Another fun month down. Superboy time travels, GL and GA arrive in Desolation, Batman and Robin solve the mystery of the “not-Beatles,” Flash thinks he’s a little kid (but is allowed to make out with Zatanna in front of Iris in the backup, so it’s not all bad), the JLA go crazy while Jean Loring regains her sanity (not an Identity Crisis in sight), Superman acts way out of character so as not to arouse suspicion while preventing an alien invasion (a huge, convoluted plan that wasn’t necessary, but will be explained to the public 100 years after Superman dies), 3 Legionaires fight a robot, Batman meets Man-Bat, and Batgirl and Robin are supposed to be in a story together but don’t. Next up, more Silver/Bronze Age goodness, including a Superbaby story (oh joy)!
Another month down! Aquaman was doing decompressed storytelling before it was cool (which is annoying in a book that only came out 8 times a year). I’m not a big fan of Wonder-less Woman, but the Cyber story is starting to ramp up. Still waiting for the bat-books to be more consistent. For an era that is supposed to be going back to basics, there sure is a lot of mystical stuff going on outside of Gotham that Batman has to deal with. And the super-books were a bit weird this month, with both a Red Kryptonite story, and a sequel of sorts to the old “The Night of March 31st” story. And, once again, the JLA are saved by Black Canary’s mysterious, uncontrollable, sonic power.
And yet, I really enjoyed reading these books. Had trouble putting the iPad down. Weird!
Also, Commissioner Gordon never puts on his glasses during the Detective issue. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.
Another month done. The Superman and Superboy issues feeling like the story was written based on the cover idea, which I know they used to do back in the day. Superman plays God in the Action issue, which makes no sense considering the dead planet he was using. The GL/GA storyline kicks off with the only issue I had read of it so far, so I’m looking forward to the others. The Batman story was solved for him because they ran out of room, and the Robin backup ended with a cliffhanger just as it was getting started. I’m also noticing the same creative team (Frank Robbins and Bob Brown) working on Superboy and Detective, and I’m liking their Superboy a little better. The writing isn’t bad (Robbins handles Batman better in Batman where he has more pages), but the art looks more like Infantino “new-look” Batman than the more modern work by Irv Novick and Neal Adams. Although, to be fair, this could be more due to Joe Giella’s inks than anything else.
Now to see what May had to offer…
This month, Superman is tested, fails, and becomes half as effective. Before I go on, this issue is kind of special to me as, for a long time, this was my oldest Superman issue I owned, and is still the only Superman issue I have ever bought in Metropolis, Illinois (the prices in that store are terrible). Anyway, Superboy gets sent to the Phantom Zone and is replaced by an evil impostor (and somehow Krypto learns how to talk), Superman has to fight a sentient costume, Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams tell their first dark and moody Batman story, and Green Lantern has to take on the combined might of Star Sapphire and Sinestro. Hal also reveals to Carol Ferris that she is Star Sapphire, which she doesn’t believe.
Announcing a new reading project! Over the next…however long it takes… I’ll be reading many of the super-hero titles published by DC Comics, from cover date December 1969 until at least the end of the Bronze Age (so late 1986). I was going to start from Jan 1970, but there was too much continuation from the previous month (Green Lantern, Detective, Action, and JLA all carry over). Interesting to see all the changes initiated at this point (Dick Grayson goes to college, Bruce and Alfred move downtown, Snapper betrays the League forcing them to relocate, etc.). Almost like a rebirth of sorts… Anyway, I’ll be making posts here to chronicle my foray through DC’s Bronze Age.
This month, Superboy decides he’s had enough and wants to just be Clark, which includes giving up his powers. If you’ve ever ready a Superman comic, you know this doesn’t last long. In Green Lantern, Hal returns to Coast City, and Star Sapphire returns to GL’s life, leaving him in space and with amnesia at the end of the story. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Dick Grayson heads off to Hudson Univerisity, so Bruce decides to move to the Wayne Penthouse downtown and employ a “back to basics” approach. He also starts up a new program to help out the vicitms of violent crimes, which also provides cases for Batman. In Central City, Captain Cold finds a way to restore youth to old people, and tries to use it to save and marry an old, rich actress. It kind of works, but after taking out Flash (catching him in suspended animation which the hero was vibrating), he brags to Heat Wave which ends up being his undoing. Elsewhere, the Joker, in disguise, tricks Snapper Carr into revealing the location of the Justice League’s secret headquarters. Fortunately, Black Canary’s new sonic powers, which she cannot yet control, allow her to save the day. However, this still leaves the JLA in need of a new headquarters. In Action, 2 alien space suits, 1 belonging to a criminal and 1 to a law enforcer, given sentience by the radiation of passing comet, reach Earth, and their struggle causes trouble in Metropolis, drawing the attention of Superman. The story ends with both suits racing to be the first to possess the powerful Man of Steel. In the 30th Century, Chameleon Boy falls for a girl who is scared of his looks, so he disguises himself to appear more human. This doesn’t last long though, as he is forced to uses his powers, revealing who he really is, but the girl decides that there is more to him than his alien appearance. In Detective, Batman has to clear both his name, and a driver hired by the Wayne Foundation for a race, when it appears that the driver was hired to shoot another driver, causing him to lose an eye. Meanwhile, Robin has his first adventure at Hudson University.
Welcome to episode 17 of SUPERMAN & BATMAN, featuring your two favorite heroes in one podcast together!
The show’s premise is simple: Each episode, host Michael Bradley celebrates seven decades of the World’s Finest heroes by looking at stories featuring the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, chosen at random mostly from the pages of World’s Finest Comics.
This episode: “The Menace of the Moonman!”
GUEST HOST: Charlie Niemeyer of the Superman in the Bronze Age!
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: World’s Finest Comics #98 (cover date December 1958)
WHAT TO EXPECT: Superman and Batman get Mooned!
ALSO FEATURING: Poor detective skills, Robin and mysteriously disappearing horses!
PLUS: A rundown of the book’s other contents, a look at what else was on the stands plus … reenactments!
Subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS Feed! Got questions or comments? Additions or corrections? How about a story suggestion? Drop a line! Share your thoughts on the episode and the issue. Seriously, Michael wants to hear from listeners. You also can connect with show on Facebook and Twitter to send feedback and get show updates!