Happy New Year!

Happy GulliverOkay, I know it’s not actually a new year calendar-wise, but blog-wise I’ve finished 1977 and I’m ready to move on to 1978. There were some pretty good stories in ’77 and I think ’78 promises to have even more. Here’s a quick preview of what I’ll be covering for 1978. Basically, I’ll be reviewing the same titles as I did for 1977, with a couple of additions.

Batman, Detective, Brave and the Bold: Bats will be facing some classic villains this year, including Joker (in the famous “Laughing Fish” story), Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, and a new, more deadly version of Clayface.

Superman, Action, DC Presents: Supes takes on some heavy hitters like Brainiac, Parasite, Solomon Grundy, and Amazo. I’m adding DC Comics Presents to my reviews. I read it on and off as a kid and always considered it to be “Superman Team-up” much as B&B is “Batman Team-up”. Only four issues came out in ’78, but it became a monthly by the end of the year.

JLA, LSH, All-Star Comics: In JLA we get the end of Englehart’s run and the beginning of Gerry Conway’s long (five and a half years!) unbroken run as writer. Some cool stories too, with the debut of Ultraa, a Dr. Destiny tale, a JSA team-up versus Lord of Time (with some historical guest stars), and Zatanna joining the League. The Legion deals with the Earth War against the Khunds and Dark Circle, and we say goodbye to the JSA, since All-Star is canceled. More on that in a bit.

Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: As I mentioned in my 1977 preview, none of these comics was ever a big favourite of mine, but they have their good points. Flash will be taking on Black Hand, Golden Glider, and Heat Wave, among others. GL goes on the road and meets some interesting people, and we finally get back to Earth-1 Wonder Woman stories.

Warlord, Jonah Hex, Black Lightning, Firestorm: What can I say about these three? Travis Morgan continues his quest to return to Shamballah (and Tara), Jonah Hex continues trying to clear his name, and Black Lightning continues the fight against Tobias Whale and the 100. Unfortunately, Black Lightning is also canceled this year.

And I decided to add Firestorm to the list too. I’ve never been a huge fan, but this blog is about reading comics that I’m unfamiliar with, so I figured I may as well check those early issues out. When I (someday) get to the early 80s, I’ll be adding that ongoing Firestorm series to my list, so I guess I should read this one first, as it introduces the character, along with important villains like Killer Frost, Multiplex, and Hyena. It’s by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom, both of whom I generally like, and it’s only five issues, so what the hell.

Why did Firestorm run only five issues? Well, DC was trying to expand in 1978, but they kind of overextended themselves and were undercut by Marvel. That led to the infamous “DC Implosion”, an ironic nickname given in jest at their earlier “DC Explosion” promotion. So, a bunch of titles, including All-Star Comics, Black Lightning, and Firestorm were canceled. Al Milgrom ended up losing his editorial job too, though he kept providing art (including some really good covers). You can tell by the number of reprints that year that things were a bit chaotic behind the scenes at DC. In fact, Detective Comics was actually supposed to be canceled, but was saved at the last minute by merging it with Batman Family. So from Detective #481 (at the end of 1978) through #495, each issue has at least five different stories. Which means more work for me, I guess.

But I enjoyed reviewing the 1977 comics and I’m thinking I’ll like 1978 even more. There are a lot of cool-looking stories coming up, many of which I’ve never read, so I’m really looking forward to checking them out. As you can see, even Gulliver is excited, though I suspect he’s just anxious to see Titano, the Super-Ape. I hope you’ll join us for the 1978 DC comics reviews, starting Friday … it should be a blast!

Comics Reviews: Flash 256, Wonder Woman 238, Green Lantern 99

Flash 256 coverFlash #256 – “Prisoner of the Past” – Cary Bates/Irv Novick/Frank McLaughlin

If you remember, last issue ended with Flash defeating Mirror Master and disguising himself as the villain so he could infiltrate the Rogues’ meeting. This one starts with Weather Wizard and Pied Piper finding “Mirror Master” in the alley—though I’m not sure what Flash did with the real Mirror Master’s unconscious bod. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Flash 256, Wonder Woman 238, Green Lantern 99”

Lost Girl Reviews: Season 2, Episode 12

Lost GirlEpisode 12: Masks

This one starts with Kenzi going on about some family party she’s going to. She invites Bo, but Bo says no thanks; I can’t blame her, since Kenzi’s family sounds a bit … odd. Continue reading “Lost Girl Reviews: Season 2, Episode 12”

Comics Reviews: JLA 149, Superboy & the Legion 234, Jonah Hex 7

JLA 149 coverJustice League of America #149 – “The Face of the Star-Tsar” – Steve Englehart/Dick Dillin/Frank McLaughlin

This one starts with Dr. Light finding one of the JLA’s teleporter devices that they use to travel to the Satellite. Before Light can do anything, he’s jumped by the Privateer. Light kicks Privateer’s ass, but before he can finish him off, Privateer sends a distress signal which brings the JLA (all of them—well, almost: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Red Tornado, and the Hawks) down via the teleporter. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: JLA 149, Superboy & the Legion 234, Jonah Hex 7”

Comics Reviews: Superman 318, Action 478, Warlord 10

Superman 318 coverSuperman #318 – “The Wreck of the Cosmic Hound” – Martin Pasko/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

This one seems kinda goofy at first glance, but turns out to deal with some pretty deep themes. Unfortunately, it starts with that stupid storytelling device of having something dramatic happening (in this case, Superman is being crushed by cosmic energy bands shaped like a gigantic dog’s head), then using flashbacks to catch us up. I hate it when they do that! Just tell the damn story already! Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 318, Action 478, Warlord 10”

Lost Girl Reviews: season 2, Episode 11

Lost GirlEpisode 11: Can’t See the Fae-rest

This one starts with Bo and Kenzi admiring a fancy leather jacket in a store window. Kenzi urges Bo to buy it, but it’s way too expensive. Kenzi mentions that Bo could use her succubus mojo to just take it, but Bo doesn’t really care that much about material possessions—or so she says, as she looks longingly at the jacket. Continue reading “Lost Girl Reviews: season 2, Episode 11”

Comics Reviews: Batman 294, Detective 474

Batman 294 coverBatman #294 – “Testimony of the Joker” – David V. Reed/John Calnan/Tex Blaisdell

The four-part “Who Killed Batman?” storyline concludes here with the Joker making his claim. Unlike the other claimants, Joker hasn’t provided evidence to back up his claim, so Two-Face and the other villains are hearing everything for the first time. That’s right … it’s flashback time! Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 294, Detective 474”