Friday, June 15, 2018

Happy Birthday Neal Adams

Happy birthday to the legendary comic book artist, Neal Adams.

Doing something unexpected here, instead of featuring this work on Deadman, Superman or Batman, but instead just a simple cover, that of Unexpected #124 (April-May, 1971) to showcase an example of his horror cover art, with an appropriate theme for the day!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Flag Day 2018 With Captain Marvel Jr

Salute the American Flag on Flag Day, along with Captain Marvel Jr. with this cover by Mac Raboy from Captain Marvel Jr. #9 (July, 1943)....

...which has both a patriotic theme, as well as supporting the efforts of World War II.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

JLA JSA Super Spectacular

Probably one of the greatest covers of its time, Neal Adams drew the combined Justice League of America and Justice Society of America (as well as Robin, Vigilante and Johnny Quick) on the cover of DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6 (1971)....and what an issue it was.

This issue reprinted some interesting stories, and here they are....featuring quite a few people on that cover.

Justice League of America #21 

First up is the "Crisis On Earth-One" from Justice League of America #21 (August, 1963) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, and historic cover by Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson.  Important for so many reasons....the first meeting of the JLA (charter members Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter, plus Green Arrow and Atom) with the JSA (a representative team of Flash, Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, Hourman, Hawkman, Atom and Black Canary....a slightly different line-up from when Barry Allen Flash saved them from Vandal Savage).  It also featured the Crime Champions, villains from two worlds, from Earth-1: Felix Faust, Chronos and Dr. Alchemy, and the Wizard, the Fiddler and the Icicle from Earth-2).  This issue also was where the names of Earth-1 and Earth-2 came from...but so much happening, that it had to continue in the next issue...

Justice League of America #22

...that being Justice League of America #22 (September, 1963) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, with a cover by Murphy Anderson, and the second half of the story, with the "Crisis On Earth-Two".  To be fair, the reprint took out the summary first page, annoying, but as the two issues are together.  The teams of heroes had to work together to get out of their interdimensional prison where their foes put them, but, the heroes pulled it together, and even had time to make a joke about how they'll have to sum all this up for missing honorary JLAer, Snapper Carr!

These two team-ups were so popular, that the JLA/JSA team-ups became a regular thing for the next 19 summers, with an ever rotating cast of JSAers!

More Fun Comics #55

The two team-ups weren't the only issues reprinted in this Super Spectacular.  A tale where "The Spectre Meets Zor" from More Fun Comics #55 (May, 1940) by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily (with a Spectre cover by Bernard Baily) was next, where the ghostly guardian had to defend his girlfriend, Clarice Winston, from the supernatural menace of Zor!

The Spectre had many of his Golden Age tales reprinted, but this was one soon after his origin, so his full powers as a deadman had not been revealed as of yet, but readers were starting to realize how much power Jim Corrigan's alter ego had.

Adventure Comics #190

Next up is a fun tale of Johnny Quick, an at-the-time unaffiliated speeder from Adventure Comics #190 (July, 1953) where he had to be a "Stand-In For 100 Convicts", with the story by Don Cameron and Hy Mankin (though Superboy, not Johnny, was the cover star).  Johnny had to save 99 convicts who were thought to have escaped, but didn't.

Johnny Quick was all over More Fun Comics and Adventure Comics, with many reprints, and later, had been a member of the All-Star Squadron, thanks to some retroactive continuity from Roy Thomas in the 1980s.

Action Comics #146

Next up was a story of the Vigilante and his young sidekick, Stuff, where they faced the Fiddler (not the Crime Champion/Injustice Society member) from the story of "The Galleon In The Desert" from Action Comics #146 (July, 1950) by Joe Samachson and Dan Barry (with a non-Vigilante cover from the issue).  Vigilante and Stuff had to stop this villain from plundering a ship lost in the desert....

The Vigilante (a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory) also had a few of his Golden Age solo tales reprinted, as did the members of his team.

Wildcat Story

The Wildcat story in this issue was something odd.  It was an unpublished Golden Age story, found by the industrious interns at DC Comics at the time, saved from destruction, and published as a treat to all fans of the Golden Age. 

This tale, where "Crime Wore A Costume" featured Wildcat facing off against his foe, the Golden Age Huntress, who had faced Wildcat many times in Sensation Comics, as well as joining the Injustice Society of the World.

If you are looking for tales of the Wildcat and where they were reprinted from the Golden Age, look here!

Brave and the Bold #36

Last, but not least, a story from the JLA member who wasn't on the team when the JLA and JSA first met, Hawkman, and the tale of the "Strange Spells Of The Sorcerer" from Brave and the Bold #36 (June-July, 1961) by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert (who also did the cover of the issue, which featured the other story of the issue, Hawkman's first battle with the Shadow-Thief).

In this tale, Hawkman and Hawkgirl faced Konrad Kaslak, an amateur sorcerer who was quite capable enough to cause some mystical menaces for the Thanagarian Hawkman and Hawkgirl to face with their scientific prowess, all the while with the pair having to deal with Mavis Trent, and her intentions of breaking up the married super-hero couple, or at least their Earth identities of Carter and Shiera Hall, who worked at the Midway City Museum.

Along with a back cover that supplied a key to the heroes on the cover (but readers here know them all, right?), it provided a checklist of character debuts, all the heroes who had their own features from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin and the Teen Titans, the Doom Patrol, Deadman, Eclipso, Metamorpho and the Metal Men, even Forgotten Heroes like Animal Man and Dolphin, to the most modern characters of Orion, Mr. Miracle and the Thorn!

Best of all, this whole issue was reprinted as the DC 100-Page Super Spectacular No. 6 Replica Edition in May, 2004... you, too, can thrill to these exciting stories without having to break the bank!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Giant Justice League Of America The Second

A look back at the second Justice League of America Giant, 80 Page Giant #G-29, otherwise known as Justice League of America #48 (November-December, 1966) with a cover by Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson, highlighting Batman and three exciting reprints from the earliest days of the Justice League of America, with charter members Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman and well as limited appearances by Superman and Batman.

Even though Batman was not such a big thing in the tales contained in this issue, he was on the cover, due to the giant success of the 1966 Batman TV series!

Brave and The Bold 29

Starting off with the last of the reprints of tales from before the Justice League had its own title with Brave and The Bold #29 (April-May, 1960) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, Bernard Sachs and Joe Giella, with the "Challenge Of The Weapons Master", though this story did have about a page missing, losing parts of page 8 and 9.

Xotar came back from 11960 A.D., using his robot, Ilaric, planning to defeat the JLA using one of four different super-weapons, as part of a historical record he found said one of these weapons would defeat the super team.  Stopping the individual members at the Secret Sanctuary, Xotar has them face weapons individually, with the Flash facing the Microscopitor, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter defeating the De-Evolutionizer Ray, and Wonder Woman and Green Lantern beating the Magneto-Bubble machine.  All five face off against the last weapon, the Illusion-Maker, which does look like it will defeat the five members, at least until Superman shows up, being summoned by Batman and Snapper Carr.  Xotar returns to his own time, not knowing why he was defeated, but gets the full story of the full page of the historical record...

Justice League of America 2

Next up is the tale originally from the Justice League Of America #2 (December-January, 1960/1961) by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, under this magical cover by Murphy Anderson, with the Justice League facing the "Secret Of The Sinister Sorcerers".

All science fails around the world, while, in Magic-Land - a parallel dimension ruled by magic - magic fails as well.  Merlin the Magician realizes that this has been caused by 3 evil sorcerers, Saturna, the Troll King and Simon Magus.  The JLA members resort to mystic measures to contact Merlin, who gets his magic back when he comes to Earth, and he sends the team to Magic-Land to face the magicians.  Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter face Saturna, Flash and Wonder Woman go against the Troll King and Superman, Batman and Aquaman fight Simon Magus.  Defeating the three they return to Earth, with Merlin restoring the properties of each world to its own dimension.

Simon Magus would later return to face Superman, Batman and Robin in an issue of World's Finest Comics during its Dollar Comics era.

Justice League of America 3

Last, but not least, the reprint Justice League Of America #3 (February-March, 1961) with this Murphy Anderson cover, and story by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs (though missing 4 pages), this, "The Slave Ship Of Space".

Kanjar Ro of Dhor enlists the JLA to help him by paralyzing the inhabitants of Earth with his Gamma Gong, taking the five main JLAers to face his foes in space, using his Slave Ship.  Martin Manhunter fights Kromm of Mosteel, Aquaman and Wonder Woman face Hyathis of Alstair, and Flash and Green Lantern capture Sayyar of Llar.   The team defeat Kanjar Ro, even though he tried additional trickery, and would face Kanjar Ro again, usually with the help of Earthman Adam Strange on the planet Rann, even though the 4 alien despots were imprisoned on a planetoid created by Superman.

This issue, even with its missing pages, still continues the Giant Justice League of America tradition begun in Justice League of America #39 (November, 1965), and continued in Justice League of America #58 (November-December, 1967), though this was the last to have stories only featuring the charter members of the Justice League of America.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sgt. Rock on D-Day 2

With Sgt. Rock #339 (April, 1980), Sgt. Rock proves "I Was Here Before", relating the tale (told by Robert Kanigher and Frank Redondo, under a Joe Kubert cover) of how Rock left Easy Company for a bit, working with British and Canadian commandos to storm the beaches of Normandy a year before June 6th, 1944.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Sharks Vs Robots

With Aquaman nowhere to be found, it is up to Doc Magnus' creations, the Metal Men, to stop the shark attack caused by the Ocean Master!

This little scene of beach horror first came to be in the 1978 DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters, and was drawn by Walt Simonson and Joe Staton.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Little Summer Fun With Superman, Batman And Robin

Not to be outdone, Superman, Batman and Robin had symbolic covers for the first 70 issues of World's Finest Comics as well before they started regular team-ups, like this playful cover of World's Finest Comics #60 (September-October, 1952) by Win Mortimer, with Batman and Robin, along with a few female friends, enjoying time on the lake waterskiing, using poor Superman as a source of locomotion.

Batman and Robin, as well as Superman, Green Arrow, the Manhunters Around The World and the western hero, the Wyoming Kid had separate tales inside the issue, not related to the fun on the cover as the Golden Age got closer to a close.