House of Secrets #81 (Aug.-Sept., 1969)

As I’ve written in several previous posts, I was something of a wuss as a kid, at least when it came to my choices in entertainment.  (Oh, who do I think I’m kidding?  I was an all-around, all-purpose wuss.)  To put it plainly, I was scared of being scared.

So I pretty much eschewed all forms of scary media: horror movies, eerie TV shows, spooky comic books… you get the idea.*  That is, until a friend took me gently by the hand (metaphorically speaking) and showed me that a walk through the cemetery at midnight could actually be kind of fun.  Read More

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Atom #32 (Aug.-Sept., 1967)

Like Wonder Woman, the Atom was one of the last of the Justice League of America members with their own book whose solo adventures I decided to give a try.  I’m not sure exactly what took me so long to get around to gambling twelve cents on the Mighty Mite — his book was another Julius Schwartz-edited book, after all, regularly featuring the art of Gil Kane, whose work I’d been enjoying on Green Lantern since the fall of 1965.  My best guess is that I simply hadn’t been that impressed with the Atom in most of the JLA adventures I’d read featuring him.  Let’s face it — in a team featuring heavy hitters like Superman and Green Lantern, it could be difficult for even the cleverest comic book storytellers, such as JLA scripter Gardner Fox and his editor Schwartz, to find ways for a six-inch hero to shine — and, with the notable exception of 1966’s Justice League-Justice Society twopart team-up story, in which the Atom played a decisive role in helping to save both Earth-One and Earth-Two, the Tiny Titan tended to fade (or perhaps shrink) into the background.   Read More

The Brave and the Bold #64 (Feb.-March, 1966)

I’ve mentioned DC’s The Brave and the Bold  in a couple of earlier posts.  This comic got its start in 1955 as the home for a variety of historical adventure series, starring swashbuckling heroes like the Viking Prince, the Golden Gladiator, Robin Hood, and the Silent Knight.  Later, it became a tryout book, showcasing new characters and concepts that could be spun off into their own series if their “pilot” issue sold well enough.  In this iteration, the book saw the first appearances of the Suicide Squad, the “Silver Age” Hawkman, Metamorpho, and (most successfully) the Justice League of America.  With its 50th issue, however, the book began a transition towards becoming a one-off team-up comic, with a rotating roster of (normally) two characters sharing cover-billing.  My own first issue of The Brave and the Bold, #64, was the second to feature one of DC’s two most popular heroes, Batman, as one of the two headliners; over the next eighteen years, however, it would be succeeded by 132 more such team-ups starring the Caped Crusader.  It was thus a typical issue of the series in terms of what was to come, if not what had gone before.  Read More