Friday, June 29, 2007

Aquaman #35

These are odd. Some of the September comics came out at the end of June, so here are some I previously missed...

Aquaman #35 (On Sale: June 29, 1967) has a nice cover by Nick Cardy. This issue of Aquaman features three "events." The first is the draining of the Atlantis dome, the second is the first appearance of Black Manta and the third is the last appearance of Storm and Sea Imp, Aquaman and Aqualad's giant sea horses. They were a big part of the Saturday morning Superman/Aquaman cartoon show, but from this point on in the comics, the wet ones just swam everywhere (and boy are their arms tired!).

Inside we have "Between Two Dooms" by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. Black Manta attacks Atlantis. When Aquaman leaves the city to fight him, he falls into a trap. Black Manta then poisons the dome protecting the city. As a result, Dr. Vulko is forced to pump all the water out of the city. Aquaman returns and decides to initiate Project X, which turns the Atlantean people into air breathers again.

Aquaman, Aqualad, Mera, and Aquababy are now the only water breathers in Atlantis. While outside the city, Mera and Aquababy are attacked by Black Manta. Aquababy is kidnapped, so Aquaman surrenders himself. Ocean Master is planning his own attack and sees Aquaman being taken captive. He intercedes and takes Aquababy himself. This ignites a duel between the two villains. Reprinted in DC Super Stars #7.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #77

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #77 (On Sale: June 29, 1967), AKA 80pg. Giant #G-39, features a Kurt Schaffenberger cover and follows the theme Lois' Greatest Shockers! The release date on this is highly suspect to me, as Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #76 went on sale two days earlier.

Inside we have "The Witch of Metropolis" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #1 by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger. Lois Lane is exposed to fumes from an experiment by Professor Jason. The fumes cause Lois to change into an old hag each night. Lois thinks she has become a witch, so she casts spells.

Next is "Lois Lane -- Convict" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #6 by Kurt Schaffenberger. Lois Lane takes a bribe from a mob boss. He wants her to hold off writing a story exposing him. She is forced to keep working for the mob when they blackmail Lois with a photo of her taking the bribe. Lois is eventually sent to prison for using marked money from a crime. Lois confesses to taking the bribes.

The mob springs Lois from jail and takes her to the mob leader, Baldy Pate. Pate forces Lois to tell him where the evidence she was going to expose is located.

Next we have "The Six Lives of Lois Lane" from Action Comics #198 by William Woolfolk, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. After Lois Lane witnesses Superman change into Clark Kent in front of a mirror, Lois’s mind goes into shock. For the next few days, Lois believes she is a different historical figure. Lois takes on the personas of Betsy Ross, Florence Nightingale, Annie Oakley, Madam Curie, Barbara Frietchie, and Queen Isabella of Spain. Superman seeks to restore Lois’s mind, but is fearful she will remember discovering his secret.

The next story is "The Mad Woman of Metropolis" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #26 by Kurt Schaffenberger. Lois Lane receives a tip to meet one of Clark Kent’s informants. When she arrives she is knocked unconscious. She revives, but Clark can not back up her story, so she thinks the bump on the head causes her imagination to go wild.

Later, Lois is convinced that she has unconsciously destroyed a Superman poster. Worried about her erratic behavior, Lois visits a psychiatrist who convinces her to read a book to take her mind off her problems. Lois feels better, but when Clark looks at the book it has blank pages.

Lois is convinced she has gone crazy, and a voice tells her to kill herself.

Next is "Lois Lane's X-Ray Vision" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #22 by Kurt Schaffenberger. Lois Lane’s sunglasses become exposed to some strange electrical energy which enables the wearer to gain x-ray vision. Lois uses the ability to get a scoop, but the new power allows her to see Superman’s costume under Clark Kent’s clothing. Superman learns of the ability of the enhanced glasses and arranges for Lois to lose them.

Later at the Daily Planet office, Superman, as Clark, pretends to have found them. Just as Lois begins accusing Clark of being Superman, an escaped con bursts in and shoots Clark.

Next we have "The Ghost of Lois Lane" from Superman #129 by Jerry Coleman, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. While Lois is in Professor Grail's laboratory covering a story, Superman uses his X-ray vision to find the Professor. His X-Ray vision sets off a machine that sends Lois into the 4th dimension. The machine explodes leading Superman to believe Lois is dead.

Every time Superman uses his X-ray vision he can now see Lois. He believes that Lois is haunting him because of what he did.

Next is "Lois Lane's Darkest Secret" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #25 by Kurt Schaffenberger. While trailing a movie actress, Lois Lane learns that the employees of a hair salon are using truth gas on their customers and then blackmailing them with their secrets. Lois contacts the actress, Sandra Thorne, and tries to catch the crooks in the act. However, they do not show up forcing Lois to return to the salon.

Lois undergoes the truth gas treatment, but she has taken the antidote. She tries to trick the blackmailers but they learn of her plot. The crooks gas her at her home and force her to reveal the existence of a Kryptonite meteor.

The final story is "The Fattest Girl in Metropolis" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #5 by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger. Lois is the only witness to a murder. She is unable to identify the killer from mug shots, so she fears he will come after her. While visiting Professor Colby, Lois is exposed to a growth ray that causes her to become fat. Lois is embarrassed by her weight and avoids Superman.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Superboy #140

Superboy #141 (On Sale: June 29, 1967) sports a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein.

"No Mercy for a Hero" is written by Jim Shooter, penciled by George Papp and inked by Frank Springer. Ron-Avon from the aggressor world Belgor comes to Earth to challenge Superboy. If the Boy of Steel refuses to meet the challenge or loses, Ron-Avon threatens to turn the residents of Smallville into lifeless metal. Superboy agrees to the challenge and bests the alien boy in two out of three challenges.

After losing the contest, Ron-Avon pleads for Superboy to kill him. When the Boy of Steel refuses, he learns that the boy's parents will be killed by the rulers of his world unless Superboy kills Ron-Avon.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Our Army at War #184

Our Army at War #184 (On Sale: June 29, 1967) has a bland "Sgt. Rock" cover by Joe Kubert. In the future Kubert would never have picked such a lack-luster angle and would have greatly increased the drama in this, what should be, riveting scene. This is the second issue of Our Army at War to be released this month.

Inside we have "Candidate for a Firing Squad" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert featuring "Sgt. Rock."

The backup story "Invasion Beach Taxi" is a reprint from Our Army at War #44 by Bob Haney and Russ Heath.

Edited by Robert Kanigher

Detective Comics #366

Detective Comics #366 (On Sale: June 29, 1967) has a cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. One interesting aspect of Detective at this time was the way Fox and Broome traded off series each month.

"The Round-Robin Death Threats" is by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene. Bruce Wayne receives a letter ordering him to perform a simple task at a specified time. To ensure the order is carried out, the letter is sealed with a special gas that not only forces Bruce to obey, but also to keep him from talking about it. Despite his best efforts to stop the compulsion Batman complies with the order to tell Commissioner Gordon to turn on his radio at a specified time.

However, Robin has noticed Batman's behavior and reconstructed the letter. He arrives in time to stop Gordon from turning on the radio that was rigged to kill him. Gordon then enters a trance, just like the one affecting Bruce. Batman and Robin follow and prevent Gordon from triggering the death of John Kobler.

Kobler then goes into a trance too, nearly triggering the death of sportswriter Fred Tinney. Then Tinney goes into a trance as well. Batman and Robin have stopped each death, but Tinney gets away. Batman returns to the Batcave knowing that Bruce Wayne is the target, but he is unable to tell Robin due to the compulsion. Instead he writes a will for Robin that contains a clue to the connection between himself and the other potential murder victims. Reprinted in Batman #262

The Elongated Man back-up "Robber Round-Up in Kiddy City" is by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene. Sue Dibny witnesses a suspicious man at a car rental agency. She forces her husband to investigate though Ralph suspects the man is an ordinary salesman. Sue forces Ralph to follow the man to a museum, where a robbery is in progress. The crooks escape in the salesman's car, leading Sue to conclude that her suspicions were correct.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #359

Adventure Comics #359 (On Sale: June 29, 1967) has a real Curt Swan and George Klein cover this time out.

Inside "The Outlawed Legionnaires" is by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and George Klein. The entire Legion is away from Earth on various missions. Whey they return, a Science Police squadron escorts their cruisers to Metropolis Spaceport, where they are informed that their club has been disbanded by the United Planets Council. The heroes find their Clubhouse barricaded, and are thrown into jail for violating a curfew.

Duo Damsel's parents bail her out and tell her that the President of Earth has died in a road accident, and has been succeeded by Kandro Boltax, the Vice-President, who has brought in an entirely new cabinet. His first bill, for a new water purification plant, was passed, and his second one, to outlaw the Legion, was also approved some days later.

Duo Damsel informs her comrades of all this, and the Legionnaires gather in front of the Metropolis Midtown Terminal the next day. There Dream Girl predicts that a monotrain will fall, and the heroes, Colossal Boy, Superboy, Mon-El, Element Lad, Light Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Saturn Girl, and Ultra Boy, go into action to save it when the disaster happens seconds later. However, disguised Science Police officers arrest the group, who are sentenced by a judge to hard labor on Takron-Galtos, the prison planetoid.

The remaining Legionnaires, who are forbidden to use their powers or wear their costumes, are later attacked by a group of young toughs. Princess Projectra, the one member with the political influence to resolve their plight, is injured in the fight.

Later, Invisible Kid finds that his parents have attached a bugging device to his view-phone. Shocked, he resorts to his secret communicator and contacts Brainiac 5, who suggests that everyone on Earth is being controlled, and that their benefactor, R.J. Brande, is their only chance.

On Takron-Galtos, the imprisoned boy Legionnaires are forced to labor in a jewel mine, while the girls work in a laundry. Saturn Girl's powers have told her the truth of the situation on Earth, but an invisible barrier stops her thoughts from leaving the planetoid.

When the free members call on R.J. Brande, he refuses to listen, and summons his guards. The heroes fight their way out, but Lightning Lad, Duo Damsel, Sun Boy, and Cosmic Boy are injured and left behind in the melee, while the others reconnoiter in an underground sewer. There they vow to form a secret resistance movement to discover the person behind all this. Reprinted in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #238 and Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 7 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #353

Action Comics #353 (On Sale: June 29, 1967) has Wayne Boring's last cover for DC, and in fact, only his second cover in the past 10 years. Boring's style never quite left the 40s and 50s. Starting with DC in 1940, he drew these chunky characters with their rigid torsos that just oozed old "gone but not forgotten" DC clunk. Pencils by Wayne Boring, inks by George Klein.

Inside we continue last month's story with, "The Battle of the Gods" by Otto Binder and Wayne Boring. While returning to Earth after a mission in space Superman is blocked by his enemy Zha-Vam. Zha-Vam uses the shield of Orion to prevent Superman's passage back to Earth. The Man of Steel circumvents the obstruction by traveling back in time to the days of the Greek gods. He visits Mount Olympus and discovers Zha-Vam's origins.

The Oracle has told Zeus that one day the gods will be forgotten and Superman will be hailed by the people. Angry, Zeus orders the construction of a pseudo-man powered by the gods themselves. He then sends the newly created being, Zha-Vam, into the future to battle Superman.

The back-up Supergirl story is "The Cosmic Collectors" by Otto Binder and Jim Mooney. Linda Danvers takes a part time job a the school library where she discovers Joe Trent checking out several science books. When he returns the next day for more books, Linda becomes suspicious. She watches him take the books to an alien spacecraft.

The following day, Linda intercepts Joe and takes the books to the ship as Supergirl. Inside the ship she finds a group of disembodied brains that form the Living Library of Zorkia. They are traveling the universe absorbing knowledge to take back to their home planet.

The brains then want to use Supergirl in their living library. When she refuses, the brains stun her with Kryptonite. They then force her super brain to absorb all the stored knowledge and take her to their homeworld. Supergirl is then forced to serve as a living library for the people of Zorkia.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Girls' Love Stories #129

Girls' Love Stories #129 (On Sale: June 27, 1967) has a wonderful Jay Scott Pike cover.Apparently he brought her there to put on a show; it is a convertible after all!

Inside we begin with "I Came to Say Goodbye" which is penciled by Arthur Peddy. It is followed by "So Little to Ask" drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs. Lastly is our cover story "Love Was a Lie" drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #76

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #76 (On Sale: June 27, 1967) features a Kurt Schaffenberger cover.

"The Demon in the Bottle" is by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger. While surfing, Lois Lane discovers a genie in a bottle. Lois releases the genie and uses his powers to help attract Superman. Lana soon discovers the genie and also begins using him to gain Superman's affections. Neither girl realizes that the genie is really a Kandorian named Vitar who has fallen in love from afar with both girls. He has enlarged himself and pretended to be a genie in order to be close to the girls and choose between them.

When the girls find themselves in peril, Vitar comes to their rescue dressed as Superman. However, the real Man of Steel arrives and forces Vitar to admit his true purpose. Lois and Lana then agree to accompany Vitar back to Kandor to see if they would like it there enough to stay and become Vitar's wife. Those "LL" girls must be really hot to have all these aliens falling in love with them!

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Strange Adventures #203

Strange Adventures #203 (On Sale: June 27, 1967) has a fairly ugly Carmine Infantino and George Roussos cover.

Inside we have "The Winged Beasts of Nightmare Swamp" (great title!) drawn by Lee Elias and "The Split Man" drawn by Jack Sparling.

Edited by Jack Schiff.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Brave and the Bold #73

Brave and the Bold #73 (On Sale: June 22, 1967) has a really weird cover by Carmine Infantino and Charles Cuidera featuring Aquaman and the Atom.

Inside we have Aquaman and the Atom in "Galg the Destroyer" by Bob Haney and Sal Trapani. Aquaman and Aqualad battle a group of undersea raiders only to watch them disappear from sight. Aquaman suspects that they may have shrank into a droplet of water, so he gathers the nearby water droplets and takes them to Atlantis. When scientist Dr. Vulko is able to identify the droplet containing the raiders, Aquaman summons help in the form of the Atom.

Before the Atom arrives, Aquaman is hit by a beam that shrinks him and transports him to the droplet world. Atom is then forced to enter the droplet to save Aquaman. Inside he finds an evil and intelligent plankton creature called Galg who is in charge of the raiders.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Heart Throbs #109

Heart Throbs #109 (On Sale: June 22, 1967) has another very nice cover by Jay Scott Pike.

Inside we begin with "Sweet Mystery of Love" drawn by Jay Scott Pike, followed by "Plan for Heartbreak" a reprint from Falling In Love #9 penciled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Bernard Sachs. Lastly is our cover story "3 Girls -- Their Lives...Their Loves, Episode 8" another strip drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Barbara Friedlander.

Metal Men #27

Metal Men #27 (On Sale: June 22, 1967) features a Ross Andru and Mike Esposito cover.

"The Startling Origin of the Metal Men" is by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, and that is about all I know of it.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Swing With Scooter #8

Swing With Scooter #8 (On Sale: June 22, 1967) has what looks to me like a Joe Orlando and Mike Esposito cover.

Inside we have "The Curse of the Far out Pharaoh!, or How We Became the First Bikini Sized Teenagers Because Sylvester is Such A Clumsy Dum-Dum!" where the gang get the shrinking treatment. Anyone have the Scooter books and want to take a guess at IDing the writers and artists?

Edited by Jack Miller.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Superman #199

Superman #199 (On Sale: June 20, 1967) sports a classic cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. I remember as a kid this was one of the classic questions: who was faster, Superman or the Flash? How could you pass up a comic that had them racing each other?

"Superman's Race with the Flash" is by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and George Klein. Superman and Flash are contacted by the United Nations to run a race for charity. Both men agree to the race which will consist of three laps around the world. The race requires each hero to follow a particular course with several obstacles along the way. Superman is also forbidden from flying.

Before the race begins two international criminal organizations gamble billions on the outcome with one group betting on Superman, the other betting on Flash. As the race is run, both groups set traps for the racers to ensure their man wins. Superman and Flash are both captured. Guest stars include Supergirl and the Justice League of America. This classic was reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-48.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Sugar and Spike #72

Sugar and Spike #72 (On Sale: June 20, 1967) has a cover by Sheldon Mayer.

Inside we have "Bernie the Brain" written and drawn by Sheldon Mayer. This, the introduction of Bernie the Brain, was a popular story, being reprinted in Sugar and Spike #85 and Best of DC #65.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Falling In Love #93

Falling In Love #93 (On Sale: June 20, 1967) features a cover attributed to Jay Scott Pike, but it doesn't look like Pike to me. This might be an interior panel blown up and it might be Pike with an inker.

Inside we have two stories by persons unknown: "He Only Used My Love" and "Tomorrow is Never," the latter a reprint from Secret Hearts #44 with partially redrawn artwork to update the clothes and hair. Lastly we have our cover-story "Don't Fall in Love with Me" which is penciled by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Star Spangled War Stories #134

Star Spangled War Stories #134 (On Sale: June 15, 1967) has another great Russ Heath "War That Time Forgot" cover. The color is a little bland, but the visual is terrific. It had been four years since PT109 starring Cliff Robertson has come out, but I think PT boats still had a "cool factor" for quite a while. Nice Crocosaur by Heath too!

Inside we have "The Killing Ground" by Robert Kanigher and Neal Adams featuring "War That Time Forgot." This story was reprinted in 1973 in G.I. War Tales #2 which also used the same Russ Heath cover but with much worse coloring (the Crocosaur was purple!).

The backup story is "Ace of the Death Cloud" by Howard Liss and Jack Abel.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Fox and the Crow #105

Fox and the Crow #105 (On Sale: June 15, 1967) has a Stanley and his Monster cover most likely by Winslow Mortimer. At least from the covers this series looks sorta fun, and with Arnold Drake writing it, I sure it had a lot of humor.

Inside we have a Stanley and his Monster story, "The Monster Who Went to School" by Arnold Drake and Winslow Mortimer.

It is followed by "A Planned Vacation" and a titleless story from persons unknown. Both of these are Fox and Crow stories.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Justice League of America #55

Justice League of America #55 (On Sale: June 13, 1967) has what I remember as one of the coolest covers I had ever seen by Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson. Man I thought that adult Robin costume was so cool! I also think this is another example of DC artists trying to do a Jack Kirby. The dynamic pose, the extreme foreshortening on Robin's fist, the villain almost flying off the cover. DC covers were changing rapidly; my golden age was arriving!

Inside we have the cover story "The Super-Crisis That Struck Earth-Two" by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Sid Greene. In the yearly Justice League/Justice Society cross-over, there are four black spheres, life-forms from another universe, which are absorbed into the bodies of four humans of Earth-2, granting them super-powers but also turning them evil. United to battle them are the members of the Justice Society of America, including new member Robin, now an adult crimefighter.

He and Wildcat team up against Martin Baxter, an embittered former ballplayer intent on destroying sports arenas, Wonder Woman battles Claire Morton, a stenographer with a love for gems, Hawkman and Mr. Terrific battle Horace Rowland, businessman-turned-criminal, and Hourman fights Chinese bandit How Chu.

When the JSA is defeated, late arrival Johnny Thunder sends his magic Thunderbolt after the villains, but he too meets defeat. Johnny then summons members of the Justice League of Earth-1 for aid, only to find them engaged in a similar case with no results. Reprinted in the Justice League of America Archives Vol. 7 HC.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

World's Finest Comics #168

World's Finest Comics #168 (On Sale: June 13, 1967) has a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein. Strange that the Composite Superman is not featured or even mentioned on the cover.

Inside we have the cover story "The Return of the Composite Superman" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and George Klein. Xan, the son of a space criminal, travels to Earth to avenge his father who died in space prison after being captured by Superman and Batman. Xan duplicates the accident that turned Joe Meach into the Composite Superman by causing artificial lightning to strike a group of Legion statuettes in the Superman Museum. Joe once again becomes the Composite Superman with all the powers of the Legion.

Meach then attacks the World's Finest team. Superman manages to escape and follow clues in the Museum. He learns how his foe got his powers and who he really is. Batman also makes the deduction, but is captured along with Robin.

Superman consults briefly with the Adult Legion of Super-Heroes then returns to the present where he destroys the Legion statuettes. He then confronts Joe, but loses. This was reprinted in Super-Team Family #6.

The book has a Robotman back-up story, "The Testing of Robotman" by Jerry Coleman and Frank Bolle, which is reprinted from Detective Comics #176.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #104

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #104 (On Sale: June 13, 1967), also known as 80pg. Giant #G-38 has a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein and is themed Jimmy's Weirdest Adventures.

Inside we have "The Boy Who Hoaxed Superman" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #31 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Ray Burnley. Jimmy is upset that Perry White does not respect his reporting skills, so he pretends to allow himself to be frozen in ice for a thousand years. The deception is quickly discovered by Superman, who realizes Jimmy is trying to trick Perry.

Jimmy returns to the Daily Planet, disguised as Gilbert Knox. He takes Jimmy’s job and tries to become a flop as a reporter. Superman however ensures that Gilbert is a success. Perry promotes Gilbert to Jimmy’s dismay, but the boy reporter eventually realizes that he is getting what he wants after all as Gilbert instead of Jimmy.

Next is "The Super-Lad of Space" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #39 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and John Forte. Jimmy stows away on a space ship that lands on the distant planet of Zolium. The atmosphere on Zolium gives Jimmy powers similar to Superman’s. Jimmy becomes the planet’s super-hero, but he is unable to establish a secret identity because the citizens all recognize him. When Superman arrives to take Jimmy home, Jimmy learns that the Zolians could read his mind, which is what gave away his secret identity each time.

Next we have "The Wolf-Man of Metropolis" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #44 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Stan Kaye. Jimmy drinks a potion that Superman has found. The potion causes him to become a Wolf-Man at night. He is embarrassed by the dilemma, but is able to explain his appearance for three nights. Only the kiss of a beautiful girl can restore him to normal, but he is so ugly no one will kiss him.

The next story is "The Boy in Superman's Body" from Superman #111 (where it was called "The Non-Super Superman") by Otto Binder, Ruben Moreira and Al Plastino. Superman brings Jimmy a trophy he found on an alien world. The device switches Jimmy’s mind with Superman’s for 12 hours. During this time Jimmy uses his powers to make rescues, but he does not have the experience of Superman. When Jimmy finds Clark Kent’s clothes in the pouch of his cape and learns Superman’s secret identity, he reveals it to Lois.

Next is "The Giant Turtle Man" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #53 by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and John Forte. Jimmy discovers a strange chest on the beach which contains an enlarging ray. He accidentally hits a turtle with the ray and with the turtle acting as a filter, the ray strikes Jimmy as well. He is transformed into a giant turtle man and falls under the influence of Goxo, an Atlantean criminal who invented the growth ray.

Jimmy's next transformation is into "The Elastic Lad of Metropolis" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #37 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and George Klein.In the Daily Planet offices, Jimmy and Clark both accidentally drink a serum created by Professor Potter. The serum gives Jimmy the ability to stretch his body to great lengths, as he had done previously as Elastic Lad. Clark, being invulnerable, is not affected by the serum, leading his friends to suspect he is Superman.

Jimmy resumes his Elastic Lad identity and plays baseball with Superman. Later his face is covered with green paint. People nearby chase him, suspecting he is an alien. Jimmy gets away and cleans off the paint.

Next is "The Mystery of the Tiny Supermen" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #48 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and John Forte. While Superman is away, Jimmy is rescued by a group of tiny supermen called the Superman Emergency Squad. Jimmy is the only one around when they appear and Perry White believes they are only exist in Jimmy’s dreams.

The final story is "The Boy Witch Doctor" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #58 by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and George Klein. The staff of the Daily Planet travels to Meteor Island where a movie about the Jungle King is being filmed. Lucy Lane is playing the part of a jungle girl and is there as well. A local witch doctor, Mbongu, tries to chase the people away, but he takes ill. Jimmy enters his hut and discovers voodoo dolls. The boy reporter dresses as the witch doctor and is surprised to discover the voodoo dolls really work.

Jimmy is later confronted by the star of the movie who is really a wanted felon, Duke Brannigan. Brannigan forces Jimmy to use the voodoo magic on Superman which he does. Superman falls victim, while Duke reveals his identity to Jimmy.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Blackhawk #235

Blackhawk #235 (On Sale: June 13, 1967) as usual has a cover by Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera.

Inside we have "A Coffin for a Blackhawk" by Bob Haney, Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera. The Blackhawks try to complete a trade with an international criminal known as the Leopard. However, the Leopard's agent Rufo, an invulnerable giant takes off with the missile locator system that the Blackhawks want. The device is hidden inside a coffin, but the giant successfully escapes with it.

With the help of Rufo's twin brother Romulus, the Blackhawks track the thief through enemy territory. They find that Rufo has been captured by local authorities, so the team goes undercover to break him out. When they successfully free the giant, they learn that the coffin was lost prior to his capture.

The Blackhawks then join a traveling circus in disguise to look for the coffin. The Leopard has found it first and makes the trade with the Blackhawks for a force field device.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Friday, June 8, 2007

G.I. Combat #125

G.I. Combat #125 (On Sale: June 8, 1967) has a nice and dramatic, if not overly colorful cover by Russ Heath.

Inside we have "Stay Alive -- Until Dark" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath featuring the Haunted Tank. Going just by the title this story sounds like a "reversed ticking clock."

A "ticking clock" is a plot device, used mostly in screenplays, to add tension and suspense to a story. Sometimes it is manifested in an actual "ticking clock," usually attached to a bomb and usuallly displayed in a red LED of ever decreasing numbers. The tension builds as the point of something bad happening rapidly approaches (the bomb is going to go off, the bad guys are going to ride into town at High Noon, etc.). A "reversed ticking clock" is just the opposite: bad things will continue to happen until a specific event occurs. In 3:10 To Yuma for example (remake starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe to arrive in October), rancher Dan Evans holding outlaw Ben Wade had to survive being attacked by Wade's gang until the 3:10 train to Yuma came into town. "Stay Alive -- Until Dark" sounds a lot like that.

The backup story is "Clay Pigeon Sub," a reprint from Our Army At War #47 by Bob Haney and Russ Heath.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Hawkman #21

Hawkman #21 (On Sale: June 8, 1967) features pretty cool Murphy Anderson cover.

"Attack of the Jungle Juggernaut" is by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson. In it Carter Hall and Ed Dawson return to Midway City, and he reminds Carter that the museum holds a duplicate of Mithra, which thousands have touched without incident. When Dawson touches it, however, he again becomes Lion-Mane. This time, smashing the meteorite does not return him to normal, and his new form will kill him unless Hawkman can prevent it.

Lion-Mane's rage, originally triggered by Katar mistreating another lion, is unleashed when a discotheque exhibits a caged lion, and Hawkman must prevent him from killing everyone inside. Hawkgirl joins him, as Lion-Mane vows that he must fulfill his destiny, and finds a third piece of the meteorite buried in a garden near a flower that a sick boy had been using as a sign of his health. With the meteorite gone, the flower begins to die, and the boy is certain he, too, will die, so Hawkman and Hawkgirl infuse radiation from their detectors, and bring the flower back to life.

Lion-Mane, meanwhile, seeks a fourth meteorite in order to gain invulnerability, and when he finds it, the heroes become sealed in a cave. Katar theorizes that the meteorites are actually alien missiles, intended to repopulate planets in the image of the lion-men who would kill other dominant life-forms. However, the first three missiles had been defective, unable to keep the Lion-Manes alive or give them their powers of conquest.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Young Romance #149

Young Romance #149 (On Sale: June 8, 1967) has a cover by persons unknown though I would guess Jay Scott Pike.

Inside we have "The Romance That Never Was," credits unknown. Next is "Stop-Over Love" a reprint from Secret Hearts #67 also with credits unknown. This if followed by "Miss America Teen-Ager," once again credits unknown. The issue ends with our cover story "I Need You" which is also with credits unknown.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Flash #172

Flash #172 (On Sale:June 6, 1967) features another amazing cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. Look at this and the Batman cover and you can see why DC would shortly put Carmine in charge of designing covers. Just a great, classic cover and once again, no damn Go-Go Checks to interfere with the purity of the art!

"Grodd Puts the Squeeze on Flash" is by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene. Flash discovers that the people of Central City have suddenly become possessed with super-speed. The city is also cut-off from the outside world by an impenetrable barrier. Flash then receives a telepathic message from Grodd, who claims responsibility for the situation. He blackmails Flash into freeing him from a cell in Gorilla City in order to remove the effect.

Flash reluctantly agrees to Grodd's conditions and releases the super-ape. This story was reprinted in Super-Heroes Battle Super-Gorillas #1

"The Machine-Made Robbery" is also by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene. Three crooks trick Professor West into giving them the use of a computer with which they use to plan a robbery. After lending them the machine, West remembers a detail that he forgot to mention. He is unable to contact the men, so he reaches the Flash for help. Flash finds the men and discovers their real intentions.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Batman #194

Batman #194 (On Sale: June 6, 1967) has a wonderful cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. No damn Go-Go Checks makes for plenty of room for Infantino to work his magic. Great work!

I also think this cover was Infantino's attempt at doing Jack Kirby. The DC editors were being told to make their books look more like Marvel comics and I think this cover was part of that attempt.

We start off with "The Blockbuster Goes Bat-Mad" by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella. Mark Desmond formerly known as Blockbuster has reformed and taken a job as a handyman at the Wayne Foundation. During a trip to a department store, Mark seems a Batman display which sets off an uncontrollable fit of anger. Mark soon reverts to his Blockbuster persona and goes on a rampage against anything and everything connected to Batman.

Batman is called to stop Blockbuster. In the past, Mark has calmed down when Bruce Wayne is present, so Batman unmasks. This time the strategy fails, and Blockbuster continues his rampage.

We end with "The Problem of the Proxy Paintings" also by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella. Martin Tellman contacts his friends in the Mystery Analysts club to help solve a mystery in which he possesses authentic paintings worth thousands of dollars instead of worthless copies. With Batman's help the Analysts discover that Tellman's wealthy friend Reginald Stonefellow switched the paintings. He gave Tellman the paintings as a gift, but Tellman wouldn't accept them if he didn't use the ruse.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Tales of the Unexpected #102

Tales of the Unexpected #102 (On Sale: June 6, 1967) has a cover by Carmine Infantino and George Roussos.

Inside we have "Bang! Bang! You're Dead" drawn by Lee Elias and our cover story "The World's Weirdest... Death Race," featuring the Green Glob, by Dave Wood and George Roussos. The final story is a reprint from House of Secrets #9, "The Doomsday Drum" written by Dave Wood and drawn by two Atlas/Marvel favorites, Joe Maneely and Joe Sinnott.

I've never heard of the Green Glob, but according to the DC User's Guide...

During their 3.5 billion year existence as the Guardians of the Universe, the immortals of Oa made a number of attempts to bring order and justice to the cosmos. The Manhunters, the Halla'S and the Green Lantern Corps were among their best known experiments.

A lesser known experiment was the creation of machines composed of a cohesive plasma with near limitless energy. Unlike the power rings of the Green Lantern Corps, the Oan machines do not require recharging. Odorless and intangible, the Oan creation was invisible except when seen in certain frequencies of green light. The Oan designation is unknown, the plasma became known simply as the "Green Glob."

These machines were released into space and had the ability to temporarily warp reality to "teach a lesson" to a specific individual. How or why the Green Globs choose a specific individual is unknown. The Green Globs feature a form of intelligence beyond the understanding of most sentients. There is no report of any additional Guardian involvement after the Green Globs were sent into space [Angel and the Ape Vol. 2 #3-4].

Unconfirmed reports place the Green Glob on Earth as early as 1966. The stories tell of an entity "spawned in the black reaches of outer space and invisible to human eyes...[having] drifted to Earth to use its incredible powers on man in mysterious ways" [Tales of the Unexpected #94].
Edited by Jack Schiff.

Doom Patrol #113

Doom Patrol #113 (On Sale: June 6, 1967) as usual has a cover by Bob Brown.

Inside we have the cover story "Who Dares to Challenge the Arsenal" by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani. The Doom Patrol matches wits with the Arsenal, a criminal whose mechanical body houses a multitude of super-weapons. The Chief, meanwhile, proves too busy to help his teammates, as he uses a secret device to reverse Madame Rouge's mental patterns, unaware that the Brain is using a similar device to strengthen her evil side at the same time.

The second story, "The Diamonds of Destiny," is also by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani. In this the continuation of the retelling of Beast Boy's origin, The young Gar Logan foils the plans of a pair of diamond thieves who form a temporary partnership with the unscrupulous witch-doctor of the nearby native tribe. Gar is kidnapped by the villains, however, who hope to exploit his powers to stage a robbery.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Thy Will Be Done!

And the multitude rose up and made their demands. And on high, the powers that be at DC Comics heard the clamoring throng and said, "It shall be done." And so it came to pass that the long nightmare known as the Go-Go Checks was ended.

And in answer to the question posed last week...The Adventures of Bob Hope #106 is the only Neal Adams DC Comics cover to contain the dreaded Go-Go-Checks! Over in the DC History Yahoo! Group, Joe Moore was the first to figure it out. Thanks for playing.

Tomorrow the Check-less covers begin!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Adventures of Bob Hope #106

Adventures of Bob Hope #106 (On Sale: June 1, 1967) has a nice cover by Neal Adams. This is Neal's first cover for DC; soon he would be doing 30-40% of the covers in a given month. But this cover is special, and not just because it is Neal's first cover. There is something else unique about this Adams cover, something that is different than all the other Adams covers at DC. Can you tell me what it is?

"Badger's Baby Brother -- Beastley" is written by Arnold Drake and drawn by Neal Adams. Now I've read the book, but I don't know who all these people are, so I'm a bit confused. I did find this on Wikipedia, which explained some of the characters:
Tadwallader Jutefruce is the meek and nerdy nephew of Bob Hope, and a student at Benedict Arnold High School (a school populated by Universal Horror-style monsters). Whenever he gets angry, mild-mannered Tadwallader turns into the super-powered Super-Hip. Super-Hip's outfit resembles a 1960s Carnaby Street Mod, complete with ruffled shirt, velvet jacket, and Chelsea boots (with winged ankles, similar to the Sub-Mariner). He also magically acquires an acoustic guitar. Tadwallader has no memory of his time as a superhero; the only one that knows of his secret identity is his pet dog, Harvard Harvard. Super-Hip's "battle-cry" was "Blech to Lawrence Welk!"

Super-Hip appeared regularly in The Adventures of Bob Hope from issue #95 until the title's final issue, #109 (February/March 1968). Super-Hip's sole non-Bob Hope appearance was in Doom Patrol vol. 1, #104 (June 1966), as a guest at the wedding of Elasti-Girl and Mento. The story was scripted by Arnold Drake.
Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

For those who wondered what Neal Adams' humor work looked like, take a gander:

Atom #32

Atom #32 (On Sale: June 1, 1967) has a cool, if not misleading, cover by Gil Kane.

Inside we have "The Up and Down Dooms of the Atom" by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene. Ray Palmer is struck by an experimental device that placed him is a state of paralysis. A side effect gives him limited telepathic abilities which enable him to pass a message to Jean Loring. Without her understanding, Ray gets her to activate the size controls on his invisible atom costume. Ray then shrinks out of sight.

At microscopic size, Ray regains the ability to move. However, he knows that if he returns to normal size, he will die.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Our Army at War #183

Our Army at War #183 (On Sale: June 1, 1967) has an interesting "Sgt. Rock" cover by Joe Kubert. The quality of the coloring is starting to pick up and Kubert is about to enter his loose, brushy period.

Inside we have "Sergeants Don't Stay Dead" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath featuring "Sgt. Rock."

The backup story is "Invisible Sniper," another team-up of Howard Liss and Neal Adams.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Challengers of the Unknown #57

Challengers of the Unknown #57 (On Sale:June 1, 1967) sports a Bob Brown cover.

"The Kook and the Kilowatt Killer" is by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown and that's all I know about it.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.