Greetings from the Odinson,
The Odinson’s Maxi Series celebrating the Limited Series continues.
The Odinson Celebrates the Limited-Series: Part 5 – DC: 1985-1986
Spanner’s Galaxy (1984) – Format: 6 issues. Plot: On the far side of the cosmos, one man finds his mundane life turned upside down when he suddenly becomes the most wanted man in the galaxy! The Odinson’s Thoughts: I’m always up for something interesting and original, especially a science fiction caper wrapped in a comic book package. NOTE: Even though the first issue came out in December of 1984, the bulk of this series happens in the pivotal year of 1985.
America vs. the Justice Society (1985 DC) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Earth-2’s Batman is dead, but in his wake he has left accusations that the Justice Society are traitors to the United States! The Odinson’s Thoughts: This was an interesting precursor to all the dramatic-driven Elseworld tales that would soon follow. It serves as a bridge from the Golden Age to the Silver Age, and this tale was highly influential on the seminal masterpiece – New Frontier.
Superman: The Secret Years (1985) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: This story reveals the events that happened between the time when Clark Kent left Smallville and moved to Metropolis. The Odinson’s Thoughts: It’s hard to imagine now in the present, with stories like Birthright and Superman: Year One, but this was one of the earliest examples of creators exploring this formative time in the Man of Steel’s life. The series also features some really great cover art by Frank Miller.
Ambush Bug (1985) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Follow the day-to-day exploits of a truly insane Keith Giffen creation. The Odinson’s Thoughts: Before Deadpool and Harley Quinn, there was this out-of-his-mind, break-all-the-rules zany character.
Robotech Defenders (1985) – Format: 2 issues (It was supposed to be 3). Plot: In order to survive an alien invasion mankind is forced to rely on mechanical WMDs. The Odinson’s Thoughts: This limited series was based on a line of model kits. Plus, do not be fooled by the title. This comic book series has absolutely nothing to do with the classic anime and beloved Robotech franchise.
Jonni Thunder (1985) AKA Thunderbolt – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Private Investigator Jonni Thunder discovers a mysterious golden statue that transforms her into a living lightning bolt! The Odinson’s Thoughts: Created by the great Roy Thomas, this obscure character has never risen above the D-List.
MASK (1985) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Based on the classic 1980s cartoon inspired by the toys of the same name, this story sees the MASK crusaders fighting crime and working overtime to stop the evil VENOM in their tracks. The Odinson’s Thoughts: In the 1980s, we were introduced to GI Joe: A Real American Hero and Transformers: Robots in Disguise. MASK takes both those amazing concepts and merges them into one. A true classic.
Nathaniel Dusk II (1985) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Don McGregor and the incomparable Gene Colan return for a follow up to the 1984 limited series set in a 1930s noir New York City. The Odinson’s Thoughts: Each issue of this series is a 48-page near graphic novel length affair, and this was one of the earliest examples of comics moving from the newsprint format to a more expensive quality of paper which helps the colors on the page to really pop and come alive. I believe it was called Baxter paper.
Red Tornado (1985) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Only the Red Tornado, an android whose robotic body is brought to life by an elemental, may be able to save the world from a sinister entity that wants to enslave it. The Odinson’s Thoughts: DC’s Red Tornado and Marvel’s Vision share many similarities not the least of which are stories exploring life from the perspective of the outsider.
The Shadow War of Hawkman (1985) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Hawkman and Hawkwoman race against the clock to stop a secret cabal from using Thanagarian tech for their own evil purposes. The Odinson’s Thoughts: Hawkman has always been one of most truly visually interesting characters. This is one of the last pre-Hawkworld solo adventures before his origins and story really start to become convoluted.
Super Powers (1985 2nd Series) – Format: 6 issues. Plot: The King Jack Kirby returns for another limited series starring his New Gods and the Justice League based on the beloved toyline from the ‘80s – the Super Powers Collection. The Odinson’s Thoughts: This tale loosely ties into Jack Kirby’s classic graphic novel – The Hunger Dogs.
Super Powers (1986 3rd Series) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Darkseid and his minions are back for one more round. The Odinson’s Thoughts: This time, the proceedings go along sans Jack Kirby. However, industry legend Carmine Infantino (Flash, Nova) steps in for this final installment of the Super Powers comic book tie-ins.
Aquaman (1986) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: The King of the Seas embarks on a quest to stop an impending war between the oceans and the land. The Odinson’s Thoughts: Set in the Post-Crisis DCU, this fondly remembered tale has ties with the underrated Arion: Lord of Atlantis series which was set back in the ancient times before the oceans drank Atlantis. Plus, it also introduces a super cool new costume for Aquaman meant to help camouflage him in the ocean depths.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: An aging Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement to once again bring justice to the streets of Gotham City. The Odinson’s Thoughts: What else can be said about this true classic? The Dark Knight Returns set the bar by which all Batman tales are measured to this very day.
Deadman (1986) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: While in possession of his brother’s body, Boston Brand is killed, again! Deadman sets out to solve the mystery of his brother’s murder. The Odinson’s Thoughts: This thrilling mystery features amazing artwork by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, the artist that established the look of the heroes of the DCU for an entire generation of fans in the DC Comics Style Guide.
The Legend of Wonder Woman (1986) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Bridging the gap from Wonder Woman’s Pre-Crisis continuity and her Post-Crisis continuity, this tale reimagines her Golden Age adventures. The Odinson’s Thoughts: The creative team of this limited series comes with a high pedigree as it was written by Kurt Busiek (Avengers, Astro City) and drawn by Trina Robbins, the first woman to draw Wonder Woman comics!
The Shadow (1986) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: Under the guidance of Howard Chaykin, this pulp fiction era icon, The Shadow, returns to the mainstream in a tale set in the modern era. The Odinson’s Thoughts: This was my very first exposure to this classic and important character and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Man of Steel (1986) – Format: 6 issues. Plot: With this modern day retelling of Superman’s origin, industry legend John Byrne launched the Post-Crisis era of the DC Universe. The Odinson’s Thoughts: This was a watershed moment in Comics History. Fresh off his stellar runs on Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Incredible Hulk, John Byrne came over to DC Comics where he established a definitive take on the Last Son of Krypton and set the blueprint for DC Comics for the next 20 years.
Legends (1986) – Format: 6 issues. Plot: Society suddenly turns on the heroes of the DCU! The Odinson’s Thoughts: The first big storyline of the Post-Crisis era of the DCU intertwines the myths of Jack Kirby’s New Gods into the DCU proper and introduces the modern day incarnations of the Justice League and the Suicide Squad.
Cosmic Boy (1986) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: When the super teen, Cosmic Boy from the 30th Century, takes a vacation in the 20th century, he suddenly finds himself caught up in the harrowing events of the Legends storyline. The Odinson’s Thoughts: Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen really deliver in this limited series that features, to the best of my knowledge, the very first solo adventure for a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes (besides Superboy, of course).
Legionnaires 3 (1986) – Format: 4 issues. Plot: The founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes embark on a time-spanning quest to save the child of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl from the clutches of the evil Time Trapper. The Odinson’s Thoughts: This is a poignant tale as Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl had already lost one child, Validus, to the forces of darkness.
Son of Ambush Bug (1986) – Format: 6 issues. Plot: Keith Giffen’s insane super hero returns for adventures in hell and the courtroom! The Odinson’s Thoughts: Over the next 30 years, though he still pops up in the DCU from time to time, Ambush Bug never caught on and garnered the cult following other insane character like Deadpool and Harley Quinn ultimately did.
Be sure to tune in next week for The Odinson Celebrates Limited Series: Part 6 – DC Comics: 1987-1989.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: Be sure to check out my book – The Survivors: A Glen Haven Tale. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook