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Review: “Danger on the Martian Links”

The BuckBokai 40th-anniversary retrospective of DC Comics’ “Strange Sports Stories” mini-run appearing in Brave and the Bold issues 45-49 continues. Today: The Brave and the Bold backup story in issue 46, “Danger on the Martin Links,” a nice attempt in the subsubgenre and nearly inspired enough to neutralize the idiocy of “The Hotshot Hoopsters” somewhat, is reviewed.

Whoof. Well, after the debacle that was the Brave and the Bold no. 46 lead story, i.e. “The Hot-Shot Hoopsters,” science-fiction sports fans will be pleased to hear that the backup tale is actually not bad. Not great, mind you, but with a glimmer of interesting material and a glimpse at what might have been.

(Or “what would be,” perhaps – BuckBokai still has high hopes for DC Comics’ “Strange Sports Stories” mini(?)-series of 1973-74, to be read through and reviewed after finishing up the BotB run.)

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Review: “The Hotshot Hoopsters”

BuckBokai continues with its 40th-anniversary retrospective on DC Comics’ ultimate mini-series, the “Strange Sports Stories” collection in Brave and the Bold issues 45 through 49, proving today that he loves this blog by slogging through “The Hotshot Hoopsters,” cover story in issue #46. I read this one so you don’t to.

Last season’s Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) championship series pitted the country’s age-old rivals Žalgiris Kaunas against Lietuvos Rytas for the nth straight time since the first sports missionaries brought the new religion to the country in the 1920s.

This was to be no ho-hum cliché-ridden series interesting only to the country’s citizens, however, thanks to the stark raving insanity manipulation of Žalgiris by team owner Vladimir Romanov. In what was certainly a nearly unprecedented move, Romanov fired head coach Darius Maskoliunas *in the middle of the best-of-seven championship series* with his team down two games to one. Assistant coach Gvidonas Markevičius stomped out a day later, leaving Žalgiris with a coaching staff numbering zero.

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Review: “Goliath and the Gridiron” (or, This is Your Brain on Berries; Any Questions?)

In continuing its 40th-anniversary retrospective on DC Comics’ ultimate mini-series, the “Strange Sports Stories” collection in Brave and the Bold issues 45 through 49, BuckBokai today analyzes “Goliath of the Gridiron,” a sobering, moralistic tale of berry abuse in college football in the early 1970s.

In the best tradition of sportswriting-based purple prose, “Goliath of the Gridiron” opens with a bloody good (so to speak) description: “The shock of contact and the thud of body against body heralds the opening of the *Hartnell Aggies’* football season…”

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Review: “The Challenge of the Headless Baseball Team”

In this, the 75th anniversary of DC Comics and the 40th anniversary of that brave and bold experiment to craft science-fiction stories for the pages of a superhero comic, BuckBokai begin its reviews of the stories inside Brave and the Bold nos. 45-49.

Issue #45 in DC Comics’ distinctly daffy plan to present science-fiction sports stories on a regular basis led with a story called “The Challenge of the Headless Baseball Team.”

Immediate thoughts upon seeing the cover of Brave & the Bold #45 (in no particular order):

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Remembering DC Comics’ Strange Sports Stories

In the 75th anniversary year of DC Comics, one memorable series has fallen by the historical wayside…

A watershed moment in science-fiction sports literary history went down in January 1970 when one day, in newsstands across America, youthful readers and observant kiosk owners were greeted with Brave and the Bold #45. This former test vehicle for superheroes (among them the Justice League of America, the Teen Titans and the Suicide Squad) had undergone an insane metamorphosis month-to-month into something which proudly proclaimed itself as featuring “Strange Sports Stories.”

The “Strange Sports Stories” series lasted in Brave and the Bold for five issues, after which the entire concept seemingly disappeared from DC Comics and the public consciousness altogether. Seriously. Do a search for it sometime online. Hell, this was the Wikipedia entry on SSS’ run in Brave and the Bold before BuckBokai got to it:

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