her how the suit’s bonding was most upsetting as a result of his crush on her, and so she feels she needs to go and support him, at least in return for the fact that he, y’know, saved her life. Least she can do is try and make sure he knows that she doesn’t hate him as a human being (or…a whatever).
Meanwhile, Marla’s conscience, already teetering last issue over the legal concerns Jock Verner showed, decides to flex her artistic muscle and threaten Verner (gosh, I wonder if we should read anything into the fact that he’s always drawn in shadow???) if he doesn’t get up off Danny’s blue junk.
Speaking of Danny’s blue junk…
Paris goes to the trouble to illustrate a lot of interesting bits with how the Devil’s being analyzed at S.T.A.R., where he first appears in just his Devil-Briefs™, which seemed weird to me considering he basically wears a vest attached (I thought!) to them. No, it turns out he wears a vest with split ends (maybe that’s not a vest, then? I don’t know what that does make it) that he tucks into his Devil-Briefs (oh, of course.)
Because Dan foolishly agreed to be analyzed at the place Shockwave had tried to rob, he’s really in for it, and gets promptly trounced with a blast from Metallo. However, we learn something new about Blue Devil and how he responds to something like a shot to the chest:
(Dig that last shot where Dan seems to be wiggling his fingers menacingly to threaten the Metallo henchmen, who are helpfully labeled with an “M” to clarify their allegiance)
Dan’s revival allows him to gain the upper hand (there’s a terrible pun here somewhere, as he destroys Metallo’s “mighty hand”), while also using appropriate sound effects to force more henchmen to acquiesce to his desire for them to…cease.
Metallo, it seems, talks too much, though (or maybe Dan read the cover?) and he finds out the appropriate way to stop him quite readily:
Some guy in blue and red shows up (too late to do anything important!), and Devil hopes that Supes is gonna give him some useful info on how he might find out how to get out of the suit. Probably because magical research is not really the smartest plan for Clark, he mentions that occult power isn’t his area, but he might know someone who can help.
He also asks why on earth S.T.A.R. was devising super-kryptonite at all, and Klyburn convincingly explains that it’s totally not about Superman or anything:
Being pre-Crisis, I can only assume this is the manifestation of one of Clark’s heretofore unmentioned superpowers: super-gullibility.
Wayne-Watch: Where is Wayne? We want Wayne! Why, we were without Wayne for a while now!