Review: DC Comics Presents #26

DC Comics Presents #26 cover
Cover by Jim Starlin

DC Comics Presents #26
Published and © by DC, October 1980

Title: “Between Friend and Foe!”
Synopsis: An alien entity in search of power steals Green Lantern’s ring and identity, then turns his eye on Superman.

Writer (plot): Jim Starlin
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: Starlin
Inker: Steve Mitchell

Review: There’s a whiff of coolness here – but just a whiff. Jim Starlin brings his cosmic scope to DC, but fails to reach the heights of his classic Marvel work. This slight, silly story is plagued by plot holes, while Steve Mitchell’s angular inking overpowers the pencils. Subpar for Starlin.


Title: “Where Nightmares Begin!”
Synopsis: A confused Robin finds himself mysteriously shifting through time to team with his future teammates: the new Teen Titans!

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: George Pérez
Inker: Dick Giordano

Review: It’s a bit rough, but Marv Wolfman and George Pérez already have their signature Titans’ storytelling dynamic on display here.


Title: “Whatever Happened To Sargon The Sorcerer”
Synopsis: A troubled Sargon comes out of retirement when Matter Master tries to steal the Ruby of Life.

Writer: Bob Rozakis
Penciler: José Delbo
Inker: Kim DeMulder

Review: The more important question? Who cares what happened to Sargon? A Silver-Age-style throwback featuring a Golden-Age character.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: Three words: New. Teen. Titans.
Not-so-cool factor: That lead story isn’t up to Starlin’s lofty Bronze Age standard.

DC Comics Presents #26 insert cover
Insert cover by George Pérez

Notable: First appearance of the new Teen Titans, including Cyborg, Raven and Starfire. … The 16-page preview includes an interior cover by George Pérez.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 15p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “Starfire? Cyborg? Raven? A new Titans? None of this makes sense.” – Robin, boy wonder and confused time-traveler

A word from the writer/co-creator: “Most new books were cancelled after only six issues, so it wasn’t that far fetched to believe that the Titans would be a fun ride for a few months before once again going off into comic-book limbo.” – Marv Wolfman, on the mindset going into the launch of The New Teen Titans, from a “Preface” penned in November 1998 for “The New Teen Titans Archives: Volume 1,” 1999

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Sept. 9, 2015.

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