It's Friday night, which means it's time for a new installment of Flashback Friday, which is where I take a look at a bunch of older comics and try to sum them up in as few words as possible(and anybody who's read my work knows that's no easy task for me!). Last week's post seemed to be relatively well received, so hopefully this one will be even better, although I wouldn't count on that, seeing as that I am REALLY sunburned(sunburnt?)and tired, two factors that don't normally lend themselves to a good blog post! I'm actually considering throwing a few new comics into a post similar to this, mainly so I can just get them up and posted as quickly as possible, since my new comics pile is slowly beginning to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa! But that's an issue for a later time, let's get to the pseudo-reviews!
Lobo #1(Nov. 1990): This was a four issue mini-series that I decided to pick up not because of Lobo(who I'm indifferent towards), but because of the fact that Vril Dox played a large role in it. As for this issue, Dox sends Lobo to retrieve the last surviving Czarnian, who just so happens to be Lobo's forth grade teacher. The teacher is terribly annoying, but since Lobo had promised Dox that he would return her to LEGION headquarters alive, Lobo has no choice but to grin and bear it. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
Lobo #2(Dec. 1990): Lobo is still trying to transport his old teacher back to Dox and LEGION HQ, but she manages to ditch him to head to the ballet. While searching for the old woman, Lobo runs afoul intergalactic truckers, police officers, and a bunch of concerned grandmothers. This was a surprisingly funny/enjoyable comic. Score: 9 out of 10.
Lobo #3(Jan. 1991): For some reason this issue takes a really bad detour from the main storyline and Lobo(and his annoying teacher)wind up getting captured by some weirdos who force them to compete in a life or death spelling bee challenge... Seriously! Yeah, it was bad... Score: 4 out of 10.
Lobo #4(Feb. 1991): After escaping from the dread spelling bee world, Lobo decides to head to a vacation planet with his old teacher and have some fun before turning the old bat over to Vril Dox at LEGION HQ. After last issue, this mini kind of fell apart for me. Score: 5 out of 10.
Batman #440(Nov. 1989): This is the first part of the five part, “A Lonely Place of Dying” x-over with the New Titans series. Batman has been extremely reckless since the death of Jason Todd, and has been running around Gotham like a bull in a china shop with little regard for his safety. Seeing Batman's erratic behavior, Two-Face decides to do in the Caped Crusader. Besides that, a very young Tim Drake(in his first appearance as a teenager)tries to find Dick Grayson. Score: 8 out of 10.
New Titans #60(Nov. 1989): This is the second part of the x-over with the Batman series. Needing some time away from the Titans, Dick Grayson heads back to Haly's Circus, where he gets involved in all kinds of shenanigans. Tim Drake finds him there and reveals that he knows Dick's secret identity(as well as Batman's), and that he feels that Dick needs to go back to being Robin since Bats is still hurting over Jason Todd's death. Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
Batman #441(Dec. 1989): Dick brings little Timmy Drake back to Wayne Manor, where Tim gives his name for the first time, as well as meets Alfred. Tim explains to Dick and Alfred how he figured out who Nightwing and Batman were(some footage he saw on TV from when Dick was still Robin), and why he thinks Batman needs a Robin to stay sane. While that's happening, Batman and Two-Face are each trying to come up with a way to trap the other one. As an interesting side note, while Tim and Dick are talking at the Manor, Dick refers to Tim as “Jeff”, which I guess was a possible early name for Tim. Score: 8 out of 10.
New Titans #61(Dec. 1989): Dick has enough of Tim's constant whining and pestering and tells him he'll never be Robin again, which makes poor little Timmy cry. What a bully Dick is! Bats reluctantly calls Nightwing to help him find Two-Face, and the two get caught in one of Two-Face's death traps. Score: 6 out of 10.
Batman #442(Jan. 1990): While hanging out in the Batcave, Tim and Alfred realize that something is wrong because Dick was trying to send some info to the Bat-computers, but was cut off in the middle. Tim decides to dress as Robin(for the very first time)and Alfred reluctantly drives him out to the last recorded location of Bats and Nightwing. Tim tries to fight Two-Face but fairs poorly and winds up getting saved by Alfred. Two-Face runs away and Tim frees Bats and Dick from Two-Face's death trap. The three then find and capture Two-Face and after some thought Bats decides he'll allow Tim to train to become the new Robin. Score: 8 out of 10.
The Ray Annual #1(1995): Ray's computer creation, Death Masque, causes a plane to crash in Philadelphia, and although Ray was able to save an overwhelming majority of the people in the plane, a few wound up dying. Ray takes the deaths really hard(since Death Masque WAS his creation)and gets drunk, but Superman shows up and talks some sense into Ray(after an obligatory fight between the two of course!) Score: 8 out of 10.
The Ray #13(June 1995): Ray is still acting depressed over the plane crash while Death Masque manages to create a small little country with a puppet government that he controls. Ray finds out and decides he has to take drastic actions against Death Masque. Score: 7 out of 10.
The Ray #14(July 1995): Ray decides to ask for help from Vandal Savage in dealing with Death Masque. Needless to say, Ray's Justice League Task Force teammates are not too happy about Ray's decision. Savage also gives Ray a spot in his computer company, all while promising Ray that he'd help him destroy Masque. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
The Ray #15(August 1995): Ray heads over to his father's house(after learning that Death Masque had killed and was impersonating his father), and runs into his mother, who still doesn't know that Ray is her son(she thought he died during childbirth). In the meantime, Vandal Savage and Death Masque have a conference where Masque voices his displeasure about Savage getting involved in Ray's life. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
The Ray #16(Sept. 1995): Ray(in his civilian identity)get shot in a random shooting(that's Philly for ya!)and winds up being saved by Vandal Savage, who seems to know more about Ray's powers then even Ray does. Death Masque reveals(to himself I guess)that he wants his creator(Ray)to either join forces with him or die, which is why he's been constantly harassing Ray. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
The Ray #17(Oct. 1995): Ray's previously unknown brother Joshua gets loose, and accidentally kills some people he mistakes for monsters(he's only a little kid). Ray tries to trap his father/Death Masque, but fails, and Vandal Savage sends Atomic Skull to attack Masque's country, but the attack is halted by Ray and his father. Score: 7 out of 10.
The Ray #18(Nov. 1995): This is a part of the Underworld Unleashed storyline. Neron(in the guise of a hot woman)tries to seduce Ray into handing over his soul, but Vandal Savage puts an end to that and takes Neron aside, offering him the soul of Atomic Skull instead. After some pretty funny bartering, Neron agrees to leave Ray alone. While that's going on, Joshua is still flying aimlessly around trying to find his father. Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.
The Ray #19(Dec. 1995): Ray decides that since Vandal hadn't helped him destroy Death Masque yet, he'd go to Neron and see what kind of offer Neron would make. Of course Ray was still under the impression that Neron was just some attractive woman, not the living embodiment of evil. Since Neron couldn't trick Ray into handing over his soul(due to the agreement he made with Savage)he comes clean with him and explains that he would make it so that Death Masque never existed, all in exchange for Ray's soul. Ray ALMOST goes through with the deal, but in the end, common sense prevails. While that is happening, Joshua finds his father(who is actually Death Masque), but gets beaten up by the evil robot since its programing never told it Joshua existed. Score: 6 out of 10.
The Ray #20(Jan. 1996): This issue crossed over with events that were happening in the JL Task Force comic, and as such, I was pretty lost for most of the main storyline. After getting beaten up by his father/Death Masque last issue, Joshua is taken in by helpful hippies, who want to reunite him with his old man... Umm, OK I guess... Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.
Detective Comics #541(August 1984): The Penguin steals some government secrets and heads to Antarctica to sell them to the Soviets. Naturally it's up to Batman to stop Penguin's actions... Ultimately we learn that Penguin wasn't going to really sell the secrets to the Soviets, just trick them into thinking he was... It's Cold War mania at its worst! Score: 4 out of 10.
Detective Comics #542(September 1984): Since Bruce is running around Antarctica tracking the Penguin, the Department of Child Welfare decides to take Jason Todd away from him. After Bruce gets back from Antarctica, he finds out Jason was removed from his care and cries a bit before calling in a battalion of lawyers to get Jason back. Even though Jason was taken away, he still winds up doing the Robin thing, where he teams up with a very sad Batman. Score: 5 out of 10.