Thursday, August 27, 2015

Individual Seven Soldiers of Victory Reprints

While there will be a few articles on the various individual Justice Society of America members, like Starman and Black Canary, sadly, it won't be as easy to do that with the Seven Soldiers of Victory.

Green Arrow and Speedy

Green Arrow and Speedy's very first appearance was in More Fun Comics #73 (November, 1941) in "The Case of the Namesake Murders" by Mort Weisinger and George Papp was reprinted in the Millennium Edition: More Fun Comics #73 of January, 2001.

This issue also features the first appearance of Aquaman, of Dr. Fate foe Mr. Who (with the doctor capturing the cover in his half mask that he was using at this time), as well as Spectre and Johnny Quick stories, a ton of Golden Age goodness!

That first appearance of Green Arrow and Speedy didn't have their origin, which we had to wait until More Fun Comics #89 (March, 1943) in the story "Birth of the Battling Bowman" by Joe Samachson and Cliff Young, wherein we see the first time millionaire archeologist Oliver Queen meets Indian raised Roy Harper, and how the two have to escape thugs searching for a gold mine on the Lost Mesa. 

This is the Golden Age (or Earth-2 if you prefer) origin of Green Arrow, and is presented in the Secret Origins of the Super DC Heroes of 1976 (in both hardcover and soft cover), along with Golden and Silver Age origins of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Atom and more under a cover by Neal Adams. 

More Fun Comics #101 (January-February, 1945) is the last of Green Arrow's More Fun Comics to be reprinted, with the "Formula For Doom" by Joe Samachson and Maurice del Bourgo wherein the battling bowmen face off against crooks disguised as cops trying to take a secret formula from chemist Cyrus Gage.

This was another story represented in a full reprint, that of the Millennium Edition: More Fun Comics #101 of November, 2000.  This issue also features Aquaman, Johnny Quick and in his last Golden Age appearance, the Spectre, as well as debuting a new feature...Superboy (a story of Superman, as a boy!  Superboy took over the cover quickly, preventing Green Arrow from getting covers on Adventure Comics, where his, Superboy, Johnny Quick and Aquaman's features all moved to after More Fun Comics #107 of January-February, 1946).

Sadly, few Green Arrow stories (or any stories) of Adventure Comics (starting from Adventure Comics #103 of April, 1946) were reprinted.  Starting with Adventure Comics #174 (March, 1952) with "1001 Ways To Defeat Green Arrow" by Ed Herron and George Papp, which seems to spell trouble for Green Arrow and Speedy.

This tale ends up in Brave and the Bold #117 (February-March, 1975), the last of B&B's 100 page issues, and has Batman teaming up with Sgt. Rock, as well as a few great tales with the Secret Six, Viking Prince and Blackhawk!

Brave and the Bold had also become a bit of a home for Green Arrow, as he and Batman had many team-ups (though this was the Earth-1 Batman and Green Arrow)!

The only other Golden Age Green Arrow full color reprint from Adventure Comics is Adventure Comics #176 (May, 1952), wherein Green Arrow and Speedy faced the villainous Roper for the first time in "The Rogue of 1000 Ropes" with no identified writer, and art by George Papp.

The story was represented in World's Finest Comics #204 (August, 1971), which also had a new story with Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as an early Captain Comet reprint, which featured characters that were prototypes for Green Lantern's Guardians of the Universe.

Last, but not least is World's Finest Comics #71 (July-August, 1954), with the Green Arrow story of "The Invisible Death" by Ed Herron and George Papp, where Green Arrow lets TV reporters into his trophy room, and tells them of past cases (like beating villain Bull's Eye) and about his trick arrows like the Balloon Arrow, Lariat Arrow and Smoke-Bomb Arrow.

This appearance of Green Arrow and Speedy is considered Golden Age, though the Superman and Batman team-up (their first regular team-up in World's Finest Comics) are the Earth-1 (Silver Age) versions of the heroes...and the reason this issue was given a reprint in its entirety, with the Millennium Edition: World's Finest #71 in August, 2000).  It even includes a story of Revolutionary War hero Tomahawk!

Shining Knight

Green Arrow's fellow soldier, Arthurian Sir Justin, also known as the Shining Knight, might have eventually come to share Adventure Comics with the battling bowman, but Sir Justin has only had a few adventures reprinted, and not even his first appearance of Adventure Comics #66 (September, 1941).

Shining Knight reprints start with Adventure Comics #150 (March, 1950) and "The Ten-Century Lie" by Joe Samachson and Frank Frazetta, with a flashback to a time in Camelot before Sir Justin became frozen and ended up in World War II.

This story was presented in the Masterworks Series of Great Comic Book Artists #1 (Spring, 1983), focusing on the artwork of Frank Frazetta, and also includes "Sir Justin, Bronco Buster" from Adventure Comics #151 (April, 1950) and written by Joe Samachson, and Adventure Comics #153 (June, 1950) in "The Duel of the Flying Knights" written by Joe Samachson, Adventure Comics #155 (August, 1950) with "The Imitation Knight" written by Joe Samachson (with Sir Justin having to fool high society girl, Mary Mason, into NOT thinking he's the Shining Knight), and Adventure Comics #157 (October, 1950) with "Camelot, U.S.A." written by Joe Samachson, wherein Sir Justin and his flying horse Winged Victory come to Camelot, Michigan to help the town celebrate its centennial, and foil criminals.

The story in Adventure Comics #153 (June, 1950) in "The Duel of the Flying Knights" written by Joe Samachson and art by Frank Frazetta was also reprinted in World's Finest Comics #205 (September, 1971)...

...and this tale was set in the Shining Knight's time in Camelot with King Arthur and Merlin, fighting an ancient Greek warrior, Bellerophon, and his magical horse, Pegasus, with evil Sir Mordred engineering the fight between these two, and features a main story with Superman working with the Teen Titans, as well as a reprinted sci-fi tale.

Adventure Comics #159 (December, 1950) with the story of the "Knight of the Future" by Joe Samachson and art by Frank Frazetta, was reprinted in both the hardcover and softcover collections of the Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told (hardcover from 1990 and cover by Joe Kubert, and soft cover from 1992 with a collection from the stories within).

This tale of Sir Justin (and his 20th Century squire, Sir Butch), found the duo transported to the 35th Century by a miscast spell by Merlin, and they ended up facing off against rebels trying to overthrow the government before being able to return home.

Adventure Comics #161 (February, 1951) with "The Flying Horse Swindle" by Joe Samachson and Frank Frazetta was reprinted in Adventure Comics #417 (March, 1972, with a Supergirl cover by Bob Oksner, with the issue featuring a new Supergirl story, as well as a new Vigilante story, and a reprint of he first appearance of the Enchantress, who later joined the Forgotten Villains and the Suicide Squad).

The Shining Knight story had Sir Justin facing off conman Deadpan Dixon who tried to steal Winged Victory, so Sir Justin let him to teach the crook a lesson he'd never forget!

Adventure Comics #159 (December, 1950) with the story of the "Knight of the Future" by Joe Samachson was also reprinted in the Masterworks Series of Great Comic Book Artists #2 (July, 1983), another collection of art by Frank Frazetta, along with Adventure Comics #161 (February, 1951) with "The Flying Horse Swindle" written by Joe Samachson, with its first panel providing the cover for the collection, and also containing the Shining Knight story from Adventure Comics #163 (April, 1951), written by Joe Samachson, and "The Knight In Rusty Armor", with Sir Justin facing off against a crooked sheriff in his last reprinted story, though Sir Justin had two more Golden Age stories in Adventure Comics #165 and #166 (June and July, 1951), written by Don Cameron and art by Ramona Fradon

Crimson Avenger and Wing

Newspaperman Lee Travis and his driver, Wing, didn't fare that well in getting their tales reprinted (and not even their first appearance from Detective Comics #20 in October, 1938, nor their last solo Golden Age story in Detective Comics #89 of July, 1944)...with only two stories making it, featuring the early cloaked version of the Crimson Avenger that was also used in Secret Origins #5 (August, 1986) and the Crimson Avenger 4 issue mini-series of 1988....and Crimson Avenger and Wing both owe thanks to Batman!

Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939) was the first appearance of Batman, and was reprinted in its entirety in the Millennium Edition: Detective Comics #27 (February, 2000) as well as in the Famous First Edition C-28 (1974).

This story had no title in the original book, but was given the title of "Murder On The Oceanic Line Docks" later, and was written and drawn by Jim G. Chambers, and featured the Shadow-inspired Crimson Avenger (mostly called "The Crimson" in this story) and Wing facing off against gambler Mike Moran and other hoods.

Detective Comics #38 (April, 1940) has the first appearance of Dick Grayson, also known as Robin, the Boy Wonder, and this issue was collected in its entirety in the Millennium Edition: Detective Comics #38 (April, 2000).

This story was given the title of "Phoney Jewel Robbery", and was written and drawn by Jack Lehti, and has Crimson Avenger and Wing facing jewel thieves and mobsters, with the real criminals being a bit of surprise!

Sadly, tales of the Crimson Avenger and Wing in their more super-hero style have not been reprinted, but they faired better than their fellow duo....

Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey

Sylvester Pemberton and his driver, Pat Dugan, might have had a long run in Star-Spangled Comics (starting with Star-Spangled Comics #1 of October, 1941), but sadly, the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey only have one Golden Age reprint!

Star-Spangled Comics #55 (April, 1946) with the story of "The Jigsaw Murder" by artist Jon Small (with no writer identified) detailed the death of Pudge Malone, and how the Kid and his partner found the killer with the help of a puzzle.

This story was reprinted in Superboy #185 (May, 1972), with a cover by Nick Cardy, featuring Superboy and the world's greatest young heroes, including a reprint of the first Teen Titans story, as well as the first Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, and a Golden Age tale of Kid Eternity and a story of the Legion of Super-Heroes!


The prairie troubadour of Greg Sanders did better than the Kid, but who doesn't love a cowboy?

The Vigilante's first appearance in Action Comics #42 (November, 1941) later entitled "The Origin of the Vigilante", and was written by Mort Weisinger and drawn by Mort Meskin, featured the first story of the Vigilante, and a quick flashback to his origins, and his hunt to catch Killer Kelly.

This story was reprinted in Secret Origins #4 (September-October, 1973) with a cover by Nick Cardy, and the issue also featured a reprint of the first appearance of Kid Eternity, and their origins are nicely summarized on the cover.

Action Comics #69 (February, 1944) is the next of the Vigilante stories to be reprinted, with the story of "The Little Men Who Were There" by Joe Samachson and Mort Meskin, and features Vigilante and his partner, Stuff the Chinatown Kid, facing off against the Dummy, a regular foe of Vigilante's from Leading Comics, who was using a shrinking ray to steal diamonds and foiled by the cowboy and his partner.

This story was reprinted in Wanted, the World's Most Dangerous Villains #3 (November, 1972), with a cover by Nick Cardy, and also has reprints of Golden Age tales of Dr. Fate and Hawkman facing some of their foes!

Action Comics #124 (September, 1948) featured the story of "The Lonesome Kangaroo" by Joe Samachson and Jerry Robinson, and has Stuff and the Vigilante protecting the kangaroo, Katie, from hoods who want a diamond she's hidden in her pouch.

This story ended up being reprinted in Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told hard cover of 1990 (with the story content page mislisting the original issue as Action Comics #128), and has a cover by Jerry Ordway.

A shame no other of the Seven Soldiers made it into the book (though there was a public service ad featuring Green Arrow....and another with the introduction of Star-Spangled Comics).

Next reprint is Action Comics #146 (July, 1950), with the story "The Galleon In The Desert" by Joe Samachson and Dan Barry, featuring the Vigilante and Stuff facing off against their own version of the Fiddler (Benjamin Bowe, not the Fiddler who faced the Flash) and his henchmen of Shakes and Dictionary.

This issue was reprinted in DC 100 Page Super Spectacular #6 (1971), which, under this awesome Neal Adams cover, also had a reprint of the first JLA/JSA team-up, a Golden Age Spectre story, and a previously unpublished Golden Age Wildcat story (as well as lists of "every" DC hero's first appearance up to that time.).  Even better, DC made a replica of the World's Great Super-Heroes Super Spectacular (yes, a reprint of a collection of reprints) in May, 2004 (though the cover was slightly altered)!

Vigilante's next reprinted tale comes from Action Comics #160 (September, 1951) with "The Capture of Four Aces", written by Dick Wood and drawn by Bob Brown.

This tale found itself reprinted in Super DC Giant S-15 (September-October, 1970) along with other western tales...

...including Pow-Wow Smith (a native American who became the sheriff of a small town) in two stories, and real life cowboy, Buffalo Bill, all instead of with super-heroes, all under a cover by Joe Kubert.

The Vigilante's next story, from Action Comics #161 (October, 1951) of "The Duplicate Crimes" was written by Dick Wood and art by Bob Brown as well.

This story was represented in World's Finest Comics #225 (September-October, 1974), and at least the Vigilante made a half-way decent appearance on the Nick Cardy cover, unlike Black Canary (who also had a reprint in the Superman-Batman team-up book, as did time-traveling Rip Hunter).

Nice to see DC taking advantage of all those extra pages, back in the day!

Vigilante's next story reprint comes from Action Comics #176 (January, 1953) with the story of Vig's fight against the Outlaw Benton in "The Impossible Legend" by Dick Wood and Bob Brown.

This story was reprinted in Action Comics #403 (August, 1971), along with a Superboy and Krypto reprint, and two new Superman stories all under a Carmine Infantino/Murphy Anderson cover that reminds us all of the importance of giving blood....the life you save could be Superman's!

The next wild Vigilante western story of Action Comics #188 (January, 1954) with the title of "The Reformed Owlhoot Club" by writer Dick Wood and artist Howard Sherman was quite a hoot indeed!

This tale found itself in World's Finest Comics #227 (January-February, 1975) in a cover with layouts by Carmine Infantino, and completed art by Nick Cardy, and focused more on the Superman-Batman new story (with Deadman) and a reprint of an old Superman-Batman team-up, as well as reprints of Rip Hunter and Martian Manhunter stories, and even an article on old film serials that included DC heroes, like Superman, Batman and Robin, Congo Bill, Blackhawk and...the Vigilante!

Would that Vig could find his way into the movies today!

Vigilante's next reprinted tale, of "The Red Dust Bandit" from Action Comics #192 (May, 1954) by Dick Wood and Howard Sherman, details Vig and Stuff's fight against a bandit who looks like Vig's alter ego of Greg Sanders, and causing quite a lot of trouble in 8 pages!

This tale found its way into Action Comics #405 (October, 1971), with a cover by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, and also has a Golden Age Aquaman reprint from Adventure Comics.

Vigilante's story from Action Comics #193 (June, 1954) of "The Broadway Rose" by Dick Wood and Howard Sherman is next up, with 8 pages of cowboy heroic goodness.

This story ended up being represented World's Finest Comics #228 (March, 1975) under a Nick Cardy cover, and this issue also featured a new Superman/Batman Super-Sons story (with Robin in the mix), as well as Silver Age Aquaman, Metamorpho and Eclipso reprints!

Last, but not least, is Vig's story from Action Comics #194 (July, 1954), with "The Unlucky Horseshoe" by Dick Wood and Howard Sherman, with Vigilante dealing with thieves who took a horseshoe believed to belong to Jesse James' horse!

This tale made it into  Four-Star Spectacular #5 (November-December, 1976) (this series last issue), under a cover by Ernie Chan, and with stories of Superboy, the Golden Age Wonder Woman, and the Silver Age Green Arrow (as Green Arrow was facing the Rainbow Archer, a character that would come to menace him again, when he had his second costume).

Sadly, we never got to the end of Vigilante's Golden Age trail (that of Action Comics #198 of November, 1954), but you can find all of their appearances as the Seven Soldiers of Victory in 3 Archives of Leading Comics!

No comments:

Post a Comment