Friday, July 20, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: September, 1984

I was becoming increasingly frustrated by tossing through a friend's copies of Uncanny X-Men, but never seeming to get the chance to actually read his copies. Seeing Logan on the cover to Alpha Flight #17, with art by Phoenix's John Byrne, was too much to resist. It was a nice enough story, flashing back to the team's first appearance. They were still trying to apprehend the fugitive Weapon X for the Canadian government, but this telling offered previously unseen perspectives.

G.I. Joe a Real American Hero #30 had the Dreadnoks. Yeah, I don't remember this one at all.

Having procrastinated too long on the first issue, I made sure to buy Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #2 instead of letting it slip away. Kitty wasn't as pretty under Al Milgrom's pen as she had been under Paul Smith, but she was crying and running from sumo bodyguards by phasing through floors and stuff. I found that more exciting than fighting space crabs, but Wolverine's increased presence was probably the deal maker.

Then again, I also purchased X-Men Annual #8, and that was pretty near all Kitty. I was never a big Steve Leialoha fan, even as an inker, but he suited this sort of Patrick Nagel space fantasy. On reflection, Chris Claremont was more reliable on these one-off story-stories than the endless soap opera of the main series, though I doubt I could have held up interest in this sort of thing as an extended series.

Blue Devil #7 was a weird issue, because Gil Kane never had much facility for whimsy, one of the book's main draws. Still, he drew an intense Blue Devil, and what would have been pedestrian action in other hands (the destruction of a car BD was driving) was a thrill from Gil. This issue was my introduction to the Trickster as a frienemy and Bolt as a pure bad guy (since I bought #6 after this issue.) In all the years the Flash comics struggled to make Trickster an anti-hero or villain, I figured just let him be the annoyance/throwback to a simpler time that he was here. It was also nice to see a super-hero have a date/adventure without worrying about making a lame excuse and concealing his secret identity. Sharon was game!

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #9 was good about escalating the threat, as everybody piled on Galactus before they got eaten, but it was still ultimately the Itchy & Scratchy Show.

Thing #19 was a lot better than the last issue I tried, with a Ben Grimm not entirely in control of his Thing transformations imperiled by the Universal Monsters while alone on Beyonder-World. Byrne was good at writing this sort of light single story, and Mike Gustovich jazzed up Ron Wilson's pencils with a bit of Neal Adams flair.

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