It's a new year! Welcome to 1987! Check out my wrap-up of 1986!
January 2nd, 1987
DC published 8 comics, I read 6 of them!
Issue of the Week:
Wonder Woman (1986) 3 - "Deadly Arrival" (George Perez/Len Wein, George Perez, Bruce Patterson)
What am I going to do when Perez's Wonder Woman ranks as one of my favorite comic runs? Apologize to the books DC publishes with it, I guess! And to you, reader, for the lack of variety in my selection for issue of the week. Perez continues to build up the post-Crisis world of Wonder Woman. Last issue, Deimos and Phobos, sons of Ares, showed up, drawn like their father from Greek myth. And while they're up to no good here, Diana receives some more allies in the form of Harvard professor Julia Kapatelis and her daughter Vanessa. Taking in Wonder Woman has its risks though as the Kapatelises discover when Phobos sends them a statue that turns into the villainess Decay. Meanwhile, his brother takes a more subtle approach behind the scenes spewing rhetoric that sounds frighteningly familiar in 2017. 5/5
Demon (1986) 4 - "Begins Our Tale of Woe" (Matt Wagner, Art Nichols)
Well, that's that then. Matt Wagner's Demon never really made much of an impression on me. I like the character, loved Kirby's original and have appreciated Etrigan's appearances elsewhere. I can even get behind some of the ideas Wagner has here but the execution left me lukewarm. I will say I am intrigued to see the character show up again down the road, however, given what occurs at the end of this issue. (If you want to be spoiled, here's a summary.) 3/5
Fury of Firestorm (1982) 58 - "Gambit" (John Ostrander, Jo Brozowski, Pablo Marcos)
Beneath a sorta awful cover lies a decent comic as the post-Crisis Parasite is introduced. Ruby Jones, a fella that's not all that swell a human being, becomes an even worse super-villain, one with a power that makes him a pretty formidable opponent for our nuclear hero (and Superman, whom Parasite would end up being more associated with than Firestorm, really) as the nice cliffhanger makes clear: Parasite absorbs Firestorm's power, separating Ronnie and Professor Stein and leaving them seemingly in severe danger. 4/5
Justice League of America (1960) 261 - "Last Stand" (J.M. DeMatteis, Luke McDonnell, Robert Lewis)
Justice League of America volume one comes to an end and only Martian Manhunter and Vixen are left to deal with Professor Ivo after his androids have killed two of their teammates and traumatized others. It's a solid issue, if not spectacular, maybe a little anticlimactic, but, your feelings about the "Detroit era" aside, the flagship team of the DC Universe needed a bit of a refresh. Manhunter, having only recently disbanded the team, discovers he's interested in being a part of a new start while Vixen decides she needs a break, needs to find a different path. 3/5
Outsiders (1985) 18 - "...Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light" (Mike Barr, Jim Aparo, Carl Gafford) and "Freeway of Fear" (Mike Barr, Brian Bolland)
Continuing from last issue, the Outsiders and Batman (that just sounds wrong) battle an Eclipso separated from his customary host, Bruce Gordon. Barr and Aparo do a nice job of making the villain seem like a genuine threat; our heroes avoid confronting him directly due to the power level he has achieved. In fact, it takes Gordon's sacrifice -- not of his life, but of his freedom as he allows himself to once more be merged with Eclipso -- to put an end to the conflict... for now. Given what comes later, this story kind of makes for a nice prelude to The Darkness Within. Batman also rejoins the team and that's probably for the best; his presence in these past two issues was welcome. I'm surprised DC didn't bother putting his name back in the title, though. The backup is a fun little tale that looks fantastic thanks to Brian Bolland. 3/5
Vigilante (1983) 40 - "God Save the Children" (Paul Kupperberg, Tod Smith, Greg Brooks)
Also continuing from the previous issue. From editor Mike Gold: "There isn't a happy ending here. Paul did his homework in preparing for this story and having a happy ending would promote a false sense of security. If it shook you up... well, then you got the point." The Vigilante beats a brutal path through Times Square back when 42nd and Broadway was a pretty sleazy place to find a guy to get a name of another guy. Then he goes and deals with that other guy, but has to take out a lot of other guys on the way to that guy. All these guys (and a gal or two) deserve what he dishes out, but for as many guys as Chase confronts, there's a lot of other guys out there. In the end, Kupperburg allows Vigilante to think that he's made a difference, but undercuts that with panels showing that the heinous acts continue elsewhere. I admit to not thinking much initially of the "Suggested for Mature Readers" label on this title, but it's definitely to be heeded. 4/5
Also published by DC: Tales of the New Teen Titans 76, Watchmen 8.
My thanks to the site Mike's Amazing World of Comics without which this project would not be possible.