Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Retro Reviews

June 1982 - week 1


DAREDEVIL #183
"Child's Play"
Writers: Roger McKenzie and Frank Miller
Artists: Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
Editor: Denny O'Neil

One of the strongest books of the week, if not the strongest. The storytelling still stands up to this day. Not as much exposition as most comics of the time and it still has pretty descriptive narration going on.

In this issue, DD tries to keep a kid from murdering a drug-pusher who's responsible for the death of his sister. In the course of the story, Daredevil bumps heads with the Punisher over how to best deal with criminals. Probably one of the best interpretations of the Punisher to be seen.

Also in this issue, the usefulness of Daredevil's ability to tell if someone's telling the truth in regards to his job as a lawyer comes to show. It's only natural that they would work so well together.

Oh, and he proposes to Heather.

Overall, a great comic to read. And the art was fantastic, considering Miller was still drawing with a sense of realism at this point.

Grade: A.


DAZZLER #16
"Black Magic Woman!"
Writer: Danny Fingeroth
Artists: Frank Springer and Vince Colletta

What if Madonna or Britney Spears was a super-hero?

Despite having really good art from Frank Springer and appearances by the Enchantress, Odin and Warriors Three, the comic was not that exciting. Mostly because of the romantic element of the story.

The singing "competition" between Enchantress and Dazzler felt right as that would surely be the way I would think the Gods would have settled things.

However, the book still came off as "Barbie becomes a pop star and tries to be a super-hero".

Grade: C


DENNIS THE MENACE #8
"Kite Time"
Writer: Fred Toole
Artist: Ketcham Studios

"Spring Fling"
Writer: Fred Toole
Artist: Ketcham Studios
Editor: ?

Jolly fun to be had in both stories. But I'm not too keen on non-adventure comics.
This I can get in the Sunday Comics.
Still it was pretty fun.

Grade: C


G.I. JOE #1
"Operation: Doomsday"
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Herb Trimpe and Bob McLeod

"Hot Potato"
Writer: Larry Hama
Artists: Don Perlin and Jack Abel
Editor: Tom DeFalco

G.I. Joe #1 was a solid first issue. With no ads and extra pages to boot, it introduced all the characters quite well.

The most surprising bit about the comic is the seriousness of the issues involved. In 1982, a comic like this, based on a toy-line, might have seemed a bit far-fetched.

However, looking at it now with a 21st century eye, it's much more relevant to our current society.

In the lead story, we have a scientist who has been working for our government to create a killer weapon who's then exposed and the officials want her kept from revealing their secrets, while the Joes are torn over killing her outright and saving her from Cobra.

One of the best lines from the comic, spoken by team leader, Hawk:
"We each took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. That Constitution guarantees the right to every citizen to disagree with the government."

Iraq war, anyone?

If I wasn't already getting too many books, G.I. JOE would have been added to my monthly pull list on this alone.

Grade: B-


KA-ZAR THE SAVAGE #15
"A Lovely Day for an Execution!"
Writer: Bruce Jones
Artists: Brent Anderson and Armando Gil

"Tales of Zabu: Blood Brothers"
Writer: Bruce Jones
Artist: Val Mayerick
Editor: Louise Jones

I was very impressed with the art in KA-ZAR. and with my fondness for pulp style adventure strips, I was compelled to find room for it on my monthly pull list.
Unfortunately, I couldn't.

The lead story was the better of the two, although it was a bit contrived at parts.

The back-up story, while ending with a rather typical "boy meets cat" scene, was pretty humorous in it's exploration of a manic-depressive caveman.

Grade: B-


MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #88
"Disaster at Diablo Reactor"
Writer: David Kraft
Artists: Alan Kupperberg and Charles Stone
Editor: Jim Salicrup

Pretty fun story with the Thing hired to prevent a maniac from melting down a nuclear reactor. She-Hulk tags along to give the hero a lift in her brand new caddie.

The Thing then spends the rest of the issue fighting off She-Hulk's advances while the two of them confront Negator.

She-Hulk comes off like a cat in heat. Must be a side-effect of all that gamma radiation.

Grade: B-


SPIDER-WOMAN #44
"Vengeance!"
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Steve Leialoha
Editor: Denny O'Neil

In this issue, Jessica Drew sets out to avenge the injury of her good friend, Lindsay. Hunting down Viper, the one responsible, Spider-Woman receives a proposition from the demon Chthon.

Jessica defeats Chthon with a bit of help from Viper and discovers that the assassin is really her mom.

In another comparison to today's comics: Jessica comes up out of the water naked on the final pages. The scene is done rather classy.
If done today, she would most likely have been given a full page spread.
Of course, her hunting down Viper, fighting Chthon and learning Viper's secret would have taken no less than three issues to tell nowadays.

Grade: B+

Next review stack:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #229
CAPTAIN AMERICA #270
DOCTOR STRANGE #53
GHOST RIDER #69
MICRONAUTS #42
MOON KNIGHT #20
THOR #320

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