Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #112

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #112 (On Sale: May 28, 1968) has a cool cover by Neal Adams. I don't know if it the Superman clock that makes me love this or what.

"The Murderous Magnaman" is by Otto Binder, Pete Costanza and Joe Giella. Jimmy Olsen is kidnapped and taken to the foreign nation of Duxania by Princess Vannia. When they arrive he tries to call Superman with his signal watch, but a rebel assassin with super powers known as Magnaman responds. Magnaman attacks Jimmy, then tries to kill King Ogtar. Jimmy is able to chase the villain away with sonic blast from his watch. Vannia then explains that she brought Jimmy to Duxania to help.

Jimmy learns that Magnaman was once Klarz, a lab assistant who stole a secret formula that gave him his powers. Jimmy tries to discover Magnaman's secret weakness and is tricked into believing that lead will stop him. Magnaman then disguises himself as Superman and plans to rob the royal treasury. However, a gopher that was exposed to the same super-serum as Magnaman approaches him while underground. When the two come together, they both lose their powers, and Magnaman suffocates.

The back-up story is "Jimmy the Red, Thor's Best Pal" by Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and Stan Kaye and reprinted from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #55. Jimmy Olsen translates a viking tablet and reads it aloud which transports him back into the past. There, he meets Thor and frees the god from imprisonment at the hands of Loki. Jimmy is rewarded by becoming Thor’s pal.

Loki seeks revenge against Jimmy, but Thor rescues his friend when alerted by a horn Jimmy carries. Finally, Loki binds Thor and moves against the unprotected Jimmy.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Green Lantern #62

Green Lantern #62 (On Sale: May 28, 1968) has a very nicely drawn, if not so interestingly colored cover by Jack Sparling.

"Steal Small -- Rob Big" is by Gardner Fox, Jack Sparling and Sid Greene. Hal Jordan is assigned to investigate a series of bizarre robberies in which trivial objects of no value were stolen. While on a date with Eve Doremus, a bandit attacks him and steals a ballpoint pen from Eve as well as a heart pendant that Hal had given her. Hal is knocked out, so he is unable to use his power ring to stop the thief.

The next day Hal learns that the victims of the earlier robberies were robbed again. This time however valuables were taken. Hal deduces that Eve's house will be the next target and is waiting for the crooks when they arrive. He is able to capture several members of the gang.

However all the crooks were not present at the robbery scene. The one that took Eve's pendant uses a device that utilizes light rays absorbed by ordinary objects to see what happened around them. The crooks used the device on the stolen trinkets to learn about bigger targets. When the crook uses the device on Eve's pendant it shows him that Hal Jordan is Green Lantern.

The crooks lure Hal into a trap, but he refuses to admit that he is Green Lantern. While Hal is tied up, the crooks commit another robbery.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Girls' Romances #134

Girls' Romances #134 (On Sale: May 28, 1968) has a cover penciled by Jay Scott Pike and inked by persons unknown.

Inside we have "How Do I Love You?" drawn by Jack Sparling. This is followed by "If Love Had Its Way" a reprint from Falling In Love #55 drawn by Bernard Sachs. Next is "Princess -- American Style" drawn by John Rosenberger. Lastly we have "Memory of Heartbreak" drawn by Jay Scott Pike, which was reprinted in Falling In Love #133.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Detective Comics #377

Detective Comics #377 (On Sale: May 28, 1968) has a cover by Irv Novick.

"The Riddler's Prison-Puzzle Problem" is by Gardner Fox, Frank Springer and Sid Greene. The Riddler is compelled to leave clues for Batman concerning his upcoming robberies, but the crook finds a way to hide the clues from Batman by making them extremely difficult to see and booby-trapping them. Despite the Riddler's new plan, he is still captured by Batman and sent to jail.

When the Riddler is quickly bailed out of jail, Batman takes his place in the jail cell. Reprinted in Batman #260 and Batman: Featuring Two-Face and the Riddler TPB.

The back-up Elongated Man story, "The Case of the Clumsy Crook" is by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson. Thief Taps Carter believes that his criminal career is jinxed. While he never seems to be apprehended by police, he also fails to get away from his crimes with the loot. He decides to make one final heist before giving up crime. He steals a gold bracelet from Ralph Dibny's suitcase that is hidden inside a bottle of Gingold. As Carter makes his escape, his car collides with another containing a gang of crooks. The other crooks then take the bracelet.

When Ralph finds the bracelet has been stolen he goes after it. He finds the three crooks and captures them easily, recovering the bracelet in the process. Carter is wandering the woods and happens upon some counterfeit currency plates. The Elongated Man sees him while returning to the hotel. Carter denies any involvement with the plates, but confesses to the other crimes.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #370

Adventure Comics #370 (On Sale: May 28, 1968) has a lack-luster Legion of Super-Heroes cover by Curt Swan and Jack Abel.

Legion of Super-Heroes star in "The Devil's Jury" by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Continuing from last issue, Mordru easily crushes the four Legionnaires (Superboy, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, and Duo Damsel) with his magic, but they escape by burrowing underground.

Rushing back to the Kent home, Superboy swiftly constructs a hypnosis machine to erase their and the Kents' memories for an hour, so that Mordru cannot trace their thoughts. As they resume their earlier civilian guises, Mordru searches the minds of the Smallville populace in vain, but his probing causes the hypnosis to continue past its one-hour limit.

The villain then summons his armies to ferret out the Legionnaires, and causes Smallville to rise into space in order to limit their search. Pete Ross wonders why Superboy doesn't stop the armies and realizes that the Boy of Steel has forgotten who he is. He summons Lana Lang to a deserted house and confides the secret that Superboy is Clark Kent. With Lana as Insect Queen, they kidnap Clark and restore his memory. Superboy then does the same for his Legion comrades, and they make plans to stop Mordru and his army.

The next day, the Legionnaires show themselves in battle against the invaders, but are easily defeated and taken to Mordru's cave headquarters outside town. Actually, Pete is disguised as Superboy, and Duo Damsel has portrayed both herself and Shadow Lass. The real Superboy, Shadow Lass, and Insect Queen are safe, and as the captive heroes are brought before Mordru, their allies come to rescue them.

Stunned, Mordru is initially overwhelmed but easily recovers. After defeating the heroes again, he holds a mock trial before a jury of 30th century criminals with his lackey, Wraithor, as prosecutor. Pete is defense attorney, and he attempts to shock the criminals into siding with him, but fails. Then Mordru, at Wraithor's suggestion, sentences all six youths to slow death inside a lead-lined, Kryptonite-coated vault.

The heroes soon find that the vault is a fake, and after they break out, Wraithor appears and tells them that Pete's speech broke Mordru's spell over him. As he helps them to freedom, Mordru disintegrates him, and imprisons the heroes in a force-field, the creates a fireball and lifts it over his head, intending to hurl it down on them. This causes the cavern walls to crumble and collapse about him, sealing him underground, seemingly forever.

The Legionnaires return to Smallville, and Superboy uses his hypnosis ray to erase Lana's knowledge of his secret identity, but Mon-El prevents him from doing the same to Pete, instead causing him to forget that Pete knows his secret, because Pete is destined someday to use that information to save Superman's life. Reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-49 and Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #365

Action Comics #365 (On Sale: May 28, 1968) has an interesting cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

"Superman's Funeral" is by Leo Dorfman, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Continuing from the previous issues, after being infected with the deadly Virus X, Superman is rocketed into space to die. On his way to the distant sun Flammbron where his body will be incinerated, Superman recalls several significant people and events from his life. Superman's rocket passes several worlds which pay tribute to the fallen hero. As he passes Bizarro World, two Bizarros celebrate his death by throwing pieces of red and white kryptonite. Just before Superman reaches Flammbron, he sees Supergirl who has brought Lois, Lana, and Lori Lemaris into space to watch the final moments of their hero.

The back-up Supergirl story is "The Case of the Campus Crimes" by Dave Wood and Kurt Schaffenberger. Supergirl catches Leon Jackson, a teenager who has stolen a miniature Superman statue from a museum to use as an ornament for his motorcycle. The judge lets Leon off lightly after Mr. Smallville, a youth advocate speaks up for the boy. He then helps Leon enroll at Stanhope College.

Supergirl is not happy that Leon was rewarded for stealing. As Linda, she decides to give him another chance. However, Leon is soon implicated in a theft on campus and an act of vandalism. Linda begins to suspect that Leon is being framed.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Teen Titans #16

Teen Titans #16 (On Sale: May 23, 1968) has another brilliant cover by Nick Cardy. In The Art of Nick Cardy Nick says of this cover, "One of my favorite covers. The book is a huge monolith with the figures in a circle of activity around it with the openings to entrap the heroes. I like the simplicity of the design. Also, I put my son's name on the cover of the giant book." Some people mistakenly believe that the name is Cardy's own, which is actually Nicholas Viscardi.

"The Dimensional Caper" is by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy. Teenager Chet Walters becomes the town laughingstock when he tells his story of being kidnapped into another dimension. When the Teen Titans investigate, however, they discover that Hillsdale High actually is the secret base for an alien takeover, and that the school principal is one of the extradimensional alien leaders. Entering "Dimension X", they rescue Chet and his fellow students from being trapped in the alternate reality and being replaced by duplicates. This story has been reprinted in Brave and the Bold #116 and Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Strange Adventures #213

Strange Adventures #213 (On Sale: May 23, 1968) has an amazing Deadman cover by Neal Adams. DC ran full-page ads of this cover in black and white this month with the blurb "One Picture is Worth a 1000 Words!" (see below).

Deadman stars in "The Call from Beyond" written and drawn by Neal Adams. Continuing from last issue, Tiny is rushed to the hospital after being shot by the Hook. A brilliant surgeon named Dr. Shasti is able to operate and save Tiny's life, but the strong man appears to have lost the will to live. Deadman enters Tiny's body and gives him the strength to survive the ordeal. When Tiny's survival seems assured, Dr. Shasti credits the supernatural with his recovery.

Dr. Shasti tries to convince the hospital board to give a grant for psychic research. He takes them to Madam Pegeen, a psychic, to demonstrate the power of the supernatural. The board is convinced by what they see from the psychic, but Shasti withdraws his support. Reprinted in Deadman #5.

Here is a page of original art from this story that comes to us from Tony Marine's I me mine blog, this being the first piece of Neal Adams artwork Tony purchased. I love the simplicity of the inking on the Deadman figure in the first panel; just amazing stuff and Tony is fortunate to own this piece.

The back-up story is "Half-Man -- Half-Alien" drawn by John Rosenberger.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Superboy #149

Superboy #149 (On Sale: May 21, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams. Guess what movie was popular this year?

"Wanted: Dead or Alive" is by Frank Robbins and Al Plastino. When Bonnie and Clyde rob a Smallville bank, they take Clark Kent and Lana Lang as hostages. The crooks plan to use the teenagers as decoys in their next robbery. Lana is struck in the head and begins to think she is the real Bonnie. Clark is then forced to help Lana and the crooks in a gold robbery.

The back-up story is "The Great Super-Powers Contest" a reprint from Adventure Comics #248 by Bill Finger and Creig Flessel. Ace Grimes, a gangster, has made a bet with his racketeer friends over which super-power Superboy will use more in a single day. Each man has bet on a different power, but Grimes has rigged the contest, betting on super-strength himself.

Superboy learns of the scheme when he prevents a disaster using his strength, and he overhears Grimes. Throughout the rest of the day, Superboy uses each power only once and does not use his strength again. Grimes tries to force the Boy of Steel to use that power.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Secret Hearts #129

Secret Hearts #129 (On Sale: May 21, 1968) has a cover by Jay Scott Pike, surprisingly not completely ruined by Vinnie Colletta inks. Very surprising.

Inside we have an untitled Cindy the Salesgirl story drawn by Vinnie Colletta. This is followed by "Come Back -- My Heart" a reprint from Falling In Love #55 drawn by John Romita. Lastly we have "Reach for Happiness Episode 20" drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Beware the Creeper #2

Beware the Creeper #2 (On Sale: May 21, 1968) has a cool cover by Steve Ditko.

(The Many Faces of Proteus) is by Denny O'Neil and Steve Ditko. An impostor posing as the Creeper interrupts a live television broadcast and commits a murder. Jack Ryder witnesses the scene and is assigned the task of apprehending the killer. His boss suspects a connection between the Creeper and racket boss Legs Larsen, so Ryder begins by crashing the gangster's gambling party. When Ryder confronts Larsen as the Creeper, a masked man shoots the gangster. Larsen then passes along information to his foe before dying.

The Creeper learns that Proteus, a master of disguise, has taken over the local gangs and framed him for murder. Proteus tries to get the information back from Jack Ryder and sets fire to his apartment. The Creeper and Proteus fight it out in the burning building.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Inferior Five #9

Inferior Five #9 (On Sale: May 16, 1968) has a cover by Winslow Mortimer and Tex Blaisdell.

"Mummy's the Word" is by E. Nelson Bridwell, Winslow Mortimer and Tex Blaisdell. When a rare jewel is mysterious stolen from a museum, the Inferior Five are called for help. The team suspects that the crooks may strike again, so they take turns guarding the museum overnight. Each one of them is outwitted as more jewels are stolen. However, they do locate a secret shaft underneath one of the display cases.

The team descends into the shaft where they are attacked by a variety of monsters. After successfully passing each challenge, the Inferior Five find the thieves, aliens from Asteroid 36. They used the jewels to recharge the mind power ray devices which they then use to take control of the Inferior Five. Dumb Bunny is too stupid to be affected by mind control, so she single-handedly stops her attacking teammates and smashes the alien machine.

After the aliens leave Earth, the Inferior Five are forced to act as tour guides at the museum to pay for the damage they caused within.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Doom Patrol #120

Doom Patrol #120 (On Sale: May 16, 1968) has an oddly ineffective cover by Jack Sparling.

"The Rage of the Wrecker" is by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani. When satellites begin disappearing from Earth-orbit, the Doom Patrol investigates and battles the Wrecker, who is out to destroy all modern technology by means of ray bombardments from a space base. When Robotman's mechanical body is destroyed as well, the Chief transplants his brain into a series of specialized robot bodies, enabling him to accompany Negative Man into space to defeat the villain.

Meanwhile, out for a night on the town, Mento, Elasti-Girl, Gar Logan, and Gar's girlfriend Jillian Jackson become involved in a brawl at a discotheque, with humorous results.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Bomba the Jungle Boy #6

Bomba the Jungle Boy #6 (On Sale: May 16, 1968) has a kinda cool cover by Jack Sparling. This issue gets a new logo as editor Dick Giordano tries to save this struggling book.

Inside we have (Krag) by Denny O'Neil and Jack Sparling. This is O'Neil's first full script for DC coming over from Charlton with Giordano. Denny O'Neil would become one of DC's premiere writers.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #84

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #84 (On Sale: May 14, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "Lois Lane, Convict" by Leo Dorfman, Irv Novick and Mike Esposito. Lois Lane visits her college friend Coral on vacation in Canyon City. She becomes suspicious when the Arrowhead Ranch cancels her reservations. She disguises herself as Ann Lacey, takes a room at the Ranch and later goes horseback riding.

While riding, Lois is caught by police. The ranch owner claims that Lois stole the horse. Her friend Coral then accuses her of stealing her car too. Lois is sent to jail, where she tries to contact Superman for help. The authorities stop her and use a Superman imposter to provide further evidence against her.

Lois escapes from jail by trading identities with her cell mate. She then finds the phony Superman who has become ill. Lois then contacts the real Man of Steel, who returns to Canyon City with Lois.

The back-up is "The Last Days of Lois Lane" by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger and is reprinted from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #27. After witnessing an atomic test, Lois Lane believes she has received a lethal dose of atomic radiation. Fearing that her life is soon to end, Lois begins risking her life in pursuit of dangerous stories. Superman manages to save her from peril, and learns of her predicament from a note Lois writes for him to open after her demise.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Spectre #5

Spectre #5 (On Sale: May 14, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams, his last for the series.

Inside we have "The Spectre Means Death?" written and drawn by Neal Adams. The Psycho-Pirate steals a magic globe to locate a source of mystic energy that will enable him to remove the magic mask that Doctor Fate used to deny him the use of his powers. The globe gives the Pirate control over a drifter who becomes a giant and can focus the emotion manipulation powers of his master. When the Spectre tries to stop the giant drifter, Psycho-Pirate causes bystanders to fear him. He also siphons off the Spectre's powers.

The Spectre seeks to renew his energy by entering the body of Jim Corrigan, but Corrigan wants to arrest him. Instead the Spectre uses his remaining power in a final confrontation with the drifter. He manages to neutralize the giant, but in doing so he allows the Psycho-Pirate to overcome him.

The drifter is then revealed to be Gat Benson, the man who killed Jim Corrigan. When he sees Corrigan alive, Benson panics. Reprinted in Adventure Comics #498.

This was the first time Gat Benson had appeared since More Fun Comics #53 in 1940.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Girls' Love Stories #136

Girls' Love Stories #136 (On Sale: May 14, 1968) has a cover pencilled by Tony Abruzzo.

The issue begins with a Cindy The Salesgirl story, "Teen Style" by persons unknown. This is followed by "My Only Love" drawn by Arthur Peddy and Benard Sachs. Next is "His Name is -- Jerry" pencilled by Jay Scott Pike, followed by our cover-story, "Sweet Mystery of Love" pencilled by Tony Abruzzo.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Young Love #68

Young Love #68 (On Sale: May 9, 1968) has a cover by Jay Scott Pike over a Dick Giordano layout and it might be inked by Giordano as well.

Inside we have "Guardian of His Heart" and "The One I Loved" created by persons unknown. Lastly we have Lisa St. Claire in "Life and Loves of Lisa St. Claire" a new continuing series by created by Dick Giordano, written by Jack Miller and drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

My first guess was that all of these were inventory stories from Jack Miller's run as editor, but in searching for the cover credits I came upon this from an issue of Comic Book Artist in an interview with Dick Giordano by Jon B. Cooke:
"The Romance covers were the books I was allowed to design and they were the love of my life! That series (Young Love #68, "The Life and Loves of Lisa St. Claire") was adapted from a newspaper strip that I developed. Lisa is my daughter's name. The strip pitch never got presented to anybody but I had the first story written and some of it storyboarded. When I got Young Love to edit, I went to Jack Miller (whom I happened to like though I was told to ignore him) and gave him my notes and we went with it. And I got my favorite Romance artist to draw it, Jay Scott Pike."
Edited by Dick Giordano.

Our Fighting Forces #114

Our Fighting Forces #114 (On Sale: May 9, 1968) has a Lt. Hunter's Hellcats cover by Joe Kubert (Irv Novick having moved on to Batman and Wonder Woman duty).

Inside we have Lt. Hunter's Hellcats in "No Loot for the Hellcats" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath. This story was reprinted in Our Army At War #269. The back-up story is "No Medals for a Hero" drawn by Jack Sparling.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

House of Mystery #175

House of Mystery #175 (On Sale: May 9, 1968) has the first of many wonderful Neal Adams HOM covers featuring a group of children. Neal's covers, more any other single factor, set the tone for the highly successful run of DC mystery books.

Inside we begin with a one-page introduction of Cain the caretaker of the House of Mystery written and drawn by Joe Orlando. Next is "The Gift of -- Doom" drawn by George Roussos and reprinted from House of Mystery #137. That is followed by "All Alone" a two-page text story illustrated by Joe Orlando and a one-page "Page 13" gag-panel written by Joe Orlando and drawn by Sergio Aragones.

We finally come to the meet of the issue, "The House of Gargoyles" by Bob Haney and Jack Sparling, the first original DC "mystery" story in years and the start of a long and successful run of mystery/horror stories at DC. It features a couple of interesting things that will become staples of the DC horror books. First, the first page is an introduction to the story by the host, Cain, who also appears at the end of the story to wrap things up.

Second, there is a panel in the story that the cover by Neal Adams mimicks. This story is about three children who discover the secret of these living gargoyles. Apparently the cover with the children was so effective that the three tykes would return to the cover month after month under the technical expertise of Adams. This first story was reprinted in DC Special #11, Limited Collectors' Edition C-23 and Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Batman #203

Batman #203 (On Sale: May 9, 1968) AKA 80pg. Giant #G-49 has a cover by Neal Adams over a layout by Carmine Infantino. I remember as a kid being excited by this issue, that there were actually some "secrets" that I was going to learn.

We begin with "The 1,000 Secrets of the Batcave" by Bill Finger and Jim Mooney from Batman #48. Escaped killer Wolf Brando on the run from police takes refuge inside Wayne Manor. Once inside, he knocks out Dick Grayson and accidentally discover the Batcave entrance.

Batman learns that Wolf is hiding in his home and follows him into the Batcave. Brando has Dick held hostage, but Batman rescues him. Together Batman and Robin then chase Brando through the Batcave. They know that once he is caught, Wolf will reveal their secret identities to the world. After a long chase, Brando is finally cornered. However, he accidentally falls into an underground stream and drowns.

Next is "The Birth of Batplane II" by David V. Reed, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris from Batman #61.

That is followed by "The Secret of Batman's Utility Belt" also by David V. Reed, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris and from Detective Comics #185.

Next is "The 100 Batarangs of Batman" by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris from Detective Comics #244. Film is stolen which contains pictures of Batman throwing his batarangs. The Dynamic Duo recalls several criminals who have been defeated by the batarangs. They determine that Jay Garris is the likely suspect. Batman locates Garris and uses Batarang X, a giant batarang that can carry a man, to sneak into Garris’ hide-out. He learns the crooks intend to use exploding batarangs for crime.

Next up is "Secret of the Batmobile" also by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris from Batman #98. When Batman pursues the Racer in the Batmobile, Vicki Vale snaps a photo of the chase. Batman sees the photo and worries that it will reveal a secret. He convinces Vicki to run several stories of cases in which the Batmobile was used before printing the photo. The reason for this is that the engine of the Batmobile was damaged. While repairs continued, Batman replaced the Batmobile with Bruce Wayne's sports car. Vicki's photo showed the sports car and would have given away his identity.

Lastly we have "The Flying Bat-Cave" by David V. Reed, Lew Sayre Schwartz and Charles Paris from Detective Comics #186.

Edited by E. Nelson Bridwell who began editing all of the Batman 80-Page Giants beginning with issue #198.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Superman #208

Superman #208 (On Sale: May 7, 1968) has a pretty cool cover by Neal Adams.

"The Case of the Collared Crime-Fighter" is by Frank Robbins, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Gimmicks Cronin, a known crook, is able to place a special collar around Superman's neck. He tells the Superman that if the collar is removed or tampered with, bombs will explode around the city. The collar contains a tracking device which allows Cronin to alert the underworld to the Man of Steel's location at all times.

The back-up story, "The Town That Hated Superman," is a reprint from Superman #130 and is by Otto Binder, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. Superman discovers a town that hates him. The town is lead by Bruce Cyrus. No one in town seems to know why Cyrus hates Superman, but they are forced to obey Anti-Superman laws of the town.

Superman meets Cyrus and learns that he is from the same Smallville orphanage. He has blamed Superman all his life for not being adopted.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Falling In Love #100

Falling In Love #100 (On Sale: May 7, 1968) has another cover by Jay Scott Pike.

Inside we have "I Had No Right to Love" drawn by John Rosenberger, "Don't Dream -- My Heart" is a reprint from Falling In Love #54 drawn by John Romita and Bernard Sachs and our cover story, "Third Choice" is drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wonder Woman #177

Wonder Woman #177 (On Sale: May 2, 1968) has a cover by Carmine Infantino and Irv Novick.

"The Planetary Conqueror" is by Bill Finger, Winslow Mortimer and Jack Abel and represents the last super-hero story by the great Bill Finger. Wonder Woman and Supergirl are kidnapped and taken to an alien planet to compete for the honor of becoming the wife of Klamos the Mighty. Several powerful women from other worlds are also in the competition. Neither Wonder Woman nor Supergirl wants to become Klamos's queen, so when combat begins they avoid it. However, when they are the last one's standing, Klamos orders them to fight one another.

The Amazon and the Girl of Steel refuse to obey Klamos, so he threatens to destroy Earth. Finally, the two female heroes battle each other. Wonder Woman is thrown near Klamos's assistant Grok. She quickly grabs him and exposes a set of controls on his wrist. Supergirl destroys the controls which power Klamos who is really a robot. Grok, the real Klamos, is then deposed as leader of the planet. He escapes custody threatening to have his revenge.

This was the last gasp for the costumed Wonder Woman for a few years as next issue the New Wonder Woman debuts.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Tomahawk #117

Tomahawk #117 (On Sale: May 2, 1968) has another great cover by Neal Adams. Though not a "show stopper' like last issue, this one is still very dramatic.

Inside we have "The Rangers' Last Stand" by Dave Wood and Fred Ray and "The Gauntlet of Doom" by Carl Wessler and Fred Ray.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Our Army at War #195

Our Army at War #195 (On Sale: May 2, 1968) has a cover by Joe Kubert, another great Kubert angle.

Inside we have Sgt. Rock in "Dead Town" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. The back-ups are "A Promise to Joe" from G.I. Combat #97 by Hank Chapman and Irv Novick and "Nobody's Friend" drawn by Frank Springer.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Aquaman #40

Aquaman #40 (On Sale: May 2, 1968) features one of my favorite covers of all time by the great Nick Cardy. In The Art of Nick Cardy Nick says of this cover, "The 'S' shape of hair to Mera's head and title was the graceful feminine flow I wanted. The situations of the heroes provided the contrasting tension."

Over the next two years Cardy will do some of the most amazing comic covers ever on what is my favorite series of all time.

"Sorcerers of the Sea" is by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo but it is just not right to leave off editor Dick Giordano who orchestrated this series starting with this issue, for many of the books are credited to SAG (Skeates/Aparo/Giordano). This accreditation is most likely the work of letterer Aparo.

This book is a classic for a number of reasons: It marks the first real Dick Giordano book for DC, where we get to see his hand as an editor all over the product. It features the first Jim Aparo work at DC, a company he would work at for the rest of his life as one of their premiere artists. It has the first full script by Steve Skeates at DC. It redefines the character of Aquaman, giving him much more depth as he searches the seas for his kidnapped wife. Lastly, it begins a story arc that will run for the next year and a half, something DC rarely ever did.

Now for the details... Mera is kidnapped while Aquaman is caught in a whirlpool. He doesn't see the attackers, and his only clue is a ring worn by one of them. After the attack, Aquaman and Aqualad begin a search of the area where she was taken.

Aquaman finds an undersea city that shimmers in the distance. He sneaks into the city and believes he sees Mera acting as the queen of the people. He tries to force his way into the palace, but is captured. Aqualad is also injured in the process.

Aquaman escapes and takes Aqualad back to Atlantis for medical attention. He then returns to the city. This time despite the magic of the defending sorcerers, Aquaman makes his way to the queen's chambers. When he sees her, he realizes that her eyes are a different color than Mera's. She is not his wife, so he leaves the city determined to continue his quest to find Mera. Reprinted in Adventure Comics #491 and shamefully, nowhere else.

One of the joys of this series is watching Jim Aparo morph into this amazing artist. In this first few issues his Aquaman is kind of blocky and stocky but within a year he will become this lithe, figure of rippling muscles that slices through the water with amazing grace and ease. Like I said, this is my favorite series of all time.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Anthro #1

Anthro #1 (On Sale: May 2, 1968) has a cover by Howie Post as Anthro moves from the pages of Showcase to his own short-lived series.

"The Battle of the Sexes" is written and drawn by Howie Post. Continuing from the Showcase issue, Anthro and his younger brother Lart return to the mammoth that Anthro has recently slain. While extracting meat from the body, a young girl attacks them. Anthro chases her and learns that she is a member of his mother's tribe. The girl had tamed the mammoth and kept it as a pet. She attacked Anthro for killing it. Anthro consoles her after learning about her loss.

While Anthro is away with the girl, Lart is attacked by a giant dog known as Kano. Anthro tries to return to his brother in time, but the boy is injured by the beast. Fortunately Lart was able to move his spear under Kano which kills it. Anthro carries Lart home where the young boy receives praise for killing the creature.

Anthro's father Ne-Ahn believes Anthro was distracted because he has no woman. He tells his son to go to a neighboring settlement and bring a woman home with him. Anthro meets Chief Tugg who wishes to marry off his daughter Ita. Anthro thinks Ita is the pretty girl he met earlier, so he passes Tugg's tests. When he learns that Ita is fat and ugly, he runs away (I hate it when the chief pulls the old ugly daughter switcheroo!). Tugg and his men chase Anthro as he flees. The pretty girl follows him too.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #107

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #107 (On Sale: May 2, 1968) has a cover by Bob Oksner.

Inside we have "The Great Cross-Country Tour -- and What Made the Country Cross," which is most likely the work of Arnold Drake and Bob Oksner.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.