June 5, 2017

Post-Crisis Pull List - August 1986 Part One

August 7th, 1986
DC published 11 comics, I read 3 of them.

Batman (1940) 401 - "A Bird in the Hand..." (Barbara Kesel, Trevor Von Eeden)  

No. No, Barbara Kesel, Magpie is not the next big thing despite, because of you, making her first and second appearances on the same day. Apparently, Kesel was so taken with John Byrne's villainess that she requested permission to use her in this issue which kicks off the post-Crisis Batman. I have a hard time understanding why she was so taken with Magpie (she recounts all of this in the letters column; no Google-fu required), and it seems I'm not the only one. After making two appearances on the same day, she did not show up again for about NINE YEARS! Her dominance of August 7th, 1986 earned her an appearance in Who's Who: Update '87 amusingly, her entry, of course, written and drawn by John Byrne, the president of her two-member fan club. Despite these unreasonable expectations of its antagonist, the issue is moderately entertaining and looks better than it probably deserves thanks to Trevor Von Eeden. 3/5

Legion of Super-Heroes (1984) 28 - "The Lost Hero" (Paul Levitz, Greg LaRocque, Mike DeCarlo)  

There's no clear line between the pre- and post-Crisis Legion. Mike Voiles marks it between this issue and the previous because the identity of Sensor Girl was resolved. One of theories was that she was Supergirl and since Supergirl no longer exists in the post-Crisis universe... Works for me. That doesn't mean that this issue was designed as a "jumping on point," though. If DC was satisfied with the sales on a book, I suspect they just left it be as much as they could. While it isn't the continuation of a story, Levitz assumes you know who these characters are and, in true Legion fashion, there are a bunch of them. The plot is not very complicated, though -- so that helps with comprehension -- and the art by LaRocque and DeCarlo is professional. 3/5

Man of Steel (1986) 3 - "One Night in Gotham City..." (John Bryne, Dick Giordano)  

The Dark Knight Returns finished publication in June of 1986 and here, two months later, we already see it's influence as Superman heads to Gotham City planning to capture Batman. Not that it was necessarily a direct inspiration, but I think the proximity indicates a change in the editorial approach to the World's Finest duo. Put plainly: at best, they are no longer buds. Now, over twenty years later, I kind of like to see a Batman and Superman that are friends, but there's nice characterization of both characters and, given the space afforded it by Byrne in this mini-series, the relationship between the two is still important, even if it has changed. Oh, and this would be the illustrious Magpie's other appearance. This actually proceeds Batman 401, but I'm sticking with my alphabetical order, figuring it won't be too perplexing. 4/5

Also published by DC Comics: 'Mazing Man 11, Blue Beetle 6, Electric Warrior 7, Elvira's House of Mystery 9, G.I. Combat 286, Secret Origins 8, Star Trek 32, Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes Annual 4

August 14th, 1986
DC published 12 comics, I read 1 of them.

Booster Gold (1986) 10 - "Death Grip of the 1000" (Dan Jurgens, Mike DeCarlo) 

Another title where it is hard to place the transition to post-Crisis. Issue 10 begins a three-part story, the last installment of which shows the protests against super-heroes occurring in Legends, a tale that is definitely post-Crisis, so Mr. Voiles names issue 10 as the first post-Crisis issue. Even so, "Death Grip of the 1000" builds upon events of the proceeding issues, so the emotional impact of the story might be blunted somewhat by starting here. Should you do so, anyway, I think you'll still enjoy a well-told tale with both words and pencil pictures by Dan Jurgens. 4/5

Also published by DC Comics: Adventures of the Outsiders 39, Blue Devil 30, DC Graphic Novel 7, Green Lantern Corps 206, Infinity Inc. 32, New Teen Titans 25, Super Powers 3, Swamp Thing 54, Vigilante Annual 2, Warlord 111, Who's Who 21

My thanks to the site Mike's Amazing World of Comics without which this project would not be possible.

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