Friday, March 23, 2007

Showcase #68

Showcase #68 (On Sale: March 23, 1967) has a very nice Maniaks cover by Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito.

Inside we have "A Crooks' Tour of Palisades Park" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito. I vaguely remember reading a Maniaks story, it might even have been this one. This was their premiere issue of Showcase. They would appear here two more times.

The Maniaks are a rock band created by Bridwell and Sekowsky in the mold of TV's the Monkees--a band that would also get involved in wild adventures, often on the way to their gigs.

The Maniaks were:

Silver Shannon (lead vocals, manager)
Philip "Flip" Folger (guitars, contortionist)
Gilbert "Jangle" Jeffries (guitars, ventriloquist)
Byron "Pack Rat" Williams (drums)

DC Comics used Showcase as a tryout magazine for different features and what is now known as the Silver Age of Comics started in Showcase #4, September 1956 with the introduction of the new Flash. Over the years Showcase gave birth to among others, The Challengers of the Unknown, Lois Lane, Green Lantern. The Sea Devils, Aquaman, the Atom, The Metal Men, Sgt. Rock, Enemy Ace, The Teen Titans, The Inferior Five, Bat Lash, The Creeper and The Hawk and the Dove.

Some of my favorite Showcase strips never made it out of the book, or did so with very limited coverage. In particular I loved the last twelve issues, which featured three issues each of Nightmaster by Denny O'Neal, Jerry Grandenetti and Berni Wrightson, FireHair by Joe Kubert, the exceptional Jason's Quest by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano and Manhunter 2070 also by Mike Sekowsky.

Edited by Jack Miller.

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