Saturday, July 30, 2022

Cowboy Vs Sharks

Not really that many comics that mix cowboys and sharks, but there is this cover of Kid Colt Outlaw #228 (February, 1979) by Gene Colan and Dave Cockrum that applies, though the main story more involved Kid Colt battling with the dread pirate, Captain Barracuda.

Still, as the second to last issue of the series, which had turned into a reprint title at this time, it did feature a reprint of the story that originally appeared in Kid Colt Outlaw #109 (which was then reprinted in #131 and #175), with story by Stan Lee and Jack Keller, and covers here by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, making this comic a great segue from Western Comics Month, Shark Week and next month's Kirby Comics Month!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

First Adult Bizarro Day


Today is a day to hang our heads in shame.

This is the day Luthor first created a Bizarro version of Superman (after Professor Dalton created the first Bizarro, a version of Superboy, in Superboy #68 of October, 1958 by Otto Binder and George Papp) with an imperfect duplicator ray.

First Bizarro  - Action Comics #254 (July, 1959)

First Bizarro Lois Lane - Action Comics #255 (August, 1959)


First Bizarro World - Action Comics #263 (April, 1960)

First Bizarro Jr. - Superman #140 (October, 1960)

First Bizarro series - Adventure Comics #285 (June, 1961)

Bizarros vex the Legion - Adventure Comics #329 (February, 1965)


Bizarro thinks Bizarro World destroyed, has powers slightly changed, getting ice vision and flame breath

Superman #305 and #306 (November and December, 1976)


Read more about Bizarros, including Bizarro, and more of the Bizzaro family here


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Marvel At Jaws 2

While Marvel only captured some of the love movie goers gave to the original Jaws movie, in 1978, they were there to adapt Jaws 2, with Marvel Super Special #6, featuring a Bob Larkin painted cover, and interiors by writer Rick Marschall, penciller Gene Colan and inker Tom Palmer.

Filled with all the fun you expect from an adaptation of a popular movie sequel, with Brody and his family dealing with the return of another shark to the Amity beach!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Blackhawk's Queen Killer Shark

Blackhawk and his merry band of pilots faced many a menace in their days, but none was worse than Killer Shark...

 ...especially when he turned the team's Lady Blackhawk into the menace known as Queen Killer Shark!

Queen Killer Shark and The Return Of Queen Killer Shark

In Blackhawk #200 (September, 1964) by Dave Wood, Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera, the Blackhawks' foe, Killer Shark, used a secret formula on the female member of the Blackhawks, turning her evil, and making her his partner, Queen Killer Shark!  She wouldn't return until Blackhawk #204 (January, 1965) by Bob Haney, Dillin and Cuidera, where she wrestles between good and evil personalities (and even turning Blackhawk evil for a time).

Five Links To Eternity and The Revenge Of Queen Killer Shark

Appearing next in Blackhawk #216 (January, 1966) in a story by Haney, Dillin and Cuidera, the Blackhawks and the Sharks battle over a scientist's invention on a dangerous island, while in Blackhawk #225 (October, 1966) by Ed Herron, Dillin and Cuidera, Queen Killer Shark has to free a captured Killer Shark from the Blackhawks on the anniversary of her conversion to evil.

Queen Killer Shark has one last appearance, in Blackhawk #228 (January, 1967) by Haney, Dillin and Cuidera, as a blow to the head brings back her normal self as Lady Blackhawk (as the team goes abnormal, taking on superhero identities for a time).  Though she didn't make another cover until the end of this run (or join the boys in super hero dress up), Lady Blackhawk was there....but didn't come back in any of the revivals, instead being revived in Guy Gardner: Warrior and Birds Of Prey.

Zinda first appeared as Lady Blackhawk in Blackhawk #133 (February, 1959), with art by Dillin and Cuidera, becoming a member of the team in Blackhawk #140 (September, 1959), while the Earth-1 version of Killer Shark first appeared in Blackhawk #108 (January, 1957) with art by Dillin and Cuidera, with the two first meeting in Blackhawk #170 (March, 1962).

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Remembering Artist Dick Giordano

Remembering artist Dick Giordano (July 20, 1932 - March 27, 2010) on his birthday...

...with a series of Wonder Woman covers that he both penciled and inked!

Wonder Woman #197 and #201 (Nov-Dec, 1971 and July-August, 1972)


Wonder Woman #202 and #203 (Sept-Oct and Nov-Dec, 1972)


Wonder Woman #219 and #220 (August-Sept and Oct-Nov, 1975)


Wonder Woman #261 and #262 (November and December, 1979)


Dick also inked many, many more covers of Wonder Woman, starting with #178, and ending with #328. as he was known better as an inker than a penciler, but his work was a wonder to behold!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Happy Birthday Lana Lang

By the old DC calendar, today is the birthday of Lana Lang, one of the more famous residents of Smallville.

She first appeared in Superboy #10 (September-October, 1950) to be a thorn in young Clark Kent's side, trying to prove he was Superboy...

...then, when she was an adult (starting with Showcase #9 from July-August, 1957), she first officially met Lois Lane, making life difficult for her, proving a rival for her as a reporter, as Lana would soon join the ranks of the Daily Planet.  Lana would also be a rival for Lois, competing for Superman's affection.  

Though she would leave Smallville (and later, Metropolis) for a time, Lana would always come back, and kept a connection to both Clark, and even Lois over the years, even developing super powers of her own, usually Kryptonian variations, but, she did have her own super identity (and the one she used to be a reservist in the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Insect Queen).

From time to time, Lana would become interested in another boy or man with super powers (most notably, Vartox), but Lana's heart would return to Superman....


Friday, July 15, 2022

Vigilante Meets The JLA

When is a first appearance really a first appearance?

Well, settle for a quick story of the Vigilante, and how this particular version of him had his first appearance here, meeting the members of the Justice League of America!

The Coming Of The Doomsters

First up, the debut of the Vigilante in Justice League Of America #78 (February, 1970) by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella (with a cover by Gil Kane, also foreshadowing the debut of the Justice League's new satellite headquarters, to replace the now compromised mountain HQ).

This story starts in Star City, as Green Arrow and a night watchman dealing with a burning river....and Green Arrow calling in Superman and Green Lantern.  The three heroes take off after (though the night watchmen tries to get their attention).  Superman and Green Lantern take Green Arrow to the new teleporter to take him to the JLA's new satellite, with Batman, Atom, Hawkman and Black Canary meeting him there.  

The night watchman makes moves to meet the team at an event where they introduce new JLA member, Black Canary.  At the event, a fight ensues, and the team find out the watchman is the old Prairie Troubadour, the Vigilante (Greg Sanders).  Checking out their attackers, Superman and Batman head to a planet in the Sirius system, Green Arrow goes to check the zoning of the plant where the fire started, and Batman, Atom, Black Canary and the Vigilante check the plant.  At the plant, the heroes are captured in a net, and lowered into a vat of acid....

Come Slowly Death, Come Slyly

Then, Justice League Of America #79 (March, 1970) by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella, (with a cover by Neal Adams) picks up where the last issue left off, with Green Arrow arriving just in the nick of time to save the heroes from a dip in the acid pit.  But, as they go to capture the villains, they lock themselves in a room with no known least until that section of the building blasts off and heads for space!

In space, Superman and Green Lantern arrive at the barely habitable planet Monsan, and find its last survivor, who relates the story of the Doomsters.  Their planet was dying due to pollution, and scientists came up with a solution to save the populace:  transform them to live on the pollution.  But, it also unhinged them, making them want to ruin other planets as well.  

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Hawkman goes from the JLA Satellite to his spaceship to stop the newly airborne building, but is blasted by the Doomsters for his effort, who step up their efforts to pollute the Earth.  The JLA unites, saving Hawkman from space, with Superman and Green Lantern leading the charge against the ship, as Batman, Atom, Green Arrow, Black Canary and Vigilante tackle Chokh, the leader of the Doomsters, exposing him to Earth's (relatively) clean air.  Green Arrow and Black Canary find they have feelings for each other, as they wonder if stopping the Doomsters will stop the pollution. 

Now, the Vigilante hinted at previous appearances, which at the time of this story might have referenced his run in Action Comics (read a little more of this with his Secret Origins)....but, thanks to the return of the Seven Soldiers of Victory in Justice League of America #100, in a JLA/JSA team up, establishing an Earth-2 Vigilante, who was a member of that team with that Earth's Green Arrow and Speedy,    

So, this Vigilante was left to his own devices, staring in four features in Adventure Comics (but only making one cover), a team up with Superman in World's Finest Comics, and a run in the early dollar issues of World's Finest Comics before showing up in what was likely his last appearance before his retirement, working with Lois Lane, Congorilla, the original Robotman and the Challengers of the Unknown, cementing him as the Earth-1 Vigilante in a flashback tale set before the founding of the Justice League Of America, 


Saturday, July 9, 2022

Blue Beetle's Praying Mantis-Man

Super heroes can borrow a little from other genres, and Charlton's original Blue Beetle, archeologist Dan Garrett, did, as he faced his most dread menace, who appeared to come straight from a horror movie....the dreaded Praying Mantis-Man!!!!

Well, to be honest, it was just a villain Blue Beetle faced twice during his original two Charlton comics run, but, let's take a look at him anyway!

The Praying Mantis-Man

Premiering in Blue Beetle #4 (January, 1965) by Joe Gill, Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico (with cover by Pat Massulli and Dick Giordano), was Hunter Mann, a radical naturalist who, due to his work with chlorophyll, turned a shade of green, and planned to change the work with giant mosquitos.  His work was found out by entomologist Juanita Rivera, who enlisted the help of Dan Garrett.  Dan, when he realized the size of the threat, pulled out his mystic scarab, said "kaji dha" and became the super hero, Blue Beetle!

Blue Beetle fought the giant insects, as well has the creature Mann had mutated into, the Praying Mantis-Man, with his hypnotic eye power.  There were more than giant mosquitos, and Dan fought them as well, protecting Juanita, and eventually vanquishing his foe.

But, it wasn't over....

The People Thieves

Not content with that loss, the Praying Mantis-Man returned to face Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle #53 (December, 1965) by Joe Gill and Tony Tallarico (with Tallarico providing the cover), with an even bigger threat to Blue Beetle and the world!  This time, Hunter Mann was freezing people in New York, and drawing the attention of Dan Garrett away from his friend, Diane, as Dan goes into action with his mystic scarab, while she goes home. 


But, this working in Mann's favor, as he kidnaps Diane, taking her to his lair (which includes many insects, including his giant mutated army ants).  There, he explains his plans to destroy the world with his mutated insects, having only those he froze to repopulate the world.  Praying Mantis-Man faces Blue Beetle, and successfully freezes him.  As Mann continues his plans, Diane schemes, raising  the temperature of the room Blue Beetle is in, unfreezing him.  Blue Beetle goes out to defeat the creatures Mann released, leaving Mann to fall to his likely death as Dan was just too busy to save him.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

National Bikini Day With Sabrina, Betty And Veronica 2022

Just a quick post to note the day.

With Sabrina Spellman watching, Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper are tossing around a frisbee on the beach with Archie Andrews picture on it, as Veronica Lodge wonders why, on this cover to Laugh #259 (October, 1972) by Dan DeCarlo that is a good enough choice to celebrate National Bikini Day!

Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy 4th Of July With Superman And Tomahawk

A happy Fourth of July to everyone, celebrating with this Superman cover to Limited Collectors' Edition #C-47 (August-September, 1976) by Fred Ray....

...but, Superman really isn't a part of the treasury edition, as Superman just hosts 6 tales of frontiersman Tomahawk with tales from the American Revolution from Star-Spangled Comics #73, #121, #126, #127 and Tomahawk #45 and a few special features. 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Johnny Thunder Reprints

Did you know the classic Western version of Johnny Thunder (with secret identity of John Tane) had his own title in the 1970s?

True, it only featured reprints of his stories (as well as some from Nighthawk/Hannibal Hawkes, the Trigger Twins/Walt and Wayne Trigger) with cover art by Alex Toth....but they did exist!

Johnny Thunder #1 (February-March, 1973)

Johnny Thunder reprints from All-American Western #103 (November, 1948) with The City Without Guns and #125 (April-May, 1952) with Johnny Thunder's Last Roundup and Nighthawk reprint from Western Comics #42 (November-December, 1953) with The Gun-Fighting Statue.

All this and a little on the history of Johnny Thunder by editor E. Nelson Bridwell.

Johnny Thunder #2 (April-May, 1973)

Johnny Thunder reprints from All-Star Western #73 and #74 (October-November, 1953 and December-January 1953/1954) with Battle Of The War Bonnet and Decoy At Canyon Pass, Trigger Twins reprint from All-Star Western #96 (August-September, 1957) with Ambush At Arrow Hill and Nighthawk reprint from Western Comics #71 (September-October, 1958) with The Amazing Quest For Nighthawk's Identity.

Johnny Thunder #3 (July-August, 1973)

Johnny Thunder reprints from All-American Western #122 (October-November, 1951) and All-Star Western #71 (June-July, 1953) with The Real Johnny Thunder and Battle For Mesa City, and Nighthawk reprint from Western Comics #75 (May-June, 1959) with Secret Of The Outlaw Timepiece.

Say, you need a little history of all the people named Johnny more here!