Tuesday, April 24, 2012

THE SHADOW "Night of the Avenger" Conclusion

Art by Mike Kaluta
Somebody is assembling enough arms and men to form a small army.
A team of assassins lead by Smitty, one of The Avenger's aides, attempts to kill The Shadow.
Margo Lane, aide and confidante to The Shadow attempts to kill The Avenger.
Clues lead both The Shadow (and his aides) and The Avenger (and his aides) to a lonely stretch of New Jersey beachfront where a massive weapons cache is discovered.
When the two groups meet, each believes the arms depot belongs to the other, and...
In the 1970s, both Marvel and DC revived pulp characters whose paperback reprints were selling very well.
Marvel licensed Doc Savage, and DC grabbed both The Shadow and The Avenger.
Due to the fact Marvel had trademarked The Avengers, DC's Avenger book was titled Justice, Inc. (the name of The Avenger's organization.)*
The Shadow lasted 12 issues, Justice, Inc. only 4.
While some of the 1970s Shadow run, specifically the issues superbly-illustrated by Mike Kaluta, have been reprinted in book form, this issue has not.
*Similarly, when a comic based on the British TV spy series The Avengers was done in the late 1960s, it was called John Steed & Mrs. Peel!
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Sherlock Holmes Returns!
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THE SHADOW "Night of the Avenger" Part 1

Recipe for mayhem; take two heroes, add one arch-villain...
...mix with assorted aides and assistants, stir, and serve HOT!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

JUSTICE INC "Monster Bug" Conclusion

Art by Jack Kirby and Al Milgrom
The terrorist named Sodom, having barely survived a battle with The Shadow, now matches wits with The Avenger as he plots to use a virus that mutates humans.
Disguising himself as a scientist Sodom tried to kidnap, The Avenger proceeds to an auto show, hoping to lure Sodom out into the open.
The plan works, but Sodom, when cornered, uses some of the virus to turn innocent show visitors into mindless monsters...
Written by Denny O'Neil, illustrated by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.
Unlike the first two issues, this was an original tale rather than an adaptation of one of the 1940s pulp stories, giving a different version of how Mac, the chemist, joined the group.
(Fergus "Mac" MacMurdie joined in the first pulp story, which was adapted in Justice Inc #1, without his character!)
Strangely, all three issues of this series that Kirby drew featured the villain falling to his death from a great height!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

JUSTICE INC "Monster Bug" Part 1

Last week, we thought The Shadow had finished General Sodom...
...but, that proved to be inaccurate, as the now-Colonel Sodom returned with another plan to spread terror and horror...
Is this...The End of The Avenger?
Be back next week for the astounding conclusion!
Since Sodom was a freelancer, why did he give himself a reduction in rank from General to Colonel?
(The same writer, Denny O'Neil, created Sodom and penned both stories, so it's not like a scripter unfamiliar with the character made a boo-boo!)
You may be asking, why is the comic called Justice, Inc. instead of The Avenger, especially since the then-current paperback reprints...
1970s paperback reprint
...of the original pulp series (which was called The Avenger) were also titled The Avenger?
1940s pulp magazine
Because of trademark law!
Marvel Comics had been publishing a comic book called The Avengers (note the "s") since 1963.
Since two comics called "The Avenger" and "The Avengers" could be confusing to consumers, DC decided to retitle their comic based on the pulp/paperback Avenger character "Justice, Inc.", after Benson's crime-fighting organization.
When Gold Key Comics did an adaptation of The Avengers tv series starring Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg, it was titled "John Steed and Emma Peel".
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