Would U Buy It? #125: Black Condor

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Edited By cbishop
DateWUBI? #125:View:Attached to Forum:Last Issue:
11/09/20Black Condor(Blog) (Forum)Black Condor (2012).WUBI #124.

We all have trade paperback (TPB) collections we'd like to see. Here's one of mine:

Proposed Title:Black Condor
Alternate Title:
  • The Complete Black Condor.
  • Black Condor by Brian Augustyn.
Collecting 14 Issues:
  • Black Condor #1-12.
  • Showcase '94 #10-11.
Plus 1:
  • Hawkman (1993) #20.
Covers: (click to enlarge)
TPB Cover: Black Condor #1.
TPB Cover: Black Condor #1.

I've found that I'm at a bit of a loss for this one. Having only read an issue or two of this from the back issue bins, I have always been under the impression that this was written by Mike Grell, who also wrote Shaman's Tears. The last issue of Black Condor and the first issue of Shaman's Tears have the same cover date, and the characters looked a bit similar to me back then (not so much now). I had always figured BC was Grell's precursor to his creator-owned ST.

Not the case. And I only just found that out while doing the research for this Would U Buy It? (which is why I do research for WUBI?). Turns out Black Condor was written by Brian Augustyn, and drawn by Rags Morales.

This is a series that I've always wanted to read in its entirety, but jut haven't gotten around to getting all the issues yet. Looking at story summaries though, this series is kind of all over the place.

Ryan Kendall is the second Black Condor- his wings and telekinesis the result of genetic experiments he was subjected to by his grandfather. He doesn't want to be a superhero at first, but it is of course thrust upon him. Since he was the new Black Condor, he eventually had interaction with the then-new Ray- both of the original versions being members of the Freedom Fighters. He's turned into a stone gargoyle for a couple of issues. During four of the last five issues of his series, he was also in five issues of Justice League America. Which I suspect is why they found a reason to include Batman in his last issue.

To complete this trade, I'd include the two-part story "The Tempting," from Showcase '94 #10-11. Coming sixteen months after the end of the series, it's the last story of this Black Condor before DC rebooted the entire line with zero issues for Zero Hour.

Ryan does make more appearances in the DCU, but they are either minor, or they don't start until 1995. In 1995-1996, he's in three issues of The Ray. In May, 1995, he makes a cover appearance guest role in Hawkman. In the last eight months of 1995, he's in Primal Force. He's in thirteen issues of Starman from 1998-2001. However, all of these are after the October, 1994 zero issues of Zero Hour. What that means is that this is supposed to be another Ryan Kendall/Black Condor altogether. Since the series is all the history he had anyway, he probably remained largely intact until he was killed off in Infinite Crisis. Still, I wouldn't include the appearances in this collection...

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...With the exception of Hawkman #20, that is. As I said, this is a cover appearance. Ryan comes to Hawkman for help in being a better hero, but winds up helping Hawkman instead. Besides the fact that it's just a cool cover, this seems like a more significant appearnace, and might be nice as a post-Zero Hour taste of Black Condor.

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For the cover, it's a simple choice of Black Condor #1. For the title, just Black Condor. Alternate titles of The Complete Black Condor, or Black Condor by Brian Augustyn are always viable. The ...by Brian Augustyn title might forego the inclusion of the Hawkman issue, as he didn't write that.

For me, this is a no-brainer, because I've always wanted to read it. The back issues can probably be found easily enough, but I'm always a fan of having a nice-looking TPB on my shelf. But you tell me...

Would U Buy It? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading.
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#2  Edited By cbishop
#125: Black Condor
#125: Black Condor

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amazing_webhead

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i might. it does look pretty cool.

also, is it just me, or did DC really have a thing for bird men in the '90s?

(and yet i still can't find any bigger or clearer version of this epic-looking concept art...)

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i might. it does look pretty cool.

also, is it just me, or did DC really have a thing for bird men in the '90s?

They've tried hard to make Hawkman a star. I've enjoyed most of his series, although I've never gotten around to Hawkworld. I most enjoyed the one that ran alongside JSA, but lost track of it shortly after it became Hawkgirl.

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@cbishop said:
@amazing_webhead said:

i might. it does look pretty cool.

also, is it just me, or did DC really have a thing for bird men in the '90s?

They've tried hard to make Hawkman a star. I've enjoyed most of his series, although I've never gotten around to Hawkworld. I most enjoyed the one that ran alongside JSA, but lost track of it shortly after it became Hawkgirl.

maybe his appearance in the Black Adam movie will get him some attention. i sure hope so, anyway.

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Boy do I remember bird-men in the 90's. I actually would (did) buy the comic. Just a few issues. Also back bin finds for probably 25 cents a pop. I LOVE Rags Morales art style and followed him around in various series he would illustrate like JSA. His look was another draw. I liked the intense appearance, the stern face, and unreserved costume for a male cartoon. But that was the 90's for you lots of flesh everywhere. You can tell by how similar the looks for Black Condor and Hawk Man were at the time. This was a fun stroll through memory lane thanks for making the vote happen. :)

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@cellophane_girl: I always forget to mention art, because they always draw better than me lol. The art on this does blow me away though. It's hard for that style of wing to not look good- almost never seen a picture of The Vulture that I didn't like. Same with Black Condor. :)

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@cbishop: Ditto. I always need a good mix of a smooth artist and a solid storyline. But a smooth artist like Rags Morales always got me buying his stuff. :)

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