DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: June 1971

This month, Superboy’s soul is separated from his body, leaving his body useless and his soul stuck being a child’s genie. In JLA, we learn about the dangers of dumping our trash in the oceans in a story that is in no way subtle about it’s preaching. Meanwhile Flash is missing, and when Batman finds him, it looks like he’s been through the ringer, which apparently sets up next month’s JLA/JSA team up. In an unrelated story in The Flash, Sargon the Sorcerer (Golden Age hero turned Silver/Bronze Age villain) uses his limited magical abilities to force Flash to retrieve his magic ruby, which will fully restore is powers. He succeeds, but ends up sacrificing his relationship with his niece in the process. Also, Kid Flash helps out a speedster who is actually of a species that lives beneath the earth’s surface.  In Superman, our hero deal with a terrorist threatening to destroy the earth with a hydrogen bomb, while also dealing with vastly reduced powers. Also, we learn home Krypton got it’s name. In Batman, The Dark Knight meets Ra’s Al Ghul, and they travel around the globe to save Robin and Talia, who have been kidnapped. In GL/GA, our heroes have to contend with an entire town that is being mind controlled by one of Green Lantern’s super villains. In Action, Superman secretly helps a Native American tribe get rid of a government missile testing facility built on their sacred land, but when it doesn’t work out quite right, Superman is seen as a villain, and taken hostage after they use magic to remove his powers. In the backup, the town of Masonville is evacuated when Superman accidentally triggers an unstable meteor that has crash landed and could blow up the entire town if he moves. Everyone escapes except for a crippled orphan who is willing to sacrifice himself (see, the longer Superman waits to detonate the explosive, the bigger the boom will be). Can Superman save the kid without breaking his code against killing? In Detective, Bruce Wayne’s uncle is near death, and has requested the presence of all remaining Waynes for the reading of the will once he passes. But the castle he lives in is haunted, and Batman must save his relatives from an untimely demise. Also, Batgirl has to figure out the mystery of wigs that will crush your skull in.

A lot of mystical stories this month. It is kind of fitting for when I’m reading these books (October 2017), but not really for when the issues came out (release dates: April/May 1971). Superboy kind of tries to get around it thanks to using science to enhance the mysticism. The JLA issue could not have been more preachy if it was a special one-shot created in collaboration with some anti-pollution group to help spread their message (like DC did with the government for Kennedy’s exercise programs, Nancy Reagan’s War on Drugs, etc). Also, since when does Bruce still have living relatives? How did he not get shipped off to one of them when his parents died?

It was interesting to see Neal Adams’ work inked by Bernie Wrightson in GL/GA. Unfortunately, the quality varied from looking great to looking sketchy. I wonder if this had anything to do with Adams’ being notoriously slow and Wrightson having to deal with deadline pressures. It never really looks bad, just inconsistant.

My favorite stories were the Superman and Batman stories by O’Neil. The only gripe is the way he has the heroes treat their (for lack of a better word) sidekicks. Batman refers to Robin as “kid” and his dialog with Robin reads as less than someone concerned about his ward. Superman seems kind of nasty to Lois, but without any scenes of them being nice to each other to balance it out. As much as John Byrne is criticized for writing a Lois that Superman shouldn’t be in love with, O’Neil writes a Superman that Lois shouldn’t be in love with.

And poor Batgirl. The last 2 issues have had her in the dark world of fashion, and now she’s in the world of those who wear wigs, which apparently was a big thing in 1971. I don’t know, because that was 9 years before I was born. Is there nothing else for female characters to deal with besides these crimes? She lives in Gotham City for crying out loud.

Next month, a combination of reprint only issues and this being an odd month mean that there won’t be as many issues to read. But I can already see, just be looking at the covers, that we’re getting more mystical horror again. Sigh!

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: May 1971

This month, Wonder Woman basically adapts “The Prince and the Pauper” except with a princess so that Diana can be the shlub. The irony is that she is actually a princess herself, so this is actually “The Princess and the other Princess,” but this fact is never actually brought up. Over in The Flash, 2 different people live through accidents that end up killing their loved ones, so some aliens offer to bring them back, but only if they trade their lives for their loved ones’. They agree, and are given 24 hours to put things in order, which also gives them 24 hours of immortality. They use their time to help people, so The Flash steps in to prevent the aliens from claiming any of the lives by showing the full potental of the human race. Along the way, he tackles the social issue of forest fires. Meanwhile, Elongated Man returns to take on Mirror Master. Justice League of America introduces a character named Harlequin Ellis (can you guess who he’s based on?) who can create entire dream worlds with his writing. He uses this ability to try to win the love of Black Canary, but it doesn’t work out for him. In Batman, the Caped Crusader once again clashes with the Man With Ten Eyes, while Robin solves the mystery from last issue and Dick goes on a date. Over in Superman, the Man of Steel winds up as the carrier of a space virus, and the only cure he can find is contact with the Sand Creature. However, this severly reduces his powers, and he still has to save Lois and a pilot from a swarm of army ants. In Action, Superman is given custody of the son of a Nobel Prize winner when the prize winner dies, but the kid hates Superman. See, when Superman saved the kid from one of his father’s experiments that had gone out of control, he was exposed to some strange gases that left him with the ability to temporarly transform into other living creatures. Superman offers to help him learn his powers, and calls him in to help on several emergencies, giving him the codename Changeling (sounds familiar…). Eventually, this leads to Superman taking the kid to see the Fortress, where the kid accidentally activates the disassemble feature on a satellite in space. While Superman’s dealing with that, a report comes in of a trapped sub that needs super-help. The kids uses his powers to become Superman, but his transformation time runs out before he completely finishes the rescue, allowing the water pressure to crush him, and Superman returns in time to finish the rescue and watch the kid turn to dust as he dies. This is followed by a story that takes place in the Bottle City of Kandor, but was so boring I couldn’t finish it. Over in Detective, Batman enters the Den of Death Dealers, meets Talia Al Ghul (who removes his cowl, but only vaguely reconizes his face), and finally comes face to face with Doctor Daark, who is killed when a shot from Talia causes him to fall onto train tracks right in front of an oncoming train. Finally, Batgirl manages to survive her death trap from last issue, and then is released by one of the fashion guys who believes that murder is going too far. She then follows the his “friends” to the cruise ship of the injured fashion guru, arriving just in time to prevent her death. The story ends with the guru not making a decision about skirt length, but instead designing an incredibly ugly outfit based on Batgirl’s costume.

Okay, first off, I just want to say that the back-up stories this month were entirely forgetable. The Robin and Batgirl stories are hampered by the fact that all of them have been 2-parters so you are literally only getting half of a story, and aren’t memorable enough to recall what had happened the previous issue. I liked the Elongated Man story when I read it, but I almost forgot to include it with the Flash summary. And don’t even get me started on the Kandor story. Ugh!

As for the main stories: After taking 1 step forward last issue, I feel like Wonder Woman took a half step back by adapting a rather famous story. The art wasn’t terrible though. Thank goodness for Dick Giordano’s inking! The Flash was a good sci-fi type story with some great art. Irv Novick’s art looks drastically different with Murphy Anderson inks. The JLA story was pretty ho-hum. Apparently, Harlan Ellison was given a copy of the script, and actually gave permission to use his actual name, but the decision was made to keep the fake name. I don’t know how true that is, but as much as I wasn’t impressed by this story, I hope it is followed up on at some point. The guy can create entire dreamscapes and bring other people into it, and Green Arrow and Black Canary just let him walk off at the end. Also, this was also an excuse for Mike Fredrich to use some write some very wordy captions. Hope he was paid by the word for this one. The Batman story was a pretty good follow-up to a strange story (Alfred took Batman to an eye doctor, at night, with Bruce in full costume, and the doctor checking his eyes through the cowl), but is kind of lost amidst all this League of Assassin/Ra’s Al Ghul that Denny O’Neil has been doing. Speaking of which, this was my first time reading “Into the Den of Death Dealers” and it really feels like a prequel. Talia’s introduction is really low-key and she does name drop her father, but this issue’s assassins seem to be from one of the low level classes considering how easily Batman dispatches them (although they did kill their intended target). And Doctor Daark did not live up to the hype. The Superman issue was not my favorite from this run, but it does move the Sand Creature plot forward, and we get the first significant weakening of Superman. I’m not sure why the virus is so selective. Superman spends time in a hospital, and Clark spends time with people in the TV studio, and no one is affected. I’m also not sure bathing in radiation was a good idea either before going back to work. Maybe a trip through the sun would have been safer, all things considered. But the main story over in Action does not live up to the “anniversary issue” hype. It was literally just another silver-age story, which is even more noticable compared to the stuff happening over in Superman.

Next month: I have no idea. I’m not looking ahead to make the experience more authentic.

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: April 1971

Thanks to several reprint Giants, and not-yet-monthly publishing schedules, this is a light month. The ongoing story in Superman comes to a screeching halt so that Superman can enter a dream-state and fight villains that look like angels. Then he tells Black Canary and Green Arrow about a scientist who realized Krypton was going to blow up 20 years before Joe-El, but was ignored (like the people ignoring Earth’s pollution problem). Over in Superboy, Clark has to pretend some ambrosia has given him super-powers, and we are reminded of how petty Lana, and Smallville, can be. Then Superboy is called to the 30th Century to determine which Cosmic Boy is the real deal, and which one is a magical copy created be Mondru. In GL/GA, an weird old man uses a little girl with amazing powers to control an entire school, and it’s up to our heroes, plus Black Canary, to stop them. Also, Hal declares his love for Carol Ferris, who is engaged to the man who owns the school that has been taken over. Well done Hal! In Action, Superman learns that he’s actually the third Superman and that he’s dead, but it turns out that he has been shunted over to another Earth (Earth-AC399 if you will) where Superman is recreated/cloned every time he dies. The backup is a Superbaby story where the Kents take Clark to pseudo-Disneyland and he ends up taking down the infamous Connie and Hyde (not a typo). In Detective, Batman chases a criminal into the make-shift home of some circus-freaks, than has to solve a murder (this was mostly adapted into a Batman:TAS episode, but added Killer Croc). Meanwhile, Batgirl enters the dangerous world of fashion to fight espionage and murder!

This month was…okay. After Superman finally confronts, then we completely change gears with the angel story. The fact that this was by the same creative team adds to the frustration. Nothing much to say about the Krypton story. Another social issue story by Denny O’Neil. The main Superboy story makes everyone else look bad. Lana suddenly loves Clark (despite the embarrassing uniform she makes for him), the townspeople have him doing mundane things, and they demolish a Superboy statue for a Super-Clark statue. Then, when Clark pretends the ambrosia has worn off, they take down Clark’s statue and stitch the Superboy statue back together. And, Lana treats Clark like a loser again. The Legion story was good, probably my favorite of the month. The GL/GA story was frustrating. After suiting to stop the birds at the start of the story, why didn’t the heroes change back to their civvies before dropping Dinah off at the school? Way to protect those secret identities. Also, Hal and Carol seem to have forgotten about Carol’s engagement by the end of the story, despite her fiancè being part of the story. The Main Action story was one of the first Superman stories I ever read, so my rose-colored glasses cover up any flaws. Although, I’m not sure how Superman could believe at a solar project could kill him when he’s been in the heart of the sun without trouble before. The Superbaby story follows the usual formula of Superbaby using his powers to inadvertently do something good, but no one believe he exists. The main Detective story was fine, and had Batman showing off his detective skills (and challenging the reader), but was sort of boring, despite the Neal Adams art. The Batgirl story was a mix. I can see the behind-the-scenes stuff going on, but I don’t think a fashion designer’s decision over mini or maxi would make headline news.

Next month, all I know for certain is Superman returns to the Sand Creature story, and Batman takes on the League of Assassins again.

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: March 1971

March 1971: Aquaman saves Detroit from algae, but with a bit of a cliffhanger that won’t be resolved due to this being the final issue of the series (for now), although, they might have had room if it wasn’t for the pointless 2 page Aquagirl story. In Wonder Woman, she manages to play detective and find a guy before he makes a terrible mistake, all without the help of any men (finally!). In Superboy, the Teen of Steel goes up against an honest-to-goodness gorilla from Krypton. Then, the Legion makes its debut in this title with a quick recap of their origin, then tells how Lightning Lad and Light Lass’ brother became Lightning Lord, and got his white hair. In Superman, the Man of Steel has to deal with a man who keeps stealing his powers by using a magic harp, while also having to deal with being weakened by the Sand Creature. The cover to Batman makes it look like he’s going to deal with the Black Panthers or something, but instead it’s a misguided gang the Batman actually put together, that has no black members. Also, Robin deals with violence on campus. Over in Flash, Iris keeps keeps blurting out other people’s secrets without knowledge of doing so, including the identities of Barry and his fellow JLA members, and in the backup, Kid Flash has to keep the spirit of an Egyptian prince from inhabiting people. Speaking of the JLA, humans that apparently inhabited Earth before humans did (didn’t makes sense to me either) have returned to reclaim the planet. The JLA intervenes, but it’s actually 3 ordinary humans who save the day (even if 2 of them have no idea that any part of this story is actually taking place). Action Comics tells its own version of Clark moving from the Daily Planet to WGBS, then goes into a story about people being controlled by the music at various music festivals. The backup story involves Superman trying to save animals, and Supergirl, who have been turned into trees. But it turns out, they are only tree duplicates of whatever, or whomever, was near the tree as it grew. Also, Superman uses his x-ray vision in a way that makes no sense. Finally, in Detective, Batman takes on a guy who is damaging the paintings of a guy that he blames for a car accident that ruined his good looks. Meanwhile, Batgirl stops the man responsible for sabotaging matador’s career.

While Wonder Woman finally got a chance to shine without needing a man to help her, not all of the others heroes fared as well this month. The Batman stories were both subpar, with the one cover being completely misleading. Batgirl was a continuation from last month, and wasn’t bad, but I’m finding the Robin stories to be pretty bland and boring (and focusing on him saving the day despite being wrong a lot). The Aquaman story would have been better if the ending hadn’t been rushed, and ended on a cliffhanger, despite 2 extra pages for a pointless Aquagirl story. My only guess with that one is that they didn’t know it would be the last issue at the time. The Superman stories were pretty good, although the alternate take on Clark’s switch to TV news seemed redundant. And the backup was annoying because they had to through a pointless action scene in the middle of it that revolves around Superman using his x-ray vision to make the bad guys see each other as skeletons. That’s not how his x-ray vision works! Superboy introduces a new survivor of Krypton that is never seen again, although the Legion story ain’t bad. The JLA story is kind of pointless, although they do bring an end to the rarely mentioned Batman-Black Canary-Green Arrow love triangle by having Black Canary telling Batman that she seems him as more of a brother. And Flash was actually pretty good, and ties into the story from last issue.

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: February 1971

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.

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: January 1971

A new month and a new year does bring some excitement, as well as some big changes. But not in Aquaman, where our hero goes back to that crazy, miniature world he was stuck in a few issues ago to help the girl that has been helping him. But, she doesn’t really want his help. Over in Wonder Woman, it is all out war, with the good guys having a major disadvantage. Fortunately, Diana is there to introduce these people to gunpowder, which only barely evens the score. In the end, the evil queen is forced to surrender, and the Amazons show up to take Diana back to her normal surroundings. Also, she wears a suit of armor that is all white. It’s like she’s a Power Ranger or something. Everything she wears is white.

Next up is the most exciting Superman story I’ve read so far. An experimental Kryptonite engine explodes, transforming all Kryptonite on earth into iron. Also, Clark begins his career as a TV newsman by standing way too close to a launching rocket. Also, at the site of an explosion, a creature made of sand rises mysteriously. Also, in a tale from Krypton, Jor-El invents an anti-grav system that doesn’t work too well in space.

Over in Superboy, the Teen of Steel meets Aquaboy, and they the social issue of pollution. Also, an announcement is made about bringing Superboy a little closer to the present. See, since Superman was created in 1938, and there would have had to be Superboy before that, all Superboy stories had been taking place in the 30s. But that would seriously age Superman. In order for him to stay 29, Superboy has to move up. So as of this issue, Superboy stories take place in the mid-50s and will move up in time so he always stays roughly 14 years behind.

 

Next up, Action has an imaginary story where Superman has lost his physical powers, but not his sensory powers. As such, he has become a wheelchair-bound beggar. In the backup, a sub-atomic race kidnaps Superman to recharge the core of their sub-atomic world, but by trying to trick him rather than asking for help, they end up super-charging the core and the planet explodes. And in Detective, Kirk Langstrom’s fiancé allows him to turn her into a bat-creature so they can be together, but Batman is able to turn them both back to human form, this ending the Man-Bat saga, until he returns. And finally, Batgirl escapes her death-trap and stops the jive-talking bombers from blowing up any more buildings.

This was the first time since I started this little project that I was more into a Superman book than a Batman book. I was really surprised about the Superboy timeline change, as I thought it would be a subtle change rather than a big announcement. Aquaman and Wonder Woman still aren’t doing much for me, but Aquaman is about to end so that will take care of that. Considering we aren’t too far off from Wonder Woman getting her powers back, I’m not expecting much from her book. Otherwise, it was a fun month, and a great way to start the new year.

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: December 1970

This month, Superboy has to work to keep his secret identity a secret when the Kents have a houseguest. Then he accidentally goes to the past and saves the life of Attila the Hun as a child, insinuating that if he’d known who it was, he wouldn’t have saved him. Hmm… Anyway, Batman tries to prevent Alfred’s niece from being sacrificed, while Robin deals with some political shenanigans at Hudson U. Flash heads out west to save Iris on assignment in LA, and Kid Flash takes on an evil ancient spirit inhabiting the bodies of innocent people. Green Lantern and Green Arrow’s “hard traveling heroes” story comes to an end while also shedding some light on the social issue of overpopulation. The Justice League stars in another socially relevant story in which they have to stop all of the Earth’s plankton from being stolen and sent to another planet suffering from pollution. Despite the cover, Superman does not meet at woman who is mightier than him. He does however meet a warrior woman from another planet who he falls in love with. Also, Supergirl uses hypnosis to try an experiment on Superman without him knowing. And finally Batman works to stop the League of Assassins from killing another shipping magnate, while Batgirl tried to find out who bombed a Gotham building.

Overall not a bad month. I’m noticing a growing amount of protesting, and stories about pollution, which makes sense for this era. And mystic stuff too. Next month, a new era of Superman begins!

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: November 1970

This month, Wonder Woman has a flashback to re-tell the story of how she went from the Amazing Amazon to a non-powered girl who knows all the martial arts and wears alot of white. Aquaman has a trippy story in which he keeps fighting a bigger, stronger version of himself but it is all in his mind. Batman takes on a villain who has has been blinded so he’s had his optic nerves moved to his fingers. This story also involves Batman’s vision getting messed up, so Alfred has to drive him (as Batman, in the Batmobile) to an eye doctor who gives him a check up without removing his cowl (despite those white lenses). Next, The Flash tries to help a kid who has lost the use of his legs, but only because the kid thinks his legs don’t work. Then the Justice League have to work together to stop a Nobel Prize winner who thinks he’s Ra’s Al Ghul, before there was a Ra’s Al Ghul. Also, this month, Black Canary’s sonic power (which she still can’t control) gives her the power to read the mind of the prize winner’s wife. The final Superman story of the Mort Weisinger era ends with the evil Clark dying before he can take out SuperLex. Also note that the cover is laid out so that you can’t really tell that it is Lex in the Superman costume. In Action, Superman once again enacts an elaborate plan that involves him acting out of character, this time so that he can expose a counterfeit ring and get the bad money out of circulation. And, in the backup, Clark exposes a hot rodder who is cheating in order to win against other drivers in a game of chicken. And finally, in Detective, Batman has his very first run in with the League of Assassins. And, in the backup, Batgirl’s case pretty much solves itself without her doing much of anything.

Overall, it was a good month. My favorite story is easily the Batman story in Detective. Just one more month to go in 1970.

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: October 1970

This was a pretty quiet month as far as my read-through goes. Mort Weisinger’s reign as Super-editor enters its final stage with the first part of a 2-part imaginary story. No matter how good the story may be, it is a boring way to end things. Would have been better to end it with a story that actually counts but whatever. Superboy manages to kill Clark for the very first time during this read-through. I know of at least one more time he does this. Green Lantern and Green Arrow restore a corrupt tribunal planet, and part ways with the Guardian who hasn’t really been playing a big part in the series anyway, so no big loss there. Action Comics enters the post-Weisinger era with a forgettable story that does contain the first interiors by the Swanderson team, with a backup telling another version of the day Superboy became Superman (it is quickly forgotten). And in Detective, Batman fails to save a movie in production but manages to get the assistance of the spirit of Enemy Ace to take out a man who looks like Enemy Ace. Also, Batgirl gets knocked out while trying to clear her boyfriend of a murder charge, and is about to be covered in plaster (to be continued).
Overall, not a bad month. Again, I’d prefer to see Weisinger go out with a big story reminding us of all the great things that happened or were introduced to under his watch, rather than some story that doesn’t count (but then again, may). I didn’t really enjoy this month as much as last month. Hopefully, things pick up next month.

DC Bronze Age Read-through Project: September 1970

Boy is that Aquaman cover misleading. Just a scam to get some rich guys to blow up Atlantis with an atomic bomb. The Wonder Woman story is pretty forgettable, although she was still able to to find a full buccaneer outfit in full white. Superboy thwarts some Nazis before America enters World War II, therefore indicating that Superman must be in his 40s (this will be fixed later). Green Arrow and Green Lantern end up fighting each other while trying to end a dispute between some Native Americans and some white dudes. Batman gets accused of murder and has to clear his name, then basically has to do the same thing for someone else in the backup. Flash’s mind gets all messed up for the third issue in a row, but this time it involves him killing the President (how many references to the number 200 can you spot?). The Spectre sacrifices himself to save Earth-1 and Earth-2 in the JLA issue. In Action, After taking away his son’s powers last issue, Superman is saved by him. Somehow, this means that Superman Jr deserves to have his powers again, so Superman gives his powers to his son, then retires. And, in Detective, Batman has to avenge a murder that hasn’t happened yet, while Robin pretty much messes up again, but this time it all works out.

I just cannot get into the Wonder Woman series. I’m finding it kinda boring, and it’s getting annoying that she cannot handle anything solo, requiring someone, usually male, to help her. This is probably due mostly to the time period in which these stories are being written, but it is still annoying.

The Aquaman story annoyed me right off because it was very misleading. It wasn’t a dream, not an imaginary story, nor a cautionary tale about what could happen if a large enough earthquake hits (which may or may not be caused by a 200 megaton bomb). Just a dumb plot to scare some rich guy. Even the introductory splash page lies.

The rest was fairly entertaining, although the Action issue does not make up for last month, and seemed to be rushed. Also Frank Springer is a much better inker for this more modern Batman rather than Joe Giella, who seemed to be trying to keep the art in the 60s “New Look” style.