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.
Adventure Comics #425
Cover art by: Michael Kaluta
Story: The Wings of Jealous Gods
Writer: Lynn Marron
Art: Alex Toth
A “famous” rodeo showman steals a wingless winged horse foal. He uses it to win horce races. It grows wings. He flies the horse, and a winged stallion lifts the dude from the foal, and drops him to die.
Story: Prior Warning
Some aliens arrive on Earth, an have taken to appearing human to ease our fears. They are attacked and driven off. The took to looking like Nazis, and one looked like Adolf Hitler
Story: Sword of the Dead
Creator: Gil Kane
An evil knight named: Evilg (sigh) goes to a home and kills the mother and child(ren?) there. The father comes home (a former knight John the Gaunt) and swears revenge. He finds Evilg kills him, and then we learn he died earlier in the battle when Evilg lanced him.
Untitled Captain Fear Story
Writer: Robert Kanigher
Art: Alex Nino
I swear I've read this one before. Anyways, some the Spanish attack some Caribs, and take some of them as slaves. They revolt, and one of them is made leader named Captain Fear.
It seems like DC just had a bunch of stories laying around and shoved them into Adventure Comics. These stories are all filler that could have appeared in other titles if they needed them to. For the most part the art was good. I initially bought it just for the Kaluta cover.
Story: The Citadel of Crime
Writer: Frank Robbins
Pencils: Irv Novick
Inks: Dick Giordano
Batman, through a tip, learns that a remote castle on an island in Gotham is being used to make illegal gun deals. He won''t take it down, though, until he knows who is behind the operation. When he gets home he also learns that the mastermind is a member of the Gotham Men's Club. Bruce Wayne decides he needs to infiltrate the men's club to smoke the bad guy out. He does this in, oh, about a page. He makes a $100 donation to a children's charity, and then announces in the paper a $1 million bash on his yacht.
At the party at his yacht he has a barge also in the water that he is going to use for a fireworks show, and as part of his trap. Once the fireworks starts to illuminate the entire sky, and reveals the bad guys at the castle. Bruce looks to see which one of his guests is the one looking at the pier and not the show. He finds out who it is, and makes quick work of him and his henchman.
Finally, we learn his tipster is the wife of the chief bad guy (Mr. Stanford). Plus, Batman sends $100,000 check to the charity that Bruce Wayne gave the shaft to (Still a bit lighter than the million bucks he spent for a party).
First off, I love that Batman has his own checkbook that he uses. Seems like an easy signature to forge though. A very straight forward crime level story, and I really liked it. As I have mentioned before I love Irv Novick's art, and no one does angry faces like he does. How can anyone pass up this cover?
There is also a Robin backup were he saves a Ralph Nader-type guy from kidnapping, and that is just fine with Robin. He doesn't feel at all he needs to investigate who was behind the kidnapping. Weird.
Cover art by: Joe Kubert
Story: The Raid
Writer: Robert Kanigher
Art: Lee Elias
This first story tells the tale of three German soldiers in occupied France during World War II. Franz Steiner is the soft college educated man. Ludwig Goertz is the bully, and Hugo Radl is a heartless man. They are instructed by their commander to rush back to their base, as they are being invaded by paratroopers. On the way back, they are ambushed by soldiers of the French resistance. Many men are killed and their vehicles are destroyed. Franz doesn't want to kill the Frenchmen because they are old, Hugo and and Ludwig retort his pleas by gunning them down.
Now the German's are forced to walk the rest of the way to their HQ. They see some of the enemy troopers being blown into the woods by the wind. Ludwig and Hugo take delight in killing the enemy with the flame thrower. Franz looks like he might throw up. Continuing on the German's are being held back by the Allies at a bridge. The three men then have to sneak to the bridge and blow it up. Which they do, but Franz barely escapes as one of the dying men grabbed hold of him and almost drowned Franz with him.
The three soldiers and the rest of their squad finally arrive back at the base and mow down the incoming troopers with ease. They sit back relax and talk about how now the Americans must realize what a mistake it would be to try and invade Europe. “what day is it,” Ludwig asks. Hugo answers, ”June 6th”
Story: Devil Waits
Writer: Robert Kanigher
Art: Ric Estrada
Maric, a barbarian price, is given his dead father's sword and led to the Bird Forest, a place that no one has survived a night in. If he lives he will be welcomed back as the new king of the tribe. He fights some wolves. Then he fights some cannibalistic cave men. They chase him, and he uses his sword to destroy the bridge they are chasing him across. He is made king of his people.
Blitzkrieg has always fascinated me as each issue contains a story told from the eyes of the enemy. I have only read a few issues, and I am guessing they are told from the Nazis point of view. I wouldn't call the first story anything more than interesting, with decent, not spectacular art. The second story just seemed kind of out of place in this series, but considering it was only 5 pages was pretty good. Really though, just an average comic book. It only ran 5 issue so it shouldn't be too hard to get them all.
The first story sounds like Robert Kanigher at his most Robert Kanigher-ish. The GCD calls the second item a "The Huns" story, and lists other "Huns" stories in issues ##1, 2. There isn't a hint on their presence on the covers.
Brave and Bold #123
Cover art by: Jim Aparo
Story: How to Make a Super-hero
Writer: Bob Haney
Art: Jim Aparo
Batman, stops a bank robbery. Afterwards, Commissioner Gordon charges him with capturing Bruce Wayne as he is accused for fraud and murder. Which for some reason he does begin the search for Bruce Wayne. While that is going on we see Bruce Wayne purchasing the Neji, a totem of the Kahari tribe. Bruce is going to return it to them of course. Since it was stolen from them they have been fighting everything and everyone. Suddenly, Batman arrives to arrest Bruce Wayne. What is going on?
Flashback, Batman is shooing away a panhandler when he recognizes him as Plastic Man. Plas has hit skid row ever since some bad dealings with a chick named Ruby Ryder. Batman tells him he needs someone to stand in for him while he takes a trip, and Plastic Man agrees to it. Back to the present Batman (Plas) and the Istanbul police capture Bruce Wayne.
Once he is in jail he is visited by his attorney Randolph Tinsley, who is really Rex Mason, who is really Metamorpho (whew!). Rex brought Bats' extra suit (which he stole from Bruce's penthouse), and they bust out of jail. They then try to track down Bat-Plas. Metamorpho's tactic is to turn himself into a mailbox. Bruce uses a good view of the city from a skyscraper and sees Bat-Plas enter “the Big Double R, home of Ruby Rider”. Someone's method worked a little better. They eavesdrop at a window (that is closed and at the top of a skyscraper so I'm not sure how they listened in). They learn that Ruby used some spiked lemonade to brainwash Bat-Plas, and also that she had bugged the coat he was using as a homeless man, AND she had someone spying on him the whole time. She is the one who framed Bruce Wayne, so she could have the Neji for herself. Once everything is taken care of she is going to convince Bat-Plas to drink some solvent that will kill him.
Ruby purchases the Neji, and takes it and Bat-Plas to her private island. Batman and Metamorpho follow her there. They steal the Neji, but Metamorpho shape changes into a replica of the Neji, and while Ruby looks on and confesses to all of the crime, Rex is recording it on the back of his head. Unfortunately, the smoke from the cigar she is smoking makes him sneeze and drop his disguise. Bat-Plas is just about to drink the solvent spiked coffee when one of Ruby's lackeys knocks it away, and tells him to help Ms. Ryder. She reminds Bat-Plas that he has plastic powers, and he then changes into his Plastic Man guise. We then get a very, very cool fight scene between Plastic Man and Metamorpho. While this is going on Batman is using the Nefi idol as a conoe and getting away.
Before the fight is over Plastic Man regains his memory, and he and Metamorpho capture Ruby and her crew. The three heroes all appear on about 2 panels together. Batman returns the Neji to the Kahari people.
There are so many stupid, and just ridiculous things that go on in this comic. The one thing that redeems it, and makes me recommend it is the fight between Metamorpho and Plastic Man. It is just plain awesome, and worth the price of admission.
I enjoyed how Metamorpho called himself the world's second greatest detective and then proceeded to disguise himself as a mailbox to find the fake Batman. Plastic Man as a bum was interesting as he looked like a normal guy. No goggles. It made me laugh that you can pretty much introduce any kind of drug into Plastic Man as long as you can hide it in some sort of refreshment.
Sounds like the story is a sequel to The Brave and the Bold #95, in which Plastic Man guested and Ruby debuted. She appeared again in a two-parter in ##135-136.
In #95 (Spoiler warning) Ruby talks Batman into finding and bringing back her missing fiancee. When Batman does, she apparently shoots him dead. She's condemned to death, but Batman works out the fiancee was actually Plastic Man and is still alive. Plastic Man explains he used his powers to change his appearance so he could adopt a new life. He fell in love with Ruby, and left her when he found out how she really was.
Prior to this DC had had Robby Reed transform into Plastic Man in a "Dial H for Hero" story, and published a short-lived comedic Plastic Man series. I think The Brave and the Bold #95 was his introduction into the DC universe proper. He had another short-lived comedic series in the 70s, but the only other DC universe story in which he appeared from before the 80s that I can think of is the heroes vs. villains baseball story in DC Super-Stars #10.
Brave and Bold #128
Cover art by: Jim Aparo
Story: Death by the Ounce
Writer: Bob Haney
Art: Jim Aparo
The Shah of Karkan, the world's richest oil ruler is coming to America to sign a defense treaty with the U.S. Commissioner Gordon wondering where Batman is as he is going to help protect the Shah. Batman is at the old Gotham Sportsdome checking it out. Once inside he sees some people about to drop a body from the ceiling of the arena. He attempts to save the person before that happens, but arrives too late. Luckily, it is just Mister Miracle perfecting his craft of escape artistry and he frees himself and flies up to safety before hitting the ground. It seems Mister Miracle is practicing for his big return after he, and Big Barda returned from New Genesis out of boredom. Oberon is also helping to train MM. Big Barda makes Batman promise he won't tell anyone they are there. He does.
Batman's plan to protect the Shah is to have a double in the limousine, and the real Shah is pretending to be a helper in a laundry service. He hides in the back of the truck while Batman drives. When they reach their destination Batman discovers the Shah has been kidnapped. Nice plan Bats...
Batman deduces how the Shah was captured (someone hiding in one of the laundry bags), and how the villains learned of the plan (bugging Commissioner Gordon's phone). Just then the President of the United States calls Gordon and tells him he got a message that the Shah was kidnapped. Batman grabs the phone and tells him, no the double was taken, and the real Shah is safe and sound. Now he has to go enlist the aid of Mister Miracle. Unfortunately, he won't do it. “An important peace accord maybe necessary for you humans, but I have my career to think about,” he declares. Batman challenges Scott to an escape off. Whoever frees themselves from the human icicle trap first wins! Of course Batman cheats and wins. Mister Miracle is now along for the ride.
Batman has disguised himself as the Shah and while in his bed he is kidnapped, Batman and the whole bed. The helicopter that he is turns into a submersible and enters a sunken World War II ship, the Gotham City. . Once inside we learn that Granny Goodness is the mastermind behind all of the shenanigans. She has made a deal with “America's rival power” to kidnap that Shah and in turn they will give her an ounce of a formula that will make her young and beautiful again. I never knew that vanity was one of her flaws.
Batman gives up his guise to protect the Shah and at that moment Mister Miracle bursts onto the scene to save them. He was hiding in the bed the whole time. The three make their escape, and find themselves in one of the ships holds. After Mister Miracle uses his “probe” (X-ray vision?) to make sure there are no traps or enemies waiting for them. Once inside the hold, water starts pouring in, and Scott uses his finger lasers to split the water into both hydrogen and oxygen. After that little dilemma they find some scuba gear in a locker. Mister Miracle gives it to Batman and the Shah. He will hold off Granny and her goons while they escape. When they have escaped MM uses his lasers to blow up the ships ammo. Naturally, he escapes. Everyone is happy I guess.
Okay first a question:
Is the “probe” that Mister Miracle used to “see” traps and what not an item he has had before, or is this a Haney creation? I am certainly no New God expert, but it would seem that would be something the Mother Box would be able to help him with.
Batman's plan to hide the Shah in the back of the laundry truck in the beginning was so dumb. People saw two men, so why not just stick the Shah in the front with him? Really lame that the ship that was sunk so close to Gotham City is called... Gotham City.
A pretty average story to say the least, but I did enjoy all of the trickery that Batman used. The art was Aparo, so that was great.