Thursday, May 31, 2007

Adventure Comics #358

Adventure Comics #358 (On Sale: May 31, 1967) has a great Curt Swan/George Klein cover. The design of this thing is so out of character for Swan; looks more like something you would see in the next few months from Neal Adams. I really wonder about this cover.

Inside "The Hunter" is by Jim Shooter and George Papp. On the jungle planetoid Simballi, the billionaire financier known as the Hunter traps and kills a beast called a tigerram. That night, at a great feast in his castle, the Hunter expresses boredom and dissatisfaction with his existence to his assistant, Jakra. He has trapped and killed the deadliest beasts in the galaxy, but he craves even more dangerous game. Pulling back a curtain to reveal plastic heads of the Legion members mounted on a wall, he tells Jakra that the Legionnaires will be his next conquest.

Ships from Orion Enterprises land at spaceports all over Earth, each containing vicious animals from the Hunter's private zoo. When the time is right, the Hunter issues a threat to the Legion by forming words in the sky. The heroes on duty at the Clubhouse, Superboy, Invisible Kid, Chameleon Boy, Karate Kid, Ultra Boy, and Shrinking Violet, fly over the city but fail to discover the source of the threat. The Hunter then has his animals released, and as they swarm over Metropolis, the heroes do their best to stop them. The Hunter appears, offering to halt the stampede if the Legionnaires will surrender to him. Since their efforts to quell the beasts have failed, the heroes reluctantly agree, and watch in amazement as he stops the creatures with a simple spoken command.Reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Detective Comics #365

Detective Comics #365 (On Sale: May 31, 1967) has a really fun cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.

"The House the Joker Built" is by John Broome, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella. The Joker begins selling Joker merchandise and competing against Batman. When the Caped Crusaders arrive to battle him, the Joker intentional stages fights with them. The villain is capturing the fights on camera and selling the program to the underworld. Batman is lured into a trap. Cool cover, stupid story.

The Elongated Man back-up "The Crooks Who Captured Themselves" is by Gardner Fox and Sid Greene. The Elongated Man witnesses two thieves robbing a coin shop. He tries to apprehend them, but soon discovers that when using his powers, his own limbs do not obey him. Instead of stopping the crooks, he stops the police.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Action Comics #352

Action Comics #352 (On Sale: May 31, 1967) has a rather pedestrian cover by Curt Swan and George Klein.

Inside we continue last month's story with, "The Victory of Zha-Vam" by Otto Binder and Wayne Boring. Superman puts on a demonstration of his powers for a charity benefit. Zha-Vam interrupts the performance and challenges Superman. Using the magic powers of his belt, Zha-Vam turns Superman to stone. The Man of Steel is eventually able to free himself, but not before being humiliated.

Another challenge of Zha-Vam causes a massive blackout for which Superman is blamed. Finally the Man of Steel tries to attack Zha-Vam's Achilles heel. His foe expected the attack and covered the heel with Kryptonite. Superman is once again defeated, and left to wonder how he will ever defeat Zha-Vam.

Last month Jimmy Olsen married Supergirl and this month "Jimmy Olsen's Two Brides" by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and Stan Kaye and is again reprinted from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #57. In this "imaginary tale" Jimmy returns to Midvale Orphanage where he once stayed while he had amnesia. There, he meets Linda Lee while displaying his trophies. Linda becomes exposed to Red Kryptonite, causing her to lose her powers and memories of her life as Supergirl. She and Jimmy then fall in love and get married.

When Linda’s memories return, she reveals the existence of Supergirl to Jimmy. Jimmy keeps the secret, and Supergirl gets Jimmy to fall in love with her. Torn between the two women he loves, Jimmy vows never to see Supergirl again to be faithful in his marriage to Linda. Hmm, same synopsis as last issue...

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Strange Adventures #202

Strange Adventures #202 (On Sale: May 31, 1967) has a cool Carmine Infantino and George Roussos cover (no, not as good as last month's purple gorilla in a black and white pen-striped suit and polka-dot tie, but still pretty cool).

Inside we have "The Monster Maker of Madison Avenue" drawn by Joe Orlando and "The Hand of Doom" by Jim Mooney, a reprint from House of Secrets #1. Lastly we have "Robinson Crusoe of the Sky" by Otto Binder and Lee Elias.

Edited by Jack Schiff.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Green Lantern #54

Green Lantern #54 (On Sale: May 25, 1967) features a wild Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson cover. Nothing frightens small children as much as a guy in an iron lung!

"Menace in the Iron Lung" is by John Broome and Gil Kane. In it Hal Jordan is sent to investigate the insurance claim of Baron Tyrano, who claims that Green Lantern has damaged his property. When Hal approaches the area as Green Lantern he is attacked by a flying robot. When GL is hit, he is divided into two separate beings, Green Lantern and Hal Jordan.

Green Lantern is soon captured and taken prisoner, but Hal escapes. Tyrano, who is trapped in an iron lung, plans to switch bodies with GL. Somehow I kinda guessed that this one would not be reprinted anywhere.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Metamorpho #13

Metamorpho #13 (On Sale: May 25, 1967) features a Sal Trapani cover.

"The Return from Limbo" is by Bob Haney, Sal Trapani and Charles Paris. Continuing the story from Metamorpho #12, Metamorpho battles the Chemo-Robots of Franz Zorb for possession of a necleonic moleculizer. Despite his powers, Metamorpho is unable to maintain possession of the device when the robots attack him. After Zorb and the robots escape with the device, Metamorpho returns to Stagg's lab with Simon.

When they arrive at the lab, Metamorpho discovers that Element Girl who had been comatose has disappeared. He tracks her down, but Element Girl fights him and joins Zorb. Reprinted in Showcase Presents:Metamorpho Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #103

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #103 (On Sale: May 25, 1967) has a Curt Swan and George Klein cover. It's another one of those "I gotta find out what is going on" covers.

Inside we have "The Murder of Clark Kent" by Leo Dorfman and Pete Costanza. Jimmy Olsen is taken prisoner by a gang of crooks led by Maximo. The crooks try to brainwash Jimmy in order to get him to kill Superman. For his first assignment, Jimmy is forced to steal secret information from Clark Kent's desk. When Clark catches him, Jimmy shoots Clark with a shock gun. Jimmy then believes that he is a murderer.

Jimmy rejoins the crooks and helps lure Superman into a Kryptonite trap.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Showcase #69

Showcase #69 (On Sale: May 18, 1967) has a Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito Maniaks cover. The large diamond from this cover ended up as a paper weight Silver Shannon used as Josiah Power's secretary decades later in The Power Company.

This, the Maniaks' second outing in Showcase is a story in three parts, "Poor Richard's Maniak," "Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Dough," and "If You're Going to Trot Down the Bridal Path, You Need a Groom," by E. Nelson Bridwell, Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Plastic Man #5

Plastic Man #5 (On Sale: May 23, 1967) has a cover by Carmine Infantino and Mike Esposito.

Inside we have "The 1,001 Plas-Sassins" by Arnold Drake and Winslow Mortimer.The Society to Assassinate Plastic Man offers a five million dollar reward for the death of Plastic Man. Many assassins try to earn the reward including international criminals Jean Le Feet, Reginald Ratfinque, and Ivan Byturnozov. Although Plas escapes the various dangers, he becomes annoyed by the constant threats.

Plastic Man disguises himself as a criminal called the Assassin and stages his own death.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Girls' Romances #126

Girls' Romances #126 (On Sale: May 23, 1967) has a very mod cover by Tony Abruzzo. Roy Lichtenstein directly lifted panels from issues of Girls' Romances by Abruzzo for some of his works. God I hate Roy Lichtenstein!

Inside we begin with "You Can't Run Away from Love" drawn by Jack Sparling, followed by "Believe Me, Beloved" penciled by Arthur Peddy and reprinted from Secret Hearts #67. Lastly is our cover story "Afraid to Love" drawn by Tony Abruzzo.

Edited by Barbara Friedlander.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back-Filling to the Beginning of 1967

As I have time I am back-filling comics to the beginning of the year, so that this site will be the complete run of DC from January 1967 forward. So, don't just look at today's comics. There are more being added to previous dates.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Inferior Five #3

Inferior Five #3 (On Sale: May 18, 1967) has a cool Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito cover featuring the Five and Darwin of the Apes!

"Darwin of the Apes" is written by E. Nelson Bridwell and drawn by Mike Sekowsky. The CIA contact the Inferior Five to help locate Dr. Livingroom, who vanished in the Congo in 1960. The famed Darwin of the Apes will be their guide. They use their new Inferiplane to fly to his home. They are surprised to find that Darwin is a refined gentlemen, now called John Claypool, Lord Gravestone. His wife Jayne helped with his return to civilized ways. When questioned about their youthful appearance, Darwin explains that he was given eternal youth by a witch-doctor, then he later picked up immortality pills for his wife and friends. Darwin and the Inferior Five finally locate and rescue Dr. Livingroom from Oompah, a lost colony of Atlantis.

Edited by Jack Miller.

House of Mystery #168

House of Mystery #168 (On Sale: May 18, 1967) has a Dial H for H.E.R.O. cover by Jim Mooney.

"The Marauding Moon Man" is the Dial H for H.E.R.O. story written by Dave Wood and drawn by Jim Mooney. In it Thunderbolt chief Erick Bolton aka Mr. Thunder escapes from prison. A lab accident gives Bolton new powers derived from the moon. As Moon Man he puts together a gang and returns to crime. Robby Reed uses his H-Dial to become the Hoopster and battle the Moon Man. The two opponents are evenly matched, until Moon Man is supercharged by exposure to moonlight and escapes.

The back-up feature is "Thantos -- the 3-in-1 Man" starring the Martian Manhunter and it's by Jack Miller and Joe Certa. Zook witnesses a bank robbery in the town of Woodsville committed by a strange alien creature named Thantos. Thantos is working with a group of Earth criminals. Zook destroys their car, but Thantos flies them to safety. 3000 miles away the Martian Manhunter hears about the robbery. Since Vulture has been inactive recently, he decides to return to America to investigate.

During J'onn's first encounter with Thantos, the alien splits into three beings and escapes. Zook then tracks down the Earth criminals and learns that Thantos is from another dimension and needs several items in order to remain in this dimension.

Edited by Jack Schiff.

Secret Hearts #121

Secret Hearts #121 (On Sale: May 18, 1967) has a really uninspired cover by Jay Scott Pike. Surprising considering how wonderful his recent covers had been.

Inside we have "Two Hearts on a Tree" drawn by the same Jay Scott Pike, "There Goes My Heart" inked by Bernard Sachs and "Reach For Happiness, Episode 12."

As usual with a lot of the romance books, there is not a lot of information.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Superboy #140

Superboy #140 (On Sale: May 18, 1967) sports a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein.

"The Wizard of Odds" is written by Jim Shooter, penciled by Al Plastino and inked by George Klein. Crime boss and gambler Lucifer Chancel sets up operations in Smallville. He invites underworld gangsters to bet on various situations with which he creates for Superboy. The Boy of Steel must stop the Gambler's men on several occasions and evade traps set for him. The Gambler's luck seems to hold until Superboy tricks the gangster and shakes his confidence.

The backup story is "Beware the Mad Dog of Steel" written by Otto Binder, penciled by George Papp and inked by Frank Springer. While playing tag with Krypto, Superboy discovers a space capsule containing vials on Kryptonian diseases. Krypto is accidentally exposed to Kryptonian rabies. Superboy must flee, since Krypto's bite is now deadly to him. Krypto chases him and manages to bite Superboy's foot before the rabies wears off.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Teen Titans #10

Teen Titans #10 (On Sale: May 16, 1967) has a nice Nick Cardy cover with some great biker action, which is once again marred by Go-Go Checks and ugly logos. Also, the coloring adds nothing to this guy. Jim Smith on the DC History Yahoo group wondered why Kid Flash couldn't keep up. I wonder why, if you were as fast as he is, you would bring up the rear where you had to choke down all that dust!

Inside we have "Scramble at Wildcat" by Bob Haney, Irv Novick and Nick Cardy. Robin and the Titans attend a bike rally in the oil ghost-town of Wildcat, only to be ambushed, one-by-one, by the Scorcher and his outlaw cycle gang, the Bike Buzzards, during the race. The Buzzards loot the surrounding area and take over Wildcat as their base.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Young Love #62

Young Love #62 (On Sale: May 16, 1967) has a very nice cover by persons unknown this is terrific emotional artwork. I love the way they were not afraid to do these really big emotional faces on the romance comics back then. Great stuff!

Inside we have "Winner Take All" drawn by Bill Ely, "Why Did You Leave Me?," a partially redrawn reprint from Secret Hearts #54 by Tony Abruzzo, and "Hands Off Love" by persons unknown.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #75

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #75 (On Sale: May 11, 1967) features a Kurt Schaffenberger cover.

"The Lady Dictator" is by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger. In it a criminal called the Maestro uses a device to gain mental control over Superman. The device fails, but it does leave Superman with amnesia. Seeking to capitalize on the situation, the Maestro kidnaps Lucy Lane and her parents. He then forces Lois to work for him.

Lois finds Superman and tells him that he is really a criminal. Without his memory the Man of Steel doesn't know the truth, but he trusts Lois. The Maestro then sets up Lois as a South American dictator known as General Tigre.

With Lois's help, the Maestro plans to take over a country. Via Lois, he forces Superman to activate a weapon to destroy the rebel army that opposes him.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Girls' Love Stories #128

Girls' Love Stories #128 (On Sale: May 11, 1967) has an odd Jay Scott Pike cover. Odd hair anyway for Pike.

Inside we begin with "My Past Ruined My Future" of which I know nothing. It is followed by "Follow Your Heart" drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs. Lastly is our cover story "Girl Loves Boy -- Boy Loves Girls" drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Our Fighting Forces #108

Our Fighting Forces #108 (On Sale: May 11, 1967) has an interesting Irv Novick cover. Big hands abound, which is not at all typical of Novick's work. I know that the DC editors were being told to make the books look more like Marvel's comics and I wonder if this overly exaggerated anatomy was an attempt to make the art look more like Jack Kirby, who was a mainstay on the Marvel covers at this time and known for over-extending foreshortening in order to juice up the dramatic impact.

Inside we have Lt. Hunter's Hellcats in "Kill the Wolf Pack" by Robert Kanigher and Jack Abel.

Lt. Hunter's Hellcats were DC's answer to The Dirty Dozen. In the early 1940s, the United States Army chose a former homicide detective named Ben Hunter to lead a new Special Forces team to fight the threat of the Axis powers. Unlike more conventional military units like Easy Co. or the Haunted Tank, Lt. Hunter's team was considered an expendable party. He culled his soldiers from the riff raff of an army prison stockade – all of whom had served time as hardened criminals in their civilian life. Among his recruits was the excessively violent Brute, a con-man who appropriately took to calling himself Snake-Oil, a revenge-crazed soldier from the Woman's Army Corps named Heller, a pick-pocket named Light Fingers, a former acrobat named Juggler and several others.

The backup story is "Flying Jeep" a reprint from Our Army At War #47 by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Batman #193

Batman #193 (On Sale: May 9, 1967), AKA 80 Page Giant #G-37 has a cover made up of panels for different stories by Sheldon Moldoff, Winslow Mortimer, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris. The theme of this one is "Batman and Robin's Bizarre Action Roles!"

We start off with "Ride, Bat-Hombre, Ride" (love that title) from Batman #56 by David V. Reed, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris.

It is followed by "The Armored Batman" from Batman #111 by Edmond Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye. In it a man named Blair Graeme makes several threats against Batman. When the Caped Crusader learns of the threats, he and Robin show up in armored suits without explanation. Vicki Vale tries to discover why Batman fears Graeme so much.

Next is "His Majesty, King Batman" from Batman #96 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. Batman and Robin guard the visiting King of Norania and the crown jewels. Batman and the king swap identities to fool the thieves who are trying to steal the jewels. Batman inspects the jewels and learns they are fakes. He suspects the king’s advisors, but continues the impersonation.

Next is a real oddity, "Holy Smoke" by Bill Finger, Jack Burnley and Charles Paris which originally appeared as a Sunday newspaper strip from January 7, 1945-February 17, 1945.

That is followed by "Batman and the Vikings" from Batman #52 by (someone signing the name of) Bob Kane and Charles Paris. A carving is found by archaeologists which dates back to the age of Vikings. A Viking warrior is depicted in the carving who looks identical to Bruce Wayne. Bruce decides to investigate the mystery and gets Professor Nichols to send him back in time.

Next we have "Mayor Bruce Wayne" from Detective Comics #179 by David V Reed, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris.

And finally we end with "The Flying Batman" from Batman #82 by David V Reed, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye. Batman and Robin are brought to the Lost Valley of the Bird-Men by a flying man with wings. The man and the inhabitants of the valley ask Batman's assistance to defeat the Gravio Clan, a winged family of tyrants. Batman agrees to help. He is given wings via a surgical procedure that enables him to fly.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #101

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #101 (On Sale: May 9, 1967) has a strange Bob Oksner cover. What is strange about it is that Oksner did the cover and not the interior artist.

Inside we have "Jerry the Astronut" written by Arnold Drake and drawn by Neal Adams. This is Neal's first book-length story for DC and only his second piece of comic book work at DC (Neal did a three-month stint at Archie a few years earlier and had also just started doing work for the Warren horror magazines, Eerie and Creepy). Given that he came from the Ben Casey strip, Jerry Lewis seems like a strange book to be doing. I found this in an interview with Adams.
"...that (Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope) was my best money in comic books. I could pencil ten pages in a day. I could ink ten pages in a day. And when I did the realistic stuff I only did two pages a day so there was no comparison. It was the best money I could make but that wasn't really what I wanted to do."
I've never seen the Jerry Lewis work Neal did, but I own most of the Bob Hope stuff. I'll show some interior pages when we get to that next month. It's interesting stuff.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Blackhawk #234

Blackhawk #234 (On Sale: May 9, 1967) as usual has a cover by Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera.

Inside we have "The Terrible Twins" by Bob Haney, Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius breaks the chains which bind two twin giants together. The evil twin, Rufo, leaves the mountain and joins an international criminal known as the Leopard.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are trying to smuggle a missile locator system into an enemy nation. The device is stolen by Rufo and taken to the Leopard. The criminal negotiates a trade with Blackhawk for a short range force field developed by the United States known as Sagitarius.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Wonder Woman #171

Wonder Woman #171 (On Sale: May 4, 1967) has a Ross Andru and Mike Esposito cover.

Inside we have "Terror Trap of the Demon Man-Fish" by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. After visiting Mouse Man in prison and trying to get her former foe to reform, Wonder Woman visits Paradise Island. While participating in several contest with her fellow Amazons, Wonder Woman is attacked by a giant Man-Fish. The creature snares her in a net and tries to make the Amazon part of his mermaid aquarium.

The backup story "Menace of the Mouse Man" is also by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. When Wonder Woman returns from her visit to Paradise Island, she learns that Mouse Man has escaped from prison. The criminal quickly goes to work on several robberies. Wonder Woman baits Mouse Man with a jewel exhibit hoping to capture her foe when he shows up. However, the diminutive criminal is prepared for the Amazon and captures her with her own magic lasso.

Edited by Robert Kanigher

Falling In Love #92

Falling In Love #92 (On Sale: May 4, 1967) features a fair cover by person or persons unknown. Actually, the background looks like Colletta inks, but the figure in the foreground does not. Perhaps this was a composite cover.

Inside we have "I Wanted Them Both" (I've certainly had that problem from time to time), "So Many Souvenirs," a reprint from Secret Hearts #71 and "The Secret in My Past." What I know about these stories is what they were entitled and that they were in this book, other than that I am clueless.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Superman #198

Superman #198 (On Sale: May 4, 1967) sports a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein. Whenever I would see a cover like this, I always suspected one of the Clarks was a robot, or a guy from the bottled city of Kandor, or Batman dressed up as Clark for one reason or another. This story uses none of these standard Weisinger cliches.

"The Real Clark Kent" is by Cary Bates and Al Plastino and is Bates' first Superman story. A bearded and beaten Clark Kent stumbles into the office of the Daily Planet where another Clark Kent is working. The bearded Kent uses an x-ray gun to reveal the other Clark's costume under his clothes. The bearded Clark claims that Superman had imprisoned him and taken his place as Clark Kent.

The backup story is "The Fate of the Super-Super-Superman" also written by Cary Bates and drawn by Curt Swan and George Klein. In it Superman responds to a distress call from an alien brain creature who has been trapped by a mutated tree root. Superman rescues the brain, which claims to be of a superior race. Before it disappears back into space, it provides Superman with additional super power.

With his enhanced strength and power, Superman is unable to control himself. He causes damage to everything he touches.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Aquaman #34

Aquaman #34 (On Sale: May 2, 1967) has a nice cover by Nick Cardy.

Inside we have "Aquabeast the Abominable" by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. While diving near his yacht millionaire Peter Dudley accidentally snares Mera in a net. Dudley falls in love with Mera, but realizes that Aquaman stands in his way. He pays Dr. Hans Ludorf to alter his appearance to match that of the Sea King. Unfortunately, the procedure goes awry transforming Dudley into a mutant Aquabeast.

Aquabeast soon invades Atlantis and kidnaps Mera. With superior strength granted him as a result of the transformation, Aquabeast also defeats Aquaman. As he flees the city with Mera in tow, Aquabeast runs into a race of demonoids which attack him.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Tomahawk #111

Tomahawk #111 (On Sale: May 2, 1967) has arather lack-luster Bob Brown cover.

Inside we have Tomahawk in "Vengeance of the Devil-Dogs" written by France Herron and pencilled and inked by Bob Brown.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Our Army at War #182

Our Army at War #182 (On Sale: May 2, 1967) has another great Russ Heath "Sgt. Rock" cover.

Inside we have "The Desert Rats of Easy" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath featuring "Sgt. Rock."

The real news here though is the backup story, "It's My Turn to Die," written by Howard Liss and introducing the Pulse-Pounding Penciling Wizardry of Neal Adams! DC Comics will never be the same. Over the next few years Neal will turn DC on its head, redefining comic book super-hero art forever. But it all started at DC right here, on a Bob Kanigher war book.

I just purchased a copy of this bood on ebay and thought I would share a bit of the history. Here is the first four pages of Neal Adams' first work at DC. Enjoy!

Edited by Robert Kanigher.