Category DC Comics

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 9

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A great Christmas cover with no holiday spirit inside. With the exception of “The Story of Christopher Columbus.”

Columbus Day celebrates its namesake’s arrival in the Americas. Observance of the holiday varies from area to area. It shares itself with Yorktown Victory Day in Virginia and Puerto Rico Friendship Day on the Virgin Islands.

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 9

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 9

Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash are the mystery men and woman of the book with Hop Harrigan keeping the skies safe from Nazi menaces.

Mermaids are the villains in Wonder Woman’s story “The Subsea Pirates.”

Doiby Dickles becomes the damsel in distress for Green Lantern in “A Tale of a City.”

The Flash is featured in “The Tale of the Winged Horse.” An invitation is extended to join the liar’s circle.

Without a doubt, the oddest story is “Filipinos are People.” The “yarn” is “devoted to furthering understanding among the peoples of the world.”

Also included are some one and dones from Mutt and Jeff.

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Comic Cavalcade (1942) 12

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Comic Cavalcade (1942) 12

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 12

Masks upon masks upon masks for the Fall 1945 issue of Comic Cavalcade.

As was the model for the title, the cover featured a seasonal event, but the interior proved its own beast.

Wonder Woman was featured in “Rebellion on Paradise Island.” Rival Dalma is jealous of her Amazon sister. She attempts a coup to assume control of the island.

“A Race Against Time” has Green Lantern and Doiby Dickles attempting to foil a murder during a six-day bicycle race.

The Flash is “Painting the Town” with “nitwit” inventors on the loose.

Mainstay Hap Harrigan must stop Professor Robomb from killing him in “The Adventure of the Million-Dollar Parcel!”

Also included in the 80-page giant are “A Medal for Mervyn!” and “Johnny Everyman.” Mutt and Jeff tag along for some shorts, too.

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Hellblazer (1988) 42

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Do you really need an excuse to have a beer? If so, today is your day. Today is National Drink Beer Day.

Not a Hallmark holiday by any stretch of the imagination, National Drink Beer Day, needless to say, is unofficial. Beer’s origins are murky as well. There is some proof beer was first crafted in what is now Iran in the fifth century B.C.

Later it spread throughout Europe by Roman soldiers and later still through its production in monasteries.

Hellblazer (1988) 42

Hellblazer (1988) 42

To celebrate National Drink Beer Day, Four Color Holidays presents Hellblazer 42. Spoiler: if you’ve never read the title, at least Garth Ennis’ run, stop reading this now. Drop your beer and get the hardcovers, trades or floppies. Then you can crack your cold one.

Ennis steered John Constantine through issues 41 to 83. All are good, but the first story arc is the best.

In it Constantine discovers he has lung cancer. He sets about seeking a cure through sorcery. In the second chapter of the tale he finds himself in Ireland sharing a very special drink with an old friend. I won’t spoil the rest.

Wikipedia describes Hellblazer as a “contemporary horror comic book series.” A simple answer that falls short of properly appreciating how Ennis handled his chronicling chores. The book has shown sparks of brilliance before and since, but never shone as brightly as it did during those brief years.

Cheers.

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Action Comics (1938) 454

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National Cheeseburger Day is certainly not one of the Federal or State holidays. It is perennially celebrated Sept. 18, offering an excuse to chow down on a greasy burger topped with cheese and favorite condiments.

Action Comics (1938) 454

Action Comics (1938) 454

German immigrants brought the hamburger to America. Hamburg steak was a popular dish among lower-class Germans. Later it was placed between two slices of bread becoming a sandwich. It was properly introduced to the American public at the 1904 World’s Fair and became the darling of the nation.

Cheese was added sometime later, possibly between the 1920s and 1930s to Americanize the sandwich. No one has legitimately laid claim to creating the cheeseburger, but the bacon cheeseburger can be credited to Dale Mulder in his A&W Restaurant in 1963.

While Action Comics issue 454 does not celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, the cover does commemorate the holiday well enough. Though a bit over represented, the scene does appear inside the book.

Superman’s fast food gobble is a bid to maintain his metabolism after Toyman finds a way to deprive the Action Ace of the power-giving sun light. The man of steel finally figures out a solution and “Superman’s Energy-Crisis” is wrapped up with enough room for the Atom to close out the book in “The Campus That Swallowed Itself.” The title is longer than the actual story.

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Detective Comics (1937) 27

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It’s hard for those outside the fold to understand the kinship we fans feel toward these two-dimensional, fictional creations.

But, it exists.

At times it’s almost tangible.

Especially for one who predates many of us. Who has survived – and thrived – after a congressional castigation, network neutering and public pandering. Who is an American institution.

This is why we have National Batman Day.

I can’t remember the first Batman story I read. There have been so many. So many adventures and years since that first one.

Detective Comics (1937) 27

Detective Comics (1937) 27

All I know is I was introduced to a character draped in the dark of night, eyes veiled behind white slits hiding windows to hell. That was the Batman Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams/Irv Novick were resurrecting in the early 1970s.

It was a good time to be a Batman fan. He was allowed to return to the shadows, but readers weren’t too removed from the day and twilight that came before.

Reruns of the 1966 psychedelic series were still airing in the afternoons. Adam West and Burt Ward were live-action heroes for half an hour.

Then the fad faded.

It was time to go back to Batman’s roots. As mentioned above, this about when I came into the picture.

The 1970s settled and the ‘80s dawned. A relative newcomer to the field not only redefined Batman, but knighted him in ebon. Frank Miller created two seminal works that examined both ends of the spectrum. The Dark Knight Returns came first. It looked at the end of days for the Caped Crusader.

Batman:  Year One stepped back to look at his beginnings.

As the decade ended so did Jason Todd’s career as Robin. Tim Burton took Batman to Hollywood.

The 1990s were not as adventurous. Instead the franchise was mined for the fanboys’ dollars. Gimmicky covers and story arcs designed to have readers buying multiple issues were the norm.

Where Batman shown again was on the small screen. Bruce Timm crafted a new look out of the old with a timeless backdrop in Batman the Animated Series. It would spin off The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond along with two feature films. The first was given a theater release in Mask of the Phantasm. The second was direct-to-video, Batman & Mr. Freeze:  Subzero.

The comic book industry rebounded from the 1990s speculators and continues to thrive both on and off the page.

The Batman legacy is strong as ever. His celluloid career continues and Detective Comics just celebrated its 1,000 issue. A fine compliment to the Caped Crusader’s 80th birthday.

Batman has evolved and revolved with the times. His image has been tweaked and tarnished at times, but overall it remains as timeless as his mission to avenge his parents’ deaths.

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Doom Patrol (1987) 45

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Grant Morrison hit most of the comic book industry’s sensitive spots during his run as Doom Patrol scribe. Each issue of his tenure, issues 19 through 64, was a satirical statement.

“The Beard Hunter” is a tale Arnold Drake, Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani could never have envisioned when they first created “The World’s Strangest Heroes.” The story does meet the criteria for observing today’s National Beard Lover’s Day.

Doom Patrol (1987) 45

Doom Patrol (1987) 45

Doom Patrol (1987) 45 isn’t exactly a love letter to those with facial hair, but more of a statement against the facially follically challenged. “The Beard Hunter” treads a dark trail of comedic fare. As with the series itself, this issue is a fresh, kaleidoscopic look at a team no one knew what to do with.

When Doom Patrol first appeared in the pages of My Greatest Adventure issue 80, the characters were an off-beat bunch often likened to Marvel Comics’ The X-Men.

The team was revised and revived in post-crisis DC by Paul Kupperberg and Steve Lightle. Morrison was part of the late 1980s British Invasion that revamped the comic book market.

Doom Patrol limped through several incarnations over the years after Morrison’s departure. Most recently they were featured in a live-action series on DC Universe’s streaming service.

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Wonder Woman (1942) 222

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Finally, the last labor of Wonder Woman’s 12 labors.

I say finally, but issue 222 is based on enough urban myth to make it interesting.

Wonder Woman finishes her labors in a sinister Disney World clone. The villain this issue is a thinly veiled version of Walt Disney called Wade Dazzle.

Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Dazzle is ensconced in a bunker below Dazzleland. From there he engineers his nefarious plan to kidnap people and steal their life force. This is all done without detection due to a miracle contraption that allows Dazzle make duplicates of people.

That includes himself.

Dazzle is dead, body and soul, except for brainwaves he can use to manipulate his clone. His corpse is frozen in a huge chunk of ice hung on a wall Han-in-carbonite style.

Wonder Woman inadvertently destroys the Dazzle doppelganger as well as her own to save the day. By unanimous vote, she is reinstated as a member of the Justice League of America with the promise, “Next: The first chapter of Wonder Woman’s NEW life begins with a saga so shocking we dare not reveal its title!”

Thanks to the comicbookdb.com we see it was called “Welcome Back to Life…Steve Trevor!”

Happy Labor Day.

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Wonder Woman (1942) 221

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If you’ve been along for the ride this long, we’re almost done. Just this and one more to finish Wonder Woman’s 12 labors as Four Color Holidays celebrates Labor Day.

Wonder Woman (1942) 221

Wonder Woman (1942) 221

Thus far we’ve sat through plots to enslave the world, enslave time and enslave women. In this issue we read about how women enslave themselves.

A foreign dignitary is lured to a retreat with the promise of a youth formula. In return for turning back time, the princess will relinquish a “psycho-chemical formula.” With it, the user holds control of another’s personality.

Vanity proves to be the real villain in the story. It is also the cause of death bringing the book to a close.

In the epilogue Hawkman, who has observed the adventure, speaks for Wonder Woman and her reinstatement to the JLA.

The book ends on a cliffhanger with Batman entering and promising a conclusion to the labors and the story arc.

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Wonder Woman (1942) 220

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Wonder Woman’s ninth labor is chronicled by the Atom in “The Man Who Wiped Out Time!” on our way to Labor Day.

Chronos is the villain of the month. In keeping with his clock-themed crimes, Chronos “steals” time in New York City.

Wonder Woman spends 32 pages, including ads, deducing who the time thief is and then defeating him.

Chornos was created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane. His first appearance was in The Atom (1962). Over time Chronos became one of the Atom’s chief villains.

Wonder Woman (1942) 220

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Wonder Woman (1942) 219

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Wonder Woman’s labors are nearly as taxing as the tales in which she performs them.

Wonder Woman (1942) 219

Wonder Woman (1942) 219

Continuing the Amazon’s self-imposed labors for reinstatement to the Justice League of America, Elongated Man Ralph Dibny plays voyeur. He’s able to bring the reader along with the aid of a video camera.

In this issue Diana fights against the male-dominated patriarch of Xro. Their women have become uppity due to the influence of Earth females. The males have decided to kidnap the feminists of our planet. Once captured, they will be brainwashed into teaching the women of Xro they are to be subservient of the master race: Men.

Wonder Woman is able to foil their plan and transport the Earth woman back home. Thanks to Elongated Man’s recording of the event, fellow Justice Leaguers are able to see the entire adventure.

Fortunately for readers the labors are coming to an end. Only Atom, Hawkman and Batman have to observe.

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