A DC Science Fiction Two-Fer

I’ve got an enormous stack of DC science fiction books to read, most of which I found in that huge quarter sale back in the fall. Some of the series were fairly interesting to me when I grabbed the issues; others were fairly interesting to me back when they were solicited back when I was a teenager.

Now, I’m planning an episode of Pop Culture Affidavit about DC’s science fiction efforts in the post-Crisis/pre-Vertigo era, but I wanted to make sure that I “catalogued” this as part of my regular reviews.

Star Hunters #1-3

“Searchers for a Homeworld–with a Galaxy Against Them!” reads the cover copy on the first issue of Star Hunters, a DC Comics science fiction series that came out in 1977 and lasted for seven issues, ending because of the DC Implosion in 1978.

The idea of the book is on its first page: “Exiled from Earth by the all-powerful corporation now ruling that planet, they scour the galaxy for the one secret that will enable them to return–the origin of man in the universe! Led by the roguish soldier of fortune, Donovan Flit, they sail the fabulous starship Sunrider on a cosmic quest of danger, discovery, and unparalleled adventure!”

I’m not sure when the book was greenlit by DC but I’m sure that it was before Star Wars was released because it came out at the end of July and Marvel’s Star Wars book was only on issue #4. DC had been doing various genre books throughout the Seventies anyway, so that this book was a response to Marvel’s title is a possibility but a thin one. Had it been a few months later, then it definitely would have been. Either way, DC could have easily positioned this to be a Star Wars-type book even if it does come off as Dollar Store Star Wars.

BUT … David Micheline, who wrote the definitive Marvel Star Wars run, is the writer; the pencillers across three issues were Don Newton, Larry Hama, and Mike Nasser; and Bob Layton inked all of it, tying it all together (and Micheline and Layton would reunite to work on Iron Man a year or two later). It all looks like 1970s Legion of Super-Heroes mixed in with some classic Flash Gordon and is pretty fun. Since there’s only seven issues of this series and I’m pretty sure I could find the other four on the cheap, I’m going to hold onto these. Keep.

Tailgunner Jo #1-6

I heard Professor Alan review this a while back and if I recall correctly, his opinion that this was a bit middling of a series. Yet I got all six issues for about $1.50, so that low bar didn’t deter me. I kind of wish I had listened to both Alan and my conscience.

A revenge plot where a guy has been given cybernetic enhancements and his young daughter is the guidance system in his ear/brain, Tailgunner Jo is half of a good comic with solid art by Tom Artis and several inkers (including Ty Templeton and Joe Rubenstein) and a story that tries to be both Blade Runner and Dungeons and Dragons but winds up backing itself up into a corner so that we wind up with a “where did that come from” last issue.

This isn’t one I’d even recommend to someone unless they wind up getting it for free or are really curious about reading it. Donate.

I’ve got other series that I’m working my way through and that I will definitely review or put into a podcast episode. In the very least, this is making #SciFiComicsMonth fun.

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