Monday, February 27, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: November, 1983

ré·su·mé [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey]
1. a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

Looking at the landscape of November, 1983, I feel I have some explaining to do. I hadn't continued with Captain America because of a combination of falling out of habit and Mike Zeck being replaced by a string of inferior artists. Friends of mine were buying Uncanny X-Men and Power Man and Iron Fist, so I just mooched off them. My local newsstand did not carry New Teen Titans, or it sold out before I could get any, so I was simply out of luck there. That's why I was always questing for the next new series, rather than sticking with favorites.

For instance, I bought Storm And Illyana: Magik #3. I don't think I'd quite grasped the concept of the mini-series yet. I was used to jumping into an ongoing series at a random point and chancing a cliffhanger, but these circumstances guaranteed it. Further, these were alternate fantasy universe, parallel timeline versions of the already byzantine Claremont X-Men and New Mutants, the latter unfamiliar to me. I pretty much didn't know what the hell was going on, or to whom, and who made my poor Kitty Pryde into an evil werecat? Tom Palmer did a such swell job inking over Ron Frenz that my mind recalls it as John Buscema art, but the story battered my young wet brain inside its soft skull, and I was still chicken enough to be too freaked out by the heavy metal Satanism on the cover to even consider buying #4.

I thought Green Lantern Hal Jordan was one of the best looking super-heroes around, which is why I bought his Super Powers figure. I likely also knew him from animation, but probably not all that well. The appeal was mostly in his uncommon brown hair, sleek costume, the boss oath, and the smart accessory. I think I also liked the design of Javelin, with his severe hair and the balance of gold and blue in his suit. It's also a cool name and weapon, at least until you start thinking about it. See, the guy had a bunch of collapsible trick javelins that he carried in pouches, sort of like Green Arrow... except that he would logically have less of a selection and lack the propulsion device to throw as far as a bow could shoot. It might have been cool if he was a gymnast who used a tricked-out javelin to pole vault, or doubled as a staff/pugil stick, but even then he would only be fit to fight guys like the aforementioned Green Arrow. Instead, he could fly, and throw pointy sticks at a guy who patrolled the galaxy with a ring that created anything he could image. Javelin was equivalent to a Firestorm villain in punching out of his weight class, and like the mighty hemp rope of Slipknot, he survived only through a loophole: the color yellow. I suppose the cover to Green Lantern #173 should have clued me in, but the issue ended with a javelin exploding on Green Lantern, covering him with yellow paint, and rendering him powerless. I'm not sure Hal's weakness had come up in my reading before, so as I watched him falling out of the sky to his probable death, I was thinking "this guy sucks." Not concern for his well being or angst at the cliffhanger, but more like "these guys are both so, so lame." This issue was likely my introduction to Bruce "Eclipso" Gordon and the Monitor, but all I took away from it was "yellow paint? Really?" I never fully recovered.

I want to say The Thing #9 was another three-pack purchase, but I have an odd association between it and a rarely visited Circle K in the exact opposite direction from my apartment as my standby 7-11, so who knows? Maybe it's because the book felt so off-brand. Joe Sinnott's inks gave Ron Wilson's art an old-timey look, and the Thing transforming into some sort of centurion battling cops was a very Weisinger Superman sort of turn. This stood in sharp contrast to Alicia Masters' disturbingly butch haircut, a very big turn-off even in pre-adolescence. I recall the book's splash page head shot giving way to a two page spread, which registered in my brain as a waste of three story pages. Blame John Byrne, ever fond of shortcuts and spectacle for its own sake. Suffice to say I wouldn't buy another one of these on purpose anytime soon.


The Irredeemable Shag said...

Slipknot could take Javelin with just one arm. .. well, Slipknot only has one arm and could take Javelin!


Diabolu Frank said...

You work with what you've got. Did Javelin ever do a gig for Amanda Waller?

The Irredeemable Shag said...

I'm pretty sure Javelin did a stint with the Suicide Squad. Everyone else did.