Year End (P)review

Olde Tyme Gulliver
Mais où sont les singes d’antan?

Welcome to the wrap-up for 1978, which also marks the end of my first year of blogging. The end of the year is traditionally a time for looking back (as with this olde-tyme photo of Gulliver), but I’d also like to look ahead. 1978 has been fun and there were some pretty cool stories, but I’m looking forward to reviewing some 1979 comics. Because of the DC Implosion in late ’78, DC canceled a bunch of titles and cut the page counts of their existing comics drastically. So 1979 is a pretty stable year, at least for my purposes; I’ll be reviewing thirteen titles, all but one of which were monthly (the sole exception being Detective Comics, which was bi-monthly, but mega-sized). I’ll be reviewing three comics per post (except for the posts with Detective Comics, where there’ll be four), so it’ll be easier to keep track of when your favourites will be reviewed. As for specifics, keep reading.

Batman, Detective, Brave & the Bold, Warlord: Len Wein takes over Batman in 1979 and brings back some classic (Mr. Freeze, Two Face, Riddler) and not-so-classic (Kite Man, Crazy Quilt) villains. Detective has five or six stories per issue and with Denny O’Neil and Don Newton on the lead stories, there’s some classic stuff coming up (including the League of Assassins storyline and the debut of Maxie Zeus). In B&B, Batman teams up with such luminaries as Plastic Man, Dr. Fate, Metamorpho, the Titans, and even Kamandi. In Warlord (which I’m lumping in with Batman because I have nowhere else to put it) Travis Morgan and Tara continue the quest to find their son and Mariah and Machiste visit Wizard World. (No that’s not an amusement park.)

Superman, Action, DC Presents: Supes takes on some heavy-hitters this year, including Brainiac, Galactic Golem, Bizarro, and Chemo; he also enlarges Kandor (finally!) In DC Presents, he teams up with Swamp Thing, Mr. Miracle, Black Lightning, Sgt. Rock, among others.

Justice League of America, Legion of Super-Heroes, Jonah Hex: The JLA continues to help Zatanna in her search for her mother, fights the Secret Society of Super-Villains, and tries to avenge the murder of a JSA member in the annual crossover. The Legion deals with the Fatal Five, Mantis Morlo, and the League of Super-Assassins. They also have to contend with one of their own members going off the deep end and getting all villainous. Hex does what he does best … kill people. But along the way, we get some more about his background and he may even find some romance.

Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern:  Flash takes on some classic villains (Captain Boomerang, Heat Wave, Mirror Master) and deals with a tragedy that will have major repercussions for his life. (Though in hindsight, it turned out to be not so tragic after all.) Wonder Woman takes on villains like Angle Man, Bushmaster, Multi-Man, and faces a major threat from Mars and Hercules. Green Lantern has the return of Guy Gardner (sort of) and Hal getting engaged, plus El Espectro and the Crumbler.

So, that’s my preview for 1979, which will take us through the first half of 2018. To everyone who’s been reading along, thanks (and don’t be shy about commenting) and I hope you’ll all keep following to see what happens (or happened, I guess) with your favourite heroes in ’79. I know a lot of people say the 70s were the Dark Ages for comics, but there were some great stories (and great artists) back then. I’ve really been enjoying this trip down memory lane and I hope you are too!

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