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 love the original Doom Patrol. They were a bunch of misfits who keep having mishaps. It's par for the course that they'd be pretty helpless half the time. Robotman seems to get dismantled every episode, or partially dissolved in acid, or partially melted, or even rolled paper thin sometimes. So long as his brain-container head is in one piece, it doesn't take much to fix him.

Their whole point is that they stumble through. They are very brave and heroic, but their abilities and strategies don't always match their intents.

I find them hard to dislike. Their hearts are in the right place (except for Robotman - har de har!), even if they seem to bicker and have trouble working together and working efficiently.

The stories always were at the weird end of the spectrum. It's not surprising that they were a good match with Grant Morrison.

I enjoyed the 1st Showcase collection and see that the 2nd volume (including this story) is due out in August. Yippee!
Thanks for the info on this version of the Doom Patrol, Figs. I guess Robotman's robot body is made of aluminum or something.
The Fury of Firestorm #3 & 4
August & September 1982
Cover art by: Pat Broderick & Dick Giordano


Story: “A Cold Time In the Old Town Tonight...” & “The Icy Heart of Killer Frost”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Pat Broderick
Inks: Rodin Rodriguez


I am gonna put both issues in one post as this will cover the whole story. Killer Frost is on trial for something and being held in a container to suppress her powers. Her lawyer objects to her being held in there, and since the judge has never seen Killer Frost pose a danger to anyone with her own eyes orders her to be freed. Of course she freezes everyone there and escapes. Firestorm is off moping because he got suspended from the basketball team, Doreen is mad at him, and his dad slapped him. While he is doing this Killer Frost freezes New York City's water supply, and then freezes the entire city. Yet she has such fine control over her powers that she leaves the mayor and his bodyguard unfrozen. Her highly honed capabilities are also is able to freeze everyone else in New York to the point of suspended animation, and no one dies. Firestorm goes to confront her, and she tells him to surrender to her, or she will kill everyone. He gives up.

Well, Killer Frost doesn't trust Ronnie, so she sends him on a mission to fetch some movie star she has a crush on. As he flies off to Hollywood he is confronted by the Justice League. They want to help him, but he refuses since New York City is his city. They get into a tussle. He puts Superman in a kryptonite sphere and Zatanna in a steel sphere, once the other Leaguers free them they fly back to Firestorm and he apologizes. It seems the JLA forgot the most fundamental unspoken rule: The hero on the spot has primary responsibility. Of course who can forget that one!?

The team flies to the JLA satellite, and Firestorm splits into Ronnie and Professor Stein. Outside of Superman, no one knew he was two people. Professor Stein will stay at the base to help construct a device to defeat Killer Frost, while Ronnie and the Red Tornado continue to Hollywood to pick-up the actor. The actor rebuffs him, and when they return to the base the device that the professor whipped up isn't as portable as Ronnie had hoped, but he has an idea. Red Tornado is disguised as the actor Killer Frost has a crush on, and when she finds out she and Firestorm get into a fight. As they fight Red tornado moves in closer to Killer Frost as he has the device hidden in his android body. The device freezer her and Red Tornado. Firestorm uses his powers through Red tornado to defrost him and free the frozen people of New York City.

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Okay sincerely, this story is pretty bad. The parts with the mayor which I completely glossed over were pretty stupid and could have been completely removed from the story. Like the part were Killer Frost wanted him acknowledge her as queen. What purpose would him doing that serve? It isn't like him calling her queen actually makes it so. There was a really forced Saturday Night Live part at the end between Firestorm and Red Tornado. The incredible amount of control that Killer Frost had over her powers was ridiculous.

On a completely different tangent. My first issue of Firestorm was issue #2 of this series. It only took me 27 years to read the next two issues.
Travis Herrick said:
First off, I love that Batman has his own checkbook that he uses. Seems like an easy signature to forge though.

Yes, but Batman writes with his left hand, and Bruce Wayne writes with his right hand, dontcha know ...
Flash #259
March 1978
Cover art by: Rich Buckler & Bob McLeod


Story: “Black Hand – The Kill-Proof Criminal”
Writer: Cary Bates
Pencils: Irv Novick
Inks: Joe Giella


Apparently Black Hand has used his powers to steal the Flash's aura that protects him from burning up from friction. He thinks that the Flash burned himself up the previous evening. We soon learn that the Scarlet Speedster used the ring he stores his costume in to shrink himself and hide inside the ring. A cat comes along and soon frees him. The Flash then learns that he can only move so fast without burning himself and his clothes up. Black Hand claims, to no one in particular, that with the addition of the Flash's aura to his stolen Green Lantern energy he is now unbeatable.
We get a side scene as Barry helps his neighbor kid move his Flash newsletter to his house. We also get a setup for the climax, as we see a truck that is being used to create a vacuum in a dome for a movie that someone is filming.
The Flash then sees a UFO using green energy to steal some money. Black Hand makes his appearance known and he laughs at the Flash's puny attempts to hurt him as he is protected by his awesome new force field. He tells the Sultan of Speed he will either kill him quickly or allow him to kill himself by burning himself up. Barry then runs away with BH following him. The Flash remembers the dome where the movie is being shot and runs in there with Black Hand in pursuit. Well Black Hand and the bolt of energy Black hand intends to kill the Flash with. Since there is a vacuum there is no friction for Barry to worry about, and he can't even hear any of the things Black Hand is yelling at him. Barry leads the bold of energy chasing him into Black Hand, and knocks him out. He then uses Black hands weapon to restore his aura.
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Overall, I enjoyed this comic. The beginning part with Black hand showing a movie of his “killing” the Flash and talking to an audience was very weird and didn't make sense as to who he was supposed to be talking to. Also who was filming all of it for him? Maybe that was who he was talking to. I liked Barry hiding in his ring to save himself, and the use of the vacuum, even if it was a bit forced. I don't know why Black Hand didn't realize he couldn't hear anything in the vacuum though. I generally like Irv Novick's art, but I didn't care too much for it here.
In his Silver Age Green Lantern appearances Black Hand explains his plots to the reader. I greatly enjoyed the story from Flash ##258-259 as a kid.

I had the first part of that Firestorm story, but not the second. I always assumed from the cover that Killer Frost made Firestorm fight the JLA in the second part.
Ghost Rider #6
October 1967
Cover art by: Dick Ayers and Vince Colletta



Story: Behold, A Flaming Star
Writer: Gary Friedrich & Dick Ayers
Pencils: Dick Ayers
Inks: George Bell (Roussos)


Ghost Rider returns to the Indian village were he received his powers, and meets with the chief Flaming Star. He gives Ghost Rider and amulet that bestows great strength to whoever wears it. While riding back home He Who Rides the Night Winds is shot with an arrow, knocked unconscious and has his new amulet stolen from him. We learn that a banished warrior named Towering Oak was the one who stole the amulet and he has returned to lay claim as leader of the tribe. Flaming Star tells Towering Oak he must earn his leadership the right way, and there will be a trial by combat with him and Ghost Rider.

Well the rumble is on, but first there is a little interlude as Carter Slade's (Ghost Rider) secret honey has been seriously injured and he wants to see her. Another dude loves her and wants to marry her. The local doctor tells that guy, whose name I am too lazy to look for even though the comic is less than a foot away, and it would have been easier for me to look it up than type this out, that unless Natalie gets an operation in Denver she will never walk again. Then again she may not even survive the trip to Denver. What a conundrum! They decide to wait until Natalie wakes up and ask her what she wants to do. Although, if she is that bad off who says she will ever awake? Ghost Rider decides he can not have any love in his life since he has protect everyone in the area.

Okay, now it is time to start the fight. Towering Oak is overconfident in his new found strength. He starts to get beat, and cheats by using weapons. Ghost Rider shoots all of his weapons away. Right after vowing to not let Ghost Rider's quick recovery to surprise him again, Towering Oak drops dead. Get this, Towering Oak was Flaming Star's son! The amulet can only be worn by someone in perfect health, and Towering Oak had a weak heart. Flaming Star and Ghost Rider bury the amulet with him

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First off, a continuity problem. Flaming Star tells us that he thought Towering Oak had died years ago. Later he says that Towering Oak left when he gave Carter Slade the Ghost Rider gear and that was just a few months ago. I don't know if I have a “second off”. Oh yeah there did seem to be some superhero Marvelization here. Introducing super powers with the strength amulet, and a couple of definite soap opera story elements. I wonder if having a bad guy be a relative of one of the good guys had become a cliché by this time?
Giant-Size Master of Kung-Fu #4
June 1975
Cover art by: Gil Kane


Story: Why a Tiger-Claw?
Writer: Doug Moench
Pencils: Keith Pollard
Inks: Sal Trapani

Awful, just awful...
How so?
Over in the "reprints we'd like to see" column, this run Master of Kung Fu got much kudos, and Moench was the writer for most of its hey-day.

I wonder is this issue is an exception or are people looking back with rose coloured glasses?

What was wrong with it?

(Cross post with John there...)
What Figs said. I was wondering the exact same thing ("rose coloured glasses").

So, Travis ......?
Allow to pull back the curtain a bit here. When I go back to these reviews I am actually re-reading it from when I originally read it months ago. So, Tiger-Claw is another dude who has turned traitor to Shang-chi's father, Fu Manchu. Shang-chi and Tiger-Claw fight together against these guys, but then fight each other when Shang-chi stops Tiger-Claw from killing someone with his poisoned coated "claws". They then fight, that was actually pretty good. What made this awful, IMO, was this cheesy Groucho Marx-like character who "teamed-up" with Shang-chi and just made some stupid remarks throughout the comic. I don't think any of them were funny. I am also not a Keith Pollard fan, I found his work to be inconsistent, which may have to do with the inker paired with him. I've never looked into it.

I am guessing this is an aberration in regard to the regular series. It was part of the "Giant-Size" line, which in the handful I have read of other series were pretty hit or miss. This was the last issue of this particular Giant Size series.

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