Saturday, April 25, 2015

MANHUNTER 2070 Returns on Monday...

...with the Origin of Starker... shown in this "teaser" from the back of DC's Showcase #91 (1970).
Written and penciled by Mike Sekowsky, inked by Vince Colletta.
But before that, catch up with the first part of the never-reprinted Manhunter 2070 saga HERE!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Reading Room VENUS COMICS "Little Man Who Wasn't There!"

Let's wind up our week of Venus Comics back-up tales with...
...a story that would have qualified as "metafictional"...if the word had existed in 1951!
Neither the writer nor artist for this never-reprinted story from Atlas' Venus Comics #14 (1951) are known to us (or any credible source like GCD).
Pity, since it's a clever little tale...though it would've benefited from being given a couple of additional pages to flesh out why the "creator" decided to suddenly alter the character's personality and actions so radically.
(Perhaps the "creator" in the last panel was, himself, being manipulated by a creator who was going insane...)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Reading Room VENUS COMICS "Invasion from Mars"

Orson Welles wasn't the only one to tell this tale...
...but this never-reprinted story takes a slightly different turn!
While the scripter for this story from Atlas' Venus #13 (1951) is unknown, the artist is Dave Berg, who would make a name for himself as one of the mainstays of MAD Magazine with his Lighter Side of... feature!
Berg started at the beginning of the Golden Age as one of the Eisner/Iger Studio artists providing material in various genres for Quality Comics and Fiction House.
He eventually went solo doing stories and covers for St John, Toby, Ziff-Davis, Dell, Fawcett, Archie, and, as you can see here, Timely/Atlas, before finally landing at EC doing one war story and then switching to MAD as of #34, becoming one of the steadiest of the "Usual Gang of Idiots" (as the contributors referrred to themselves).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reading Room VENUS COMICS "Last Rocket"

We ran a similarly-named (but totally-different) tale HERE...
...but this is no "Adam & Eve on Future/Past Earth" story like that other one, though it does involve a man and a woman...
BTW, the ships are heading for Saturn, not Jupiter!
(Jupiter's rings weren't discovered until 1979, 30 years after this story was published!)
The Imperial Fleet's recruiters apparently will take anyone (as George Bush's army recruiters did with Bowe Bergdahl after the Coast Guard rejected him), since an entire flight of ships turns traitor at the first word from their commander!
It's also too bad we don't actually get to see the conflict, since artist Joe Maneely was superb at doing sci-fi comics as shown HERE!
The writer for this story from Atlas' Venus Comics #10 (1950) is unknown
BTW, the Next Issue promo was only half-right.
While the main Venus story in #11 was "End of the World", "Slaves of the Sultan" was never published.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reading Room VENUS COMICS "Strange Rocket!"

Here's another never-reprinted tale...
 ...from the back of Atlas' Venus Comics featuring the art of a major Silver Age Marvel artist!
The parents weren't questioned as to where their son went after he failed to show up for school...ever again?
"Well, officer, Toby went into space with a bunch of extraterriestrials, but they promised they'd bring him back.
It's OK, we gave him permission..."
The writer of this somewhat silly story from Venus #12 (1951) is unknown, but the artist is Gene Colan, best known to Marvel fans as one of the definitive artists on Daredevil, Iron Man, and Dracula.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Reading Room VENUS COMICS "Plot!"

This week we're looking at the Atlas Comics title Venus...
...but not at the title character's tales!
As you might have guessed, we're re-presenting the never-reprinted back-up stories!
This one, from Venus #11 (1950), is illustrated by Russ Heath.
The writer is unknown.
Marvel reprinted Venus #1-9 in a Marvel Masterworks edition in 2011, but hasn't touched the later issues which had a horror/sci-fi bent, rather than the romantic comedy of the earlier issues.
(#9 was beginning the transformation of the title)
And no further Venus reprints are planned, so we'll be running some more back-up tales by some surprising talents for the rest of the week.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reading Room FORBIDDEN WORLDS "Madman--or Psychic?'

Our final (we swear) Abraham Lincoln-themed story... this never-reprinted piece from ACG's Forbidden Worlds #90 (1960), probably written by editor Richard Hughes and definitely illustrated by George Klein.
OK, I got a bit carried away with this theme, but I didn't even touch the stories where superheroes (Kal-El tried it twice, both as Superman and Superboy) try to go back in time to avert the assassination...