Posts tagged ‘Dick Grayson’

Action 634 – Green Lantern vs Malvolio, the real Cassandra Craft, Black Canary, Nightwing & Speedy, and Blackhawk end


Very good Green Lantern cover on Action 634.


Malvolio continues his domination of Green Lantern in this chapter.


The two fight through this chapter, and though Green Lantern has the upper hand as it ends, his victory is not certain.  Only this and the Superman story continue into the next issue.


Kupperberg and Carillo, bring the Phantom Stranger four-parter to a close with this issue.  Tannarak and Tala watch with glee as the Phantom Stranger battles with the cat creature, which drains his power.


Dr. Thirteen gets to be the hero, killing the cat creature and freeing the Stranger.  Tala vanishes, as the Stranger defeats Tannarak.  Cassandra Craft returns from wherever.

While the Phantom Stranger does return later in Action Comics Weekly, Tala, Tannarak and Dr. Thirteen next are seen in the Books of Magic miniseries. Cassandra Craft has to wait many years, appearing next in Grant Morrison’s Zatanna miniseries, part of Seven Soldiers.


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos bring to an end the story of a mother’s vengeance for a daughter dead from HIV, going after those who may have been responsible for her husband’s infection.


It’s a lot of really intense fighting, and the art is superb on it.

Far better than the first Black Canary storyline, this one still did not manage to be the series that the reader’s wanted.  While Dinah would continue as a supporting character in Green Arrow, she would get a miniseries of her own in a couple of years.


Wilkerson and Mandrake put Nightwing and Speedy through a lot of legal hassles as their team-up ends.  At least Nightwing gets an equal share of it.  Justice prevails, somewhat.  The implicated British lord goes free, but is brought down by other troubles.


The best page of this entire storyline is the last, as Roy and Dick hang out with Lian and Starfire.  Nightwing continues in New Teen Titans, while Speedy returns in his own storyline, under his own name, in a couple of issues.


Pasko and Burchett bring the Blackhawk story to a quick and violent end.  The one undrugged Backhawk gets control of the plane, and Janos gets control of himself as they land, and seek the fake Darabont, who escaped with the LSD and the formula.


They get her, and the formula, and the Nazi base, which they leave in ruins.

The one big hit from Action Comics Weekly, Blackhawk moves into is own book right away.




Action 628 – Green Lantern and Captain Atom disagree, a second murder pinned on the Deb, Speedy takes the train, Mockingbird revealed, and Blackhawk returns


Blackhawk has the cheap seat on the cover of Action 628.


Green Lantern and Captain Atom continue their team-up in this story, by Owsley, Bright and Tanghal.


Captain Atom has already referred the alien problem to the military, and Green Lantern is not pleased about that.  He has a better understanding of the creature, who had no malevolent intent.


They both rush off to deal with the damage he is causing.  Hal is using his ring to stabilize a collapsing apartment, holding it until it can be evacuated.


Captain Atom takes advantage of this, and flies off to confront and kill the alien himself.


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos ended the last chapter with Black Canary getting arrested.  She fares better at the station, where she is recognized, and her work appreciated.  She is not only released, but her pictures and prints are destroyed.


For the rest of this chapter we follow the second murder, of a drug dealer.  The actress comes to see him first, as a new customer, and poisons his drink.  The Deb is right behind, so once again she is believed to be the killer.


Wolfman, Wilkerson and Mandrake continue to label this as Nightwing and Speedy, even though the story now follows Roy and Lian, on the train, with Nightwing nowhere in sight.  Issue after issue I became less interested in the story, and increasingly annoyed at this situation.


There is a shady guy who runs into Roy on the train, and follows him through many chapters.


Pasko, Springer and McLaughlin continue to wind up the Secret Six saga, as they find the bodies of five of the six people from the plane crash.  But then, we sort of already knew that was the case.


More puzzling, after all the evidence that Durant created the group, is the revelation that Mockingbird is the magician, Carlo di Renzi.


Pasko, Burchett and Nyberg begin the third Blackhawk tale seconds after the first, with Janos still mooning over the corpse of the aviatrix from the previous story, as the team form their links with the fledgling CIA.


And we get a glimpse of the bad guys, German scientists doing what appear to be nasty experiments on humans.


Action 627- Green Lantern and Captain Atom, Mockingbird unmasks, Black Canary gets arrested, and Nightwing and Speedy begin


Nightwing gets the cover, as he (and Speedy) return to Action with two chapters in issue 627.


Owsley, Bright and Tanghal’s story becomes a team-up with Captain Atom, with the previous issue serving as a prologue.  Captain Atom comes across the alien, who has taken the form of an action movie hero.


It doesn’t go smoothly, and Captain Atom figures an attack means he is hostile.  Their battle draws Green Lantern, who suspects that this creature is related to the spaceship nearby.


Hal’s attempt to reach a peaceable conclusion are interpreted by Captain Atom as a diversion, and he blows up the alien’s ship.  Lantern is furious.  With his ship destroyed, the alien has nowhere to go.


Pasko, Springer and McLauhglin unmask Mockingbird, in a way, in this Secret Six chapter.  Mockingbird unmasks on front of Rafael, to prove that he could never harm the boy.  Of the six possible people who could be Mockingbird, this scene only makes sense if it is Carlo, his magician father.


But the rest of the story has the new Secret Six find proof that August Durant created the team.


Yeah, once again, Wright, DuBurke and Marcos have a problem with undynamic opening pages on the Black Canary series.


But the chapter is a good one.  Canary goes to hang with the street girls, and learns what there is to learn about the suspected killer, nicknamed the Deb, and her heroin addiction.  Canary helps the girls fight off some wanna be pimps, but gets picked up by the cops.


Michele Wolfman and Cherie Wilkerson have two chapters to start off the Nightwing and Speedy story in this issue, with art by Tom Mandrake.  Both heroes are billed this time, but it’s still more a Speedy story.


Dick is travelling with Roy as he heads to Ireland,his ancestral homeland, with Lian.  Roy uncovered some information about drug smuggling to Ireland, and was promptly fired by the CBI.  Nightwing and Speedy also run into drug smuggling on the ferry they take, and wind up in the Irish Sea.


They make it to land, and the story lets us know that “the troubles” will be a big part of this as well.

Action 618 – Green Lantern vs the Freakshow, Blackhawk hits the air, Wild Dog goes to the press, Deadman returns, and Nightwing ends


Nightwing and Speedy in a classic Batman and Robin pose on the cover of Action 618.


Green Lantern battles the Freakshow in this chapter, by David, Howell and Starr.  It takes him a bit, but Hal gets the best of them, and then tracks them to Hawkes industries.


As the story ends, Hal meets both Lillian and Veronica Hawkes.


Janos and Frederikson go from fighting over Lady Blackhawk to laughing at her in a very real, if very male, opening to this Blackhawk chapter, by Pasko and Burchett.


The team take little time to fly to the right place, landing at the plantation where they aviatrix is being held.


Wild Dog turns to the press for help about Wild Pup in this chapter, by Collins, Beatty and Nyberg.


He pretty much begs the tv reporter to not heroize Wild Pup, or even him, trying to explain how dangerous this is for the kid.  The reporter is far less concerned about the boy’s safety than she might be.


Wild Dog takes a spare minute to capture a serial killer.


Deadman returns, but the series takes on a very different feel as Kelly Jones joins Mike Baron and Tony DeZuniga.


This storyline deals with rival voodoo priests.  Deadman encounters a nasty one in this story, who is able to see him.


Nightwing and Speedy have their team-up come to a close with this story, by Wolfman, Patton and Poston.  Dick brings Lian to meet Roy, recuperating in the hospital.  Roy admits that there never was a CBI mission, he was going after Cheshire to get Lian all along. He wanted Dick’s help, but couldn’t admit the read reasons.


Nightwing’s actions in this final chapter almost merit calling it a solo series, as he also takes down Cheshire single-handed.


And it’s nice to see Dick and Starfire together at the end.

Nightwing’s series would return.  This first run was heavily criticized for being more of a Speedy story than a Nightwing one, but the next would be even worse for that.



Action 615 – Green Lantern at the trade show, Blackhawk and Wild Dog return, Nightwing suspects Speedy, and Black Canary finds a body


Is it the cover of Action 615?  Or an ad for a new Friday the 13th movie?

Peter David is joined by Richard Howell and Arne Starr as Hal begins a storyline centred on the Hawkes sisters.


Arisia is working a trade show, and Hal is wandering around, amusing himself.  Veronica Hawkes debuts, but we only see her briefly, and from behind.


Two new villains attack the trade show, part of a group called the Freak Show.  Castle has powers I really like, teleporting and exchanging places with someone else.


Castle is fairly skilled at using this to manipulate an opponent, and traps Green Lantern in a yellow vault.


Marty Paske and Rick Burchett bring Blackhawk back, as Janos runs into Natalie Reed, the former actress with communist affiliations, the Lady Blackhawk of this era.


Janos accepts a dangerous mission, simply because the person asking is named Leslie, and is really crushed when Leslie turns out to be a man.


Collins, Beatty and Nyberg bring back Wild Dog in this issue as well.  He shoots a lot of criminals in this story.


But the storyline itself will focus on a young boy who sees Wild Dog in action, and becomes his biggest fan.


Wolfman, Patton and Poston do give Nightwing some solo time in this story, as Roy Harper is off tracking Cheshire.  Dick finds out the CBI have not informed the proper channels about their operation in England.


We see the softer side of Cheshire, as she tends to Lian.


After Dick catches Speedy in a lie, he calls the New Teen Titans to speak to Danny Chase, who tells him Roy is no longer CBI.  Changeling gets a line, but Cyborg, Starfire and Raven are just seen.


Wright, DuBurke, and Marcos approach the end of the Black Canary storyline.  Isn’t that an exciting page to open the story on, so near to its climax?


Dinah finds a dead body at one point.  That’s mildly exciting.

Action 614 – Green Lantern was lobotomized?, the Phantom Stranger vs Au Puch, Speedy’s fling with Cheshire, Catwoman ends, and Black Canary gets the number wrong


Green Lantern is in outer space on the cover of Action 614, but inside his ring in the story itself.


David and Smith recap Hal Jordan’s origin in this story, as sees the death of Abin Sur, and his dying command to the ring, to find a person without fear.


This version has the ring head directly to Hal, the person with the least fear.  But as nobody with without fear, the ring removed it from him.  Hal is shocked, thinking he had been lobotomized, although the ring points out this is not accurate.


Hal orders his ring to restore his sense of fear, and Hal is amazed at how difficult it is to fly now.  He goes to the aid of a jumper, who thinks Green Lantern’s actions are intended to show him a lesson about overcoming ones fears.  A nice touch.


Kupperberg and Grindberg join with Brett Breeding on the second half of the Phantom Stranger story.


While the tale is pretty basic.  The Stranger seems vulnerable to Au Puch, but reaches the writer buried deep inside, connects with him and dispels the monster.  It’s the art that makes this really rock.


Nightwing and Speedy continue their struggle with Cheshire in this Wolfman, Patton and Poston tale.  Speedy sees Cheshire before she shoots her target, and takes out her gun, but let’s her escape.


Roy explains to Dick his relationship with Cheshire.  How they met while he was doing an undercover drug op.  He left her when the op was done, unaware that he had fathered a child, until she confronted him a year or so earlier in New Teen Titans.

And though Roy and Nightwing plan how to stop her, he also meets with Cheshire behind Dick’s back.


Catwoman’s Showcase series comes to its end in this story, by Newell, Kitson and Patterson.


Catwoman kills two hotel security guards who come to investigate the ruckus in the room.  This was really shocking to a lot of people.  The guards were not in any way villainous, simply doing their jobs, and not even a threat to her.


Their deaths were simply part of her vengeance plot against Arthur.  She left the cat brooch with him, to tie things in a neat little bundle for the police.

I suppose it’s because of the death of Holly that this story arc has never been reprinted.  It was easily the best Catwoman story to date.

Catwoman would move from this to a solo miniseries in 1989.


Black Canary’s series continues to plod along, thanks to Wright, DuBurke and Marcos. Even they do not seem to be following the story closely, as Part 6 is numbered Part 4.


A lot of talking, a lot of complex plot, but Dinah does have one good fight scene, although not in costume.



Detective 878 – Batman vs Tiger Shark


The original Tiger Shark was a one-shot villain, a pirate with a secret identity, who pretended to be aiding Batman in his fight.  Snyder and Jock introduce an updated version in Detective 878 (Aug. 11), as they conclude their three-parter.


The new Tiger Shark has plenty of oddities.  He wears a wrap around his eyes, for some reason.  And has one of his goons talk for him.  Later, he is shown talking for himself, but I think it might be painful for him.


Look at that tongue.  Ouch.  The things people do to stand out as Batman villains.  Dick manages to get away from Tiger Shark.  But the pirate does not get caught, escaping to fight another day.


A subplot in the last couple issue had Commissioner Gordon approach Dick Grayson about his son.  Gordon does not know whether to trust James Jr or not, and asks Dick for his honest opinion.  Dick meets James, and the two reminisce about the last time they saw each other, on a picnic as kids, when James got beat up by a bully.  He does make a decent impression, mentioning that he ran into the bully earlier in the day, who has matured to a decent person.


Dick give James a thumbs up to his father, but has a harsher tone with Zucco’s daughter.  It took Dick a while, but he finally began to wonder why she sent him against Roadrunner first.  She basically admits to having manipulated him into taking down the two men threatening her, but defends her actions, including moving the whale into the bank to draw his attention, as acting in the cause of justice.  As with Tiger Shark, Zucco’s daughter is basically set up by this story to become a major player later on, but Flashpoint would end those plans.


The story ends on James Jr, torturing and mutilating the man who had tormented him at the picnic as a child.  It’s really extreme, and leaves no doubt that James Jr is evil.  Although that had already been shown in Birds of Prey.

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