Tuesday, March 27, 2012

THE SHADOW "Night of Neptune's Death" Conclusion

Unpublished cover for #5 by Michael Kaluta
It is late 1940-early 1941.
Professional terrorist General Sodom plotted to kill US ambassador Cyril Bench before the diplomat could broker a peace treaty and avoid the USA's entry into World War II.
To achieve this, Sodom hijacked the SS Neptune and threatened to kill all the passengers and crew unless Bench, traveling on the nearby SS Boxer, was turned over to him...
The Shadow survived...but so did Sodom!
He would return to battle DC's other pulp crimefighter, The Avenger!
But that is a story for another entry...

Many fans, used to Mike Kaluta's intricate illustrations, were surprised, and somewhat put-off, by Frank Robbins' art.
Ironic, since Robbins had been a comic strip (and book) writer/artist since his work on Scorchy Smith in 1939, and was one of a handful of Golden Age talents still producing quality work over 30 years later in the Bronze Age!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

THE SHADOW "Night of Neptune's Death" Part 1

While The Shadow stories by Mike Kaluta have been reprinted several times...
..they are less than half of the 1970's DC Comics' 12-issue run!
The remaining seven issues, illustrated by other artists, have never been reprinted!
But, The Shadow's not about to let that happen...as we shall see...next week!
While Denny O'Neil, who wrote all of the Mike Kaluta-illustrated stories, continued his run, the meticulous (but slow) Kaluta ran into deadline problems with The Shadow #5 (1974).
Golden Age writer/artist Frank Robbins, who was also scripting (and occasionally illustrating) Batman stories in Detective Comics, stepped into the breach for the first of several Shadow stories.
This particular tale also introduced the only recurring villain in the DC Comics Bronze Age pulp universe, General Sodom, who next appeared in Justice, Inc #3 (1975), DC's other hero-pulp title, starring The Avenger!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012


In 1971, Jack Kirby wanted to re-introduce "true crime" comics...
...as part of a line of adult-oriented b/w magazines covering various genres.
We covered one of the other proposed books, Soul Love, in our "sister" blog True Love Comics Tales™.
Of the various titles Kirby wanted to do, only two saw publication; Spirit World (about psychic phenomena) and In the Days of the Mob, and they only had one issue each!
We'll be re-presenting both that first issue of ItDotM and a couple of stories from the never-published second issue that did see print in various other HTF venues.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CHARLIE CHAN "Hit and Run Murder Case"

Remember, despite stereotypes, Inspector Chan is always the smartest man in the room...
...as this 1948 tale from the first issue of his Golden Age run demonstrates!
Charlie Chan was already a multi-media success with six novels, a radio show, an ongoing b-movie series, and a newspaper comic strip (which was reprinted in comic books), when this series of all-new comic book stories debuted in 1948.
Produced by the Simon & Kirby comic studio for Prize Comics, the book ran for five issues before Prize cancelled most of their titles and sold off the unpublished material to Charlton Comics, where Charlie Chan ran for another four issues.
While the newspaper strip based it's portrayals on the movie actors' likenesses, the Prize comic book took it's cues from the radio series and used the show's descriptions of Chan and his sons for their renderings.
The plots were original tales, not based on either the novels or radio show scripts.
This particular story was penciled and inked by Carmine Infantino, who later revamped Batman from the gimmicky sci-fi/fantasy strip it had become in the late 1950s back to a costumed detective series.

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