Back Issue #22

It took me a while to start reading Back Issue #22 because I wasn’t very interested in the cover feature.

Back Issue #22 cover

Oh, it’s a good one, with a lengthy article on how Robin became a character in his own right in the early 1970s, complete with cover gallery showing his transformation into Nightwing. It’s just that I didn’t particularly care about that era for that hero. There’s also an interview with Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle and a writeup of how Captain America worked with the Falcon.

But after that… it’s like they were writing for me. An interview with Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen covers their classic run on the Legion of Super-Heroes. I skipped the piece on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the history of the founding of Dark Horse had some interesting lessons for today. Then came a slightly older interview with Scott McCloud about Zot!

I love that series dearly, and I’d never seen McCloud talk in depth about his work on it, so I was thrilled. I do wish there had been more of an answer to the question of whether/when we’d see the last set of issues, the best of the bunch, reprinted, but you can’t make someone give the answer you’d prefer. I also wish the interview hadn’t just stopped, as though the page quota had been filled — the usual “about the interviewer” blurb wasn’t even included.

After that comes a look at Blue Beetle and Booster Gold circa the Justice League revamp. Overall, a lot more meat geared to my tastes than I expected just from the cover.

4 Responses to “Back Issue #22”

  1. Michael Rawdon Says:

    Heh. We have rather different outlooks on the contents of this issue. (I haven’t read the issue, but I’m familiar with the subject matter you describe.)

    I grew up watching Robin grow up from a teenager to a man, so I have a fondness for those days. I also very much enjoyed the early Tim Drake stories (before the regular series started).

    On the other hand, the Levitz/Giffen Legion has always been in my mind the run which wrecked the Legion, changing the characters around for no good reason, given them some truly awful uniforms, and some really haphazard stories. While the run also gave us (eventually) Steve Lightle (one of my fave artists), that feels like scant consolation these days. Give me the Cockrum, Grell, Sherman, or – heck – even the Jimmy Janes Legion over this run any day. Naturaly I don’t consider the Levitz/Giffen Legion “classic”.

    I’ve tried to read Zot! but was never able to get into it. I’ve heard the last stuff is the best, but I couldn’t wade through the early stuff to reach it; it just felt frivolous, and the art was nothing special.

    And lastly, I couldn’t stand the Giffen Justice League. The earliest issues had a few decent bits (mostly Kevin Maguire’s artwork), but it was dreadfully un-funny, and after the JLI formed what little storytelling there was evaporated right quick. Yick.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Given your opinions, you might appreciate these articles even more, since they talk about the points you raise.

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