Monday, May 31, 2021

For Memorial Day

Saluting our fallen military heroes this Memorial Day, with this Joe Kubert cover of Unknown Soldier...., in Unknown Soldier #216 (June, 1978), a soldier who had an old bugle ended up using it to save the day, before his life was taken, saving his friends....

...and that is the type of sacrifice we honor today.

Friday, May 28, 2021

National Hamburger Day 2021 With Jughead

Jughead Jones is thinking about his true love as he sings for the Archies....and, that is a hamburger!  

How appropriate for today is National Hamburger Day.  

Enjoy this cover by Dan DeCarlo and Rudy Lapick from Jughead #192 (May, 1971) and maybe a burger yourself!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Remembering Artist Carmine Infantino

Remembering artist Carmine Infantino (May 24, 1925 - April 4, 2013) with something special....DC Special #1 (October-December, 1968), featuring the artist at work on some of DC most famous (and a few less so), but all characters that he had a connection to in this "All-Infantino" issue!

Carmine Infantino had a long career in comics, working on the Golden Age Flash and co-creating Black Canary, as well as others back in the day, then getting to bring back the Flash to start the Silver Age, co-creating Elongated Man, having the two Flashes meet...

...becoming DC's editorial director, then publisher...

...before moving over to Marvel to work on Spider-Woman, Nova and Star Wars (and others), before coming back to the Flash when Barry Allen got ready to face the Crisis.

Detective Comics #327

In "the Mystery Of The Menacing Mask" (May, 1964), written by John Broome and inked by Joe Giella...

....the first of the "new look" Batman (including the yellow oval), Batman and Robin faced a mystery menace with a red X on their foreheads...that allows crook Frank Fenton to paralyze them and escape.   

The Elongated Man story (also by Infantino) was reprinted elsewhere.


Flash #148

Here, in the story NOT featured on the cover, "The Doorway To The Unknown" (November, 1964), written by John Broome and inked by Joe Giella, the Flash (Barry Allen) gets involved in a slightly supernatural tale...

...where he comes home to find a Fred Dallman in his apartment....a bank vice president who tells Barry that another man will go to prison for a crime Fred committed.  Barry works to clear the man, but also discovers Fred died in a car crash....before Barry met him in his apartment!

Infantino also co-created Captain Boomerang!

Adventures Of Rex The Wonder Dog #29

Though the cover is by Gil Kane/Bernard Sachs, it is the Detective Chimp story from the issue (written by John Broome for September-October of 1956) of "The Scientific Crook Catcher"...

...where Bobo has to disguise himself as a human scientist to catch crook Larry the Lynx at a scientific convention!

Bobo, the Detective Chimp really had little involvement with the rest of the DC Universe until he showed up in Gorilla City during the Crisis On Infinite Earths (having long life as he and Rex found the fountain of youth in a DC Comics Presents back up years before).

Mystery In Space #57

An early Adam Strange adventure where Gil Kane and Joe Giella did the cover, Gardner Fox provided the story and Murphy Anderson the inks for the "Mystery Of The Giant Footprints"...

...where Adam and Alanna faced giant aliens called the Rhollians who were affected by a material called Orichalkum, that made them grow to giant size.  The aliens try to sink the island, and the island eventually does go underwater after Adam and Alanna gave them chase to let the island sink naturally.

Adam Strange and his adventures on the far away planet of Rann were still only a small part of Mystery In Space at this point, with two other stories in this issue.

Brave and the Bold #45

Last, but not least, a cover by Carmine, inked by Murphy Anderson, which is also the story by Gardner Fox and inked by Joe Giella from December-January, 1962...

...wherein a series of Strange Sports Stories ran in B&B...with the "Challenge Of The Headless Baseball Team" was the first story, where uniforms were playing the game without their players!

The DC Special also had a summary of Carmine's career up to that point!


Saturday, May 22, 2021

One Special Sherlock Holmes

You'd think DC Comics would have multiple issues of a Sherlock Holmes series, but....sadly you'd be wrong.

DC only published one issue of Sherlock Holmes, dated September-October, 1975, with Denny O'Neil adapting two works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (May 22, 1859 - July 7, 1930), with interior art by E.R. Cruz and Walt Simonson providing the cover.

The issue adapted "The Final Problem", intended to be the end of Holmes and his foe, James Moriarty, and "The Adventure Of The Empty House", where Doyle bowed to popular demand, and had Holmes and Dr. John Watson return (with Holmes having faked his death to draw out Moriarty's minions).

A true mystery as to why there were never more, or where they would have gone from here....

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Immortal Doctor Fate


The Doctor is in...side the helmet!  For those not in the know, that's a hint at the origin of Doctor Fate.  

Below will be a look at this Lord of Order, with three very special Baxter stock issues from the 1980s....the Immortal Doctor Fate!

Three special issues that give you the facts about Dr. Fate, all presented on shiny paper....and a part of your regular Super Blog Team-Up check up!

Immortal Doctor Fate #1 (January, 1985)

The first issue, with its stunning wrap around cover by Walt Simonson, gives you the basics on Doctor Fate, his origin and his settings, as well as reprinting the covers for First Issue Special #9 and More Fun Comics #56 on the interior covers (in black and white), which are two of the three tales reprinted within this mighty tome (and if you needed only one Dr. Fate book in your life, this would be the one!).

But, first up, the origin of Doctor Fate, as told by his wife, Inza Nelson (with a little help from Paul Levitz, Joe Staton and Mike Nasser) from DC Special Series #10 (April, 1978), "This Immortal Destiny".

Here, Inza relates the tale of how young Kent Nelson was on an archeological dig in Sumeria with his father, Sven, when the boy unearthed a crypt, releasing Nabu (Earth's resident Lord of Order) who was healing.  The gas which was healing Nabu was fatal to Kent's father, so Nabu took the boy as his own, training him in sorcery and magic, as well as giving him the helmet and amulet that enabled him to take on the mantle of Doctor Fate....and that is why Inza was so upset.....but, more on that later.

The next story in this issue is Doctor Fate's second appearance from More Fun Comics #56 (June, 1940), by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman (as well as Dr. Fate's first cover for the issue).  Here, Dr. Fate faces Wotan in the underworld, beating and imprisoning him (odd that their second tale is the one reprinted, but it is a follow up story to the first tale, and those so inclined for more Golden Age Dr. Fate info can check here!).

The last story is the best, with "The Mummy That Time Forgot" from First Issue Special #9 (December, 1975) by Martin Pasko and Walt Simonson.  

Here, Dr. Fate faces the mummified Khalis, a former foe of Nabu, who takes the Amulet of Anubis from Dr. Fate, and hurts him in his first battle, forcing Dr. Fate to retreat to his tower in Salem, where the helmet (which has the spirit of Nabu in it, making Kent Nelson into Dr. Fate), releases his hold on him, so Inza can tend to his wounds (which grates on Inza, as it has for years).  Kent researches Khalis, and goes to fight him, but only defeats the mummy with the power of the sun and an artifact.

More info on the two 1970s issues can be found here....

Immortal Doctor Fate #2 (February, 1985)

The second issue has a cover by Keith Giffen and Gary Martin, and contains reprints of Doctor Fate's back up stories from the Flash #306 to #309 (February to May, 1982) with stories by Martin Pasko, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt (and on the interior covers, a house ad for the Doctor Fate Flash back up series and the cover to Flash #310....both in black and white).

Apocalypse Of The Fifth Sun!
Here, Doctor Fate has two things to deal with....the resurrection of an ancient Aztec god, Totec, at the Boston Museum, and the wife of his host body of Kent Nelson, Inza, who is getting frustrated with her eternal life...without her husband.  These two problems intersect as Inza follows Doctor Fate after he took Kent to face Totec.

Twilight Of The Fifth Sun
Totec, who was really the Lord of Chaos, Malferrazae, has Inza and Doctor Fate captive, transporting the items, as well as his prisoners to Mexico City, where he plans to resurrect his old empire.  Doctor Fate breaks free to battle Malferrazae's undead legion, while the Lord of Chaos unleashes Inza's jealous to use as a weapon against Doctor Fate!

Dawn Of The Sixth Sun
Doctor Fate battles Inza's jealousy given life via Chaos magic, while Malferrazae torments her body with tales of how he will take the world and devastate Doctor Fate by turning his host, Kent Nelson, against him.  Doctor Fate magics out the villain's plan, and uses his own magic to bring Inza to him....but Inza's jealousy is able to remove the helmet of Doctor Fate from his head, leaving Kent Nelson (who has only vague ideas of what Dr. Fate does) to deal with the world's trouble!

Tomorrow Is Forever
Kent Nelson (the host of Dr. Fate) finds the decaying body of his wife, Inza, still alive due to the magic which kept her and him alive for decades.  Kent comes up with a plan to draw back Inza's jealousy and get the Fate helmet back, reintegrating Inza's soul and body, as well as becoming Doctor Fate again to defeat Malferrazae...all while the archeologist Vernon Copeland in charge of the Boston Museum finds out about Kent and Inza (archeologists in their own right), and makes plans for Inza.

Great little short back up stories from the Flash....made that much better by being able to read them at one time! 

Immortal Doctor Fate #3 (March, 1985)

The third and final issue has a cover by Keith Giffen and Gary Martin, with reprints of the back up stories from Flash #310 to #313 (June to September, 1982), with stories by Steve Gerber, Martin Pasko, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt, and black and white covers to World's Finest Comics #208 and More Fun Comics #61 (though these two issues don't make the collection).

American Gothic
Kent Nelson sees horrible disasters happening in New York, Mongolia and China, drawing him to go into action as Doctor Fate (and again driving a wedge between Kent and his wife, Inza)....where she becomes frustrated with her situation, and meets with Vern Copeland (who had wanted to talk to Kent, but finds Inza also an archeologist, which allows him to further his plans for this attractive woman.  Doctor Fate traces the seeds of the world's evil to a cornfield in Iowa, and immobilizes a farmer who shows up to protect his field....Fate thinks.  Really, the farmer is more than he seems, and sends Doctor Fate away to another realm!

Rogue Gods
Doctor Fate finds himself  trapped in a limbo dimension, the "Nihil-verse" by his "farmer" foe who is much more than an Earth mystic.  The "farmer" is still growing his seed of evil, as Inza meets Vern Copeland for dinner (and he wants more than is on the menu with Inza).  Doctor Fate is found by the Lord of Chaos, Vandaemeon, and they battle.  When Fate gets the upper hand, he magically reaches out to Inza at their Tower home as a beacon to guide him home...but she's out with Vern!

Blood Of The Sun
As the battle of Dr. Fate and Vandaemeon continues, Inza realizes being with Vern is a mistake, but then she is taken under a magic spell, as Dr. Fate homes in on where she is to return....knocking Vern unconscious as he returns to his dimension.  Weakened by his battle, Fate removes the helmet for Inza to take Kent home, where Kent and Inza argue about her time with Vern....with Kent headed to sleep to recover, and Inza leaving due to their fight and Kent's lack of trust in her.  Kent awakens alone in their tower, finding out the disasters have grown, having to go into action as Doctor Fate, finding the small seed of evil having grown into a larger multiverse damaging gem....and the "farmer" in charge, reveals himself to be Ynar, a renegade Lord of Order!

Crimson Testament
The red gem of Ynar is remaking the multiverse, as Ynar was in league with Vandaemeon (both of whom had become disenchanted with their sides, and teamed up to remake everything for themselves against both order and chaos).  The pair fed the energy of Dr. Fate's mystic battle in the Nihil-verse into the gem to get the power to reshape reality.  As everything around him turns red, Inza arrives, thinking it is the end of the world.  She, Fate, Kent and their Tower are the only things unchanged by the combined Order/Chaos magic.  Knowing he is not powerful enough alone to defeat the magic of both a Lord of Order and Chaos, Dr. Fate adds Inza into the mix, hoping the power of her human spirit can bolster his magic enough.  Which it does, allowing Fate to stop the end of the world, casting the two renegades out of the universe.  A nice side effect....Kent and Inza had to share their essence, seeing they both were really love each other (yet still have trust issues to work out).

A happy ending, leaving Doctor Fate to appear in JLA/JSA crossovers as well as the Crisis On Infinite Earths (not knowing what fate....or is that Fate?....would have in store for them after!

Of course, if you need more doctors in your life, you need to check out the rest of the blogs of the Super Blog Team-Up, as we have many Doctors on call this month, as we share a medical theme for our blogs!

Here are the links!

Thank you for stopping by, and hopefully you'll be back if I've entertained you, and hope you enjoyed the variety of my fellow Super Blog Team-Up friends as well!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother's Day With Wonder Woman 2021

It's been a rough year, but you still have to care for your mother.

At the time of Wonder Woman #183 (July-August, 1969) by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano, when she had to "Return To Paradise Island!"...

...after Paradise Island had been shunted away into another dimension, and Wonder Woman was now the fighting Diana Prince (without powers due to the island leaving the dimension of Earth-1), Diana had to deal with her mother in a coma.

Diana had to fight the forces of Ares, who were invading the island to gain the power to traverse dimensions, all the while worrying about her mom.

The story continued into the next issue (and both stories were reprinted in Wonder Woman #198 in January-February, 1972).  

As much as Diana and Hippolyta had been at odds, Diana was still there for her mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Happy Birthday Adam Hughes

Happiest of birthdays to artist Adam Hughes!  

Adam has done many covers (and a few interiors) for DC Comics over the years, and these are two examples of his working on the World's Finest heroes in the 21st Century, with homages to two classic covers from the era of Julie Schwartz, who used the idea of creating a cover then building a story around it.

Superman #264 (June, 1973)

DC Comics Presents: Superman #1 (October, 2004)

Original cover by Nick Cardy, and the issue features the first appearance of Steve Lombard (Clark Kent's WGBS sportscaster nemesis).

Batman #183 (August, 1966)

DC Comics Presents: Batman #1 (September, 2004)

Original cover by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, and for the solution to that mystery, read here!

Like Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Brian Bolland (who covered Gil Kane in these Schwartz inspired specials), Adam also did a run of Wonder Woman covers (a few of them here!).

Monday, May 3, 2021

Marvel Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Adaptation Covers

The Empire Strikes Back, the first Star Wars sequel, had a special premiere on May 20, 1980 in London....and soon, Marvel had adaptations of it....both in collected form, and as issues of Marvel's regular Star Wars title.

Under a cover by Bob Larkin featuring Luke Skywalker on Hoth under the shadow of Darth Vader, Marvel Super Special #16 (Spring, 1980) gave the "official adaptation of the most eagerly awaited space fantasy film of all!"...  

(Hey, it was pre-internet, and people were still excited about Star Wars....), adapted by writer Archie Goodwin and artists Al Williamson, Carlos Garzon and (for the AT-ATs) Rick Veitch.

The story ran for six issues of the Star Wars comic book, taking over the run in 1980....and below, are the covers by Al Williamson and Carlos Garzon.

Star Wars #39 and #40 (September and October, 1980)

Star Wars #41 and #42 (November and December, 1980)

Star Wars #43 and #44 (January and February, 1981)

Having the comics debut of Lando Calrissian, Lobot, Yoda, Boba Fett and the rest of the bounty hunters, as well as continuing adventures of Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and the Skywalker family, and has been recently collected in the 3rd volume of Star Wars Legends The Original Marvel Years. 

If you are still interested in Star Wars, here's coverage of the original adaptation of the first movie as covered for the 40th Anniversary of that movie, as well as a special Marvel issue, and may the Force be with you!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Remembering Artist Win Mortimer

Remembering Golden and Silver Age artist, Win Mortimer (May 1, 1919 - January 11, 1998) on his birthday...

....with some of his covers featuring Superman and Batman!

Detective Comics #110 (April, 1946) and Action Comics #119 (April, 1948)

Detective Comics #116 (October, 1946) and Action Comics #167 (April, 1952)

Detective Comics #138 (August, 1948) and Action Comics #162 (November, 1951)

Detective Comics #188 (October, 1952) and Action Comics #155 (April, 1951)

World's Finest Comics #32 (January-February, 1948) and #41 (July-August, 1949)

Detective Comics #155 (January, 1950) and Action Comics (February, 1951)

Detective Comics #233 (September, 1955) and Action Comics #170 (July, 1952)

Detective Comics #207 (May, 1954) and Action Comics #180 (May, 1953)

World's Finest Comics #52 (June-July, 1951) and #60 (September-October, 1952)

World's Finest Comics #71 (July-August, 1954) and #78 (September-October, 1955)