Friday, September 21, 2012


As we examine comics released in my birth month of December 1951,
we’re hitting a stretch of romance comics.  Today’s is Love Tales
#52 [March 1952]. Continuing its numbering from Human Torch, this
title ran 40 issues from #36-75 [May 1949-September 1957].  At the
time of this issue, it was “on sale every month.” Strangely enough,
this is the first of two issues said to have hit the newsstands in
December 1951.  You’ll see the other one tomorrow.

What little info I have on Love Tales #52 comes from Atlas Tales,
a very spiffy online resource.  Al Hartley drew and signed the cover,
which illustrates “I Love You, You Fool!” The site does not have
credits or a page count for this story.

What’s the story about? In the absence of any actual knowledge of
its plot, I’m just going to make up stuff again.  I see it as the
touching story of a man whose ambition is to become a court jester
and the woman who loves him.  He is crushed when he finally comes
to realize the United States has no monarchy, but his woman helps
him re-purpose his clownish skills as a Fox News commentator.  They
live happily ever after in a world devoid of truth or logic.

Also in the issue...

“Come Back, My Heart”, which is a slightly more romantic version of
a horror story involving grave robbers.  There is no page count or
credits for this story.

“Have Faith, My Love,” written by Hank Chapman with pencil art by
Jay Scott Pike.  Both signed their work on this tearjerker about a
monk and a nun who can never express their love for one another on
account of their vows of silence. 

“The Truth About Trudy Lester” is a 6-page story whose pencil art
has been attributed to Bernie Krigstein.  The sad truth about poor
Trudy is that she is a hopeless dreamer looking forward to the day
when women receive pay equal to that of men doing the same work and
where men don’t pass laws about her body and health care.  Oh, I am
so gonna get some good liberal loving tonight.

Some publisher should bring back romance comics.  I would clearly
be great at writing love stories.


Earth 2 by James Robinson with art by Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott
is my new favorite DC Comics title.  Okay, yes, I know that sounds
like damning with faint praise because it’s been established that
I don’t like the way DC does business or makes comic books, but it
actually is meant as a compliment.

Earth 2 is set in an alternate universe wherein alien invaders laid
waste to many of Earth’s major cities and where Superman, Batman
and Wonder Woman died saving the world.  Years later, the planet is
still healing from those terrible losses, there is a world army to
defend against future threats and new super-heroes are beginning to
emerge.  Heroes unsanctioned by any government.

Robinson has done a terrific job developing new versions of Flash,
Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and others.  There’s a sense of wonder at
what this world will become and a sense of tension that very dark
days lie ahead.  Penciller Scott has developed into one of the best
super-hero artists of the present era and her work compliments the
writing well.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Sure, “what happens next” will almost certainly involve some sort
of crossover with the main DC Universe because when have you ever
known DC not to muck up a good thing?  However, for now, I’m loving
this title and recommend it most heartily.


First X-Men #1 was an interesting start to a new series co-written
by Neal Adams and Christos Gage with art by Adams.  I’m not sure if
it takes place in an alternate continuity or if it’s supposed to be
hitherto unknown events in the current Marvel Universe.  As long as
it keeps to itself, I don’t much care which it is.  More and more,
I cherish stand-alone super-hero titles.

The founders of this new mutant team are Wolverine and Sabertooth.
They seem to be just fine working together and Sabertooth, though
certainly a scary character, doesn’t seem to be the bloodthirsty
sociopath of the “real” Marvel Universe.  Before the issue’s end,
they meet a few more mutants, including a reluctant Charles Xavier.
There’s a “coming next issue” nod to Magneto as well.

I’m intrigued by this new series.  Adams is one of my favorites as
is Gage.  There was plenty of good stuff in this debut issue.  I’m
looking forward to what happens next...which is something that sets
the good super-hero comics apart from the bad ones.


Hawkeye #1 offered a different take on the character.  Writer Matt
Fraction gave him Oliver Queen’s money and played him as more of a
solitary hero despite his long history with the Avengers.  Artist
David Aja brought a different look to the storytelling, though it
was a good match with Fraction’s writing.  Matt Hollingsworth used
his excellent coloring artistry to pull the whole thing together in
fine fashion. 

The issue is a done-in-one story involving a slumlord determined to
empty a building by whatever means necessary.  It’s the territory
Green Arrow used to roam before DC’s New 52.  Does archery build a
social conscience?  In any case, I like ground-level super-heroics
tied to the real world.  If Green Arrow isn’t going to walk these
streets, then, by all means, let Hawkeye do so.

If you’ve kept count, that makes three positive reviews of super-
hero comics in one bloggy thing.  Given my love of the genre, that
delights me.  More please.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree that EARTH 2 is my favorite new series at DC as well. Enjoying it more than I had expected by far. I was hoping that it would somehow hold on to it's WWII roots, but it is just so well written and drawn that I really look forward to each issue.