August 10, 2017

Post-Crisis Pull List - February 12th, 1987

February 12th, 1987
DC published 8 comics. I read 5 of them

Issue of the Week:
Batman (1940) 407 - "Friend in Need" (Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli) 

Last issue, our two leads -- Batman and Jim Gordon -- seemed to draw closer to the possibility of a partnership. The barrier between them -- the lawlessness of vigilantism -- breaking apart due to the corruption of Gotham City. Commissioner Loeb attempts to blackmail Gordon with evidence of his affair with Sarah Essen, but the detective decides to tell his wife the truth a few weeks before the birth of their son. Meanwhile, Batman is trying to deal with crime boss Falcone, but his efforts are complicated by the involvement of Catwoman. The story climaxes with the kidnapping of Barbara and James Jr. during the daytime. Given the time of day, Bruce Wayne ventures out with only a motorcycle helmet to protect his identity, a disguise he loses during his dramatic rescue of James Jr. Gordon has lost something as well: his glasses. As he accepts his son from Bruce, he claims to be blind without them. It's left to the reader to decide whether Gordon is telling the truth. Either way, the story ends with him, now a captain, waiting for a meeting with the Batman about a new threat to the city calling himself The Joker. Thus, Miller points to a future of more colorful opponents, while smartly confining this early adventure to the more realistic threat of organized crime and police corruption. 5/5 

The Rest:
Blue Beetle (1986) 12 - "Man in the Middle" (Len Wein / Joey Cavalieri, Paris Cullins, Dell Barras) 

Blue Beetle is the titular "man" as he finds himself mixed up in the battle between the New Teen Titans and the Hybrid. His main concern is saving his employee Curt Calhoun whom Mento has attempted to recruit as the latest member of his team of unfortunate experiments, but focusing on that priority proves difficult with the rest of the Hybrid attacking. The Hybrid are supposed to be horrible; they are unwilling villains, forced by Mento to fight for him; they are victims of his manipulations. So, Eduardo Barreto's designs for them are good in that they convey these characteristics, but it also means they are not very charismatic. At least that's my theory as to why I don't find them that engaging and why they seem to have never really caught on. I found the breaks for some ongoing subplots more interesting. 3/5

Legion of Super-Heroes (1984) 34 - "Forgotten Foe" (Paul Levitz, Greg LaRocque, Mike DeCarlo / Arne Starr)

The three groups of Legionnaires continue to struggle with the traps that Universo has hatched. Saturn Girl and the others she rescued from the prison planet get the most attention and that's nice because they're the group I'm most interested in. They've arrived on Naltor, home planet of Dream Girl who is vamping on the cover and also among those with Imra (and also that of White Witch who is part of one of the other groups). They learn from the High Seer of Naltor that the Legion has been disbanded and attempt to travel to Earth in disguise, though their trip is greatly complicated by having Chameleon Boy among them because of the travel restrictions on the shape-shifting Durlans. The other two groups find themselves abducted by Universo's agents. As this story continues, I find myself enjoying it more and more. 4/5 

Secret Origins (1986) 14 - "The Secret Origin of the Suicide Squad" (John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, Dave Hunt)

I haven't been covering Secret Origins for this project so far and, for the most part, I probably won't after this issue either. If you want in-depth coverage of the whole series, check out this podcast. However, this issue is included in the first Suicide Squad trade, so I thought "why not?" While one continuous story, we really have two origin tales, both arising out of the context of a meeting between Amanda Waller and President Reagan as she presents to him files, one on the history of the Suicide Squad and Rick Flag and one on herself. I'm sure this was scheduled to provide background prior to the publication of Suicide Squad #1 later in the month. While it's competently done, it's about as exciting as most preludes; you kind of know that the fun stuff won't happen until later. 3/5

Superman (1986) 5 - "The Mummy Strikes" (John Byrne, Karl Kesel)

...and it's one BIG mummy. But before we get to that, Clark dreams about Wonder Woman. They smash some warhounds (as seen in Legends) together and then almost kiss before he wakes up, late for work. He considers the possibility of romance with this other superhero, but not for long before Cat Grant is flirting with him at the Planet. When he finds out Lois Lane may be in trouble on assignment in South America, even Perry White can see that she is the woman that really grabs Kent's attention. Lois has joined an archaeological expedition that has discovered what appears to be evidence underground of an advanced civilization predating humanity. Part of this evidence turns out to be a massive creature wrapped in bandages. Clark can't change into Superman because he didn't have time to shave that morning so he causes a cave-in to trap himself with the creature. This move also keeps the other safe, but the issue ends with Clark unconscious. Had we got a little bit more about whomever created this "mummy," this issue might have contended with Batman, but as it is, it's a 4/5.

Also published by DC: Electric Warrior 13, Star Trek 38, Zatanna Special 1.

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

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