Tag Archives: Dan Jurgens

Batman 359 – the origin of Croc


Sure looks like there will be a lot of well known villains in Batman 359 (May 1983), doesn’t it?  Well, there aren’t.  This cover would have been far more appropriate for the issue of Detective Comics that immediately follows this story.  Gerry Conway is joined by Dan Jurgens and Dick Giordano.


Croc begins this issue thinking that he had killed Batman in their battle in the last issue of Detective, so he is quite surprised when Batman shows up alive and well, and they have to fight again.  And it’s a draw, as Croc manages to get away.


Batman is none to happy about this, but he takes out hi frustrations on Dick, who is worried about the danger the Todds have placed themselves in.  Bruce goes into a very uncharacteristic rage, complaining about how normal people demand so much of him, but refuse to do anything themselves.  Even Alfred is shocked.


Commissioner Gordon fills Batman in on the life of Waylon Jones, who has come to be known as Killer Croc.  Born with a severe skin problem, he was picked on and abused, and then, when he tried to fight back, beaten by the police and tossed into a reform school.  His life has consisted of incarceration and attacks, and as he grew stronger, he also grew angrier and more bitter.


The issue ends as Robin heads to the circus, finding Jason Todd and Waldo Flynn, but not Jason’s parents.  They saw Croc’s men, and tailed them, but wind up Croc’s prey.

The story concludes in the next issue of Detective.


Superman 700 – coming home, doing Robin’s work, and deciding to walk


Superman 700 (Aug. 10) is a double sized anniversary issue, which contains an epilogue of sorts to the New Krypton storyline, a prologue to the next storyline, Grounded, and a story from Superman’s early days that teams him up with Robin.


The issue opens with a story by Robinson and Chang, which sees Superman return to Earth, just in time to save Lois Lane from the Parasite.  He is working as muscle for the Prankster, but the villains are not really important in this story.  In fact, we do not even see Superman capture the Prankster.


Instead, the story deals with Lois and Clark renewing their relationship.  They discuss losing Chris, and Lois’ feelings about her father.  It makes a warm ending to the long and powerful storyline, and I love the final page, of Superman and Lois embracing in the Metropolis sky.


Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund jump back in time for the second story in the issue.


Dick Grayson is still in high school in this story, and Bruce Wayne refuses to let him go out as Robin until he finishes his geometry homework.  But despite Alfred’s efforts, Dick sneaks out anyway, and winds up going after some gun runners.


Superman winds up coming to Robin’s assistance, and Commissioner Gordon is always happy to deal with the polite Superman.  As Robin has been out much later than expected, and is exhausted, Superman quickly finishes his geometry homework for him.  Dick believes that he has successfully conned Bruce into thinking he did it himself.


But of course, no one puts something over on Batman.  It’s a cute story.  Made me smile.


The final story in the issue, by J. Michael Straczynski, Eddy Barrows and JP Mayer, launches the Grounded storyline.


Superman is answering questions with a crowd of normal people, one of whom is a woman who blames Superman for not using his powers to cure her husband’s brain tumour.  Superman takes this to heart.  Although he really shouldn’t. Superman is hardly responsible for every person’s ailment on the planet.


He visits Batman in the Justice League satellite, and sees how things are viewed from way above.


And then he talks to the Flash, who tells him that things are a blur at super-speed.


And so, Superman comes to Earth and decides to walk across the US.

This just rubbed me the wrong way, and I didn’t collect any of the Grounded storyline.  But now I am going to read it, and write about at least part of it, as it is the final story arc before the book gets cancelled because of Flashpoint.

Adventures of Superman 551 – with the Cyborg Superman at the Source Wall


Though the cover of Adventures of Superman 551 (Oct. 97) does not announce it, the Jurgens, Grummett and Rodier story in this issue is a Genesis crossover, as Superman heads to Source Wall after finding out that it has been breached.


There he discovers the Cyborg Superman, believed dead after his last encounter with Green Lantern, a few months earlier.  Hank Henshaw’s origin and history are recapped at length in the story.


He survived his apparent death by merging with the Wall, but was unable to leave the location, as nothing ever survives approaching it.  The rend in the Wall was caused by him intentionally to draw someone he could “hitch” a ride on.  Superman suspects as much, and works to close the gap in the Wall, while preventing the Cyborg from making contact.


Superman believes that he has triumphed, and sealed the Cyborg Superman inside the repaired Wall, reporting as much to the gathered heroes.  But as he heads out with Highfather, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, Superboy, Supergirl Impulse, the Flash, Steel, Green Lantern, Artemis and Metron to face the Genesis Wave head on, we see that the Cyborg Superman has concealed himself in Superman’s costume.

The story continues in the next issue of Genesis.

Adventures of Superman 500 – back from the dead


After a break of a few months, Adventures of Superman returns with issue 500 (Early June 1993), the bulk of which is by Ordway, Grummett and Hazelwood.


Although the issue had a pretty good 3D cover, I always think of it as pictured above, in the white plastic bag it came in.


The final issue of Funeral for a Friend saw Jonathan Kent die of a heart attack, and this story sees him find his son in the afterlife.


The comic intercuts a lot of scenes with the supporting cast, as Pa Kent fights to bring his son back from the dead.  We see Gangbuster fighting drug dealers and fleeing from the police.


Cat Grant is upset about Jose’s activities, which have driven them apart.  Vinnie Edge sees this as an opportunity to make the move on Cat.


There is also an entertaining sequence with the Prankster killing his cell mate, although this does not tie in to the larger storyline in any way.


Pa Kent gets separated from Clark, and winds up being tempted by Blaze, although he has no interest in her deal.


Kismet also encounters Pa Kent, and leads him to where he can find Superman.


Superman is being carted into a weird afterlife by demons who appear to be Kryptonians.  Pa Kent helps him see through the illusions, and together they enter a tunnel that will bring them back to the real world.


We see Pa Kent revive, to the delight of Lois Lane and Ma Kent, and he announces that Clark is alive as well.


Lois Lane convinces Inspector Henderson to open the tomb, and the find the body gone.


This is followed by four very brief stories, each one introducing a possible resurrected Superman.  Louise Simonson, Jon Bogdanove and Dennis Janke introduce the villainous White Rabbit just before John Henry Irons pulls himself out of the wreckage left by Doomsday.


Roger Stern, Jackson Guice and Denis Rodier show us the vicious Last Son of Krypton, who is pretty obviously the Eradicator.


Karl Kesel, Grummet and Hazelwood take us to Cadmus, where the Newsboy Legion have helped Superboy escape, despite the Guardian’s efforts.


And Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding go the high tech route with the Cyborg Superman.

Each of these four continue to appear in one of the four ongoing Superman titles, which all return later in the month.

Adventures of Superman 480 – Krypton Man and Superman fight near the sun


The third chapter of the Krypton Man storyline takes place in the oversized Adventures of Superman 480 (July 1991), with a huge cast of artists.  And supporting characters, for that matter.  Jerry Ordway scripts, with pencils by Tom Grummett, Curt Swan, Jon Bogdanove, Jim Mooney, Art Thibert, Bob McLeod, and Dan Jurgens, and inks by Dennis Janke, Denis Rodier and Brett Breeding.


The Eradictor has formed a human-ish body (or I guess I should say, a Kryptonian-ish body), and is able to fight Superman toe to toe.


But their battle pretty much takes a back seat in this issue to the lives of the other characters.  Vinnie Edge has taken over as CEO of Galaxy Communications while his son Morgan is in prison, and makes a play for Cat Grant, who reluctantly goes along with it.


Jose has been looking after Adam, but gets mugged and dragged away while the two are in the park.  Adam has no idea what to do, and winds up leaving a panicked phone message for his mother.


Ron Troupe makes his debut, though it is not a really impressive one. He comes to the Planet looking for a job, but is fobbed off by Foswell, who has been working as editor while Perry White and his wife are on the Caribbean cruise with the Kents.  The cruise itself is suffering from dangerous seas, a result of the Krypton Man’s climactic manipulations.


Emil Hamilton is at the Fortress, working on Mr. Z’s strange gemstone.  He decides to try out the Kryptonian battle suit for some entertainment.


Krypton Man gets the best of Superman, hurling him into the sun and coming down to Earth.


He announces that he is here to teach humans about the superior ways of Kryptonians.  He callously murders soldiers in a tank as he refashions the machine into a statue of Lincoln-as-Kyptonian, and does the same thing with a Big Belly Burger sign, referring to it as the “food god,” which I particularly enjoyed.


Jose has been kidnapped by a crippled gang member who wants to know his secret for being able to walk again.  Jose has no patience for these fools.


Superman eventually makes it back to Earth, but is exhausted.


While the Krypton Man senses someone not Kryptonian in the Fortress, and is incensed to see Hamilton in the battle suit.

The story concludes in the next issue of Action.


Adventures of Superman 478 – what powers the final time jump


Jurgens and Breeding conclude Time and Time Again in Adventures of Superman 478 (May 1991), in a story that crosses over into the current Legion of Super-Heroes book.


The location is the Moon, inhabited in the future world, but under threat by Dev-Em, a much darker version of the pre-Crisis Knave from Krypton.  This one is still from the 20th century, sent forward in time by Mon-El, and opens the issue by pounding Laurel Gand to crap.  Cosmic Boy and Chameleon Boy have cameos, but are not major players in this chapter.


The various subplots reach their ending, as Bibbo falls off his stool, Jimmy’s mother completely ruins his date with Lucy, Alice and Perry White decide to take a Caribbean cruise and Booster Gold repairs Skeets.


Superman meets the adult versions of the Legionnaires Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, as well as the no longer shrinking Violet.  Timber Wolf is in his Furball state.


In dealing with Dev-Em, they discover that the Dominators not only have a secret base on the Moon, they rigged the entire sphere with bombs, in case they needed to destroy it to take over Earth. But Dev-Em now holds those controls.


The battle to prevent the Moon’s destruction is intense and well paced.  A sigh of relief comes when they stop the explosion, but the relief is short lived.


This was the time and place that all of Superman’s time jumps had been leading him, the “path” the Linear Man took him on.  The destruction of the Moon was meant to occur, and the blast would be powerful enough to send Superman home.  But Superman’s presence altered history.  Fixing everything, to Superman’s horror, the Linear Man sets off the bombs.


And the Moon goes boom.  The effects of this would be felt through the Legion’s book, beginning with the following issue.


Superman finds himself still on the Moon, but back in his own time.  A success, but not much of a victory.

And a great story arc.

Adventures of Superman 477 – Superman and the Legion vs the Sun-Eater


Superman is back with the Legion of Super-Heroes in the fourth installment of Time and Time Again, in the Jurgens and Breeding story from Adventures of Superman 477 (April 1991).


At first, Superman has no idea where he is after his latest time jump.  He is fairly certain that he is not on Earth, but cannot tell if he is in the far future or distant past.


We spend a lot of time with the Legion in this issue.  It’s the 70s version, with the cool Mike Grell disco costumes.  Lightning Lad is joined by Phantom Girl, Ultra Boy, Shrinking Violet and Wildfire as they debate how to handle another Sun-Eater that has entered the galaxy, the last one having cost Ferro Lad his life.


Superman turns out to be in the same time period as the Legionnaires, and fairly close to where the Sun-Eater is.  Wildfire is sure that he can deal with the Sun-Eater alone, but of course he is wrong.  Besides, Superman needs the explosive energy of the Sun-Eater’s destruction to move him to his next point in time.


And though Superman has figured out that the massive explosions are powering his jumps, he has not yet realized that the Linear Man is using these to lead Superman to the time period he needs him to be in.