Thursday, January 21, 2021

Comics on the Shelf -- DC-3

On DC-3, there’s the last few issues of the Brave and Bold run, #189-193, DC Comics Presents #1-52, DC Special #27-29, DC Special Series #1, #5, 9-11, 15, and 21. The shelf concludes with Detective Comics #463-487.

As I went through planning each run of comics that I wanted to include in my collection, many factors weighed in to help me make those decisions. In the case of the Brave and the Bold, the character of Nemesis was the greatest factor. 

Originally, I intended a much shorter run for the series. I knew I wanted the Hawkman team-up story in issue #139 (where the run begins,) and I knew I wanted the Ra’s Al Ghul team-up story in issue #159. The run may have ended up being just those 21 issues, but I just had to look ahead … 

#160 had Supergirl. I wanted that one. #161 had Adam Strange (a personal favorite.) I wanted that one, too! #162 had Sgt. Rock! That was so unusual, that I had to put that one in the run! #163 had Black Lightning. I wanted that. #164 had Hawkman again. That created a nice symmetry. I would end my run there. 26 issues was a decent run, but what if I looked ahead just a few more … 

Manbat was the next character. This tied into Manbat appearances in Batman Family and Detective Comics. I wanted that. The next issue featured the Penguin. A team-up with a villain hardly feels like a team-up at all. Stories like this could appear in the pages of Batman’s main title or Detective Comics. This wasn’t something special. I could end my Brave and Bold run at the Manbat issue, #165.

But, there was one thing … a back-up story in #166, that introduced a new character called: Nemesis. Nemesis was created by Cary Burkett and Dan Spiegle. The story in Nemesis was engaging, and the art … I love the art of Dan Spiegle. I had to have more Nemeis. The Nemesis back-up stories ran from issue #166-192. The entire run is written by Burkett and drawn by Spiegle. Throughout most of the run, the Nemesis back-up story outshines the lead story in the issue by a fair margin.

I am very happy to have discovered the character of Nemesis. These stories are not ones that I read as a boy, but I am overjoyed to include them in my collection now. Issue #192 ended the run of Nemesis as a back-up series, but issue #193 ended the story arc. Issue #193 was a full-length story (no back-up feature) that teamed Batman and Nemesis, and brought the Nemesis story to a conclusion.

Issue #193 sadly didn’t feature the art of Nemesis co-creator Dan Spiegle, but it was written by Burkett, and it featured the art of Brave and Bold’s headline artist, Jim Aparo. Jim is another favorite artist. This final issue is amazing on all fronts. #193 concludes my Brave and Bold run, and concludes the Nemesis story. That makes Brave and Bold #193 my choice for feature Brave and Bold issue on the DC-3 Shelf.

DC Comics Presents teams various characters from the DC Universe with Superman. It is one of my favorite titles, and this one has many great issues. For my favorite, I’m going with #24. This one is written by Len Wein and drawn beautifully by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, and features a story staring Deadman which is a follow-up to the run featured in Adventure Comics.

The Adventure Comics stories were also written by Wein and drawn by Lopez. The follow-up story in DC Comics Presents #24  is interesting. It’s written purely to give poor Deadman some closure following the events in Adventure Comics. It’s a great character driven piece, and I love watching Deadman geek-out like a comic nerd when he sees Superman for the first time!

DC Special #29 features the Untold Origin of the Justice Society! It’s awesome! I collected a random assortment of DC Special Series Issues. The ones I have are all Dollar Comics except one, and I am picking that one as a favorite just because I can remember when mom bought it for me and brought it home. It’s issue #10.

Finally, there’s Detective Comics. Among these issues is the short, but iconic run by Steve Englehart and Marshal Rogers. I know everyone goes ga-ga over the “Joker fish” issues, but I like the Penguin story in #473. It teams Batman and Robin, and I like that.

Detective Comics #473 also has the distinction of being the first comic that I can remember specifically trading for. I can't remember which comic I gave up, but I know that I definitely thought that I got the better end of the deal at the time.

The friend, with whom I traded, Jason King, told me he didn't want the issue because it featured the Penguin. He didn't want any issues that featured any of the villains he had seen in the TV show. (Kids felt that way about the 1966 TV show back then. Not me though, I loved it!)

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