Tuesday, December 31, 2013

World's Finest # 249, March, 1978

This issue's guest appearance by The Phantom Stranger brings us also the artist most associated with that character at that time--Jim Aparo, with a genuinely creepy cover.

I was just 19 years old when this issue came out and still reading comics. Bob Haney's goofy plots and dialogue aside, it was books like this issue that kept me around.

A recent letters page warned that we'd be losing Vig and sure enough. Here, he's replaced by The Creeper so...Beware!

The Kurt/Tex art combo continues and we get this nifty double page splash. The plot is as inane as you might expect, though, leading to the silly ending in the panel below in which Superman simply refuses to help Batman pull his plane from the ocean...like he's never helped Batman before> Jeez. We could go back through the blog and count the times!

This, as previously stated, was quite the growth period for DC with new SHOWCASE series, Power Girl soling (without her window) and, seen below, the debut of Firestorm.

No separate stories this time but we do have bad guys who determine that Oliver Queen is secretly the superhero...Batman!!??

DC did a pretty good job on promoting the upcoming SUPERMAN movie and thanks to, among others, Neal Adams and Jerry Robinson, they even settled that pesky rift with the character's creators...at least for the time. Wonder if Neal's returning to do some work for DC was part and parcel of that deal?

Steve Ditko hs never returned to Spider-Man. He has never returned to Dr. Strange. He did, however, return to BEWARE, THE CREEPER! And the results were mixed. Although some of his best work in ages at the time, no one would confuse the art with his earlier version and his always idiosyncratic storytelling was already headed toward the extremes it eventually reached.

One of THE big events of the seventies in comics! Again, by Neal Adams. The finished cover shows a gaggle of celebs and DC workers. I think I figured up a while back that a dozen or so are now Facebook friends of mine.

Mike Vosburg was a fan artist of great renown who had around this time become popular for his work in Mike Friedrich's "ground-level" comics. He was (and is) known for his attractive female characters  and brings that to polay here for the most iconic female hero of them all. Not sure it works 100% but definitely interesting. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

World's Finest # 248, January, 1978

Forgot to mention that Denny didn't last and now Jack C. Harris is listed as Editor with Orlando still as Managing Editor. Bob Haney remains as well. Your mileage may vary on how wonderful that part is.

A mixed bag this time--nothing special but nothing terrible. NO real-standouts. Just an enjoyable comic book.

Trevor Von Eeden gets the last 2 portions of his name run together in this early outing. Sadly this oh-so-stylish artist's style is all but obscured by Colletta inks except for the layouts.

Vicente Alcazar, as I understand it, was a protégé of Gray Morrow's. He also worked with him on the briefly extant Red Circle Comics imprint from Archie. He remains one of my personal favorites of the non-US artists who proliferated in the seventies.

Posters were HUGE as we finish out 1977 thanks mainly to Farrah. Note also though Lynda Carter which is why Wonder Woman was suddenly appearing everywhere at DC.

Did this idea ever get off the ground? I don't believe so.

Michael Netzer's lovely WW art graces DC's "in-house" fanzine.

Last issue featured Mlle. Marie so this issue's turn by Sgt Rock and Easy Company should be no big surprise as Wonder Woman's WWII adventures (on Earth 2 presumably) continue.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

World's Finest # 247, November, 1977

No Neal this time out but striking cover anyway from Garcia Lopez and Dick Giordano.

What the heck. Since it was a two-parter, we won't leave you in the middle Here's part two, complete with more Schaffenberger but now with extra Blaisdell inks!

One of my favorite young artists of the period was Sal Amendola who never really seems dot catch on. Here, though, he gets a good shot at the Canary and the Arrow.