Comic Books

Tag explanation

Year

Most often the first tag will be a year. This is the cover date. There are two dates for comics as you might know. Publish date which is when the comic is done and it goes to the printer. People who have subscribed get it around this time. Then there is the cover date, which is about two months later, and when it is on shelves. So this mean Christmas tales or whatever will appear in the posts marked as February.

Age

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Comic Books · Golden Age · Marvel

1954, Jan

Girls’ Life 1

Patsy Walker is a very important character, and I am missing a lot of her early stuff. Thankfully the golden age Patsy works are retconned to be fictional in-universe works of the 616 Patsy. For lack of a better tag I will tag it simply as 616, but know she doesn’t really appear until the 60s.

Mr. Walker comes home and is greeted by the sound of loud music, and is told it is Patsy and her friends, who are there to study. He complains he has had a long day and wants his wife to get rid of them. She refuses, saying he had gotten them into this mess that morning when Patsy had asked if she could have friends over that morning and he had overridden his wife’s refusal. She tells him, he must get rid of them if he truly wishes it.

He goes to his daughter’s room and finds himself greeted enthusiastically, and given much thanks for him allowing them to come over. Unable to kick them out after that he comes up with a new idea. The next day he offers to help them with their studies, having prepared a room for it. Cunningly Buzz Baxter asks him about a Dr. Himmelhock, causing the man to search for hours until he is told by his wife that he is the dentist who just opened shop in town.

Comic Books · Golden Age · Marvel

1954, Jan

Kid Colt Outlaw 33

A Marshall who has been hunting Colt for a long ass time finally catches up to him and has the boy in his sights before he’s even awake. He wouldn’t have gotten him if Colt hadn’t been on the runs from other law seekers for three days straight. He is cuffed and his guns are taken. The Marshall was vigilant, knowing just how good Colt was, but he was so focused on his prey his missed the landslide. Colt saved the man’s life with one swift movement, and to the shocked inquiry as to why, Colt replied that he had grown fond of the Marshall over the years.

They continued their trek to Colt’s future cell, with him being a model prisoner. But the Marshall fell asleep briefly and when he woke Colt was gone. He wondered why he was still alive, and thought Colt was aiming to kill him when he came riding back, but truly he was warning the older man of natives on the warpath nearby. They fought together against their enemies until the Marshal took a bolt in the shoulder.

Standing over the prone man Colt skillfully drove off the Apaches,and then cared for the wound. Colt brought him to his town, his own bed. And when he said “Miles City, my office? You’re a blasted fool, I’m a lawman!” Colt replied, “I wasn’t remembering that, All that I remember was that you were a man.” and the Marshall let Colt stroll out of the door and retired.

2

Colt rides into a den of outlaws, for once not to wipe them out. They welcome him, which I think is odd, because one would think his feelings about most outlaws would be well-known. Anyway he’s in rough shape, not looking nearly as fresh as he usually does. He is asked to join the group, and the narrator of this piece-one of the other men in the group- figures his boss was scared of the fact he was such a good gunhand, and wanting someone he could put against him should he turn. Angry he accuses the boss of this and it’s confirmed as he asks Colt to shoot the man.

He thinks if he is killed then Colt will just kill the current boss and take over, and so he proposes that they just kill the boss right off, and not have to fight. But the boss puts a gun to the narrator, and a girl comes out of a tent and pleads with Colt to take her home. It is explained she was kidnapped and even if the ransom was paid they had no plans to bring her home. So Colt punches the boss in the face. Colt says he’s riding out with the girl, and the narrator figures he just wants all the ransom and so teams up with him to kill all the rest, planning to kill Colt when he gets a chance.

The battle done the two turn to each other and then when the reason he joined him was explained the two drew and the narrator fell. Colt left with the girl to bring her home, leaving the bodies for the crows.

Black Rider

We seem to keep starting with cliff hangers these days. Black Rider is standing across from a man, posed as if to fight a duel, with the man across from him and the caption says that the gun in his hand was empty. The instant the man begins to pull the trigger the Black Rider recalls how he came to be here.

While riding along one day BR comes across a group of arguing men, one of whom was saying he wanted out as robbin banks and rustling weren’t his idea of an adventure. Hearing this he reveals himself, and gives the men time to reach for their guns, before shooting them down. The man who had wanted to leave fought on Rider’s side, but was injured in the fight. Two of the others manage to flee while BR tends to him.

He takes the man to town and fives him up in his other identity. After he wakes the men who had fled the Rider turn up to reclaim their wayward member. Doc warned the men about taking him, told them he would protect him, but they didn’t understand the true threat this country doctor held. As they took he injured man away from Doc’s office, the man changed clothing. He rode after them and soon found the men.

We are almost to the beginning now. The man he is going to face claimed the Black Rider’s guns are cursed, and so BR agrees to use one of the man’s guns, to ensure a fair fight. They turn and Black Rider gets one off first- or would had the gun not been empty. The man laughs, but it’s his last one, as the man BR had saved shot the man in the back then, killing him instantly.

Kid Colt

These Western tales don’t like to waste time! First Panel Colt is shooting a man, who seems to be terrorizing a town, r at least trying to kill and old man. Having stopped that Colt asks what is going on is told the man he killed worked for another man named Frog, who owned a big ranch in the valley, He had driven out every other rancher, besides the elderly man.

The man says he guesses he best move on as well, but his grnason suggests Colt work for him,and runoff Frog, or at least secure the man’s land. Though the man dind’t ask Colt rode along with them back to their ranch, clearly not wanting to leave them unprotected, bu with a resigned note in his voice. When they arrive all the cattle are gone, presumably taken by Frog’s men. Colt frowns and says he’ll be back, with the herd. He rode after them, killed the thieves and brought back the cows.

Two gunmen come to the ranch to kill our boy, and when he kills one in return the woman of he house says that colt is as bad as them, and wants him off their land. Her father shuts her down though, and Colt stays. That Night Frog and his men head in to finish this. During the battle the young boy is grazed with a bullet, and his sister thinks him dead. During this time Frog leaves, either run off, or thinking he has won. Back in town Colt has followed the evil men, and finishes them, then thinking the family will be better off without him and his guns, he leaves.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Strange Adventures 40

Huh? okay this must be set before last issue as Adam’s scientist friend is alive again. They are on the roof messing with a telescope when they see the police arriving. They tell the hero and the professor that a criminal has come this way, and while they have Captain Comet there they decide to tell him about the confusing case.

A woman walked up to a man secretly transporting 250,000 in bonds and he was paralyzed and the woman took the briefcase and walked away. Apparently the man is only now becoming able to move again. Comet seems to think there is a connection between the woman and a nova that had just occurred. So he goes to look over the exploding star again. While there he sees a spider bathed in he radiation of the nova. When he turns his back we see the Spider become the woman.

Later he comes across the woman as she is fleeing from another theft of hers. She attempts to paralyze Comet as she had done with the bank man, but he is no normal human and is able to fight through it. He follows her to his friends house, but the only thing in the room is a spider. By pure instinct he knows it isn’t a normal spider and watches as it changes from spider to lizard to woman to a floating brain. She tells him her tale, of how she had been just a normal spider, but the radiation of the nova- heightened by the professor’s machine- had changed her.

While she had been talking Comet was under the ray that had changed her, and he too changed into a brain. She wants to rule the world with him. They will themselves back to human form, and he tells her he would like her better in prettier clothes and so sends her out to shop while he configures the machine to reverse the process. When she returns she is changed back into her true form.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Jan

Superboy 30

A giant turtle decides the Mayor’s back tire would be a good snack, delaying his departure to work. Superboy sees the man’s dilemma and comes to help. He comes by and promises to bring the turtle back to the man who bred it, and school teacher named Willis. Willis is saddened by the fact that no one in Smallville is pleased with his growth serum, and have plans to move out of town.

We jump forward two years and Willis and his wife perish just after he has perfected his serum, leaving their child alone on the island they had moved to. Hungry and unwatched the babe drinks the serum. Eventually the child sees a city on he main land and strides across the ocean to it. When Superboy hears of the boy playing with a ship in the bay he rushes over, seeing the airforce, waiting for an opening, once the ship is safe. Superboy has another plan though and he has the giant let go of the boat in favor of a spinning (and empty) ferris wheel, he then deflects the attacks, asking to be let to take care of the situation himself.

Superboy makes a giant mirror and leads the child further into the mainland, to a place he can make into a play pen for the boy. As they pass the boy accidentily destroy’s the mayor’s barn, and angry he rounds up a posse to take out the giant. Meanwhile Clark traps the child in a canyon and heads out to find Willis, who he thinks must be behind this. Finding the parents dead and the notes destroyed Superboy drinks the serum to learn it’s full effects. The posse begins to blow the barrier he had put up to keep the child inside. It scares the poor boy, who goes running into Smallville.

He calms with the cool new sights and picks up a house and a train, with some people. Just then Superboy, as large as the child, flys in and lands next to him. Happily he gives his toys to Superboy, just as a normal child will hand you random objects. The posse is heading home when they find a small child in the hills and the mayor decides to adopt it, not knowing it was the giant he tried to kill not an hour before. Also we see that there is a giant Superboy robot. Then he comes home and tells his parents the story.

2

Clark is minding the store one day when a man, in a huge hurry comes in and calls Clark Superboy, and says he needs him to follow him. Clark protests being called Superboy, especially since Lana is right there, and the man pulls out a photo of Clark changing into the hero. He is told that a classmate of his took the photo, and was no in danger. Clark said he’d come with, as Henry was his classmate and he didn’t want him in danger from the ‘trick’ photograph. Lana of course comes with. Apparently Henry had taken another man’s photo, and he had broken in to steal it back, and had gotten the one of Clark instead.

Clark manages to have Lana leave, by making a fire alarm go off in a store as they passed, and asking her to call the police, so he is able to speak freely with Henry. Clark is able to cast doubt upon the picture of him changing identities, by suggesting that Henry had accidentally double exposed the film, by accident, and as the shot was taken in the dark Henry hadn’t seen the change himself. Still he said he wanted to help and asked Henry to show him the photo the man had meant to steal.

Before it could be shown though, a gang of crook came in and held them at gunpoint. Inhaling sharply Clark caused a downdraft in the chimney, and filled the room with smoke so he could run the crooks into each other and knock them out. They question the men when they wake and find it is a third man who hired them. But the picture showed nothing out of the ordinary. Clark offered to hold on to it, as the man was sure to think he was Superboy, and fear taking it.

Instead he came in, to blackmail Clark, as our hero had hoped. But Lana, who came into the store just then, stole the photo, and fled. Lana headed to a train, and Superboy secretly hindered the man by busting a pipe before him. The man calls into someone else and he plans to unhook the car Lana is on. Clark leeches the power from the train via the third rail and makes it stop before it reaches where a man waits. Lana explains her tale, and he police get called in and they find he man in the photo is supposed to be dead, and some of his men had even gotten insurance money from his ‘death’.

All those who gained from the death were brought in, and they broke quickly, letting the police know where the ‘dead’ man was. Superboy flew to the location, having been listening to everything as it occurred and burned up the negative with his x-ray vision.

3

We star by seeing a newspaper, proudly proclaiming Superboy’s victory against a group of criminals the day before, and mentions he had saved a classmate of Clark’s. Well the boy, Tommy Tuttle had his own things to say- namely that he had helped Superboy, and he begins his tale. Here the narration and the actual panels differ greatly, mostly just to make Tommy seem braver.. He and Clark had been walking together, and Clark sees a crime taking place leaves to ‘get the police’. Before Superboy can arrive the crooks come down and capture Tuttle as a hostage.

Clark saved the boy by lifting a bridge as the criminals reached it, causing them to leave the car. Superboy finds a layout for the crime on one of the men and concludes that it had been made by the Crime Professor, a man who used his great intelligence to form and sell crimes to lesser men. The next day Tuttle got involved in the case again, when he happens to check out a book from the library that I’m guessing something was hidden inside, else-wise why would they capture a little kid?

They take Tommy with them on their job, and once more Superboy showed up and saved him. Having been listening to this tale Superboy also thought there was something odd about the second gang grabbing Tuttle, and went to look for the book. Not finding it outside he rushes through the library and finds it there, and then confronts the librarian, who is evidently the Crime Prof, and he had hidden the plan in the book.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Marvel Family 89

Last Issue. Next time we see any characters of earth-s will be in the 70s, which won’t be for a long while. It is a real shame, since I adore the Marvel family, but we must look forward to what we will be getting soon, and currently have, instead of what we are losing.

1

Billy is deep under the sea, bringing his viewers images of the reefs of the Caribbean sea. He watches as a professor goes down in a suit, and finds a temple with an inscription warning people not to enter. Naturally he ignores this, and as he moves to leave with a vase like thing the arm of a giant statue begins to fall upon him. Billy sees and so do his sister and best friend, up on the ship. They call out their words and race down to help. The temple collapses while Mary Marvel and Jr save the prof. They also manage to bring out the vase, upon which is another warning, saying that should it be opened the dark curse would strike them all.

To look for any traps the thing is x-rayed, and the kids return to the deck. They come up with nothing but then the man who retrieved the item fell over board, as he had been struck blind. Later Cap had to save him from falling boxes. Scared of the curse the man’s partner refused to be the one to present the urn on tv to a museum, So Cap offers to do so. But terror strikes during the presentation, when a model of a whale starts to fall on the crowd. But the show goes on, and they find the urn is full of jewels. Happy the professor says he’ll donate them to the museum, and that it was worth loosing his sight.

But, they were only glass. There was another message on the bottom however, saying that the curse would only keep away the ignorant, and those brave enough to open the vase were welcome to their treasure. Cap then announces that the partner was really responsible for the accidents and blindness, as he was the one who x-rayed the urn, and so  knew what was inside, and that he had switched the jewels for fakes while the Marvels were busy with the whale. He tries to flee, even setting a fire in the museum, but he is easily caught by our heroes and sent to jail.

2

We open with Professor Edgewise who is working on some new theory. He said he’d be home for Supper, but when the time comes he is no where to be found. So the kids go  looking for him. But when they are supposed to meet up, Mary is now gone as well. Figuring something is up the boys transform and preform a more thorough search. However they find nothing, and when they return home, they find only Mrs Wagner remains. They report to the police and then find even their landlady to be gone. Jr changes back into Freddy in order to be bait for who or whatever is making their housemates vanish, while Cap hides.

Soon there is a figure standing over Freddy, but it isn’t a foe, only Professor Edgewise, returned safe and hale. He explained he had forgotten where he lived. Freddy says that explains the ever forgetful professor, but not the others. Just then in walk Mary, Leroy, and all the rest. They say they too forgot where they lived and Edgewise says his memory spray had broken, and instead of helping people’s memories, it wiped them. Cap wonders why it didn’t get Freddy and Billy, but dismisses it. They follow their cop housemate on his rounds and Billy and Freddy change to fight some crooks, but Mary doesn’t. She says after all, there are only two, she is hardly needed.

They ask her to return the stolen wares, but they are later told it was never received. Billy speculates that maybe Mary is still being affected by the memory potion and forgot about it. So he and Freddy go to get the jewels from her room and when Mary comes in they try to comfort her that they know the truth, but saying this makes her attack them.

She fails to kill them and then jumps out a window. Jr saves her, bemoaning that the potion must have snapped her mind. Billy cries over his sister’s fate. Sadly they bring her to a mental hospital, only for her to break out. Noticing that none of his housemates are eating, and when a cigarette burns down to Red’s fingers he doesn’t feel the burn Billy becomes suspicious. Sneaking back with Freddy he sees them all drinking oil and fixing up their gears as they are really robots! He turns to Freddy, and notices that his friend doesn’t have his crutch. When he points this out the fake lashes out.

Knocked out and tied up Billy is helpless as they gather all the money in the house and bring it and the prone boy to their master. When he first arrives Billy thinks it is the real Edgewise who is the villain, but he is only being used for his lifelike robots by an evil janitor. He plans to slowly replace many rich people, and leech their earning to himself. They transfer Billy’s memories to the robot of him and then the fake swings an axe at our boy!

But Edgewise has ‘forgotten’ to screw in the arms correctly, giving Billy time to free himself while he fixes him. When the robot returns to kill Billy he finds Earth’s Mightiest Mortal instead. But threatened with the killing of his housemates, Cap flees. He returns as Billy to try to free them, but is captured. Just before the fiend can shoot the bound and gagged prisoners the Kids charge him, untransformed. They make it past them and dive into a river, making the janitor think them dead, but they freed their mouths and came back in fighting form.

They destroy the bots, but their master escapes. When he tries to capture Edgewise again, the three are ready, and take the man in.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Superman 86

Clark, Lois, and Perry are in London, about to open a new branch there, and the older man is scoffing at a tale in another paper about a dragon. He says they would never publish a false tale like that, and Clark pipes up about, what if it’s not fake? He is laughed at and told if he ever brings in a story about a dragon he would be fired on the spot. The real story, according to Perry is a jousting tournament, put on by the descendants of famous knights.

Because all the details remain the same among-st the witnesses, Clark wants to investigate the dragon tale, but worries that his co-workers might wonder why Superman was in England. Clark hears some of the knights saying that they want to seek out the dragon as well, and so he challenges one of the knights, and of course wins. This allows him to become one of their group, and he goes with them to search for the beast.

They soon find claw marks upon the ground, and the dragon appears. In order to protect the knights Clark steps forward and his armor is melted from his invulnerable body when it breathes flame on him. But stray flame burned one of his comrades and so he rushes him to a hospital after trapping the dragon with a large canyon around it. But when it rains the creature is able to swim across the gap and is free.

In his delirium the knight mutters about Superman’s identity and reveals it to Lois and Perry. Clark has no time to come up with a story, as he must go fight a dragon. While he does this task, sidetracked by putting out fires and the like, they write-up the story. The dragon breaks into a museum and perishes next to bones that look like itself. Superman says that it was a prehistoric beast and the added carbon dioxide caused the flaming breath and instinct made it want to die next to its kin.

He was able to clear up the reveal of his identity by stealing a wax figure of Clark they had made to fit his armor, so the real Clark wouldn’t have to stay there. Thinking Superman hid inside the wax figure, in order to help his friend, his identity was safe.

2

Perry White wakes from a nightmare to Superman fighting, well is it really fighting when Superman is going after regular crooks? I don’t think so.. So I guess I’ll saw he was swooping down to catch them and being shot at. So he runs to the office to write-up the story, just as Clark dons his less colorful suit and does the same. To their shock they find Jimmy Olsen, (eeeeeeeee! Jimmy has been around, but this is his first month as a named character, and I am super excited) the cub reporter of the Daily Planet is now the editor. Lois explains that it’s just for a day, as it’s boy’s day when all the jobs are given to kids so they can learn how they are.

Clark types up the Superman story for Perry and then the two are called in to the editor’s office by Jimmy. As the town is pretty quiet right then Jimmy suggests that the two look into an old unsolved case that took place exactly seven years ago. As the statute of limitations would end tomorrow, Jimmy wanted them to solve it by then. He gives Clark the photos of the crime, and tells him to run the plates. Lois was in charge of the only witness and Perry was to look in the jewelry stores to see if  the stolen goods had been sold.

I think it was a tad silly that he switches to Superman to check on the plates, but I suppose he could just say Clark asked him to. He finds that one of the cars at the scene belonged to a criminal known as Snipe. Lois meanwhile has located the witness siting at the same table in a bar with Snipe! Blinded by anger and a need for justice she tells him that he is nothing but a crook and she bets his testimony was fake. But, she doesn’t have the strength or training to resist when they capture her. (Lois Lane, Karate Champ. I want it.) Still she does have a super (boy)friend, and he spots her as the crooks are about to throw her-bound and gagged- into the sea.

He saves Lois and gets the story confirmed that the ‘witness’ was a member of the gang, as was Snipe. The jewels had yet to be recovered though, so Superman headed out to see if Perry found anything. The usual editor was tired, and sore, and he’d been looking at the photos of the gems for so long he knew them each by heart. And so when one of them was right under his nose he knew it at once and headed out to the paper. The owner of the store where Perry found the jewel was run by a member of the gang though, and when Perry arrived to tell Jimmy what he had learned, they were both held at gunpoint.

He didn’t want to kill them, just hold them til the statute of limitations expired. Superman located his friends and, seeing their predicament blew Chloroform through the air system and put them to sleep. When they awoke they found themselves handcuffed and being brought to jail by boy police officers.

3

It was a normal day at the Planet, with Lois printing a story praising the man of steel, with Perry’s approval. The next day though things started going wrong. It started small, with a picture being changed into something ridiculous. Then Perry went to investigate the type machine which was spitting out sardine cans. When he exclaimed in shock the thing spoke! “Someone – Please- Get Superman at Once!” he calls and so Clark sheds his over clothes and asks his help. Before Superman can speak a voice comes from thin air, and says Superman is too stupid to explain anything.

Mr. Mxyzptlk appears and tells Perry he will continue to give the Planet a hard time til they retract the lie that Superman is the greatest person to have ever lived. He was, and he wanted that in print. Perry says he’ll think on it, and then begs Supes to get the imp to go home. Forming a plan Superman challenges Mxy to do better than him in  a series of tests. Superman smashed a rock, and Mxy changes another into rockcandy.  Superman collects an entire crop of grapes, and Mxy changes them to grapefruits, which cost more. Superman then unearths an old temple, claiming only he could possibly read the runes upon it. He ‘translates’ the first word and almost gets Mxy to say the second, but he catches himself in time.

Returning to the Planet Perry flatly refuses Mxy, and he leaves, saying he’s gonna put out his own paper and out sell the Planet. Perry tries not to worry, though he should, as Mxy has access to the fourth dimension, and  is able to print news from the next day. Crimes are stopped before they happen, stock is bought at great profit, and weather is watched with greater knowledge. But as many good things as it did, it did just as many bad. Knowing this has to stop Superman gathers up a bunch of goose feathers (?) and then changes the feed of future news to the printer.

Next Paper he puts out says that Mxy is going to become a laughing-stock, and when he leaves his office he sees everyone is indeed laughing at him. After circling the globe to find the same results everywhere he leaves. Superman explains to his friends that he used super speed to tickle everyone as Mxy came near them.