Comics Reviews: All-Star Squadron Annual 3, Firestorm Annual 2

All-Star Squadron Annual 3 coverAll-Star Squadron Annual #3 – (No Title) – Roy Thomas/Rick Hoberg, Rich Buckler, Wayne Boring, Richard Howell, Carmine Infantino, Don Newton, Martin Nodell, George Perez, Keith Giffen/Jerry Ordway, Mike Machlan, Frank Giacoia, Bill Collins, Joe Giella

This is a flashback story that takes place early in the JSA’s career. Basically, it’s Roy’s way of explaining certain details about those early 1940s stories: why Green Lantern suddenly quit the JSA; why Hourman took a long leave of absence; why Dr. Fate changed helmets; and most importantly, why the various JSA members seem to have aged so well (or so slowly) since the War. As you can see from the art credits, this is one of those all-star jam issues, where each chapter is done by different artists. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: All-Star Squadron Annual 3, Firestorm Annual 2”

Comics Reviews: Superman 402, Action 562, DC Comics Presents 76, All-Star Squadron 40, Infinity Inc. 9

Superman 402 coverSuperman #402 – “How Do You Hide a Superman?” – Cary Bates/Curt Swan/Bob Oksner

This one starts with Daily Planet writer Justin Moore wandering the streets of Metropolis, suffering from a terrible affliction … writer’s block. Justin hears a call for help from an alley and finds a guy who looks and sounds just like Superman except he also looks like a homeless person. The guy swears he is Superman and that he was attacked by some guys he calls Marauders, an attack which caused him to lose most of his super-powers and almost all of his memory. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 402, Action 562, DC Comics Presents 76, All-Star Squadron 40, Infinity Inc. 9”

Comics Reviews: Superman 401, Action 561, DC Comics Presents 75, All-Star Squadron 39, Infinity Inc. 8

Superman 401 coverSuperman #401 – “Operation: False Front” – Cary Bates/Curt Swan/Bob Oksner

This one begins with the nightly broadcast of WGBS news being interrupted by a couple of Lex Luthor’s henchmen, who just happen to be joined at the hip. Clark Kent stands up to them and gets slapped down (or pretends to, to hide his super-powers) and the thugs relay a message on air for Superman from Luthor, who challenges the Man of Steel to meet him 5,000 feet above Metropolis at noon tomorrow … or Luthor will do something terrible. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 401, Action 561, DC Comics Presents 75, All-Star Squadron 39, Infinity Inc. 8”

Comics Reviews: Superman 400, Action 560, DC Comics Presents 74, All-Star Squadron 38, Infinity Inc. 7

Superman 400 coverSuperman #400 – “The Living Legends of Superman” – Elliot Maggin/Joe Orlando, Al Williamson, Frank Miller, Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin, Wendy Pini, Michael Kaluta, Kelly Alder, Klaus Janson, Jim Steranko

This is an anniversary issue of Superman that contains stories drawn by numerous artists with the common theme of Superman’s legend and legacy. All of the stories are set in the future and none of them is particularly earth-shattering, as far as I’m concerned, but I’ll give a brief synopsis of each one. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 400, Action 560, DC Comics Presents 74, All-Star Squadron 38, Infinity Inc. 7”

Comics Reviews: Superman 399, Action 559, DC Comics Presents 73, All-Star Squadron 37, Infinity Inc. 6

Superman 399Superman #399 – “The Man Who Saw Superman Die” – Paul Kupperberg/Eduardo Barreto/Dave Hunt

This one starts with a familiar figure leaving STAR Labs, where he’s been working as a consultant. It’s Ed Hamilton (aka Colonel Future from issue 378) and we see his powers of prediction are still working. A car almost runs him down and since it takes a near-death experience to activate Hamilton’s precognitive powers, he sees a vision of the future … Superman being gunned down. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 399, Action 559, DC Comics Presents 73, All-Star Squadron 37, Infinity Inc. 6”

Comics Reviews: Superman 398, Action 558, DC Comics Presents 72, All-Star Squadron 36, Infinity Inc 5

Superman 398 coverSuperman #398 – “The Kid Who Master-Minded Superman” – Joey Cavalieri/Curt Swan/Dave Hunt

This one starts with a suburban kid (Mickey Norris) finishing his paper route in Masonville and playing his favourite game … Superman. Yes, this is the same kid from Superman 388 with the weird mental powers. Mickey pretends to be the Man of Steel saving a jet falling from the sky. At the same moment over Metropolis, a jet plunges toward the city. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 398, Action 558, DC Comics Presents 72, All-Star Squadron 36, Infinity Inc 5”

Comics Reviews: Superman 397, Action 557, DC Comics Presents 71, All-Star Squadron 35, Infinity Inc 4

Superman 397 coverSuperman #397 – “The Born-Again Kryptonite Man” – Paul Kupperberg/Eduardo Barreto

This one starts with a big green dude in a spaceship traveling through space and dreaming of revenge against someone. This guy looks like a cross between Martian Manhunter and Concrete, but I guess he’s the Kryptonite Man of the title. In another part of space, Superman deals with some aliens (the Kymu) who attacked him in retaliation for defeating them a while back. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 397, Action 557, DC Comics Presents 71, All-Star Squadron 35, Infinity Inc 4”

Comics Reviews: Superman 396, Action 556, DC Comics Presents 70, All-Star Squadron 34, Infinity Inc. 3

Superman 396 coverSuperman #396 – “The Battle for Superman’s Brain” – Joey Cavalieri/Curt Swan/Dave Hunt

This one starts with a big fake out; it looks like Superman is rescuing Jimmy Olsen from a bomb, but it turns out to be Greg Reed making another superman movie. The real Man of Steel is on set as technical consultant, but the director doesn’t take his dialogue suggestion, saying nobody will believe Superman’s brain can calculate faster than a supercomputer. There is someone who believes it though … a goofball named Intellex, the Brain Bandit. He’s observing Superman from a spaceship that he cobbled together from other ships. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 396, Action 556, DC Comics Presents 70, All-Star Squadron 34, Infinity Inc. 3”

Superman 395, Action 555, DC Comics Presents 69, All-Star Squadron 33, Infinity Inc 2

Superman 395 coverSuperman #395 – “The Power and the People” – Elliot S! Maggin/Curt Swan/Dave Hunt

Last issue, a guy named Bucky Berns started writing a column for the Daily Planet and by some weird quirk of fate, everything Bucky wrote about actually happened. Bucky is now running for President (with Superman’s endorsement) and advanced polls show he has a good chance of winning. Unfortunately, Bucky’s popularity (and predictive powers) are due to some Russians who have been bombarding him with “actualization” rays from a satellite that made whatever Bucky wrote about come true. Continue reading “Superman 395, Action 555, DC Comics Presents 69, All-Star Squadron 33, Infinity Inc 2”

Comics Reviews: Superman 394, Action 554, DC Comics Presents 68, All-Star Squadron 32

Superman 394 coverSuperman #394 – “The Man Who Would Be President” – Eliott S! Maggin/Curt Swan/Dave Hunt

This one starts with some guy giving a lecture to a group of people about how great Superman, then ending by calling for his destruction. In Metropolis, Superman saves a woman from a burning building and a bystander named Bucky Berns watches with concern. Apparently, Bucky is a newspaper columnist and just wrote a column about how old tenements should be burned down. Bucky concludes this fire is just a coincidence and goes to meet his friend Perry white for lunch. Perry offers Bucky the chance to write his column for the Daily Planet. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 394, Action 554, DC Comics Presents 68, All-Star Squadron 32”