Saturday, March 25, 2006

My Collection - BLUE DEVIL [1984 Series]

Blue Devil [1984 series]
31 issues [1984 - 1986]
1 - 31

A light-hearted super-hero book about a stuntman and special effects expert, Dan Cassidy, who designs a giant Blue Devil prop suit for a movie, only to find himself trapped in the suit following a chance encounter with a real demon. Created by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Paris Cullins, with Cullins drawing the first half dozen issues and all the covers, Mishkin and Cohn writing all but a few issues of the full run.

This was one of those books I heard about through house ads in DC books when it started, part of the "New DC" which there was, apparently, no stopping then, but don't think I ever saw on the stands. So years later when I saw a run of the first dozen or so issues I decided they were worth checking out. Some really good stuff in there, a lot of adventures playing around the edges of the DC universe, using some old characters like old Flash villains well, plus introducing new stuff, so I eventually picked up the rest of the issues. The second half isn't quite as good as the first, though it has amusing bits, but it especially starts to meander in the 20s, and then gets cancelled just as they'd announced a new direction.

But those first issues, up to about #16, still hold up pretty well. The first five issues, presenting the origin of the character and his first few adventures (including meetings with Zatanna and Superman) are really tight, with a lot of action, imaginative plot twists, introductions of the supporting cast and some really good art by Cullins and Gary Martin. The art gets less consistent after that, with various twists leading to seven different pencillers in seven issues (although when you have Gil Kane, Ernie Colon and Keith Giffen among your fill-in artists, you're not doing too bad), finally settling with Alan Kupperberg who drew most of the remaining issues.

Recommended key issues, #1 - #5 definitely. #12 - #13 are also a good short bit tying up some origin loose ends, plus with some good character bits our hero, an entertaining use of the Hollywood setting, and including Zatanna and Etrigan in supporting roles.

1 comment:

  1. one of my favorite comics from that time. i was mostly a marvel zombie, but buying books starring d-listers (Blue Devil, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold) felt okay.

    at the time, i didn't understand why those later issues weren't as good, but the loss of Paris Cullins on pencils (they still had him draw covers, the sneaky bastards!) made a big difference.

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