Episode #78 (Superman & The Forgotten Villains)
This time around I will be splitting the duties with my Guest Hosts, Back To The Bins. (Scott Gardner, Paul Spataro, and Bill Robinson) First, I will be doing a Spotlight on Superman‘s Guests, The Forgotten Villains. After that Scott, Paul, and Bill will get into our book, DC Comics Presents #78. Finally, I will take us on a trip to The Comic Spinner Rack.
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Nicely done, gentlemen, although one could certainly wish for a better story for you to cover. I found the writing to be something of a muddled mess, even more than the previous issue’s story. This may have been because, even though I’d been reading comics for decades when this issue came out, and was familiar with the “Forgotten Heroes”, the “Forgotten Villains” were almost unknown to me. I agree that the “connection” to Crisis on Infinite Earths was pretty much “tacked on” at the end of this story, and really had no particular connection to it. At the time, there was no clear idea, at least for readers, what the appearance of the Monitor and Lyla/Harbinger meant.
Russell, in your “Spinner Rack” segment, I particularly enjoyed hearing Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You”. I love the musical backgrounds for that segment.
I wonder how much Scott’s feeling about the art comes from everyone knowing that this version of Superman would soon be rebooted. They were all told in 1984 that their Superman would be cancelled, and they would just be keeping the wheels turning until that takes place. I’m not sure when in 84, but this issue would have been produced in 84, and that announcement may have been fresh on their minds.
Then again, Swan may not of liked the story much, and wasn’t inspired. That can also affect the art, as well as the inker.
Having said all that, I really enjoyed the episode, especially Paul’s reading of the synopsis.