Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Wednesday Comics: DC, September 1983 (week 1)

My ongoing mission: read DC Comics' output from January 1980 (cover date) to Crisis! Today, I'm looking at the comics at newsstands on the week of June 2, 1983. 

The Meanwhile... column in this issue mentions a number of projects in the works. The ones that won't ever see publication are Teen Titans/X-Men volume 2, JLA/Avengers (not this version, at least), and a Firestorm graphic novel.  The ones that will come out include Thriller, Nathaniel Dusk, Infinity, Inc., New Talent Showcase, Star Trek, and Atari Force, as well as the Star Raiders and Warlords graphic novels. Joe Kubert's The Redeemer is an in-between case as it will see print but not until 2013!

Wonder Woman #306: The Kane cover here differs from the previous sort of iconic covers in that it looks like it might have something to do with the issues contents...but doesn't! Mishkin and Heck/Giacola pick up where last issue left off with Trevor down under the onslaught of Aegeus and Wonder Woman jumping to his defense. Aegeus is out for revenge and has gotten special daggers from Vulcan to do the deed. These daggers are strong enough to destroy one of Wonder Woman's Bracelets of Submission, which according to this story puts her in danger of losing her mind in some unspecified way. She still beats Aegeus though by spinning him around, so his dagger slashes dig a whole into the ground, then leaving him there. There's some more stuff about Abernathy's crimes, and it turns out that it was a hawk in the government looking to use his past to turn public opinion against a new treaty with the Soviets. Wonder Woman thwarts another attack on Trevor (whose already in the hospital with a dagger lodged internally) by Aegeus, but she has to let him go because somehow, he's involved with the U.S. government and this mess with Abernathy...I don't know, the explanation given made no sense to me. Anyway, Trevor pulls through, and Aegeus slinks off.

The Cavalieri and Bair (credited as Hernandez)/Gaicola Huntress backup is let down by its art. It's all a hallucinatory sequence (presumably caused by an injection in a previous issue) where the Huntress confronts her fears: the insurmountable legacy of her father and the dark side of her mother. Dr. Strange makes a cameo in one trippy panel. 

Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld #5: Granch manages to get ahold of the amethyst again, and he and his monstrous siblings tumble through a warp into Amy Winston’s classroom, outing her to her parents at least if not the school and the cops. Meanwhile, Dark Opal is delivered his tribute, Princess Emerald and the implication is that he kills her, though this happens off-screen. Prince Topaz is unwilling preparing for his wedding, as he doesn't want to marry Princess Sapphire, but is instead smitten with Amethyst. Mishkin/Cohn and especially Colon continue to turn out solid work on this series.

Blackhawk #261: Evanier and Spiegle send the Blackhawks off to protect world leaders from being assassinated by Hitler lookalikes after der Führer's nutty scheme to enhance his rep after being seen to personally kill his adversaries is revealed. Andre and Chuck meet with the French underground and protect De Gaulle. Stanislaus and Chop Chop head to the Soviet Union to protect Stalin. Olaf and Hendrickson go to protect Roosevelt who is secretly visiting London. Blackhawk also heads to London to protect Churchill, but he is captured by the one remaining assassin. Still, Blackhawk and Churchill together prove capable of the defeating the killer. With the mission done, the Blackhawks learn that Domino has escaped from British custody. The team is tasked with finding her while Hitler commands her to kill Blackhawk.

DC Comics Presents #61: Wein and Perez/Marcos and Hoberg team Superman with OMAC, his first appearance since the end of the Warlord backups in '81. I would say the plot seems derived from Terminator, but that film is over a year away, so it can't be. Intercorp sends its robot assassin, Murdermek, back in time to kill Buddy Blank's ancestor, Nathan Blank, so that OMAC will be wiped from history. OMAC follows through time and both arrive in 20th Century Metropolis. Murdermek acquires a gang armed with future tech, while OMAC meets Superman and in typical comics fashion they have to fight. Eventually, they team up and Superman takes on the very powerful Murdermek while OMAC deals with his thugs. Nathan Blank is saved, but his identity remains a mystery to the characters (if not the reader) at the end of the story. Brother Eye helpful figures out a way to transport OMAC back to the future.

Given the usual approach to team books, I expected some retcons or at least some tying up of dangling plot threads from OMAC's story, but no, it's just a team-up.

Fury of Firestorm #16: Ronnie and Stein both are in the featureless, black nether reaches of their (I guess) combined mind as Firestorm. They can't remember how they got there. Stein calms Ronnie and gets him to slowly relate what he remembers. He calls they discovered Lorraine Riley had been kidnapped, and they had another tangle with Multiplex. Then he remembers he tried to visit his father at work and discovered he was acting strangely and making comments as if someone was after him. Eventually, they are able to discover what he is that that caused their state, what they can't remember--what Ronnie is blocking. Firestorm tried but was unable to save his father from an explosion at their home. The effect of the delayed reveal is marred by it being given away on the issues cover, but if you ignore that and just go with the interiors, Conway and Broderick do a good job with the structure.

Justice League #218: Burkett jumps into the writer's chair with Patton/Tanghal still on art. This story is fine, I guess, but it seems as throwaway as last months. It's like filler. Super-powered androids appear and kidnap various top athletes, including Black Canary. The robots prove too tough for individual Leaguers, so the whole team goes into action. While Superman, Elongated Man, Green Arrow, and Red Tornado try to stop the androids from further abductions, Aquaman, Hawkman, and Wonder Woman attempt to trace them to their base. It turns out Professor Ivo is behind all this. He's been monstrously disfigured as a side-effect of the immortality serum he drank (back in The Brave and the Bold #30), and he plans to use a machine powered by the life-energies of people with the needed genetic makeup to restore himself.  Aquaman, disguised as one of the androids, sneaks into the base destroys their power source, allowing the Justice League to abruptly triumph.


Dale Houston said...

I bought DC Presents and Firestorm new, and got JLA as a back issue.

That DC Presents is a near perfect done-in-one. It's a hoot. Len Wein and George Perez should have done more comics together.

Dick McGee said...

Fury of Firestorm #16: Cripes, I hate cover spoilers like that. They're even worse than the way Silver Age books tended to spoil stories with the opening splash page. Just incomprehensibly bad editing.

DC Comics Presents #61: Huh. Must have missed this one on the stands back in the day. I wasn't as much of a DC Presents junkie as I had been for Marvel Team-Up and Two-In-One, but as a big fan of OMAC there's no way I'd have skipped on seeing him drawn by Perez, especially after his long absence post-Warlord/Kamandi.

Are we going to see all of the "Meanwhile..." releases that did actually come out before Crisis hits, or were some of them afterward? Thought some of them were later than that, although maybe they just kept running - Trek and Atari Force wouldn't have been effected by reboots.

Trey said...

It's a good question! We'll see what Giordano serves up in the future.