Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adios 1968

And so we leave 1968 behind. It was a great year at DC Comics. Neal Adams sort of took over the look of DC, revamping more than one book with just covers alone. Nick Cardy began to blossom as a cover artist and Dick Giordano arrived with Steve Skeates, Denny O'Neil, Jim Aparo, Steve Ditko, Joe Gil and Pat Boyette in tow. Under the guidance of Carmine Infantino, the artists took over as editors/creators. Wonder Woman got a reboot as did the Phantom Stranger as the mystery/horror books began to multiply, many under the editorship of EC's Joe Orlando. Bat Lash, Captain Action, The Secret Six, Anthro, Brother Power, The Geek, The Hawk and the Dove and The Creeper all debuted while Blackhawks, Metamorpho, The Inferior Five, Plastic Man and the Doom Patrol all left us. It was a great year!

But wait till you see 1969!

Detective Comics #384

Detective Comics #384 (On Sale: December 31, 1968) has a cover by Irv Novick. The logo is slightly altered this month as Batgirl takes over the back-up slot.

We begin with "Whatever Will Happen to Heiress Heloise?" by Gardner Fox, Bob Brown and Joe Giella. This is the last Batman story Gardner Fox will ever write; he wrote his first Batman story, "The Batman Meets Doctor Death," for Detective #29, July 1939. Batman rescues heiress Heloise Madigan from thugs trying to kill her. When he takes her back home, the family lawyer explains that she is not the real Heloise. Her real identity is Colleen Kiernan, the former secretary for John Madigan.

Batman then prevents the murder of the real Heloise before realizing that Colleen is the actual target. He follows Colleen to the office of Kenneth Rogers and stops the real estate tycoon from killing her. Colleen had been blackmailing Rogers with information she learned as Madigan's secretary. Batman then delivers Rogers and Kiernan to the police.

Batgirl begins her run as the Detective Comics back-up feature this issue with "Tall, Dark, Handsome -- and Missing" by Mike Friedrich, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. After jumping around and doing fill-in scripts in Spectre, Batman, Green Lantern, Teen Titans and Challengers of the Unknown, Friedrich is given his first series. This is a generational shift at DC, axing the older Gardner Fox and amping up the work for the young Mike Friedrich. DC was definitely going after a different audience, Marvel's audience. When Barbara Gordon notices that library regular Mark Hanner is missing, she goes to his apartment to find him. Mark is not there, but she sees a woman leaving his building. Batgirl follows the woman and is attacked by crooks. after fighting off her attackers, Batgirl finds Mark unconscious in the next room. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Batgirl Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Captain Action #3

Captain Action #3 (On Sale: December 31, 1968) has a very nice cover penciled by Gil Kane and inked by Dick Giordano.

"...and Evil This Way Comes" was written and penciled by Gil Kane and inked by Wally Wood. This issue introduced Dr. Evil. This was Gil Kane's first writing credit at DC; over the years he would write a dozen or so stories at DC, half of them within this next six months.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #377

Adventure Comics #377 (On Sale: December 31, 1968) has a cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams.

The Legion of Super-Heroes star in "Heroes for Hire" is by Jim Shooter, Winslow Mortimer and Jack Abel. The Legion and Science Police are unable to stop the latest crime wave across the galaxy because criminals have been using the planet Modo as a base. Modo's overlord Modulus controls the very planet itself and defeats any law officers from apprehending criminals on that world.

The Legionnaires seem to give up crime fighting for the public good and begin hiring out their services as mercenaries. Their actions cause them to lose the public trust. The Legionnaires collect money in many forms from various worlds around the galaxy.

When the Legion has collected enough money, a few members begin a large spending spree. Crooks decide to hijack the Legion's spaceship where the currency is stored and bring it to Modo. As they are leaving with the ship, Brainiac 5 orders Chemical King to speed up a reaction which releases some crystal creatures that start a chain reaction with the various alien currencies. When the ship lands on Modo, a paralyzing gas is released across the entire planet. The Science Police then moves in to capture every crook on the planet. The Legion then uses the recovered loot to pay back the people they charged for service. Reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #372

Action Comics #372 (On Sale: December 31, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "The Grappler of Steel" by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Continuing from last issue, Superman resumes his quest to find out his own secret identity. When he learns that a wrestler known as the Masked Superman is missing he thinks that he is the wrestler. Superman takes up a wrestling career and stops a group of racketeers in the process. Eventually he finds the real Masked Superman on a desert island. Superman brings the wrestler back to civilization then resumes his quest.

The back-up Supergirl story, "Linda Danvers -- Movie Star" is by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger. Linda Danvers appears on a game show and wins a date with director Brand Burton. The director takes Linda to Hawaii and gives her a role in his latest movie. The lead actress Zita Monroe becomes jealous and attempts to sabotage Linda. When Linda avoids trouble, Zita begins to suspect that she is Supergirl. Linda throws off suspicion by faking a poison ivy rash. Zita apologizes and renews her romance with Burton. This story was reprinted in Superman Family #176.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hawk & the Dove #4

Hawk & the Dove #4 (On Sale: December 26, 1968) has a nice cover by Gil Kane.

"The Sell-Out" is by Steve Skeates, Gil Kane and Sal Trapani. Don Hall is questioned by police when an artist friend is murdered. Hawk foils a museum robbery only to find that apparently nothing has been taken; and a new mayoral candidate takes an even stronger stand against costumed crime-fighters than Judge Hall. Hawk and Dove put the clues together to discover that candidate Heinsite is secretly behind the substitution of valuable artworks with forgeries painted by Don's friend, who was killed when he threatened to talk to the police.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Bat Lash #3

Bat Lash #3 (On Sale: December 26, 1968) has a cover by Nick Cardy.

"(Judge Nero)" is plotted and drawn by Nick Cardy and scripted by Denny O'Neil. This is the only issue of Bat Lash not plotted by Sergio Aragones. In Comic Book Artist #1, of this issue and Cardy's scripting Sergio said, "I was surprised, because he made Bat look like a clown. He drew all the characters so cartoony, falling in bathtubs, and hanging from roofs... It really hurt me a lot, because I didn't want anything like that. The humor should be the result of Bat Lash's action. I think that's the only issue that he's out of character."

Bat Lash is taken into a new town by a sheriff's wife. The sheriff tries to kill him, then makes him the new deputy after Bat Lash meets the pretty deputy Samantha Eggbert. When the sheriff is killed by crooked Judge Nero, Bat Lash is framed for the crime. He is convicted and sentenced to hang, but Samantha helps him escape. Bat Lash then leaves town, leaving Samantha behind to face the townspeople.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #90

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #90 (On Sale: December 24, 1968) has a cover by Carmine Infantino and Neal Adams.

"Lois Lane's Future Husband" is drawn by Irv Novick and Mike Esposito. When Lois Lane begins having blackouts, she takes a vacation and visits her parents. Near their home, she meet Dr. Rick Darnell a genius inventor who begins courting her. She soon learns that Darnell is actually Dahr-Nel, a Kryptonian time traveler who has escaped Krypton's destruction.

Lois develops feelings for Dahr-Nel and realizes that Superman will never marry her. She agrees to marry her new man. The couple plans to go into suspended animation and awaken in the future. However, Dahr-Nel's powers make him immune to the dormigen gas. He exposes himself to Kryptonite, so that he can sleep. Superman awakens Lois when he learns about her plans. They both discover that the Kryptonite has killed Dahr-Nel when it reacted with the dormigen.
Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Heart Throbs #118

Heart Throbs #118 (On Sale: December 24, 1968) has a cover by Jay Scott Pike and Dick Giordano.

We begin with "Stand-In for Love" penciled by Tony Abruzzo. Next is "Two Hearts Lost" a reprint from Falling In Love #31 penciled by John Romita. Lastly is this month's "3 Girls -- Their Lives...Their Loves Episode 17" penciled by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Jack Miller. This is Miller's last romance book for DC.

Girls' Love Stories #141

Girls' Love Stories #141 (On Sale: December 24, 1968) has a cover penciled by Ric Estrada.

We begin with "I Confess" penciled by Tony Abruzzo. This is followed by "Melody of Spring" drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs. Lastly is our cover story, "Who Will Want Me?" penciled by Ric Estrada.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Brave and the Bold #82

Brave and the Bold #82 (On Sale: December 24, 1968) has a beautiful Batman and Aquaman cover by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.

"The Sleepwalker from the Sea" is by Bob Haney, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. Batman witnesses the murder of Otto Chernak and is prevented from pursuing the killer by someone resembling Aquaman. As Bruce Wayne, he follows a lead on the case to Orm Marius, the man behind a new marine city project. Marius is actually Aquaman's half-brother Ocean Master.

Aquaman is under Ocean Master's hypnotic control and is ordered to kill Bruce. Batman brings him to police headquarters where Aquaman explains that he feels responsible for the death of a marine biologist. Batman helps to convince Aquaman that he was set up by his brother. Together the two heroes then shut down Orm's operations. The Ocean Master escapes because Aquaman did not want to see his brother harmed. This story has been reprinted in Best of the Brave and the Bold #3, 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

Friday, December 19, 2008

Witching Hour #1

Witching Hour #1 (On Sale: December 19, 1968) has a very moody cover by Nick Cardy.

This was DC's second foray into horror/mystery titles giving the House of Mystery some competition. Editor Dick Giordano went with a trio of "hosts" for this book, two older witches (Mildred and Mordred) and a young, hip witch (Cynthia). I liked this book and Giordano got the most amazing artists for his horror stories. He also made the stories of the old vs. young witches and the bumbling Igor a lot of fun.

Like House of Mystery, the Witching Hour's hosts appeared in framing sequences around the actual stories, but in the Witching Hour they tended to be more of another story in themselves involving the interactions between the three witches. This first issue begins by introducing the hosts in "Let the Judge Be...You!!!" written and drawn by Alex Toth.

Next is "Save the Last Dance for Me" by Denny O'Neil and Pat Boyette. Trapley is rich and selfish and has a machine that has locked onto earth 100 years into the future. He wants all the benefits of traveling there for himself, and what he finds...well, you'll have to read the story. Reprinted in Witching Hour #38.

That is followed by "Eternal Hour" another tale with Alex Toth story and art. Terwit is dwarfish and is teased and ridiculed by the town's boys. Most adults do nothing to stop it. Terwit recluses himself in a clock tower and the clock from then on is stopped at midnight. Years later, many of those boys, now men, go to the tower to drive Terwit out and their screams cry out...Why? Reprinted in Witching Hour #38.

Next is "The Perfect Surf" drawn by Jack Sparling. Stanley is totally nuts about surfing. He really never even notices the total babe at his side. He is obsessed with finding the "perfect wave". He is afforded an opportunity to find that wave in the dead of night. Reprinted in Witching Hour #38.

The book ends with the Epilogue to "Let the Judge Be...You!!!" written by Alex Toth and drawn by Neal Adams.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Swing With Scooter #17

Swing With Scooter #17 (On Sale: December 19, 1968) has a cover by Henry Scarpelli.

We begin with Scooter in "TV is Not TV" by Henry Boltinoff, Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli. This is followed by an untitled Penny and Cookie story and an untitled Sylvester story both by persons unknown. Next is Scooter in "Smarty Party" by Henry Boltinoff, Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli. That is followed by another untitled Penny and Cookie story, a story called "Date Bait" and a final Penny and Cookie story all by persons unknown.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Superman #214

Superman #214 (On Sale: December 12, 1968) has a cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "The Ghosts That Haunted Superman" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Superman begins seeing ghosts of his former foes, Metallo, the Composite Superman, and Zha-Vam. Each time Superman sees one of the ghosts he is put in a life or death situation. He presses on despite the fact that he is losing the fight. Eventually, Superman concludes that the ghosts are phonies.

An alien named Nador is responsible for the ghosts. The ugly alien wanted to join an interplanetary club and was given the task of making Superman beg for his life. Superman returns with Nador to the club's planet. The members are happy to meet the Man of Steel and induct Nador as a reward, despite his failing the initiation test.

The back-up is "How Perry White Hired Clark Kent" reprinted from Superman #133 and produced by Jerry Siegel and Al Plastino. Clark Kent has moved to Metropolis. As a way to investigate criminal activities, Clark tries to get a job as a reporter for the Daily Planet. The editor, Perry White, is not impressed with Kent initially, but he is convinced by another reporter Lois Lane to give Clark a chance.

Perry sends Clark on a series of pedestrian assignments hoping that Clark will return without much of a story, but with the help of his powers Clark is able to deliver a scoop each time. For his final trial, Clark must get a picture of Superman with some Kryptonite. Clark, as Superman himself, does so using imitation Kryptonite. Perry is suitably impressed and hires Clark permanently.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Sugar and Spike #81

Sugar and Spike #81 (On Sale: December 17, 1968) has a cover by Sheldon Moldoff.

We begin with Sugar and Spike in "Trouble in Tortilla" written and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff and guest starring Bernie the Brain. We end with "The House-Hold Helper" also by Sheldon Moldoff.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Star Spangled War Stories #143

Star Spangled War Stories #143 (On Sale: December 17, 1968) has an Enemy Ace cover by Joe Kubert.

"The Devil's General" is by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert and was reprinted in DC Special #26, Sgt. Rock #15, Enemy Ace Archives Vol. 2 HC and Showcase Presents: Enemy Ace Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Metal Men #36

Metal Men #36 (On Sale: December 17, 1968) has a strikingly creepy cover Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos. That clown is just amazing.

"The Cruel Clowns" is by Robert Kanigher, Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos. Seeking to earn the public trust, the Metal Men try to help people. When their efforts go horribly wrong, they decide to stage a circus. The circus crowd is not impressed with the show until a group of clowns show up and bring laughter.

After the show, the Metal Men thank the clowns. They discover that the clowns are really aliens who take them prisoner. The Metal Men are reduced to miniature size and taken offworld to perform for the alien clowns. After a struggle, the Metal Men escape and return to Earth where they will try again to make people like them.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Falling In Love #105

Falling In Love #105 (On Sale: December 17, 1968) has a cover penciled by Ric Estrada. This is the last issue for this logo and editor Jack Miller.

We begin with "Will I Ever Get Married?" penciled by John Rosenberger. Next is "Why Did You Come Back?" inked by Vinny Colletta and "In the Name of Love," a reprint from Falling In Love #30 drawn by Bernard Sachs. The issue rounds out with "Loved -- But Not Wanted" penciled by Ric Estrada.

Edited by Jack Miller.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Young Romance #158

Young Romance #158 (On Sale: December 12, 1968) has a cover inked by Dick Giordano, but I'm not sure of the pencils. I am sure that this is not the work of Nick Cardy as credited in the Grand Comics Database Project.

We begin with "Driftwood" penciled by John Rosenberger. Next is "The Girl from Yesterday" a reprint from Falling In Love #49 drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs. The issue rounds out with "One Heart Must Break" by persons unknown.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

World's Finest Comics #182

World's Finest Comics #182 (On Sale: December 12, 1968) has a cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams.

We begin with Superman and Batman in "The Mad Manhunter" by Cary Bates, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

That is followed by The Silent Knight in "The Hooded Terror" a reprint from Brave and the Bold #6 by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. A knight calling himself the Hooded Terror issues a threat to Greystone Castle. The Silent Knight meets the challenge and enters Forest Perilous in search of the Hooded Terror. His foot is snared in a trap while crossing a bridge making him an easy target. The Hooded Terror appears along with another knight dressed in identical garb. The two Hooded Terrors then attack. The Silent Knight defeats them both and returns with them to the castle.

Sir Oswald then issues a challenge to the Silent Knight to participate in the Tournament of Roses. Failure to appear would cause him to perceived of as a coward, so the Silent Knight meets the challenge. Once entered in the tournament, he is able to unhorse his opponent and win the victory rose from Lady Celia.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Showcase #80

Showcase #80 (On Sale: December 12, 1968) has a Phantom Stranger cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with the Phantom Stranger in "Men Call Me the Phantom Stranger" by Mike Friedrich, Jerry Grandenetti and Bill Draut. This was the first new Phantom Stranger story since The Phantom Stranger #6 in 1953. DC was looking for more mystery comics and found a winner in this long-forgotten character, revamped for the 1960s. This story was a framing sequence around the rest of the book which was reprints and was itself reprinted in Showcase Presents Phantom Stranger Vol. 1 TPB.

Next we have "The Three Signs of Evil" by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella and reprinted from Phantom Stranger #2. Artist Mark Davis strolls through Columbus Circle and happens upon a gathering. As he watches, he begins sketching a picture of some symbols the people are using. When the group notices him, they demand that he turn over the sketches. Davis refuses and leaves the scene.

The cult members follow Davis and attack him near Times Square. Mark is rescued by the Phantom Stranger who examines Mark's sketch. The Stranger deduces where the cult will be from the sketch. Mark offers his assistance in stopping the cult.

Following the third sign in his sketch, Mark is captured by the Moon Cult. They intend to sacrifice him to gain mystical power. The Phantom Stranger comes to the rescue again and knocks out the cult. Mark summons the police, while the Stranger disappears.

Lastly we have a reprint of the first Doctor 13 story, "I Talked with the Dead" from Star Spangled Comics #122 and drawn by the great Leonard Starr. DC took the mystical Stranger and added the supernatural hoax-breaker Terrance Thirteen as a foil for the Stranger's mystic adventures.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Justice League of America #69

Justice League of America #69 (On Sale: December 12, 1968) has a cover by Dick Dillin and Murphy Anderson.

"A Matter of Menace" is by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. Having lost her Amazon powers, Wonder Woman resigns as a Justice League member, after reporting to the others that Green Arrow is wanted on suspicion of murder.

While Green Arrow attempts to go undercover and runs foul of a gang of thugs, Batman and Flash investigate the case, only to be overcome by the same gang. Meanwhile, Superman is served with a court order instructing him to leave Earth until the Green Arrow case is solved, and Atom is left alone to save his captive fellow members, whose captor is revealed to be Headmaster Mind.

Once freed, they defeat Headmaster's henchmen, who have taken over their identities, and capture the mastermind himself. Superman returns in time to apprehend Mind's ally, the Tattooed Man, who was responsible for the faked murder. This story was reprinted in Justice League of America Archives Vol. 8 HC.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

G.I. Combat #134

G.I. Combat #134 (On Sale: December 12, 1968) has a Haunted tank cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with The Haunted Tank in "Desert Holocaust" by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. This story was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Haunted Tank Vol. 2 TPB. Back-up stories are "The Iron Horse" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath from Our Army At War #51 and "The Second Champ" from G.I. Combat #76 by Bob Haney and Mort Drucker.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Army at War #203 (On Sale: December 10, 1968) is an 80 Page giant issue and sports a nice Sgt. Rock cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with Sgt. Rock in "Easy's Had It" by the standard team of Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. This very early Easy Co. story is from Our Army At War #103. Easy Company believes that Sgt. Rock is the core of the unit. If he dies, they don’t think Easy can go on. Rock tries to convince them that no soldier including him is irreplaceable. Rock's theory comes true when he is seriously wounded. Easy believes him dead. They fight on to avenge their leader's death. After the battle, Easy realizes Rock is still alive.

Next is the Haunted Tank in "Trap of the Dragon's Teeth" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath. This story is from G.I. Combat #98. Jeb and his team act as a scout for the larger Pershing tanks. Jeb finds anti-tank mines in a river and enemy tanks on the other side, but he can't warn the other tanks without alerting the enemy. When the other Allied tanks start across the river, Jeb is forced to open fire on the enemy tanks and shout a warning about the mines. The larger tanks are saved, but the Haunted Tank is heavily damaged by the battle.

While being towed, Jeb wishes that tanks had an early warning system. The ghost of General Stuart tells Jeb about Sam Simmons, a civil war soldier who sneezed whenever the enemy was near. Jeb suddenly develops physical ailments that act as an early warning system. A headache warns of an attack from above, while his foot pain indicates one from below. When Jeb's teeth begin to hurt, he is warned of Dragon's Teeth anti-tank traps. The warnings help the Haunted Tank survive several battles.

Mademoiselle Marie stars in "T.N.T. Spotlight" from Star Spangled War Stories #87 and is by Robert Kanigher and Mort Drucker. Mademoiselle Marie is contacted by the Allies to create a diversion, so that soldiers can get behind enemy lines on a recon mission. Marie's actions bring her to the attention of German Commandant Von Ekt. Von Ekt targets French citizens to lead Marie into a trap. Though she is momentarily captured, Marie successfully escapes and destroys her target, creating the diversion the Allied troops need.

Johnny Cloud is in "Battle Eagle" from All-American Men of War #85 and is by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. After returning from a mission, Johnny meets the family of one of his squadron, Sandy. Sandy's son Billy was expecting Johnny to be wearing traditional Indian garb and is disappointed by Johnny's normal appearance. When Billy is injured in a bombing raid, Johnny tries to please the boy by dressing up, but he can't find suitable apparel. Later, Johnny crashes his damaged fighter near the manor house of Lord Leslie. Leslie loans Johnny some traditional Indian battle gear. Johnny wears the outfit to the hospital to cheer the spirits of the injured boy.

Lastly Gunner and Sarge star in "Col. Hakawa's Birthday Party" from Our Fighting Forces #68 and is also by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. Gunner, Sarge, and a unit of marines defend an island position against repeated Japanese attacks. The Japanese commander Col. Hakawa is a practical joker and constantly plays booby-trap jokes on the marines. He sends an invitation to the marines for his birthday party hoping to lead them into a trap. Gunner and Sarge play their own joke by dropping dummy paratroopers on the enemy. Then they overrun the enemy position. Col. Hakawa escapes, but leaves another booby trap that the marines are barely able to avoid.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Leave It To Binky #65

Leave It To Binky #65 (On Sale: December 10, 1968) has a cover by Bob Oksner.

We begin with Binky in "A Present for Peggy." That is followed by Little Allergy in (Quiet, Dopey! Mom just made some cookies...) and Binky in (Now what'll I do.. ?) and (Shall I pick you up...). I have no information on inside credits.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Unexpected #111

Unexpected #111 (On Sale: December 5, 1968) has a cover by Nick Cardy.

We begin with Johnny Peril in "Mission into Eternity" by George Kashdan and Jack Sparling. Next is the cover story, "The Wheel of Misfortune" by Dave Wood, Jerry Grandenetti and Bill Draut. Lastly is "The Baby Who Had... But One Year to Die" by Dave Wood and Angel B. Luna. This story was reprinted in Secrets of Sinister House #18 and is the only artwork by Angel B. Luna I have ever heard of, though I have seen the name listed on a site of Filipino comic artists.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff

Flash #185

Flash #185 (On Sale: December 5, 1968) has another in a soon to be long line of DC hippie covers, not all of them drawn by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

"Threat of the High-Rise Buildings" is by Frank Robbins, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Barry Allen and Iris are vacationing in France when they witness the Eiffel Tower being lifted into space. Reports indicate that other large buildings from around the world have also been stolen. Barry joins Inspector Martell of Interpol to investigate.

The buildings were stolen by aliens from Titan. The aliens have been bombarded with radio signals from Earth that are causing destruction. Believing that they are under attack, the aliens have struck back by targeting the buildings.

Two aliens come to Earth to negotiate a truce. However, they have learned Earth speech by monitoring radio signals in many languages. Therefore, their speech is garbled. Flash is able to stop an attack on the aliens, then program their speech computer to allow for proper communication. A peace is made, and the buildings are returned to Earth.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Batman #209

Batman #209 (On Sale: December 5, 1968) has a cool cover by Irv Novick.

"Jungle Jeopardy" is by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Joe Giella. Several members of the underworld plot to eliminate Batman and Robin. A crime boss known as Brainwash suggests a plan in which he places a hypnotic device in Commissioner Gordon's office. The device makes Gordon call Batman to alert him to a bank robbery. When Batman arrives the crooks plant a similar device on the Batmobile. Batman and Robin are then subliminally commanded to return to the Bat-Cave.

When the Caped Crusaders return home, they imagine Alfred as a tiger and the Bat-Cave as an African jungle. However, Batman realizes that they are under some kind of hypnosis when Indian tigers and African elephants appear together. He finds and deactivates the hypnotic device, restoring their sanity.

Batman deduces that their old foe Mr. Esper created the device. They return to the bank where the robbery is still in progress. Wearing special earplugs, they are immune to the hypnotic suggestions and are able to capture Brainwash, aka Mr. Esper.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Secret Six #6

Secret Six #6 (On Sale: December 3, 1968) has a cover by Jack Sparling.

"The Victim is a Killer" is the only story in this, the last issue of the magazine. It is plotted by E. Nelson Bridwell, scripted by Joe Gill and drawn by Jack Sparling.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Our Army at War #202

Our Army at War #202 (On Sale: December 3, 1968) has a Sgt. Rock over by Joe Kubert.

We begin with Sgt. Rock in "The Sarge is Dead" by the standard team of Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. The back-up is a report from Our Army At War #59, "Trench Trap," by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Challengers of the Unknown #66

Challengers of the Unknown #66 (On Sale: December 3, 1968) has a cover by Joe Kubert.

"Rendezvous with Revenge" is by Mike Friedrich and Jack Sparling. This is Mike Friedrich's first and last Challengers of the Unknown script.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Atom & Hawkman #41

Atom & Hawkman #41 (On Sale: December 3, 1968) has another great cover by Joe Kubert. The book also has a new tweaked logo that will last till the book ends.

We begin with the Atom in "Return of the Seven-Year Dead Man" by Gardner Fox, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. This book is Gardner Fox's last work on Atom and Hawkman as DC is about to squeeze him out of the business. Fox's career at DC began in 1937 with "The Mystery of San Jose Island," a Speed Saunders story in Detective #3.

Jason Madden, a former crook that has had amnesia, has been officially declared dead after being missing for seven years. When Madden sees the story in a newspaper, he recovers his memory. He expects his former partners to be attending his funeral, but neither man shows up. Madden learns that the Atom arrested Grabs Gannon, but Chuck Wheeler did not show up either.

Madden tracks down Wheeler, who has gone straight and is now a successful businessman. Madden tries to kill Wheeler, but the Atom intervenes. Atom then stops Madden from pulling the same robbery that Grabs Gannon had attempted. Wheeler turns himself over to the police for his old crimes. He is given a suspended sentence because of his charitable work and honest life.

We round out the book with Hawkman in "Yo-Yo Hangup in the Sky" by Gardner Fox, Joe Kubert and Murphy Anderson. Continuing from last issue, taking Harris back to his spaceship, Hawkman and his passenger encounter a gravity-defying car, which he rescues, despite being similarly affected. The car's passengers turn out to be bank robbers trying to make a getaway, and they try to shoot him, unsuccessfully.

Hawkman finally questions Harris, determining that his moonstone ring, bought that morning, is the teleportation device, and that the anti-gravity effect came from his own spaceship's grappler and repelling beams, accidentally activated by Harris when he was aboard. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.