Fear not, dear reader. This is actually the first appearance of Daniel Patrick Cassidy, aka Blue Devil. If you were to look closer (which I’m sure you did!) you’d find that this is not that subtle–there’s a pull-out feature on him here, which predates his own series. Call this a soft-launch–whether you mean my writing, or the character, or his book. Just, you know, don’t call it a soft-launch for Firestorm, because that would be weird, since he’s in his second volume here, and two years into it, at that.
We’re not going to talk about the Firestorm story, because this is about Mr. Cassidy.
Also, because I didn’t read it, so there’s that.
The “real” cover of this pull-out issue is over there on the right¹.
Coming a good few years after the infamous “D.C. Implosion” (D.C. marketed their own “Explosion”, then cancelled a crapload of the books they created–including, incidentally, the original Firestorm, which ended up lasting a whopping 5 issues), this book seems in line with the intentions D.C. had that I read about in a 1980 Comics Journal–more pages for the price (75¢ at this time, in–hey, the month I was born!). No extra charge for the extras, just more story.
The story opens with a clever side-by-side set of panels of some blonde guy (we’ll find out!) and some kid (later named Gopher–c’mon, guys, the Muppets already did this…) reading the latest “Stuntman” magazine, about Daniel Patrick Cassidy’s fantastic “Blue Devil” suit–all its secret powers for the film Dan is working on have leaked. Some Blonde Guy wants this suit for himself, and Gopher’s super excited, but Dan shrugs, since only he knows how his super-sweet suit works. Don’t forget to also note Dan’s similarly super-sweet sideburns (you won’t be seeing much of them, I believe).
Now we get a sneak preview of all of Dan’s supporting cast from the movie he’s working on. Well, starring cast, because he’s a stuntman, not a star, so he’s the supporting cast. Or less, I guess. Look–forget it.
Here’s who we’ve got:
- Marla – The producer of this whole escapade (the fictional movie, not the comic book. This isn’t Ambush Bug.) Or maybe she’s the director. Or both? It’s a b-movie about a blue devil-man in a weird v-shaped leotard, after all.
- Wayne Tarrant – The rather diva-ish star of this escapade (see note above). Suffers foot-in-mouth disease and crumbling vanity. He’s convinced Sharon is after Dan, but is interested himself.
- Sharon – The other star, who insists on rocking a purple headband to keep her short bangs out of her…forehead? I don’t know. They’re really not very long. She has a policy against dating coworkers, especially ones who casually throw out frustrated insults without thinking.
- Norm – He runs the cameras. That’s about it for now. Maybe forever, even.
- Fred Klein – The security guard of Vernor Brothers Studios (my, so subtle) who has never failed to keep people out! Until, of course Some Blonde Guy appears–and Fred calls him “Mr. Jesse”–waitaminit!
Yes, if you know your D.C. c-list villains: it’s James Jesse (more subtlety!) a Flash rogue alternately known as–The Trickster!
And so, Dan’s left to fend off the Trickster’s attempt to steal his super-powered suit, but James mistakenly heads for Wayne instead, who is “ooga booga-ing” (seriously) his way through Dan’s role in an unpowered mock-up version of the suit and clearly all wrong-place-wrong-time now. Of course, Dan’s a tech-wiz, and we’re looking at a weirdo Iron Man, only…
It’s stuntman vs. stuntman (yes, that’s why Fred knew James), but Dan manages to mostly pull it off, and we have our nice, 16-page intro to the world of Blue Devil, courtesy of creators Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, Paris Cullins, and Pablo Marcos. Clearly, a sense of fun is intended here, considering even Dan screws up in an entertaining way. There’s already a surprising amount of relationship establishment for the supporting cast, but we’ll see all that play out later on.
Oh, and we close with this great page-size preview that nearly cackles maniacally with the Cohn/Mishkin claim that they are BTO and you are their audience (who ain’t seen nothin’ yet)²:
¹Fair warning: I’m not going to take the time trying to find scans for the moment. These are photos of my own real-life copies of the books! Whee! Perspective distortions, ahoy!
²If you read this and are pedantic, eagle-eyed, and not familiar with comics: the publish date for this (and also Blue Devil #1) is in June. However, publish dates are usually a few months past the time they hit actual racks, so the “On Sale April 26th!” isn’t as crazy as it looks.