Sunday, October 1, 2023

House Of Mystery Change

House Of Mystery had undergone a few changes over the years.  First, as a sort of generic mystery/science fiction title, then as a home for super heroes like Martian Manhunter and Dial H For Hero...

...under the editorial direction of Joe Orlando, with issue number 174 (May-June, 1968, with a cover layout by Carmine Infantino, art by Joe Orlando and George Roussos, the title became a horror icon until its end with issue 321 (October, 1983).

Imagine the shock kids who had a subscription to see J'onn J'onnz (who started in issue 143 of June, 1964) or Robby Reed (premiering issue 156 of January, 1966) as they got that latest issue!  Of course, the horror of a giant Zook should not be underestimated....

Consider this an invitation to keep checking back in October, for more House of Mystery, and other spooky covers!  

For those who like to flip to the end of a book, here is the end of the House Of Mystery!

Friday, September 29, 2023

Remembering Artist Russ Heath

Remembering artist Russ Heath (September 29, 1926 - August 23, 2018) on his birthday with a look at a couple of examples of his rare jungle comics art, the two covers he did for Lorna The Jungle Girl (issues #6 and #7, from March and May, 1954, with Lorna having her first 5 issues as Lorna The Jungle Queen, then #6 through #26 being Lorna The Jungle Girl, adventures pretty similar to those of Sheena or Jann of the Jungle).

Usually known for his war comics, these two issues show he was well versed in a multitude of comics back in the day (and, for some other Russ Heath work, look here for his Sea Devils covers!)

Friday, September 22, 2023

Happy Birthday Supergirl

Today is considered the birthday of Supergirl, Superman's cousin, Kara Zor-El.


To celebrate, here is her first appearance and a major turning point in Supergirl's life!

Action Comics #252 (May, 1959)

Under a cover by Curt Swan and Al Plastino, with a story by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, debuted "The Supergirl From Krypton!".  Supergirl's rocket crash landed on Earth, and Superman was there to greet the young girl in a costume styled like his, who also had powers as he did.

Sent to Earth from Argo City (a section of Krypton that had survived the destruction of the planet, for a while) by her father, Zor-El, Kara came to Earth. 

Vowing to keep her safe and give her time to get used to Earth, Superman kept her as his secret weapon, with Kara not revealing herself to the world, and living as Linda Lee in Midvale Orphanage.

That status quo lasted for a while, with Linda getting adopted by the Danvers, but Supergirl was still a secret to the world at large until...

Action Comics #285 (February, 1962)

Under a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein, with story by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, Superman finally reveals Supergirl to the world as "The World's Greatest Heroine!".  with many of her friends acknowledging it, including merboy Jerro, Linda's adoptive parents Fred and Edna Danvers and her friend from Midvale, Dick Malverne.

In a double sized story, Supergirl even faces the Infinite Monster alone after her big reveal, as well as getting a little help from her friends from the Legion of Super-Heroes (Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Brainiac 5).

From here, the world looked a little brighter with Supergirl in it.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Remembering Artist Joe Kubert

Remembering artist Joe Kubert (September 18, 1926 - August 12, 2012) on his birthday.  Known more for his work on DC characters like Sgt. Rock, Hawkman and Viking Prince, here, a look back to the 1950s, with a fantasy caveman named Tor, and his pet monkey, Chee-chee; work done for the St. John company.

Even more fun...the first issue was named One Million Years Ago, while the second issue 3-D Comics, with 3 variant covers and sizes (and, the third even had additional material)....before the title of the book became Tor.

One Million Years Ago (September, 1953) and 3-D Comics #2 (1st comic, October, 1953)


3-D Comics #2 (2nd magazine, October, 1953 and 3rd comic, November, 1953)


Tor #3 and #4 (May and July, 1954)


 Tor #5 (October, 1954)


Tor lived in a prehistoric fantasy world, filled with dinosaurs and sabretooth tigers...a fun and fertile playground for an artist like Kubert.

Even DC and Marvel (and more!) had runs with Tor later...over multiple decades!

A pretty big achievement for just a caveman, but very worthy with that incredible Kubert art!

Still, because you might want to see Kubert at some of his usual haunts, a little Hawkman art is here, a covering of Ragman is here, and, a team up of Sgt. Rock and Viking Prince is here!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Batman Day 2023

Celebrating Batman Day in 2023 with a more recent classic cover, this, the Darwyn Cooke variant of Detective Comics #37 (February, 2015), with a very tired Bruce Wayne, resting after a hard night's work, being taken care of by his friend and butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Celebrating Artist Mike Grell

Celebrating the birthday of artist Mike Grell (September 13, 1947), with a look at his Batman covers from the 1970s.

Better known for his work with the Legion of Super-Heroes, Green Lantern and Green Arrow, "Iron Mike" did do a small batch of work on Batman at the time with two 2 issues battles (one facing the Penguin, the other against Skull Dugger)...but, his commitment to his new series, the Warlord, stopped Grell from having a longer run on the series.

Batman #287 and #288, (May and June, 1977)


Batman #289 and #290, (July and August, 1977)


Bonus!  Extra Grell!  

Detective Comics #455 (January, 1976) and Batman Family #1 (September-October, 1975)


Batman vs the vampire was covered here, and that Batgirl/Robin team up should get some love as well!

Friday, September 8, 2023

Happy Anniversary Super Friends

50 years ago, on this date, the Super Friends cartoon premiered on ABC, introducing the world to Marvin, Wendy and the Wonder Dog, who worked alongside the World's Greatest Super Heroes....Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, who had been in animation before (but not paired as the Super Friends).

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice (or, DC Comics), always on the lookout for more comics to produce, decided to make comics based on the Super Friends animated series, with the first issue of Super Friends cover dated November, 1976, and the title lasting 47 issues to August, 1981.

Along the way, the comics gave some back story to the animated series (Marvin White was the son of Daniel and Diana White, Diana being the lady who gave Wonder Woman her Diana Prince identity, while Wendy Harris was the niece of detective Harvey Harris, who helped train Batman).  The comics even facilitated the change from Marvin/Wendy to the Wonder Twins (Zan and Jayna from Exor, with their monkey, Gleek).  

The comic also had the Super Friends operating as a subset of the Justice League of America, though the whole team did appear (at least up to Hawkgirl), as well as other heroes like Plastic Man, Supergirl and Black Orchid, as well as new international heroes like Green Fury, Ice Maiden, Rising Sun, Jack O'Lantern, Tasmanian Devil and more (who became the Global Guardians).

They also faced established DC villains not in the cartoon (like the original Toyman, Poison Ivy, Human Flying Fish, Grax, Time Trapper, Chronos, Hector Hammond and Queen Bee), a few solo villains who made it into the cartoon (like Penguin and Mirror Master) and even some of the members of the Legion Of Doom (though not together...individually, Cheetah, Riddler, Scarecrow, Bizarro, Solomon Grundy, Grodd, Giganta and Sinestro), as well as villains only for the comic, like Menagerie Man and the Overlord.

Here's a few places that Super Friends tales were reprinted in....

Best Of DC #3 (January-February, 1980) 

This Digest, with cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Bob Smith, reprints Super Friends #3, #4 and #10... well as Justice League of America #57 and Teen Titans #18.

Super Friends (July, 2001)


This trade, with cover by Alex Ross, reprints Super Friends #1, #6, #7, #8, #9, #14, #21, #27 and the Toth stuff from the Limited Collector's Edition.

...and, in two volumes, all 47 issues were reprinted here, along with the Alex Toth Limited Collectors' Edition wraparound for two JLA tales!