Friday, March 27, 2009

Detective Comics #387

Detective Comics #387 (On Sale: March 27, 1969) has a cover by Irv Novick. celebrating Batman's 30th anniversary.

"The Cry of Night is -- Sudden Death" is by Mike Friedrich, Bob Brown and Joe Giella. this story was reprinted in Best of DC #2 and Detective Comics #627. "The Cry of Night is -- Sudden Death" is basically an updated version of of the "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" from Detective #27, only from teenager Mike Friedrich instead of teenager Bob Kane. The plot follows the original fairly closely, only adding a conflict between Robin and Mel Lambert, Robin feeling Lambert must be guilty because he is such a disrespectful youth.

The back-up story is "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" by Bill Finger and Bob Kane from Detective #27. This is of course the first Batman story. Commissioner Gordon receives a call telling him that Old Lambert, the chemical king, has been murdered. Gordon leaves for the crime scene bringing his millionaire friend Bruce Wayne. The prime suspect is Lambert’s son, but the boy claims to have found his father stabbed. A telephone call from Steven Crane, one of Lambert’s partners, reveals that Lambert’s life had been threatened.

Crane is also murdered by two thugs, who also steal a contract. They are confronted by a masked man on a rooftop, the Batman. Batman dispatches the hoods in short order, recovering the contract which leads him to the laboratory of another of Lambert’s partners, Alfred Stryker.

Stryker is being visited by the final partner, Paul Rogers. Rogers is knocked out and nearly killed by Stryker’s assistant, Jennings. Batman arrives in time to save the man and stop Jennings. Stryker also tries to kill Rogers to protect himself from the knowledge that he made secret contracts with the partners for control of the Apex Chemical Corporation. Batman rescues Rogers again, and knocks Stryker into a vat of acid, killing him.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #380

Adventure Comics #380 (On Sale: March 27, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito.

"The Legion's Space Odyssey" is by Jim Shooter, Winslow Mortimer and Jack Abel and was reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9 HC. Hmm, guess what movie came out in 1969?

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #376

Action Comics #376 (On Sale: March 27, 1969) has a nice cover by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito, who seemed to be inking a lot of DC covers this month.

"The Only Way to Kill Superman" is by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. The Supergirl back-up is "The Hated Girl of Steel" by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger. Continuing from last issue, Marla Alexander blames Supergirl for the loss of her eyesight after studying the Claw Nebula. The students of Stanhope turn against the Girl of Steel when she is unable to find a cure. As a result, Supergirl avoids a science conference held at the Science Center.

At the conference, Marla and the other scientists are abducted by aliens from Rancor. The aliens explain to Marla that they were responsible for her blindness. They then plan to download the knowledge in the scientists' brains into their computers. Supergirl, who was disguised as Marla, destroys their machine that would have turned the scientists into vegetables. Supergirl then returns the scientists to Earth and uses the Rancor technology to restore Marla's sight.
Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #92

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #92 (On Sale: March 25, 1969) has a nice cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams.

"The Unbreakable Spell" is by E. Nelson Bridwell, Curt Swan and Mike Esposito. Apparently Lois turns into a centaur in this one.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Girls' Love Stories #143

Girls' Love Stories #143 (On Sale: March 25, 1969) has a nice cover by Nick Cardy, but it seems like it was meant for a different book. the cover blurb is normally the name of a story, usually the last story in the romance book, but there is no story entitled "Love From a Stranger" in this issue.

We begin with "Love Today -- Cry Tomorrow" drawn by Wally Wood, which is followed by "Only Love Can Create" and an untitled Cindy the Salesgirl story both by persons unknown. Finally we have "End of a Dream" from Girls' Love Stories #40 and inked by Bernard Sachs.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Windy and Willy #1

Windy and Willy #1 (On Sale: March 20, 1969) has a cover by Bob Oksner. This is an updated version of the cover to Many Loves of Dobie Gillis #12 from 1962.

We have an untitled Windy and Willy story reprinted from Many Loves of Dobie Gillis #18 and written by either Lawrence Nadle or Bob Oksner and drawn by Bob Oksner. There are updates in the art to the clothing and hairstyles, something done in many of the romance comic reprints and the character names are changed to avoid copyright infringement.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Falling In Love #107

Falling In Love #107 (On Sale: March 20, 1969) has a cover the GCD says is inked by Vinny Colletta, but I don't think so. There is a weakness around the woman's face that Colletta was known for, but the boldness of the strokes in the wedding dress and all of the people in the background are not Colletta-like at all.

We begin with "A Kiss for Cinderella" from Heart Throbs #59 drawn by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs. That is followed by "I Hated the Boy I Loved" penciled by John Rosenberger. Finally we have "One Love Too Many" inked by Vinny Colletta.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Teen Titans #21

Teen Titans #21 (On Sale: March 18, 1969) has a cover by Nick Cardy. I have always thought that Neal Adams had something to do with this cover, but apparently not.

"Citadel of Fear" is written and penciled by Neal Adams and inked by Nick Cardy. Continuing the story from Hawk and the Dove #5 and the first story of Teen Titans #22, on the trail of criminals, the Titans run afoul of the Hawk and the Dove, who are after the same gang for different reasons. After a brief altercation, Wonder Girl accompanies Hawk and Dove through a teleportation device to a gang hideout in Istanbul, while Robin, Kid Flash, and Speedy battle another segment of the organization in Berlin. Both teams are defeated and captured, but Hawk, Dove, and Wonder Girl escape in time to rescue Speedy from being crushed beneath a gigantic machine.

Hawk and Dove, sensing their mystic transformation back into Hank and Don Hall about to occur, are forced to abandon the case, leaving Speedy and Wonder Girl to search for Robin and Kid Flash, who are still prisoners of the Dimension X aliens. Reprinted in Best of DC #18 and Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Superman #216

Superman #216 (On Sale: March 18, 1969) has the rarest of rares, a Superman cover by Joe Kubert. It doesn't get much better than this!

"The Soldier of Steel" is by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Wow, would I like to have more information on this one.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Strange Adventures #218

Strange Adventures #218 (On Sale: March 18, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams

We begin with Adam Strange in "The Planet and the Pendulum," reprinted from Showcase #17 and created by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Joe Giella. Adam Strange is again transported to Rann by stepping into the path of the Zeta-Beam. This time he arrives in the ruined city of Yardana, where he is captured by the barbaric Zoora tribe. Believing Adam to be a sorcerer, the tribe take Adam to the Tower of Rainbow Doom. Surrounded by a rainbow of lights, Adam is teleported to Anthorann a nearby planet.

Adam discovers the wreckage of a spacecraft on the surface whose passengers include Sardath and Alanna. Alanna explains that the scientists from Samakand gave their technology to the people of Ranagar. This enabled Sardath to construct a spacecraft to travel to a lost colony on Anthorann. Their ship was attacked by a vessel from Morleen and forced down.

Adam, Alanna, and Sardath are met by a man from New Ranagar and taken inside the protective dome of the city. The aliens return using a giant pendulum to slice open the dome. Using a rocket pack and ray-gun found in the spaceship, Adam destroys the pendulum while dodging enemy fire. With the weapon destroyed, the aliens leave, and Adam once again returns to Earth when the Zeta radiation dissipates.

Next is "Interplanetary Insurance, Inc." from Mystery in Space #16 by Sid Gerson, Carmine Infantino and Sy Barry.

Lastly we have the Atomic Knights in "The Rise of the Atomic Knights" from Strange Adventures #117 by John Broome and Murphy Anderson. Gardner Grayle, a man who is statistically the average soldier, has survived World War III, which lasted only 20 days. In the post-holocaust world, all plant and animal life has been destroyed. The only remaining food supplies are being hoarded by a tyrant called the Black Baron.

Grayle is attacked by looters trying to rob him. He escapes, then helps another man, Douglas Herald, fend off the attackers. Grayle and Herald discover a set of six medieval suits of armor that have become resistant to radiation. The two men decide to use the suits to attack the Baron's stronghold. They recruit three other men to join the fight, leaving the last suit of armor behind because it is too small.

The five men assault the Baron's stronghold wearing the armor which resists the tyrant's rayguns. The Baron nearly kills Grayle, but he is rescued by an unknown person wearing the sixth suit of armor. After the Baron is defeated, the sixth knight is revealed to be Marene, Herald's sister. The six knights agree to stay together to fight for justice in the post-apocalyptic world.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Spectre #10

Spectre #10 (On Sale: March 18, 1969) has a pretty good cover by Nick Cardy as this title limps to its death.

We begin with "Footsteps of Disaster" drawn by Jerry Grandenetti and George Roussos.Charles A. Felix has been a criminal since he was young. He is repeatedly caught and punished for his crimes, but he never learned his lesson. Many times his punishment was foretold by a creaking staircase as an authority figure climbed the stairs to get him. After killing his former partner, Felix hears the creaking stairs again. This time it is the Spectre who is coming to get him. Felix collapses from fear and dies.

Next is "Hit and Run" drawn by Jack Sparling. Small-time hood Johnny Stull is haunted by dreams of hitting a kid with his car while fleeing police. The Spectre watches as Johnny's dream becomes prophetic and plays out in real life. However, Johnny acts to save the kid by swerving out of the way instead of hitting him. As a result, Johnny crashes the car and is killed, but the Spectre concludes that Stull isn't as evil as he originally thought.

That is followed by "How Much Can a Guy Take?" also drawn by Jack Sparling. In high school Allie Johnson was thought to be a nice guy who would grow up to become a lawyer or doctor. Instead Allie became a shoe shine man who can barely feed his family. Nichols, a former classmate, has become a financial success and taunts Allie daily while getting his shoes shined.

After considerable humiliation, Allie breaks down and tries to steal a briefcase from Nichols that supposedly contains a fortune. Nichols catches him, so Allie pulls a gun. The Spectre stops him from shooting, then shows him that the briefcase is empty. He also shows Allie that Nichols is a criminal. After preventing Allie from becoming a murderer, the Spectre takes retribution on Nichols.

We end with "Will the Real Killer Please Rise?" another Jack Sparling drawn story. The Spectre investigates two murders which he believes were committed by Vargo the Ventriloquist. The victims were former associates for whom Vargo carried a grudge. The Spectre tries to pull the truth from Vargo's mind, but he can't read it. He continues to watch Vargo in order to protect Sarah Frame, his next likely target. The Spectre barely discovers the truth in time that Vargo has been disguising himself as his ventriloquist dummy. The human Vargo is a robot which had no mind for the Spectre to read. The Spectre prevents Sarah's murder, and Vargo is arrested.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Date With Debbi #3

Date With Debbi #3 (On Sale: March 18, 1969) cover where Debbi has the same dark eyes as last two issues, so I am going to guess that this is also the work of Samm Schwartz.

Inside Debbie stars in "The Brain Game" and "The Cave-Man Cometh" by persons unknown. In the latter, Debbi wants Buddy to act more like a caveman.

Flowers stars in an untitled story drawn by Phil Mendez in which the Flower family gets evicted.

We end with another Debbie story, "The Minor Becomes a Drum Major" by Henry Boltinoff.

This is the first of only three stories Phil Mendez would draw for DC comics, one in this and the next issue of Date With Debbi and one in Kissyfur #1 in 1989.

Phil Mendez started a comic strip in the Mercury Shopper’s Guide at the age of sixteen and was hired by Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample at the age of eighteen as an assistant art director on the General Mills account. Phil freelanced on comic books at Charlton in 1966 and DC in 1969. He worked as a storyboard artist, head designer and layout director for Totem Productions' Voyager (NASA).

In 1970 he worked at Disney Studios on the feature film Robin Hood. He then worked for Fred Calvert Productions and Ron Campbell Films on projects including Nanny and The Professor, Sesame Street and the IBM specials The Great Blue Marble.”
Mendez designed presentations and layout work for Hanna-Barbara Productions on The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Yogi Bear Show, Hong Kong Phooey, The Buford Files, The Partridge Family, The Banana Split Show and more. He was hired by Mark Davis in 1975 as his assistant to design attractions for Disneyland where he worked on Fantasyland rides, Epcot Center and concept work for future Disney Projects.

He started his own company, Phil Mendez Productions, in 1982 where he designed the original presentation and characters for An American Tail and “Rose Petal Place. He created the children’s shows Kissyfur and Foofur, and he wrote The Black Snowman which won the Martin Luther King “Living the Dream Award” in 1991 (to date the book has sold over 1.7 million copies.) You can see much of Phil's work on his website. You never know who you are going to find in these old DC Comics.

Edited by Dick Giordano 

Friday, March 13, 2009

World's Finest Comics #184

World's Finest Comics #184 (On Sale: March 13, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito.

"Robin's Revenge" an imaginary take is by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Jack Abel and was reprinted in Batman: The Strange Deaths of Batman TPB.

The Martian Manhunter back-up, "John Jones' Farewell to Earth" is reprinted from Detective Comics #267 and was drawn by Joe Certa. J’onn discovers a Jovian spacecraft in the park. The jovians explain that they are searching for a criminal from their planet, but cannot leave the ship into the rain due to their weakness to water. J’onn agrees to help capture the crook in exchange for transport to Mars.

J’onn tracks down S’Vor, the alien criminal and defeats him with water. He returns him to the security officers and prepares to leave Earth. However, the crook has left behind several bombs. J’onn decides to stay behind and defuse the bombs. The aliens are forced to leave without him.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Showcase #82

Showcase #82 (On Sale: March 13, 1969) has a cover featuring Nightmaster by Joe Kubert. It also has added "Preview" to the appellation and a large DC logo. The irony of this is that this is one of the few three-issue tryouts that never went anywhere. And yeah, before there was a Conan comic at Marvel, DC tried sword and sorcery.

"Some Forbidden Fate" is by Denny O'Neil, Jerry Grandenetti and Dick Giordano. Thousands of years ago, the mighty warrior Nacht was driven from his other-dimensional world of Myrra by his rival Brom and the evil magician Farben. While Nacht's magic Nightsword inserted itself into a stone pillar, Nacht himself ended up on Earth where he settled down under his family name of Roke.

In 1969, Jim Rook, lead singer of the rock band called the Electrics, entered an abandoned store on Manhattan named Oblivion, Inc. and is magically transported to Myrra. One of Nacht's descendants, Rook reluctantly claimed his ancestor's Sword and became the new protector of Myrra – the Nightmaster. Although Rook really wantd to return to Earth, he finds himself in the midst on the conflict between Myrra's King Zolto and the evil Warlocks, when the Warlocks captures Rook's girlfriend, Janet Jones.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Phantom Stranger #1

Phantom Stranger #1 (On Sale: March 13, 1969) has a cover by Bill Draut.

Fresh from his Showcase tryout we have the Phantom Stranger. We begin with "When Ghosts Walk" from Phantom Stranger #1 (1952) by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Sy Barry. Three friends share a plane flight that ends in a fatal crash. Sometime after the crash, ghosts appear and carry out the plans of the dead men that they were unable to complete.

The ghost of Carson Rand attempts to take papers from Edgar Jones which were to be used to blackmail him. The ghost is stopped by the Phantom Stranger. Next the ghost of Bart Benson appears to break a unbreakable bronco. The Phantom Stranger appears to and reveals that it was a trick.

Finally, the apparent ghost of John Martin contacts his fiancee, Margo Phillips. The Phantom Stranger once again appears. The Stranger unmasks the ghost as Matt Wright, a night club employee which Margo caught stealing. Matt had used the ghosts to disguise his true goal of killing Margo. The Stranger's arrival saves Margo and exposes the ghostly hoax.

Next is Doctor 13 in "The Hermit's Ghost Dog" from Star Spangled Comics #125 by Francis Herron and Leonard Starr.

Lastly is the only new material in the book, "Defeat the Dragon Curse ...or Die" by Mike Friedrich and Bill Draut. This new story was reprinted in Showcase Presents Phantom Stranger Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Justice League of America #71

Justice League of America #71 (On Sale: March 13, 1969) has a cover by Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos.

"...and So My World Ends" is by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. The new, powerless Wonder Woman and her martial arts mentor I-Ching appear in this issue and the Martian Manhunter leaves Earth. Reprinted in Justice League of America Archives Vol. 9 HC.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Binky's Buddies #3

Binky's Buddies #3 (On Sale: March 13, 1969) has a cover by Bob Oksner.

Inside we have Binky's Buddies in "Mad, Mad Method Actors," Binky in "Change for the Worse," Benny in "Benny's New Car" and "Blow It Out of Your Pipe," Buzzy in "Wolfie at My Door" and Binky in "Private Enterprise." I have no informain on who is resposnible for any of this.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Angel and the Ape #4

Angel and the Ape #4 (On Sale: March 13, 1969) has a cover by Bob Oksner and a new craptastic logo.

Inside we have "Remember the Chow Mein," "The Case of Trouble on the Talk Show" and "Cheapskater's Waltz" all penciled by Bob Oksner and inked by Wally Wood.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Young Love #74

Young Love #74 (On Sale: March 11, 1969) has a nice cover by Nick Cardy.

This issue begins with a Lisa St. Claire story followed by "Love Came Too Late" from Heart Throbs #64, both by persons unknown. The issue ends with "Hide Your Love" drawn by Alex Toth.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Our Fighting Forces #119

Our Fighting Forces #119 (On Sale: March 11, 1969) has a Lt. Hunter's Hellcats cover by Joe Kubert.

Inside we have Lt. Hunter's Hellcats in "Bedlam in Berlin" by Robert Kanigher and Artie Saaf. That is followed by "Home..." by Howard Liss and Fred Ray and and "This Story Has No Title" a reprint from All-American Men of War #4 by Robert Kanigher, Gene Colan and Bernard Sachs.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

House of Mystery #180

House of Mystery #180 (On Sale: March 11, 1969) has another creepy cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "Comes a Warrior" written and penciled by Gil Kane and inked by Wally Wood. This is the story of barbarian Rangarry and his search for an adventure that would immortalize his name. He finds an unnamed village haunted by demons and sets out on a quest to slay the dragon in a distant valley that is said to spawn the demons.

Next is "His Name is... Kane" by Mike Friedrich, Gil Kane and Wally Wood. Comic artist Gil Kane finds himself being sucked into the page he has just completed drawing, there to fight against demons. He remembers back to how it all began, how that cheapskate editor Joe Orlando wouldn't pay him until he finished his work. And what crap it all was, hack stories and even worse inkers.

Kane decides to go off to a quiet place to work on his own stories and takes a room from caretaker Cain at the House of Mystery, where he is soon interrupted by Joe Orlando again. In a fit of rage he kills the hapless editor only to find a small factory of creatures how drawing and inking and coloring his pages. Shrinking down into the pages he fights on against the demon editors and writers. Later Cain looks in on Kane only to find him gone, all that remains is his artwork...or is there something else there as well? Reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-23 and Welcome Back to the House of Mystery #1.

This is followed by a Cain's Game Room page by Sergio Aragones and "Oscar Horns In!" as two-page text story by Cliff Rhodes illustrated by Joe Orlando.

Mext is "Scared to Life" by Marv Wolfman and Bernie Wirghtson. Lord Dufferin, the British Ambassador to Paris is vacationing in Ireland when a terrible moaning sound draws him out into the night and to his destiny. Reprinted in House of Mystery #226 and Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery Vol. 3 TPB

The book ends with another Cain's Game Room page by Sergio Aragones. Along with the previously noted, the entire book was reprinted in Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery Vol. 1 TPB

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Funny Book Fanatic Blog of the Week

We don't get many honors around here, so when we do get one we surely appreciate it. Dave Olbrich's Funny Book Fanatic blog has named DC Comics 40 Years Ago as its Blog of the Week! That puts us in the running for his coveted Blog of the Month which I am sure comes with a hefty cash award, something that we can put to good use in these hard economic times. What? No money? Eh, I guess we will just have to be satisfied with the accolades.

We particularly wanted to comment on the impeccable taste of Mr. Olbrich and were taken by his strong support for this small endeavor of ours:

I have seen a lot of cool stuff on the internet since I started posting this fanatic blog around three months ago, but this Blog of the Week deserves to be singled out as one of the coolest and most extraordinary.
Thanks for the honor Dave and now we will cross our fingers on that Blog of the Month award! And by the way, it is not just Mr. Olbrich's exceptional taste in blogs that we admire; anyone who writes about the late, great and mostly forgotten Gene Day is definitely OK in our book.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tomahawk #122

Tomahawk #122 (On Sale: March 6, 1969) has a cover by Irv Novick as Neal Adams takes the month off another cover he usually creates.

Inside we have two Tomahawk stories: "Must the Brave Die" by Robert Kanigher and Frank Thorne and "Brass Buttons' Double War" by George Kashdan and Frank Thorne.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Superboy #156

Superboy #156 (On Sale: March 6, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito celebrating the 20th anniversary of Superboy.

We begin with "Superboy's Farewell to Smallville" from Adventure Comics #217 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Creig Flessel. A rocket ship lands on Earth. Two people emerge from the ship claiming to be Superboy's real parents, Jor-El and Lara. Superboy listens to their story in which they claim to have escaped Krypton's doom. Superboy happily believes them. Then they tell him that they want him to join them to live on another world. Superboy agrees, so he leaves Earth.

The story continues in "The Two Worlds of Superboy" from Adventure Comics #218 also by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Creig Flessel. Superboy leaves Earth to live with two people claiming to be his real parents, Jor-El and Lara. When word of this reaches death row convict Duke Mason, he is angry. Mason has just deciphered a code which revealed Superboy's secret identity. With Superboy gone from Earth, Mason is unable to take revenge and dies in the electric chair.

Superboy witnesses the execution with his telescopic vision. He then decides that he can safely return to Earth. His parents were really actors hired by Superboy. The hoax was created in order to stall until Mason was executed.

Back on Earth, the Kents find a note left by Superboy revealing his plan. The note had been lost, so they were heartbroken over Superboy's decision to leave. They nearly reveal their son's secret to the people of Smallville, but find the note in time. Jonathan then uses a Clark Kent robot to protect his son's secret, until the real Superboy returns.

Next we have "The Super-Hungry Super-Heroes" from Superboy #91 by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. After an encounter with a metal-eating monster in space, Superboy and Krypto gain insatiable appetites which force them to eat strange objects, such as a park bench, a wooden statue, a pair of shoes, a painting, and a ladder. After realizing that he is eating only green objects and Krypto is eating red ones, Superboy realizes that the monster must have eaten some Red Kryptonite which caused its fiery breath to have an effect on Krypto and himself. To cure their condition, they travel into space finding a red and a green moon. They proceed to eat them until their hunger goes away, and they return to normal.

We end with "The New Boy of Steel" reprinted from Superboy #96 and by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. Lex Luthor creates a device designed to kill Superboy. In a fluke accident the device transfers Superboy’s powers to Pete Ross instead. Pete takes over as Superboy and flies three days into the future by mistake. When Pete returns, Clark believes his friend has changed and is out to get him.

Luthor tries to kill Superboy again; this time he destroys a Superboy statue and Pete loses his powers giving them back to Clark. Pete explains his odd behavior because when he was in the future, he saw a headline that Luthor destroyed Superboy. Pete missed the rest of the headline though which read "Luthor destroys Superboy statue."

Edited by Mort Weisinger (E. Nelson Bridwell).

Flash #188

Flash #188 (On Sale: March 6, 1969) has a nicely drawn, if not overly exciting, cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

"The Most Colorful Villain of All" is by John Broome, Irv Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. I know I have this book somehwere and I know the Mirror Master is the villian, but beyond that I'm sort of clueless on this one.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Batman #211

Batman #211 (On Sale: March 6, 1969) has a cover by Irv Novick.

"Batman's Big Blow-Off" is by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Joe Giella.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #112

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #112 (On Sale: March 6, 1969) has a cover by Bob Oksner. Until I bought the old Neal Adams' issues last year, this was the only issue of Adventures of Jerry Lewis I had ever bought or read and the only one I bought from the newsstand.

We start with "The Flash Meets Jerry Lewis," which is the reason I bought this book. Reader Martin O'Hearn tells us that E. Nelson Bridwell talked about writing this story, so let's call it by E. Nelson Bridwell and Bob Oksner. Jerry and nephew Renfrew are taking Jerry's sweater to be cleaned when they see the tailor being taken "for a ride" by two goons. Jerry says that he and Renfrew will watch the store for him while he enjoys his ride. Inside they notice the large amount of costumes in for cleaning and Renfrew notes that they are all super-villain uniforms, not super-hero uniforms.

Their first customer is in a prison outfit and asks for the Captain Cold outfit. When Renfrew starts asking too many question, Captain Cold puts him on ice, literally. Meanwhile Barry Allen notices that several of his foes who staged a mass jailbreak were caught with a tailor's business card in their pockets. As the Flash he heads on over just as Jerry is putting out a sign advertising for a delivery boy. He hires the Flash to do the job (he looks speedy!) and hands him the costumes to a bunch of super-villains.

Meanwhile the tailor is brought to the hideout of Abra Kadabra who wants to know what happened to the wand he left in his cape? The tailor has no idea, but at the same moment and just thawed Renfrew fins a magic wand on the floor and notes that he can use it to send sewing needle into Uncle Jerry's butt! The Flash meanwhile has rounded up a number of villains and heads back to the store as Barry Allen to see if he can find out what is going on. However, he is splashed by a car in front of the tailor shop and Jerry insists on cleaning his trousers. As Jerry shakes them for cleaning the Flash's ring falls out of the pocket. Jerry returns Barry's horribly shrunk, and burned pants to him and Barry storms out in a huff, but Renfrew finds a ring on the floor.

While Abra Kadabra tortures the tailor Jerry snatches the ring from Renfrew and accidentally opens the secret compartment holding the Flash's uniform. Renfrew eggs Jerry into trying the outfit on and then uses his magic wand to empower the Flash's boots to run like crazy! Unable to get any information out of the tailor, Kadabra heads back to his shop just as Barry notices that he is missing his ring. He rushes home and picks up his spare costume and heads back to the tailor shop just as Kadabra and his men show up and see Jerry running around in the Flash's costume.

Kadabra's men tackle Jerry and Renfrew says that it was his wand that made him run so fast. Kadabra tries to take the wand from Renfrew who throws it away just as the Flash enters the shop and is knocked unconscious by the errant wand. Kadabra is unable to determine who is the real Flash and Renfrew says it has to be his Uncle Jerry. Just then the Flash wakes up, sews Kadabra's men together and knocks Kadabra out. Kadabra lands on a steam press and Renfrew flattens him. The Flash takes the bad guys off to jail and Jerry is just happy things are back to normal, only Renfrew still has the magic wand and Jerry is actually floating off the ground.

An aside here. Years later I worked at a company and at one time my boss was a guy named Jerry Renfrew. Every time I saw him I thought of this comic book.

Next is "Wheeler Dealer Meets Jalopy Jerk." Jerry is walking past a used car lot when the dealer grabs him and shoves him into an old jalopy and forces him to take a test drive. Jerry gets stopped by a cop who threatens to give him a ticket for driving such and old junker. Jerry takes it back to the lot but the brakes fail and Jerry crashes it, and then tells the salesman he would never buy a car in that bad of shape.

We end with "Jerry-Flavored Ice Cream." Steve Rowe tells us that all the art inside is by Bob Oksner. I agree with that up to a point. I would say that all of the pencils are by Bob Oksner, but the first and last story are inked by someone other than Oksner; the inks on the second story are much nicer and look to me to be pure Oksner.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wonder Woman #182

Wonder Woman #182 (On Sale: March 4, 1969) has a nice actiony Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano cover. It could be better colored though.

"A Time to Love a Time to Die" is written and penciled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Dick Giordano. It was pretty standard for Mike Sekowsky to start writing any of the books of which he took over the editorship. Continuing from last issue, Tim Trench abandons Diana and Ching in order to steal Doctor Cyber's gold. Diana and Ching are left to be killed by trained hawks. However, they are able to fight off the attacking birds and escape the mountain with the help of playboy Reginald Hyde-Whyte.

Reggie brings the pair to London where they try to ascertain Dr. Cyber's next enterprise. One of Cyber's agents attempts to kill Ching, but the blind man survives and brings a clue back to Diana.

Diana, Ching and Reggie head to the home of Lady Rothwell, an agent of Dr. Cyber. Rothwell is conducting a treasure hunt party for several wealthy women. Cyber plans to lure the women into a trap and steal their valuables. Diana finds her first, but Reggie betrays her, revealing himself as Cyber's agent. He allows Cyber to escape which prompts Diana into an angry rage. Betrayed by another man, Diana storms away. Reprinted in Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Mike Sekowsky.

Our Army at War #206

Our Army at War #206 (On Sale: March 4, 1969) has an interesting split cover by Joe Kubert.

We start with Sgt. Rock in "There's a War On" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. That's followed by "The Wall" a reprint from All-American Men of War #7 by France Herron, Jerry Grandenetti and Sy Barry. Lastly is "Death Crowns an Ace" by Robert Kanigher and Ken Barr.

This is Scottish artist Ken Barr's first work for DC. Ken would draw twelve stories for DC in all, eleven of them between 1969 and 1974 and a final one in 1981. Barr would also write one of the stories and he would draw four war covers for DC as well. Ken's style lent itself to war books, though two of his stories were for the horror/mystery line.

Comic fans most likely remember Ken Barr for his paintings. He did a couple of covers for Warren's Creepy and for the fanzines Phase 1 and Hot Stuf but his real workload was for Marvel. Ken painted the covers of their black and white Doc Savage book from issue 2-8. He also did covers for The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, The Rampaging Hulk, Marvel Preview, The Savage Sword of Conan, Planet of the Apes and Savage Tales.

According to his website, Ken is currently working on a fully painted Dracula graphic novel.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Aquaman #45

Aquaman #45 (On Sale: March 4, 1969) has a cover that just leaves me gasping in admiration. This is just one of those perfect covers that Nick Cardy was known to create in these years where he was given free reign. First it is impeccably drawn, full of all the emotional impact Cardy can give it. The sun rising on the body of Aquaman, awash in the surf, the grieving woman, fallen to her knees, her face buried in her hands, the sun rising behind her head. Second, look at the coloring; with the exception of the woman's dress, the entire cover is done in Aquaman's colors, orange, yellow and green. If you always wondered what perfection in a comic book cover looked like, this is it.

"Underworld Reward Part 2" is by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo. Continuing his search for Mera, Aquaman tracks down a kidnapped woman who was taken by the underworld because they think she was given information by the Sea King. Once the girl is safe, Aquaman tracks down the head of the mob in an underground lair. A fight ensues which leads to an explosion. Aquaman escapes through a window to the ocean. Disoriented from the explosion he is caught in a whirlpool like the one that masked Mera's disappearance. When he finally breaks free and reaches a nearby beach he is shocked to find Mera standing in front of him.

Meanwhile, Aqualad continues his battle against the Bugala. The men of Eldfur, who were supposed to help him, panic and abandon the fight. Aqualad is left to fight alone. Reprinted in Adventure Comics #496.

Edited by Dick Giordano.