BHOC: DC SUPER-STARS #14

The now all-new DC SUPER-STARS returned to the clearly-successful theme of SECRET ORIGINS, this time once again focusing on the bad guys. It’s a somewhat odd collection of tales, and I wonder if one or more of them might not have been commissioned for use in other places, then burned off here. Either way, it was oversized and it had Green Lantern in it, which was good enough for me at this age. The nice Jim Aparo cover probably didn’t hurt.

The opening Green Lantern story is an extensive retcon–yes, they did do those kinds of stories back in these days–concerning the origins of Gorilla City and the Flash’s enemy Gorilla Grodd. It’s completely unnecessary and also chronologically unsound, as it inverts the publication dates of two previous stories. It all begins with Green lantern being summoned by the Guardians who reveal to him that, years ago, on one of his first missions, he was spotted by the Gorillas of Gorilla City–who are actually alien apes–who influenced Hal to use his Power Ring to transport Gorilla City from hazardous Calor to Earth.

Having done so, Grodd, realizing the power of the Emerald Crusader’s weapon, tries to take it for his own. But, unable to remove it from GL’s hand, he instead is able to tap its power to create a colossal Grodd construct to terrorize his fellow Gorillas and attempt to conquer them. Once Hal realizes what’s happening, he easily dispatches Grodd, and then Solivar uses his power of mind control to erase the entire encounter from Hal’s brain, so as to safeguard the existence of Gorilla City.

After a one-page text feature detailing the origins of Superman’s foe Brainiac, we move into the second story of the issue, this one dealing with the well-established beginnings of Batman’s enemy Two-Face. I’ll admit, this story was of less interest to me as a young reader because it didn’t contain any super heroes at all. However, the artwork credited to Ed Davis is very striking. I don’t think Davis did anything further in comics that I can remember, so I suspect that it’s a pseudonym for some other creator. 

The story is pretty good, too, focusing on David Davis, the cop who busted Boss Maroni, the gangster who went on to throw acid in DA Harvey Dent’s face. Turns out, he was aiming at Davis. And now, years later, Maroni is in the wind, and Davis uses his pull to get Two-Face released into his custody to help bring Maroni to justice. The notion that Dent would be let out into the world on the say-so of a retiring detective is a huge stretch, but apart from that, the rest of the tale is cool, with Two-Face alternately helping and hindering Davis depending on how his double-sided coin falls. 

Following a second text feature, this one detailing the beginnings of Green lantern’s nemesis, the Shark, came a second anachronistic story–this one focusing on the Justice League villain Doctor Light and how he battled Hawkman even before he faced the JLA, and before the Winged Wonder had even come to Earth from his native Thanagar.

Turns out Arthur Light’s first light-based discovery is a window that allows him to teleport to Thanagar, where he’s able to arm himself with their futuristic technology. But Thanagarian police officer Katar Hol follows the fleeing light back through his portal to Earth, and is able to defeat him–though not capture him, as Light is able to use his discovery to teleport himself away. but Hawkman does recover the stolen equipment and is able to get back through the warp to Thanagar, so it’s a successful venture on those points. 

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