Sunday, July 14, 2013
YOUNG MEN ON THE BATTLEFIELD
comic from my December 1951 birth month. Its numbering continued
from Young Men and, under this name, it ran a total of eight issues
(#13-20) from February 1952 to April 1953.
The Grand Comics Database and Atlas Tales tentatively identify the
cover artist as Sol Brodsky. I worked with Sol when I first came
to Marvel and he could do it all: draw, write, manage budgets, you
name it. The cover scene here has nothing to do with any of this
issue’s interior stories.
Here’s the contents of this issue:
“One Day!” (6 pages, drawn and signed by Russ Heath);
“The Sitting Ducks” (5 pages, drawn and signed by Gene Colan);
“Home Is the Eagle” (2-page text story);
“Foxhole” (4 pages, drawn and signed by Dave Berg);
“The Mission” (3 pages, drawn and signed by Mac Pakula) and
“Horror on Heartbreak Hill!” (5 pages, written and signed by Hank
Chapman, drawn and signed by Norman Steinberg).
Come back tomorrow for the final vintage comic-book cover from the
month of my birth.
I watched the debut episode of the new Beware the Batman computer-
animated TV series yesterday morning. The new series features what
seems to be a relatively younger Batman, an Alfred who is a retired
member of Britain’s MI-6 and a Katana who appears to be some sort
of freelance operative. The initial episode - “Hunted” - didn’t go
into her background other than, obviously, she was an acquaintance
of Alfred. The villains for this debut episode were Professor Pyg
and Mister Toad. Here the duo are depicted as eco-terrorists and,
while Pyg is still grotesque, he’s doesn’t appear to be as twisted
as his comic-book counterpart.
Based on this first episode - written by Mitch Watson and directed
by Sam Liu - I don’t love this new series, but I don’t come close
to hating it either. The lead characters are interesting with good
voice work from Anthony Ruivivar (Batman/Bruce Wayne), J.B. Blanc
(Alfred) and Sumalee Montano (Katana). The computer animation is
a little sharper than on the Green Lantern series. I’ll continue
to watch this series.
Two familiar DC Comics characters appeared in this episode as the
kidnapped victims of Pyg: Simon Stagg and Michael Holt. There is
no indication from this episode that we’ll be seeing Metamorpho or
Mr. Terrific in future episodes.
From what I’ve read, Anarky will be the major villain of this new
series because the producers are tired of the Joker. I feel like
I should keep watching the show just for that. Additionally, this
means Anarky creators Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle should get some
money from DC. Katana creator Mike W. Barr and, one presumes, the
heirs of Katana co-creator Jim Aparo will also get paid. Can any
of my bloggy thing readers confirm these fine talents were properly
credited in the closing credits?
For that matter, if reports of Tobias Whale appearing in a coming
episode are accurate, DC will owe me compensation as well. Unless
they try to weasel out of it as they’ve done in the past. I will
keep you posted on this.
Men of Mystery Comics #88 [AC Comics; $29.95] features 140 interior
pages of black-and-white super-hero reprints from the Golden Age of
Comics. Though the publisher takes great pains to make the stories
look good for their republication, the high price tag does give me
a bit of pause. On the other hand, where else are you gonna find
these often wacky heroes?
MLJ’s Mr. Scarlet and Pinky were usually down to their last dollar
in their adventures. I dig that concept and think it could easily
be modernized for today’s marketplace. That lead story is followed
by a Quicksilver tale - not the mutant of Marvel - that includes an
unrelenting stream of offensive racial stereotypes. That’s comics
history, but AC needs to put a disclaimer on such reprints.
Among the other quirky heroes in this issue are Merlin, the Green
Mask, the Music Master, Stormy Foster, the Unknown, British Agent
99, Man O’Metal, the Zebra and Phantasmo. Surprisingly, there are
also stories starring the Blue Beetle, Doll Man, Marvelette (Mary
Marvel with a name change) and Kid Marvel (Captain Marvel Jr. with
a name change). Among the artists of these stories are Joe Certa,
Paul Gustavson, Fred Guardineer, Rudy Palais and H.G. Peter. This
collection is an interesting mix of heroes and styles.
It’s difficult for me to recommend this publication given its high
price, but I wanted to make you aware of it. As I said above, you
won’t find stuff like this in too many other places and certainly
not retouched with such care. Your call.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella