Well, that’s 1979 down … bring on 1980! Yup, it’s time for my semi-annual preview of what’s to come on the blog over the next six months. I’ll be reviewing pretty much the same comics I did for the first half of the year, with a notable addition near the end. As you can see, Gulliver is concentrating on his chess game; he’s upset that there aren’t more apes in the comics I’ve been reviewing. For the rest of you, read on to get the lowdown on what’s coming up over the next six months.
Batman, Detective, Brave & the Bold, Warlord: Len Wein’s run continues on Batman, with more classic villains coming up (Gentleman Ghost, Joker, Cat Man—and Catwoman—and Two-Face. Also, Batman winds up in Arkham Asylum; does his double life finally drive him over the edge? You’ll have to wait and see. Detective goes back to monthly issues in April 1980, but retains its oversized format through issue #495. Batman will deal with the League of Assassins, Maxie Zeus, Riddler, and someone figures out his secret identity. In B&B, Bats teams up with such luminaries as Supergirl, Adam Strange, Black Lightning, Man-Bat, and even Ra’s Al Ghul! In Warlord, Travis Morgan continues his quest to return to Tara, and we meet a couple of characters who’ll become very important in future stories: Shakira, and Morgan’s daughter, Jennifer.
Superman, Action, DC Comics Presents: Supes takes on Luthor, Brainiac, and a whole host of aliens and monsters—including some rather familiar ones … In DC Presents, the Man of Steel teams up with Firestorm, Batgirl, Deadman, Dr. Fate, and Martian Manhunter, just to name a few.
JLA, Legion of Super-Heroes, Jonah Hex: The Justice League take on heavy-hitters like Dr. Destiny and Despero, Firestorm joins, Green Arrow leaves (don’t worry, he’ll be back), and they team up with the Justice Society to take on Darkseid and the New Gods. In the 30th Century, Superboy quits the Legion (he’ll be back too in a few years), the team take on Dagon the Avenger, Tyroc leaves (and he won’t be back), and the Fatal Five return. Jonah Hex reveals more of his past, but also runs into someone who plays a big role in his future.
Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: the Scarlet Speedster faces some classic Rogues (Mirror Master, Dr. Alchemy, Trickster), plus a new villain (Rainbow Raider), and we finally learn who really killed Iris. Wonder Woman fights the Gaucho, Angle Man, and the new Cheetah, and teams up with Animal Man. It’s Old Home Week for Green Lantern, as he takes on the likes of Sinestro, Star Sapphire, Sonar, Hector Hammond, the Shark, and Dr. Polaris.
That new addition to my reviews I mentioned? It’s New Teen Titans, baby! I love the Wolfman/Perez series and I’m excited that I’m finally getting to it in my reviews, although 1980 only had the first two issues right at the end of the year. But any Titans is better than no Titans. All in all, it’s shaping up to be an interesting year. Batman and Detective have strong creative teams, though Superman and Action seem to be slipping toward goofiness. Flash is actually more engaging than I thought it would be, and new creative teams on Wonder Woman and Green Lantern may kick-start what were somewhat boring titles. My Wednesday Lost Girl reviews will be finishing right away as well and I’m leaning toward Warehouse 13 as the next TV show I review. I’ve never seen it, but I’ve heard it described as a cross between X-Files, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Moonlighting, which sounds interesting, so I think I’ll give it a try.
By 1980 DC seemed to be recovering from the Implosion of a couple years before, as they up the page count on most titles starting with the September issues. So most titles have back-up stories included; I’ll review the back-ups, though I may not spend a lot of time on them. I think most of them are just filler, with a couple of notable exceptions like “Whatever Happened To … ?” (in DC Presents) and Huntress (in Wonder Woman). I hope you’ll all join me as we make our way into the decade of breakdancing, leg-warmers, and hairspray. Party on, dudes and dudettes!