July 7, 2017

Post-Crisis Pull List - December 26th, 1986

December 26th, 1986
DC published 11 comics, I read 7 of them.  

Issue of the Week:
Detective Comics (1937) 572 - "The Doomsday Book" (Mike W. Barr, Alan Davis / Eufronio Reyes Cruz / Terry Beatty / Carmine Infantino, Dick Giordano / Al Vey / Paul Neary) 

50 years of Detective Comics and Mike W. Barr finds himself in the driver seat to celebrate this golden jubilee. And he does a swell job, telling a 54 page story with the help of no-less-than fourteen other people  counting the editor and the cover artist. Barr balances respecting both the caped hero that has headlined this title for most of its run as well as its history as comic featuring stories about sleuths. Toward the latter purpose, we enjoy the presence of other bloodhounds: Slam Bradley who appeared in the first issue of this mag (and I became a fan of when Ed Brubaker was writing Catwoman), Elongated Man, and Holmes himself. The various artists are deployed well; sometimes too many cooks in the kitchen and all that, but this time the broth came out quite tasty. 5/5

The Rest: 
Action Comics (1938) 586 - "The Champion" (John Byrne, Dick Giordano)

Well, we've arrived at the end of the Legends crossover running through the Superman books this month and I enjoyed each installment a bit less than the last. Since I loved the first part, that's not as bad as it sounds. As I said about the last installment, I'm not wild about brainwashed Superman stories. The Man of Steel battles New Gods Orion and Lightray until the former uses his Mother Box to clear the Kryptonian's head. It was satisfying to see Superman sock Darkseid one, but then the ruler of Apokolips sends him back to Earth and this whole diversion feels a bit inconsequential in the end. 3/5

Captain Atom (1987) 1 - "Point of Origin" (Cary Bates, Pat Broderick, Robert R. Smith)

And the next Charlton "Action Hero" to receive a title is Captain Atom. The star of the show might be General Wade Eiling, though, as Bates and Broderick create quite the antagonist for their new Captain, Nathaniel Adam. Wisely, when the story jumps forward eighteen years, there's no caption to inform us and that effectively imparts some of the confusion our hero has emerging into this later year. Cary Bates was only 38 when this was published, but already had 20 years of experience as a funny book writer. It shows. He knows how to introduce a character and set the stage for stories to come. 4/5

Cosmic Boy (1986) 4 - "Time Without End" (Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen / Ernie Colon, Pablo Marcos)

Levitz had created an interesting conundrum for the titular character and his lady friend in the previous issues, as they found themselves stuck in the 20th century. At the end of the last issue, the pair found themselves at the end of the time, face-to-face with the Time Trapper. Intriguing cliffhanger. Unfortunately, this finale mostly amounts to a race against time (of course), as the duo work to convince their foe to return them to their era. It's not terribly interesting. And, despite being issue four of a four-issue mini-series, it ends with a "to be continued" directing us to Legion of Super-Heroes 36 four months later, leaving this feeling less like an ending. 3/5

Hawkman (1986) 8 - "The Beginning of the End" (Tony Isabella / Dan Mishkin, Richard Howell, Carlos Garzon)

As new writer Mishkin scripts over outgoing Isabella's plots, we see a continuation of the Darkwing (not Duck) story that I actually enjoyed more than the first chapter. When Superman shows up at the end, I was as surprised as the Hawks. It seems that the "shadow war" with the Thanagarians is escalating and I'm curious if it will continue throughout the rest of this title's run or resolve into other matters. 4/5

Legends (1986) 5 - "Let Slip the Dogs of War" (John Ostrander / Len Wein, John Byrne, Karl Kesel)

This penultimate issue of the story sees Dr. Fate assemble together most of the heroes we've seen so far to oppose Darkseid. I covered this miniseries on episode 49 of From Kid to Flash. 4/5

Question (1986) 2 - "Butterfly" (Denny O'Neil, Denys Cowan, Rick Magyar)

I was really close to making this the issue of the week. In the end, I gave it to Detective because it's a special issue, I gave it to Question last month, and I figure there's a good chance I'll give it to Question again. But, man, this was a fantastic issue. Some nice prose from O'Neil in the captions -- musings on time and death -- kick things off as Vic Sage sinks into the river after being shot in the head. He has a surprising, but plausible enough recovery only to be called out by Batman as an amateur. He needs training. Fortunately, Lady Shiva sends him off to study under Richard Dragon, another O'Neil creation. After a comic book equivalent of a training montage, Question returns for the men who killed him. 5/5

Also Published by DC: All-Star Squadron 67, Mask 2, Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes 345, Teen Titans Spotlight 8

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


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