Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Strange Adventures #210

Strange Adventures #210 (On Sale: January 30, 1968) features a nice Deadman cover by Neal Adams.

"Hide and Seek" is by Jack Miller and Neal Adams. Deadman decides to check with the police department to find how the investigation of his murder is proceeding. He learns that Detective Michael Riley was assigned to his case, but the cop was fired after he was framed for beating up a suspect. He also learns that one of the witnesses to Riley's attack was a man with a hook.

Deadman takes control of Riley and tracks down witness Peter Bones, an ex-boxer. He gets Bones to confess to the frame job which was instigated by the Hook. Before Riley can summon help, Hook kills Bones and leaves town. Deadman finds evidence which clears Riley and a trail which shows that Hook may have gone to Mexico. Reprinted in Brave and the Bold #100 and Deadman #3.

The first back-up story is "Time-Traveling into the Past and Future," reprinted from Real Fact Comics #4 and drawn by the great science-fiction master Virgil Finlay.

The second back-up is "Designs for Disaster" drawn by Nick Cardy and reprinted from House of Secrets #19.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Detective Comics #373

Detective Comics #373 (On Sale: January 30, 1968) has Irv Novick's first Batman cover.

"Mr. Freeze's Chilling Deathtrap" is by Gardner Fox, Chic Stone and Sid Greene. Aunt Harriet must undergo lifesaving cryosurgery. However, the freezing machine the doctors are using malfunctions and must be replaced or Harriet will die within a few hours. Fortunately, Mr. Freeze, formerly Mr. Zero, possesses a cold gun that could help the doctors.

Batman and Robin track down Mr. Freeze. During the fight they take possession of the cold gun. Robin then takes the gun back to the hospital while Batman continues the fight. Mr. Freeze nearly kills Batman by freezing him, but the Caped Crusader uses a thermal unit to thaw out quickly.

The back-up Elongated Man story, "The Riddler on the Roof," is by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene. Elongated Man visits Gotham City and sees the Bat-Signal. He answers the signal hoping to meet Batman and Robin. Instead he meets Commissioner Gordon, who informs him that Batman is out of town, and that the signal was activated without his consent.

When Gordon and Ralph reach the roof, they discover a clue left by the Riddler. Elongated Man interprets the clue and finds the crook in the middle of a jewel robbery. Ralph defeats the Riddler just as Batman arrives, having returned to town.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #366

Adventure Comics #366 (On Sale: January 30, 1968) has what I thin is a pretty neat Neal Adams cover, though I find it pretty strange how much the Superboy figure on this cover is in almost the same position as the Superman figure on this week's Action Comics cover.

"The Fight for the Championship of the Universe" is by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and George Klein. Continuing from last issue, the Legionnaires are almost defeated by the Talokian army, until they accidentally smash the mind-control machine, whereupon the warriors stop fighting. The heroes then leave Talok to pursue the Fatal Five.

Meanwhile, traveling through space, the villains debate what to do now that they are free. Tharok threatens to turn Validus on the other three unless they obey him, and he outlines his plans. Later, in Metropolis, the Five wreak havoc throughout the city, decoying the police, and leaving Tharok free to attack the Presidential Palace. The Persuader similarly attacks the 30th century equivalent of the Pentagon, and before long Metropolis is under the evildoers' complete control.

The Five make their headquarters in the Presidential Palace, and when the Persuader complains to Tharok that the United Planets could attack soon, he responds by unveiling the Universal Weapons Control Panel, which controls every defensive weapon of every planet in the U.P., and which the Five can now control if they can gain the third of three control keys, which rests in the Legion Clubhouse.

The villains find the Clubhouse deserted, but when they attempt to break in, the five heroes who have returned from Talok VIII suddenly blast them back. Validus hurls a piece of pavement at them, and the Five fence them inside the Clubhouse with atomic barbed wire, demanding the third key, or their lives.

Deciding not to destroy the third key, the heroes make plans to "hold the fort" until help arrives. Suddenly, a blast nearly caves in the Clubhouse walls, and they realize that Validus, under Tharok's control, is blasting them with his mental lightning. Brainiac 5 hooks up his belt to the force blaster to project a force shield around the Clubhouse, and tends to Shadow Lass, who suffered a sprained arm and shock during this second attack.

Meanwhile, the Fatal Five fail to break through the force shield, and Tharok contacts the Legionnaires to offer an ultimatum: they must give the villains the key or they will destroy Metropolis. The heroes confer, and contact the villains to reject both terms; instead they offer a fight to the finish, winner take all. Shadow Lass offers to join, evening the sides, and is sworn in as a Legionnaire just before the battle begins.

The five villains pair off with their hero "victims" and quickly gain the upper hand, but Shadow Lass knocks out the Emerald Empress and casts a deep shadow over the area, which allows her comrades to escape. Just as the Fatal Five prepares to strike again, the U.P. forces finally arrive, and the villains escape in a swift Legion ship. Reprinted in DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #8 and Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 7 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #361

Action Comics #361 (On Sale: January 30, 1968) has an interesting Neal Adams cover. I like the Superman figure, but the Parasite figure looks a mite strange to me.

"The Power of the Parasite" is by Jim Shooter and Al Plastino; this is Plastino's last story for Action Comics after drawing for the book for 20 years. An alien geographer discovers a glowing space cloud near Earth. The cloud registers as a life form, so the alien brings it aboard his ship and restores the cloud to its former form, the Parasite. The villain quickly steals the alien's energy and returns to Earth.

The Parasite then takes a job in disguise at the Daily Planet as Larcon P. Leech. Having learned Superman's secret identity, the Parasite is able to get close to Clark Kent and slowly siphon off his powers.

The back-up is "Supergirl's Super-Date" by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger. Linda Danvers participates in a computer dating service at Stanhope College. Linda is matched with Duane Todd, another student on campus. As the couple begins dating, Linda becomes convinced that the boy possesses super powers and might be from Krypton.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Friday, January 25, 2008

World's Finest Comics #174

World's Finest Comics #174 (On Sale: January 25, 1968) features an interesting cover by Neal Adams.

"Secret of the Double Death-Wish" is by Cary Bates, Pete Costanza and Jack Abel. Superman and Batman respond to mental reports that the other hero is in trouble. When they arrive at the location given in the report the heroes enter a maze where they face several physical and psychological attacks. After these attacks, the heroes crack and give up their secrets to their captors. I'm not going to say any more about this story; it is one of those "you don't really know what is going on" plots that DC was so infamous for.

The back-up story, "Zero Hour in the Silent City," starring Green Lantern is reprinted from Green Lantern #12 and is by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella. Pieface, Green Lantern’s friend, begins keeping a case-book of Green Lantern’s exploits. In it, he records a recent adventure.

Hal Jordan is working on a technical problem involving stress on the wings of a new aircraft. Unable to come up with a solution, Hal decides to take some time off and relax. He attends a ballgame and enjoys a date with Carol Ferris. While on the date, he comes up with the solution to his problem. He heads back to the office right away to work on it. During the drive there, Hal remembers that he has forgotten to charge his ring, and it is almost out of power.

Suddenly, all sound in the city around him ceases and everything is quiet. Realizing that something strange is occurring, Hal changes to Green Lantern and investigates. With only a few moments of power in his ring, he tracks the source of the phenomenon to a super-sonic drill being used by some safe-crackers.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Justice League of America #61

Justice League of America #61 (On Sale: January 25, 1968) has a strange Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos cover.

"Operation:Jail the Justice League" is by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Sid Greene. Green Arrow discovers that Dr. Destiny is again impersonating a member of the Justice League, and pretends to quit the team in order to flush out the imposter. In independent efforts to discover the reason for Green Arrow's resignation, the other members (except Wonder Woman) disguise themselves as the archer. Each then encounters an arch-enemy, who defeats the hero, then changes appearances with him, so that the villains go free, while the police imprison the defeated heroes.

Actually, each of the villains is Dr. Destiny in a materioptikon-induced disguise. The real Green Arrow learns Destiny's plot, and is present as Oliver Queen to foil the villain's attack on the Atom. He then changes the JLA members back to their usual appearances, and has them released from jail.

Meeting at the Secret Sanctuary, the heroes are attacked by the villains who Destiny had impersonated: the Penguin, Dr. Light, Lex Luthor, the Tattooed Man, Cutlass Charlie, Captain Boomerang, Mr. I.Q., and Jason Woodrue. Reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-41 and Justice League of America Archives Vol. 8 HC.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Teen Titans #14

Teen Titans #14 (On Sale: January 23, 1968) has a very nice Nick Cardy cover, as they slowly age the Titans and make them a lot more serious (at least on the covers).

"Requiem for a Titan" is by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. The Gargoyle, a former Teen Titans foe who claims he was unjustly imprisoned by the team, sows the seeds of doubt in the minds of all but Robin, enabling him to banish them to the dimension of Limbo by means of his mystic ring. In Limbo, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl become phantom giants under the Gargoyle's control and help him to battle Robin. Finally, Robin surrenders and allows himself to be transported to Limbo, so that he can fight the Gargoyle and his thralls on their home ground. Smashing the Gargoyle's ring traps the villain in the extradimensional realm, and restores Robin and his teammates to Earth and normalcy. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by George Kasdan.

Showcase #73

Showcase #73 (On Sale: January 23, 1968) sports a wonderful cover by Steve Ditko. This is Ditko's first DC cover.

"The Coming of the Creeper" is scripted by Don Segall and plotted and drawn by Steve Ditko. After he is fired from his job as a television show host, Jack Ryder is recruited by a security agency to fight communist agents. Ryder's first assignment is to locate Professor Yatz, a scientist that was kidnapped by Angel Devilin's gang and is to be turned over to the communists.

Ryder tracks the crooks to a costume party. He crashes the party wearing a yellow and green costume with a red rug used as a cape. He soon locates Yatz in a hidden room, but is wounded during a fight. Yatz gives Ryder his scientific secrets including a healing elixir that enhances Ryder's strength and stamina. Ryder also has a tranmuter implanted in his wound which allows him to make his costume disappear and reappear at will. Yatz then destroys the rest of his research.

When the crooks find them, Yatz is shot and killed. Ryder is then forced to flee. His strange appearance and odd behavior including a maniacal laugh sets the crooks on edge. The police arrive on the scene and assume that the newly dubbed Creeper is a crook. Creeper battles the crooks while avoiding the police, until he finally takes down Angel Devilin and communist agent Major Smej. Reprinted in Detective Comics #443.

I'm not sure why they bothered with a Showcase tryout for this book, DC was going to publish the Creeper no matter what, with the first issue of Beware the Creeper coming out two months later. Me, I couldn't have agreed more with DC's move; I have always loved Ditko's Creeper.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Metamorpho #17

Metamorpho #17 (On Sale: January 23, 1968) sports another cover by Jack Sparling.

"Last Mile for an Element Man" is by Bob Haney and Jack Sparling. Following his defeat of Jezeba's army in the last issue, Metamorpho prepares to confront Mr. Shadow. However, before he can act, authorities step in and arrest him for the murder of Sapphire's husband, Wally Bannister. Metamorpho complies with the authorities, though he proclaims his innocence. During this time, Mr. Shadow escapes.

Metamorpho is brought to trial where witnesses claim that Metamorpho murdered Bannister. His alibi about being in the legendary city of Ma-Phoor is disregarded, and the Element Man is sentenced to death. Given his powers, the authorities place Metamorpho in a chamber frozen to absolute zero and dump him in the ocean.

Element Girl attempts to rescue Rex, but she is obstructed by a man calling himself the Prosecutor. The villain reveals that he framed Rex on behalf of an unnamed client. Despite the Prosecutor's efforts Element Girl succeeds in freeing Metamorpho. The two freaks then follow the villain.

The Prosecutor leads Metamorpho and Element Girl to Algon, Jezeba's former lover who was also an Element Man. Metamorpho battles his counterpart and learns that Algon killed Bannister. Since he looks like Metamorpho, witnesses believes that Rex was responsible. Following the battle, Algon perishes in a lava bed.

The Prosecutor then makes contact with his hidden client. The mystery man is angry that the villain has failed to stop Metamorpho despite framing him for murder. He then unleashes a swarm of killer insects to deal with the Prosecutor. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Metamorpho Vol. 1 TPB.

Though this story was intended to be continued in issue #18, the book is cancelled with this issue and the storyline is left unresolved. When Metamorpho next appears, in Brave and the Bold #101, the unresolved plot threads from this story are never mentioned.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Inferior Five #7

Inferior Five #7 (On Sale: January 23, 1968) sports a Winslow Mortimer and Tex Blaisdell cover. This is Blaisdell's first work at DC, though he did write a story for Police Comics #8 in 1942.

"Drainy Day" is by E. Nelson Bridwell, Winslow Mortimer and Tex Blaisdell. While searching for a mugger in the sewers, the Inferior Five meet their friend Thor and give him a make-over. As they continue on their pursuit of the crook, the heroes meet Prince Nabob, Iron Pants, and the Cobweb Kid who are looking for Thor and become involved in a murder plot.

The Inferior Five and several of the other people from the sewers eventually gather in a room to find the murderer. The killer then reveals himself as Dr. Diabolical who has been posing as an old lady. The villain then attempts to transfer the powers of the team into one of his henchmen, but instead transfers their weaknesses.

Edited by Joe Orlando in his first book as a DC editor.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Flash #177

Flash #177 (On Sale: January 18, 1968) has one of the sillier Ross Andru and Mike Esposito covers.

"The Swell-Headed Super-Hero" is by Gardner Fox, Ros Andru and Mike Esposito. After solving a locked room mystery, Barry Allen becomes a braggart. Then, as the Flash, Barry's head really swells as a result of a new weapon created by the Trickster. Flash's giant head causes him headaches and is in danger of bursting. The Trickster tries to pop the head like a balloon during their fight, but the Flash just passes out.

Trickster brings Flash back to his hideout, then continues the fight when the Scarlet Speedster regains consciousness.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Doom Patrol #118

Doom Patrol #118 (On Sale: January 18, 1968) sports a Bob Brown cover.

"Videx Monarch of Light" is by the usual team of Arnod Drake and Bruno Premiani. The Brain threatens to have his newest accomplice, Videx, a villain with amazing powers over light, destroy the Doom Patrol unless they surrender Madame Rouge. Although Negative Man is gravely injured in the struggle, the Doom Patrol, with the help of Beast Boy, manages to overcome Videx, using an old anti-invisibility ray designed by the Chief.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Batman #200

Batman #200 (On Sale: January 18, 1968) features a nice cover by Neal Adams. Damn, he could even make Robin's silly costume look good.

"The Man Who Radiated Fear" is by Mike Friedrich, Chic Stone and Joe Giella. In a story that recaps the origins of both Batman and Robin, the Scarecrow perfects a fear-radiated pill, which when he swallows it makes Batman and Robin fear him. The paralyzing fear that overcomes Batman makes him unable to fight crime. He returns to the Batcave with Robin and receives a pep talk from Alfred reminding him how he became Batman.

Batman and Robin renew their war on crime. They captures Joker, Killer Moth, and Penguin. On each crook they discover clues which lead them to the Scarecrow. Despite the fear that the villain has induced in him, Batman is able to escape a death trap. He and Robin then defeat the Scarecrow, when the crook becomes scared of them. This classic story was reprinted in Batman in the Sixties TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Spectre #3

Spectre #3 (On Sale: January 16, 1968) features a "Wow!," just gorgeous cover by Neal Adams. Great figures, great costumes, great color!

"Menace of the Mystic Mastermind" is by Mike Friedrich and Neal Adams; this is Friedrich's first story for DC. When two entities from another dimension expend their energies in a war with each other, their bolts cross dimensions. The transdimensional energy arrives on Earth and empowers small-time crook Jack Dold. When Dold discovers his powers he uses them to defeat the aging hero Wildcat.

The Spectre witnesses Wildcat's defeat and comes to the age of his Justice Society comrade. Spectre consoles his friend, then goes after Dold. When the crook uses his new powers, the Spectre is able to track him. The Ghostly Guardian is then able to remove Dold's powers completely, placing the energy in a location where it can never be used again.

Following a suggestion made by the Spectre, Wildcat opens Grant's Gym and begins teaching kids the art of boxing. The gym has given Ted Grant a new purpose and brings the old hero pride. This classic story was reprinted in Adventure Comics #496 and Crisis on Multiple Earths:Team-Ups Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Plastic Man #9

Plastic Man #9 (On Sale: January 16, 1968) features another cover by Jack Sparling (was there an editor at this time that Sparling was not working for?)

"Joe, the Killer Pro" is by Arnold Drake and Jack Sparling. After Plastic Man foils several assassinations, Mr. Thisbey, head of an organization of assassins hires Killer Joe to go after Plas. First Joe tries to frame Plastic Man for murder, but fails. Joe then abandons subtlety and tries to kill Plas using several different strategies. Plastic Man outwits the killer saving his own life and exposing Thisbey is the process. Both the assassin and his boss are then taken to prison.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Bomba the Jungle Boy #4

Bomba the Jungle Boy #4 (On Sale: January 16, 1968) features a fairly interesting cover by Jack Sparling.

"The Deadly Sting of Ana Conda" is by George Kashdan and Jack Sparling. It was reprinted in Tarzan #230.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Young Love #66

Young Love #66 (On Sale: January 11, 1968) sports a pretty unusual looking Jay Scott Pike cover. Anyone hazzard to guess on the inker?

The issues begins with "Love, Love -- Come Again" drawn by Gene Colan, which is followed by "A Dream for Diana," a reprint from Girls' Romances #59 drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs. The issue ends with our cover story, "Temporary Love" pencilled by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #109

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #109 (On Sale: January 11, 1968) sports a pretty cool Neal Adams cover, the second of the eight covers Neal would do for DC this month.

"Luthor's Pal, Jimmy Olsen" is by Cary Bates and Pete Costanza. In this Weisinger-era imaginary story, before Jimmy Olsen arrived in Metropolis, Lex Luthor uses a time viewer to learn that Jimmy will become Superman's pal. Luthor changes history and rescues Jimmy from an accident that he himself caused. Lex then convinces Jimmy that his evil twin brother Lester framed him for the crimes for which Lex was convicted.

Lex and Jimmy become friends, a relationship Lex exploits. Lex gives Jimmy a signal watch, and the boy reporter helps Lex avoid capture. When Lena Thorul discovers Lex's hideout, Lex captures her. Lex then arms Jimmy with a belt filled with Kryptonite gas to kill Superman.

The back-up story, "The Human Octopus," reprinted from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #41, is by Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and John Forte. Jimmy Olsen accidentally eats a fruit that Superman brought back from an alien world. The fruit causes Jimmy to grow four additional arms. Jimmy is happy at first (this guy Olsen is a strange bird!), but eventually the arms become a menace. Jimmy loses his job, his girlfriend, and he wrecks his car. The boy reporter finally asks Superman for help. The Man of Steel creates an antidote which does indeed restore Jimmy to normal.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Our Fighting Forces #112

Our Fighting Forces #112 (On Sale: January 11, 1968) has a fairly nice Lt. Hunter's Hellcats cover by Irv Novick.

"What's in It for the Hellcats?" by Robert Kanigher and Jack Abel features Lt. Hunter's Hellcats. The back-up story, "I Haven't Had My Basic Training Yet," is also drawn by Jack Abel.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

House of Mystery #173

House of Mystery #173 (On Sale: January 11, 1968) has a fairly nice cover by Jack Sparling, who did four covers for DC this month.

"Revolt of the H-Dial" by Dave Wood and Sal Trapani is the last of the House of Mystery Dial H. For HERO stories. Robby Reed uses his H-Dial to become Gill Man and pursue the Speed Boys. He catches them trying to steal a race horse. Robby stops them, then is overcome by a strange compulsion to steal the horse himself.

Puzzled by his odd behavior, Robby becomes another hero, the Human Icicle. This time he stops the Speed Boys from stealing a race car. Once again, Robby steals the car under another bizarre compulsion.

Robby vows to make one more attempt to stop the Speed Boys, then turn himself in to police. He battles the crooks while they try to steal a speed boat. The compulsion to steal begins again, but this time it goes away before Robby completes his theft. He deduces that the pitch from the jet-booster the crooks used was responsible for his behavior. The booster falls into the ocean, preventing further compulsions, and Robby rounds up the gang.

The back-up, "So You're Faceless," is the last silver age Martian Manhunter story and is by Jack Miller and Joe Certa. Vulture hires Marco Xavier to steal an experimental weapon that will enable Mr. V to control the world. J'onn steals the weapon, intending to follow it back to Vulture headquarters. But he is weakened by fire and loses the crooks he is following.

J'onn resumes his role as Marco Xavier who is now wanted by police until he is picked up by Vulture agents. J'onn is finally taken to Vulture secret lair and meets Mr. V face-to-Faceless. Mr. V reveals that he knows J'onn has been posing as Xavier. He then removes his mask and shows the Martian Manhunter that he is the real Xavier. He also knows J'onn is vulnerable to fire and uses it against him.

The Martian Manhunter is helpless against his foe who prepares to use the stolen weapon to finish off J'onn. When the untested weapon is fired, it explodes. Vulture headquarters is destroyed, and only J'onn walks away safely.

Edited by George Kashdan; this is his last issue as HOM editor.

Green Lantern #59

Green Lantern #59 (On Sale: January 11, 1968) has an excellent Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson cover; this is one of my favorites.

"Earth's Other Green Lantern" is by John Broome, Gil Kane and Sid Greene. On a visit to Oa, Hal Jordan looks back in time to see Abin Sur's death. While watching he learns that before summoning Hal to bequeath him the power ring and battery, the dying alien located another man that met the requirements to become a Green Lantern. Hal was chosen because he was closer, but Guy Gardner was also honest and without fear.

Hal wonders what would have happened if he hadn't been chosen to become Green Lantern. The Guardians then show him a means to see how Guy would have done as GL. In this alternate timeline, Guy receives Abin Sur's ring and becomes Green Lantern.

Gardner uses the ring to fight crime on Earth just like Hal. Their histories are very similar including battles against Sonar, Sinestro, and other foes. However, during one trip home from outer space, Guy takes a route Hal never did. On this route, Guy lands on the planet Ghera where the adult population has died off. The children broke into two groups and are at war with one another. Guy stops the war and brings peace to the world.

When Guy returns to Earth he contracts the same yellow plague that killed the adults of Ghera. As he is dying Guy summons Hal to his side and gives him the power ring. In this hypothetical timeline Hal becomes Green Lantern, just like in the real one.

After watching the events in the alternate timeline, Hal returns to Earth. He then looks up Guy Gardner and starts a friendship with him, but he doesn't tell Guy that he is Green Lantern.

This classic Green Lantern story has been reprinted in Green Lantern #184.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Girls' Romances #131

Girls' Romances #131 (On Sale: January 9, 1968) sports another Tony Abruzzo cover.

The issues begins with "The Strange Ways of Love" drawn by John Rosenberger, which is followed by "Impulsive Heart," a reprint from Girls' Romances #56 inked by Bernard Sachs. The issue ends with our cover story, "Love 'em and Leave 'em," drawn by Tony Abruzzo.

Edited by Barbara Friedlander.

Action Comics #360

Action Comics #360 (On Sale: January 9, 1968) AKA 80-Page giant #G-45 features a Curt Swan and George Klein cover on Supergirl.

The issues begins with "The Unknown Supergirl" by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney from Action Comics #278. Superman has decided to reveal Supergirl’s existence to the world when he and Krypto return from a mission in another dimension. While he is gone, a ring of Kryptonite dust surrounds the Earth, causing Supergirl to retreat under the oceans. From long distance, she keeps her eyes open for crooks on the surface who believe that Superman is helpless. When she stops them, they believe it is Superman acting from underwater.

Eventually the Kryptonite dissipates and Supergirl returns to the surface. The Man of Steel returns as well, but when he tells Kara it is time to reveal her existence, she discovers her powers have disappeared. Superman checks her out and discovers that the power loss is permanent. Heartbroken, Supergirl returns to the orphanage, unable to be revealed as Superman’s secret weapon.

Next is "Supergirl's Secret Enemy" also by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, which first appeared in a slightly longer version in Action Comics #279. Kandorian scientist and Supergirl look-a-like, Lesla-Lar, has used a special device to cause Supergirl’s powers to disappear. Without her powers, Supergirl, as Linda Lee, allows herself to be adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers. Superman constructs a hidden closet in her bedroom for mementos of her past deeds.

The jealous Lesla-Lar then switches places with the sleeping Linda Lee, allowing Linda to live her life within Kandor. Lesla then breaks Luthor out of jail and joins him in criminal activities as Supergirl. However, Linda’s memory begins to return when she sees the new Supergirl appear. Lesla returns each of them to their rightful places to preserve her secret, but plans to take Linda’s life again later.

The story continues in "Trapped in Kandor" also by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, which first appeared in Action Comics #280. Linda Lee visits the Daily Planet for a school project and meets with Clark Kent who, as Superman, has been trying to restore her powers. When she returns home that night, Lesla-Lar exchanges places with her and once again visits Lex Luthor as Supergirl. Lesla meets Superman who does not realize that she is not the real Supergirl. She tricks Superman into believing that he has restored her powers and then upstages him in some rescues. Superman decides it is time to tell the world that Supergirl exists, while Lesla schemes to destroy him.

The same creative team brings us "The Three Red 'K' Perils," from Action Comics #283. Supergirl, having been given immunity to Kryptonite by Mxyzptlk, decides to locate and destroy several Red Kryptonite meteors. Her immunity does not extend to Red Kryptonite however, and she begins to undergo several transformations.

First her body begins to expand while at a carnival with Dick Malverne. She disguises herself as a giant balloon until the effect passes. Next while at a movie, she is transformed into a wolf-girl, inspiring a screen writer to come up with a new movie idea. Finally, she shrinks to tiny size and enters Dick’s father’s bloodstream to defeat a life-threatening disease.

Having been affected by six pieces of Kryptonite, Supergirl knows she will undergo three more startling changes.

The story continues in "The Super-Mermaid" from Action Comics #284 and also by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney. Supergirl continues to be affected by Red Kryptonite to which she has been exposed. She grows a second head that has no memory of her identity. Since she is at a carnival, she is mistaken for a side-show freak. After the effect passes, Linda has a hallucination in which everyone she looks at dies. She is relieved when it passes, and she realizes it was only a dream.

Finally Supergirl grows a mermaid tail and travels to Atlantis to be reunited with Jerro. Lori Lemaris’ sister Lenora is jealous of Supergirl and runs off. The Girl of Steel is forced to follow her and rescue her from being grabbed by some giant hands.

The final effects pass and Supergirl is restored to normal. She realizes her temporary invulnerability to Green Kryptonite has passed as well. Superman returns from the future and explains that Mxyzptlk was responsible for her immunity. Finally, he tells her that he plans on revealing her existence to the world.

The issue ends with "The World's Greatest Heroine" from Action Comics #285. Superman decides it is time to announce Supergirl to the world. First they tell Linda’s parents that their adopted daughter is Supergirl, then the big announcement is made. The world celebrates and honors the young hero.

Superman has to leave Earth, so when a monster threatens the world, Supergirl is called in to help. At first she has trouble, causing the people to wish Superman was around. She perseveres and defeats the monster with help from Brainiac 5. Then Superman returns and gives Supergirl her own wing in the Fortress of Solitude.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wonder Woman #175

Wonder Woman #175 (On Sale: January 4, 1968) sports a fairly ugly Carmine Infantino and Irv Novick cover.

"Wonder Woman's Evil Twin" is by Robert Kanigher, Irv Novick and Mike Esposito. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor are captured by Mr. Gargoyle, a disfigured crook with a crush on the Amazon. Using Wonder Woman's magic lasso, Mr. Gargoyle orders Wonder Woman to kiss him in front of Trevor. When she does, Steve begins to hate her. Wonder Woman is able to escape from the crooks and rescue Steve, but it does not change his feelings.

Wonder Woman takes Steve to Paradise Island and uses the Purple Ray to heal his injuries. While he recovers, the Wonder Woman from a parallel world comes to him and wins his love. The real Wonder Woman challenges her counterpart for Steve's affection.

The Amazons take their contest to the parallel world where the twin Amazon came from. During their competition, Wonder Woman begins to grow younger as a result of the conditions in this universe. In a teenaged body, she fails to defeat her evil twin.

Regardless of what some people now think of the "new" Wonder Woman that is to debut in three issues, these stories were just plain awful and the "new" take was at least a breath of fresh air for a character that had clearly run out of gas.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Tomahawk #115

Tomahawk #115 (On Sale: January 4, 1968) features another fairly interesting Tomahawk cover by Bob Brown. This is the last of Brown's Tomahawk covers; next issue the book takes on a new dramatic look as Neal Adams starts producing some of the greatest western covers of all time.

"The Deadly Flaming Ranger" is drawn by Fred Ray, as is "The Fighting Lady of Fort Endurance," a reprint from Tomahawk #49.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #105

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #105 (On Sale: January 4, 1968) features a cover attributed to Bob Oksner, but the Superman figure looks like an old Wayne Boring figure to me.

"Superman Meets Jerry" is by Arnold Drake and Bob Oksner. I didn't read any of these Jerry Lewis issues, with the singular exception of the issue where Jerry met the Flash. Looking back on it now that seems rather strange as I remember re-reading that issue over and over, so I must have really thought it was funny. You would think that would have moved me to purchase more issues, but, for some reason, it did not.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Superboy #145

Superboy #145 (On Sale: January 2, 1968) features just another cool Neal Adams cover.

"The Fantastic Faces" is by Otto Binder, George Papp and Frank Springer. Jolax, the head of Galaxo Movie Studios in the dimension known as Thraxx, has created a new show for that dimension's equivalent of television. When most people believe the show is filmed in Jolax's studio, it is really filmed with a telescope that can penetrate dimensions and features Superboy. The show is a hit, but sponsors want Jolax to cast younger foster parents for the Boy of Steel. To accomplish this, Jolax sends a youth formula to Smallville and puts it in the Kents' well water.

When the Jonathan and Martha drink the water they their youth is restored. Superboy initially thinks the effect is temporary, but soon realizes it is permanent. Fearing that the sudden youth of his parents will draw suspicion that Clark is Superboy, the Boy of Steel arranges for other senior citizens of Smallville to drink the water. He then creates a phony comet which is blamed for the youth effect. Superboy's identity is safe, and the Kents remain young.

The back-up is "Superboy Meets William Tell" from Superboy #84 and is by Jerry Siegel and George Papp. Clark Kent is assigned to write a report about William Tell. To research the facts, he travels back in time as Superboy. Superboy witnesses the events that lead to Tell shooting the apple off his son’s head. Just prior to the historic event, Tell’s confidence is shaken. Superboy allows Tell to practice on him as an invulnerable target. Tell eventually gets it right before the actual event in which he succeeds on the first try.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Secret Hearts #126

Secret Hearts #126 (On Sale: January 2, 1968) features a cover penciled by Jay Scott Pike.

"The Arms of Love" is drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs and is reprinted from Girls' Romances #70. "Love Without End" is also drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs and is also reprinted from Girls' Romances #70. Rounding out the issue is "Reach for Happiness -- Episode 17" which is pencilled by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Our Army at War #191

Our Army at War #191 (On Sale: January 2, 1968) has a nicely drawn but not so greatly colored cover by Joe Kubert.

"Death Flies High" featuring Sgt. Rock is by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert and was reprinted in Sgt. Rock Special #11.

The back-up story is "Phantom Fliers" by Dave Wood and Jack Abel.

Edited by Robert Kanigher.

Aquaman #38

Aquaman #38 (On Sale: January 2, 1968) features just another cool Nick Cardy cover.

"Justice is Mine, Saith the Liquidator" is by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. The Liquidator, a mutant that can sense evil, returns to Atlantis seeking a marauder that has been attacking Atlantean patrols and promises justice when he finds the culprit. Lord Ragnar, the head of the Atlantean military, summons Aquaman to handle the situation. However, Aquaman is overcome by evil impulses which put the Liquidator on his trail. While Aqualad and Mera go to help the Sea King, Ragnar usurps Aquaman's throne.

Aquaman battles the Liquidator, who is being urged on by Ragnar. Aqualad realizes that Ragnar is behind the attacks and is using a special helmet to hide his own evil from the Liquidator.

Edited by George Kashdan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


This is the year I became a DC Comics fanatic. At the time I had no idea this bustling, exciting environment that was representative of DC in 1968 was something new; I thought it had always been like that. 1968 was a time of great change at DC, as you will see in the year to come if you keep coming back here. Some of my favorite creators and characters come to DC this year.

What's to come? Here is just a taste:

Steve Ditko! After leaving Amazing Spider-Man and jumping to Charlton, Ditko comes to DC with two new creations: The Hawk and the Dove and The Creeper. I loved both books, though on recent re-readings the Hawk and the Dove seems quite dated and a little quaint.

The Secret Six begins and though they will not last long, they were a really fun and unique ride while they lasted.

Joe Orlando becomes an editor and tries, with some degree of success, to recreate the hosted horror/mystery titles of EC Comics fame.

Dick Giordano comes over from Charlton; Dick was, beyond any doubt, my favorite editor of all time. I loved just about every book he ever touched, including my favorite series of all time.

Bob Kane's contract is bought out by Carmine Infantino and Batman is turned into a much darker, mysterious character.

Bat Lash begins, DC's unique humorous western about a flower-sniffing ladies man who just can't seem to keep out of trouble.

Wonder Woman is completely revamped becoming an un-super-powered Emma Peel-type heroine.

Gil Kane and Wally Wood bring the Captain Action toy to life as a DC comic.

Man, is this going to be a great year here!