Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Detective Comics #376

Detective Comics #376 (On Sale: April 30, 1968) has a cover by Irv Novick.

"Hunted or -- Haunted?" is by Gardner Fox, Chic Stone and Sid Greene. Records from the 20th century have been destroyed in the null-nuclear war of the 22th century. People from the future do not know if Batman was a myth or a real person. A group calling themselves the Batmaniacs aim to prove that Batman is real, so they send one member, Tomas back in time.

Tomas arrives in the 20th century where he exists only as a ghost. He then watches as Batman and Robin help Commissioner Gordon solve a case. Gordon had some important evidence stolen from his car. Batman identifies the thief and tracks him down. He then recovers the evidence. During the entire adventure, Batman believes he is being watched by a ghost.

Tomas returns to his own time period with evidence that Batman is real. However, he doesn't learn that the Caped Crusader is really his ancestor.

The back-up Elongated Man story, "The Demon-Doll Doom," is by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos. Art collector Marty Dillingham is convinced that a voodoo doll that was left at his house is linked to his health. If harm befalls the doll, he believes that the same thing will happen to him. When the Elongated Man comes to town, Marty enlists his aid to break the curse. Ralph convinces Marty that his superstition is a fantasy, but before he can prove it, the doll is stolen.

The Elongated Man traces the doll to Dillingham's rival Harry Hanson. Hanson had actually planted the doll and placed a bug on it. The doll then led him to Marty's secret collection. While the Elongated Man apprehends Hanson the doll is destroyed. Since nothing happened to Marty, the collector is finally convinced that the voodoo doll was a fake.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #369

Adventure Comics #369 (On Sale: April 30, 1968) has one more nice Neal Adams' cover; his use of shadow and color adds depth and drama to the scene.

"Mordru the Merciless" is by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Four Legionnaires on duty at their headquarters, Superboy, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, and Duo Damsel, hastily use their Time Cube to escape to 20th century Smallville, as Mordru, the Dark Lord, pursues them. As a new Legionnaire, Shadow Lass had been exploring the sub-basement in which Mordru was imprisoned in a vault, and tried to open it. Mon-El spied her, warned her to stop, and told her Mordru's story.

The villain hailed from Zerox, the Sorcerers' Planet, and after mastering the ultimate mystic powers, made himself master of that world and conquered his sector of the galaxy. Saturn Girl was Legion leader at the time, and when Mordru attacked Earth, the team's battle with him seemed futile, until she directed Superboy and Mon-El to imprison him in an airless steel block, thus depriving him of his powers. He fell into a coma, and has remained in that state since.

However, Shadow Lass's tampering has caused air to seep into the block and revive him. Now forced to flee, the four Legionnaires quickly realize that Mordru will soon find them, and decide to adopt secret identities in hopes of eluding him.

With the assistance of Superboy's foster parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, Mon-El resumes the guise of Bob Cobb, the identity he had used when he first met Superboy. Duo Damsel becomes Marie Elkins, a supposed second cousin of Smallville Police Chief Parker's wife, with whom she stays, and Shadow Lass becomes Betsy Norcross, an exchange student who resides with Lana Lang's family.

Mordru arrives, and causes a deep shadow to penetrate the town to find the missing Legionnaires. In doing this he puts Lana under his control and sees everything she does. As the days pass, the heroes stay as hidden as possible, and try to come up with a plan, while Mordru does his best to flush them out.

Then, a week after their arrival, "King" Carter and his gangsters come to Smallville and take it over. Because of Mordru, the young heroes fear to use their powers to stop them. Instead, with Jonathan Kent leading, the townspeople are convinced to stand against the mob and fight back. The crooks are overcome, and this gives the Legionnaires the moral resolve to do the same with Mordru.

As they resume their costumes and gather in an alley behind the Kent home, Lana spies them from her window. Mordru now finds them, and suddenly materializes before the heroes. This story was reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-49 and Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #364

Action Comics #364 (On Sale: April 30, 1968) has a really nice cover by Neal Adams; all those years on the Ben Casey strip set him in good stead on this cover.

"The Untouchable of Metropolis" is by Leo Dorfman, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. This story is the middle of a three-issue arc. Superman has been infected with Virus X, a Kryptonian form of leprosy. Criminals and police alike are afraid of being touched by the Man of Steel and catching the deadly virus. The greatest scientists on Earth are unable to cure him, but they do provide a fiberglass bodysuit to prevent the spread of the disease.

Supergirl comes up with a plan to send Superman into the Phantom Zone until a cure is found. However, the Phantom Zone criminals destroy the projector to keep the Man of Steel from entering the Zone. Superman then makes arrangements for his weapons and trophies and is sent into space aboard a rocket to die.

The back-up Supergirl story, "The Kiss of Death," is by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger. Professor Vandarr, a teacher at Stanhope, gets married to Count Durkla. Linda Danvers attends the wedding and witnesses her die just after kissing the groom. The dead woman also has a strange tattoo which emits x-rays.

Supergirl later saves the life of Dorah, a stunt diver. She has the same tattoo and Vandarr and is scheduled to marry Colonel Durkla. Supergirl keeps an eye on the couple, but again the bride dies after kissing the groom.

Supergirl suspects Durkla's kiss is poisoned. She finds a third woman with the same tattoo, Miss Jacquella. Supergirl gets her a job at Stanhope to replace Prof. Vandarr, then takes her place. Durkla approaches her and proposes. Supergirl then discovers that her wedding ring was poisoned.

Supergirl survives, then Durkla tells her that the three girls were escaped alien criminals. He had been sent to Earth to execute them. Jacquella claims to be innocent, so Supergirl leaves her at the Fortress. When the girl tries to steal some gems, Supergirl knows that she is lying. Jacquella tries to flee from the Girl of Steel, but falls into a vat of liquid helium. Durkla then takes the three dead bodies back to his own world as proof that the criminals are dead. This story was reprinted in Superman Family #172.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Friday, April 25, 2008

World's Finest Comics #176

World's Finest Comics #176 (On Sale: April 25, 1968) has what has got to be one of the lamest covers Neal Adams ever drew. Can you say "bland?"

"The Superman-Batman Split" is by Cary Bates, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. During an interview between Clark Kent and actor Ronald Jason, the actor unmasks himself and shows Clark that he is an alien. He also reveals that he knows Clark's secret identity and requests the help of Superman. The alien Dur, is the second in command on his world, but assassins have killed their leader. Fearing he was the next target he teleported to Earth to hide. Superman agrees to take Dur to the Fortress of Solitude for protection.

Batman then finds another alien in the Bat-Cave. This alien named Tiron explains that Dur is a criminal who has taken refuge on Earth. He enlists Batman's aid to capture Dur, but warns the Caped Crusader that Superman is involved. Batman then asks Supergirl for her help to stop her cousin while Batman capture Dur.

Superman manages to keep Supergirl and Batman from capturing Dur. He decides to enlist some help of his own and enlists the assistance of Batgirl. Meanwhile, Robin and Jimmy Olsen have made a startling discovery about the aliens. Before they can tell their friends, they are hit by knockout gas.

Batman and Supergirl then face off against Superman and Batgirl. During their duel, Tiron collapses. They unmask him as Ronald Jason. The actor admits that he played the roles of both aliens. His brother had discovered the secret identities of Batman and Superman, but an accident had claimed Desmond Jason's life and was quickly killing Ronald too. His last role has one that could fool both Superman and Batman. Good god is this one popular, being reprinted in Super-Team Family #3, Best of DC #16, World's Finest Comics #302, Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1 HC and Showcase Presents:Batgirl Vol. 1 TPB.

The back-up Martian Manhunter story is reprinted from Detective Comics #226 and is by Jack Miller and Joe Certa. J’onn J’onzz, having recently arrived on Earth, has taken the profession of police detective. Using his martian abilities he has brought several criminals to justice. His lieutenant assigns him to watch a baseball pitcher, Big Bob Michaels, who is an ex-con.

Michaels receives a threat from a gang who know about his secret past. They try to get him to fix a baseball game. Jones looks into the future and sees that Michaels would win the game, so he uses his powers to ensure that outcome. The crooks then attempt to get Michaels for winning the game, but Jones stops them and places them under arrest.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Justice League of America #63

Justice League of America #63 (On Sale: April 25, 1968) has a cover by Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos. There is just something about this cover that I have always loved and it must be the Superman figure that so dominates it.

"Time Signs a Death-Warrant for the Justice League" is by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos. In a gambit set in motion during his initial encounter with the Justice League, the Key gives the super-heroes an irresistible command not to leave their headquarters for one hour, and at the end of that time to kill each other. They find themselves unable to leave the Secret Sanctuary, until Superman finds a way out, by time-traveling three years into the past, thus catapulting his past self into the future to take his place. The Superman-of-three-years-past is unaffected by the Key's command, and so is able to extricate his fellow members from their predicament by overpowering them all and forcing them out of the meeting room.

The entire team then battles the Key and his men, but as the one-hour deadline draws near, Superman is again forced to battle and defeat the other members, knocking them unconscious before they can carry out the Key's deadly orders and kill each other. Reprinted in Justice League of America Archives Vol. 8 HC.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stanley and His Monster #110

Stanley and His Monster #110 (On Sale: April 23, 1968) has a cover by Bob Oksner where in this, their second outing, the pair have a brand new logo presented in a faux Archie style.

Inside we have Stanley and his Monster in "Carnival Caper" drawn by Bob Oksner, "Camp Cru-M-Bee's Pet Dog... Spot" by Arnold Drake and Winslow Mortimer (reprinted in Best Of DC #37) and "Music, Monster, Please" also drawn by Bob Oksner.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Showcase #75

Showcase #75 (On Sale: April 23, 1968) has a cover by Steve Ditko, who, like lightning, strikes again with The Hawk and the Dove.

"In the Beginning..." is scripted by Steve Skeates (in his first work for DC) and plotted and drawn by Steve Ditko. Even though Ditko would bail on this strip quickly, I loved the concept and in the turbulent radical 60s, the Hawk and the Dove was about as relevant as you could get. Of course Ditko only really cared about the Hawk and this strip was supposed to be a political statement by Ditko, one DC never really let reach where Steve wanted it to go.

Hank and Don Hall are brothers and high school students with radically different views of the world. Hank is aggressive and believes in using force to back up his beliefs. Don is passive and seeks negotiation and compromise over violence. The boys' father Irwin Hall is a judge at the Elmond County Courthouse. He tries to encourage the boys to use logic to form their beliefs.

When Irwin Hall sentences racket boss Dargo to prison, the mob strikes back with an attempt to kill the judge. They only succeed in injuring him, while Hank briefly glimpses the bomber. When Hanks sees the mobster later, he and Don follow the crook back to his hideout. They overhear the crooks plotting another assassination attempt on the judge, but are powerless to do anything.

When Don wishes for power to save their father, a disembodied voice grants them power to stop injustice. It transforms them into the costumed super-heroes Hawk and Dove. The boys then race to the hospital to save their dad from the killers. After the fight, they learn that Judge Hall considers them vigilantes and lawbreakers, so they don't reveal their true identities to him. Hard to believe that this strip has never been reprinted as it is classic Ditko.

Now, not everyone was happy with how this book turned out, Steve Skeates being the major dissenter. In Comic Book Artist #5 Skeates said:

There were all sorts of problems with the Showcase issue. Although a lot of people have said that they really like that issue I think a major problem with it was that Dick was trying to please the Comics Code.

One of the rules was that you couldn't question authority so every time I had the Dove say something against the U.S. government, Dick would change that to some sort of nebulous "they." To me it comes off as terribly written with a lot of pronouns without any nouns that they are referring back to.
On his contribution to the creation of the strip Skeates said:
It was developed by committee. There was Dick [Giordano], Carmine [Infantino], [Steve] Ditko and me. Carmine came up with the title and he attended all the meetings. Part of the concept was to directly appeal to, I don't know, the counter-culture. My main contribution was that they had to say their names to change into the characters.

They were trying to come up with a "Shazam," a magic word and I said, Why don't we have them just say their character names?" They went along with that. I also created the community in which they lived, the college town. Steve Ditko came up with the major concepts, the costumes, the powers, the characters - just about everything. The judge was definitely his idea.
Edited by Carmine Infantino in the indica but actually edited by Dick Giordano.

Brave and the Bold #78

Brave and the Bold #78 (On Sale: April 23, 1968) has a very cool cover by Bob Brown featuring Batman, Wonder Woman and Batgirl. I remember as a kid not wanting to read this book because the Copperhead scared me so much.

Inside is "In the Coils of Copperhead" by Bob Haney and Bob Brown. Copperhead, a new crook, gives Batman a difficult time by striking without warning. The mayor of Gotham is anxious to have the thief captured and pressures both Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Batman decides to trap Copperhead using the Golden Casque of Montezuma as bait.

Batman requests the help of Wonder Woman and Batgirl. The female heroes pretend to fight over Batman's affections distracting him from crime fighting. When Copperhead thinks Batman is occupied, he goes after the Casque. Wonder Woman and Batgirl carry things too far though, and the crooks succeeds.

The three heroes then follow a tracking device Batman placed on the Casque. Wonder Woman catches Copperhead first, but she is defeated. Batgirl meets a similar fate. Batman finally reaches the crook and defeats him, but the Caped Crusader is poisoned in the process. This was a popular story reprinted in Brave and the Bold #116, Showcase Presents the Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1 TPB and Showcase Presents:Batgirl Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Swing With Scooter #13

Swing With Scooter #13 (On Sale: April 18, 1968) has a cover by Joe Orlando and Tex Blaisdell.

Inside we have Scooter starring in "Odd Jobs by Oddballs," "Hip History" and "Oh, Happy, Happy Here's Cap'n Clappy." Penny and Cookie star in "Buy Me, Give Me, Buy Me" and Malibu stars in an untitled strip.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Heart Throbs #114

Heart Throbs #114 (On Sale: April 18, 1968) has a cover by Jay Scott Pike.

Inside we have "No More Love for Jenny" and "One Chance at Love" both by persons unknown, the later a reprint from Falling In Love #48. Lastly is 3 Girls -- Their Lives...Their Loves, Episode 13 drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Hawkman #26

Hawkman #26 (On Sale: April 18, 1968) has a cover by Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera.

"Last Stand on Thanagar" is by Raymond Marais, Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera. This is Marais' first story for DC and may be an alias. Marais is also credited with work on The Sub-Mariner at Marvel and Flash Gordon at King. This is the first of ten stories he would write for DC. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are called home when the Thanagarian fleet in the Ilian quadrant falls. When General Ariosto, head of the winged police force, addresses the assembled operatives, he announces that one of the them is a traitor, who has leaked defense information through his Absorbascon. The Synaptic Felxometer reveals the traitor to be Katar Hol, who escapes with Shayera's help.

Stalked, with Shayera in custody and the real traitor loose, Hawkman heads to subspace and Earth to determine who stole his Absorbascon. Meanwhile, Queen Elba of the Infinite Empire has ordered her man on Earth, Colonel Alpheus, to stop him.

Hawkman had recently discovered the Egg of Harun on Earth, which he believed to be a harmless relic, but which is actually a nullifier device invented by the enemies of the Empire, and which had prevented its conquest of the Universe for three centuries. Katar escapes with the egg into hyperspace, although his ship is badly damaged and is attacked when he approaches his home. His ship is destroyed and Hawkman is wounded, but he still manages to get to headquarters, and gives the egg to Ariosto, which raises doubts in the general's mind whether he is truly a traitor.

The back-up story is "The Rocket Lanes of Tomorrow" from Real Fact Comics #1 penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Joe Simon.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Flash #180

Flash #180 (On Sale: April 18, 1968) has a cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

Inside we have "The Flying Samurai" by Frank Robbins, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Barry Allen and Iris travel to Japan. Barry visits his college friend Japanese Police Captain Hash to warn him about war criminal Baron Katana who was seen coming to Japan. Katana has created an army of android samurai and is testing them in Castle Heron. While Iris covers for him at police headquarters, Flash checks out the castle and battles the Samuroids.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Batman #202

Batman #202 (On Sale: April 18, 1968) has a fairly nice cover by Irv Novick, though they seemed to have run out of room for the logo. I think it would have worked better it they put the "Gateway to Death" across the bottom of the cover and moved the Batman logo up where it belongs.

"Gateway to Death" is by Gardner Fox, Chic Stone and Sid Greene. Batman and Robin investigate a series of psychic robberies in which objects appear to move with the power of mind over matter. Alfred has a clue to the identity of the Psychic Plunderer, but he passes out before he can finish telling Batman. His clue does lead the Dynamic Duo to the Eternal Gate Cemetery. Inside they find the crook and his henchmen. Batman overcomes the crooks and their tricks, then returns to Alfred's bedside.

The back-up Robin feature is "Menace of the Motorcycle Marauders" and is by Mike Friedrich, Chic Stone and Joe Giella. Dick Grayson is scheduled to make a speech for the upcoming junior class presidency elections at his school. However, on his trip to the school he is confronted by a motorcycle gang led by Tommy the Tramp, an expelled student. Dick battles the gang as Robin, and disguises himself as one of them in order to follow them back to their hideout. This was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Robin the Boy Wonder Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sugar and Spike #77

Sugar and Spike #77 (On Sale: April 16, 1968) has a cover by Sheldon Mayer.

Inside we have "Bernie the Brain Takes on the World," which is, as usual, written and drawn by Sheldon Mayer.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Star Spangled War Stories #139

Star Spangled War Stories #139 (On Sale: April 16, 1968) has a nice Enemy Ace cover by Joe Kubert.

Enemy Ace stars in "Death Whispers -- Death Screams" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. This story was reprinted in Sgt. Rock #18, Enemy Ace Archives Vol. 1 HC and Showcase Presents:Enemy Ace Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Metal Men #32

Metal Men #32 (On Sale: April 16, 1968) has a cover by Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito.

"The Metal Women Blues" is by Otto Binder, Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito and would end Binder's three-issue run as writer of this book. Jealous of Tin's partnership with Nameless, the other Metal Men petition Doc Magnus to create female counterparts for them. Doc is hesitant at first, but decides to give in to their request when he thinks that a Platinum Man might get Tina to direct her romantic attention elsewhere. Doc then creates Mercury Girl, Lead Girl, Gold Girl, Iron Girl, and Platinum Man.

The newly created robot girls join the original Metal Men on a mission against an alien invasion machine. The boys act superior which upsets the girls and causes division between the robots. Nameless and Tina side with the girls.

The alien attackers are amazon robots, and they create a sexy female robot to lure the male Metal Men into a trap.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Green Lantern #61

Green Lantern #61 (On Sale: April 11, 1968) has a very cool cover by Gil Kane and Sid Greene.

"Thoroughly Modern Mayhem" is by Mike Friedrich, Gil Kane and Sid Greene. After defeating Captain Challenge on Earth-1 with his Green Lantern counterpart Hal Jordan, Alan Scott returns home to Earth-2. He returns to work and breaks up a fight between two co-workers, Johnny Halliday and Tommy Saunders. Then he is called away to fight a seemingly endless wave of crime.

When Alan finally returns home he discovers that his own house was robbed. Tired and angry Alan wills his power ring to eliminate all evil on Earth. As a result everyone on the planet disappears including him.

On Earth-1, Hal Jordan returns to Earth after a space mission. He is shocked to find the entire population of Earth-2 in suspended animation in the desert of Utah. Hal revives Alan and learns what happened.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Girls' Romances #133

Girls' Romances #133 (On Sale: April 11, 1968) has a nice John Rosenberger cover.

We begin with Cindy the Salesgirl drawn by Jack Sparling. That is followed by "Shadow of Love" reprinted from Falling In Love #50. Finally we have the cover story "Don't Throw Your Love Away" drawn by John Rosenberger.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Young Romance #154

Young Romance #154 (On Sale: April 9, 1968) has a cover that looks to me like it is inked by Dick Giordano. In fact, Dick has confirmed that he also penciled the cover, most likely from a layout by Joe Orlando. Speaking of new editor Joe Orlando, he has given the book a new logo.

We begin with "Love is What It's All About" drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Joe Orlando. That is followed by "The Flame of Love" drawn by John Forte and "I Know My Love" drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs and reprinted from Falling In Love #49.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #111

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #111 (On Sale: April 9, 1968) has a pretty cool cover by Neal Adams. I just live his take on Elastic Lad.

"Jimmy Olsen, Boy Wonder" is by Cary Bates and Pete Costanza. Jimmy Olsen petitions to join the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City. When he is rejected, he storms out of the room before the reason for the decision can be revealed. Jimmy then enlists the help of Robin to fool Batman. Robin schools Jimmy on his life and helps disguise him as the Boy Wonder.

When Batman returns from a Justice League mission, Jimmy meets him in the Bat-Cave pretending to be Robin. Batman acts like he is fooled, but Jimmy makes a small mistake that clues in Batman to his real identity.

Batman then conspires with the Mystery Analysts to trick Jimmy. Members of the group disguise themselves as the Scorpion Gang and capture Batman. However, Jimmy is able to discover who they really are. This story was reprinted in Superman Family #171 and Showcase Presents:Robin the Boy Wonder Vol. 1 TPB.

Next is our cover story, "Elastic Lad's Wrestling Match," which is a reprint from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #54 and is by Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and John Forte but has four new pages inserted in the middle of the story, which are by E. Nelson Bridwell, Curt Swan and George Klein. Jimmy Olsen goes to a wrestling match and discovers that the promoter has fixed the fights. Accepting a standing challenge, Jimmy enters the ring after drinking his Elastic Lad serum. With his stretching powers, Jimmy defeats each of the promoter’s wrestlers. His final opponent is the Ugly Superman who drinks the Elastic Serum. Jimmy struggles against his stretching opponent in order to last ten minutes and earn five thousand dollars for charity. Jimmy tricks the Ugly Superman into colliding with the real Superman who is flying by.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Superman #207

Superman #207 (On Sale: April 9, 1968), 80 Page Giant #G-48, has a cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams.

We begin with "The Superman from Outer Space" from Action Comics #265 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Stan Kaye. Superman’s secret identity is protected by a look-a-like that substitutes for his Clark Kent persona. The duplicate Superman is Chester King alias Hyper-Man. Hyper-Man was originally from the planet Zoron which paralleled the planet Krypton. When his world was destroyed he was sent to the planet Oceania just as Superman was sent to Earth. The two heroes careers are amazingly similar.

At Superman’s Fortress, Hyper-Man explains that he needs help protecting his identity from Lydia Long, a girl paralleling Earth’s Lois Lane. Superman agrees to help and after consulting his super-computer they leave for Oceania.

On Oceania, Superman intentionally screws up and reveals the identity of Hyper-Man to his entire world. Hyper-Man then loses his powers and is forced to live as Chester King. Chester marries Lydia, but an unknown ailment causes Chester to take ill.

Next is "The Trio of Steel" from Superman #135 by Jerry Siegel and Al Plastino. Superman begins playing nasty tricks on the people of Metropolis, including Perry White and Lois Lane. He is being secretly controlled by the 5th dimensional imp, Mr. Mxyzptlk. Mxyzptlk agrees to leave and stop harassing the Man of Steel for a price. He wants a Superman robot to take home to his girlfriend.

Superman bring the imp, three robots to choose from, a Superman, a Superboy, and a Superbaby. The robots perform for Mxyzptlk so that he can decide which one he wants.

This is followed by "The Captive of the Amazons" from Action Comics #266 by Jerry Siegel, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. Clark Kent is taken aboard a space ship on the set of a new movie. The ship turns out to be real and piloted by Princess Jena of Adoria. Jena knows Clark is Superman and blackmails him into returning to her world.

On the planet Adoria, Jena wants Superman to marry her. Superman initially refuses, but then Jena gives him a love potion made by the royal wizard. Superman goes crazy and wrecks things in an attempt to prove his love for her. They get married, but Superman continues to act beastly.

Next we have "Superman's New Uniform" from Action Comics #236 by Otto Binder, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. A disguised Lex Luthor tricks the Man of Steel into handing over his costume for an experiment. Luthor replaces it with a fake which gets destroyed. He then creates a new costume for Superman complete with an Anti-Kryptonite belt. The suit works well for awhile, but Luthor then dons the real super-suit and claims to be the real Superman. The Anti-Kryptonite belt, begins leaking Kryptonite radiation which weakens Superman.

Lastly we have "The Super-Family of Steel" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #15 by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger. A woman posing as Jane Brown boards a cruise ship. The woman looks like Lois Lane and her cabin-mate suspects that she is undercover. When the woman falls overboard, she is rescued by a man in a Superman costume.

The couple marries and moves to Venus. They have two children, Lyle and Lili. The woman is even granted super powers with a super-serum. However, when she spots her husband kissing Lana Lang back on Earth, she becomes jealous.

They visit the Fortress of Solitude where Superman meets them. The man is Van Zee, a Kandorian who was accidentally enlarged. The woman is Sylvia DeWitt, a rich heiress and Lois Lane look-alike.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Leave It To Binky #61

Leave It To Binky #61 (On Sale: April 9, 1968) has what looks like a Bob Oksner cover on this, the first Silver Age issue of LITB, now dressed up as an Archie clone.

Inside we have Binky starring in (What kind of costume...), a new Binky story and (We're having a family circle...) from Leave It To Binky #23 and (Want to go to the beach...) from Leave It To Binky #27. There is also a Little Allergy story, (You know, Soozie -- you're beautiful...) also from Leave It To Binky #23.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

G.I. Combat #130

G.I. Combat #130 (On Sale: April 9, 1968) has an absolutely gorgeous Haunted Tank cover by Russ Heath.

Inside the Haunted Tank stars in "Battle of the Generals" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath. The back-up is "Landing Postponed" a reprint from Our Army at War #49 by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Blackhawk #241

Blackhawk #241 (On Sale: April 9, 1968) has the last of the Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera covers as new editor Dick Giordano burns through inventory from George Kashdan's run.

"A Blackhawk a Day" is by Bob Haney, Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera. The Blackhawks receive letters inviting them to various meetings around the world. When they arrive at the individual meetings, they discover traps have been set to capture them. For each of six days one of the Blackhawks is caught by Baron Booby-Trap who intends to turn them over to the Crime Combine. However, Chuck, the Listener, is able to get a message to Blackhawk. He then helps the others escape and together they trap the Crime Combine and Baron Booby-Trap.

The back-up story, "The Phantom Spy," is a reprint from Blackhawk #160 by Jack Miller, Dick Dillin and Sheldon Moldoff.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Unexpected #107

Unexpected #107 (On Sale: April 4, 1968) has a pretty bland Johnny Peril cover by Jack Sparling.

Inside Johnny Peril stars in "The Whip of Fear" by George Kashdan and Jack Sparling. That is followed by "Collector's Item" a reprint from Strange Adventures #28 by Jack Miller, Mad's Mort Drucker and Joe Giella. The last story is "A Trader in Treachery" by Carl Wessler and Bruno Premiani.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Superboy #148

Superboy #148 (On Sale: April 4, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams.

"Superboy's Greatest Gamble" is written by Leo Dorfman, pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by Sheldon Moldoff and Jack Abel. Continuing from last issues, having left his foster parents, the Kents, Superboy goes to Casino City and assumes the identity of Chuck Kibbee. He searches a carnival until he finds a couple who are running a crooked game. He then reveals to them that he is Superboy and offers to become their son.

Working with his new parents, the Zeros, Chuck breaks the bank at an underworld casino. The racket boss Hal King realizes that Chuck is Superboy. He then threatens to kill the Kents. The Boy of Steel acts like he doesn't care.

The back-up story, "The Canine That Outclassed Krypto," is by Cary Bates, George Papp and Frank Springer. Superboy is called by an alien zookeeper to help track down a dangerous space bird that has escaped. The Boy of Steel recaptures the bird and saves a space dog in the process. The alien dog which possesses super powers follows Superboy back to Earth. The dog then tells Superboy telepathically that he is a Zkor and his originally family was recently killed. He requests that Superboy make him his new pet.

Zkor helps Superboy fight crime, but when Krypto returns to Earth he becomes jealous of the new pet. Zkor consistently outclasses Krypto.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Secret Hearts #128

Secret Hearts #128 (On Sale: April 4, 1968) has a cover by Jay Scott Pike.

Inside we have "The Memory of Jim" and "My Weeping Heart" both by persons unknown. Lastly is "Reach For Happiness, Episode 19" drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Secret Six #2

Secret Six #2 (On Sale: April 2, 1968) has a cover by Nick Cardy that is not very impressively colored.

"Plunder the Pentagon" is plotted by E. Nelson Bridwell, scripted by DC newcomer Joe Gill (brought over by new editor Dick Giordano and doing his first DC work here) and drawn by Frank Springer and was reprinted in The Brave and the Bold #120.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Our Army at War #194

Our Army at War #194 (On Sale: April 2, 1968) has a nice cover by new editor Joe Kubert.

The Sgt. Rock tale, "A Time for Vengeance, " is written and drawn by Joe Kubert. The back-up, "Second-Best Means Dead" is by Howard Liss and Jack Abel.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Challengers of the Unknown #62

Challengers of the Unknown #62 (On Sale: April 2, 1968) has a Bob Brown cover.

The issue begins with "The Legion of the Weird" by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown. Ace is the victim of a voodoo spell conjured by Mistress Wycker, a sorceress petitioning to join a group of evil magicians. While Ace fights to stay alive, Rocky's grandmother provides a clue to stopping the spell. The other Challengers gather the necessary materials to construct a geechy bag, then they withstand several attacks to reach the sorceress. With Rocky's help, Ace throws the bag into the face of Wycker. The spell is broken, Ace regains his strength, and Mistress Wycker melts.

The back-up Challs story, "Me -- the Walking Nightmare," is also by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown. Red continues to tell his story about what happened after he was presumed dead. After consuming Multi-Man's liquid light formula, Red became a sea monster. Beach bum Herbert Pike caught him and convinces Red to become a side-show attraction.

When police begin to question him about a murder, Red changes form and flees with Pike. Pike brings him to an island and wants Red to take the form of the island god Seekeenakee. Red initially refuses. However when Pike attacks a girl named Tiana, Red becomes Seekeenakee and chases Pike away. After Tiana is accidentally killed, Red remains in his form as Seekeenakee and becomes the leader of the islanders.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Atom #37

Atom #37 (On Sale: April 2, 1968) has a nice cover by Gil Kane and Sid Greene.

"Meet Major Mynah" is by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene. Ray Palmer joins an archaeological expedition in Cambodia. The team uncovers some golden treasure, but a mynah bird snatches one of them. Ray chases the bird as the Atom and uncovers an entire temple of gold statues. When Viet Minh soldiers discover the temple, the Atom fights them. The mynah bird even helps him survive an attack, but the bird is injured.

Ray takes the bird back to America when he returns. He names the bird Major Mynah and has Hawkman fashion special wings to overcome his injury. The Atom then uses Major Mynah for transport while defending the gold statues from being stolen by thieves. Jean Loring begins to suspect something when both the Atom and Ray have new birds, so Ray decides to make a disguise for Major Mynah's next outing.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.