Monday, May 28, 2007

DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #13 - Sept. 1981

sgStrange Sports Stories? Now we're getting to the really esoteric stuff(tho you'd think they would've gone with a horror or "weird" collection for the thirteenth issue)!

Behind the incredibly-silly (yet-incredibly-cool) cover by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano is a collection of two genres that don't taste great together, superheroes and sports!:

"The Great Super-Star Game" by Bob Rozakis, Dick Dillin(ye Gods, did the man ever sleep?) and Frank McLaughlin. This story actually has members of the JLA--Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, plus Robin, Kid Flash, Uncle Sam, and Plastic Man--agreeing to play a game of baseball against various super-villains, including multiple mass-murderer The Joker.

Sure, it's in the service of saving thousands of innocent lives(don't ask), but just watching The Joker play catcher is worth the ninety-five cents alone.

The remaining stories aren't quite as bat-s**t insane, so therefore not quite as much fun:
"The Challenge of the Faceless Five" by Cary Bates and John Rosenberger(though this story does feature a team of faceless basketball players, so it's probably a perfect follow-up to the lead story)
"Man with The Golden Gloves" by Denny O'Neil, Irv Novick, and Dick Giordano
"Volley of Death" by Frank Robbins and Giordano
"A Tall Tale of Ten-Pins" by Robbins, Curt Swan, and Bob Oksner
"Man Who Leaped Over the Earth" by Elliott S! Maggin and Giordano
"Hockey Mask of Death" by Robbins and Rosenberger
"Warrior of the Weightless World" by John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Joe Giella
"Gridiron Nightmare" by Robbins, Swan, and Giordano
...and a text piece by Rozakis, where he sadly does not divulge what prescriptions he was on when he wrote "The Great Super-Star Game."

The idea of sports comics is an old one, and DC was trying to revive it with their early-70s Strange Sports Stories comic, but it didn't work. I think by the time we hit the mid-70s, most kids that still read comics weren't exactly, er, good at sports, so they sure as heck didn't wanna read sports comics. You didn't see too many high school quarterbacks kicking back with an issue of Detective Comics, now did you?

That said, there is some nice work in these stories--the ones pencilled and inked by Dick Giordano are especially nice, and DC certainly did put some their top-tier talent on these stories, so they did give it the old college try!

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