RandoMonday: DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #3, the Justice Society

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

DC Special 3

 

This is one of my very favorite issues in my collection. It is the comic that introduced me to the DC multiverse, and where I fell in love with the Earth-2 concept and characters.

“The All Star Super Squad” by Gerry Conway, Ric Estrada, and Wally Wood: This “double-length novel!” (from All-Star Comics #58-59) introduces us to some younger E-2 heroes–Star Spangled Kid, Robin, and Power Girl–and is the first appearance of Power Girl. Despite the heavy fire-power of the JSA (Doctor Fate, Green Lantern, Flash, and a few others), it takes these three younger heroes working together to defeat the machinations of Brainwave and Degaton. What a way to be introduced to these characters! I loved the differences between the Earth-1 characters that I knew and these “doppelgängers”. Hawkman had that goofy mask instead of the helmet. Robin is working for the U.N. to report about the apartheid policies in South Africa (well before pop culture started its anti-apartheid stance), and Robin had a costume with long sleeves and pants! I loved that design and wished “my” Robin could have something similar. The introduction of Power Girl was really interesting because she was not as powerful as Supergirl, which made her struggles seem a little more heroic to me. Plus, the Estrada and Wood art was fantastic, especially how they drew Power Girl.

“Five Drowned Men” by Gardner Fox, Irwin Hasen, Joe Kubert, Lee Elias, and Frank Harry: I think that this was my first Golden Age story (from All-Star Comics #36). As was the style of the day, this JSA story was a series of individual characters stories with a frame involving all of them. I found it very interesting that the villains of the issue (who were only “bad” because of a drug that “deadens a man’s conscience”) had no superpowers but were still able to defeat or elude the JSAers. The art took some getting used to, but I have a fondness for the various artists now.

Dr. Fate (from 1st Issue Special [1975]) by Martin Pasko and Walt Simonson: So in comparison to the first story of the digest, this made me really love Dr. Fate. A lot of that had to do with the Simonson art and somewhat for the Egyptian connections. I would have loved a Dr. Fate series by this team.

At the end of the digest is a few pages explaining the parallel Earth concept (with art by Ross Andru and I’m guessing that the text was written by Paul Levitz), which was helpful. However, because of one panel showing Earth-1 and Earth-2 counterparts, I thought for a few years that Dr. Fate was somehow a counterpart to Aquaman–that was on me being a poor reader because the text clearly states those characters are unique (but there was a Golden Age Aquaman–was this my first experience with retconning?).

I really love this comic, and my copy of this digest is well read, so I’m on the prowl for a better copy of this special digest.

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Snapshot … ECCC 2015 Pix

Last year when we took our granddaughters to ECCC, their favorite part of of attending was all the cosplayers. When I asked if they wanted to dress up, they were quite emphatic about it. So this year, we asked them who they wanted to dress up as, and the older girl chose a pink Supergirl costume and her sister wanted to be Harley Quinn. I, of course, chose a Robin costume. I talk about that experience on Episode 82 of the podcast. Anyway, I was looking at my phone the other day and realized that I forgot to post some pictures the day that the girls and I dressed up at the 2015 Emerald City Comicon.

Who is that old doofus?

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Acquisition Avalanche!

I’ve acquired some comics and other things in the last year (most of which is in the last few months), so I wanted to show them to you. Thanks for watching!

www.youtube.com/user/longboxreview/

RandoMonday: Brave and the Bold (2007) #4

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Brave and the Bold (2007) #4 by Mark Waid and George Pérez (storytellers), Bob Wiacek (inks), Tom Smith (colors), Rob Leigh (lettering), Stephanie Buscema (asst. editor), Joey Cavalieri (editor), and George Pérez and Tom Smith (cover)

Man, I loved this series when Waid and Pérez was doing it. They took the whole Brave and the Bold team-up concept and tweaked it just enough to make it very interesting, i.e., told one longer story with multiple heroes teaming up along the way. Case in point, the tale end of Batman and Blue Beetle’s team up is shown at the beginning of this issue (along with the Fatal Five), but then switches to Supergirl and Lobo. Along the way, the two bond a bit, meet Destiny (of the Endless), and Supergirl arrives on Rann to help Green Lantern. The issue ends with a Batman/Tharok amalgam encountering the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Pérez and Wiacek art is classic and enjoyable, and Waid manages to use Lobo in a way that doesn’t annoy me. Not bad for $2.99.

 

RandoMonday: Superman/Batman #9

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Superman/Batman #9 by Jeph Loeb (writer), Michael Turner (artist), Peter Steigerwald (colorist), Richard Starkings (letterer), Tom Palmer (assoc. editor), and Eddie Berganza (editor)

This is part 2 of the “Supergirl from Krypton” story where Kara Zor-El was introduced back into DC continuity since she was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Batman continues to be highly suspicious of this new strange visitor from another planet, while Superman is much more accepting. It doesn’t help that Krypto attacks Kara, and that Kara can’t seem to recall even her own mother’s name. Darkseid, of course wants Kara (where this story eventually goes, and the resulting “dark” Supergirl would go on for years). But first, Harbinger, Artemis, and Wonder Woman show up to take Kara from Superman.

I really enjoyed this title for as long as I bought it, but I also recall not caring for the dark Supergirl stuff that comes in later parts of this story. Of course, seeing Clark and Bruce interact from opposite points of view is why I collected this series in the first place. This was also my first real exposure to Michal Turner’s art, and I’m still not a big fan. I noticed, too, reading through this issue again that he didn’t like to do backgrounds, preferring large panels to do superhero portraits, which is cool if that’s what you like. He did do a pretty nifty drawing of Krypto in this issue, however.