Monday, April 26, 2021

Happy Birthday Donna Troy

According to the 1976 DC Calendar, April 26th is the birthday of Donna Troy, she who was the Teen Titans' Wonder Girl and Troia!

While this Wonder Girl premiered in Brave and the Bold #60 (June-July, 1965) along with the Teen Titans (with the boys only meeting once before)...

Wonder Girl didn't get the name of Donna Troy until Teen Titans #22 (July-August, 1969), with that stunning Nick Cardy cover following the month after.

Wonder Girl was originally Wonder Woman, but her adventures in her younger days, and not a separate character....but, things get even odder!

Then Donna updated to being Troia in New Titans #55 (June, 1989), with George Perez echoing what Cardy had done for Donna on the cover... Donna had lost her connection to Wonder Woman due to events from the Crisis on Infinite Earths, with all of Donna's history explained here!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Remembering Artist Earl Norem

World War II veteran Earl Norem (April 17, 1923 - June 19, 2015) was an artist known for stunning painted work, and Marvel and Charlton took advantage of that, featuring his artwork on their magazine versions of comics in the 1970s.

Below are some examples of this fine work, and a representative sample of a lifetime of work!

Six Million Dollar Man 4 and 6, 1977

Savage Sword Of Conan 14 and 47, 1970s

Tales Of The Zombie 5 and 10, 1970s

Rampaging Hulk 3 and 9, 1970s

Marvel Preview 9 and 12, 1970s

Planet Of The Apes 21 and 28, 1970s

Silver Surfer 1 (1978) and Masters Of The Universe: Sunbird Legacy (1983)

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Great Gibbons' Day

Celebrating the artist Dave Gibbons on his birthday today!  One of the earliest assignments for the artist was on Green Lantern, written by Len Wein.

Here are the covers drawn by Dave Gibbons, where he introduces Javelin (who later would be recruited to fight Guy Gardner in the Suicide Squad), fights the Shark, sees the Demolition Team demolish Ferris Aircraft, see Hal Jordan tell the Guardians of the Universe where they can go, and see John Stewart take over as Green Lantern of Earth (who then faces Eclipso, in the rare time John wore a mask as Green Lantern).

Green Lantern #172 and #173 (January and February, 1984)

Green Lantern #174 and #175 (March and April, 1984)

Green Lantern #176 and #178 (May and July, 1984)

Green Lantern #179 and #180 (August and September, 1984)

Green Lantern #181 and #182 (October and November, 1984)

Green Lantern #183 and #185 (December and February, 1984/1985)

Green Lantern #186 (March, 1985)

Gil Kane had provided the covers for the missing issues from the above run!


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Menace Of The Man-Sized Atom

One of the biggest mistakes made in the post Crisis (on Infinite Earths) world, was when there were flashbacks to the Justice League of America with the Atom standing with his fellow members in the Justice Cave or on the Satellite, full-sized in costume.  

Atom power was his small size, but, here are a few exceptions to that from the Silver Age with art by Gil Kane.

The Up And Down Dooms Of  The Atom

First up is a tall tale from Atom #32 (August-September, 1967) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene (with cover by Gil Kane).

Here, Ray Palmer is paralyzed by being struck by a beam in a laboratory accident.  The accident also gave Ray telepathic abilities, and he contacted his fiancee, lawyer Jean Loring, to activate his shrinking belt....and thus Ray shrank...out of sight.  

At submicroscopic size, Ray could move again, but, at that size, he was a giant in a microscopic world, where he has to save a group of farmers (the Palonds) from invaders (The Honds).  There, he finds a radiation that cures his problem of moving while full-sized and returns home.

Sometime the smallest guy in the room can make the biggest difference!

Trouble At The Ten-Year Club

The second story, from Atom #11 (February-March, 1964) by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson (with cover by Kane/Anderson), does have a human sized Atom (but also shows WHY he shouldn't be!).

Here, scientist Ray Palmer meets with 10 fellow Ivy University graduates from his class, all bringing back an item to the reunion from their current profession, except for Jack Archer, who sends a note saying he will steal the other nine objects.  

Archer would have gotten away with the items too, if not for the Mighty Mite, but the Atom had to beat him after he forced the Atom up to normal size (where Archer beat him).  Ray knew his Atom costume was invisible at full size, who Jack couldn't have done what Ray thought he did, and found out he was doing it all via hypnosis using the power of Hindu idol.  The Atom turned the tables, and used the idol to plant a suggestion in Archer's mind, allowing Ray to capture him.

The Atom NOT being in costume at full size saved the day here for Ray Palmer!  

The original Justice League of America title had a few appearances (the first reprinted in a JLA Giant) where Atom was larger than his team (making Ray a giant member of the Justice League)....

...but, if you check other appearances, even outside the JLA, like when the JLA members battled the Calculator, or when Atom was searching for Jean Loring in Super-Team Family, they show (properly) Atom being Ray Palmer when he was around his teammates in his full size!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Remembering Artist Gil Kane

Remembering artist Gil Kane (April 6, 1926 - January 31, 2000) with a look at a couple of special Silver Age covers for DC heroes he worked on in the 1960s....the Atom and Green Lantern!

These were a couple of special issues, highlighted in 2004, when they were reprinted, and new stories and homage covers were produced.

Atom #10 (December-January 1963/1964)

DC Comics Presents: The Atom #1 (October, 2004)

The original cover was by Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson, 2004 cover by Brian Bolland.

Green Lantern #31 (September, 1964)

DC Comics Presents: Green Lantern #1 (September, 2004)

The original cover was by Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson, 2004 cover by Brian Bolland.

Of course, Gil Kane also drew the Secret Origins of Ray Palmer and Hal Jordan, as well as team ups of Atom and Green Lantern with their Golden Age versions.

Brian Bolland, of course (who shares a birthday with Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez....who did similar covers to salute editor Julie Schwartz, who used to use a well designed cover to inspire the comic within) added a little extra bit of his own....casting Julie as an extra in both of his covers!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter Bugs Bunny

For being a rascally rabbit, Bugs Bunny doesn't really partake in Easter covers, or at least he didn't do too many at his time as a solo artist at Gold Key from 1962 to 1983.

Here's one, from Bugs Bunny #117 (May, 1968), and look here for more Bugs Bunny's comic history.

Happy Easter!