Well here we are to my third box of unread comics. For those who haven't followed, theoretically I read a comic a day of comics I bought and never got around to reading. Some of them going back to the early '90s (well when I bought them I should say). I will review some of those comics. I tried to post one once a week, but I do get lazy. 

 

Enjoy!

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Superboy and the Legion of Super-heroes #248

Feb. 1979

Cover art by: Joe Staton & Dick Giordano

Story: Beneath the Streets Lurks...DEATH!

Writer: Gerry Conway

Penciller: Joe Staton

Inker: David Hunt

The Legionnaire's are helping to rebuild the Earth after the Khund War. Sun Boy isn't too keen on construction so he leads a group into some sewers to investigate a disturbance some Science Police officers had down there. The quickly find some giant muck monster that they think might be a biological weapon the Khunds left. Sun Boy uses his powers to “kill” the monster. After the fight they find Shadow Lass unconscious.

Naturally, they take her back to Legion HQ. The heroes there don't know what to do with her. Mon-El comes in and is pretty enraged at seeing Shady. He takes her to Brainiac 5. Brainy nonchalantly tells Mon that if she survives the next 5 hours she'll live. Otherwise she won't. He then goes back to his experiments.

RJ Brande is bankrupt, and he is taken by some tenacles. The Legionnaires find out the monster is still alive.

I can't put my finger on it, but I didn't care for this particular issue. It isn't because I didn't get a complete story. That happens all of the time. It isn't the art, I thought it was fine. I've never been a big fan of giant monster stories, so that is probably part of it.

Brainiac 5's strange (even for him) behavior would be explained in Superboy and the Legion #250-251.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-heroes #253

July 1979

Cover art by: Joe Staton & Frank Chiaramonte

Story: Night of the Super-Assasins!

Writer: Gerry Conway

Penciller: Joe Staton

Inker: Frank Chiaramonte

Well, well, well, looks like we got the first appearance of future Legionnaire, Blok, and the introduction of the League of Assassins. We aren't given a whole lot to go on with the League. We know that they blame the Legion for the destruction of their home planet, and the Dark Man gave them powers to get revenge upon them.

They have targeted six Legionnaires for death, and we get to see them put their plan in motion. The “biggest of all” is the first to fall, as Mist Master takes down Colossal Boy. The rest of the league subsequently defeats other members of the Legion. Their final target is Superboy, naturally.

This is a really good story, and I liked the personalities Gerry Conway was able to imbue into the villains is such a short amount of time. Lazon the leader, Mist Master the arrogant overconfident one, Silver Slasher the sociopath, etc. A very good job I thought. The look of Blok is different from what we eventually get used to seeing for him. He looks a bit Thing-like, and even has those big rocky eyebrows. Joe Staton and Frank Chiarmonte's art is top notch here I felt.

Ironic what Superboy asks on the cover since Blok does wind up joining the Legion.

The inference was that Blok was an altered human but we later learn that's not the case. His apperance was changed by Keith Giffen but perfected by Steve Lightle. It made him look younger.

The other League of Super Assassins were integrated into the Legion of Super-Villains.

Well do tell what happened, because I either read them before and forgot, or I don't have them.

Philip Portelli said:

Brainiac 5's strange (even for him) behavior would be explained in Superboy and the Legion #250-251.

I haven't done this in a while. Some of the comics I am skipping at this point in the box:

A bunch of EC Comics reprints. What do I have to say about them that someone else hasn't said before and better? This includes Two-Fisted Tales, War on Crime, Weird Fantasy, Weird Science and uh Weird Science-Fantasy.

Also the 12 issue Vision and Scarlet Witch mini. I found the art kind of peculiar here. It started off kind of bad, got good in the middle issues, and then got pretty shaky at then end. It was also kind of neat that the series took place over the period of one year.

Now you will see some Weird War Tales, but not nearly as many as I read, and I got so tired of reading some of those later issues that I stuck quite a few in the next box. I just needed a break.

The four issue Vision and Scarlet Witch mini is a favourite of mine.  I'll have to read the 12 issue series someday, but it's from a period of the Avengers that kinda leaves me cold.  It was collected quite recently.

 

How did the tale stack up dramatically?  Was it a good direction to take the pair?

 

 

 

 

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch twelve issue maxi-series was top-notch at the time and certainly above average today. Its first two issues crossed over with West Coast Avengers and an epic battle with the Grim Reaper. It wasn't dull; things were happening at a rapid pace with the constant exploring of V&SW's rich histories and extended cast of characters.

Speaking about exploring, there was Crystal....

To Travis about Brainiac 5, Superboy and the Legion #250 revealed that he framed Ultra Boy for murder in #239 and was now mentally unbalanced! He created Omega to destroy the universe that he said failed to appreciate him after saving it for so many times. He regained his sanity in #256 but afterwards it was explained that both his madness and the murder of #239 were the actions of.....Pulsar Stargrave who I will write a Fan of Bronze about......someday.

I liked the mini overall, Figs. Even though it was always a mini, it really did seem set-up as a regular ongoing. With quite a large supporting cast, and sub-plots going on. After the first two issues which Philip highlighted, it focused a lot on V&SW trying to live a "normal" life in the suburbs, but of course superheroic stuff kept popping up. It really felt like Steve Englehart  had a lot more planned for the couple if he had been allowed to do an ongoing. As a bonus, I paid 6 bucks for the entire run which is less than cover price from when it first came out, so I feel like I won. :)

Philips, thanks for the info on Brainy. It doesn't sound familiar, so I'm pretty sure I never read it before.

Its funny. I love the Vision but I haven't been in a panic to get the earlier Englehart Avengers stuff or the later stuff after I first got into him. I hadn't really registered that Englehart wrote the 12 issue series. That's a selling point to me now.

Sadly, I could have picked this up bit by bit for next to nothing over the last few years, but didn't.

D'oh!

Teen Titans #45

Dec. 1976

Cover art by: Ernie Chan and Vince Colletta

Story: You Can't Say No To The Angel of Death! (Or Can You?)

Writer: Bob Rozakis

Penciller: Irv Novick

Inker: Vince Colletta

Man, there is a lot going on in this comic, so let's get to it. Mal gets mad at Speedy and quits them team. Speedy blames himself for Mal quitting, and quits himself. Meanwhile there was gang called the Wreckers who used to protect their neighborhood. Their leader was dishonorably discharged from the military. When he returns home he sees that his neighborhood is being remodeled I guess by some corporations and he doesn't like it. He gets his old gang back together to try and stop it.

Mal is walking by a building that the Wreckers blow up. He is trapped under the rubble, and the Angel of Death comes to collect his soul. Mal said he won't give it up easily, and Azrael (the angel) agrees to fight him for his soul. Another angel, Gabriel, shows up to referee the fight, and blows his horn before the fight begins. Unbelievably, Mal defeats Azrael. Az then tells Mal that if he ever loses a fight he will die. Gabriel gives Mal the horn, and tells him to only blow it when he is in dire straits and he will have the strength to win a fight. Of course Mal blows it immediately when he is alone to see what happens.

Mal organizes the Titans (including Speedy) to stop the Wreckers. Some go to stop them from blowing up a Wayne Foundation building. The rest led, by Mal go to the Wreckers HQ to fight them. When the going gets to tough for them, Mal blows the horn again and the Titans at the Wayne building appear. They of course are able to defeat the street gang. Mal and Speedy decide not to quit. Robin tells the group that the Wayne Foundation is going to build them a new base! Everyone is happy.

I really liked the art in this one. Irv Novick does a bang up job, and his fight scenes are wonderful as far as I am concerned. I will say the Wreckers were some of the most technologically advanced street thugs I have seen. Automatic machine gun nests, mail boxes with grenade launchers, fences that shoot their pointed posts, etc.

Then of course Gabriel telling Mal to only blow the horn when he is in deep danger, and the first thing he does later is blow the horn to see what happens. Unintentional hilarity if you ask me Although, that is really one of the most believable things that happens. What else would expect from a teenager?

Worse, for a time, Mal would call himself Hornblower, get a real bad outfit then lose Gabriel's horn!!! That little subplot was never finished. Mal would wear Jim Harper's (Speedy's uncle, natch!) old uniform, crash helmet and shield, combined with an strength-increasing exo-skeleton and become the new Guardian.

Post-Crisis, he would have a techno-horn and be called the Herald.

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