Wednesday, December 3, 2008

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.

1 comment:

Dave Potts said...

The Hawkman stories in both this issue and the previous one feature the rare art combination of Joe Kubert inked by Murphy Anderson, two of my favorite artists -- and reading these stories, we can see why the combination is so rare, as their two styles really don't work together. One might think that by combining two of the greatest artists in the business, the result would be excellent, but instead it looks somewhat cartoonish. Kubert gave the criminals somewhat exaggerated features, and distorted his characters' poses for dramatic effect -- and when he inks himself, his style is so powerful that you don't notice this departure from realism; he makes it real. But when inked by Anderson's tight, clean inks, the "unrealism" becomes readily apparent, and it ends up with a cartoony appearance.

(On the other hand, I'd kind of like to see what Kubert's grittier inking style would look like over the top of Anderson's tight, clean pencils. That might be interesting.)