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.
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
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.
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.
I've been reading comics for a long time, so I remember when comics were something you waited for and every week you were surprised. I remember when you trekked to the convenience store, or drug store, or grocery store, where ever you bought comics because there was no store that conveniently pulled your comics for you every week. I remember the one time a year you went to the closest comic book convention to you to get the issues that you missed because the other kids in town got there before you. This is the ongoing story of recapturing that feeling by reading some comics that haven't been cracked in some time. Perhaps they live in some long-neglected long box in your spare room. Perhaps they are discovered at the bottom of that last box you haven't unpacked since your last move two years ago, and perhaps they're just waiting in some comic shops back stock waiting for you to discover them the next time they drag them to some mini-convention in a hotel ballroom looking to score some quick cash with cheap back issues. Sometimes they'll be gems, sometimes the memory is fonder than the reality, but my goal is to share with you my spoiler-ridden reviews of old comics. SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #31 September 1991 She-Hulk got her own title again in 1989, done by John Byrne, the writer/artist that brought new life to her character in Fantastic Four. Within a year, however, Byrne had left the book in a dispute over his artwork being redrawn. Story quality suffered until he was brought back to continue her adventures in much the same vein as he used when he started the book. Namely, She-Hulk knew she was in a comic book, faced heroes and villains largely forgotten because "serious" writers thought that they were too stupid to be resurrected, and never took any of it too seriously.
I've been reading comics for a long time, so I remember when comics were something you waited for and every week you were surprised. I remember when you trekked to the convenience store, or drug store, or grocery store, where ever you bought comics because there was no store that conveniently pulled your comics for you every week. I remember the one time a year you went to the closest comic book convention to you to get the issues that you missed because the other kids in town got there before you.