Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween 2023

A happy Halloween to all!

May your holiday be filled with more treats than tricks, as Catwoman found on this Joshua Middleton cover for Catwoman #35 (December, 2014).

Friday, October 27, 2023

Remembering Artist Bernie Wrightson

Remembering artist Bernie Wrightson on his birthday (October 27, 1948 - March 18, 2017), with a spectacular cover he did...for DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #4 (1971).

While the Weird Mystery Tales inside the book didn't have anything to do with Bernie (the original Swamp Thing tale, read about it here, just came out before this), Bernie did provide art for some segues between the stories, as well as a special story (and the back cover was the front, without the trade dress).

Macabre Mystery/Eerie Adventure

Monsters/Science Fiction

Childhood Haunt/Back Cover

In case you need to know, the reprinted stories in this Spectacular are from: 

My Greatest Adventure #8 (March-April, 1956), Sensation Mystery #116 (July-August, 1953), My Greatest Adventure #14 (March-April, 1957), House Of Secrets #2 (January-February, 1957), My Greatest Adventure #12 (November-December, 1956), Sensation Mystery #110 (July-August, 1952) with Johnny Peril, Phantom Stranger #1 (August-September, 1952) with Phantom Stranger, My Greatest Adventure #20 (March-April, 1958), My Greatest Adventure #15 (May-June, 1957), Tales Of The Unexpected #15 (July, 1957), Tales Of The Unexpected #24 (April, 1958) and House Of Mystery #49 (April, 1956).



Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Mystery In Space Change

Mystery In Space was a somewhat later arrival into the horror genre, not that some of its earliest stories couldn't fit easily into that genre...but after a lengthy run with Earthman in space Adam Strange (starting in Mystery In Space #53 of August, 1959) and future cop Space Ranger (starting with Mystery In Space #92 of June, 1964), the title gave up the ghost with Mystery In Space #110 (September, 1966) with Ultra the Multi-Alien.

Still, even Adam Strange and Space Ranger would not have foreseen that Mystery In Space would return with issue #111 in September, 1980...

...with a short run of horror related space stories, usually with a cover by Joe Kubert.

Mystery In Space #112 and #113 (October and November, 1980)


Mystery In Space #114 and #115 (December, 1980 and January, 1981)


Mystery In Space #116 and #117 (February and March, 1981)


Friday, October 20, 2023

Celebrating Artist Nick Cardy With Ghosts

Celebrating artist Nick Cardy on his birthday (October 20, 1920 - November 3, 2013) with a special look at covers he contributed to the title, Ghosts.

Nick drew this incredible cover to Limited Collectors' Edition C-32 (December-January, 1974/1975), which featured reprints of issues of Ghosts (which Cardy also supplied the covers for, as seen below!).

Ghosts #1 and #3 (September-October, 1971 and January-February 1972)

Ghosts #4 and #5 (March-April and May-June, 1972)

Ghosts #6 (July-August, 1972)

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Happy Birthday John Stewart

Today is considered the birthday of John Stewart, Green Lantern.  

To celebrate, here is his first appearance, and his last appearance in Green Lantern as Hal Jordan's backup.

Green Lantern #87 (December-January, 1971/1972)

Under a cover by Neal Adams, with story by Denny O'NeilNeal Adams, and Dick Giordano where Hal Jordan is tasked by the Guardians of the Universe to train a new backup Green Lantern after Guy Gardner is injured, teaching architect John Stewart of the meaning of "Beware My Power".  

But, Hal learns when John deals with disreputable politician Jeremiah Clutcher, not every solution to a problem is as clean cut as he is used to dealing with, teaching the teacher a lesson as well.

John would have a few more appearances backing up Hal, including subbing for him once with the JLA during a Christmas tale, and working with Hal and Green Arrow Oliver Queen, before John and Ollie have a team up on their own...

Green Lantern #165 (June, 1983)

Under a cover by Gil Kane, with story by Mike W. Barr, Keith Pollard and Dan Adkins, John Stewart is pressed into service by the Guardians of the Universe after a long period of inactivity while Hal Jordan is banned from service on Earth for a year, to face "The Curse Of Krystayl".   

The Guardians also want Green Arrow to help against this menace, a living crystal being who absorbs human life (though Ollie is none too happy about how the Guardians have treated Hal).  After a few mistakes, John and Ollie get to working as a team, John finding the flaw in Krystayl, which Green Arrow is able to shatter, allowing the duo to defeat their foe!

Of course, John Stewart went on to do much more, working with the Justice League of America after that last appearance in their first annual facing Doctor Destiny, then, as shown with these Dave Gibbons' covers (here) taking over for Hal!

Friday, October 13, 2023

House Of Secrets Change

House Of Secrets was another great DC anthology title, featuring odd tales for a while, before settling on a few regular features, then a little hiatus, before being revived as a horror title (edited by Joe Orlando), with a stunning Neal Adams cover, and giving Abel a home of his own (as his brother, Cain, who was the horror host of the House Of Mystery).

House of Secrets was home to regular features for most of its pre-horror time, with Mark Merlin (a supernatural detective, with his secretary/fiancee Elsa Magusson) taking up residence starting with House Of Secrets #23 (August, 1959), Eclipso (scientist Bruce Gordon turned super-villain) coming on with House Of Secrets #61 (August, 1963), and Mark being replaced in his own feature by Prince Ra-Man (a reincarnated wizard brought back to replace Mark, and worked with Elsa) in House Of Secrets #73 (July, 1965).  Eclipso and the Prince's series and title ended with House Of Secrets #80 (September-October, 1966) and a few years passed before the success of the House Of Mystery change revived the title with House Of Secrets #81 (August-September, 1969), with a wholly changed house!  House Of Secrets would even later spawn someone else...and Eclipso would go on as well.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Celebrating Artist Matt Wagner

Celebrating artist/writer Matt Wagner on his birthday (October 9, 1961), with a little of his less seen work...

...covering Jack Kirby's Demon (and writing the four issue mini-series, as well as one shot appearance in the Demon's regular title...

...but only providing a cover for the Demon's appearance helping to resurrect Green Arrow).

The Demon #1 and #2 (January and February, 1987)

The Demon #3 and #4 (March and April, 1987)

The Demon #22 and Green Arrow #6 (April, 1992 and September, 2001)

Best of all, if you are interested in Jason Blood's battle to free himself from the Demon (the mini-series), as well as his involvement in a war of witches (Sybil Haden and Annie Mojo), find the trade paperback, The Demon: From The Darkness (from 2014).

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Celebrating Artist Rob Liefeld

Celebrating the birthday (October 3, 1967) of Rob Liefeld.

Before his stellar days at Marvel and Image, Rob worked on the first Hawk & Dove mini-series (written by Karl and Barbara Kesel, and inked by Karl), where a new female Dove was introduced to replace Hawk (Hank Hall's) brother, Don, who lost his life during the Crisis On Infinite Earths.  

The series also introduced the duo to DC's ongoing war between the Lords of Order and Chaos (usually just the purview of Dr Fate), and had them face Kestrel, an agent of chaos.

Hawk and Dove #1 and #2 (October and November, 1988)


Hawk and Dove #3 and #4 (December and Winter, 1988)


Hawk and Dove #5 (Holiday, 1988)


Sunday, October 1, 2023

House Of Mystery Change

House Of Mystery had undergone a few changes over the years.  First, as a sort of generic mystery/science fiction title, then as a home for super heroes like Martian Manhunter and Dial H For Hero...

...under the editorial direction of Joe Orlando, with issue number 174 (May-June, 1968, with a cover layout by Carmine Infantino, art by Joe Orlando and George Roussos, the title became a horror icon until its end with issue 321 (October, 1983).

Imagine the shock kids who had a subscription to see J'onn J'onnz (who started in issue 143 of June, 1964) or Robby Reed (premiering issue 156 of January, 1966) as they got that latest issue!  Of course, the horror of a giant Zook should not be underestimated....

Consider this an invitation to keep checking back in October, for more House of Mystery, and other spooky covers!  

For those who like to flip to the end of a book, here is the end of the House Of Mystery!