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.
SPIDER-WOMAN #5 August 1979 Looking back at the few reviews I've done so far, I really haven't had one that was a bad comic. I set out to have one this time and I looked for something that would be that fodder. Enter, a 1970s Spider-Woman comic. SYNOPSIS: Spider-Woman wakes up bound and gagged in a dusty, decrepit, abonded house. Freeing herself, she recalls that she was captured by a masked vigilante calling himself the Hangman, who has a warped sense of chauvanism that leeds him the hold women captive in order to "protect" them. Almost immediately she's assailed by hallucinations and flying furniture, briefly knocking her into unconsciousness. She wakes up trapped in a giant spider web to be attacked by more hallucinations. Meanwhile, Spider-Woman's ally the magician Magnus is getting familiar with his landlady, who seems like a lonely old widow.
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.
POWER PACK #1 August 1984 Once I decided to review old comics, I grabbed a handful of unsorted comics and looked for one to review. There were a few comics that were more recent, and I felt like revisiting my childhood. Ah-ha! Power Pack fits the bill nicely. SUMMARY There's a battle in space, just outside the Earth's atmosphere, and it's several ships attacking a lone, white starship. It's observed by Katie, the youngest of the four Power children, whose father is desuigning a new energy source for the government. Their parents let them spend the night in their sleeping bags on the back deck of their beach house. Katie sees the attacked spaceship in the surf on the beach. She wakes up her siblings and they investigate. The oldest child, Alex waits by the ship with Katie while younger brother Jack goes with his older sister Julie to wake their father. As they near the house, one of the ships that attacked the downed ship lands by their house. Alex and Katie are greeted by the ship's pilot, an alien nick-named Whitey, who then rescues Julie and Jack, but is too late to keep the attacking aliens, lizard-like beings named Snarks from abducting their parents. Whitey is injured in the rescue and as the Snarks leave with the Power kids' parents, he teleports himself and the children to his ship, Friday.
ELEMENTALS #22 February,1988 I’ve been a fan of his Bill Willingham’s work since I graduated from High School. See, on graduation night, I had gotten my diploma and was on my way to the county graduation party to have one last blast with friends, and so I stopped by the Mall to pick up a tee-shirt with the
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.
ALL-STAR SQUADRON #29 January 1984 I remember the first three years of All-Star Squadron as being very good, especially when Jerry Ordway was doing the art on it. Jerry Ordway is probably best known for his run on Adventures of Superman and Power of Shazam! but I was first introduced to him in the pages of All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. where his art style was very organic and naturalistic. Over the years, my collection has been liquidated of these comics, but from time to time, I've tripped across an issue or two, and this is one of them. SYNOPSIS: The Shining Knight is fighting off Nazi Bombers over England. When he lands, Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives him a telegram from America where Liberty Belle is convening a meeting of the entire All-Star Squadron. This takes his thoughts to another group he belongs to, the Seven Soldiers of Victory, and he begins telling a story of one of their most recent exploits.
PREZ #4 March 1974 Some people might think I'm out of my mind to put this one here, but it's the holidays, so I'm feeling like sharing gems in the history of comics, especially by any of the cornerstone creators of the comic book genre.. I do own a copy of this gem, though. As a matter of fact, I have every issue of this series and only lack the comic that has Supergirl carrying Prez on the cover to have every appearance of this character. SYNOPSIS: After returning from a state trip to the European nation of Moravia, where Prez's administration has helped build a billion-dollar canal for irrigation, Prez and Eagle Free (head of the CIA) remark on the Moravians' strange custom of wearing garlic wreaths. That night, the White House is unexpectedly visited by a bat shaped helicopter carrying Wolfman, the Transylvanian ambassador. It seems that the Moravian canal has drained the lakes of Transylvania. When Prez refuses to destroy the canal, the Wolfman delivers a formal declaration of war on behalf of his country's leader, Count Dracula. Wolfman storms out, with no one realizing that he has left his coffin-shaped briefcase behind.
STAR WARS #38 August 1980 I remember waiting for the comic book adaption of The Empire Strikes Back to show up in the next issue of Star Wars, and when I saw it on the spinner rack, I was so excited that I started to read it when I got home. Imagine my surprise when it wasn't the start of the film adaptation. However, if my expectations aren't going to be met, there's no better way than by giving the nine-year-old version of me a fill-in issue drawn by Mike Golden. I hadn't yet really paid attention to the artists drawing comics, but was really disappointed in the quality of the artwork on Star Wars (done by Carmine Infantino, whom I now really appreciate), but with this issue, I realized that there was a difference and that Mike Golden was one of the artists I liked best. When he started doing covers for G.I. Joe and Saga of Crystar, I was really excited, and over the years, seeing his artwork on a book makes me give it a second look. SYNOPSIS: Luke and Leia are being attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer while transporting medical supplies for the Rebel Alliance. The smugglers that sold them the supplies must've double-crossed them. Just as the Imperial attack is about to overwhelm them, Luke makes the jump to hyperspace, but they find themselves outside the galaxy, lost in the black void of space in a crippled ship.
CLOAK AND DAGGER #1 October 1983 As I remember, in 1983, there was a lot of buzz around Cloak and Dagger. They had appeared a handful of times in Peter Parker, Spider-Man and seemed to be on the fast track to a series of their own. Now it might just have been my friends, but looking back, they had only appeared a few times before, and were already getting a mini-series. Like I said, this could just be what it seemed like at the time, but it certainly seemed like they had a buzz. SYNOPSIS: A priest walks through the New York Port Authority and is hassled by pimps, drug dealers and prostitutes that get chased away by the police. He goes to his church on 42nd Street to pray for guidance but is greeted by the sudden appearance of Cloak and Dagger They are looking for a place to rest, explaining that they were once runaways that gained their powers after being abducted and given experimental drugs. They now wage a war on those that would prey on the innocent, but are growing weary and need a place to rest.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ANNUAL #10 September 1983 I'm a huge fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and before I brought this column over to Needless Essentials, I had started, on my own blog, a series covering a run of issues on the Legion's issues from this time period, where I came into the ranks of Legion fans. I was hesitating on continuing it here, but for the brief time that I've been writing here, the most viewed review of an old comic has been consistently the issue of Legion of Super-Heroes that I reviewed about a month ago. Therefore, until I see a drop in interest for my Legion reviews, the majority of the DC Comics that I'll review will be from the Legion, and in order. When I was younger, and first buying comics at the convenience store, Annuals were extremely hard to find. This was a real problem with the Teen Titans' story "The Judas Contract." I remember stumbling across this one at a different store than my regular haunt, still on the spinner rack after a couple more issues of the Legion had come out. I was thrilled and tried for days to figure out where it fit in until I read the notes at the end of this issue. I was twelve and didn't have the patience to read a lot of captions, especially after the story was over.
AVENGERS ANNUAL #10 August 1981 I've had a habit of reviewing overlooked comics, but when I came across this one, I just had to include it. It's also one of the most expensive back issues that I've ever reviewed. The fact that it's a key issue also makes for a unique experience. This comic is the first appearance of Rogue, the X-Men character that has become a fan favorite over the thirty years she's been with the team, being one of the first members to join the second X-Men team that stuck around, almost becoming synonymous with the franchise, to the point of being in the first three films and the upcoming film that's supposed to tie together the franchise. SYNOPSIS: Spider-Woman catches an unconscious woman falling from the Golden Gate Bridge. At the hospital it's discovered that she's Carol Danvers, but her mind is completely gone. She also completely vanished six months earlier. Needing someone who can get inside her mind to find out what happened, Spider-Woman calls Professor X of the X-Men, who comes to San Fransisco as quick as he can. The police have also uncovered a connection Carol Danvers has with the Avengers and the super-hero known as Ms. Marvel. Professor X telepathically lets Spider-Woman know that Carol's mind was wiped clean by an assailant named Rogue.