New Reviews of Old Comics
This is one of those titles I look at think “Did someone really publish this, or is it just a joke?” Was there a trend at one point of gathering esoteric groups of heroes, and in this case villains, just for the sake of gathering them together, hoping against hope they might come up with a Justice League or Avengers, or something with some durability? It’s the throw-enough-crap-against-the-wall-and-something-might-stick approach to creative marketing.
Putting “What’s Going On?” in a big explosion balloon on this cover is never a good sign. It says to the reader “Yeah, you’re going to be bewildered by this issue, please buy it anyway.” Our cover has notorious bad guy The Trickster fighting alongside Kid Flash and Captain Comet against Star Sapphire, Gorilla Grodd and The Creeper, who looks like a villain, but isn’t, hence the confusion. “Turnabout is Fair Play” was written by Gerry Conway with Rich Buckler manning the pencil work this issue. We get a brief review of that is indeed going on with the story; the Secret Society of Super-Villains is trying to obtain four long lost sorcerers. They have two in hand and only need a Dragon Box and Cloak of Invisibility to complete their collection. What they do then, no one knows. Giving the Cloak the James Potter would be among my guesses. Mostly this issue is a series of fight scenes between two heroes and two or more villains, with the plodding plot advancing like a soap opera storyline. The final fight scene has Wally/Kid Flash running into Gorilla Grodd’s machine and being knocked out with Captain Comet swearing revenge on his villainous counterparts.
Because nothing significant really happens it is difficult to gage the story, but Rich Buckler’s pencils are pretty good to help offset a relatively boring issue. I will admit I do like seeing the fringe characters getting involved, but part of the appeal for me would also be seeing how they got together. These aren’t exactly A-List heroes here, so the phone isn’t ringing off the hook with other heroes looking to bond. Rather than being congenial maybe have Kid Flash being pissed off he’s working with Captain Comet instead of The Flash, Green Lantern or Batman. Like being in double A baseball; you might be happy just planning on a team with a major league affiliation, but in your heart you want to be in the big leagues.
Notable Ad: Inside front cover has an ad for 3 free baseball cards with every purchase of Hostess Cup Cakes or Twinkies. “Collect ‘em. Trade ‘em” the ad implores, but if you were really smart you didn’t cut them out of the box and then you would really have something collectible. I have a couple dozen of these Hostess baseball cards, all of them cut up, of course; some actually within the lines (I was only 6 or 7 when this was published). While I’m definitely a fan of baked goods, I know I wanted Hostess products because I wanted the baseball cards. Those kids are going to have a mess holding cupcakes and Twinkies in their baseball mitts though. That, I can honestly say I never did.