Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Wednesday Comics: DC, June 1982 (week 3)

My goal: read DC Comics' output from January 1980 (cover date) to Crisis! This week, I'm looking at the comics at newsstands around March 18, 1982.

Brave & the Bold #187: Boatner and Aparo present a Batman/Metal Men team-up with a continuity deep cut. The Metal Men are being destroyed one by one and Batman tries to protect the remaining ones from harm. He fails at that, but he also discovers they all have lost their memories of a previous member of their group he recalls. Batman asks Doc Magnus about that and learns that the Doctor is responsible for erasing the Metal Men's memories of "Nameless" after their first reconstruction. Magnus rebuilds them and Batman convinces him to give them their memories back.

It turns out Nameless is at the root of the attacks, as is Platinum Man (one of a group of now-destroyed gender-swapped Metal Men). Once their neglect of Nameless is explained as due to Magnus' actions, the vendetta by the snubbed robots halt. Tin and Nameless can resume their relationship and they decide to get "alloyed," but the ceremony comes to a tragic end when a rogue Missile Man attacks them and Nameless sacrifices her existence to save her friends. She dies with the new name Tin had given her: Beautiful.

Legion of Super-Heroes #288: Princess Projectra and Karate Kid are about to be executed by her usurping cousin, but a squad of Legionnaires shows up just in time. Karate Kid and Projectra best her cousin, and Projectra ascends the throne. Meanwhile, the spy squad and Saturn Girl are lost on an icy world after an attempt to infiltrate Khundia--necessitating Saturn Girl returning to her pre-disco outfit. Back at HQ the remaining Legionnaires are trying to figure out what to do.

Green Lantern #153: Wolfman/Mishkin and Cohn and Staton/DeCarlo present the solution to last issues mystery.  Jordan realizes that all beings on M'Brai - the Savages, the Cormm, and the Queln - are part of the same species evolving cyclically: every individual progresses from single-celled organism all the way to Queln and beyond, and then repeats the cycle, without retaining any memory of it. So if the Queln use their devolving ray to get rid of the other factions, their entire race will become extinct. Hal uses a meteor to destroy the satellite and stop the Queln plan. He figures out that the meteor shower is in collision course to the planet, and it could disrupt its entire life cycle. Hal deviates the meteors, succeeding in his mission.

In the backup by Kupperberg and Infantino, Jeryll attempts to stop the invasion on Glirell peacefully as she had been commanded. But when a group of children is killed by the invaders, Glirell's people explode into violence in outrage. Realizing, that this is her burden not her people's, Jeryll stops the suicidal charge of her people and goes on to destroy the invasion fleet. In the aftermath, the Council tells her that she is forgiven, and won't be banished. However, Jyrell bids farewell to her people and leaves voluntarily, feeling she betrayed the peaceful ways of her people. 

House of Mystery #305: The first story by Cavallieri and von Eeden has a derivative artist trapped in a world populated by characters from famous art works after he tries to unleash his potential. "The Rings of Kur-Alet" by Jones and Carillo is tale set in ancient Egypt of time traveling magic rings and a Pharoah and his jealous wife who met their ends using them.

The Jones/Colon "I...Vampire" story takes an odd turn as a cure for cancer is discovered. Also, Vampires across the world begin dying mysteriously with no marks. Bennett tracks into the Egyptian desert. He finds her helpless and dying, where she reveals that the cancer cure has made humans poisonous to vampires! In her weakness she's reverted to the personality he fell in love with, losing her evil. She tells Andrew about the magic rings from the previous story this issue, so they can use them to travel to a time when they are still human and be together. Andrew helps Mary reach the rings, but she betrays him and travels back alone. He travels back in time after her.

Sgt. Rock #365: The main story is another one of those introduce a new character to Easy Company who dies heroically. In this case, it's a kid who makes jigsaw puzzles. It also has the common Sgt. Rock story trait of reviewing how great the recurring members of Easy are.

The other two stories are oddly both science fiction. In the first, by Harris and Mandrake future warriors find out that their ultimate weapon which supposedly allows them to take control of enemy soldiers unleashes their enemies' primitive instincts. In the last story, two operatives who can't get along are united in death on an alien world.

Superman Family #219: Kupperberg and Mortimer have the Master Jailer show up and put the Girl of Steel in quite a predicament. He uses a device to put her in a sort of phantom state so she can observe, but not interact with the world. Playing clever by using a Supergirl robot only backfires on Kara as it leads to the destruction of the device she needs to change back to normal. In the Bridwell/ Schaffenberger Mr. and Mrs. Superman, Supes is perplexed when the Flying Tiger identity he created last issue, starts committing crimes. Lois comes undercover again as his sidekick "Kitty" to ferret our the perpetrator who turns out to be Funny Face.

Jimm Olsen, star reporter for the Metropolis Eagle, is given the assignment to discover Superman's secret identity. In reality, this is all a dream implanted by Brain Storm to trick Olsen into uncovering Supes' ID when he wakes up. In the O'Flynn/Oksner have Lois meeting another Lois Lane, a blonde fan of hers who runs into trouble when a thief attacks her boss. The characterization may not be quite right (though it isn't bad) but the Teri Hatcher Lois Lane of the '90s is a pretty much exact visual representation of Oksner's version of the character in the early 80s, much more so than the Margot Kidder version.

Warlord #58: I detailed the main story in this issue here. In the Kupperberg and Duursema Arion backup, the three beings representing the balance are mocking Arion and his powers seem as nothing to them, but then it turns out Calculha was still around, just waiting for Arion to show humility. He dismisses the three beings and reveals that Arion was born in the stars from cosmic forces. Then, he sends the sorcerer and his pals on their way back home.


Dick McGee said...

I followed the link to the old Warlord main story synopsis and then followed the link to the Flashback Universe blog you recommended. Did you know your friend Jim passed away in January of this year? I'd read his blog on and off for years (albeit not recently, obviously) and am very sorry to hear he's gone. Will have to re-watch some Wild Wild West in memoriam.

Trey said...

I did. If you read the blogpost about his passing, I wrote that. I think he'd be pleased with that memorial.

bombasticus said...

I'd forgotten all about Master Jailer. What an interesting design.

Also love an Orando issue but that Metal Men story leaves an unusually bizarre impression. What was Magnus working out in terms of gender? Wasn't it his love for Tina that ended up formally triggering his nervous breakdown? In that scenario going to all the effort to create a Platinum Man and girl versions of the others and then erasing the nervous female Tin counterpart feels ripe for a Vertigo-style or Black Label treatment.

Trey said...

Yeah, it's an odd story. it almost feels like they were reaching for a 90s style "exploring the implications of this unexamined continuity" but didn't quite have the tools, and likely editorial support even if they had. It certainly starts the trend of portraying Magnus as kind of a dick.

bombasticus said...

Good point on editorial support . . . they seem conflicted, this should technically be an "Earth B" story but I recall little Nameless getting into the Who's Who entry so it really happened??

Trey said...

Interestingly, Boatner did very little work for mainstream DC or Marvel.