Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Detective Comics #388

Detective Comics #388 (On Sale: April 29, 1969) has a so-so Batman cover by Irv Novick. The big news on this cover though is not the art, it is the price! DC comics used their flagship title to usher in the era of 15 cent comics.

I wish I could say the lead-off Batman story was worth the extra three cents, but it isn't. "Public Luna-Tic Number One" by John Broome, Bob Brown and Joe Giella is laughably bad. I think Broome had been watching too many episodes of the Batman TV show; every line of dialog Robin has rings of Burt Ward's over-the-top delivery and it may have seemed cool in 1969, I don't remember, but in retrospect it's just grating.

There is a crime spree going on in Gotham being perpetrated by someone the press has dubbed Public Luna-tic Number One because the crimes were all committed under a full moon. The Dynamic Duo are tooling around Gotham discussing how they think he must be the Joker when they see a light on at the planetarium. Rushing in they find the Joker and his henchmen. A fight ensues and the Joker and his men get away.

Sometime later Bruce Wayne attends a demonstration of believed crack-pot scientist Dr. Doomer, who has invented an anti-gravity device. He tests if for some military fellows and it fails to do anything. The Army brass storm out vowing to never attend another one of Dr. Doomer's demonstrations, but Bruce hangs back and he and the doctor discover that a fake device has been substituted for Dr. Doomer's anti-gravity device. When they pull a string they find in the fake device a recording of the Joker's laugh plays.

The next full moon finds the Joker's gang at Gotham Central Station where they use the anti-gravity device to disable the police while they steal funds from the cash drawers. The Joker himself pushes the alarm button and they await the arrival of Batman and Robin. Joker's men have been practicing with the anti-gravity device for weeks and are therefore able to subdue Batman and Robin, knocking them out cold.

When they awake they are in space suits on the moon, where Joker explains through a radio in their suits that since America is going to the moon he wants to be the greatest criminal on the moon and has decided that his first lunar crime will be to kill Batman and Robin. Figuring out that they are not really on the Moon (duh!), the Dynamic Duo bound through the underground cave they are in until they find the Joker and his men, subduing them and destroying the anti-gravity device in the ruckus.

They take the broken device back to Dr. Doomer who laments that it will take him years to build another one.

The back-up Batgirl story, "Surprise! This'll Kill You" is by Frank Robbins, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson and the artwork is just beautiful. Gil Kane's Barbara Gordon/Batgirl is beautiful and sexy and Anderson's smooth inks add just the right touch. Barbara Gordon answers a personals ad offering to share a free apartment with a 5ft. 4in. medium build redhead. She shows up to a hallway of other applicants, all of which DC has given the wrong color of hair. Each woman knocks on the door and is told through the peephole to leave. When Barbara knocks, the door opens and a woman in a Batgirl costume invites her in.

Darlene Dawson explains that she is a flight attendant who is being awarded "Air-Hostess With the Mostest" at the annual airlines costume ball tonight, but that it is also her granddad's 85th birthday and she plans on being in two places at the same time, with Barbara's help of course. Barbara gets into Darlene's Batgirl costume and Darlene heads off to her grandfather's telling Barbara that her escort will be arriving soon. Through the peephole Barbara sees that Darlene's escort is dressed as Batman, but when she opens the door he points a gun at her and threatens to kill her for being a double-crosser.

A fight seemingly between Batman and Batgirl ensues and Barbara falls out the window, supposedly to her death. In reality she maneuvered there in order to fake being killed so she could trail "Batman" back to his leader. She follows him back to the airline costume party where he meets with Superman, Green Lantern and Flash, all members of a diamond smuggling gang of which Darlene was a part. She had apparently been using her position as a flight attendant to smuggle gems into the country, but had been keeping more than her fair share.

The gems that "Batman" had recovered from Barbara are found to be fakes and Barbara confronts the gang only to be outnumbered and without her own bag of weapons. This story was reprinted in Batman in the Sixties TPB and Showcase Presents: Batgirl Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Captain Action #5

Captain Action #5 (On Sale: April 29, 1969) has another wonderful Gil Kane cover.

The full-length Captain Action story "A Mind Divided" is written and drawn by Gil Kane and inked by Wally Wood. This tale of charismatic leaders and rebellion in the streets was the swan song for Captain Action and Action Boy. I don't know if the issue was sales or the end of the toy line or what, but I enjoyed every issue of this book and was saddened to see it go. Of course I owned the toys so this book was just made for me.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #381

Adventure Comics #381 (On Sale: April 29, 1969) has a Neal Adams Supergirl cover as she takes over Adventure Comics from the Legion of Super-Heroes.

The full-length Supergirl story "The Supergirl Gang" is by Cary Bates and Winslow Mortimer. Superman and Batgirl both make appearances in the story. It will be reprinted in Showcase Presents: Batgirl Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #377

Action Comics #377 (On Sale: April 29, 1969) has another Curt Swan and Neal Adams Superman cover.

Superman stars in "The Cage of Doom" by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. Except for a mystery story in next month's House of Mystery and another mystery story to appear in nine years, this is Otto Binder's last story at DC as he retired this month after working in comics since 1939.

In 1930 Otto Oscar Binder began writing science fiction in tandem with his brother Earl; they worked under the pen-name Eando Binder ("E" and "O" Binder). Though Earl stopped the writing partnership at some point, Otto kept the nom de plume. In 1935 Otto began writing for Mort Weisinger who was editor at Thrilling Wonder Stories at the time and Ray Palmer (can anyone say "Atom?") who was editor of Amazing. It was for Palmer that Binder created the Adam Link series, including the famous "I, Robot" short story which later inspired Isaac Asimov's book of the same name.

In 1939 Otto Binder took a job working with his artist brother Jack Binder at the Harry "A" Chesler shop and in 1940 began writing for Fawcett Comics on such features as Captain Venture, Golden Arrow and Bulletman. But Otto Binder's best known work at Fawcett was Captain Marvel. In 12 years Otto Binder wrote 986 of the 1,743 Marvel Family stories and co-created such characters as Mary Marvel, Uncle Dudley, Black Adam and Mr. Mind.

Binder didn't limit himself to Fawcett. For Timely Comics he wrote Captain America, The Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, Destroyer, Whizzer and the All-Winners Squad. He also co-created Captain Wonder, The Young Allies, Tommy Tyme and Miss America. For Quality Comics he wrote Blackhawk, Doll Man, Uncle Sam and the Black Condor as well as co-creating Kid Eternity. At MLJ Comics he wrote Steel Sterling, The Shield, The Hangman and The Black Hood.

He started writing for DC in 1948 where he wrote Merry, Girl of 1,000 Gimmicks for Star-Spangled Comics. Over the years he wrote Green Arrow, Johnny Quick, Robotman, Aquaman, the Start-Spangled Kid, Tommy Tomorrow, Shining Knight, Captain Compass, Congo Bill, Space Cabbie and the Metal Men. But most of the time he wrote for the Superman Family. Superman would never be the same. Otto Binder created or co-created The Legion of Super-Heroes, Jimmy Olsen's signal watch, Elastic Lad, Lucy Lane, Beppo, Titano, Brainiac, The Phantom Zone, Krypto and Supergirl.

After leaving DC, Binder would return to writing science fiction until he died at the age of 63 in 1974. In all Otto Binder wrote almost 50,000 pages of comics in more than 198 different titles. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2004.

The back-up story is a reprinted Legion of Super-Heroes tale, "The Face Behind the Lead Mask," from Adventure Comics #300, produced by Jerry Siegel, John Forte and Al Plastino. During a routine meeting, the Legionnaires suddenly begin losing control over their powers. Even Superboy, whom they have summoned to the future, cannot discover the cause of their problem. After the World-Wide Police threaten to banish them from Earth, a lead-masked villain calling himself "Urthlo" appears and takes credit for their predicament.

Because Urthlo possesses a device that controls their powers, the heroes find themselves unable to stop him, until Saturn Girl and Superboy release Mon-El from the Phantom Zone, where he has been for 1000 years. After she provides him with Serum XY-4, a temporary lead-poisoning antidote, Mon-El defeats Urthlo, who turns out to be a robot sent into the future from Superboy’s time by a vengeful Lex Luthor.

After the battle, Mon-El must be returned to the Zone, but only after being voted into the Legion.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Friday, April 24, 2009

World's Finest Comics #185

World's Finest Comics #185 (On Sale: April 24, 1969) has what the GCD calls a Neal Adams' cover, but you would have to be on drugs not to see that this was drawn by Curt Swan and only inked by Neal Adams.

Superman and Batman team up in "The Galactic Gamblers" by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. The back-up story features Tommy Tomorrow in "The Amazing Future Toys" and is reprinted from Action Comics #223 and is the creation of Otto Binder and Jim Mooney.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Showcase #83

Showcase #83 (On Sale: April 24, 1969) has another wonderful Joe Kubert Nightmaster cover.

The full-length Nightmaster strip "Sing a Song of Sorcery" is by Denny O'Neil and Berni Wrightson. Lending Bernie a hand on his first full-length story is Michael Kaluta and Jeff Jones. This is the first work at DC for both Kaluta and Jones.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Justice League of America #72

Justice League of America #72 (On Sale: April 24, 1969) has a wonderful Joe Kubert cover.

The full-length Justice League of America strip "13 Days to Doom," is by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene. It was reprinted in Justice League of America Archives Vol. 9 HC and Showcase Presents: Justice League of America Vol. 4 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Hawk & the Dove #6

Hawk & the Dove #6 (On Sale: April 24, 1969) has a nice cover by Gil Kane.

The full-length Hawk & the Dove strip, "Judgment in a Small, Dark Place." is written and penciled by Gil Kane and inked by John Celardo. One night Hank and Don get to their father's office just in time to scare off a would-be kidnapper. Hank chases the bad guy as Hawk, but loses him when momentarily blinded by a passing car. The judge is unharmed, but none of them got a good look at the attacker and the judge warns the boys not to worry their mother over the incident. The next day the boys return home from school to find their house in shambles and their mother unconscious on the floor.

She had only fainted and when she comes to she says she interrupted a man kidnapping their father. Hank once again takes off alone and scours the city as Hawk looking for information on his father. He does it by busting a few heads till he learns of a hood named Max Leland who was bragging that he was going pay the judge back. Hawk breaks into Leland's apartment and more head-busting ensues.

Meanwhile Don has been scouring his father's files looking for clues and finds a chart with a familiar face, a man named Karl MacArthur who died in prison. Don realizes that they had a part-time gardener named Arthur who looked a lot like MacArthur. Don leaves and as Dove tracks down Arthur's home in the country. Snooping around he finds Arthur is holding his father in a small cage in his basement.

Hawk has gotten from Leland a description of a man he says jumped Judge Hall before Leland himself got a chance. From the description Hank realizes it is their old gardener Arthur and heads out after him. By eavesdropping Dove learns that since his father died in a cell that Judge Hall put him into, Arthur plans on seeing that the Judge is given the same fate. Dove sees that all of the windows in the house are fitted with alarms so he shimmies up the nearby power poll to cut the electricity to the house.

From that perch Dove sees Hawk running toward the house and smashing through the door. Dove cuts the lights and a fight ensues in the dark. When the lights are switched back on Hawk makes quick work of Arthur. On the final page the Judge rails against the Hawk and the Dove for endangering his life, thinking for certain that he could have talked Arthur out of it eventually without any dangerous gun play.

Hank and Don leave for school and Hank laments that maybe their father is right, maybe they should give up being the Hawk and the Dove. Maybe the whole idea of being super-heroes was a mistake. The final caption reads, "Is this the end of the Hawk and the Dove??"

It was for this book anyway. Over the next year they would appear as guests in the Teen Titans and then disappear for six years only to show up in the Teen Titans again for a three-issue run. They would make eight appearances in the 1980s before disappearing once again. Was this a concept book that was too much concept and not enough book? Maybe, though I do recall a wonderful Hawk and Dove story in Brave and the Bold years later by Alan Brennert that seemed to bring merit to the idea of the two polar-opposite brothers. I always liked the book myself, always liked the characters.

This was John Celardo's second inking job for DC, but his first in 20 years! Celardo last worked for DC in 1949 inking a Johnny Peril story in All-Star Comics #48. He started his professional career contributing sports cartoons to Street and Smith publications in 1937. He soon turned to comics, and went to the Eisner-Iger studios.

There, he did Dollman, Wonder Boy, Uncle Sam, Paul Bunyan, Espionage, Hercules, Old Witch and Zero Comics, sometimes working under the pseudonym John C. Lardo. From 1940 he also worked for Fiction House, where he drew Hawk, Red Comet, Powerman, Captain West and Kaanga. After the War, he continued his work at Fiction House, illustrating Tiger Man, Suicide Smith and others.

In the 1950s Celardo succeeded Bob Lubbers on the daily Tarzan newspaper strip. In the 1960s he also took on the writing of the Tarzan strip and introduced many new characters from outside and inside the jungle, such as Red Chinese spies. In the late 1960s, he took over The Green Berets from Joe Kubert and Davy Jones from Sam Leff and Alden McWilliams.

John Celardo would ink this one story, pencil three others and then again disappear from DC. He returned to free-lancing and did such titles as Believe It or Not for Western. In 1973 he became comics editor at King Features and stopped drawing altogether. In 1977 he would return to DC and ink over 50 stories during a seven-year span. He returned to penciling in the 1980s taking over the Buz Sawyer newspaper strip

His inking on this Hawk and Dove story was very nice and silky smooth, an interesting contrast to Gil Kane's angular faces. I would have liked to see more of this combination.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swing With Scooter #19

Swing With Scooter #19 (On Sale: April 22, 1969) has a cover by Henry Scarpelli.

We begin with Scooter in "Osculation Frustration," which is followed by a one-page Malibu story both by person unknown. Penny and Cookie star in "We Make with Paint, But Rembrandt We Ain't" by Murray Boltinoff, Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli. We round out the issue with Scooter in "Too Many Crooks" by Barbara Friedlander, Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli.

This is the first story Editor Murray Boltinoff wrote for DC since a House of Secrets story in 1963 and that story was the first one he had written since an Air Wave story in Detective Comics #72, in 1943. Boltinoff created the Air Wave character in Detective Comics #60 in 1942 and wrote all of the Air Wave stories for the next 13 issues.

This issue of Swing With Scooter marked Boltinoff's return to the pen. He would write over 90 stories for DC in the next 12 years, mainly horror stories, but also a good number of wars tales and a single Jimmy Olsen story for Superman Family #182.

Barbara Friedlander had been an Editor at DC a few years earlier, on some of the romance books and was also one of the early writers of Scooter, writing 11 Scooter tales in the first six issues of Swing With Scooter. This story was also her return to DC where she would write 11 more stories for Scooter and the romance books in the next few years.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Heart Throbs #120

Heart Throbs #120 (On Sale: April 22, 1969) has an interesting cover art combination: Jay Scott Pike and Neal Adams. I don't think they ever worked together again.

We begin with "Three Girls -- Their Lives...Their Loves, Episode 19" drawn by Jay Scott Pike. That is followed by "For Love Alone" a reprint from Secret Hearts #36 inked by Bernard Sachs. Next is "Give Me Something to Remember You By" by persons unknown. We round out the issue with "Memory of Heartbreak" drawn by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Brave and the Bold #84

Brave and the Bold #84 (On Sale: April 22, 1969) has a nice Batman and Sgt. Rock cover by Neal Adams. I love the way that the figures' shadows form a Bat-signal on the ground. This is also the only cover I think Adams signed in this manner; not his normal signature at all. Lastly, this is the second version of this cover that Neal drew. Below you can find the original which was rejected by DC.

"The Angel, the Rock and the Cowl" featuring Batman and Sgt. Rock is by Bob Haney and Neal Adams. Joe Kubert inked page 19 of this story. When Bruce Wayne is called to the Gotham Museum to see the statue of the Archangel Gabriel smuggled out of Nazi-occupied France during World War II, because a man with a German accent called about it called to claim it. Bruce informs him that the real statue is still in France and the one in Gotham is a fake. They are then attacked by a man Bruce recognizes as Von Stauffen.

Bruce then recalls back to a day during World War II, when he was in London, and his friend, a British spy named Digby is killed in a bombing and so Bruce covered his mission for the British forces. Traveling into Nazi occupied France, Bruce meets up with Sgt. Rock and Easy Company along the way.

Investigating a strange amount of wine coming out of Chateaurouge, Bruce learns that it's occupied by Nazi's led by Von Stauffen. As a spy, Bruce is unable to learn what the secret is behind the wine, so he tries as Batman and comes to blows with Rock and Easy Company again who happen to be in the area. However, during their scuffle over a bottle of the Chateaurouge wine, they find that the Nazi's are smuggling weapon parts in the bottles to be used during the D-Day invasion. Batman and Easy Company then work together to stop Van Stauffer.

Flashing back to the present, Bruce is saved by the sudden arrival of Rock who knocks out Von Stauffen, who had been tracking Van Stauffer since after the war. This classic story was reprinted in 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.

Bat Lash #5

Bat Lash #5 (On Sale: April 22, 1969) has a nice cover by Nick Cardy.

The full-length Bat Lash strip is untitled and produced by the normal crew of plotter Sergio Aragones, scripter Denny O'Neil and artist Nick Cardy. This untitle story is sometimes referred to as "Wanted - Sergio Aragones" as the character after Bat Lash in this issue is named Sergio and looks a whole lot like you know who.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Witching Hour #3

Witching Hour #3 (On Sale: April 17, 1969) has an interesting cover art combination: Mike Sekowsky and Nick Cardy and it creates a really nice, moody piece.

There is a surrounding story featuring the three witches and Egor, drawn by Alex Toth and Dick Giordano. The first real story is "The Turn of the Wheel" drawn by Alex Toth and Vinnie Colletta and this is a perfect example of what was wrong with Vinny Colletta as an inker. The first three pages are very nicely inked, Colletta taking his time and showing that he did have some abilities. However the remainder of the story is horrible, sloppy work.

That is followed by "The Death Watch" drawn by Jack Sparling. We round out the issue with "...and in a Far-Off Land" drawn by Bernie Wrightson.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Flash #189

Flash #189 (On Sale: April 17, 1969) has the first and the best of three Joe Kubert Flash covers. You couldn't see this on the stand and not run out and buy it.

The full-length Flash tale "The Death-Touch of the Blue Ghost" is by John Broome, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Batman #212

Batman #212 (On Sale: April 17, 1969) has a nice Irv Novick cover.

The full-length Batman tale "Baffling Deaths of the Crime-Czar"Secret" is by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Joe Giella.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sugar and Spike #83

Sugar and Spike #83 (On Sale: April 15, 1969) has its typical Sheldon Mayer cover. I failed to note that starting two issues previous the "With Bernie the Brain" tag-line was added to the cover logo.

The full-length Sugar and Spike tale "The Squirt-Bandits' Secret" is by Sheldon Mayer.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Star Spangled War Stories #145

Star Spangled War Stories #145 (On Sale: April 15, 1969) has another Joe Kubert Enemy Ace cover.

"Return of the Hangman" featuring Enemy Ace is by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. This story was reprinted in
Enemy Ace Archives Vol. 2 HC and Showcase Presents: Enemy Ace Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Metal Men #38

Metal Men #38 (On Sale: April 15, 1969) has a cover by Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos.

"Witch Hunt – 1969" is written and penciled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by George Roussos. It looks like Sekowsky was trying to get on the horror/mystery bandwagon that was picking up steam at DC, even if only for an issue.

Edited by Mike Sekowsky.

Debbi's Dates #2

Debbi's Dates #2 (On Sale: April 15, 1969) has an unidentified cover. Anyone know who this is?

We begin with Debbi's Dates in "The Grass is Greener." That is followed by another Debbi's Dates story, "Watch My Line," drawn by Henry Scarpelli. Next is Debbi in "Big Ski Week-End" and "Hair Today...." As with most of this work, we have very few credits.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #120

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #120 (On Sale: April 8, 1969) has a strange cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams. What is strange is that from the waist up the Superman character has been inked or redrawn and inked by Kurt Schaffenberger. What could Adams have done that they needed to wipe out half of the Superman figure?

We begin with "Jimmy Olsen's Super-Punch" by Leo Dorfman and Pete Costanza. Next is "The Climate King" by E. Nelson Bridwell and Pete Constanza. I don't think I even own this strange-looking book.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Superman #217

Superman #217 (On Sale: April 8, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and the dreadful Vinny Colletta. featuring Famous Firsts!

We begin with "The Outlaws from Krypton" by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye and reprinted from Action Comics #194.

Next is "The Girl in Superman's Past" also by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye and reprinted from Superman #129. This is the first appearance of Lori Lemaris. Superman recalls an old romance from his college days. When he met Lori Lemaris, she was a college girl confined to a wheelchair. He began to date her as Clark after saving her from an accident. He found her mysterious because she always had to leave at a certain time of night.

Eventually, Lori told Clark that she must return to her homeland. Clark did not want to lose her, so he decided to give up being Superman and propose. Lori told him that she already knew his secret and could not marry him.

Clark investigated further and found a huge salt water tank instead of a bed in her bedroom, and he was able to guess her secret. Lori was a mermaid from Atlantis. She tells Clark the truth about herself, but she still must return to Atlantis forever.

"The Super-Duel in Space" is by Otto Binder and Al Plastino and is reprinted from Action Comics #242 and features the first appearance of the bottled city of Kandor. Clark Kent and Lois Lane are aboard an experimental rocket ship to cover the story for the media. The ship is attacked by a flying saucer. Clark exits the ship and arrives as Superman. Inside the saucer, an alien called Brainiac uses a shrink ray to steal Earth cities and place them in bottles. Superman is prevented from reaching Brainiac by a force field that surrounded the ship.

Superman returns to Metropolis where the rocket has landed. As expected, Brainiac shrinks Metropolis next and takes the tiny city aboard his ship. A tiny Superman escapes the bottle and tries to restore the captured cities to normal. He is forced to hide momentarily as Brainiac’s monkey attacks him.

Superman hides inside another bottle. The bottle contains a Kryptonian city called Kandor, taken from before Krypton’s destruction. Superman is powerless inside Kandor, so he seeks out a scientist, Kimda. Kimda has studied Brainiac’s machines and knows how to free everyone. Superman uses a rocket to escape the bottle.

Outside the bottle, Superman’s powers return. He reverses the controls to restore the Earth cities. There is only enough energy for one more use of the machine. He decides to restore Kandor rather than himself, but Kimda flies a rocket out of Kandor and presses the control which restores Superman. Kandor is stuck in it’s tiny form. Superman takes the city back to his Fortress of Solitude for safekeeping. Brainiac, who is now in suspended animation is sent into space.

Next we have "The First Supergirl" by Otto Binder, Dick Sprang and Stan Kaye and reprinted from Superman #123. Jimmy receives a magically totem which grants three wishes to him. The first wish brings into existence a Super-Girl, who Jimmy wishes to be the perfect mate for Superman. Unfortunately, the female heroine gets in Superman’s way and becomes a nuisance. She realizes her existence is becoming a problem, so she sacrifices her life to make the Man of Steel happy.

Crooks steal the totem and use the second wish to remove Superman’s powers. Jimmy and Superman then spend the day faking his powers to convince the crooks that the spell failed. After being tricked, the crooks allow the spell to be removed, restoring Superman’s powers.

For the final wish, Jimmy wishes for Superman to meet his parents. However, he has decided to type the wish and a typo causes Superman to "Mate" his parents. As a result, Superman travels back to Krypton and meets young Jor-El and Lara. They are working as undercover agents with Kryptonian Intelligence. With Superman’s aid, they stop a criminal, Kil-Lor, and the Man of Steel plays cupid, setting up his own parents, before returning to Earth.

We end with "The Menace of Metallo" by Robert Bernstein and Al Plastino and reprinted from Action Comics #252. Reporter John Corben is involved in a near fatal car accident. He is found by Professor Vale who rushes Corben to his lab. In order to save the injured man’s life, Vale gives Corben a metal body powered by uranium. After completing the operation the professor suffers a stroke.

Corben begins a criminal career as Metallo. He begins stealing uranium from secure places with his super strength that the robot body provides him. He also joins the staff at the Daily Planet.

When the professor recovers from his stroke, Corben learns that Kryptonite can also power his body. Corben is given a piece of Kryptonite by the professor, but he uses it on Superman who has been trying to capture him. He replaces his own Kryptonite with a sample from a display. The display Kryptonite was fake, so without power, Corben dies from heart failure..

Edited by Mort Weisinger and E. Nelson Bridwell.

Leave It To Binky #67

Leave It To Binky #67 (On Sale: April 8, 1969) has a cover by Bob Oksner. this is the last issue with this Archie-influenced logo.

We begin with Binky in "It's Snow Use". Next is "The Picnic" and "Real Life Yogi". We end with "The Big Hero." There are no credits for any of these stories.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Green Lantern #69

Green Lantern #69 (On Sale: April 8, 1969) has a cover by Gil Kane.

"If Earth Fails the Test -- It Means War" is by John Broome, Gil Kane and Wally Wood. Green Lantern returns from a space mission to find that the police in Evergreen City have invented three new devices to fight crime: a city-wide burglar alarms system, a radar-television to remotely view the crime scenes and a device that remotely traps criminals at the scene. While viewing the new system GL gets to see it in action when an alarm is tripped at the Central Jewelery Exchange. Blue bars are used to trap the criminals inside the vault, but utilizing a strange hand-held device they are able to bend the bars out of the way and escape.

Green Lantern heads out to round up the gang, which is led by the beautiful Kyra, who uses another device to deflect Lantern's energy beams. As he attempts to capture them, most of the gang, including Kyra, disappear, fading away before GL's eyes.

After taking the three captured members of the gang to police headquarters, Lantern receives a phone call from Carol Ferris, who tells him that she is getting married tomorrow and wants to know if there is anything he would like to say to her. Realizing that Carol is in love with Green Lantern but not Hal Jordan, he wishes her the best. He also realizes that he is both repulsed and attracted to Kyra and can't figure out why.

We back-track a week to see Kyra in her real, fairly hideous, alien form on her home-world of Hegor, where she is the leader of a student movement to "uproot the ancient ways of doing thing-- and breathe fresh life into our tradition-encrusted civilization." They have implanted the ideas for three new devices in the minds of certain officials on Earth, devices much like those used by the authorities on Hegor. They plan to go to Earth and commit thefts where they can train against the devices which will be used on their world against them during their revolution, without the knowledge of Hegoran authorities. Earth will become the testing ground for their revolution.

Back to real time and Kyra speaks to Hal through his ring, telling him she is in trouble, but when he follows the energy impulse back to Kyra it is a trap and Green lantern is stunned and captured. With the Lantern neutralized, Kyra and the gang continue with their training. GL is held in place by an alien machine which he attempts to destroy with an energy beam, but the more he uses his ring the more paralyzing radiation bombards his body and he is wracked by intense pain. Figuring he can withstand the pain for a short burst he wills his ring to make a concentrated pain-killer, which he swallows and then waits to take effect.

With the pain-killer in his system, Green Lantern is able to smash the alien device holding him captive and after a quick stop by police headquarters to find the location of the group's current cir me, GL tracks them down and battles them into submission. Once he has them captured Kyra explains their mission, which has been successful and tells him that their time on Earth is over. GL is unable to stop the entire gang from teleporting back to Hegor.

But Hal can't get Kyra out of his mind and realizes that he may be in love with her so he flies to Hegor and locates Kyra, seeing her as she really looks for the first time. Kyra tells him that thanks to the training they did on Earth the revolution was successful and that a coup was possible without a devastating war. Kyra also introduces Hal to Tarkro, the man she is to marry tomorrow. Hal returns to earth, spurned by Kyra, spurned by Carol, he cannot face his job as an insurance salesman and decides a change of careers is in order.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Girls' Romances #141

Girls' Romances #141 (On Sale: April 8, 1969) has a cover by Jay Scott Pike and Dick Giordano.

We begin with "No Time for Love" drawn by Jay Scott Pike. Next is "Romantic Escapade" drawn by Bernard Sachs. We end with our cover-story, "Don't Steal My Love Away" penciled by Jay Scott Pike and later reprointed in Young Romance #204.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

G.I. Combat #136

G.I. Combat #136 (On Sale: April 8, 1969) has a nice Haunted Tank cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with the Haunted Tank in "Kill Now – Pay Later" by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. This story was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Haunted Tank Vol. 2 TPB.

Next is "No-Name Hill" by Robert Kanigher and Ed Robbins. This is the last of the three war stories Robbins would do for DC during his short return to the company. We end with "The 13th Bullet" by Howard Liss and Fred Ray.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Unexpected #113

Unexpected #113 (On Sale: April 3, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams. Its another of Neal's image within an image pictures.

We begin with Johnny Peril in "The Shriek of Vengeance" by George Kashdan, Jack Sparling and Vinny Colletta. Next is "The Eyes of Death" by Dave Wood and Pat Boyette. We end with our cover-story, "The Tunnel of Fear" by Dave Wood, Curt Swan and Mike Esposito.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Superboy #157

Superboy #157 (On Sale: April 3, 1969) has acover by Neal Adams.

"Get Lost, Superboy -- Who Needs You?" is by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Wally Wood. "

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Secret Hearts #136

Secret Hearts #136 (On Sale: April 3, 1969) has an unidentified cover, though this style sure looks familiar to me. Any ideas folks?

We begin with "Let's Pretend Kisses" by persons unknown. Next is "Stars in My Eyes" a reprint from Secret Hearts #37 inked by Bernard Sachs. That is followed by a Cindy the Salesgirl story drawn by Winslow Mortimer. We round out the issue with "Reach for Happiness Episode 27" by persons unknown..

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Army at War #207

Our Army at War #207 (On Sale: April 1, 1969) has a Sgt. Rock cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with Sgt. Rock in "A Sparrow's Prayer" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. The back-ups are "Top of the World" drawn by Sid Greene and "SOS Send Our Food" by Mike Friedrich and Ed Robbins. This is the second of Ed Robbins' 1969 DC stories.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

Challengers of the Unknown #68

Challengers of the Unknown #68 (On Sale: April 1, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams.

"One of Us is a Madman" is by Denny O'Neil, Jack Sparling and Vince Colletta.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Atom & Hawkman #43

Atom & Hawkman #43 (On Sale: April 1, 1969) has a cover by Joe Kubert.

Hawkman stars in "Come to My Hanging" by Robert Kanigher and Murphy Anderson. It was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman Vol. 2 TPB. The Atom stars in "Buzzin', Buzzin' -- Who's Got the Buzzin'?" by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Sid Greene.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.