CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #11 March 1985 I've been very critical of the New 52. A lot of critics have been very quick to call it a disaster. To their credit, DC is sticking to its guns and standing behind a rewriting of the history of the DC Universe, throwing out a lot of continuity. I'm not the first person to draw comparisons to first time that DC tried something like this in 1985 with Crisis on Infinite Earths. There was criticism, too. In retrospect, DC let some personalities exert too much control and resist the changes to DC History, and didn't fully plot out how every aspect of the changes would play out. It was a valiant effort, though, but when DC had to try to fix the changes, everything that happened that had seemed so world-shattering just seemed kind of pointless in retrospect. That's why I'm content to ignore the New 52 for a while, because as is evident from the inconsistencies pointed out by many fans and critics, the time will come when DC will peddle back to fix the problems that their solution to so many problems caused.
SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #34 March 1985 For many fans my age, we grew up with the writing of Alan Moore. By "growing up" I mean that we literally learned of a new type of storytelling in comics from what he wrote for DC. Watchmen was a lot of people's introduction to his work, but where he was really introduced to America was in the pages of Saga of the Swamp Thing. Alan Moore took a character that was a stereotypical Swamp Monster that was on the path to being another super-hero at DC, albeit a weird one, and developed it into the type of comic that would influence comics for the next 25 years. It helped launch the Vertigo imprint at DC by bringing in readers that wanted more intelligent stories that defied the conventions of the comic book medium. Alan Moore showed us much of what comics are capable of, and at least in the United States, it started with the Swamp Thing. I contemplated starting with the issue where Swamp Thing learns that he is not Alec Holland, just a creature created by the swamp that thinks it used to be Alec Holland, or the annual that rooted Swamp Thing into the magical community of the DC Universe and redefined what that community was all about. Instead I went with an issue that taught me that a comic about a swamp monster could convey emotions other than fear and panic.
DC COMICS PRESENTS #87 November 1985 For this review, I selected a comic at random, to avoid a pattern developing in my reviews. Which brings us to the last year of DC Comics Presents, where the title crossed over with Crisis on Infinite Earths. DC was in the midst of changing their multiverse forever, and no one knew quite where everything would land. Just before this issue came out, readers of Crisis on Infinite Earths were shocked by the death of Supergirl, and the story flows into this comic, which feature the first appearance of Superboy from Earth Prime! SYNOPSIS: As the Crisis goes on, nature is in chaos affecting nearly everything. Meanwhile, Superman is on the surface of the moon, in a fit of grief over his cousin's death. At that moment, two aliens come flying by, and as operatives of the Superman Revenge Squad, hit Superman with a ray that apparently makes him vanish. Superman comes to his senses on the moon and flies back to Earth, but when he scans it with his telescopic vision realizes that he's been transported to Earth Prime, where all super-heroes are fictional characters. He then witnesses a teenage boy in a Superman costume take off into the sky.
TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #50 February 1985 I know this column is turning into an episode of "I love the 80's" but this was my childhood and so much of that decade was just plain good comics, and for the past 15 years, it seems that Marvel and DC keep going back to the well on this era. Take the Teen Titans, for example. While they go back to the 1960's, if you ask critics about the high point of their history, you will invariably get an answer placing the Wolfman/Perez run near the top of any list. When the Teen Titans made their way into animation, the team chosen to represent them was a variation of this team, with Changeling, aka Beast Boy, Raven, Dick Grayson's Robin, Cyborg and Starfire forming a core, with the storylines for the their first animated series taking liberally from this same period. In deciding which issue from this period I wanted to review, my first instinct was to pick an issue from the Judas Contract, but given the depth of the Terra storyline, I opted not to review part of a story. Instead, I went for the culmination of a sub-plot, namely the 50th issue anniversary special, the Wedding of Donna Troy. I came close to going with "Who Is Donna Troy?" but given the mess that Crisis on Infinite Earths made with Donna Troy's origin, I instead wanted to go with a comic that was almost entirely positive.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #308 February 1984 I’m continuing my reviews of old Legion comics from the period that I started regularly buying Legion of Super-Heroes. This was a string of a few issues that fell a little flat, but the momentum was fortunately strong enough to lead into Volume 3, the Baxter series, which had a
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #307 January 1984 I’m continuing my reviews of old Legion comics from the period that I started regularly buying Legion of Super-Heroes. This was also the time I started really collecting comics, so I think it’s a great starting point for learning what good comics really are. However, it didn’t always hit
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #305 November 1983 NOTE: This is a update of one of my reviews of old comics from a blogger account I set up some time ago. I'm reposting it here to make this website the repository for all of my reviews. It has been updated to be as current as possible. Legion Of Super-Heroes #26 was the middle of a period where I was really into the Legion. A lot of people speak bad about the Giffen/Bierbaum period, but I really enjoyed it, as well as the friends I had at the time. At this point, Giffen was working on a ton of stuff at DC, so the art chores had been taken over by Jason Pearson, a newcomer at the time, who'd done some work at Innovation. Later, Pearson would go on to create Body Bags and work on a few other comics as well. SYNOPSIS: The Dominator controlled Android B.I.O.N. has attacked Laurel Gand, who's been covertly monitoring the situation on Dominator controlled Earth as Celeste Rockfish, another Legionnaire. Their battle is destructive and seemingly futile for Laurel, , and when it starts to endanger civilians, she takes it outside the city.
TWILIGHT #1 (December) 1990 Twilight #1 was a prestige format book, the first in a series of three books by author Howard Chaykin, famous for the 80s independent comic American Flagg, and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, who'd done a lot of work for DC over the course of the 1980s, even having the mass-marketed Superman image for the late 1980s. My friend Joel first exposed me to this book and for the better part of eight years, I sought to complete my own collection of all three books. Being square-bound, they usually sit on my bookshelf, which probably isn't good for their longevity, but who cares, they're just comics. SYNOPSIS: It's the future, and elderly Homer Glint, while chasing after his seeing-eye cat, comes across momentos of his past. The story begins during a hostage crisis in the jungle, where bio-engineered animal men are holed up with the journalistic adventurer team known as the Star-Rovers while military hero John Starker prepares a commando team to storm in and rescue the hostages. Tempers flare in the hut, when Rick Purvis goes nuts after learning that teammate Karel Sorenson has had a sexual relationship with one of the ape men, and he proceeds to behead their leader, which makes him a hero across known space, even as far as the fleet of ships commanded by the Nazi-esque Tommy Tomorrow, on a search for immortality, long promised. Purvis's perceived heroism gets the Star Rovers an assignment off world that looks promising in the legend of a "new messiah."
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #305 November 1983 NOTE: This is a update of one of my reviews of old comics from a blogger account I set up some time ago. I’m reposting it here to make for a continuation of Legion comics reviewed in order. This issue wasn’t my first issue of Legion that I bought,
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #304 October 1983 This issue was my first regular issue of the Legion that I bought, so it's stuck with me. It seems really odd since there's very little actual focus on the Legion. SYNOPSIS: Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel resume their teaching at the Legion Academy, and notify the students that with the resignations of Karate Kid and Queen Projectra following their wedding, the time is ripe for the Legion to recruit new members. The stusents are eager, although some of them don't qualify under the "no duplicate powers" clause the Legion has, specifically Shadow Kid and although he doesn't mention it, Magnetic Lad. Wildfire comes in and informs Bouncing Boy that Dream Girl wants new Legion recruits Invisible Kid and the White Witch to receive Academy training. Wildfire storms off after some private discussion about the role of the Academy in training not only future Legionnaires, but heroes as well. Element Lad, Shvaughn Erin, Brainiac 5, and Chameleon Boy meet in secret to plot how to expose a Durlan imposter masquerading as Shrinking Violet, and hopefully rescue the real Violet.
LEGIONNAIRES #7 October 1993 Legionnaires #7 is a done in one story that takes place right after a six-issue story-line that was very heavy. At this point in time, when you needed a lighter story with a fill-in artist, DC went to Adam Hughes, most famous at the time for his work on Justice League America. This was before Adam Hughes worked with Wildstorm FX on Gen13 and learned Photoshop which revolutionized his artwork. If you check out Adam Hughes' origins for Wonder Woman and Power Girl in 52 or his work on Dr. Manhattan, you know how even his panel to panel work has been transformed by his evolution. SUMMARY Inferno, Triad, Matter-Eater Lad, Brainiac 5, Andromeda, Apparition, Ultra Boy, and Shrinking Violet are taking a vacation to the Atlantis dome of New Earth. They check into an inn run by an Atlean family complete with a cute mermaid daughter with a crush on Inferno. Operating under the assumption that everything is being comped, Inferno and Matter-Eater Lad indulge in play, and Matter-Eater Lad tries to put the moves on Shrinking Violet, who's interested in just being friends.The Legionnaires get caught in the crossfire of Atlanteans and alien Devil-Fish, and discover that the Devil Fish secretly settled on Earth, and thought the Atlanteans were responsible for the deaths caused when the domed cities of New Earth fled the destruction of Earth.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #92 May 1997 Legion Of Super-Heroes #92 was a nice little pause middle of a period where my interest in the Legion was beginning to wane. The creators of the time split the team up into two, stranding one in the 20th century where they participated in the "Final Night" crossover and got to interact with just about every hero in the DC Universe. That team got the Legion of Super-Heroes title, while the others left back home in the 30th century carried on in Legionnaires. During this period, Curt Swan who penciled a good many of the Silver Age Legion stories died and this issue was a tribute to him. The striking cover hearkens back to the "alien space monster" theme popular in sci-fi during the late 1950s, where the story is set. That seem like as good a place as any to launch into the story recap, so get ready for some fifties themed monster fun. SUMMARY Mr. Swan, an art teacher in a stereotypical high school, is teaching a group of teens that look suspiciously like our familiar Legionnaires. The names are plays on their alter egos: Rick Crane (Cosmic Boy), Irma Arden (Saturn Girl), Earl Docks (Brainiac 5), Ella Rand (Spark), Joe Knotts (Ultra Boy), Laura, Lorna, and Lauren Dugan (Triplicate Girl), and Sandy Anderson (Inferno, but we never learned her real name). The teens are also members of the school design club who are preparing for a visit by President Eisenhower. On the way home, Joe Knotts true to his young hood nature, hits on the cheerleader Sandy, whose rescued by teen lovebirds Irma and Rick. Joe instead follows the Dugan triplets. Ella thwarts some mushiness between Irma and Rick as Joe observes the Dugans merge in their bedroom using X-Ray Vision, revealing to us that there's something odd about both, uh all four(?) of them.