As some may remember from the old board I have a ton of comic books that I have never read. My goal is to read at least one a day (yeah right), and when it strikes my fancy to do so to review that comic here. Once again join me as I plow through years of comics that have been lying around unread.

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"I think The Brave and the Bold #95 was his introduction into the DC universe proper."


Playing catch up here . . . (I don't know why I don't follow this thread more closely; I really enjoy Travis' commentary.)

Actually, Plastic Man was mainstreamed into the DC universe in the story "Doom, What is Thy Shape?", from The Brave and the Bold # 76 (Feb.-Mar., 1968).
Thanks, Commander.
Daredevil #192
March 1983
Cover art by: Klaus Janson


Story: Promises
Writer: Alan Brennert
Art: Klaus Janson

Ben Urich and some guy named Mel are meeting on the roof of the Daily Bugle. Mel gives Ben information that his mentor Jimmy Hughes has been under the thumb of the mob since 1969. As the talk a sniper takes aim at them. Daredevil swoops down and knocks his gun away as the two men run inside. Daredevil uses his super senses to learn that the man was just trying to scare them, and he doesn't know who hired him to shoot at the two fellows.
Ben promises his wife he will buy her a new home. Daredevil gains corroborating evidence that Jimmy Hughes was on the take. Ben confronts his mentor, and tells him he will publish a story about his misdeeds. Jimmy tells Ben that his sources tell him that Ben killed a story to save his own life. Neither guy's hands appear clean, really.
Daredevil does some more investigating and learns that Ben's realtor has his own ties to the Kingpin. DD busts into the Kingpin's office and confronts him. Kingpin tells Matt quite frankly that threats and violence only get you so far. There is nothing he can do to stop him to eventually get Ben into his pocket. Since he controls the realtor and is on the board of directors of the bank approving the loan.
Daredevil tells Ben the truth. Ben bitches and moans about his fate, and how that the story that would make his career and amass a giant bankroll is the one he won't publish. He decides that he won't disappoint his wife again, and he is getting that house anyways. He is moping at a park when his wife shows up and tells him he can't go through with it. Daredevil had shown up to their apartment, and waited for him to return. She made him tell her what was going on. They agree to not get into bed with the Kingpin.

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A very nice story that had more dialogue than action, but that was fine. I did enjoy Kingpin's line telling Matt that he can schedule an appointment to see him, after busting the heads of his bodyguards to get into his office. Klaus Janson's art is pretty solid, I've always liked his work.
Daredevil #193
April 1983
Cover art by: Klaus Janson


Story: Bitsy's Revenge
Writer: Larry Hama
Art: Klaus Janson

It is early in the morning, and Daredevil stops by a military armory to visit his old friend, uh, Sarge. Never given any other name than that. Daredevil sees that Sarge has been shot, and in his dying breathes he tells DD, that some robbers stole some new wire-guided missiles called Dragons. He also begins to tell DD the story of his luck .45 “Bitsy” before he passes. Daredevil chases the thieves outside, and the truck they came in squeals off leaving some of the robbers behind. The Man Without Fear makes short work of the hooligans and learns that Carmine Pesca is the leader of the heist, and that he will be on the S.S. Madagascar that is carrying $5 million worth of diamonds.

Matt makes it to the ship. He fends off the advances of one lady. Sees Carmine put the moves on a lady, and she slaps him. Ol' Carmine storms off. Matt goes to meet the lady Carmine was talking to, and learns she is the magician on the ship, and she figured she could relate to Carmine since they are both really tall skinny people.

That night after being incorporated into Willow's (the magician), Daredevil is perched above Carmine pondering his next move. All of a sudden a Dragon missile hits the radio mast of the ship. It doesn't know it completely off, and the radar dish ends up pointing down towards the ship. The radar totally cripples Daredevil, making him “blind”. A Pirate submarine emerges, and demands the diamonds off of the ship. The captain quickly relents.

DD crawls to a firefighting station and grabs the fire axe there. He climbs up the to mast and chops the radar off. Unfortunately, sense his radar was being blocked he didn't see Carmine below when did it. He jumps down and knocks the radar dish out of the way before it hits him. He then learns that Carmine is an actor hired by Willow. He was told she picked him because he could disguise herself as him during her disappearance act.

Matt learns that Willow's magic act was preparation for robbing the ship of its diamonds. Once again Matt makes quick work of her two henchman. She then pull Sarge's weapon “Bitsy” out. Hornhead warns her that the gun is defective, and it will misfire on her if she tries to use it. Naturally, she believes he trying to pull a fast one on her and pulls the trigger. Matt wouldn't lie to her, would he? Of course not, so it explodes in her hand. Daredevil then tell the story of Bitsy, and how when Sarge had the gun back in Vietnam a VC came charging at him, and was about throw a grenade at him. The grenade went off prematurely and a piece of shrapnel embedded itself in the gun. Sarge filed the piece down, and kept the gun as a good luck piece ever since.

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A rare two issues in a row! A nice Done In One by Larry Hama. I liked the one bit of Matt telling the one lady interested in him that he was now single since his sixth wife the oil baroness died suddenly. Klaus Janson's art is terrific as per usual. The cover is pure greatness.
Daredevil #195
June 1983
Cover art by: Klaus Janson


Story: Betrayal
Writer: Denny O'Neil
Art: Klaus Janson

Disguised as a waiter Daredevil protects Bruno Ponchatrane on a yacht, when it is attacked my gunmen wearing gas masks. DD captures most of them, and then he lunges on to the runner of the helicopter as it begins to fly away. Before a gunman on the copter can kill him, he throws his baton on him, knocking him into the controls. DD jumps away, and the helicopter crashes into a bridge, and subsequently falls into the river? Lake? It never says, so let's go with body of water below. Matt emerges from the water without a whit of remorse. Back in the his law offices, we learn that Foggy was responsible for getting Bruno off on a technicality.
Later that night we see Matt's ex-girlfriend Heather Glenn at a party (that Matt didn't go to because she would be there).She runs into Tarkington Brown from the mayor's office and they soon leave together to go for a walk. During the walk she tells Tarkington that Matt and Daredevil is one and the same. He believes her.
After he drops Heather off at her apartment we see that Tarkington is the one responsible for the squad that went after Bruno. This squad was also guilty of killing a number of other criminals who got off through loopholes. Their next target will be Matt Murdock.
The next morning Heather goes and tells Matt what she did. He kicks her out of the office. She then compounds her mistake by going to confront Tarkington. He pulls a gun on her, and tells her that he has sent his death squad to Matt's apartment, what weapons they have, and where they are located. Once he gets word that Ol' Horn Head is dead he will then eliminate Heather. Well, since Heather did blab about his secret, it makes DD a little paranoid, so he easily spots the sniper waiting for him outside of his apartment. He then quickly captures the other three goons, and confirms an earlier suspicion he had that the squad was made up of policemen.
Back in the office Tarkington waits for news from his hitmen, and gives Heather a cup of coffee. She throws it in his face and runs out. Before he can shoot her, Daredevil knocks the gun out of his hand. The two then come to an agreement, Daredevil will keep Tarkington's of running the police deaths quad if he won't squeal about Matt. Tarkington agrees as he only has a few months to live anyway.
When he arrives back at the office Foggy tells Matt that Bruno, the one he (Foggy) got off on a technicality killed another little girl.
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Denny O'Neil serves up another pretty good done-in-one story. I was glad that DD recognized that the murder squad wore their gas masks for a reason, and used one of them himself. Many writers would have had him if not get knocked, then seriously impaired by the gas. I did enjoy that one of the billboards had “Ronin” on it. I'm not 100% sure, but I would imagine it was a nod to Frank Miller, as his series Ronin was about to be published.
DC First: Flash/Superman
July 2002
Cover art by: Kevin Nowlan


Story: Speeding Bullets
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Rick Burchett
Inks: Prentis Rollins

We begin at the Iron Heights Penitentiary in Keystone City. Hunter Zolomon is interviewing the Pied Piper who seems to have lost him memory. The Piper attacks Zolomon and is beaten off by some guards. We see him take a piece of something with him. Not to be dissuaded, he goes to his next amnesiac, Abra Kadabra. Kadabra is believed to have lost his mind completely, but once Zolomon and another guard reach his cell, Abra Kadabra springs back to life and attacks them. Before he flees he is about to attack Zolomon, but then stops as he knows what the future holds for him. Telling him, “I'll be rooting for you.”

The Golden Age Flash, and Wally West are in Metropolis to pick up a rare book for Jay's wife who has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. They are quickly attacked by Abra Kadabra (why wouldn't he attack them in Keystone City?). Of course it being Metropolis, Superman shows up (ah I see why he attacked them here, otherwise no story). Kadabra casts a spell on Wally that will age him quickly. Then he reveals his plan: Superman and Jay will be forced to chase Wally, and whoever catches him first will get the curse and age so rapidly they will die. If they don't do it, then Kadabra's captive audience will die of old age instead.

The race is on, and both Supes and Jay try to be the one to sacrifice themselves for Wally and the civilians. Jay “cheats” and steals some of the Superman's speed by tapping into the Speed Force. When he does this Kadabra expands Jay's lightning field, and all three heroes are now in the 64th century. Wally collapses and Jay is the one to touch him first. Jay begins to age, and Wally uses his powers to vibrate Jay. When he does this Superman uses his heat vision to zap the nanites which were the cause of Kadabra's curse. The whole race was a ruse by Kadabra to get back to his own time and refresh his weaponry. Superman leads the others the armory because he could hear Kadabra bragging. Wally then quickly defeats Abra Kadabra after he had incapacitated Jay and Superman. Our heroes then head home.
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Definitely, one of the newer books I have reviewed here. A good yarn by Geoff Johns, with excellent art by the team of Burchett and Rollin. This was during the time that Superman was wearing the black shield from Kingdom Come. The reason why escapes me as I wasn't reading Superman then. Kevin Nowlan thankfully didn't include it on his cover.

Two items I wish to point out in this issue. 1. The foreshadowing of Hunter Zolomon. 2. The scene of the heroes traveling forward in time. We see them pass the original Reverse Flash in the 25th century, and then blazing by Cosmic Boy in the 30th. I enjoy little touches like that.
The black sheield was from the never-to-be-remembered 'Our Worlds at War' storyline, involving some psuedo-Zod that Superman was afraid of*. Kansas got blown to hell for one and some city or other got blown up, I think. Superman changed his shield as a sign of mourning and because the writers wanted to make their mark on an global icon who'll outlive them all.

Then, as the story ran over the summer of 2001 the black shield seemed to segue with the times, so they kept it for a while.

I have this issue of Superman vs the Flash, by the way, and also the Daredevil issues you've been looking at. The collector in me felt I had to get all the comics between Miller's first long run and the later Born Again run, so I'd have the complete Miller with interlude. They were ok, workmanlike superhero comics, with great Klaus Jansen artwork.

*Hey Doc! I can't roll my eyes!
Thanks for the info on Superman's shield. Figs. I kind of remember that now. As for Daredevil I also read the arc in which he goes to Japan, and I enjoyed that quite a bit, but I wasn't in the mood to go over it. I thought Denny O'Neill shined on that one.
Doorway to Nightmare
Jan.-Feb. 1978
Cover art by: Michael Kaluta


Story: Doorway to Nightmare
Writer: David Micheline
Art: Val Mayerik

Hot darn a first issue! Madame Xanadu is milling around her shop when Cindy Barns, an actress from Kentucky walks in. She gets to her tale of arriving in NYC and looking for an acting gig. She gets a part, but is fired for arguing about her lines. The writer, Brad Jacobs, catches up to her and they begin a whirlwind romance. With Cindy getting a part in Brad's new play. At one point in her narration Cindy is interrupted by Erika they snap at each other, and Cindy explains the trouble with Brad started when he started hanging out with Erika. Now Brad looks awful, and has a short fuse with Cindy, but Cindy is in love, and wants Madame Xanadu's help. She agrees to help her, but advises Cindy to not do anything until she contacts her.

Cindy doesn't listen, of course, and confronts Brad in his apartment. He breaks down and tells her that Erika is dying of cancer and he volunteered to be a donor of his soul energy in a mystical rite. Brad explains that the last session is tonight, and Cindy runs out crying.

Cindy hooks back up with Madane Xanadu and they go to the building where the ritual takes place Erika reveals she is actually Erikhatmen the daughter of King Tutankhamen. She does indeed have cancer that she contracted in 4500 BC! She uses this ritual every 100 years to keep herself alive, the final one always kills the donor. Madame Xanadu tells Cindy she can't really help her (thanks for coming along to “help”), but she does tell her that the pyramid above everyone's head is where the power lies. She throws a pipe at the pyramid shattering it, and Erika melts away. Everyone lives happily ever after, I guess.
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Ha-ha! Little did DC know when they published this that people would look this stuff up. Erika is only off by like 3200 years on when King Tut was alive. Not a bad story, not great either. I really liked the Val Mayerik art. Really good, and a great use of blacks to carry the mood this comic needs. The Kaluta cover is pretty snazzy as well. The series would only run 5 issues, being caught in the DC Implosion. There was a 6th issue that was apparently printed in Unexpected
1st Issue Special #7
October 1975
Cover art by: Steve Ditko


Story: Menace of the Human Firefly
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Pencils: Steve Ditko
Inks: Mike Royer

Jack Ryder is at the Gotham Penitentiary filming a documentary on on prison reform for WHAM-TV. The warden introduces him to a few of Batman's foes including Garfield Lynns aka Firefly. Who the warden doesn't even bother to learn why he was put in prison. That lackluster attention to, you know, his job has allowed Lynns to build a device that concentrates moonlight into a laser, able to cut through the bars of his cell. An alarm is shortly raised at the prison. The warden tells Jack and his crew to wait for him in his office, but Jack has other ideas and changes into the Creeper. Firefly shoot the Creeper with his laser, stunning him briefly. When the some other guards from the prison show up, they believe the Creeper helped Firefly escape. They attempt to capture him, and fail at that as well.

Lynns soon returns to his old base of operations in a lighthouse, and discovers his “awe-inspiring” costume is still where he left it. As well as all of his light weapons and illusions. The next night Firefly goes to a bar to recruit some henchman. Three of them their laugh at him because of his ridiculous costume. He causes one of them to disappear, and the other two eagerly agree to join him, even if he is a little weird.

Back at WHAM, Jack Ryder goes on the air with the story about Firefly and the Creeper. He announces that the station is offering $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of either character. When he gets off of the air his boss tells him that there is a fire at the Skytop Diamond Exchange. Jack and a film crew rush to the scene. Jack tells them to film the scene while he goes to interview some witnesses. Once again he changes into the Creeper and scales the building. When he gets to the top he discovers the fire is just an illusion by Firefly and his men. The diamonds are stored on the top floor of the building and the fake fire will allow them to easily steal them. They have a helicopter hidden above the “flames” The costume may seem lame, but the Firefly actually defeats ol' Creepy and knocks him off the top of the building. He falls all 106 stories, and somehow survives. Jack then awakens handcuffed to a bed. Well the powers he got from Professor Yatz allows him to break his bonds and escape.

Jack tracks down the Firefly and his hooligans at his lighthouse hideout, using some pretty sketchy reasoning if you ask me. He uses one of the Firefly's own men to destroy his light belt, and then Firefly himself falls off the lighthouse into the water to his “death”. The Creeper laughs.

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Okay, lets get this out of the way. Those are two horrendous costumes on the cover, and perhaps two of the worst EVER. Wow. Okay now that that is out of the way, this is average maybe a little below average. A couple of bits I did like: Lynns was actually worried about his costume fitting him after being in jail for so long. Not something you see often. I also enjoyed how the people laughed at his costume when he first showed up. I thought Firefly's scheme was actually a pretty good. A good use of the abilities available to him.

I didn't mention it above, but the part with Ryder's boss using the TV to villify the Creeper was very Spider-Man like.
Why didn't Lynns use his laser to cut a way out of his cell that led straight outside instead of just the bars? He would have been able to escape much more quietly if he had done that. I had no idea the Creeper could survive such a fall, I don't believe he is quite so resilient now.
1st Issue Special #11
February 1976
Cover art by: Mike Grell



Story: None given so lets just call it “Codename: Assassin”
Writer: Gerry Conway & Steve Skeates
Pencils: The Redondo Studio
Inks: Al Milgrom

We jump into the action immediately, as Assassin busts into a meeting of some mobsters 30 stories up. He uses is fighting prowess, a tranquilizer gun, and his telepathy to beat them up. He learns from the head crook, Mr Carmody, where he is hiding his gambling records are. We learn that he used up his telekinetic powers to fly up there, so he pulls out a mini blowtorch to crack the safe. Mr Carmody pulls a gun out and wings Assassin, by instinct he shoots at him with a mental ray, frying his brain.

The nest morning three men are on the sidewalk outside the criminal's building. Mr. Roberts, the district attorney who is glad to get the dirt on the hoodlums. Mr. Runyon, a cynical member of the bureau (FBI maybe? Never says), who believes a good lawyer can still get the bad guys off. And, Dr. Stone, who reveals that Assassin is a man named Jonathan Drew, and that he is ill. Runyon warns the doctor that once the head of the mob learns what happens, Assassin is dead.

Mr. Grummun, is the head of the mob, and boy howdy he is hopping mad. One of his flunkies senses he would be, and has already sent for some super powered help from Miami. In walks in The Snake and Powerhouse. The Snake trained for fifteen years in a South American Circus, which gave him great agility, strength, and fighting ability (don't ask me). We never learn how Powerhouse got his abilities, which is probably for the best, but not only is he strong and really tough, he can grab onto an electrical device and channel the electricity through himself into people touching him. They beat up Grummun's goons.

Okay we got the villains in place. Let's jump to Jonathan Drew's apartment, where he is confronted by Dr. Stone, and we are treated to a flashback. We see Jonathan and his sister promise they will take care of each other since their parents have died. Next, we see the laboratory experiment that Dr. Stone and Dr. Anderson were performing on Jonathan that caused an explosion giving him his powers. We then see Jonathan and his sister leaving the hospital. She tells him not to let anyone know about his new abilities as people would be after him. Like her boss Victor Grummun. Just then she is shot dead from car. Jonathan sends a bolt of mental energy at the car blowing it up, but the men do escape with their lives.

Jonathan dons his costume and flies away to confront Grummun, as the doc tells him that he is waiting to kill him. He arrives at the boat, and the issue ends with The Snake, Powerhouse, and Assassin having fought to a standstill and the continuation will be along in the future.

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Well that future never came about, as the character wouldn't show back up for like 25 years, in an issue of Starman for those scoring at home. Then he would only be absent 7 more years before his next appearance. The banner on the first page said, “Possibly the wildest action hero you've ever seen.” Maybe he was just too wild for DC. I don't know if there could have been more generic names for the bad guys than The Snake and Powerhouse. Assassin is a horrible name for a hero who never kills anyone, plus it is very generic as well. The art is only okay.
Doom Patrol #114
September 1967
Cover art by: Bob Brown



Story: Kor---the Conqueror
Writer: Arnold Drake
Art: Bruno Premiani


This issue begins with some action as Professor Koravyk emerges from an energy wall as a Neanderthal man carrying a big, futuristic gun. Being a caveman the prof uses the gun as a club at first to fight the good guys. Suddenly, ANACRHONISM ALERT!, a woolly mammoth also come out of the energy field with a jungle in the background. The mammoth attacks the Doom Patrol and delays them long enough for Koravyk to escape. The professor learns how to pull the trigger of the gun, and it emits vibrations that destroys a whole city block.

Back at DP HQ, Governor Driscoll meets the team and we get a flashback. Professor Koravyk is from another, unnamed country, and they want to use his brilliance to develop weapons of mass destruction. He tells the Chief that he is going to escape to a place that no one can get to him. He sends the Doom Patrol to follow the professor. They follow him to a lab were he points a giant machine at him that then explodes and creates the wall of energy. The team is trapped behind the wall, but are able to free themselves. After the flashback, the Chief deduces that the professor tried send himself back in time but instead brought the past to the present in his locale and changed himself into a caveman. Governor Driscoll gives the Doom Patrol and hour to stop the professor or he will die!

The Doom Patrol finds Kor (as he calls himself now) using his gun to destroy city hall. He turns the gun on Robotman and shakes him to pieces. Robotman pulls a Terminator and crawls over and is still able to break the gun. While repairing Robotman the Chief comes to the conclusion that Kor is going back to the university he was at to look for a new gun. (Apparently it takes less than an hour to repair Robotman.) Robotman and Kor fight again, and Kor dismantles Robotman again. All of a sudden a woolly mammoth comes charging in knocks Kor unconscious. They use his machine to revert him back to normal. And don't worry about all of he caused, because all of his scientific achievements will make up for it.

Back-up Bonus!
Story: The Kid Who Was King of the Crooks
Writer: Arnold Drake
Art: Bruno Premiani

Quickly. Two crooks trick a very young Gar Logan (not quite Beast Boy yet) into stealing some diamonds and gold. When they are away he hides the illicit proceeds in one of the crooks room. They each accuse the other of stealing the loot, and they pull their guns out and kill each other.
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I don't think I have much to say about this issue (which kind of goes against my intent of this project). The Doom Patrol themselves were pretty useless in this episode, thank goodness the mammoth was their to knock Kor out. The backup was pretty dark I thought. Even though the art was by the same guy, I found it to be better, and not so stiff in the Beast Boy backup. I could be mistaken, but I think this is the entirety of my Doom Patrol collection. Update: Well I do have a few issues of the new series since I first wrote this up.

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