June 5, 2017

Post-Crisis Pull List - October 9th, 1986

October 9th, 1986
DC published 9 comics. I read 4 of them.

Issue of the week: 
Blue Beetle (1986) 8 - "Henchman" (Len Wein, Paris Cullins, Dell Barras) 

Ex-con Ed Buckley is trying to go straight so he turns down an offer for "a job." When Ted Kord won't offer him at Kord Industries, he assumes it's because of his past even though Kord insists it's due to over-staffing. So, a discouraged Buckley decides to return to his criminal ways after all. It turns out it's a gig with The Calculator and the target is the Consumer Electronics Show. There, Buckley runs into, of course, Ted Kord and finds out Kord has reconsidered. Unfortunately, if Buckley backs out of the job his wife and kid will pay the consequences. When Blue Beetle ends up battling The Calculator, he's initially disappointed to see Buckley among his foe's goons, but as the conflict escalates Buckley saves Beetle. Once The Calculator is subdued, Buckley and Kord talk and, having seen that Buckley does indeed have good in him, he offers him a position after he gets out of jail. 

While the cover succumbs to a bit of hyperbole, it doesn't lie: this is story about one of the no-name henchmen that normally exist as cannon fonder for the hero to knock out on his way to the villain  and Wein and Cullins do a great job giving dimensions to a character normally lacking them. 5/5

The Rest:
Batman (1940) 403 - "One Batman Too Many" (Max Allan Collins, Denys Cowan, Greg Brooks) 

I had thought the previous issue a single-issue story, but #403 opens with Tommy Carma the Batman imitator killing a couple Arkham guards he believes to be Two Face and Joker. Tommy escapes and, remembering Bruce Wayne, heads toward his mansion. Somehow on the way he stumbles upon the Batcave where he steals a costume and the Batmobile. The real Batman tracks him down and defeats him easily. This actually seems to break Carma's delusion since "no one can defeat Batman," ergo he's not Batman. The art is responsible for this issue having a positive score. I found the idea that Carma could find the Batcave simply by chance and that anyone could hop into the Batmobile and take off ridiculous. 3/5

Legion of Super-Heroes (1984) 30 - "Brainy's Lucky Day" (Paul Levitz, Greg LaRocque, Mike DeCarlo) 

This issue has several different plots. Mon-El, Blok and Ultra Boy prepare to accompany Ambassador Relnic to a meeting with the Dominion, unaware that Relnic is working for Universo. Tellus, the White Witch, Wildfire and Quislet arrive on Tellus's planet to assist the... Tellians? But their presence there is also a part of Universo's plan. Finally, Brainiac 5, Lightning Lass, Dream Girl, Timber Wolf and Colossal Boy deal with lightning creatures at the Niagara Hydroenergy Plant. The posture of Brainiac on the cover is due to the last moment of the issue: he returns home to find a message waiting that Rond Vidar has passed away. In case your Legion knowledge needs some improving like mine, I'll help you out: Vidar is actually Universo's son and initially an enemy of the Legion but he became a "good guy" and a friend of Brainiac 5... I think. 3/5

Superman (1986) 1 - "Heart of Stone" (John Byrne, Terry Austin) 

Since Action Comics takes the place of DC Comics Presents as the new Superman team-up title, a number of the plots Byrne seeded in Man of Steel find continuance in this title. In the final issue of that mini-series, Superman discovered he was an alien and found the ship that brought him (well... his birth matrix anyway) to Earth. Three months later, he investigates a lead-lined building where he finds someone has stored a lot of information about him and also... a dead guy. He's Superman so instead of gathering up a bunch of evidence in a bag he takes the entire building. Later, as Clark Kent he meets Lois for a jog and they come across a bank robbery being perpetrated to get the attention of his alter ego. The post-Crisis Superman meets Metallo, a cyborg powered by Kryptonite. The battle eventually ends, but not because Superman wins; Metallo just kind of disappears and the issue ends with the implication that Lex Luthor has snatched him away. 4/5
Also published by DC: Electric Warrior 9, Elvira's House of Mystery 11, G.I. Combat 287, Secret Origins 10 and Star Trek 34

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

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