Friday, October 31, 2008

Heart Throbs #117

Heart Throbs #117 (On Sale: October 31, 1968) has a cover penciled by Jay Scott Pike. Looks like inks by Dick Giordano to me.

We begin with "I Couldn't Be Faithful" penciled by Tony Abruzzo. Next is "The Boy Next Door" a reprint from Girls' Love Stories #42 inked by Bernard Sachs. Lastly we have "3 Girls--their Lives...Their Loves Episode 16" penciled by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Detective Comics #382

Detective Comics #382 (On Sale: October 31, 1968) has a cover by Irv Novick.

"Riddle of the Robbin' Robin" is by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Joe Giella. Batman and Robin attempt to stop the Smokescreen Mob during a robbery. The crooks get away, but Batman tracks the gang to their hideout. When he arrives the stolen jewels are missing from the safe, leaving Batman with no evidence to hold them.

The crooks are upset that they were robbed. This was only the latest of several heists involving their loot. Fingers, the gang boss, suspects the Blowtorch Mob and barges into the rival gang's hideout to accuse them of the crime. When he arrives he learns that they too are the victims of robbery. The two gangs then come up with a plan to catch the thief.

The two gangs decide to hold off on any crimes for several days. Batman notices the severe drop in criminal activity during this time. The crooks then plan a big heist and have rigged a death trap on the safe where they will stash the loot. However, the man they use to set the trap is really the thief. He plans to double-cross the gang by having Robin open it. While the Armorer leads Robin to the safe, Batman is able to unravel the plan and save his partner. The leaders of the mobs are then the victims of their own death trap.

The back-up Elongated Man story, "The Wishing Well Wonder," is by Gardner Fox and Sid Greene. Elongated Man returns to Fairview City and stops a fur robbery. He is reunited with Billy Warner, who has been given a magic coin that grants his wishes. Billy refuses to reveal the source of the magic until the wishes stop coming true. When they do, he shows Ralph the coin which contains a tiny radio transmitter.

Ralph deduces that crooks gave Billy the coin to spy on the boy's grandfather who owns a rare diamond. When Ralph investigates, he finds that the diamond has been stolen. He catches up to the crooks, but while apprehending them Billy distracts him. The diversion allows the crooks to knock out Ralph and escape. Billy then attempts to revive the Elongated Man.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Brave and the Bold #81

Brave and the Bold #81 (On Sale: October 31, 1968) has a great Batman and Flash cover by Neal Adams.

"But Bork Can Hurt You" is by Bob Haney, Neal Adams and Vince Colletta. This is Colletta's first super-hero inking job for DC and boy did it cause a stink. Adams was infuriated when he saw what Colletta had done to his pencils, going back and inking over Colletta in places in an attempt to salvage his work. Some also say that Adams got some of the later pages back from Colletta and had Dick Giordano ink them. It's been so long since I looked at this book that I really don't remember, but if ever two artists styles clashed it was Adams and Colletta. Neal made sure that Colletta never inked his work again.

Small-time hood Carl Bork suddenly discovers that he is invulnerable to any physical harm. Using his new ability, Bork takes over a local gang and stymies police who cannot stop the bulletproof crook. Even Batman is unable to beat Bork, who begins raising a criminal army to take over Gotham City.

Batman and the police try to hold off Bork, while the Flash searches the world for the source of Bork's power. He discovers that a statue of Bork is responsible, and it shares a mystical connection to its subject. Flash locates the statue, but, like Bork, it too proves to be invulnerable. Flash is finally able to damage the hand slightly with a laser, but the laser is not powerful enough to harm the statue further.

Batman notices that Bork's hand is no longer invulnerable. He believes that Flash is working on the problem and is inspired by the progress. Rather than risk a war in the streets of Gotham, he challenges Bork to a one-on-one fight. Bork's invulnerability proves more than a match for Batman. However, the Caped Crusader holds on to hope that Flash will come up with the answer to defeat Bork. His hope is rewarded when Flash is able to drag the statue into the sun where it is consumed. Once the statue is destroyed, Bork loses his power and is defeated by Batman.

Bork would return years later in a mutated form as a reformed criminal and an associate member of The Power Company, even getting his own book at one time. Reprinted in Best of the Brave and the Bold #2, Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1 HC and Showcase Presents the Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Adventure Comics #375

Adventure Comics #375 (On Sale: October 31, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams.

"The King of the Legion" is by Jim Shooter and Winslow Mortimer. The Legion receives a message from an unseen source challenging their mightiest member to combat in a tournament on another planet. Several Legionnaires including Superboy and Mon-El believe that they are the mightiest and should meet the challenge. It is agreed that a contest shall be used to determine which Legionnaire will serve as the mightiest.
Twelve Legionnaires join the contest, while the others officiate. The Legion then receives word that their allies the Wanderers have temporarily been turned evil by the Nefar Nebula. To settle their contest, the participants agree to compete by apprehending the Wanderers.

In the first round, Karate Kid captures Quantum Queen, beating out Ultra Boy and Sun Boy. Chameleon Boy prevails over Saturn Girl and Chemical King in defeating Ornitho. Superboy easily beats Brainiac 5 and Timber Wolf by stopping Immorto. However, the biggest surprise happens when Bouncing Boy captures Dartalg after Mon-El and Element Lad neutralize each other.

The contest continues in the second round where Superboy outmatches Karate Kid in stopping Elvo. Chameleon Boy and Bouncing Boy match up against Psyche. She appears to have beaten them both by causing them to hate one another. However, somehow Bouncing Boy prevails and defeats her. Cham is injured and taken back to headquarters to recuperate. In the final match-up Superboy and Bouncing Boy square off against Celebrand, who surrenders to the rotund hero making him the winner.

The Legion is shocked by the result of the contest, but bow to Bouncing Boy as the winner. He is then teleported away to serve as the mightiest Legionnaire. Moments after he disappears the real Bouncing Boy walks into headquarters leaving the others to wonder who really won the contest. Reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #370

Action Comics #370 (On Sale: October 31, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "100 Years... Lost, Strayed or Stolen" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Superman is haunted by strange dreams. His analysis of them leads him to perform a test on the rocket which brought him to Earth where he discovers that it is over 100 years old. Superman is unable to solve the mystery.

The reason the rocket is older is that during Kal-El's trip to Earth his rocket entered a space warp that took it to another universe. Young Kal-El was found and raised by a race of primitive people. While he did not possess super-powers on this world, his body emitted radiation which accelerated their evolutionary advancement. In the span of his lifetime, the people developed from barbarians to a race with advanced technology.

Kal-El, known as Sonn on this world, grows up to become a respected leader of his new planet. However, his adopted sister Ruoa is jealous of her brother. When exposed to the evil-beam of a devil-dragon, she becomes Sonn's greatest enemy. Her ultimate scheme unleashes a tremendous evil on the planet which leads to atomic war. Sonn is blamed for the holocaust and must live the remainder of his life as a fugitive.

When Sonn is an old man he is found by his son Vol who possesses an immunity to the plague of evil. Sonn develops a way to cure the people by devolving them back into barbarians. He also restores Sonn to babyhood, places him back in the rocket, and sends him on his way to Earth. Kal-El arrives on Earth as a baby with no memories of his lifetime in the other universe. Due to a difference in the flow of time between universes, each year he spent in the other universe was equivalent to an Earth minute.

I have to say this is a pretty great story by Bates and the fact that they could cram it into 13 pages should be a lesson to all the writers out there today. Never reprinted.

In the Supergirl back-up, "Supergirl's Shattered Marriage," a continuation of last-issue's story by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger, Linda Danvers has fallen in love with college playboy Gary Sparks. To win his affection, she approaches him as Supergirl, and they begin dating. Gary agrees to give up his other girlfriends, and the couple decides to get married.

Supergirl returns home to tell her parents about her engagement. They are concerned by the sudden decision. Supergirl decides to use a Prognostron to view the future in which she marries Gary. The machine shows that the marriage will not be a happy one as Gary neglects their daughter Kala and begins cheating on her. Supergirl realizes that she should not marry him after all, but she has given her word.

Back on campus, Gary publicly announces the engagement and destroys his little black book. When he sees Supergirl again, the Girl of Steel intentionally sabotages the relationship. Gary then calls off the wedding. When he returns to campus he becomes a laughingstock when he claims to have jilted Supergirl.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Captain Action #2

Captain Action #2 (On Sale: October 29, 1968) has a cover by Gil Kane.

"The Battle Begins" is by Jim Shooter, Gil Kane and Wally Wood. In the name of full disclosure I must confess to owning a Captain Action doll as a kid. In fact, they were so well made he is sitting on my drawing board even as we speak. I also owned the Captain Action Superman costume and the Silver Streak, the amphibious car depicted on the cover of above.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Bat Lash #2

Bat Lash #2 (On Sale: October 29, 1968) has a truly wonderful cover by Nick Cardy.

(Melinda's Doll) is written by Denny O'Neil and plotted and drawn by Nick Cardy. While escaping from a wedding that he doesn't watch, Bat Lash discovers the body of a dead marshal in the snow. He takes the dead man's coat and boots, then finds his orphaned daughter Melinda nearby. The girl is confused from shock and believes Bat is her father.

Bat Lash takes the girl to the nearby town of Serenity. The crooks that murdered the marshal try to kill him too. He discovers that they are smuggling guns to indians inside coffins. Bat finds evidence against the local undertaker proving his involvement. He arrests the crooks, then leaves Melinda with a woman in town before leaving town. Reprinted in Super DC Giant S-22.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Swing With Scooter #16

Swing With Scooter #16 (On Sale: October 24, 1968) has a cover by Henry Scarpelli.

We begin with "Skiing is Believing" drawn by Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli. This is followed by an untitled Scooter story and "Sympathy Pains" both by persons unknown.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Hawk & the Dove #3

Hawk & the Dove #3 (On Sale: October 24, 1968) has a nice action cover by Gil Kane.

"After the Cat" is by Steve Skeates, Gil Kane and Sal Trapani. Gone is series creator Steve Ditko, which must have made the writing a lot easier for Steve Skeates. Hank Hall hunts the streets for a notorious cat burglar known as the Cat. After days of searching he spots the crook during a burglary. Hawk tries to stop him, but his efforts only result in the destruction of property.

When Hank and others then accuse Don of cowardice, Dove goes in search of the Cat also. He finds the crook surrounded by police. Dove tries to stop the cops from firing on the Cat, only to learn that they were firing tear gas. This results in the police becoming victims of their own tactics, and the Cat flees. A cop then shoots and kills the burglar. Dove blames himself for causing the escalated level of violence. Reprinted in Teen Titans #39.

In "Twice Burned," also by Steve Skeates, Gil Kane and Sal Trapani, when Linda Kieves's father is beaten nearly to death by thugs, Hawk attempts to track down the perpetrators. Meanwhile Dove tries to stop Linda's brother from taking justice into his own hands by shooting the man who hired the thugs. Hawk succeeds in finding the thugs and beats a confession out of them. Dove also succeeds in stopping Mark Kieves, but only by nearly resorting to violence. Reprinted in 100-Page Super Spectacular DC-15.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

World's Finest Comics #181

World's Finest Comics #181 (On Sale: October 22, 1968) has a great, gritty Superman/Batman cover by Irv Novick. This is the first cover using the Superman and Batman figures flanking the World's Finest logo,

"The Hunter and the Hunted" is by Cary Bates, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Superman receives a warning from the super-computer in his Fortress to leave the Earth for 24 hours. Before leaving he convinces Batman to do the same. Superman hides out on the distant world of Toron, while Batman travels back in time to 1896 where he gets a job as a circus performer. Despite the fact that the heroes heeded the computer's warning, a hunter from the oval planet Orr is able to track them down and take them to his home planet.

Superman and Batman are legends on Orr and hailed as the founders of that world. The inhabitants want to keep the heroes on their world forever. Superman eventually realizes that the planet is actually the future Bizarro World and they have been mistaken for Bizarro #1 and Bizarro-Batman. The heroes then begin acting like Bizarros which upsets the Orr inhabitants. Superman and Batman are kicked off the planet, which returns to its future time period. The square Bizarro World, which had been displaced in time while Orr was in the present, is restored.

The back-up Bizarro story, "The Origin of the Bizarro World" is by John Forte, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. When an experimental duplicator ray was used on Superman, an imperfect duplicate known as Bizarro was created. A Bizarro duplicate of Lois Lane was also created to keep Bizarro company. The couple left Earth and founded Bizarro World, a planet populated by duplicates of themselves created with an imitator machine. The Bizarro planet was changed into a cube shape, and the Bizarros adopted a code to do the opposite of all Earthly things.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Sugar and Spike #80

Sugar and Spike #80 (On Sale: October 22, 1968) has a cover by Sheldon Mayer.

"Adventure Inside a Monster" is written and drawn by Sheldon Mayer, as usual.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Showcase #79

Showcase #79 (On Sale: October 22, 1968) introduces us to Dolphin in a cover by romance artist Jay Scott Pike.

"The Fantasy at 14 Fathoms" is written and drawn by Jay Scott Pike. Not only is this Pike's only non-romance artwork for DC, this is his only writing. In this, the origin of Dolphin, Chief Petty Officer Chris Landau and his partner Ben Harkey are assigned the task of recovering documents from a sunken U.S. Navy ship that has been underwater twenty three years. During their search of the ship, they discover a girl who can breathe underwater. They bring her back to their ship and name her Dolphin. She has gills that allow her to breathe water, but her lungs cannot sustain her in air for long, so she returns to the water.

While Landau and his team work to open the safe containing the documents, a typhoon approaches. The seamen convince Dolphin to help them get the documents out of the sunken ship's safe. The typhoon strikes before she can finish the job and the wreck is pushed into a deep chasm. Landau returns to his ship believing Dolphin and the documents lost forever. He is surprised when the girl surfaces with the papers in hand.

As the ship leaves the area to avoid the harsh weather, Landau invites Dolphin to return to home with him. However, the girl indicates that she belongs at sea and dives back into the water. It would be ten years before Dolphin would appear again and then only in the character-packed pages of Showcase #100. Then in 1984 Dolphin would reappear as one of the Forgotten Heroes in the pages of Action Comics #552 and #553. Dolphin would nexct appear in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985-1986. Dolphin was later "adopted" by Peter David and showed up in Justice League Task Force #7-8 as well as becoming a part of Aquaman's supporting cast druing David's run. In 2002-2003 she was a supporting character in the Aquaman series and gave birth to Aqualad's child.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Metal Men #35

Metal Men #35 (On Sale: October 22, 1968) has a pretty cool cover by Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos.

"Danger -- Doom Dummies" is by Robert Kanigher, Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos. Continuing from last issue, the Metal Men are forced to do battle with an army of mannequins that have been animated by an alien entity. While the robots succeed in destroying many of their opponents, the army causes them the retreat.

Meanwhile, Tina has survived crashing into an active volcano. The alien she was trying to defeat falls in and becomes a volcano man. She is able to lure the alien back to the city where his volcanic heat melts the mannequin army. Tina then pretends to agree to the alien's demand to become his queen. She leads him out to sea where the water cools his boiling temperatures and neutralizes him.

Despite their success against the alien and his army, the authorities still mistrust the robots and believe they should be deactivated.It has been reprinted in Showcase Presents: Metal Men Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Justice League of America #68

Justice League of America #68 (On Sale: October 22, 1968) has one of the more unfortunate covers by Dick Dillin and Sid Greene that I have ever seen. Man is this thing a mess!

"Neverwas... the Chaos-Maker" is by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. A mutated amoeba-like creature from Earth's pre-history, Neverwas accidentally transports himself to the present, where he wreaks unintentional havoc. After a disastrous encounter with the creature, Hawkman alerts the JLA.

Superman is put out of action when Neverwas lures him through a time-gate to the distant past, trapping him in an era when Earth's sun was red, rendering him powerless. Aquaman, Batman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Hawkman are on the verge of defeat, when Superman manages to return through the time-gate through which Neverwas is about to hurl the entire United States.

Deducing that the creature possesses the mind of a child, Superman creates a giant toy for it, then hurls the toy and creature back into his own world, after which Green Lantern seals the time-gate. It has been reprinted in Justice League of America Archives Vol. 8 HC.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Star Spangled War Stories #142

Star Spangled War Stories #142 (On Sale: October 17, 1968) has an Enemy Ace cover by Joe Kubert featuring a new Enemy Ace logo.

Enemy Ace stars in "Vengeance is a Harpy" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. It has been reprinted in Enemy Ace Archives Vol. 1 HC and Showcase Presents: Enemy Ace Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Flash #184

Flash #184 (On Sale: October 17, 1968) has a very dramatic cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

"Executioner of Central City" is by Frank Robbins, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Scientists at the Mt. Vista Ionospheric Observatory identify a burst of destructive energy headed for Central City. Iris Allen is able to contact her husband to warn him of the impending danger. Flash then tries to save the city by circling it at tremendous speed and setting up a repulsive shield. The energy burst is successfully deflected at the exact moment Flash's endurance gives out.

When Flash recovers from his exhaustive effort, he discovers that Central City is gone. A giant crater is all that remains. Flash believes his actions caused the destruction of the city, but he finds one survivor stuck in the mud. The survivor is a woman named Zoral, and she is actually from the future. She explains that she works for Dr. Yom, a future anthropologist who was conducting an experiment to bring a civilization from the past to his own time.

When Zoral returns to her time period, Flash hitches a ride. They discover that Central City has been transported intact into the future as a result of the freak circumstances involved with the energy burst. Dr. Yom wants sole credit for successfully bringing the city into the future and tries to eliminate Zoral and Flash when they learn the truth. Flash is able to defeat Dr. Yom and return Central City to its rightful place in time and space.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Batman #207

Batman #207 (On Sale: October 17, 1968) has an interesting Irv Novick cover displaying a decidedly rugged musculature. forget the fact that the "camera" would be underwater to take this picture and yet the top of the water is parallel to the frame of the cover.

"The Doomsday Ball" is by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Joe Giella. A small nuclear device has been stolen and is being used to blackmail Gotham City. Batman enlists the aid of gangster Big Brill to identify the blackmailer, but first he must survive several death traps set up by Brill and his men. Working against the blackmailer's deadline, Batman follows clues until he finds the bomb inside the trunk of a parked car. However, a remote triggering device could still activate the bomb.

Gotham officials agree to pay the blackmail demands. Batman follows the money to the blackmailer, Bertram Smith. The man is killed at the airport, but not before he reveals that the remote trigger is hidden inside a young boy's ball. Batman finds the boy and the ball in time to deactivate the trigger and save Gotham.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Superman #212

Superman #212 (On Sale: October 15, 1968), AKA 80 Page Giant #G-54, has a cover by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito in an issue devoted to stories of Super-babies.

We begin with "The Man Who Saved Kal-El's Life" reprinted from Action Comics #281 and by Robert Bernstein and Al Plastino. Criminal Paul Pratt commits several large robberies, but shows up thousands of miles away within minutes which establishes an alibi. Superman is approached by Professor Amos Dunn, who explains that he traveled to Krypton many years ago and met Jor-El.

Using a matter transmitter, Dunn was transported to the distant world where he saved baby Kal-El from a deadly snake bite. Jor-El hoped to use the transporters to save the population of Krypton. However, the destruction came before the devices were ready to work. Jor-El was forced to send Kal-El to Earth in a rocket, and he and the population died in Krypton’s destruction.

Dunn kept the plans to the matter transmitter and believes that his assistant Gerald Greer is using the device with Pratt to escape after the robberies. Superman confirms this and catches the crooks, taking the matter transmitter to his Fortress for permanent storage.

Next is "The Rejected Super-Tot" reprinted from Superboy #90 and produced by Jerry Siegel and George Papp. While on an ocean cruise with his adoptive parents, baby Clark Kent jumps overboard and is lost. He is found eventually and turned in to the Smallville Orphanage. His identity is unknown, so he is adopted by another couple. However, his powers make him a handful especially since no one realizes he has them. The couple returns the baby to the orphanage.

After several other similar adoptions and returns, the Kents come to the orphanage. Clark hears his mother’s voice and screams for her. The Kents once again adopt Clark and take him home.

"The Babe of Steel" is reprinted from Action Comics #284 and is the work of Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and George Klein. After receiving a strange message from a disembodied figure, Superman uses Red Kryptonite to change himself to baby size. As a baby he continues his regular patrols, but he must convince people of his real identity. His altered form is to facilitate entry into the Phantom Zone. A hole has opened in it due to the Aurora Borealis that is only large enough for a child to enter. The warning came from Mon-El, Superman’s friend who is stuck there due to lead poisoning. Superman learns the hole is growing, so he summons Krypto and Supergirl to assist him in closing the rift and preventing the villains from escaping.

Next is "The Girl Superbaby" from Action Comics #260 and created by Otto Binder and Jim Mooney. Using her telescopic vision, Supergirl spots an old man drowning. She flies to the rescue and creates a water spout which saves the man. The man has become young as the waters were a fountain of youth. Having been exposed herself, Supergirl becomes a baby.

The superbaby chases a butterfly into the trunk of a car belonging to two jewel thieves. They drive to their hide-out, located where Indians claim spirits live.

Supergirl exits the trunk and sprays shaving cream in the crooks faces, preventing them from seeing her. The thieves take target practice on a scarecrow. Supergirl collects the bullets and makes a lead ball. She throws the ball and inadvertently saves Superman from a kryptonite meteor.

Supergirl’s play continues to make the thieves believe the place is haunted by an Indian spirit. The crooks prepare to leave, but Supergirl has created a smoke signal to the authorities. The thieves are caught, and Supergirl returns to normal without ever having been seen.

"The Grandson of Steel" is reprinted from Superboy #77 and produced by Otto Binder and John Sikela. While cleaning the attic, Jonathan Kent finds a marionette which reminds him of his father who was a puppet master. When Clark was Superbaby, the Kents left him in the care of his Jonathan’s parents for a day. Edith, Jonathan’s mother, used Clark to model clothes for Hiram’s marionettes. Then, unknown to his grandparents, Clark performed super feats in the costumes. Hiram spotted Clark each time, but thought he was dreaming. The feats inspired Hiram to create new acts for his puppet show. When the Kents returned to pick up Clark, Hiram and Edith never suspected he was Superbaby.

Next is "Lois Lane's Revenge on Superman" reprinted from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #32 and drawn by Curt Swan and George Klein. Superman is accidentally exposed to a youth potion given to Lois by a dying man. The potion transforms the Man of Steel into Superbaby. Lois then makes the baby Superman perform embarrassing tasks for her in exchange for the antidote. When he has had enough, Lois offers to hand over the antidote, but spills it instead. Superman gets angry which restores him to normal. The real antidote to the potion is anger, which Lois successfully tried to instill in the Man of Steel to revert him to normal.

We end with "The Unwanted Superbaby" from Adventure Comics #299 by Jerry Siegel and George Papp. Baby Kal-El is sent to Earth by his father Jor-El and found by the Kents. The couple turn the baby over to the Smallville Orphanage where they soon discover his super-powers. Although they wish to adopt the child, the Kents wishes are denied by the government who tries to capture Superbaby.

Superbaby escapes and flies to a small island, whose evil ruler King Rolf resembles Jor-El. Rolf corrupts the child and uses him to overthrow the government of Simbovia.

Years pass before Superboy realizes that he is being used. He turns in the evil king, but is forced to surrender himself too. Instead, he escapes into space and becomes the hero of Zordal. Superboy misses Earth however, and returns to visit. While en route, Superboy passes a Gold Kryptonite meteor which robs him of his powers permanently. Superboy becomes stranded on Earth and is finally adopted by the Kents where he becomes a powerless Clark Kent.

Edited by Mort Weisinger (E. Nelson Bridwell)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Young Romance #157

Young Romance #157 (On Sale: October 10, 1968) has nice cover by Nick Cardy.

We begin with "Which Do I Choose?" inked by Bernard Sachs. That is followed by "First Love," a reprint from Falling In Love #31, also inked by Bernard Sachs. Lastly we have our cover story, "My Mother -- My Rival," which was reprinted in Young Love #107.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Green Lantern #65

Green Lantern #65 (On Sale: October 10, 1968) has a very effective and dramatic cover by Mike Sekowsky and Joe Giella.

"Dry Up -- and Die" is by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Joe Giella. While exploring the arctic looking for the magnetic north pole Neal Emerson falls into a crevasse. He becomes trapped near a glowing blue blob that is slowly dehydrating him and the entire planet. The blob combined with the magnetic properties of the north pole enable Emerson to issue a telepathic summons to Green Lantern.

In Evergreen City, Hal Jordan feels a compulsion to become Green Lantern. He encounters a gang of crooks, but the compulsion continues to pull him away making it difficult to stop them. Green Lantern finally defeats the crooks and overcomes the compulsion. He then continues on a date with Eve Doremus as Hal Jordan.

Emerson realizes his telepathic summons has failed, so he creates a mental duplicate of his evil personality, Doctor Polaris. The Polaris duplicate battles Green Lantern and temporarily stops him from using his power ring.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Girls' Romances #137

Girls' Romances #137 (On Sale: October 10, 1968) has a sort of throw-back cover by Jay Scott Pike.

We begin with "I Couldn't Trust Him" pencilled by Tony Abruzzo. That is followed by "Substitute for Love," a reprint from Falling In Love #53 pencilled by John Romita. We end with our cover story, "The Wrong Boy", pencilled by Tony Abruzzo and later reprinted in Young Romance #199.

Edited by Jack Miller.

G.I. Combat #133

G.I. Combat #133 (On Sale: October 10, 1968) has a nice Haunted Tank cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with a Haunted Tank story "Operation:Death Trap" by Robert Kanigher, Mike Sekowsky and Joe Giella. this story was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Haunted Tank Vol. 2 TPB. That is followed by "Suicide Volunteer" drawn by Joe Kubert and in G.I. War Tales #2.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unexpected #110

Unexpected #110 (On Sale: October 8, 1968) has a new logo and one of the creepier Neal Adams covers amplified by some wonderful color work.

We begin with a Johnny Peril story "Death Town, USA" by George Kashdan and Jack Sparling. That is followed by "Half a Man is Better Than None" by Dave Wood and Bill Draut and "The Last Executioner" by Dave Wood, Jerry Grandenetti and Bill Draut.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #116

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #116 (On Sale: October 8, 1968) has a cover by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito. In my mind this is one of the last of the really silly Swan covers for JO; I don;t know if it is Carmine Infantino layouts or competition from Neal Adams, but Swan's covers are going to get a whole lot more serious in the next few months.

We begin with our cover story, "The Gorilla Reporter," a reprint from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #24 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Ray Burnley. Jimmy Olsen helps Professor Thorne test a new invention which can read the thoughts of animals. The invention is a failure, but Jimmy’s signal watch causes it to malfunction, switching Jimmy’s mind with that of a gorilla.

Even with Superman’s help, Jimmy is unable to return to his own body. Superman builds a pen to keep Jimmy’s body safe, while Jimmy goes to work in the gorilla’s body. After a handful of adventures, Jimmy is able to return to his own body when Superman discovers that the signal watch is responsible for the switch.

Next we have "Brainiac... Big-Time Operator" by Otto Binder and Pete Costanza. Brainiac returns to Earth with a plan to use Jimmy Olsen as an instrument of Superman's downfall. He attacks Jimmy while the boy reporter is camping with members of his Fan Club. Despite Brainiac's efforts to stop Jimmy, the reporter is able to activate his signal watch to summon the Man of Steel. However, Brainiac uses an enlarging ray to turn a tiny pebble of Kryptonite into a boulder that takes down Superman. Jimmy steals the enlarging ray from Brainiac and saves his friend by enlarging a piece of lead to block the deadly Kryptonite radiation. While Jimmy is making the rescue, Brainiac flees.

Lastly we have "The Secret of the Smallville Seeds" by Dave Wood and Pete Costanza. Jimmy Olsen and his Fan Club visit Smallville and convince several residents to plant seeds in their fields in a particular pattern. Jimmy keeps his intentions a secret until the seeds grow into flowers 48 days later. The flowers form a giant message that Superman can read from the air. The message welcomes him back to Smallville on the anniversary of his first public appearance as the Boy of Steel.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Secret Six #5

Secret Six #5 (On Sale: October 8, 1968) has a cover by Jack Sparling.

Inside "The Queen Without a Crown" is plotted by E. Nelson Bridwell, scripted by Joe Gill and drawn by Jack Sparling.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Leave It To Binky #64

Leave It To Binky #64 (On Sale: October 8, 1968) has what looks to be a cover by Bob Oksner.

Inside we have (Binky, I wonder if you could do me a favor...), (B-but, Peggy --), (Hey, Dopey! What have you got there?) and (Binky, how would you like to see the new dress...) all by persons unknown.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Superboy #152

Superboy #152 (On Sale: October 3, 1968) has another great cover by Neal Adams.

"The 2 Faces of Superboy" is by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Mike Esposito. Superboy stops a pair of thieves from stealing the art collection of Mrs. Malcolm-Malcolm. The Mighty Mahaguru, a criminal mystic, decides to take revenge on Superboy. Along with his accomplice Henri Labrush, they convince Mrs. Malcolm-Malcolm to commission artist Pierre Lavisage to paint Superboy's portrait. Henri then abducts the real Lavisage and takes his place.

Superboy knows that Mahaguru is a fake, but he plays along and agrees to pose for the portrait. While Labrush begins his painting, Mahaguru hypnotizes Superboy. The crooks then use him to rob a bank. Superboy then becomes wanted by the law.

When he recovers from the hypnosis, Superboy realizes what he has done. Instead of showing up for his next session with Labrush, Superboy sends a robot in his place. The crooks then attempt to use the robot in a gold robbery. Superboy allows the crooks to believe they have succeeded, so that he can publicly expose them during the unveiling of his portrait. Superboy has also altered the painting which Labrush had created to make the Boy of Steel appear to be a monster.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Secret Hearts #132

Secret Hearts #132 (On Sale: October 3, 1968) has a cover obviously inked by Dick Giordano and maybe penciled by Dick as well.

We begin with "Tell Me You Love Her" drawn by Tony Abruzzo. That is followed by "The Girl I Love" inked by Bernard Sachs. We end with "Reach for Happiness -- Episode 23" by persons unknown.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Atom & Hawkman #40

Atom & Hawkman #40 (On Sale: October 3, 1968) has a dramatic, but oddly foreshortened cover featuring both heroes by Joe Kubert. this is the last issue with the elongated "A" and "H" logo.

The Atom starts in "The Explosive Exploit of the Split-Atom" by Gardner Fox, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. The Atom works with the FBI work on an undercover operation to trap a group of spies that are kidnapping scientists. An FBI agent disguised as Ray Palmer is kidnapped. Atom rescues him, but to their surprise the kidnappers are not the spies they wanted, just ordinary criminals who wanted revenge against Palmer.

The real spies have followed the crooks and are able to capture Palmer and the Atom. They take them back to their hideout where a Lobotikon extracts their secrets. Major Mynah comes to the rescue and frees the Atom who then defeats the spies.

The Hawkman story is "The Man with an Inbuilt Panic Button" by Gardner Fox, Joe Kubert and Murphy Anderson. When a carnival ride's cable snaps, Andrew Harris mysteriously teleports himself from danger. He appears inside Hawkman's spaceship, interfering with its orbit. As Katar rescues the ship, Harris again teleports away.

Hawkman had noticed Harris's moonstone ring, and uses the Lustrometer to track him to the home of Harvey Ellison, millionaire collector, which is being burgled. As he and the crooks battle, Harris vanishes again, this time taking along the crook holding him. Hawkman tracks them to a waterfall, and rescues both. Harris's teleportation power mysteriously vanishes. this story was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Our Army at War #200

Our Army at War #200 (On Sale: October 1, 1968) has another great Sgt. Rock cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with Sgt. Rock in "The Troubadour" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. This story was reprinted in Sgt. Rock #395.

The back-up story is "The Ace and the Joker" by Bob Haney and George Evans. This is George Evans' second work for DC.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Challengers of the Unknown #65

Challengers of the Unknown #65 (On Sale: October 1, 1968) has a odd looking cover by Jack Sparling.

"The Devil's Circus" is by Robert Kanigher and Jack Sparling. The Challengers receive a cryptic message from a mental patient that was found wandering the highway. The message leads them to Cobra Canyon where a giant alien awaits. The alien from the planet of Dread captures the Challs and forces them to battle insect creatures in an alien circus. The team members survive their battles, then lead the alien into a pit of quicksand.

The back-up story, "The Freezing Sun," is a reprint of the Challengers of the Unknown origin story from Showcase #6 and is by Dave Wood and Jack Kirby. Four men, Rocky Davis, Ace Morgan, Red Ryan, and Prof. Haley are scheduled to appear on the television show "Heroes". Ace is piloting the plane carrying the men to the show. The plane runs into poor weather, causing it to crash. The men miraculously survive. Red’s watch which should have been destroyed works perfectly, causing Ace to suppose the men are living on "borrowed time". At Prof’s suggestion, the men band together to take more risk as the Challengers of the Unknown.

A request for the daredevil services comes in from Morelian, an alleged descendant of Merlin. His assignment for the Challs is to open a mystic box that has four segments.

On a deserted island, Rocky opens the first compartment. Inside is a giant egg which hatches overnight into a giant humanoid creature. The creature walks across the ocean destroying ships and taking Red in the process. Ace and Prof. pursue the monster which eventually drops Red. Prof. eventually figures that the monster is composed of pure thought and wishes the creature away.

Red is returned to the island where Rocky has opened the second segment of the box. A freezing sun is inside which draws the heat from everything, freezing Rocky. Red manages to trap the sun in a vacuum sealed container.

Ace and Prof. return to the island, and Ace opens the third segment. A device which spins a web of plastic flies out at tremendous speed. The Challs follow the device to Australia, eventually gaining control over it with the container it was originally contained in.

When the Challs return to the island, Morelian has opened the final section of the box. Inside is a ring which supposedly gives him immortality. He flies off in his plane, but quickly crashes down upon the box. The box has what contained the immortality not the ring, which was sudden death.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.