Comics Reviews: 1983 Preview

Well, that’s another year’s worth of reviews gone by. I actually had some of the 1982 comics, so reviewing them brought back some great memories, and the same will be true of the upcoming 1983 reviews. As usual, I’ll divide this preview into sections corresponding to my groupings for the reviews. The titles I’m doing for 1983 are almost exactly the same as 1982, so I figure I may as well leave the groupings the same. That’ll change in my 1984 reviews, when I add several new titles, but for now everything is staying the way it’s been for the past six months or so.

Batman, Detective, Brave & the Bold, Firestorm: Gerry Conway’s long runs on Batman and Detective come to an end, to be replaced by an equally long tenure by Doug Moench. Moench continues Gerry’s habit of continuing the Batman Bob Kane pin-upstories between the two titles, which I like. Batman will face off with some old foes (Catwoman, Man-Bat, and Hugo Strange), as well as some new characters who are destined to make quite an impact in his life (Nocturna, Killer Croc, and Jason Todd). There’s also a special issue (Detective 526) celebrating Batman’s 500th appearance in Detective. In B&B, Batman teams up with some strange partners (Ragman, I … Vampire, Karate Kid, and Spectre) as the title comes to an end with issue 200 (where Batman teams up with himself!) That issue also contains a special preview of Batman and the Outsiders, the title that replaces B&B, and which I’m adding to my ongoing reviews; hey, it has Batman and Black Lightning—what more do you need? Firestorm faces some familiar villains (Hyena, Typhoon, Multiplex), plus some new ones like Enforcer and Tokamak. He also meets Firehawk for the first time … at least, in costume.

Superman, Action, DC Comics Presents, Warlord: Supes in finally cured of his dual nature by Lord Satanis and Syrene and fights villains like Luthor,Action 544 cover Brainiac, Bizarro, and Neutron, takes a trip to the Phantom Zone, and welcomes guests like the JLA, Teen Titans, and Vartox. In DCP, he teams up with such luminaries as Power Girl, Robin, and Green Arrow, as well as lesser lights like Air Wave, Amethyst, OMAC, the Atomic Knights, and the Substitute Legion. Action 544 is also a special anniversary issue celebrating 45 years of Superman stories. In warlord, Travis Morgan swashbuckles across Skartaris as usual, we get to see his daughter Jennifer again, and I think Machiste and Mariah finally get out of the past.

JLA, Legion of Super-Heroes, New Teen Titans, All-Star Squadron: The JLA loses Batman (who forms the Outsiders, as I mentioned above) and runs into LSH Annual 2 coversome strange opposition, including a version of Johnny Thunder who’s neither as stupid, nor as nice as the one we’re familiar with. They also learn the real origin of Black Canary. The Legion fights the Fatal Five and the Khunds, Matter-Eater Lad is finally cured, and Projectra and Karate Kid get married. And what’s up with Shrinking Violet … ? The Titans face the Brotherhood of Evil and Terminator again, meet Thunder and Lightning and Vigilante, and are introduced to Terra, who will change all their lives forever. The All-Stars have a great extended storyline that involves Ultra-Humanite, Deathbolt, Cyclotron, and the new villain/hero, Amazing Man. They’re also introduced to their kids from the future (or present, depending on how you look at it), Infinity Inc.

Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Jonah Hex: Flash finally takes down Eradicator and Barry’s relationship with Fiona moves forward, but ZoomWonder Woman 300 cover might just ruin everything. Yup, it’s the Death of Zoom and Trial of the Flash storylines, which will play out over the next couple of years, so get used to it. Wonder Woman takes care of Aegeus, meets Fury, faces the sorceress Circe, and teams up with Black Canary. #300 is another special anniversary issue (man, there are a lot of those this year). Green Lantern continues his space exile, helping the Omega Men against the Citadel and he dreaded Spider Guild. Jonah Hex does what he does best, shooting and punching people all over the Old West.

I’ll be adding a new title to the reviews, the aforementioned Vigilante gets his own comic starting with a November cover date. I never read this one as Vigilante 1 covera kid, so I’m looking forward to it, although there’s only one issue to review from 1983. And as I did for 1982, I’ll be reviewing some Annuals as well. A couple of them slot neatly into the monthly schedules (replacing individual issues), but I’ll probably do the rest at the end, after all the regular issues, like I did for 1982. One exception is the All-Star Squadron Annual, which completes a storyline, so I may have to fit that in with the regular issues and push the last couple of All-Star issues out of synch. Anyway, I’m looking forward to thee comics, many of which I’ve read before but some of which are all new to me. I hope you’ll follow along as I review them.

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