Alas, life’s complications over the past week have been such that this is going to be almost entirely a list-only entry in my yearlong comics reading journal. A shame, too, as I have more to say about some of these, and hopefully I’ll get a chance to come back to them in a couple of weeks:
Batman and Robin #20
Blackhawk #217 (1966)
BPRD: Hell on Earth: Gods #2. Fury’s Tenets of Reading Speculative Fiction #27: A well executed infodump is a thing of beauty. Recognize.
Brave and the Bold #157 (1979). Batman and Kamandi! Also notable because Jim Gordon asks this question of a kidnapped senator: “What did Extortion, Inc. want with you?” Gee, I dunno, Jim! We better call Batman in on this one! No wonder Gotham is the crime capital of the world.
Casanova: Gula #2.
Detective Comics #492 (1980). Notable for slice-of-life Bob Haney/Bob Oskner short about the “Gotham-not-Brooklyn Bridge” and a Bob Rozakis/Romeo Tanghal/Vince Coletta Man-Bat story in which the Man-Bat reveals that he is the least curious superhero of all time.
Devil Dinosaur #3 (1978)
Incognito: Bad Influences #3
Marvel Team-Up #59-60 (1977). Featuring Spider-Man, Yellowjacket, and the Wasp. Boy, someone needs to write about the gender politics of superhero comics in the late 1970s that begins with this Claremont/Byrne collaboration. It’s clearly an attempt to shift the Wasp away from her dizzy dame characterization and to make her more of a credible physical threat in battles, but the solution they hit on—she’s driven by judgment-impairing intense emotion over the supposed death of Yellowjacket, who it turns out isn’t dead at all, and also had been secretly injecting her with a serum to increase her powers—is, let us say, problematic. (On a side note, isn’t it crazy that there is no ongoing Wasp series, or even a planned mini or anything? I mean, aside from the fact that she’s dead right now? Now that Gossip Girl’s popularity has peaked a year or two ago, isn’t this the perfect time for Marvel to debut a series about a strategically daffy but secretly iron-willed socialite heiress superhero? Possibly drawn by Colleen Coover? I would read this, Marvel.)
New Avengers #9. I think we can all agree that a Howard Chaykin-drawn Nick Fury: Caribbean Nazi Hunter series should definitely be in the works.
Our Fighting Forces #174 (1977). Featuring the Losers! Why can’t I go online right now and buy wallpaper featuring Joe Kubert’s Losers covers? I would totally decorate the nursery with them so our children could learn to be ever vigilant against the Nazis, even—especially—when it looks like things are finally going their way.
Power Man and Iron Fist #1
Sabre #1 (1982). There is something sublime about confronting the sheer volume of text in this comic. Not sublime as in “super-duper,” but as in “too vast to comprehend with the rational mind, and yet somehow there is something pleasurable in the pain of the failed attempt to do so.” I think there is some lovely atmospheric Paul Gulacy artwork under the word balloons, but who can really say?
The Scorpion #3 (1975). The third and final issue of this Atlas/Seabord title, published after editorial conflicts drove series creator Howard Chaykin across the street to Marvel, where he re-christened the character Dominic Fortune. (Or so the story goes; I think the similarities between the characters are vastly overstated.) The new story, by Jim Craig and Gabriel Levy, updates the setting to the 70s, with a new character bearing the name, this one a more traditional superhero type. There’s a pretty good golem rampage here.
Superboy #212 (1975). Actually, forget that: The conclusion of the Legion of Super-Heroes back-up story in this issue is way, way creepier than anything in MTU.
Superman Family #188 (1978). Jose Garcia-Lopez cover!
Weird War Tales #108 (1981). You would think it would be impossible to write a boring story about the Creature Commandos, wouldn’t you?
Alright—off to Atlanta to talk about Captain America and the South.