This latest ‘Back Issue’ literally starts off running with a look at Wally West as he graduates from being Kid Flash to being the Flash after Barry Allen’s death. This was happening as I was moving out of comics but remember at the time that he was going to be played as a normal person and then that gets swept under the carpet as he wins the lottery and becomes a millionaire. Duh! No different to other DC super-heroes then.
Writer John Wells here does point out that West’s lottery money runs out from poor decisions although I think the amount of food he needs to eat regularly wouldn’t have helped. There was also a lot of thought given to ensure West was sufficiently different from Barry Allen. Saying that, I do wonder why no one has ever considered in the Justice League that he should be the last to arrive but the first to get to the front?
‘The Romita Legacy’ by Dan Johnson looks at the careers of John Romita and his son, John Romita, Jr.. The latter was given no favours at Marvel and had to work his way up through the ranks.
Oddly, there are some parallels to Norman and Harry Osborn, although the father/son connection here is a lot tougher both being Green Goblins you would have to expect that as Glenn Greenberg goes over their history. There’s a side-note at the end where Gary Conway points out his DC Comics story of Superman unconsciously using his super-hypnosis to appear different as Clark Kent was ignored which I thought was a shame because it was a neat idea. Mind you, if it was resurrected, it would be an interesting state of affairs if Superman was actually uglier than he is made out to be.
Mike Eury interviewed actor Brandon Routh at a convention in 2018 about his career and playing Superman, as well as taking questions from the audience. He also holds the distinction of being, if memory serves me, one of only three actors so far who have played two different DC characters as he plays Ray Palmer aka the Atom in ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’.
Jarrod Buttery has a look at the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang, and his history. In many respects, a better character than Hank Pym in the part although largely because he had less baggage and hence was more successful in the two films. Another one for you people out there to mull over comicbook characters who’ve worn technology that they didn’t actually invent.
Just in case you think this issue is mostly Marvel, the next two articles are. The first has a look at ‘Infinity, Inc.’ and writer John Schwirian interviews its co-creator Roy Thomas on the team’s development and history, bitten down hard when the ‘Crisis On Infinite Earths’ removing Earth-2 and other Earths from their reality. I always thought the biggest mistake there was removing Helena Wayne as her Huntress was very popular.
The second, ‘Reign Of Supermen’ by Christopher Larochelle looks at what happened after Superman was ‘killed’ by Doomsday and his four replacements. I still ponder over Conner Kent. I mean with a name like that, surely someone must make a connection to Clark Kent unless Lex Luthor was being ironic. Don’t expect any spoilers here as to which one was really Superman.
As always, ‘Back Issue’ will stir some thoughts for you on all manner of characters and fill in some gaps if you missed some of their history.
(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))
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