Posts tagged ‘Marv Wolfman’

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 617 – Green Lantern has relationship problems, Fredrikson shows up, Wild Pup isn’t wanted, Superman loses his man, the Phantom Stranger and channelling, and Cheshire loses custody


Superman streamlines across the cover of Action 617.


David, Howell and Starr continue the Hawkes storyline in this issue, but open as a rift grows in the relationship between Hal and Arisia.


She may look like an adult, but Arisia is really a child, who used her ring to rapidly age her body.  So it’s not surprising when her behaviour tends towards childishness.


The Freakshow lays a trap for Green Lantern, with a pyrokinetic woman pretending to be endangered by the flames.


Castle is now wearing a costume, instead of jogging gear.  Not a bad assortment of enemies.


Pasko and Burchett get the team together in this chapter of Blackhawk.


Although the mission itself, to rescue the downed aviatrix, is not that appealing, the down payment is.


We do know that the woman is being held captive by a plantation owner, and is being tortured for information.


Frederkison shows up, and Janos thinks he is responsible for Lady Blackhawk’s loss of an eye, as they had once been a couple.  He’s wrong, but the two men fight anyway.


Wild Dog meets his acolyte in this chapter, by Collins, Beatty and Nyberg.


The boy does prove useful, but Wild Dog is not in any way pleased by his help, and wants nothing to do with the boy.


People keep trying to kill the Superman worshipper, and Superman has been dealing with those men.  He is none too pleased to discover his worshipper is not where he is supposed to be.

Yes, seriously, that is all that has happened since my last entry on this Stern, Swan and Anderson strip.


Kupperberg is joined by Joe Orlando and Fred Carillo on this Phantom Stranger story, which deals with channelling, the 80s fad in which psychics would get possessed by a spirit from a past life.


The medium actually manages to evoke an Atlantean warlord, who runs wild in the streets.


The Stranger manages to convince the warrior that he is in the wrong time, calm him down and send him back.


The story has a nicely cynical ending, the psychic has learned nothing from the events, and simply intends to exploit it for her own benefit.


Wolfman, Patton and Poston continue with the Nightwing an Speedy tale.  Nightwing gets the best of Cheshire in their pub fight, and the assassin takes off


Cheshire returns home to find Roy captive.  She is about to kill him when Nightwing bursts in for another round.


Cheshire flees, rather than get caught, but in doing so she leaves Lian behind, and Roy winds up with his daughter for the first time.



Action 616 – Green Lantern breaks out, Blackhawk learns the mission, Wild Pup gets a costume, Nightwing vs Cheshire, and Black Canary ends


Blackhawk has the cover for Action 616, but seems a bit too busy to face the audience.


David, Howell and Starr give the Green Lantern Corps a hallucinatory cameo as the story opens, with Hal trapped inside a yellow safe.


He scrapes off enough paint with the edge of his ring to be able to get a beam through, and attack it from the outside.  Arisia is upset at how useless she feels in the situation.


We are introduced to Lillian Hawkes in this issue, the more demure sister, bossed around by Veronica.


We see the Freakshow, now with another member.  Siphon, who had appeared in the previous issue alongside Castle, is finally named.  Their boss sends them after Green Lantern.


Pasko and Burchett assemble the team in this Blackhawk chapter, as Chuck and Andre find Lady Blackhawk is now on the crew.


They are still awaiting Weng Chan, the former Chop-Chop.


Leslie explains the mission to Janos, to hunt for his wife, an aviatrix alongside Amelia Earhart, who vanished around Sumatra.


Collins, Beatty and Nyberg continue with the story of Wild Dog’s fan.


The boy puts together a Wild Dog outfit of his own, and goes out at night, searching for his hero.


As Wild Dog winds up in a tense armed standoff, Wild Pup approaches, eager to get in on the action.


Wolfman, Patton and Poston open this Nightwing solo story with a great shot of Speedy on his own.  He has found Cheshire’s home, but she is not there, and he fights her mentor for nothing.


Cheshire is in London, following Nightwing, and attacks for the kill.


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos conclude the first Black Canary storyline.  It actually is comprehensible, but overly complex, and told in a far more confusing fashion than was needed.


The art just adds to the melancholy mood.  It doesn’t feel like much of a victory when the villain is dying of cancer.


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.



Action 613 – Green Lantern’s lack of fear, Nightwing and Speedy begin, the Phantom Stranger’s Mind Games, Holly Robinson dies, and Black Canary talks


Nightwing gets the cover of Action 613, and supposedly a solo series, which is really a team-up story, beginning in this issue.


David and Smith spend this chapter putting Green Lantern through the emotional manipulations of Mind Games.  Hal’s enemies Sinestro, Star Sapphire, Black Hand, Hector Hammond and the Shark appear as hallucinatory images, as do friends Arisia, Kilowog, Tomar Re, Salaak, and other members of the Green Lantern Corps.


Mind Games controls Hal’s emotional roller coaster, but the manifestations are drawn from his own subconscious.  So when Mind Games makes Green Lantern feel fear, the spell is broken.


So much for Mind Games.


The story ends as Hal wonders how he came to be without fear, and his ring sucks him inside to give an answer.


Nightwing gets one whole solo page of his series, by Marv Wolfman, Chuck Patton and Tom Poston.


By the second page, Speedy has joined the story, helping against some cigarette smugglers.  Roy enlists Dick in a secret CBI mission, to get Cheshire, the mother of his child.


Cheshire is working on another assassination, as she tends to do, and sees the two heroes in the crowd.

Although this is supposedly Nightwing’s first solo series ever, Speedy dominates this, as well as the next Nightwing storyline.


The Phantom Stranger returns in this 2-part story by Kupperberg, Tom Grindberg and Dennis Janke.  Bruce Gordon has just taken the Phantom Stranger to his first Woody Allen movie as this story opens.  You’d swear the men were on a date.


People are dying while reading the latest book by a popular horror author.  The Phantom Stranger investigates, questioning the author, whose book, Mind Games, happens to share the same name as the villain in the Green Lantern story in this issue.


The writer used an actual ancient invocation he came across while writing his book, and is dumb enough to speak it, calling forth Au Puch, who captures the Stranger.


Newell, Kitson and Patterson share the third part of the Showcase Catwoman story.


Holly Robinson dies as a result of the explosion.  It’s a powerful and touching scene, but in the long run, a terrible idea.  Holly was a superb supporting character for Catwoman, connecting her back to her beginnings on the streets.  Eventually, the decision was made to simply ignore this story, and Holly was brought back to life.


Catwoman seeks out Holly’s cheating spouse, who stole the cat brooch before setting the bombs.


Selina gets the brooch back, but Arthur pushes her out the window.


Wright, DuBurke and Marcos continue the muddled Black Canary story.


Lots of people talk. They talk about all kinds of stuff.  Drugs, illegal aliens, crashed planes and all sorts of odds and ends that loosely tie together, but the story is hardly making the effort to follow it rewarding.

Action 554 – creating Superman


Wolfman and Kane provide an epilogue of sorts to the Forgotten Heroes story in Action 554 (April 1984).


The story is set on an alien world that kind of resembles Earth, although it is under the domination of some scary other aliens.  Two young boys, named Joe and Jerry, very loosely based on Siegel and Shuster, conceive of a noble and powerful hero that could save them from the alien overlords.


They design Superman, and then devote their energies to believing in their created hero.


This belief is enough to pull Superman from the void he vanished into in the previous issue.  He defeats the aliens, and then heads back to Earth.  The story is dedicated to Siegel and Shuster.

A lot of people really liked this story.  It was ok.

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