Thursday, November 26, 2009

Green Lantern #74

Green Lantern #74 (On Sale: November 26, 1969) has a great cover by Gil Kane.

Green Lantern stars in "Lost In Space" by Mike Friedrich, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. This is Friedrich's last Green Lantern story and it's a pretty good one, uniting two villains and two secondary characters (OK, one of them is also one of the villains) and has a nice feel to it. On top of that we have some wonderful artwork by Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. Good issue this one.

Continuing from last issue which ended with Green Lantern turning Star Sapphire back into Carol Ferris and Sapphire giving one last command before being vanquished, a command that banished Green Lantern to space in his civilian identity and with no knowledge that he is Green Lantern. So, we begin with Hal Jordan floating in space and freaking out! He tries to keep his sanity by remembering what he knows to be true: He is Hal Jordan. He used to be a test pilot. He now has something to do with toys. Yes, he sells toys!

In his pocket he finds a toy spaceship and as he begins to lose his grip on sanity he wishes it to be real, and suddenly it is! Hal knows of only one man who can accomplish that, Green Lantern and so he remembers who he is! As Green Lantern he heads back to Earth to finally tell Carol Ferris who she is. He finds her on the beach and as he nears her she turns back into Star Sapphire. It is the work of Sinestro, who returns to Sapphire the royal gem whom which she obtains her powers.

Together Sinestro and Sapphire attack Green Lantern, whose 24 hours of power suddenly run out. He falls to the sand and Sinestro moves in for the kill. But he has not counted on Sapphire's love for Green Lantern, she only wishes to defeat him so that he will relent to be her mate. Sapphire and Sinestro begin to battle one another in a fight most evenly matches.

Meanwhile Tom "Pieface" Kalmaku wakes up to the news that Green Lantern has been severely injured. Seeing video of Lantern on the beach Tom heads out to assist. Green Lantern on the other hand awakes and seeing Sinestro and Star Sapphire engaged in battle slowly begins to crawl back to his hotel, where his power battery is stashed. The effort is grueling and as he closes in on the hotel steps Sinestro puts up a barrier in his path. Green Lantern collapses, but Tom is waiting in the bushes with the power battery and after a quick recharge Lantern heads back into battle.

Sensing that Sinestro is only a match for him with the added power of Star Sapphire, Green Lantern takes her out first and Sinestro gives up. However, as Green Lantern tries to take him in, he disappears. Green Lantern finds Carol Ferris on the beach and finally tells her that her obsession with him is a dangerous thing, for she is Star Sapphire. She refuses to accept the truth and runs off. Back at Tom's house, Tom says that at least Carol never did anything as Sapphire to land her in jail and Hal agrees.

This story has been reprinted in Green Lantern :The Greatest Stories Ever Told TPB and Showcase Presents: Green Lantern Vol. 4 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Girls' Romances #146

Girls' Romances #146 (On Sale: November 26, 1969) has a cover by Jay Scott Pike and Vinny Colletta.

We begin with "I'll Never Love Again" penciled by John Rosenberger. That is followed by "Beggar for Love" penciled by Jay Scott Pike. We end with our cover-story, "Girl with a Reputation," which was also penciled by Jay Scott Pike.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Detective Comics #395

Detective Comics #395 (On Sale: November 26, 1969) has a wonderful cover by Neal Adams. The cover could only have been improved if they had let it go the full height of the book, with the logo on the illustration instead of above it.

We begin with Batman in "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" by Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. This classic issue redefined what a Batman story should be. Building on the ideas Neal Adams has told Julius Schwartz months earlier, this is a different Batman than we have seen before. First, without any of the nonsense of his previous few issues, this is Batman alone. No Robin, no Alfred, no Wayne Manor or Wayne Foundation, no V.I.P., no Batmobile or Batarang. Besides his body and his mind, the only tool Batman uses is a rope (not called a Batrope mind you). The entire story takes place at night and one of the tools Batman does use is that his appearance scares people. Nothing campy or hammy in this story.

This is not the guy you have seen before; the character has been remolded to more aptly fit the way Neal Adams draws him. It is not the most complicated of stories, but it is just enough to give you a feel of this new character, the one replacing the Batman you have known in the past.

The entire story takes place on a single night in Central Mexico. Bruce Wayne and every other "social butterfly in the Western Hemisphere" have been invited to a huge fiesta on the estate of notorious recluse Juan Muerto. Bruce is out touring the estate when trouble first appears. Some of the guests are engaging in a night-time hot-air balloon race when the balloon of one of the competitors, Pedro Valdes, is attacked by trained falcons, which shred his balloon. As Valdes plummets to the ground he is saved from certain death by Batman, who as Bruce Wayne quickly returns to the party.

There Bruce dances with Juan's wife, Delores, a beautiful young woman who speaks to Bruce in an oddly condescending way, as if she were talking to a child. Bruce senses a strange mustiness about her, that he can't explain. Bruce mentions how odd it is for them to hold their fiesta in a graveyard and Delores responds that she and Juan choose to laugh at death rather than fear it. Just then the returning Valdes is attacked once again, as a brazier near him shatters and Bruce hears the muffled sound of a silenced gun. Slipping away from Delores Muerto, Bruce once again sheds his civilian guise to become the Dark Knight.

He finds a group of killers on top of a nearby ridge and leaps into their midst. His sudden appearance frightens them and his quick fists begin to work them over. But one of the men summons a pair of wolves who attack Batman. He leaps into a tree to escape their jaws and from there leaps off a cliff, plummeting over the edge. The killers hear no splash of batman hitting the water below and assume he has hit the rocks and is no longer a problem.

Back at the fiesta, the Muertos decide that two bungled assassinations are enough for one night and will take matters into their own hands. They find Valdes and say they want to show him something that can be found in the old monastery on the grounds. Valdes wonders if it might be a flower. Hanging from a rope under the cliff, Batman hears the discussion and follows the group to the monastery. The Muertos show Valdes the Sybil flowers, which according to legend bestow immortality at the cost of one's sanity. Valdes reveals that he is a government agent, here to arrest the Muertos who accidentally left one of the Sybil blossoms in their hotel room during a recent stay in Mexico City. The Muertos attack Valdes and overpower him and when Batman comes to his rescue he is overtaken by the hallucinogenic nature of the scent given off by the Sybils.

Batman is knocked out by Muerto and when he comes to he and Valdes are tied up in the Monastery. The Muertos let loose the trained falcons to tear their captives apart, but Batman has been using Valdes' badge to cut at his ropes and the pain caused by the falcon attack has cleared his brain somewhat. He kicks a few falcons senseless and bags the last one with his cape before dragging Valdes out of the monastery. Once clear of the flowers Batman tosses back a torch setting the Sybils afire.

From afar the Muertos see the flames. Delores laments that this is the last patch of Sybils left and that their immortality is being "burned from the soil" She rushes off to save them and Juan follows, extolling her to calm herself, to remember that extreme excitement cancels the effect of the flowers fumes. As they race through the graveyard toward the monastery, Juan warns her that she will lose her beauty, that age will seize her, that her limbs will stiffen, the skin of her face will crack and crease and her heart will wither. that they are opening the portals of death itself. With each step they grow older and more enfeebled till finally they fall together into a set of waiting graves. Batman arrives and adds in their date of death. Juan was 129, his wife 126.

This classic tale, the first real modern Batman story has been reprinted in Batman from the 30s to the 70s HC, Dynamic Classics #1, Saga of Ra's Al Ghul #2, Millennium Edition: Detective Comics 395 (#27) and Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 2 HC.

The back-up is Robin in "Drop Out...or Drop Dead!" by Frank Robbins, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. Continuing from last issue the phony cops are happy when Robin shows up and starts pounding Jonah the CTT leader. They are more than happy to have Robin provide the physical proof of their police brutality. Robin is knocked unconscious. While out the other CTT members are stirring up the campus, but the students are still not ready to strike. From the campus the CTT members call the "cops" to bring in the "clincher."

Jonah tells them not to harm Robin and Dick (who they think is locked in the silo) and the "cops" agree, but after Jonah has left they attempt to kill Robin. They are some sort of "reds" who want to shut down America's campuses one at a time. Robin takes them out and as Disk, returns them to the campus, where they are in time to stop the strike vote and expose the fraud of the CTT. This story has been reprinted in Millennium Edition: Detective Comics 395 (#27) and Showcase Presents: Robin the Boy Wonder Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Adventure Comics #388

Adventure Comics #388 (On Sale: November 26, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

We begin with Supergirl in "The Kindergarten Criminal" by Leo Dorfman, Winslow Mortimer and Jack Abel. That is followed by Supergirl in "The Romance Machine" by Cary Bates and Kurt Schaffenberger.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Action Comics #384

Action Comics #384 (On Sale: November 26, 1969) has a nice cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson. I particularly like the cop on this cover.

We begin with Superman in "The Forbidden Costume" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and George Roussos. That is followed by the Legion of Super-Heroes in "Lament for a Legionnaire" by Jim Shooter, Winslow Mortimer and Jack Abel. This is Jim Shooter's last story for DC for about five years. He will work at Marvel for a week or two and then leaves the comic book industry for a while, returning to Pittsburgh.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #126

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #126 (On Sale: November 25, 1969) has a nice cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

We begin with "Jimmy Olsen -- Traitor" by Leo Dorfman and Pete Costanza. That is followed by our cover-story, "The Mystery of Kryptonite Plus" by Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan and George Roussos.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Date With Debbi #7

Date With Debbi #7 (On Sale: November 25, 1969) has a cover by Henry Scarpelli.

We begin with Debbi in "The Pinch-Hitter" with pencils by John Rosenberger. Debbi helps out at a gas station.

That is followed by six miniskirt designs for Debbi and Mona sent in by readers.

Next is Debbi in "Double Trouble" in which Benedict asks Debbi to the movies but she ends up going with Buddy.

The third Debbi story, "Dress Dilemma," is by Barbara Friedlander, Doug Crane and Henry Scarpelli.

Our last story is an untitled Flowers story. Christmas story with the Flowers family.

We end with teen fads and tips for groovy teens submitted by readers

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Superboy #162

Superboy #162 (On Sale: November 20, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

The feature-length Superboy tale, "The Super-Phantom of Smallville" is by Frank Robbins and Bob Brown.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Secret Hearts #141

Secret Hearts #141 (On Sale: November 20, 1969) has a cover inked by Vinny Collitta.

We begin with "20 Miles to Heart Break" by Barbara Friedlander, Alex Toth and Vinny Colletta and reprinted in Young Love #123. Next is "Joanna" penciled by Ric Estrada. That is followed by "My Brother... My Rival?" inked by Bernard Sachs. We end with "The Girl Nobody Loved" inked by Vinny Colletta.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #116

Adventures of Jerry Lewis #116 (On Sale: November 20, 1969) has a cover by Bob Oksner.

We have three Jerry stories this issue, beginning with "The Abominable Schmoman," followed by "The Fortune Haunters" and ending with "The Job That Starts at the Top."

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Teen Titans #25 (On Sale: November 18, 1969) has a powerful cover by Nick Cardy.

The Teen Titans take a dramatic turn in "The Titans Kill a Saint" by Robert Kanigher and Nick Cardy. In an absolute classic art job by Cardy we begin with the Titans and the Hawk and the Dove watching a surgery take place and blaming themselves. Later in the recovery room they attempt to talk to the patient, Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Arthur Swenson, but as they do so, he dies. In shock and tears the Titans are called to the morgue for a meeting of some sort. When the dejected Titans leave a short time later they run into Lilith, onto whom they try to foist some of the blame for Swenson's death, but she will have none of their nonsense and splits.

The Titans think back to how it all began a few hours earlier at the Canary Cottage Discotheque, where they met a dancer named Lilith, who knew who the Titans were even in their civilian identities and asked to join the team. She said her power is that she just knows things, like she knows the Titans will open the door to death tonight. They blow Lilith off and leave running into a peace rally, where Dr. Swenson is speaking. As the crowd begins to get heated, the Titans head for a back alley to change only to run into the Hawk and the Dove doing the same thing.

Back inside they all do what they can to control the crowd but when a man pulls a gun, Speedy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and the Hawk and the Dove all jump him and try to wrest the gun from his hands. It goes off and the single bullet strikes Dr. Swenson in the head. Speedy rushes them all to the hospital, where our story began. We also learn that when they went to the morgue, they were confronted by the Justice League who told them that they had violated their most sacred duty and that something must be done about it. Superman tells them that they must act as their own judge and jury and Batman warns that if they do not reach a decision by the day's end that the JLA will execute punishment on their own.

The Titans wander the streets, finding themselves eventually at the docks, where they are met by a small boat containing Lilith and Mr. Jupiter, the richest man in the world. Jupiter says he has an urgent government mission that he wants the Titans to undertake, but that the mission may change them forever and may even cost them their lives. Lilith leaves them, saying she knows she is a reminder to them of what has happened. The Titans go with Jupiter back to his estate to hear more.

Jupiter explains that he is in charge of a secret training project to prepare teens for the task of handling the world's problems and asks them if they will join. Robin bows out, saying that he has already committed to college. Though he leaves, the rest of the Titans and the Hawk and the Dove accept and are taken to Jupiter's secret headquarters on the 13th floor of his skyscraper complex, a floor run completely by computers.

There the Titans once again meet Lilith and give up their uniforms and fore go their powers to join Jupiter's secret project. This classic story was reprinted in Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Strange Adventures #222

Strange Adventures #222 (On Sale: November 18, 1969) has an Adam Strange cover by Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson.

We begin with "Beyond the Wall of Death" by Denny O'Neil, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. This was the first new Adam Strange story in a very long time and I guess was a try-out of sorts to see if new material picked up sales. Apparently it did not, as there were no more new Adam Strange stories in Strange Adventures. I used to own this book, but can no longer locate it, so I don't remember anything about the story.

Next is "Treasure Planet" from Mystery In Space #15 by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Bernard Sachs.

We end with the Atomic Knights in "Thanksgiving Day -- 1990" from Strange Adventures #132 and by the standard team of John Broome and Murphy Anderson. Using the seeds obtained from the Atlantean island and new cultivation techniques, the Atomic Knights are able to grow trees in Durvale within a few months. To celebrate the success of the trees, they invite people from several surviving communities to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Elsewhere, Khagan, the leader of the Atlanteans has escaped the peril that befell the island of Atlantis. In the months since he escaped the island, he has been able to learn much of the post-World War III world and the Atomic Knights.

When Khagan learns of the Thanksgiving celebration, he sends his men to attack. Douglas is wounded by the mirror weapons of the Atlanteans. The other Atomic Knight defend themselves and defeat the attackers. Wayne Hobard is appointed to guard the prisoners.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #98

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #98 (On Sale: November 13, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

We begin with "I Betrayed Superman" by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. This story was reprinted in Superman Family #176. The back-up story is "Tomorrow I Die" by Robert Kanigher, Curt Swan and George Roussos.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Phantom Stranger #5

Phantom Stranger #5 (On Sale: November 13, 1969) has a nice cover by Neal Adams. This will be the last cover for a while that shows the Stranger as an actual character on the cover.

We begin with "The Devil's Playground" by Robert Kanigher, Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson. I cannot tell you how much I dislike the writing in this issue, mainly as it pertains to the four "hippie" characters returning from last issue. These four: Spartacus, Wild Rose, Attile and Mister Square (you can't make up names that bad! Oh wait, Robert Kanigher actually did!), are at the beach one night when they hear a man calling out. When they get to him they find him dead. When they go to show the body to a security guard, it is missing.

Back in "the city," the four teenagers, Dr. Thirteen and Tala all end up at the same dance club, where a man named Earl Winthrop is breaking up with his girlfriend Vera. Broken-hearted Vera drives off into the night and, after hitting an oil slick on the road, off a bridge and into the ocean. The Phantom Stranger appears and retrieves her dead body from the deep, bringing her to shore where the police are waiting.

Meanwhile, back at the club, Earl is now on to another conquest, this time it is Wild Rose who, along with her friends recognize Earl Winthrop as the man they saw drowned at the beach. Rose dances with Winthrop and Tala decides to set the club on fire. The Phantom Stranger shows up and uses his cape to put out the fire. Tala tries to win him over with a kiss and then leaves, while Dr. Thirteen once again calls the Stranger a phony.

Outside Winthrop invites everyone to party at his beach house while he flies to Florida. The house keeper lets them in but shows them a newspaper with a headline regarding Winthrop being lost at sea. The gang parties anyway (it is the 60's after all) and eventually Winthrop shows up saying the newspaper was mistaken, yet with a bit of seaweed hanging off his hand. The kids notice that Earl dances with every woman in the room and seems to ask each one the same question, which always results in the woman laughing.

They get a warning that a hurricane is coming and everyone leaves the beach house except Earl, the four kids and Dr. Thirteen. Earl takes Wild Rose out to the beach for a walk and confides in her that the newspaper was right and that his plane did crash. While floating in the sea a strange light appeared and told Earl that he was doomed to float in eternal loneliness forever unless he can find someone who will weep tears of pity for him. He told every woman he met tonight his story and they all laughed at him, but Wild Rose does cry for him and he returns to the sea to meet his end.

However Tala shows up to see that Wild Rose joins Winthrop in death and a fight ensues between her and the Phantom Stranger. In the end, the Stranger wins and Dr. Thirteen once again, calls the Stranger a phony. Wow, was this a badly written story.

The back-up story is "The Devil's Footprints" by Robert Kanigher and the unusal, but good-looking art team of Curt Swan and Nick Cardy.

This entire book was reprinted in Showcase Presents Phantom Stranger Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Girls' Love Stories #148

Girls' Love Stories #148 (On Sale: November 13, 1969) has a nice cover by Nick Cardy.

We begin with "My Double Love" inked by Vinny Colletta. Next is the cover-story, "Doormat for Love" penciled by John Rosenberger. That is followed by "The Stranger Next Door" penciled by Ric Estrada. We end with Confessions "Episode 2" also penciled by John Rosenberger.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DC Special #6

DC Special #6 (On Sale: November 11, 1969) has a beautiful cover by Neal Adams with a really big logo for The Wild Frontier issue.

We begin with Daniel Boone in "Son of Chief Black Fish" from Legends of Daniel Boone #1, drawn by Nick Cardy. Next is Tomahawk in "The Junior Ghost Patrol" from World's Finest Comics #69 by Dave Wood and Nick Cardy. That is followed by Davy Crockett in "War Stick of Chief Fighting Elk" from Frontier Fighters #4, drawn by John Prentice. That is followed by Kit Carson in "The Raiders of the Oregon Trail" also from Frontier Fighters #4 and drawn by Howard Sherman. We have Buffalo Bill in "Young Bill -- of the Pony Express" from Frontier Fighters #6 by Dave Wood and Joe Kubert. We end with Pow-Wow Smith in (The Tenderfoot Deputy) from Detective Comics #178 and drawn by Leonard Starr.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Batman #218

Batman #218 (On Sale: November 11, 1969) has a cover by Murphy Anderson. This is the last issue to feature this long-running Batman logo.

We begin with "Batman and Robin's Greatest Mystery" which is reprinted from Detective Comics #234 and created by Ed Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye. Batman and Robin track down a crook, Jay Caird, who has stolen a sonic weapon. When the weapon is turned on the Dynamic Duo, they are knocked out and begin suffering from amnesia. Commissioner Gordon allows them to search the police files for clues to their secret identities in hopes that it will restore their lost memories.

Batman finds several clues while reading the files. He learns that he is wealthy, is a pilot, and a polo player. With the possibilities narrowed, Batman is able to guess that he is Bruce Wayne. He drives to Wayne Manor where his memories begin to return. With his recovery, he remembers where Caird was headed, and together with Robin, Batman captured the crook.

Next is "The Hand from Nowhere" reprinted from Batman #130 and created by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. A giant hand appears above a factory. The hand is controlled by two alien creatures. Batman confronts the aliens who are making the hand steal metal ore. Batman is unable to capture the aliens because the giant hand protects them.

Batman follows the trail of the aliens as they steal several other metals. The aliens make a raid on some valuable platinum, and Batman is able to uncover their scheme. The whole setup has been a hoax. The aliens are really disguised crooks. Batman locates the hideout and finds that Superman’s frequent foe, Lex Luthor is behind it. Batman takes control of the hand, which Luthor invented, capturing Luthor and his gang.

That is followed by "The Man Who Couldn't Be Tried Twice" reprinted from Batman #118 and created by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Ray Burnley. Batman testifies in a murder case to help free the defendant, James Lee, who is accused of killing his former trapeze artist partner. Lee is acquitted, then brags that he did kill his partner, Wyler. Batman’s name is ruined, but he uncovers evidence proving that the circus owner, David Dial, is the real killer. Dial bribed Lee to brag so that no one would find him. Batman then brings both men to justice.

That brings us to "The Body in the Bat-Cave" reprinted from Batman #121 and created by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. Batman and Robin discover the body of electronics genius turned criminal Alec Wyre in the Bat-Cave. They believe wire and an associate discovered the cave, then the associate murdered him. Batman then tracks down three suspects, despite the fact that one must know his secret identity. All three suspects prove to be false leads. Batman then deduces that Wyre found the Bat-Cave on his own and was knocked dead when he hit his head on a stalactite. The location of the Bat-Cave and Batman's secret identity therefore remains a secret.

Next is "Four Hours to Live" which originally appeared in the Sunday Batman newspaper strip from June 11 to July 30th, 1944.

We end with "The League Against Batman" from Detective Comics #197 and created by David V. Reed, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris. A new hooded criminal known as the Wrecker strikes against Batman by destroying objects dedicated to the crime fighter. He destroys Batman toys, signs, and sculptures, claiming to seek revenge for his three brothers who were executed after Batman captured them.

Dwight Forrow, a man who wrote a book about Batman, receives a death threat and is assigned two police bodyguards. The Wrecker still succeeds in carrying out the threat, apparently killing Forrow.

Batman and the police believe that the Wrecker is Skip Denton, who had three criminal brothers. However Batman finds a clue that proves the real identity of the Wrecker. Police apprehend Denton, but Batman clears him by finding Forrow alive. Forrow and his brother were running an insurance scam and set Denton up. A sunburn on Forrow's hand gave the crook away and allowed Batman to apprehend him.

Edited by E. Nelson Bridwell.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Young Love #78

Young Love #78 (On Sale: November 6, 1969) has a cover by Dick Giordano.

We begin with our cover-story, "20 Miles to Heartbreak" by Barbara Freidlander, Alex Toth and Vince Colletta, which was reprinted in Young Love #122. 20 Miles to Heartbreak is a unique, four-part romance serial which crosses over from Young Love to Secret Hearts and then back again. Giordano was sure up for trying out different ideas in these romance books.

Next is "A Kiss to Tame a Tiger," and we end with an untitled Lisa St. Claire story.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Superman #223

Superman #223 (On Sale: November 6, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

Superman stars in the feature-length "Half a Hero" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and George Roussos.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

Our Fighting Forces #123

Our Fighting Forces #123 (On Sale: November 6, 1969) has a Losers cover by Joe Kubert.

This is the first appearance of The Losers and they are prominantly featured on the cover, so it is kind of strange that we begin with "Cold Deadly as a Bullet" drawn by Russ Heath.

The back-up is The Losers in "No Medals No Graves" by Robert Kanigher and Ken Barr. I might try and get this issue as I would love to see the Ken Barr artwork.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

House of Mystery #184

House of Mystery #184 (On Sale: November 6, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "Turner's Treasure" by Jack Oleck and Alex Toth. That is followed by a Page 13 by Joe Orlando and Sergio Aragones. Next is "The Eyes of the Basilisk" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Gil Kane and Wally Wood. Lastly is a Cain's Game Room by Sergio Aragones.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Falling In Love #112

Falling In Love #112 (On Sale: November 6, 1969) has a nice cover by Nick Cardy.

We begin with "Never Trust Your Heart" drawn by Ric Estrada and Vince Colletta. Next is "Match-Maker, Match-Breaker" by Winslow Mortimer and Vince Colletta and reprinted in Young Love #109. Lastly we have "Second Choice" by Ric Estrada and Vince Colletta.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Binky's Buddies #7

Binky's Buddies #7 (On Sale: November 6, 1969) has a cover by Henry Scarpelli.

We begin with Binky's Buddies in "Genius for a Day" and "Ski Weekend." Next is Peggy in "Honk! Honk" and "New Boy in Town." Lastly we have Binky in "The Football Flop" by John Albano, Winslow Mortimer and Henry Scarpelli which was reprinted in Best of DC #45.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Aquaman #49

Aquaman #49 (On Sale: November 6, 1969) has just an absolutely beautiful cover by Nick Cardy. What a great design and a powerful drawing. One of Nick's best for sure.

The feature-length "As the Seas Die" is by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo and is some of their best work together to date. Jim Aparo is really changing before our very eyes; each issue is like looking at a different artist. His layouts get more dynamic, his people get more real, his story-telling gets more and this issue features some wonderful work. Aquaman and Aqualad are off the coast of Alaska investigating reports of schools of attacking fish, when they themselves are attacked. The fish don't respond to Aquaman's telepathic commands, so they must fight the fish. However, they get some assistance in that effort from Phil Darson, whom Aquaman (and we readers) met in Aquaman #43.

Phil is there investigating the fish as well, which he says are not only being driven insane, but are also dying. Aquaman and Aqualad go see Professor Davidson, who is the one who summoned Aquaman. The professor believes that the fish are being poisoned by pollution, but that none of the factories int he area will talk to him since a saboteur has been attacking the plants in the last few days. Even as they talk the saboteur is striking again, blowing up part of a nearby plant. Aquaman sees the saboteur jump into the water and gives chase, but is taken out when an explosive is thrown his way.

The next day reports want to discuss the saboteur with the president of the Leland Factory hit the night before, but he won't talk, saying that there was no saboteur, just a boiler malfunction. When they leave he explains to an underling that he doesn't want anyone snooping around and finding out that they are dumping chemicals into the ocean. Back at Atlantis Ocean Master arrives and demands a meeting with Aquaman, but Mera tells him that Aquaman is too busy to see him right now.

Meanwhile Aquaman and Aqualad have found evidence of pollution at both factories that have been hit by the saboteur. that is when Aquaman reads int he paper that Leland says that the explosion at his plant was an accident, which Aquaman knows to be false since he chased after the guy who planted the explosives. They begin to wonder if the Professor might not be involved. Aquaman decides to check out the Leland factory that night, while Aqualad keeps an eye on the Professor. Aquaman sees the saboteur returning to the Leland factory and follows him. The Professor leaves his lab and Aqualad follows him.

The saboteur breaks into Leland's factory only to find Leland waiting for him with a gun. The saboteur disarms Leland and explains that he had asked Leland earlier to stop polluting the ocean and Leland had refused; taking out Leland's plant had seemed the only way to stop him from killing the sea. Aquaman arrives before the saboteur can harm Leland, but he overpowers Aquaman and set the plant on fire. As Aquaman goes after him he is knocked unconscious by Leland who heads out after the saboteur. Meanwhile the Professor has been trying to reach Leland at his home with no success.

Aquaman awakes int he flaming building and staggers out as he hears gunshots int he distance. He sees two figures struggling on a cliff. When he gets there he finds they have fallen over, but the saboteur is still alive. He tells Aquaman he meant him no harm and considered him a friend. He pulls off his mask and it is Phil Darson, who explains that there was no legal way to stop Leland and his kind, so he resorted to the only method he knew would work. Darson then dies from his wounds.

Later they meet with the Professor who says he found evidence that chemicals from the Leland factory were killing the ocean and when to confront him. Aquaman says that he has already talked to the new owners and that they will stop dumping the chemicals into the ocean. They then head off, back to Atlantis. This story was reprinted in Adventure Comics #501.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wonder Woman #186

Wonder Woman #186 (On Sale: November 4, 1969) has a cover by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano.

The full-length "Morgana the Witch" is written and drawn by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Dick Giordano. Diana Prince rebuilds her shop with the help of Cathy Perkins. Cathy then introduces Diana to her friends Abbie and Millie. Abbie's boyfriend Henry was experimenting with magic and summoned Morgana, the daughter of Morgan Le Fay. The witch then turned Henry into a frog.

Diana and I-Ching begin looking for Morgana. She is easy to find as she has caused chaos all around town. Diana tries to fight her, but Morgana's magic is too powerful. I-Ching uses magic of his own to defeat the witch, who disappears.

Back at Diana's store, Abbie kisses the frog to restore her boyfriend to human form. This was reprinted in Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Mike Sekowsky.

Tomahawk #126

Tomahawk #126 (On Sale: November 4, 1969) has a nice cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with Tomahawk in "The Baron of Gallows Hill" by Robert Kanigher and Frank Thorne. The back-up is "Raids of the Invisible Braves," a Tomahawk reprint from Tomahawk #62 drawn by Bob Brown.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

Swing With Scooter #24

Swing With Scooter #24 (On Sale: November 4, 1969) has a cover by Henry Scarpelli.

We begin with Scooter in "Halloween -- It's a Scream." That is followed by Scooter in "Weird, Wild Wheels" drawn by Winslow Mortimer and Henry Scarpelli and reprinted in Best of DC #39. Next is Malibu in "Tanks for the Present." "The Ghost with the Most," "Ghost-Toasties," an untitled story and "The Vanishing Ghost." We end with "She Takes the Cake."

Edited by Joe Orlando.

Our Army at War #214

Our Army at War #214 (On Sale: November 4, 1969) has a Sgt. Rock cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with Sgt. Rock in "Easy Co... Where Are You?" drawn by Russ Heath. That is followed by a Great Battles of History story, "The Bastille" written and drawn by Ric Estrada. We end with "My Coffin, the Tank" drawn by Sid Greene.

Edited by Joe Kubert.