Batman 352 (October 1982)

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It’s Batman versus the sky pirates! The bad guy’s name is Colonel Blimp. He and his pirates fly around in a tricked out zeppelin.

Of course, the issue doesn’t open with the sky pirates. It opens with the Gotham police admitting their beating up ex-commissioner Gordon because he’s investigating election fraud. They make this admission in front of Batman, who I would have thought could have called the UN or the President or someone when in a situation like that one… but he doesn’t. In fact, he forgets about it for the rest of the issue because he’s got a date with Vicki Vale.

Kupperberg has a really weird narrative gimmick in the issue–he has a cliffhanger, then immediately reveals what happened in a layered flashback. It reads they were originally making space for a Catwoman backup, then didn’t have one.

Calnan’s inks are atrocious. He mutilates Newton.

CREDITS

The Killer Sky!; writers, Gerry Conway and Paul Kupperberg; penciller, Don Newton; inker, John Calnan; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

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Unknown Soldier 20 (July 2010)

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It’s sort of a mellow issue.

It’s an all action issue, with Moses on the run from some cattle raiders. He meets up with this family also on the run from them and the family gets stuck helping Moses try to fend them off.

What’s mellow about the issue is Dysart’s approach–it’s told from the disabled son’s point of view, like a folk tale. Dysart even works in a traditional folk tale disguise element, which is really neat–he’s able to produce an action-packed issue, but told in a really creative way.

In other words, it’s no such Unknown Soldier didn’t sell well. It’s way too smart.

The end of the issue, which returns to Moses and the voice, is somewhat jarring. The last page might be the biggest “action” moment the series has ever had.

Ponticelli’s art is simply wonderful here, giving the story a mystical feel.

CREDITS

A Battle of Little Note, Conclusion; writer, Joshua Dysart; artist, Alberto Ponticelli; colorist, Oscar Celestini; letterer, Clem Robins; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

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