Doc’s Reviews For The Week of 3/8/2023
BATMAN #357 FACSIMILE EDITION DC COMICS
Batman in the early 80’s was an interesting yet disjointed time. While Writer Gerry Conway was venturing into themes like Jim Gordon’s health issue (blood pressure, smoking, stress were leading to a possible heart attack or worse). Crime Boss Falco had been taken down by the Batman and a new crime boss was starting to take over. The circus had returned and with it came Dick Grayson. The Batman presented to us here flip-flops between raw intensity and a sort of beginner’s arrogance that gets him knocked unconcious by the Squid’s goons and fed to a giant squid. And while this issue brings us face to face with Gotham’s new crime boss, the Squid, that is not why it’s famous. While you only get brief glimpses, this issue marks the first appearance of Jason Todd and Killer Croc! Who would have thought that the Penguin-esque lisping Squid with his killer squid Gertwude would be over shadowed by the Robin who was killed off by the fans telephone poll and the mishapen Crocodile man who ended up in the first Suicide Squad movie. Weird days but you have to admit, that artists Don Newton and Alfred Alcala know how to draw a mean giant squid. 6 out of 10 Grahams.
GODZILLA RIVALS: MOTHRA VS TITANOSAURUS #1 IDW COMICS
The Rival series of one-shots continues and this time one of my favorite Showa Godzilla series villain, Titanosaurus! And even though the version of Mothra being used here seems to come from the Heisei series, this makes for a good fight. At first the idea of pitting a sea creature against an air creature seemed out of balance, Writer Blue Delliquanti’s story gives the idea a fighting chance and thowing in the Mothra egg as the catalyst was a good plan. And while I am not a huge fan of Akira manga style art, artist Feriowind does well and makes the kajui look as they should. After Titanosaurus and Ebirah an issue or two back, I can’t wait to see who they dust off next. 8 out of 10 Grahams.
ACTION COMICS #387 DC COMICS
Superman in the early 1970’s was a wonderful period of trial and error that produced such gems as this final part of Cary Bates story involving time travel gone wrong. Being trapped in time where he can only move forward, an aged Superman is sick of his existance. Seemingly trapped in futures where he loses more and more of what he is familiar with, Through an interesting plot twist involving the concept of time wrapping around itself, Superman is finally returned to his own time but not before getting to relive some priceless moments. Add in a Legion of Super-Heroes back up story where the entire Legion must battle the future IRS (No, I am not kidding!) and a member must resign. (Bet you can’t guess who.) This is an amazinly quirky story from the mind of E. Nelson Bridwell and features the Legion in their original outfits. A time when Element Lad had a E on his chest and Phanton Girl had a P on her chest. And oh man, Chemical King is in the house! 9 out 10 Grahams.