Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guest Review: The Owl #1

Stepping into the guest review spot is our man Glen Davis, with a review of the first issue of The Owl:

Bringing a hero from the past into the present is a common theme in comic books. The JSA, Captain America, The Shield and the Seven Soldiers of Victory are just a small fraction of the heroes reintroduced into the present, some more successfully than others.

This week I bought two comic books with this common theme: The Owl #1 from Dynamite Comics and Captain Midnight #0 from Dark Horse.

The Owl was a feature in Crackajack Comics for Dell back in the Golden Age, and he was a straight up rip off of Batman, only instead of kid sidekick, his sidekick was his girlfriend, Owl Girl, and the two had a Nick and Nora Charles bantering relationship going. The Owl proved popular enough to appear in another title, Popular Comics, before fading away like so many other heroes as World War II came to a close.

He was resurrected three time since. In 1966, during the height of the Batman craze, a syndicated strip was proposed, where the owl was a cartoonist. He would fight crime as The Owl, then write strips recounting his own adventure.

In 1967, Dell somehow got the rights to the character. Jerry Seigel wrote a few campy adventures with the character, about which, the less said the better.

Finally, in 1976, Gold Key used the character in an issue of The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves. I was a bit surprised that Valiant use the character. (Don't even get me started on The Jungle Twins.)

Dynamite is hoping that the fourth time is the charm with a four issue mini-series.

After a couple of pages of flashback, where we learn he was imprisoned in a mystical urn for many years, The Owl beats up some thugs, then mopes around about what an anachronism he is. He goes to a police station and learns about a missing person. Then he beats up some more thugs, and a woman calling herself Owl Girl appears, who looks like a female version of ShadowHawk, takes down some thugs, and steals the inevitable suitcase full of cash.

Pretty art, but really not a lot of story.

Grade: B-

(Tomorrow, we'll look at the new Captain Midnight.)


Anonymous said...

Chuck, the Dr. Graves comic you mention was published by Charlton. The Gold Key title you meant to use was THE OCCULT FILES OF DR. SPECKTOR. The Owl returned in #22.

Sam Kujava

Chuck said...

Whoops! Thanks for the correction, Sam!