Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When Ditko Did Krypton

If you look at it from a certain angle, Jor-El is the ultimate Ditko/Randian type of hero--the lone genius no one will listen to, who will defy the rules of his society because he knows A is A, dammit, and he'll do what's necessary!!

So what happens when Ditko gets to tell his version of the exploding planet sending out one last ship?

[Note--writing credits for this story aren't firmly known--GCD lists it as "Joe Gill ?"--so I'll just be saying "Ditko" as shorthand, while acknowledging other hands were likely involved in at least plotting this story.]

Jack Lawson is up at his vacation cabin when a meteor almost hits him!

But it's not just any meteor...

What is it with these damned Science Councils not believing their planet is blowing up?!?

But unlike Krypton, this planet has a whole horde of believers!

Bala was not a particularly nice place...

Yeah, that shot's not familiar at all...

Anyway, Jack's "dream" ends.

Fortunately, the Balarites had the same weakness as the aliens in Signs:

So: exploding planet sends its only son to help and inspire us, or sends 10,000,000 miniaturized troops to conquer us?!?

I know which one Ditko (et. al.) believes...

From Space Adventures #27 (1959)

Best Cover You've Never Seen--Bobby Bensen's B-Bar-B Riders #17 (1952)

It's the look on the horse's face that really sells it, you see.

This scene does really happen in the lead story. The horse, and all of the critters, survived.

GCD lists the credits for this cover as pencils Dick Ayers (?) and inks Ernie Bache (?).

Question marks be damned--it's a helluva cover.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--Sivana's Nobel Prize?!?

A big news update has come into WHIZ!!

Good question!

Well, it turns out that...

A process for making nutritious food from rocks?!? Hell, give him a truckload of Nobels!!

I wonder if Earth-S Nobel selectors were just easy...or maybe on Earth-1, Lex Luthor and T.O. Morrow have a shelfful of Nobels, too. And don't get me started on Doom!

Anyone, being awarded a Nobel is such an insult, Sivana decides to escape and re-establish his villainous bona fides!

Bold choice!!

Thaddeus develops the perfect weapon:

And it works!!

So it's time to launch the world-wide version!

Look, I'm sure Solomon was wise and all, but personally, I wouldn't put too much faith in his knowledge of re-wiring satellites and such.

But it seems to work!!

It even works on Sivana!

And the punch line?

The Nobel Committee--trolling super-villains for fun!!

From World's Finest Comics #273 ( 1981)

Manic Monday Bonus--Byrne: 1999!!

Then there was that time that John Byrne had Martin Landau trapped in space without a helmet...

I have no idea what the rights situation might be. But given the hunger of some comic companies to throw classic genre franchises at us with all-star art teams and infinite variant covers, it's a bit surprising that no one is currently giving us a Space: 1999 comic right now. Hey, IDW, you listening?

And, hey, if someone wanted to do another one of those interminable Green Lantern crossovers, well, Space: 1999 seems a natural. See, Mongul wanted a new Warworld, and so he tried to steal the moon, and...this is why I'm not allowed to write comics.

From Space: 1999 #6 (1976)

Manic Monday--The Invaders Diss The Competition!!

The Invaders were the big guns during WWII...but what did they think of all of the other costumed heroes traipsing around?

The lads start by critiquing their comic book depictions...

Yeah, but what about those other heroes?

Oooh, snarky, Namor!

The Invaders--they're A #1, and brook no competition!!

Still, this story did feature those "pallid imitations" saving the Invaders from the Red Skull, and led to the formation of the Liberty Legion to protect the homeland.

Sadly, I don't believe Cap & Miss America ever held hands while singing the Star-Spangled Banner.

From Invaders #5 (1976)