INTERNATIONAL SEA DEVILS
Membership: Brad, Miguel, Molo, Petey Eldridge, Sikki, others unnamed
Base of Operations: a giant undersea statue of Neptimus
First Appearance: Sea Devils #22 (March-April, 1965)
History: (Sea Devils #22) - The Sea Devils created the International Sea Devils organization, skin sea-faring adventurers from around the world dedicated to fighting injustice in the seven seas and bringing knowledge of life underwater to all mankind. The Sea Devils created a giant statue of Neptimus, first of the skin divers, to serve as a meeting place. Sikki, a member of the Indian Sea Devils team reported a battle between the mysterious Captain X and Man-Fish, who could transform himself into any type of aquatic life that threatened to rock the seven seas with terror. The American Sea Devils, accompanied by Sikki, headed towards Ceylon, the last place the combatants had been spotted. Dane watched his team, and worried that their flaws would tear them apart. Dane tried to give the team a pep talk when Captain X’s sub appeared, and he warned the Sea Devils to stay out of his business. He fired a steel net around their deep-sea submersible the Crab, but they were rescued by Man-Fish. Dane went off solo in pursuit of Captain X, and learned that he was his long lost father John. Radiation from his sub kept him from leaving it, and he’d accidentally given Man-Fish his powers. Man-Fish thought the coral jade belonging to sea monster Horro could restore his humanity, but X warned Dane that Horro would rain destruction down on mankind if awoken. Man-Fish convinced the rest of the Sea Devils to help him steal the coral jade from Horro. Man-Fish woke Horro, who quickly defeated him and attacked the Indian coast until Captain X , Sikki and Dane retaliated and forced him to flee. X and Man-Fish went their separate ways, but the Sea Devils were split in their loyalties. Dane wanted to find a cure that would let his dad leave his sub, and the rest of the team were still awestruck by Man-Fish.
(Sea Devils #23) - The International Sea Devil Brad called a meeting when an automated weapons control capsule meant to detect undersea earthquakes sunk off the British Isles had been tampered with, supposedly by maelstroms and a kraken. Molo and some other International members thought it was hooey, but the Sea Devils had experienced legends of the sea and weren’t able to discount sea monsters being responsible. The Sea Devils and the International team made their way to the Hebrides Islands on the Flying Fish hydrofoil to investigate, but a maelstrom sucked them into the underwater lair of shipping magnate Aristides Krono. He explained that he followed all the superstitions of the sea, and felt his business success was due to his ancestor Neptimus, the first skin diver, whose wrecked ship had been undisturbed until the weapon capsule landed on it. He’d created the kraken and maelstrom to keep anyone from disturbing the wreck, and locked up the Devils in a prison. They escaped, but as they swam away Krono shot yellow mist at them that made them believe their worst fears were coming true. The Devils panicked, thinking they were now outcasts of the sea, and let the International team fall back into Krono’s clutches. The Devils were too afraid to return to sea, but they started arguing bitterly with each other, and realized destroying their bond was actually their worst fear. The Devils rescued their International team, and animated their headquarters, the giant statue of Neptimus, to speak to Krono and convince him to stop following superstitions.
(Sea Devils #24) -Dane used a radio frequency to contact Captain X, wanting to spend time with his father, but X told him he was being pursued by Man-Fish. Dane told the Sea Devils he was off on a solo mission, not wanting to reveal his relationship with X. Dane discovered Captain X’s sub had been flooded, and there was no sign of his father. He thought Man-Fish must have killed his dad, and promised vengeance. He called a meeting of the International Sea Devils, and they agreed to help him hunt Man-Fish, but didn’t understand his burning need for revenge. The used X’s sub to travel, and found Man-Fish entering a coral cave, and despite Judy’s objection that Man-Fish deserved a trial Dane collapsed the cave. A giant crab monster emerged, and the Sea Devils mistook it for Man-Fish in one of his guises. They clashed repeatedly with the monster, and Dane made it clear he’d sacrifice his friend’s lives to kill it. The Sea Devils were ready to revolt, especially the International team, who had fewer ties to Dane, so Dane pulled a gun on them, but Biff socked him and wrestled away the firearm. The Sea Devils all abandoned ship except for Dane, who refused to leave. He discovered Captain X in the sub’s torpedo, he’d hidden there to duck Man-Fish. The sea monster had been hounded by Dane long enough, and tried to destroy the sub, but the real man-Fish appeared and battled the monster, with their fight plunging them both into a deep-sea canyon. Dane bid his father farewell, and apologized to the Sea Devils and the International team for his madness. They forgave him, telling Dane they were nothing without him.
(Sea Devils #25) -The Sea Devils helped a young man who was being chased by a skin-diver with a spear gun. The boy was Jose Cantral, who was fleeing El Supremo, a fascist leader of a small South American country bordering his own. Supremo was trying to steal his country’s oil rights, and he came to the Sea devils seeking help. The Sea Devils were unsure about engaging in international politics, but they assembled the International Sea devils, and put it to a vote. The International team sided with Jose, so they made their way to South America inside Neptimus. As they drew near Nicky took Jose out scuba-diving, being thrilled that he had someone his own age to talk to. El Supremo attacked them with crocodiles with land mines around their necks, and the resulting explosions knocked out Nicks, and he washed ashore in South America. International Sea Devil Miguel, from El Supremo’s country, seemingly betrayed the Sea devils, and handed control of Neptimus over to Supremo. Jose’s people decided to make Nicky the leader of their revolution, but when the Sea Devils met up with him they asked for a chance to peacefully resolve the conflict, not wanting to start all-out war. They used the Crab to sneak into Supremo’s country, but were captured and placed inside Volcano Man, a giant statue that filled up with lava when a nearby volcano erupted. Miguel saved them, he’d only pretended to betray them to gain Supremo’s trust, and together they overthrew the dictator and united the people of both nations. Nicky thought being a revolutionary was swell, but he knew he belonged with the Sea Devils, so he handed over the reigns to Jose.
(Sea Devils #27) - The Sea Devils started the Sea Devil Scuba School, and had many eager applicants, who they dubbed the Tadpoles. The top Tadpole was Petey Eldridge, and the Sea Devils considered making him a part of their International team, especially after he saved Dane from a giant angler-fish. The Devils inducted him, and showed him their secret treasures, including a sub-sea museum of ancient shipwrecks, and a depository of rare minerals that they gave to countries according to need. The Sea Devils were soon attacked by a sub that stole the minerals, and later contended with the Micro-Monsters, plankton grown to titanic proportions, and Dane wondered if Petey was connected to these events. He followed him home and learned that he’d been feeding information to his brother Roy Eldridge and his boss Von Shlager. Roy had convinced Petey that he’d once fought Dane and survived an explosion that scarred his face, and desperately needed money for plastic surgery, which was how he convinced his kid brother to infiltrate the Sea Devils. In truth he needed money for Shlager, who used the minerals to construct a plankton-expander that created the Micro-Monsters, and he planned to use his beasts to ransom the seaports of various nations. Shlager shot at Petey when he learned he’d been duped, but Roy took the bullet for him. Shlager fled in his sub, and used his Micro-Monsters to attack an English Liner. Petey joined the Sea Devils and the Internationals team, and Petey, hating his betrayal of his friends, risked his life to injure a giant diatom that almost killed Dane and Judy. The injured diatom lashed out and destroyed Shlager. The Sea Devils blasted away the last of the Micro-Monsters, and for his bravery and repentance they let Petey stay in the International team.
(Sea Devils #28) - Professor Rend and his Manosaur abducted Judy, but the International team responded, alongside the Sea Devils and Man-Fish arrived to save them. Dane risked his life to save Judy, and was carried off by the Manosaur. Man-Fish promised Judy he’d save him, but secretly planned to let Dane die so he’d have no competition for her affections. The Manosaur proved too much for Man-Fish, but the timely arrival of Captain X allowed Dane to go free, and the Sea Devils and their International team used underwater grenades to kill the Manosaur.
(Sea Devils #29) - The Sea Devils and an oceanography professor investigated a newly formed fissure in the sea floor when their bathysphere was captured by an undersea vessel. Nicky escaped, but the rest of them were brought to the undersea kingdom of the Golden people. Their queen, the Golden Goddess, chose Dane as her king, and ordered the others put to death. Nicky arrived with the International Sea Devils and Neptimus in the nick of time to save them. They escaped the kingdom just as the fissure in the ocean closed up, sealing off the world of the Golden people again.
(Sea Devils #30) - Aliens constructed a giant gorilla energy image and put Man Fish in their thrall in a bid to conquer Earth. Dane called up the International Sea Devils, and in Neptimus they drove off the aliens.
Comments: Created by Bob Haney? & Howard Purcell.
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