Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Logo

Special thanks here to Scott Dutton who gifted me with this new DC Comics 40 Years Ago logo. Check out Scott's website, Three and the Historical Society for some great artwork and some beautiful digital logos. Thanks Scott!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Heart Throbs #119

Heart Throbs #119 (On Sale: February 27, 1969) has a cover by, well GCD says penciled by Jay Scott Pike., but I say this is Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano. Really bland coloring mars this one.

We start with "The Boy We Loved" penciled by Tony Abruzzo. That's followed by "Hurry Toward Heartbreak" a reprint from Falling In Love #30 drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs. Lastly is "3 Girls -- Their Lives...Their Loves Episode 18" penciled by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Joe Orlando, taking over from the fired Jack Miller.

Green Lantern #68

Green Lantern #68 (On Sale: February 27, 1969) has a cover by Gil Kane.

"I Wonder Where the Yellow Went" is by Denny O'Neil, Gil Kane and Joe Giella. Green Lantern pursues a gang of space outlaws into a field of meteors. One of the meteors is made of sulfur. When it explodes Green Lantern is caught in a cloud of yellow gas which allows one of the outlaws to make it to Earth.

Unable to find the outlaw, Green Lantern returns to Evergreen City and is approached by Professor Cally. The man claims to have discovered a filter which will remove the power ring's yellow vulnerability. Green Lantern agrees to test the filter over the next week with promising results.

A week later, while Green Lantern is battling a group of gangsters his ring begins to weaken. Professor Cally then reveals himself to be the space outlaw Commander Calibax, who has discovered that the filter will destroy a power ring over time. Without his ring, Green Lantern is nearly killed. Calibax then threatens Eve Doremus and her father, but Green Lantern is able to beat him using only his wits and fists. After Calibax is safely in custody, the Guardians provide Hal with a new power ring.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Girls' Romances #140

Girls' Romances #140 (On Sale: February 27, 1969) has a cover penciled by Carmine Infantino.

We start with "Kiss for My Heart" drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs. Next is "Young Love -- Old Love" drawn by Ric Estrada. We end with "Too Young to Know" penciled by Jack Sparling.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Detective Comics #386

Detective Comics #386 (On Sale: February 27, 1969) has another dramatic cover by Irv Novick. The logo is now flopping back and forth between the Batman and Robin and Batman and Batgirl varieties.

We start with "Stand-In for Murder" by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Joe Giella. Bruce Wayne is scheduled to pilot a VTOL aircraft during a test flight. A short time before the test he receives information about a bank robbery, so he hires Morse, a stand-in to act as Bruce during the aircraft test. The real Bruce then handles the bank robbery as Batman.

Morse is murdered on his way to the aircraft test and is replaced by Carlyle Crane, an aircraft tycoon with a grudge against Wayne. Crane pilots the plane away from the test area and lands an unmanned drone in its place. The military is shocked when Bruce appears to have disappeared from the cockpit.

Batman is called by Commissioner Gordon to investigate the case. Batman finds Wayne's helmet in his car and sets a trap for Crane. He then exposes the tycoon as a killer and recovers the body of Morse.

The Robin back-up is "The Teen-Age Gap" by Mike Friedrich, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Dick Grayson attends a social gathering with several high school students. He notices that Craig Rockland isn't accepted by the other students because he is slightly younger. During the night, Dick slips away in order to return to the group as Robin. Three boys ambush Robin because they don't want him stealing the attention of the female students. Craig comes to Robin's aid and helps defeat the troublemakers. Robin then befriends Craig and helps him find friendship with the other teens. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Robin the Boy Wonder Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Captain Action #4

Captain Action #4 (On Sale: February 27, 1969) has a cover by Gil Kane.

"Evil at Dead World's End" is written and drawn by Gil Kane.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #379

Adventure Comics #379 (On Sale: February 27, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams.

"Burial in Space" is by Jim Shooter, Winslow Mortimer and Jack Abel. Continuing from last issue, an alien arrives in Legion Headquarters to request aid. He finds five Legionnaires dying from poison and stops time to save them. He then meets seven other Legionnaires who are returning from another mission. To save their teammates the seven Legionnaires offer their assistance to the alien.

The Legionnaires return to the alien's home planet Seeris where an army of brutes is attacking. The people of Seeris have vast mental powers, but lack the physical force to repel the invaders. The Legionnaires attempt to defend the city, but their own power is not enough to repel the attackers. The Legion inspires the aliens to resume physical activity and defend themselves. Finding strength in numbers, the aliens are able to defeat the invaders.

The Legionnaires return to Headquarters after being told that the aliens have cured everyone there. Unfortunately they discover that Invisible Kid and Shrinking Violet found their apparently dead teammates and sent their bodies into space. Ultra Boy saves the Legionnaires by using the Miracle Machine to revive them. The identity of the man who poisoned them is then revealed as small-time crook Alek Korlo. Reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9 HC.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #375

Action Comics #375 (On Sale: February 27, 1969) has a cover by the unusual team of Curt Swan and Carmine Infantino. You don't see many Infantino inked covers.

We start with "The Big Forget" by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Superman decides to create a new secret identity since he cannot remember his old one. He becomes a reporter and attempts to get a job at the Metropolis Eagle. The staff their recognizes him as Clark Kent of their rival newspaper, the Daily Planet. Superman begins to suspect that he is Clark Kent. When he visits the Planet, he gets confirmation and knocks out the spy who was impersonating him.

Superman then pretends to be Zero-Zero and joins the other spies. Using his super powers he gathers evidence against them and delivers the spies including Zero-Zero to authorities. Superman then contacts Batman who helps him locate the Fortress of Solitude. By exposing himself to Bizarro-Amnesium, Superman is able to fully restore his memory.

The back-up Supergirl story is "The Woman Who Hated Supergirl" by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger. Stanhope science professor Marla Alexander discovers an odd nebula in space shaped like a giant hand. Supergirl offers to fly her closer to the nebula for study. While in space, the nebula flares suddenly, but Alexander appears to be unhurt.

Supergirl returns the professor to Earth where she receives rewards for her work. However, Professor Alexander becomes arrogant and selfish. Her actions cause the faculty to consider firing her. Instead, Marla quits.

Supergirl discovers that Marla is actually blind. Her odd behavior was done to disguise this from others. Marla also blames Supergirl for her condition, since the nebula was responsible, and the Girl of Steel failed to protect her.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #119

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #119 (On Sale: February 25, 1969) has an interesting cover penciled by Curt Swan. The Superman figure looks like it is inked by Swan himself, while the Jimmy Olsen figure is obviously inked by Neal Adams. Did they change the Superman figure at the last minute or did they change the Olsen figure?

We start with "The Lady-Killer from Metropolis" a reprint from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #33 by Alvin Schwartz Curt Swan and Ray Burnley. Jimmy visits Hollywood while Superman works on a movie. He tries on one of Superman’s spare costumes and actress Marilyn Marlowe mistakes him for the real Man of Steel. She and several other Hollywood girls begin to pursue Jimmy romantically. Jimmy is confused by the attention, unaware that they believe he is really Superman. Jimmy finally catches on to the mistake and quickly finds his popularity with women drop off.

We end with our cover story, "Nine Lives -- Like a Cat" by Leo Dorfman and Pete Costanza. Criminal mastermind Dr. Klipp pretends to be the curator of the Museum of Superstition and Magic. He tricks Jimmy Olsen into believing that the Tiger's Eye jewel can bestow its wearer with nine lives. Klipp gives the jewel to Jimmy to pass along to Superman. However, the gem is actually Gold Kryptonite which will remove Superman's powers permanently.

Jimmy carries the jewel while Superman is away on a mission. Klipp and his henchmen worry that Jimmy will discover it is a fake and not deliver it. They scheme to protect Jimmy's life to convince him that the gem's power is real. However, they soon come to believe the jewel really does possess life saving powers after Jimmy survives several brushes with death.

The crooks take the gem back when they believe Jimmy's nine lives have been used up. Klipp then uses it to enter a booby-trapped vault containing his former partner's loot. The gem fails, but Superman saves Klipp. The Man of Steel then tricks the crook into signing a confession before revealing that Jimmy knew the gem was Gold Kryptonite and replaced it.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Hawk & the Dove #5

Hawk & the Dove #5 (On Sale: February 25, 1969) has a great cover by Gil Kane as The Dove gets all un-Dovey on us!.

"Death Has Taken My Hand" is written and drawn by Gil Kane. Sam Hodgins, a man who once saved Irwin Hall's life, is accused of robbery. Hawk and Dove discover that the two witnesses against him are members of a hot car ring. When Hawk is critically injured, Dove horrifies himself when he abandons his pacifism and beats the supposed killer unmercifully. Dove then sees that the killer is Hodgins.

After Hank Hall has made a full recovery, Hawk and Dove are back in action. They pursue an unnamed crook into a building where they encounter the Teen Titans. The story then continues in Teen Titans #21 in a neat Giordano crossover, one part written by artist Gil Kane, the other written by artist Neal Adams.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Brave and the Bold #83

Brave and the Bold #83 (On Sale: February 25 1969) has a Batman and Teen Titans cover by Irv Novick. Strange that in the midst of Mr. Cover, Neal Adams' run on B&B that we would find a cover by Irv Novick. Maybe the Enemy Ace story Neal did this month for Joe Kubert took too much of his time.

"Punish Not My Evil Son," featuring Batman and Teen Titans is by Bob Haney, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. While Batman is investigating the theft of oil from the Zenith Oil Company, Bruce Wayne is given custody of Lance Bruner, the orphaned son of Thomas Wayne's closest friend. Lance is a delinquent, forcing Dick Grayson to cover for his new brother. Even with the help of the Teen Titans, Dick is unable to keep Lance from staging his own kidnapping.

When an agent of the corrections department informs Bruce about Lance's criminal past, the boy pleads with his custodian to stay. Lance receives another chance and uses it to discover Batman's secret identity. He then takes the information to Grantland Stark, the head of the oil thieves.

Stark and Lance set Batman up. The Caped Crusaders are captured, and Robin is nearly killed. The Teen Titans come to Batman's aid. Lance, having witnessed Robin's sacrifice, reforms and confronts Stark. He is killed while protecting Batman and helping to capture the oil thief. Reprinted in Best of the Brave and the Bold #6, Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1 HC, Showcase Presents the Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1 TPB and Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Swing With Scooter #18

Swing With Scooter #18 (On Sale: February 20, 1969) has a cover by Henry Scarpelli.

We start with Scooter in "In Spring a Young Man's Fancy Turns to... Fishing?" by Henry Boltinoff, Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli. That's followed by an unnamed Sylvester page and an unnamed Penny and Cookie page by persons unknown. Next is Scooter in "The Race to Save Face" by Henry Boltinoff, Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli and "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not..." by persons unknown. We end with another unnamed Scooter page by persons unknown.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Superboy #155

Superboy #155 (On Sale: February 20, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams.

"Revolt of the Teen-Age Robots" is by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Wally Wood. Superboy is called to an island in the South Pacific to stop an erupting volcano. He succeeds in stopping the eruption, but his actions open a series of fissures in the ocean floor that threaten the mainland. The Boy of Steel summons his robots to help seal the fissures, but one of the robots is hijacked when teenaged ham radio operator Mousey Malcolm accidentally stumbles upon a secret control frequency.

Malcolm uses the robot for selfish purposes such as impressing Lana Lang. Meanwhile Superboy is forced to clean up the damage caused when his robot didn't complete his assignment. Malcolm soon hijacks Superboy's other robots and sends them to attack the real Boy of Steel. Superboy is forced to destroy his own robots.

Superboy then pretends to be a robot under Malcolm's control. When Malcolm attempts to use him, Superboy fakes a malfunction leaving the hijacker to wish the real Superboy could rescue him. The Boy of Steel then reveals himself, and Malcolm apologizes for his misbehavior.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Secret Hearts #135

Secret Hearts #135 (On Sale: February 20, 1969) has a cover certainly inked by Dick Giordano and maybe penciled by him as well. This issue also begins a new logo.

We start with "Somebody Owns Me" drawn by Mike Sekowsky. That's followed by "All's Fair in Love" reprinted from Heart Throbs #56. We end with "Reach for Happiness Episode 26" by persons unknown.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Bat Lash #4

Bat Lash #4 (On Sale: February 20, 1969) has another great cover by Nick Cardy.

Our untitled Bat Lash story is by plotted and drawn by Nick Cardy and scripted by Denny O'Neil. Bat Lash is rescued by the women of a small town after he angers the men. He leaves town and witnesses a stagecoach robbery. He helps the pretty girl who is delivering a shipment of money and learns their is more money to be had. He drives the stagecoach into Mexico until a group of soldiers capture it.

Bat Lash eludes the soldiers and is found by a group of rebels. They force him to break into a nearby fort to get information from one of the prisoners. Led by a small boy, Bat Lash gets inside the fort and finds the stagecoach girl. She then gives him the information concerning a traitor to the local governor.

Bat Lash then escapes the fort with Little Jose, the boy who acted as his guide. Jose is shot during the escape, forcing Bat Lash to run hard to the next town. He is too late to save the boy, but he reaches the governor in time to warn him about a general who is the traitor. Bat Lash is rewarded, but he has mixed feeling because of Jose's death.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Witching Hour #2

Witching Hour #2 (On Sale: February 18, 1969) has a cover by Nick Cardy.

We start with our Mordred, Mildred and Cynthia framing sequence, "(Come, dear reader, come along!)" drawn by Alex Toth. That's followed by "(That's right, Bernard -- scream!) " pencilled by Jerry Grandenetti adn "The Trip of Fools" by persons unknown. by persons unknown. We end with "Once Upon a Surprise Ending" drawn by Jack Sparling.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Sugar and Spike #82

Sugar and Spike #82 (On Sale: February 18, 1969) has a cover by Sheldon Mayer.

This issue features Sugar and Spike in "Poof! You're a Teen-Ager" written and drawn by Sheldon Mayer.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Star Spangled War Stories #144

Star Spangled War Stories #144 (On Sale: February 18, 1969) has a cover Joe Kubert.

Enemy Ace stars in "Death Takes No Holiday" by Robert Kanigher, Neal Adams and Joe Kubert. Von Hammer and his Jagdstaffel face a squadron of French fighters who wear skeletal attire. In their first encounter with the ghostly French squadron, one of von Hammer's men, Stephan, crash lands into a cemetery and Hammer leaps from his plane to pull him from his burning wreckage, just as it explodes. Somehow Hammer manages to get Stephan back to their field, but the Enemy Ace's hands are badly burned and he leaves Wilhelm in charge as he and Stephan head for the hospital.

Stephan has horrible nightmares of the burning plane and the French fighters sending him to "hades" while von Hammer is haunted by their ghoulish skull faces. Even when propositioned by the lovely Marlene von Hammer sees the skeletal images and knows he must return to his men. He and Stephan return to a shell-shocked Jagdstaffel as Wilhem's plane returns on fire and he barrels into the tarmac.

Hammer pulls him from his burning Fokker, but Wilhelm dies and Stephan states that he cannot fly again. Sensing that if Stephan does not return to the air now, he never will be able to, von Hammer orders Stephan to be his gunner and they head out to search for the hidden field of the French ghost squadron. They spy the squadron, but Stephan is at first paralyzed with fear, unable to shoot. Hammer does not fire his guns, waiting for Stephan to save himself and von Hammer. It works. When he finally snaps out of it, Stephan cuts down plane after plane. That night von Hammer is again plagued by the skull apparitions.

At dawn the ghost squadron attacks von Hammer's field and as Hammer takes off he finds a ghost plane on his tail, in the kill position. Just then Stephan comes out of nowhere and smashes into the trailing plane, saving von Hammer's life at the sacrifice of his own. Hammer follows one of the smoking French planes down and discovers the squadron's secret field, which he strafes repeatedly exploding fuel and ammo. The squadron takes to the air and follow von Hammer back to his field, where they surrender knowing they could never get back to a base of their own.

Von Hammer laments about the death of his country's youth and wonders what good it does, but as a soldier he knows he must return to the killer skies again and again until he himself must pay the ultimate price.

Alex Toth had asked to do an Enemy Ace story and Joe Kubert, being under the gun with his new editor duties on top of his existing artist duties readily agreed. Now Alex Toth had a reputation for taking liberties with scripts, so when Kubert gave Toth the Kanigher script, he instructed Toth not to change the story, which Kubert had already read and edited.

However, Alex Toth being Alex Toth, when Kubert got the artwork, it bore little resemblance to the Kanigher script. In Bill Schelly's Kubert biography "Man of Rock" Kubert says he told Toth: "...beautiful story, but it's not the one that Bob wrote...I will not publish it." This caused a rift in the friendship Kubert and Toth had developed over the years. I have seen versions of this cover where the box in the lower right corner read "Special Issue Story Illustrated by Alex Toth."

As for the Alex Toth Enemy Ace artwork, it was destroyed by water damage after Toth kept it in the trunk of his car for months.

Like last month's Teen Titans book, this is another case where Neal Adams came in and saved an editor's butt. Also according to "Man of Rock", Adams offered to help Joe out saying "It would be a great honor for me if you would allow me to pencil this book. You have a very, very tight deadline, you have other stuff to do (and) my schedule is not bad." After seeing the finished result, Kubert said of Adams' work here "It was like somebody had crawled into my mind."

Thanks to Steve Rowe and Sharon for helping me out on this one. It really helps to have readers who know their comics! Reprinted in Sgt. Rock #14, Enemy Ace Archives Vol. 2 HC and Showcase Presents: Enemy Ace Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Debbi's Dates #1

Debbi's Dates #1 (On Sale: February 18, 1969) has a cover by Samm Schwartz.

We start with Buddy in "Driven Insane" by persons unknown. That is followed by Debbi's Dates in "A Quick Dip" drawn by Henry Scarpelli. Next is Buddy again in "Ah -- Sweet Valentine's Day" and a final story, "Study Hall 'B'," both by persons unknown.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Young Romance #159

Young Romance #159 (On Sale: February 13, 1969) has a cover, I'm thinking, is penciled by editor Joe Orlando.

"Love Put Out the Light" is by persons unknown, "Ring of Gold" is a reprint from Heart Throbs #55 drawn by John Forte and Bernard Sachs, and "Enter Marriage... Exit Romance" is by persons unknown but was reprinted in Young Romance #204.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #91

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #91 (On Sale: February 13, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams. Man did he draw a sexy Lois.

"Love is Blind" is drawn by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito. In this imaginary story, when Lois Lane steps in front of a ray gun blast to protect Superman, she loses her eyesight. Inspired by Lois's sacrifice, the Man of Steel decides to propose to Lois. The couple secretly marries and have a daughter named Lisa, but Lois never regains her sight.

Years later, Superman is presumed dead after he is caught in an explosion involving Red and Green Kryptonite. Lois becomes a widow. While her daughter is away fighting crime as Superlass, Lois meets an ugly hunchback. Since she is blind, his appearance does not bother her, and a romance begins.

When Superlass saves an alien ship, they crew rewards her with a device that can restore her mother's eyesight. The device works allowing Lois to see again. When she sees how the hunchback really looks, she tries to suppress her revulsion. Despite Lois's efforts, he notices and flies away. The hunchback is really the permanently disfigured Man of Steel. Superman leaves Earth to live alone, but Superlass follows him in hopes of one day finding him a cure.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Metal Men #37

Metal Men #37 (On Sale: February 13, 1969) has a cover by new editor Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos.

"To Walk Among Men" is written and penciled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by George Roussos.The Metal Men return to Earth after a space mission and find that the public wants them destroyed. The mayor forms a special council to decide their fate. A billionaire named Conan heads the council and orders the robots to be destroyed. The Metal Men reluctantly accept their end and are sent to an junkyard to be demolished.

The Metal Men are each placed into a compactor and believed destroyed. However, Conan has arranged for their secret escape. He intends to make them secret agents. With the help of artificial skin and other enhancements the Metal Men are converted into beings that appear human. They then establish themselves in ordinary profession where they can strike at a moment's notice.

Edited by Mike Sekowsky.

Girls' Love Stories #142

Girls' Love Stories #142 (On Sale: February 13, 1969) has a cover penciled by editor Joe Orlando and sporting a new logo for the first time in three years.

"Thrill-Chick" is penciled by Joe Giella, "So Long in Love" is penciled by John Rosenberger, "Portrait of My Love" is a reprint from Falling In Love #28 and is drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs and "What Should I Do?" is penciled by John Rosenberger.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

G.I. Combat #135

G.I. Combat #135 (On Sale: February 13, 1969) has a Haunted Tank cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with the Haunted Tank in "Death is the Joker" by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. This was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Haunted Tank Vol. 2 TPB. Back-up stories are "Kill the Green Beret" drawn by Ed Robbins and "The Hound and the Hare" drawn by George Evans.

Ed Robbins was a DC artist in the early 1950s working exclusively on the Gang Busters book. This was Robbins' first story for DC in 13 years. He would do five stories in all during 1969 before once again disappearing.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Flash #187

Flash #187 (On Sale: February 13, 1969) AKA Giant #G-58 has a cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

We begin with "The Man Who Stole Central City" reprinted from Flash #116 is by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella. A class of students from another dimension observes a replica of Central City. The replica was created when the teacher, Elider traveled to Earth’s dimension and captured an image of the city. In doing so, Elider encountered the Flash. The students are amazed by Flash and observe him through the replica which duplicates all that happens in the real Central City.

The replica also shows events one hour before they happen. Using this special feature, a bitter lab assistant, Modrie has crossed between worlds with knowledge of future events. Modrie takes the identity of M. Odriex and makes a fortune with his knowledge. However, when the government wants him to pay taxes, Modrie refuses.

Flash is about to investigate M. Odriex when Elider arrives and informs him that he has seen Flash die in the replica of Central City. Knowing his fate, Flash rushes off to confront M. Odriex. Using the information he was given, Flash is able to rig events at super-speed so that while it appears he is shot and killed by Modrie, he survives to capture his foe. Modrie is placed in jail, and Elider closes the dimensional barrier permanently.

Next is "Return of the Mirror-Master" reprinted from Flash #109 is by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella. Iris West and her assistant Hank are doing a newspaper article on Scudder, the Mirror Master. They have arranged to photograph Scudder in his jail cell. When the camera flash goes off, Scudder disappears. Instead of an empty cell, the photograph shows Scudder, but only three feet tall.

Scudder has used his trick mirrors to escape. He immediately resumes his criminal activities. Disguised by an aura of blinding light, Mirror Master robs a Central City bank. Flash penetrates the disguise, but when Mirror Master turns up the intensity Flash is blinded as well. Mirror Master slips away, but Flash was able to recover the stolen money.

After the encounter, Flash realizes that he is late for his date with Iris. Angry for being made to wait again, Iris breaks off her relationship with Barry Allen.

Mirror Master strikes again. Flash is shrunk by the same special mirror that Scudder used to break jail. Flash is able to restore himself to normal size back at Barry’s police lab. He then returns to the bank and captures Mirror Master.

Barry uses Mirror Master’s mirrors to trick Iris into repenting their break-up. However Barry slips on the mirror and is knocked out; thus he is late for his date with Iris again.

This is followed by "The Case of the Real-Gone Flash" reprinted from Flash #128 and is by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella. Abra Kadabra, a magician from the year 6363, travels back in time to find an audience who appreciates his magic. Arriving in the 20th century, Kadabra has little success in attracting attention. He sees reads a newspaper and sees that the way to get attention is by stealing.

Later in the park, Kadabra causes a new statue to disappear. The crowd attending the dedication contains Barry Allen. While Barry tries to stop Kadabra, he finds that he and the crowd are paralyzed. Kadabra strikes again later and defeats Flash with a hypno-ray.

Abra Kadabra then makes a performance at Central Hall. Flash again tries to stop the villain, but is propelled into space by Kadabra leaving nothing but an empty uniform behind. Flash lands on a small planet the size of a boulder. He uses his super-speed to launch himself back to Earth. He locates Kadabra’s hide-out and turns the hypno-ray on Kadabra. The paralyzed Kadabra is placed in prison.

We end with "The Mystery of Flash's Third Identity" reprinted from Flash #141 is by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella. The Top is back in town, but Flash has been unable to find him. He finally does, but the crook gets away. In the process Top’s costume is ripped.

Later, Flash saves a delivery boy from a falling wall. The package, the boy is delivering, is the Top’s torn uniform. Flash traces the uniform to tailor Paul Gambi. He disguises himself as "Trigger" Joe and asks Gambi to make him a costume. Gambi denies involvement in anything.

Flash again tangles with Top only to have the villain escape again. Believing his only lead is still Gambi, Flash returns to the tailor shop as Joe. This time Gambi is helpful and allows the disguised Flash to try on a costume. It turns out to be a trap since both Top and Gambi saw through the speedster’s disguise. Flash is able to turn the trap against his foes and captures them.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

DC Special #3

DC Special #3 (On Sale: February 13, 1969), the "All-girl Issue," has a cover that the Grand Comics Database says is penciled by Neal Adams and inked by Nick Cardy, but I have to disagree with that. The Art of Nick Cardy says that Nick penciled and inked the cover, which I would agree with. However, the Supergirl figure has been reinked if not also redrawn by Neal Adams.

We begin with a previously unpublished Golden Age Wonder Woman story, "The Cheetah's Thought Prisoners" drawn by H. G. Peters.

Next is "The Maid of Menace" as Supergirl story reprinted from Action Comics #304. by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney. A female super villain with all the powers of Supergirl begins attacking Earth. Supergirl responds to the emergency and learns the villain is called the Black Flame. The villainous claims she is from the future and a descendant of Supergirl herself. Supergirl researches the claim and cannot find evidence to disprove it.

Supergirl then decides to remove her own powers using Gold Kryptonite to prevent her descendant from receiving them. After exposure, Black Flame reveals that she is really a Kandorian named Zora, enlarged by a Red Kryptonite cloud. After the Red K wears off, she shrinks to normal size and Supergirl uses tiny grains of Gold K to remove Zora’s powers. She herself never used real Gold K, so Supergirl is able to retain her own powers. Zora is then sent back to Kandor for incarceration.

Next is Black Canary in another unpublished Golden Age story "Special Delivery Death," written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Carmine Infantino and Bernard Sachs. Reprinted in Black Canary Archives Vol. 1 HC.

This is followed by "Girl in the Golden Flower" a reprint from Strange Adventures #18 by Gardner Fox, Alex Toth and Sy Barry.

Lastly is a reprint from Green Lantern #16, "The Secret Life of Star Sapphire" by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella. Having learned how to fly a plane from Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris is piloting her private aircraft for fun. Suddenly, her plane is yanked from the sky by an unknown force. She is brought down by the Zamorans, a race of immortal women from a distant planet. They are ruled by a mortal queen, which has just died. Carol is a replica of the dead ruler, so the Zamorans crown Carol, Queen Star Sapphire. However Carol reveals she is in love with Green Lantern, whom the Zamorans believe is inferior because he is a man. In order to prove the superiority of women to Carol, they give her a royal gem which gives her super-powers.

At the Ferris Company, Hal Jordan is worried about Carol, who hasn’t returned from her flight. He sets out as Green Lantern to find her. He spots Star Sapphire flying over the city. The female challenges GL and dares him to stop her from committing a robbery. She takes an ancient hand mirror from a museum exhibit and flys off with it. (The mirror was actually placed there by the Zamorans.) When Green Lantern tries to stop her, he is blasted by a repelling ray, enabling her to escape.

Still not convinced of her own superiority, Carol, as Star Sapphire, convinces the Zamorans to give Green Lantern another chance. The Zamorans inform Green Lantern that Star Sapphire is committing another robbery, so GL flys after her. The two battle each other to a stalemate until Green Lantern discovers incoming radiation being sent to her. He cuts off the radiation which weakens Star Sapphire, and enables him to capture her. The Zamorans teleport her back to their ship and remove her powers and memory, disappointed in her defeat. Green Lantern later finds Carol near her plane, and he locates a star sapphire gem near her as well.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Leave It To Binky #66

Leave It To Binky #66 (On Sale: February 11, 1969) has a cover by Bob Oskner.

"(Binky, you don't mind carrying my compact...)" is a reprint from Leave It To Binky #33, "(Hello, Mrs. Baxter!)" is also reprinted from Leave It To Binky #33, "(Hi, Peggy! -- Oh, hello Binky!)" is a reprint from Leave It To Binky #34 and "(How do I know you're under ten?)" is a reprint from Leave It To Binky #33.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Unexpected #112

Unexpected #112 (On Sale: February 6, 1969) has a nice cover by Neal Adams.

Johnny Peril stars in "The Brain Robbers" by George Kashdan and Jack Sparling. "Burn, Match, Burn" is by Dave Wood and Artie Saaf and "The Corpse That Didn't Die" is by Dave Wood and Pat Boyette and was reprinted in Unexpected #162.

Dave Wood's (AKA D. W. Holtz and D. W. Holz) first writing for DC was in Big Town #1, January 1951. In the early '50s he also wrote a number of Strong Bow stories for All-Star Western and Foley of the Fighting Fifth for All-American Western and Western Comics. He wrote for numerous issues of Rex the Wonder Dog beginning with issue #1 and pulled a long stint on the DC war books, All-American Men of War, Our Army at War and Star Spangled War Stories.

For World's Finest Comics he wrote Green Arrow, Tomahawk and Batman/Superman stories. He also wrote Batman stories in Batman and Detective Comics and Superman stories in Superman. For Mystery In Space he wrote Adam Strange, Space Ranger and Ultra the Multi-Alien (Dave's creation) and for Strange Adventures he wrote Star Hawkins and Animal Man (Dave's creation). Dave Wood also wrote a number of Dial H for HERO stories for House of Mystery and the Martian Manhunter for House of Secrets.

In 1968 he made the rounds of the Mort Weisinger books doing Supergirl in Action Comics and the Superboy and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen features, but by 1969, Dave was relegated to this single Murray Boltinoff mystery title, where, except for a fill-in back-up story in the Boltinoff-edited Challengers of the Unknown (a story most likely written for the Unexpected), Dave would finish his career at DC.

Before coming to DC, Dave wrote Blackhawk stories for Quality from 1940-1949 and wrote Bombshell for Lev Gleason. During his time at DC Dave also wrote adventure stories for Harvey Comics and between 1958 and 1960 wrote the daily syndicated strip Sky Masters of the Space Force drawn by Jack Kirby and Wally Wood.

I don't know why Dave left DC or what happened to him after he left DC except for a single story he wrote that appeared in Creepy Magazine in 1971. This was the time when the old guard of writers were being pushed out and Dave Wood was most likely just part of that push. Dave's stories in Unexpected would appear regularly for the rest of 1969, then in three issues in 1970 then one issue in 1971, 1973, 1974 and finally in 1975.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Superman #215

Superman #215 (On Sale: February 6, 1969) and has another beautiful Neal Adams' cover. Wonderful drama, gorgeous coloring; who could resist this one?

"Lois Lane... Dead... Yet Alive" is by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. In this imaginary story, Superman has married Lois Lane and has a super-powered daughter named Laney. One of his foes, the Dimension Master, tries to kill Superman, but instead succeeds in murdering Lois. Superman is heartbroken and is unable to forget Lois.

More than a year after Lois's death, Laney is playing in the Fortress of Solitude and accidentally exposes herself to Red Kryptonite. Superman watches as his daughter disappears. The Man of Steel deduces that she was transported to a parallel world and follows her.

On the parallel Earth Superman locates his missing daughter. Before returning to his own world, Superman learns that the Lois of this world is still alive. He impulsively proposes, and she accepts. However the Superman of this world is still around. The two Men of Steel agree to swap Earths. Laney and Superman remain with the new Lois as a happy family while the parallel Superman moves to the other Earth. Reprinted in Best of DC #19.

The back-up tale, "Superman's First Exploit," is reprinted from Superman #106 and is the work of Edmond Hamilton, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. Dr. Reese Kearns, a discredited scientist, approaches Superman with questions regarding his journey to Earth as a baby. Superman suspects the scientist of trying to discover his secret identity, so he refuses to answer the questions. Kearns then convinces Perry White to start a contest designed to learn Superman's earliest exploit. Though he opposes the contest, Superman must allow it to go on.

When it is time for Superman to verify the winner, Kearns forces Superman to tell everyone about his trip to Earth. During the trip, baby Kal-El diverted a meteor headed to Earth. Kearns was discredited because he predicted the meteor would strike Earth. Superman's recollections of his first super-feat restore Kearns' reputation as a scientist.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Falling In Love #106

Falling In Love #106 (On Sale: February 6, 1969) has a cover by Ric Estrada and someone else, not sure who the inks are by. This issue also sports a new logo and a new editor.

"Kiss Me Goodbye" is a reprint from Heart Throbs #57 and is drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs. "It Just Can't Happen" is penciled by Tony Abruzzo and our cover story, "Loved -- But Not Wanted" is penciled by Ric Estrada.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Secret Six #7

Secret Six #7 (On Sale: February 4, 1969) and final issue has a cover by Jack Sparling.

"Eye for an Eye" is plotted by E. Nelson Bridwell, Scripted by Joe Gill and drawn by Jack Sparling. I liked the Mission: Impossible action/adventure slant of the Secret Six, it was different from anything else DC was putting out at the time, though you could argue that Wonder Woman was becoming an action/adventure book with the loss of her super-powers.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Our Army at War #205

Our Army at War #205 (On Sale: February 4, 1969) has a Sgt. Rock cover by Joe Kubert. declaring this to be a "Special Issue," a DC code word for "Reprint Book!"

We have three tales here wrapped around by a Sgt. Rock framing sequence by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert: "Medal for a War Dog" from All-American Men of War #38 by Robert Kanigher , Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, "The Tank with a Memory" from Star Spangled War Stories #34 by France Herron and Russ Heath and "Battle Zoo" from Our Army at War #59 by Jack Miller and Joe Kubert.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Challengers of the Unknown #67

Challengers of the Unknown #67 (On Sale: February 4, 1969) has its first Neal Adams cover and it is a nice one.

"The Dream Killers" is by Robert Kanigher and Jack Sparling. Tino reports to the other Challengers that he is being chased in his dreams. They aren't worried until he begins bleeding in his sleep. Prof builds a machine that allows the team to view Tino's dream and allows them to see his pursuers.

While Prof works on another machine that will allow the team to enter Tino's dream, the Challengers learn that other people in the city are also plagued by the same dreams. When Prof's work is complete, the Challengers enter Tino's sleeping mind and discover that an alien brain is responsible for the nightmares. They destroy the brain allowing Tino and the other victims to sleep normally again.

The back-up is "Ace:The Beast in the Bomb" also by Robert Kanigher and Jack Sparling. The Challengers track a renegade scientist to an underground labyrinth of caverns. When they split up to search Ace is knocked out and a bomb is attached to his head. The other Challengers rush him back to the city only to discover that the bomb is linked to his heart. Ace is placed into an ice bath and his heart stops. The bomb is safely removed, and Ace is revived. The Challengers then return to the caverns with the bomb. The scientist accidentally triggers it, killing himself, but the Challengers aren't harmed.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Atom & Hawkman #42

Atom & Hawkman #42 (On Sale: February 4, 1969) has a great cover by Joe Kubert.

"When Gods Make Madness" is by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. In this joint Atom and Hawkman story, Carter Hall and Ray Palmer are leaving a scientists' convention in Midway City, when they are attacked by a man with a tear gas grenade, which knocks out Carter. The Atom attacks him, but is startled to find the enemy is Carter's double. This man disappears in the symbol of Shiva, Hindu god of destruction.

Hawkman and the Atom jet to India, but their flight is attacked en route by locusts, and the pilot, another Carter Hall double, must crashland in India. Hawkgirl joins them there, and they are attacked by Brahma, god of light. The trio is overwhelmed by the faceless Nether-Man, and they are brought before Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, god of restoration.

Shiva explains that eons ago the three gods ruled, until a cosmic upheaval sent them to another astral plane. Later, they found a warp to a limbo in which dwelt souls between life and death. The Nether-Men came back to Earth with them, seeking their former worshipers. When they could not find them, Shiva vowed to create chaos to prove his power and punish mankind, just at the time the Halls were in the country. The god used Carter's face as a model for the Nether-Men for use in infiltration and spying, and also hypnotized Vishnu while he stole Brahma's sight and sanity.

The captive Atom disappears, apparently destroyed; Hawkman and Hawkgirl attack. She blinds Shiva, but is in turn restrained by Vishnu, and the Nether-Men knock out Hawkman. Atom reappears and removes Brahma's blindfold; the god then returns the Nether-Men and his fellow gods to the nether- dimension. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.