Sunday, May 29, 2016
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Adam Blake first appeared in Strange Adventures #9 (June, 1951) by writer John Broome, penciller Carmine Infantino and inked by Bernard Sachs, complete with his origins...though later tales would be drawn by Murphy Anderson, and inked by Sy Barry, with Gil Kane and Sy Barry finishing the art on the series in Strange Adventures #49 (October, 1954).
....where to find those thrilling 1950s tales of space-bound, super-heroic action with Captain Comet, his friend Professor Emery Zachro and lady librarian Lucy Torrence?
Well, continue on.....
Strange Adventures #14
This story was reprinted in DC Super-Stars #4 (June, 1976), along with reprints of adventures of Adam Strange and Space Ranger, all under an Ernie Chan cover.
Strange Adventures #17
This story was reprinted in DC Super-Stars #6 (August, 1976) along with reprints of stories with Adam Strange, Tommy Tomorrow and the Space Cabby!
Strange Adventures #22
This story is reprinted in World's Finest Comics #204 (August, 1971), with a cover by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, that features a Superman/Wonder Woman team-up and in the Mysteries In Space: The Best Of DC Science Fiction Comics book of October, 1980, along with the origin of the Martian Manhunter, and stories of the Space Museum, Space Cabby, Star Hawkins, Tommy Tomorrow, the Atomic Knights, the Star Rovers, Space Ranger and Adam Strange with a cover by Murphy Anderson featuring Adam Strange facing a flying gorilla!
Strange Adventures #28
This story was reprinted in the Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told hardcover of 1990 with a cover by Joe Kubert and tradepaperback in 1992.
Strange Adventures #31
This story was reprinted in the Pulp Fiction Library: Mystery In Space tradepaperback of 1999, under a cover by Mitch O'Connell, and features many great science fiction stories, including tales of Tommy Tomorrow, Chris KL-99, Knights of the Galaxy, Space Cabby, Star Hawkins, Adam Strange, the Star Rovers, Space Ranger and Ultra the Multi-Alien!
Strange Adventures #34
This story is reprinted in Superman #244 (November, 1971) along with a new Superman story, and a Superman of 2465 reprint, all under a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson!
Strange Adventures #38
This story is reprinted in Justice League of America #60 (February, 1968), the story where Batgirl works with the JLA against the outer space menace of Zazzala, the Queen Bee (beautifully depicted in this cover by Murphy Anderson).
Captain Comet teaming up with Tommy Tomorrow to face dinosaurs and Chronos instead?).
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
...what happened when he worked with those uncanny mutants....
Here are the three tales of Marvel Team-Up where Spider-Man worked with the whole X-Men team.
This was mostly the original team of X-Men (Professor X, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman and Angel), with the Beast popping up to explain that he was busy (because at the time, he was the only one with a title....the X-Men were homeless, and the Beast had solo adventures in Amazing Adventures!).
Continuing the story from the previous issue (with a Human Torch team-up), Spidey deals with a sickness and the living vampire of Morbius, who kidnaps a friend of Charles Xavier's...which leads Spider-Man into his team up with the band of merry mutants, who help the wall-crawler in civilian clothes, not their usual costumes (or even training uniforms, as seen in the Angel inset on the cover).
This was a chance for the X-Men to shine outside of their own title, and they did! The X-Men (consisting of Professor X, Cyclops, Banshee, Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler and the Phoenix) end up facing off against the Lords of Light and Darkness (who were a group of scientists transformed by a lab accident in Nevada. Peter Parker was on a plane bound for Arizona and a conference on mutation (which also had Professor Charles Xavier and his students aboard), when that plane flew through a cloud and was attacked by the robots that use to guard the Nevada facility (causing the X-Men to go into action, and Peter, recognizing Cyclops, to change into Spider-Man). The heroes confront the robot, and head to a source of radiation in the desert (getting an "anti-radiation spray" to keep them safe). Once they end up at the Nest (the home of the mutated scientists), the heroes are taken down, and the Phoenix is isolated (as she was the one they were looking for). The scientists, now calling themselves the Lords of Light and Darkness (with individual names taken from Hindu Gods), want to continue evolving and need to release more radiation to help that process (and want Phoenix to join them, as her mutant powers make her the only one on Earth that would survive the process). Spidey convinces them to go into space to evolve, and not destroy the Earth (or take Phoenix along), and the X-Men help them get there. Professor X helps wipe the minds of the other plane passengers to keep Spidey's identity a secret, and the team and Spidey then show up briefly in Marvel Team-Up #53 (January, 1977), the start of a two-issue team-up of Spider-Man and the Hulk.
This time around, Spidey and the merry mutants of Rachel Summers, Nightcrawler, Rogue and Colossus, with Peter Parker dealing with his usual financial woes, and the X-Men dealing with the Juggernaut (who has just given the Ruby of Cyttorak to his friend, Black Tom Cassidy, which gave Juggernaut his power, and it has the same effect on Tom). The two villains are battling in New York, with Spider-Man and the X-Men fighting to stop them (with Rogue at times absorbing powers from the villains, and turning on the heroes). Pictures of the fight don't help Peter's money troubles, but a lucky accident does!
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Neither. He is the Phantom Stranger.
Coming into being in the early 1950s, Phantom Stranger held his own title for 6 issues, from August-September, 1952 to June-July, 1953, facing off against various supernatural threats....with little hints to his origins or life when not battling the forces of mystical evil.
Those issues were hard enough to find then....but now, well, at least some of these classic tales have been reprinted!
Phantom Stranger #1 (August-September, 1952)
This tale is reprinted in DC 100 Page Super-Spectacular #4 (1971) under a pretty spooky Bernie Wrightson cover, and it also includes plenty of horror and mystery reprints from House of Mystery, House of Secrets, My Greatest Adventure, Tales of the Unexpected and Sensation Mystery (including a Johnny Peril tale!)...
This story was reprinted in the Phantom Stranger #1 (May-June, 1969) under a cover by Bill Draut, when the Phantom Stranger was revived as a reprint title (with Dr. Thirteen reprints from Star-Spangled Comics as well, and a new teaser featuring the two characters as well.....this issue containing a story of the "ghost-breaker" from Star-Spangled Comics #125 of February, 1952), and the Phantom Stranger story was also in the Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told hardcover from 1990 and softcover from 1992.
This story was reprinted in the 1960s Phantom Stranger #2 (July-August, 1969) under a cover by Bill Draut, with a Dr. Thirteen debunking more magic in the story from Star-Spangled Comics #128 (May, 1952).
Phantom Stranger #2 (October-November, 1952)
This story was reprinted in Brave and the Bold #98 (October-November, 1971) under a cover by Nick Cardy, with the second team-up of Batman and the Phantom Stranger as the main focus of the issue in a story by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo, and Jim Aparo would come to be closely associated with the Phantom Stranger, drawing many of his issues in the 1970s.
This story was reprinted in Adventure Comics #418 (April, 1972) under a Supergirl cover by Bob Oksner, and the issue also contains a new Black Canary story, as well as an unpublished until now Golden Age Dr. Mid-Nite story!
This story was reprinted in Showcase #80 (February, 1969) under a cover by Neal Adams, as a try out for what became the 41 issue Phantom Stranger series, with a Dr. Thirteen reprint (this time from Star-Spangled Comics #122 of November, 1951, the first appearance of ghost-breaker, Dr. Terrance Thirteen), and a framing sequence by Mike Friedrich, Jerry Grandenetti and Bill Draut, linking the stories, with Dr. 13 trying to debunk the Phantom Stranger.
Phantom Stranger #3 (December-January, 1952/1953)
This tale was reprinted in Adventure Comics #419 (May, 1972) under a Supergirl cover by Bob Oksner, with new Black Canary and Zatanna tales in the issue, as well as an Enchantress reprint.
The first and third Phantom Stranger stories from this issue, "Ghosts For Sale!" and "The Day Of Destiny!" have yet to be reprinted.
Phantom Stranger #4 (February-March, 1953)
This story was reprinted in House of Mystery #225 (June-July, 1974), along with a few other creepy tales...
Sadly, "The Riddle Of The Ghostly Trumpet" and "The Dream Killer" have not been reprinted.
Phantom Stranger #5 (April-May, 1953)
This story was reprinted in House of Mystery #226 (August-September, 1974) along with enough tales to curl anyone's hair, all under Cain's watchful eye with this cover by Luis Dominguez!
The second Phantom Stranger story of his issue, "The Unseen Familiar" has remained unseen since this issue.
This story is reprinted in Phantom Stranger #3 (September-October, 1969) under a Neal Adams cover, with another Dr. Thirteen reprint (from Star-Spangled Comics #126 of March, 1952) as well as a new connector story with the Phantom Stranger meeting Dr. Thirteen "Some Day In Some Dark Alley..." in a story by Mike Friedich and art by Bill Draut.
Phantom Stranger #6 (June-July, 1953)
This story is reprinted in House of Mystery #224 (April-May, 1974) along with many other classics to chill your bones!
Sadly, the first and second Phantom Stranger stories of his sixth and last issue of the 1950s, "The Ghosts In The Locked Room" and the "Doorway In The Sky" have not been collected.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Let's take a look at the events that brought two of New York's heroes together....
Reflections Of An Old Meeting
This issue is a follow up to Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 (October, 1965), which featured the first appearance of the villain, Xandu. Here, Xandu has hypnotized Spider-Man to break into the Doctor's home to steal the Crystal of Kadavarus, so that Xandu can re-energize his Wand of Watoomb (that Strange drained in the Annual). Through Xandu's magic, Dr. Strange appears hostile to Spider-Man, and the two fight when Stephen tries to stop him, but Spidey does find the gem to take to Xandu. Xandu wants his full mystic might back to sale the woman he loved, Melinda, whom he had put into a coma while learning magic. Spidey and Doc face Xandu in his home dimension, with Strange casting a spell to switch their powers (which aren't quite working right), to enable the heroes to defeat Xandu, casting his Wand into another dimension. Dr. Strange lives up to his profession, examining Melinda, to find she is not in a deathlike coma, but a coma-like death, which she cannot be returned from.
Doctor Says I Need More Iron
This story is part of a multi-issue arc, with Iron Man being Spider-Man's partner for issues #48, #49 and #51 (though Doc makes appearances in the last two...). In this issue, Spidey is recruiting Doctor Strange for help with the Wraith, whom he believes may be a supernatural menace. The Iron Man team-ups and most of this issue are covered here, but this tale is worth a mention for Spidey's visit to Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum...and that Doc trusts Spidey enough that his house wouldn't react to him as a threat.
Deal Me InMs. Marvel) bumps into Wong, Dr. Strange's manservant, while shopping, dumping his goods to the ground. While helping him pick them up, Wong receives a telepathic distress call from the Doctor, and heads to his aid (with Peter Parker witnessing this at the end, and changing to his Spider-Man clothes and going along). At Strange's home, the Orb of Agamatto (a mystic possession of the Doctor's) has begun an attack at Strange and Clea, with Clea injured and the magical defenses of the Doctor's home down, both Spider-Man and the newly re-costumed Ms. Marvel show up, offering help. Dr. Strange, along with Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel, head to New Orleans to get help for Clea, from Marie LaVeau, the Witch-Queen of New Orleans. They decide that Clea was under attack from the Silver Dagger, an old foe of Stephen's, and Dr. Strange must go into the Orb to save Clea, and sends his astral form, leaving his body behind, under the protection of Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. Silver Dagger attacks in the real world, as Strange had been the target all along, and Silver Dagger looks to take his revenge while Stephen searches for his love.
Meetings Get A Little Hairy
with the Human Torch, in Marvel Team-Up #35 (July, 1975) and with Spidey, Quasar, the Scarlet Witch and more in Marvel Team-Up Annual #5 (1982), which have been covered before, as well as working with the Scarlet Witch alone in Marvel Team-Up #125 (January, 1983), and as a part of the Defenders in Marvel Team-Up #111 and #112 (November and December, 1981). That's the nice thing about Dr. Strange, he always has patience for dealing with other heroes!
Thursday, May 12, 2016
....at least for a little while.
King Faraday had five stories in the early 1950s, and most of them have been reprinted....
The other reprint in Showcase #50 is from Danger Trail #2 (September-October, 1950), which was the basis for this issue's cover, with the story of the "Hangman's House" by Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, with King breaking into a foreign government's stronghold to rescue a professor held hostage.
The first was "Hunters Of The Whispering Gallery" from Danger Trail #1 (July-August, 1950) by Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, with King overhearing a murder plot while getting on a train, and the hero working to save the pretty red-haired woman, Julie Stevens, who was the target of the murderers, and, after a few attempts by these men and others, finds that Julie had been photographed with Nazi war criminal on the run Martin Vormann, to prevent her from identifying him. King saves the girl and catches the criminal.
The second story was from Danger Trail #3 (November-December, 1950) with "Thunder Over Thailand", by Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, with King tracking down ex-Nazi scientist, Colonel Nego, who had been killing other agents and leaving toy elephants with the murdered men. King finds the fiend, destroys his headquarters, and the Colonel dies, crushed by an elephant statue!
Sadly, the story from Danger Trail #4 (January-February, 1951) with "The Reign Of The Scarlet Umbrella" by Kanigher/Infantino/Giella has not been reprinted, with King going into action after his friend, Police Inspector Raoul Dore, is killed by followers of tribal chief Ranavilo.
Quite a bit of work for a spy almost left in the 1950s!
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
....and here are the team ups that focused on those characters!
Old Agent New Name
A bit of a spoiler here, but that agent was Bobbi Morse (who had been working for S.H.I.E.L.D. with Ka-Zar back in the days Ka-Zar appeared in Astonishing Tales), then as the Huntress in Marvel Super Action #1 of 1976 (which featured a lead story on the Punisher). There, as here, Bobbi had been working to find spies with S.H.I.E.L.D., with Peter Parker returning to New York from the West Coast, and seeing a beautiful blond in a trenchcoat being chased, and he changes into Spider-Man to help out (along the way, seeing her get shot, but surviving due to her insulated costume, and fleeing from their flying car!). Mockingbird introduces herself to Spidey, and informs him they were battling S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, which upsets Spider-Man, and Bobbi takes off away from him, leaving Spider-Man to deal with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Manhattan director, Carl Delandan.
Ex-Agent All Hero
former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., who left the agency to work for Project: PEGASUS, the mighty Quasar, who teamed with Spidey in Marvel Team-Up #113 (January, 1982) in "The Resurrection Of Edward Lansky" by writer Mark Gruenwald, penciller Herb Trimpe and inker Mike Esposito (with a cover by John Romita, Jr. and Frank Giacoia).
While on his way to class, Spider-Man encounters a Project: PEGASUS vehicle taking the dangerous villain, Nitro (whom Spidey had recently defeated), to its headquarters (with Quasar heading the team), and Spidey and Quasar get into a discussion, with Quasar later heading to go Empire State University.
This leads to a battle of Quasar and Spider-Man, but Quasar regains control of himself, and then the two heroes work together, restoring Lightmaster to his own body (that of Edward Lansky), yet still taking him captive (for the crimes he had committed). Spidey and Quasar don't part happily, which is odd, as Quasar usually gets along with everyone, soon after getting his own series (written by Mark Gruenwald, who also revived Mockingbird in the Hawkeye mini-series) and Quasar becoming an Avenger!
The Boss Is Back
Before Colonel Nick Fury was the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., he was just a sergeant in World War II, leading a team of combatants there, called the Howling Commandos. One of that team's members was called Dino Minnelli, and the crime family of the Maggia kidnapped his girlfriend, actress Julie Winston, getting Nick Fury and Spider-Man involved in the case.
Even worse, the Maggia has some help, with an old weapon Hydra created to attack S.H.I.E.L.D., the robot Dreadnaught! Sadly for Dino, it seems her acting included their relationship, as it was all a plot of the Maggia, who is heartbroken after this event.
Captain America, the Falcon, Iron Man, the Scarlet Witch and the Black Widow! It seems Spider-Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. hold the Marvel Universe together!