This month, Batman basically takes down a mystic cult. The mysticism also allows Robert Kahniger to bring Batman into the story without actually explaining how Batman knew what was going on. Also, Robin helps save an election. In Flash, we find out that Iris is actually from the future. And while she gets to meet her real parents in their time, she has to go back to the past because that’s where she belongs now. I’m betting she’ll be back though. The JLA then get to take on a robot what has taken over the minds of Batman and Hawkman, then Zatanna helps Flash, GL, and Atom take on the not-Avengers. The story ends with the 3 male heroes embracing Zatanna, as if the issue ends just before a very adult scene is about to take place. In Superman, our hero has to try to save some natives from an erupting volcano without actually setting foot on the island it is on. Also, the sand creature from last issue shows up, which weakens the Man of Steel. Next up, Green Lantern gets sucked into a jewel on a cane by a witch (this reminds of Mr. Oz’s jewel in Superman v2 #51), so Green Arrow and Black Canary have to fight some harpies and Amazon warriors (who are treated as mythological, despite the existence of Wonder Woman and Paradise Island). Also featuring an appearance by Sinestro! Over in Action Comics, we learn that Superman’s power loss is all mental due to feeling useless thanks to mankind’s technological advancements. After he’s forced to use his powers again, Superman leaves Earth to look for a planet in need of a superhero. Ironically, in the backup, some aliens send a cloud over the earth that messes with Superman’s powers unless he’s underwater, all to see how well Superman operated underwater so that he can become the protector of their world, without bothering to ask Superman. Finally, considering Len Wein just passed away this week, I find it interesting that this is also the week I get to my first Len Wein story of this read through. In this story, Batman is haunted starts off being haunted by a strange house, and then it turns more sci-fi. Also, Don Heck takes over as Batgirl artist in a story where Batgirl investigates strange attacks against a matador while trying to accept a manuscript for the Gotham Library.
For issues that came in December, there was a lot of mysticism and magic this month. I was annoyed by the Batman issue due to story shortcuts. Batman just shows up, and fights some people, and then the story just ends. Maybe it was a rush job, I don’t know. I can’t wait to see the letter column reactions to Iris’s retcon. I can’t imagine such a big change to her backstory did not have some negative reactions. I like the nod to this being inspired by Superman’s origin too. The Justice League story was weird, feeling like 2 stories put together. And that ending… Also, both Flash and JLA depicted Superman as a stranger in a strange land, really bring focus to his alien origin. I’m not really a fan of this, but maybe that is mostly due to being raised in the post-crisis era. GL/GA surprised me by having an established villain. If there has been one thing I’ve been noticing when O’Neil takes over a book, the established villains get put away for awhile. Anyway, Wein’s Batman story in Detective, co-written by Marc Wolfman, also appears to be 2 stories put together, although it was nice to see Robin save the day. And while Don Heck is a far cry from Gil Kane as far as drawing Batgirl and Company, having Giordano ink this story does help soften the blow.
Overall, it was a fun month, and I’m looking forward to March. I’ll let you know how that goes when I finish it.