Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Kirby Covers Detective Comics

While one does not usually associate Jack Kirby with DC Comics, the "King" did do many features for DC, and even got the chance to draw an early cover for Detective Comics, Detective Comics #65 (July, 1942....which was also worked on by Joe Simon and Jerry Robinson, likely Kirby/Simon on the Boy Commandos and Robinson on Batman/Robin) as Batman and Robin welcomed the new creations to Detective Comics.  

Batman had been a bit of a cover hog since his Detective Comics premiere, so this was a big deal.

It was also a little late, as the creation of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby had premiered in the previous issue of Detective Comics #64 (June, 1942).  Young Frenchman Andre Chavard, Dutchman Jan Hansen, Englishman Alfy Twidgett and New Yorker Brooklyn, were helpers of an American fighting unit called the Commandos stationed in Great Britain, who then worked solo missions with their guardian, Captain Rip Hunter.  

They even branch out, having adventures published in World's Finest Comics #8 to #41 in the 1940s, as well as continuing in Detective Comics until #150 (August, 1949), and having their own title which lasted 36 issues (until November-December, 1949).

The Boy Commandos were revived for 2 issues of reprints in 1973, as well as a Super Spectacular, after having a few tales reprinted in the 1970s Mr. Miracle series, as well (which included reprints of the tales of their meetings with Sandman and the Newsboy Legion).

Along the way, they teamed up with Guardian, Newsboy Legion, Sandman and Sandy (a rarity at the time for DC), as well as fighting menaces like Agent Axis and Crazy Quilt.  Members did leave the group, first Alfy, to be replaced by Tex, then Andre, who then had Percy Clearweather take his place. 

All the lads survived well past World War II, Brooklyn growing up to become a cop, Dan "Terrible" Turpin, who met Orion of the New Gods, and the other original lads as well as Rip had a reunion in the Millennium crossover issue of Blue Beetle (which also featured Mr. Miracle and the Manhunters).

Better still, DC has put out two volumes of reprints of their original tales, but we need many more to get the full adventures of these brave, patriotic lads!

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