Kurt Schaffenberger: The Definitive Lois Lane Artist of the Silver Age

Excellent look at one of the best Superman artists of all time!

In My Not So Humble Opinion

Welcome to the latest round of Super Blog Team-Up. We actually have TWO topics this time, “What If?” and Creators. I decided to spotlight a creator, because coming up with “What If” scenarios for how certain comic book stories could (or should) have gone is just too depressing. (What if Armageddon 2001 had used the original planned ending where Monarch was revealed to be Captain Atom? Sheesh, don’t get me started, we’ll be here all day!)

*AHEM!* So which comic book creator am I going to be spotlighting? The answer is Kurt Schaffenberger.

Kurt Schaffenberger, whose career stretched from 1941 to 1995, was born on December 15, 1920, meaning that TODAY is the 100th anniversary of his birth. I could not think of a more appropriate creator to blog about.

Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #42 (July 1963) written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger

Much…

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Comic Book’s Unsung Heroes! Steve Gerber!

 

Trapped in a world he never made, Steve Gerber was a writer that not only made his mark with his idiosyncratic style, but if you really dig deep, and explore his work, you’ll see a talent and love for the medium of comic books that was second to none. When Marvel fired Gerber after he threatened a law suit over Howard the Duck, it would’ve been easy for him to pack up and go home. Instead he kept fighting, and stayed in the business. But, most would say what he did before that time was his best work, and I would agree. Welcome to #SuperBlogTeamUp (image by @Charlton_Hero)!

 

 

When Steve Gerber came to New York in 1972, he didn’t show up with a portfolio of ideas and pitch them to Roy Thomas. All he did was take the Marvel writers test, and he was in. At first, he was just a fill in writer, but he eventually made his way to Daredevil and Submariner. He injected some wild characters and elements not seen before into those books, and this is something he’d become known for as the years went by. Alongside Gene Colan, he left his mark on DD (not the level of Frank Miller, but definitely a fun, well remembered run).

Later in 1972, Gerber scripted Adventure into Fear 11, his first shot at the character Man-Thing. This story was more akin to the Marvel horror books of the times, though, but certainly well scripted. In the next issue, we see Gerber as most remember him. Tackling the subject of racism (and for the early 1970s was nothing to over look), Gerber shows not just the evil of the subject, but an extremely good story that makes you think from a different perspective, which is always a good thing. Issue 12 really set the tone for Gerber’s work going forward, as he wrote a story about a hardcore racist and his killing of a black man (excellently rendered by Jim Starlin and Rich Buckler). Not a pleasant ending to this story, which drives his message home even more. His run on Man-Thing is my personal favorite of his works. The way he used a character that cannot speak, along with the framing characters (Richard Rory, who resembles Roy Thomas, Jenifer Kale, etc.) to tell all sorts of different stories is amazing. Oh, and he wrote two other characters that couldn’t speak (or rarely did in Simon Garth, the Zombie and The Living Mummy). This is something I can’t ever recall another writer even coming close to doing at his level.

 

 

Another story of note concerning the Man-Thing, is “Night of the Laughing Dead” (issues 5 and 6 of his own volume one series). The story is pretty deep and focuses on subjects ranging from religion to parental neglect and abuse. Again, heavy subjects, but Gerber uses a Swamp Monster, hippies, and circus performers to tell this must-read story. Steve even wrote himself into a Man-Thing story (Man-Thing 22, volume 1), and it was glorious (image below)!

 

Marvel started a team title in 1972, with a few heavy hitters. Dr. Strange, Hulk, Submariner, and the Silver Surfer adorned the pages of The Defenders. The title had a few different creative teams for the first nineteen issues, but once Gerber took the reigns (issue 20), the title emphatically took off. Over the next twenty-two issues, he’d write some superhero stories (crossover with the original Guardians of the Galaxy), another one about racism (Sons of the Serpent), and two stories that most consider quite insane (The Headmen and Nebulon and the Bozos).  Of course, insanity for one person is entertainment for the other. I fall in the category of the latter.

Most will cite Howard the Duck as Gerber’s crowning achievement, and I’m not enough of an authority to argue any different. That character is certainly the one that he had on many occasions given the impression (or said right out) was his favorite. I’m still trying to obtain everything he’s ever written but that’s going to take some time. But I’ll definitely consider it time well spent. Thanks, Steve, for all the great comic books.

 

 

Steve passed away in 2008, but his legacy and wit still lives on today, as many writers that have come since sing his praises. He was posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, and received the Bill Finger Award. If you’ve never read any comics by Steve Gerber, do yourself a favor, and give one a try!

 

Please take a look at the other contributors to this round of Super Blog Team-Up! Check out “Creators” and “What IF.” Enjoy!

 

The Tell-Tale Mind  Arak: Son of Thunder – A Lost Adventure

The Superhero Satellite- What If Peter Parker had become Speedball instead of Spider-Man?

Dave’s Comic Heroes – Blue Devil Creation

Between the Pages – Scrooge McDuckTales Woo-oo!

Comics Comics Comics…-Sergio Aragones!

In My Not So Humble Opinion-Kurt Schaffenberger, the definitive Lois Lane artist of the Silver Age.

Source Material – What If Captain Confederacy

Comic Reviews by Walt – What if the Ultraverse Had Continued?

Pop Culture Retrorama – What If The Sinister Dr. Phibes Had Been Produced!

 

Weird War Tales 90, 1980 “Will the Reich Be Reborn from the Grave?”

Hey everybody, just a quick interlude to tell you that for the very first time, Magazines and Monsters has a guest blogger! That’s right, someone other than yours truly will be at the helm of the blog this week, and I couldn’t be more excited! This person needs no introduction, but, well, since it’s his first time, I’ll let you know who it is anyway. This week’s blog post is brought to you by none other than the man behind the Longbox of Darkness podcast, Herman Louw! A little hint before I go on, that you can always check the links on the sidebar of the blog for other fun websites and podcasts including the LoD podcast! Alright, here we go!

Ah, War Comics Month. Lieber Gott, how I have missed you. I wish you could be mein forever. I always hate to bid you auf wiedersehen…

Alright, let’s get serious for a minute here, folks – WAR is nothing to joke about, even in a bad German accent. It’s a harrowing experience for those involved, one that will grind your soul to powder and will almost certainly turn you into a glassy-eyed PTSD zombie if you survive it, or into bloody chunks of meat if you don’t. But you know all this already, don’t you? At least, you would if you’ve been reading Magazines and Monsters for the last few weeks. After all, Billy has been posting write-ups of scintillating WEIRD WAR TALES issues from DC Comics’ Bronze Age pretty regularly of late. And no, before you ask, I am not the esteemed Mister Billy D, Blogmaster Supreme. I’m his podcasting pal Herman from INTO THE WEIRD and The Longbox of Darkness, guest-blogging to commemorate the end of yet another momentous month of comic reading. And what an honor it is to have a post of mine published on Magazines & Monsters, which has been one of my favorite blogs since 2018.

So why, if I’m supposed to be bringing my A-game and making a good impression as a first-time blogger on the site did I choose to start this post with such a flippant and callous statement? After all, WAR is something that should NOT be sought after or enjoyed. So why do so many of us love the hell out of #WarComicsMonth?

Well, the answer to that question is simply this: stories of WAR make for some damn fine comics. Movies too, but that’s a whole other post in the making. And the issue of WWT that I picked for your delectation is certainly no exception to the rule. For those blessed few who have listened to my horror podcast The Longbox of Darkness, you’d know that DC’s WEIRD WAR TALES is my absolute favorite horror anthology comic book. I place it higher than even such titans as EC’s Tales From The Crypt, Warren’s CREEPY, DC’s The House of Mystery, and Marvel’s VAMPIRE TALES. The title has been with me since I first started reading comics as a snot-nosed five-year old, and hopefully I’ll still be reading an issue of it when I check out of this life at the ripe old age of 99.

So without further preamble, let’s look at the cover of the issue I’ve chosen. Feel free to drool over some Joe Kubert splendor while you’re at it.

 

 

This is one of Kubert’s most effective covers, as it not only draws you in with the mystery of that bright red Nazi coffin and the pale clawed and gnarled hands opening the lid from within, but also with what it implies. (Just who exactly is in that coffin? Could it be Herr H… Nah!) The expressions on the faces of the sailors are enough to drive the terror home. This definitely won’t be an ordinary voyage, Weird War Lovers.

Before we get into the gist of it, I do have to mention the creative teams involved in this particular story, entitled “Beyond Gotterdammerung”. I specifically selected this issue because blog host Billy loves writer Zany Bob Haney, and this is one of his finest stories. E.R. Cruz supplies the art, and he’s no slouch either. Romeo Tanghal provides the opening splash of WWT Horror Host DEATH who imparts some chillingly resonant comments on the nature of Soldiers and the weapons they wield. Drink in the haunting words and images of these creators, dear readers… and despair!

 

 

 

For anyone familiar with Bram Stoker’s novel DRACULA or the Francis Ford Coppola film, you might remember The Demeter, the Russian sailing ship that carried the dreaded Count from his homeland of Wallachia to Port Whitby in England. You might also recall what happened to the hapless crew of that ship, and how the vessel finally arrived at its destination, spattered with gore and bereft of life, a dead navigator tied to the rudder with a look of hellish fear stamped on his dead features. I daresay after reading the story by Haney that he must have had the Demeter at the forefront of his mind, because the crew of U-Boat 239 suffers almost the exact same fate as those that manned the doomed Demeter.

After learning from an admiral that Germany is kaput, and receiving instructions to ferry precious cargo in the form of a coffin from Europe to South America, Lieutenant Hegel and his faithful crew set off across the Atlantic, avoiding Allied ships, depth charges, sea mines, and submarine nets. Hegel has been given a letter by the admiral who gave him his mission, a letter pertaining to the sinister scarlet coffin onboard, but one that must only be opened when they’ve reached their destination.

 

 

When U-239 enters the open sea Hegel becomes aware of sinister happenings on his ship. Crew members start turning up dead, apparent victims of either suicide, horrific machinery accidents, or violent arguments. Not a superstitious man, Hegel thinks nothing of this and writes it off as depression triggered by despair at Germany’s loss, or something akin to survivors guilt. He couldn’t be more wrong.

 

 

 

Hegel soon comes upon a stowaway on his ship. When he realizes the identity of this stowaway the shock is almost too much to bear. The scene eventually culminates in a Sieg Heil from Hegel as he looks upon the face of Germany’s great dictator. Mein Gott, der Führer has returned! Rassistisches Schwein!!

 

 

The Führer explains his presence, and Hegel believes every word. That is, until he observes good old Adolf munching on his last crewman’s jugular before tossing his victim overboard like so much sharkbait. Auf wiedersehen, Blutwurst!

 

 

After witnessing this fresh horror, Hegel has no choice but to open the envelope and read the letter the admiral had given him. In it he learns of the last hope of Germany, the immortality formula of the sinister Dr. Schlosser, and the resurrection of history’s greatest evil. Hegel also comes to realize that he and his crew were more than ferrymen for the Führer, they were also meant to be his vittles. 

 

 

No longer content to be a mere walking bloodbag, Hegel fashions a wooden stake and goes against all his Nazi indoctrination and national pride by ramming it into the Führer’s heart repeatedly, thereby ensuring the irredeemable dictator’s second, and hopefully permanent, death. Wracked with hopelessness and horror, Hegel turns his Luger on himself, and sprawls lifelessly across the twice-dead corpse of his Leader. He died alone, but at least he died with dignity.

 

 

The story leaves us with a final twist, as is to be expected of the best stuff Weird War Tales had to offer. As it turns out, the coffin transported by Leutnant Hegel and his brave crew was not the only one! This revelation comes from the mouth of the evil Dr. Schlosser himself, as he prepares to take possession of an entire row of red boxes, dragged up from the holds of deserted U-Boats that mysteriously glided into a South American port…

 

 

And that’s it, monster-obsessed ones. I hope you had as much fun reading this post as I had writing it. Make the most of War Comics Month, and get out there and read some great comics set during the time of mankind’s greatest conflicts. Not because you love WAR, but rather because you realize how precious our lives are as we experience these horrors vicariously through the eyes of fictional characters. That’s one way to deal with all the nightmares, right? Until next year -Herman

Huge thanks to Herman for pinch-hitting this week! This concludes #warcomicmonth, but definitely look for it next year and every year in November!

 

Halloween Spectacular! Featuring DC comics “The Witching Hour!”

I really struggled with this year’s Halloween blog post at first. Typically I know well in advance what material I want to spotlight for Halloween, but 2020 was different (heh). In this issue of The Witching Hour, we get a ton of content, as this is a Super Spectacular 100 page issue! All started off by a fantastic cover by Nick Cardy! Thirteen unlucky stories reside within these pages (not counting the intro/outro), so there’s no time to waste pontificating!

 

 

First up, we have “Makers of the Mist.” This is a tale of a cursed village, and an unspeakable evil that resides in the nearby mountains! Written by Gerry Conway, with art by Murphy Anderson and letters by Irv Watanabe! Fun little tale, but the ending doesn’t really fit a horror book. Awesome art by Anderson, though.

 

 

Til Death Do Us Join,” is a very strange tale involving grave robbers, and one in particular that marries…a corpse? Written by Bob “Zany” Haney, and art by Pat Boyette (he did a lot of work for Charlton).

 

 

The next story, “The Ever Constant Drum” shows a slave trader in Africa that winds up on the wrong (or right) side of the whip! Story by David Kaler, art by Reginald and Stanley Pitt.

 

 

In “Save the Last Dance for Me,” we see a millionaire and former Broadway star that has a bad attitude and an incredibly awful moral compass, named Thurgood Trapley. He’s paid a scientist/inventor to invent a time machine. The man actually does it and we see the future which shows some wild scenes, one of which shows Trapley fighting a Dalek (not kidding here). Written by Denny O’Neil, with art by Pay Boyette.

 

 

The next story is called “Eternal Hour.” In this one we have a haunted clock tower, a diminutive person, and a shock ending! Written, penciled and inked by Alex Toth!

 

 

This next story might have the greatest name in the history of comic books. “The Perfect Surf or How to Make Waves Without Really Trying!” A fun tale that ends in a hilarious way! I can’t help but think of Point Break when I read this one! Art by Jack Sparling.

 

 

On to “The Man with the Stolen Eyes.” This Golden/Silver Age reprint (1956) has no creator credits, but is a gem of a story. Reminiscent of the EC comics stories of the time, it involves a blind man that uses bribery to get his sight back, but eventually, regrets it!

 

 

Other than inks by George Roussos, this is another tale with credits that are tough to find. “Brush with Death”  -Is there such a thing as a haunted painting? Well, after you read this story, you will believe!

 

 

Another reprint is upon us, and “Dream Girl” is one for the ages. A wizard, an occult convention, and a man obsessed with a vision of a woman he’s in love with are the subject of this wild one! Art by Bob Brown and Jim Mooney, with letters by Artie Simek.

 

 

Mildred is our host for this next story. “The Demon in the Mirror” is more of a standard horror story from the time (1952). A hood is taken out by a regular Joe, but he vows revenge by any means possible! Written by Robert Kanigher, art by Alex Toth and Sy Barry, with letters by Gaspar Saladino!

 

 

The Phantom Ship” is about a crook who’s breaking into cabins aboard a ship and looting them. He then slips on the deck and falls into the ocean. What happens after that is absolutely ghastly! Art by George Papp.

 

 

In the penultimate story “Round Trip to the Past,” Cynthia (the host) tells us about a man who inherits some antiques, one piece of which is a diary that tells a spooky tale about a wizard from the year 1297! Art by George Papp, and letters by Artie Simek.

 

 

Finally, we get “Trail of the Lucky Coin!” According to legend, if you find the lucky coin and then give it away to someone, you’ll be brought luck! A bus load of people that end up in a crash might not feel very lucky, though! Writer, Jack Miller, pencils by Mort Drucker, letters by Gaspar Saladino.

 

 

 

Tower of Shadows 8, 1970 “They Lurk Within the Tomb!”

Rolling into week three of my Halloween coverage, this book is an interesting one. First and foremost because the lead story isn’t even (really) horror. But that’s getting ahead of things. The first five issues of this series were all new material, but then it changed to a mixed bag including reprints after that until the last issue (9). This specific issue has only one new story, but it’s a good one! And the reprints are nothing to scoff at either. The creators in this book are outstanding, real storytellers that have a track record for awesome output. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the cover is by a master like Bernie Wrightson either!

The first story is called “Sanctuary.” It’s about a warrior king named Hamand, who has just conquered a mystical land known as Cybernia (an REH reference?). He seems to have overtaken all the foreign forces, but there is one thing he didn’t count on, and that is sorcery! This crazy sword and sorcery yarn was written, penciled and inked by Wally Wood! He does an excellent job with this quasi-Arthurian tale, and I feel as though the story and art jump off of the page and right into my mind. This is definitely one of my favorite stories by Wood. Letters by Artie Simek.

The next story is one of those quirky stories from the Atlas Age (pre-Marvel Age, 1961). In “Behold! I Am the Master of Time!,” a antique shop owner decides to use an ancient book of black magic to build an occult time machine! He’s going to try and steal antiquities from centuries past to keep his business afloat, but he didn’t count on his machine running on electricity, which doesn’t exist in the 18th century! Art by Steve Ditko (no writer credits found).

Next up is “I Found the Hidden World!” A man awakens from a nightmare, then thinks to himself about a horrible day he had recently when he discovered a portal to another world that’s inhabited by monstrous looking creatures! Written by Stan Lee (or Larry Lieber) with art by Don Heck!

Lastly we get “My Touch Means Doom!” A young man needs to scare up some cash quickly for an operation for his wife. He devises a plan to rob a bank. He evades the police but crashes near a radioactive test site. He begins to glow and anything he touches immediately dies! Can he escape the authorities and get the money to the hospital? Or does he even need to? Written by Stan Lee (or possibly Larry Lieber), with art by Don Heck!

Well, there you have it! A super cool sword and sorcery story by the legend himself, Woody, a strange tale by Sturdy Steve, and a double dose of Dashing Don Heck (at his best as far as creepiness)! Another week and another horror comic! Stay tuned as next week there shall be even more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daredevil 61, 1969 “Trapped by the Trio of Doom!”

I feel like its been quite a long time since I spotlighted a Daredevil book. I grabbed this one recently, and of course it features art by a certain favorite artist of mine! Not only that, but the villain in this issue are off the chain! The cool cover is by none other than Marie Severin and Joe Sinnott!

The story begins with Cobra and Hyde as they’re committing a robbery at the Guggenheim Museum! They mention a partner that is also doing the same on the other side of town. The scene switches to Daredevil, as he’s calling it a night from superheroing, to spend some time with his lady, Karen. The two go out to a club, but Karen isn’t having a good time, as she’s recently learned about Matt’s secret alter-ego, and can’t deal with it. The waiter tells them about the excitement at the museum, so Matt tells Karen it’s time for the date to end. He swings into action, and quickly tracks down the thieving duo. He’s caught off guard though, as their partner, The Jester is there as well!

The story by Roy Thomas isn’t the deepest one he’s ever written, but it is a good bit of fun, and the pathos is there as well with the scene between Karen and Matt. The relationship that exists with Cobra and Hyde is an interesting one. Early on, it seems as though Hyde is the boss, but later on Cobra takes the lead as Hyde’s intelligence seems to waver. Either way they make a good villainous pair. Throw in a crazy character like the Jester, and you’ve got a very fun Silver Age book. The art team is one that most don’t talk about, but was an awesome combination. Gene Colan (pencils) and Syd Shores (inks), were paired together a few times, and probably because of Shores’ ability to ink the pencils of Colan. Toss in the lettering of reliable Sam Rosen, and the book is complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Superman Annual 3, 1961 “The Strange Lives of Superman!”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, crazy comics bring me quite a bit of joy. Mostly Bronze Age comics that were written with a bit of intent as far as the craziness is concerned, but also insane Silver Age stories that were intended to entertain children, but by some stroke of luck or mild intent, they also amuse me to no end. One of the characters at the top of the Silver Age list is definitely Superman. Long before Christopher Reeve donned the cape and tights, and made us believe a man could fly, writers and artists were creating stories and worlds for this character that were very wild and went in every direction. This annual is just one example of the insanity.

 

There are seven magnificent stories in this book, along with several illustrations. The best of these is a schematic of the Fortress of Solitude!

The first story, “The Super-Prisoner of Amazon Island,” doesn’t (unfortunately) feature Wonder Woman, but it does show an island full of Amazon women that have captured the Man of Steel, and are intent on auctioning him off to the highest bidder. Story by Otto Binder, art by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye.

 

Next up is “Superman’s New Face.” We see a scientist with an experiment gone awry. Superman interjects, and saves the man, but the ensuing accident scars Superman’s face badly (the explosion created tiny particles of Kryptonite). Of course he’s too embarrassed to show Lois, but she needs to find out how bad it is! Written by Edmond Hamilton, with art by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye.

 

The third installment gives us a real gem in “The Ugly Superman!” This story is a real winner for Lois, as she befriends a wrestler that dresses like Superman, but then he falls completely in love with her. He even lays a beating on Clark Kent! Written by Robert Bernstein, art by Kurt Schaffenberger.

 

The Lady and the Lion,” is up next, and this might be the gem of the book. And by gem I mean the highest concentration of insanity. In this one, Superman is duped by Circe into drinking a formula that will turn him into a lion if he doesn’t return and agree to be her mate! Written by Otto Binder, art by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye.

 

The following story is, “The Superman of the Future!” This story revolves around Superman helping a local scientist test a time machine. The machine of course has interesting side effects, and Superman growing an enormous brain (maybe) are just part of the shenanigans. Written by Otto Binder, with art by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye.

 

The Oldest Man in Metropolis” is the penultimate story in this crazy book. In this story, Superman refers to himself as “an old duffer who can hardly stand up!” We see Clark Kent doing an interview with an acclaimed scientist. The scientist tells Clark that he’s perfected a formula that will extend human life. The doctor tells him that he intends to try it himself before asking for any volunteers. Clark thinks it would be better if he takes it, because it won’t hurt Superman! He takes it and leaves, then the doctor finds the guinea pigs that he tested it on earlier, and they’ve grown old! Story by Robert Bernstein and art by Al Plastino.

 

 

Finally, we get “The Two Faces of Superman!” In this one, Lois has a blind date with a guy, but wants to chase Superman instead, so she makes herself look less than desirable, so the blind date will take her home early. He does, then the date with Superman commences, but he saw her actions with the blind date and teaches her a lesson! Written by Jerry Coleman and art by Kurt Schaffenberger.

 

 

And check out this back cover! Classic Superman for sure!

 

 

 

 

Fantastic Four 52, 1966 “The Black Panther!”

Today, in the U.S., it’s the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. I thought it fitting to spotlight a character from comics that represents a strong belief in something. We all know Reverend King certainly did, and so does T’Challa! He cares abundantly about human life (as did MLK), and the safety of his people, so much so that he’s traveled the world, fighting against evil. In this, his first appearance, we see he started out with some trickery to lure the Fantastic Four to Wakanda, in an effort to see if his skills are ready for combat outside of his kingdom.

The epic battle that was actually training, included the FF, The Black panther, and Wyatt Wingfoot! The Panther defeats the FF, but didn’t count on the young, resourceful Wingfoot. He helps the FF turn the tables on T’Challa, who then unmasks, and begins to tell the FF his incredible origin!

The character of the Black Panther was one that came in a time where we needed him most. Just one year earlier in 1965, this country saw one of the most awful, brutal acts near Selma, Alabama. For Marvel comics to put a black man in their most popular comic book was nothing short of groundbreaking. It showed exactly how Marvel (or at least those doing the day to day work) felt about the Civil Rights Movement. Thank you, Jack Kirby (pencils, cover and interior), Stan Lee (writer), Joe Sinnott (inks) and Sam Rosen (letters).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvel Two-in-One 1, 1973 “Vengeance of the Molecule Man!”

To close out 2019, and the theme of Team-Up books, I thought I’d go out with a bang, and feature a fairly recent acquisition! A key issue from the Bronze Age, this book is one I’ve been searching for at an affordable price for a long time. The day finally came at a local comic shop (LCS) as they were having a sale that helped ease the pain of the cost. Now, it’s time for Monster vs Monster!

With a story as ridiculous as you’d expect, Ben picks up the morning paper and gets furious because there’s another person with the name “Thing.” This other (Man-)Thing is down in the Everglades and Ben Grimm decides to go down there to give him the whoopin’ he deserves. There’s just one problem though, the Molecule Man has returned, and he’s ready to spring a trap on old Benjy! Can both of these heroes manage to take down an opponent that is off the charts powerful?

Starting with the awesome cover by Gil Kane and John Romita, this one is quirky but a lot of fun. Most of the reason why this one is so much fun, is the writing of Steve Gerber. The dialogue was great with Ben and Manny, then throw in Molecule Man and the other ancillary characters, and it’s a blast! The interior art by Gil Kane (pencils) and Joe Sinnott (inks) was fantastic. No matter if it was action scenes or conversation, they did a very nice job. Jean Izzo (letters), George Roussos (colors), and Roy Thomas (editor) round out the masterful minds behind this gem!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blitzkrieg 3, 1976 “The Execution”

When I first heard of this title, I wasn’t aware of the premise. Once I learned of its angle though, I was a bit concerned how they would pull it off without being a bit intrusive. Somehow DC managed to show WWII through the eyes of German soldiers without being offensive. It sounds impossible, but they did a good job, with a very good creative team. In this issue (the only one I own), we see real action, and death. The very horrors of war. A good book, but a realistic one as well that really makes you think about how awful war really is.

The issue is kicked off by an awesome Joe Kubert cover. His monumental work at DC is something I don’t know if anyone will ever truly be able to fully appreciate (myself included). The amount of covers, interiors, and influence for other artists that followed is incredible.

Inside there are two stories, and both have the same creative team. Robert Kanigher (writer) and Ric Estrada (art), provide riveting stories in both and really set a grim mood for what you see. They pull no punches, even showing children ending up on the wrong side of violence (“The Partisans“). The first tale (“The Execution“) is also quite brutal, showing some Allied soldiers getting killed in an ambush. Again, a very interesting book that shows more than likely an accurate portrayal of the Big One. Don’t shy away from this title, get it if you can. To everyone out there, have a blessed Veterans Day.