Well, that’s 1981 finished; there were some pretty cool comics that year and 1982 promises to be even better. As usual, I’ll put the comics I’ll be reviewing into groups and give you a little info on what to expect.
Batman, Detective, Brave & the Bold: By 1982 Gerry Conway was writing both Batman and Detective and he really kept a tight continuity between the two books. Many stories are continued from one book to the next and back again, which gives the overall narrative a nice flow, and lets Gerry develop sub-plots more organically. In 1982, Batman will be dealing with Poison Ivy’s takeover of Wayne Enterprises, the political machinations of Boss Thorne, and the return of some old favourites as antagonists (Deadshot, Maxie Zeus, Two-Face, and a certain spirit who turns out to be more corporeal than anyone thought). In B&B, Batman will team up with the likes of Hawkman, Rose and Thorn, Metal Men, and the Nemesis saga will be concluded in spectacular fashion.
Superman, Action, DC Comics Presents, Warlord: Supes will be taking on some classic villains (Brainiac, Parasite, Terra-Man) plus some newcomers (Colonel Future, Syrene and Lord Satanis, Jackhammer). He’ll also pay a visit to Kandor and Marv Wolfman will bring in some of his pet characters (HIVE, Omega Men) to vex the Man of Steel. In DC Presents, Supes will team up with heavy hitters like the Legion, Firestorm, Captain Marvel, Global Guardians, and the New Doom Patrol. Travis Morgan will do what he does best in Warlord, run around wasting people and hanging out with scantily-clad women. His daughter Jennifer will take a more active role in the story and Morgan will meet his own evil twin.
JLA, Legion of Super-Heroes, New Teen Titans, All-Star Squadron: In JLA we’ll see the big 200th issue (with the return of a certain Emerald Archer to the team), the Demons Three, Hector Hammond, and a huge three team crossover with the JSA and All-Star Squadron. The Legion will take on Dr. Regulus and the Khunds before getting into the classic Great Darkness Saga storyline. The Titans deal with the Brotherhood of Evil and their old frenemy, Red Star before meeting some new friends and foes … Vigilante, Brother Blood, and Blackfire, not to mention the Omega Men (those guys are everywhere). In All-Star Squadron, we get the aforementioned crossover, plus Kung, Hastor, and new hero Commander Steel.
Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Jonah Hex: In Flash, Colonel Computron makes a return appearance, along with old favourites like Captain Boomerang, Grodd, and even Goldface . Wonder Woman meets new enemies Silver Swan, Aegeus, and Dr. Psycho, fights Blockbuster, and teams up with a bevy of super-heroines. GL goes on a long sojourn in space, facing various menaces. Jonah Hex is reunited with his estranged wife, Mei Ling, and goes to China for an adventure.
Starting with the June cover-dated issues, I’ll also be adding the Fury of Firestorm comic to my list; I’ve never read it before, so everything will be new to me, but I’ve enjoyed Firestorm’s adventures enough so far that I want to read more. Hopefully the characters will get more development in the full-length format. I’ll put the Firestorm reviews in with the Batman bloc, just to keep things balanced. 1982 is also the year DC started putting out Annuals. I’ll review whatever Annuals came out that year for the titles I cover, but instead of slotting them in between the monthly reviews, I think I’ll wait and do them at the end of the year.
So that’s what to expect in the next six months or so. DC had finally (for the most part) gotten past the goofy Silver Age stuff and was finally starting to tell some really deep stories with compelling characters. I hope you’ll join me to discover (or rediscover in some cases) some of these classic stories.