Superman in Crisis

SiC 44 — Happy New Year! (01:02:1986)

Starting the new year with coverage of the first Superman comic of 1986, DC Comics Presents 92, and then responding to all your feedback!

7 replies on “SiC 44 — Happy New Year! (01:02:1986)”

I tried! I saw that this episode dropped yesterday evening, so I posted a link to it on Facebook and suggested that, since I wasn’t going to be able to listen to it until today, someone else could listen and post feedback before I did.
I was never really that “into” the more modern version of Vigilante. I’m more a fan of the western hero whose history goes back to the 1940s. For anyone interested in that version of the character, I recommend Ranger Gord’s “Prairie Justice: The Greg Sanders Vigilante Podcast”. He does a really good job, often presenting the stories in the form of an old-time radio drama, and his musical choices are very good.
This particular story was short and kind of “lightweight”, without much serious threat to Superman, so it was good for those listeners easing themselves back into the new year and the mundane workaday world. It was a bit amusing to hear Superman present himself as a no-nonsense “all crime is bad” guy, considering his early “social justice/champion of the oppressed” stories, when he was much more rough-and-tumble, but, like many of us, he had matured and settled into a more “proper role-model” guy, who never, ever, kills, . . . except when he does.

The more I think about Lana and Clark being together in the late Pre-Crisis era the more I like that idea. Yeah, I can be ride or die in regards to Lois, but if he can’t be with her Lana is always my second choice. Love that Clark was acting more like his Post Crisis self in this issue. Or that’s how it sounded.

Like you, I didn’t have all that much to say about this issue. I have a vague memory that the Vigilante character was a Wolfman-Perez creation, and was sort of a spin-off of Teen Titans. At least, he first appeared there. I honestly don’t remember if Marv and George continued to work on him when he got his own series, or left it to someone else, and I’m not interested enough to look it up. I never cared all that much for the character. He seemed too much like The Punisher (their origin stories were almost identical), another character that I’ve just never gotten into.

Oh, well. They can’t all be classics!

Just read Dc comics Presents #92. It was enjoyable for the most part. I just have a few observations, It was strange having Superman debate the Vigilante about law and order , seeing as he just let the Vampire go just last issue. I liked the musings of Vigilante about what he does and how he sees Superman, he is the hero everyone looks up to. A few other nit piks, I always hated how Lana Lang says “ luv” to people. That’s something that people who live in England say, and although she lived there for a while, it’s pretentious for her to say it. This story didn’t really need the Vigilante in it. I guess he did some Batman type detective work but maybe his appearance was designed to get readers to try his title. The Original Vigilante from this series was Adrain Chase , the person who was the judge in this story. I read his book at the beginning but lost interest. Marv Wolfman wrote it but Perez had nothing to do with the book and I’m not sure how he was replaced by this new person. I will say that he goofed by telling the criminals that he confronted on the rooftop that he didn’t kill. But he then started shooting at them afterwards so, did he have blanks in the gun? I was surprised to see Curt Swan and Dave Hunt on the artwork. I’m not sure if they were phased out of the regular Superman books or if this was an inventory type job.

Before I go, I want to make some observations about the Crisis mini, The character Kole who was killed in the crisis, Maybe she was the “red shirt” of the episode. ( I thought i’d throw you a bone with a Star Trek reference, I know how you like those , Jon ) Something else about the Crisis mini, After issue 10, there are no more changes by time shenanigans. That is the permanent earth going forward. The clean up of who lives and dies has been determined but Dc violates many of what is established in issues 11 and 12 in their future books. Unless there’s an explanation that I missed, Superman et al saw Wonder Woman get devolved and have knowledge that she existed. They say in issue 12 that she goes back in time and becomes clay but did the heroes fighting next to her against the Anti-Monitor get mind wiped ? Also, All the surviving heroes should have knowledge of their particular earths because the people fighting the Anti Monitor were at the beginning of time to confront him. DC comics from issue 12 forward never mention heroes like Uncle sam , Blue Beetle acknowledging their previous planets. It might have been easier if the reset of the universe eliminated all the duplicates and just recognized that they all always existed on Earth 1. You don’t get the final battle with Golden age Superman but it’s cleaner. Sorry for a letter that went all over the place but looking at this almost 40 years later has me diving in a little deeper.

One last thing, There’s an Easter egg written into page 4 of issue 11,
Roy Thomas is written into the story as Jerry Thomas, a cop. It’s ironic that he’s included in the series responsible for dive-bombing his All Star Squadron book.

Several good points, George. If I may continue discussing them, I have some thoughts. (GASP!) I know, shocking isn’t it?!

As for Crisis #11, when it comes to time altering shenanigans, I’ve observed 3 things that happen in fiction the most: 1. the immediate reset and nobody remembers what happened before, 2. the heroes remember for a little while but told the memories will fade (you can count on someone like Phantom Stranger saying that), and 3. the heroes are the only people who remember. My thinking is Marv took approach 3, and there was no long-term narrative plan in place, so no reason to question it. But later creative teams are the ones who started retconning origins and histories, so it functionally ended up like option 2. We can look at it with the benefit of hindsight today, but this was the first line-wide reboot for DC, and they didn’t have experience with it, so it was messy and they learned a lot about doing it better in the future. Which actually makes Crisis on Infinite Earths more interesting in some ways. That raw, unpolished approach to an event this big, warts and all, rather than the admittedly more consistent approach we’d see today, but there’s something fascinating seeing the learning experience happen. Which we can, because the comics are all there!

I also caught the name “Jerry Thomas”, but I’ll take it a step further and propose it’s also homaging Jerry Ordway, so both All-Star Squadron creators are given this tribute, and with the merged earth, they’re likewise merged into a single character. That’s so fun!

Hi, Jon. Can we talk for a second? I’m afraid it has to be said. You and Mindi are too stinking cute together. That lady is a keeper. I’m really happy for you both. Sorry, I know it’s a harsh truth. 😉

Oh, I guess I could write about the comic book. I only saw this era’s Vigilante in the New Teen Titans appearances, which were very few and far between, but those and Who’s Who filled in plenty of blanks. Maybe I’ll give the series a try sometime on DCU Infinite, but I’m not in a rush. But I did see more of the later successor who was introduced in the 90s Deathstroke series, and she was pretty cool. As for this story, it was ok, didn’t really wow me, but still it did DCCP’s mission statement: team-up Superman with other DCU characters needing some visibility.

About my previous feedback, I’m sorry I wasn’t clear enough, don’t know what I was thinking. For the Hunger Dogs graphic novel (still haven’t read it myself, darn it), a huge consequence was the planet of New Genesis was destroyed. The residents escaped in Supertown, similar to Argo City, so Orion and Lightray and other heroic New Gods survived. But the planet being gone is a big deal, and I think you saw my tweets where I showed references to this in John Byrne’s Superman run. But a few years after that, in Jim Starlin’s Cosmic Odyssey, New Genesis is back with no explanation there or in any preceding comics that I saw. So I think that meant some or all of Hunger Dogs GN was retconned away. Hope this helps clarify what I wrote about before.

My goodness, the final third of the podcast is well under way. It’s all downhill from here. See you next time, and thanks for reading.

Hi, Jon! Looks like I’ve gotten caught back up after a few weeks. Feels good.

Before I swiped past the cover, I took a guess that Paul Kupperberg would be the writer and was happy to see I was correct. However, I had no idea that there was a new Vigilante after Adrian Chase until reading the issue. Not a standout story, but it was enjoyable enough. I did like seeing Clark and Lana actually presenting as a couple who enjoy each other. How could you not like a Curt Swan drawn Lana, right?

I was finishing my listen of the show in my room during lunch and a colleague came in and apologized for interrupting. I told her I was just listening to you respond to my feedback and she thought it was a big deal. I didn’t tell her I could be considered a fanboy of the show, but my co-workers know my nerd level. The feedback and Superman read-through segments are always as fun as the issue coverage.

Speaking of school, I hope things are off to a good start at your new one. My co-coach and I are holding Math Bowl tryouts next week – almost time to crank it up again. We just missed top ten in the state last year and the goal is to get there this year.

Until next time!

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