Saturday, September 22, 2012
THE DOWNFALL OF LIZBETH WEBSTER
was signed by Al Hartley, but Atlas Tales only lists him penciling
the cover. The cover story is “The Downfall of Lizbeth Webster!”
Here’s what I think I know about Love Tales #53. For some reason,
it’s the second issue of the title to hit newsstands in my birth
month of December 1951.
Here’s what I don’t know about Love Tales #53. What stories were
inside the issue, who wrote or drew them, what they were about and
how many pages each of them ran.
While I’m waiting for further enlightenment, here’s my version of
the cover story.
Lizbeth Webster came to the big city with dreams. She ended up in
one of those ten-cents-a-dance joints. But she never lost sight of
her dreams, even as all her dance partners blurred into a faceless
amalgam of men who told her how pretty she was and how she was too
good for the place and how they wanted to get to know her better.
She never gave into their dubious charms.
Lizbeth reinvented herself. Eventually, she started moving around
in better circles. But her heart had hardened and she found herself
no more interested in her well-heeled suitors than she’d been with
the average Joes who came to the dance hall.
Cut to the cover scene. Lizbeth has noticed the man watching her from
the background. He’s been watching her at several gala events like
this one. She knows him somehow. Finally, he approaches her and
holds up a ticket from the dance hall where she used to work. In
horror and mortification, Lizbeth flees the event.
The man follows her. When she stumbles, he helps her up and then
apologizes for his dumb approach. He realizes now that she doesn’t
remember him. He was a weary soldier, home after being wounded and
soon to return to Europe, when he danced with her at the hall. She
was so sweet to him that it reminded him what he was fighting for.
The memory of her kept him going.
The man tells Lizbeth he was crazy about her then and just as crazy
about her now. What Lizbeth feared was her downfall turns out to
be the start of her new and wonderful life...with a man who loves
who she was and who she is and from whom she’ll never have to hide
the former. She asks him for the ticket and moves into his arms as
they dance right there on the sidewalk.
I’ll have one more Marvel romance comic-book cover for you in the
next bloggy thing and then we’ll move on to other kinds of comics
from December 1951.
I read Invincible Iron Man #521-523 [Marvel; $3.99] this week and
enjoyed them. I’ve been critical of the title recently because it
seemed writer Matt Fraction was telling the same basic story over
and over again: Tony Stark gets knocked down hard, loses everything
and fights his way back without actually managing to put an end to
the same damn villains. I’m looking at you, Mandarin.
That said, Stark’s determination and inventiveness are often great
fun to watch. But I would like to see an end to these now-tiresome
villains and a new story. If this is the only Iron Man story that
Fraction has in him, then he’s well past his expiration date on the
Here’s what I wrote about Justice League Dark #1 about a year ago:
“Justice League Dark #1 [$2.99] lives up to the “dark” part of its
title. I’m sure many readers will enjoy writer Peter Milligan’s
take on this Justice League spinoff and the characters featured in
it. I don’t think I’m one of them, mostly because this first issue
struck me as somewhat mean-spirited in its darkening of some of the
characters. I especially don’t care for this version of Zatanna,
though I recognize my adolescent lust for the original cute-
and-cuddly Zatanna may be a factor. But the debut is interesting
with appropriately disturbing Mikel Janin art. Assuming the friend
who is loaning me his comics buys the second issue, I’ll probably
stick around for a while.”
Well, my friend bailed on the title after that first issue, though
he started buying the comic book again with a writer switch to Jeff
Lemire. However, before I realized he was buying the title again,
I had a chance to pick up issues #1-12 at a very reasonable price.
And did so.
The Milligan issues were tedious and I was more than a bit annoyed
that his final story was a tie-in with I, Vampire, a title I’d no
interest in from the start. It turned out to be all to the good.
The pathetic Shade the Changing Man left the team and was replaced
by Black Orchid and Andrew Bennett from the afore-mentioned vampire
series. Both work much better in this team.
Lemire came onboard with issue #9. He started off with an alliance
of suitably scary sorcerers and demons, led by Felix Faust, then
threw in characters like Tim Hunter (The Books of Magic) and Steve
Trevor. There were good character bits with John Constantine,
Zatanna, Deadman, and the rest of the cast. Janin continued to do
a fine job with the visuals. I’m four issues into this story arc
and happy I sprung for the issues. Of course, given I’m trying to
reduce substantially my Vast Accumulation of Stuff, I’m more happy
that my friend is buying the title again.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella