NEW FEATURE!!! Doc’s Corner Presents … Turn Back Time Tuesday!

October 13, 2021 Docs Corner, Reviews

     So welcome to Doc’s Corner’s first ever Turn Back Time Tuesday! Sometimes we all need to just settle back and get away from the choatic world of today. Sure, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #102 comes out tomorrow and ends an epic run for a toy based comic this week. And Batman Scooby-Doo Mysteries #7 has a wonderful look at Alfred and Ace the Bat-Hound, but I’m worn out from the hectic pace of today’s life. So I’ve set the Way, Wayback Machine for October of 1971 (yep 50 years ago!) for a look at what we were reading back then (and might I mention can be found in the back issue bins of Graham Crackers Comics many, many locations. So here we go, Atomic Batteries to Power! Turbines to Speed!

WORLD’S FINEST #208     DC COMICS

With almost 200 issues of the perfect team of Superman and Batman (with Robin sometimes), DC decided to go in a different direction and started teaming Superman up with various heroes turning the title into a quasi-Brave and the Bold only with Superman. With guests like Aquaman, the Diana Prince version of Wonder Women, and the Teen Titans already featured, Doctor Fate shows up for a second time. Making a cameo appearance in issue #201, Doctor Fate was starting to make a comeback. With some improvisational plot ideas (Doctor Fate is a REAL doctor?), classic writer Len Wein weaves a story of Superman trying to find a way to no longer be vulnerable to magic. And after a pointless visit to Zatanna (and a shout out to her dad Zatara!), Superman decides to consult with Earth 2’s resident magic man, Doctor Fate. They quickly are dealing with disaster after disaster due to alien mystics with connections to the Lost Valley of UR! And Superman learns a valuable lesson. This is a wonderful bit of nonsense beautifully drawn out by Dick Dillion and covered in an overwhelming Neal Adams cover. But this was the 1970’s and experimentation was at the forefront of comics. Expanding page counts had allowed for a higher 25 cent cost per issue and allowed DC Comics to put their huge story archieves to good use. Giving us a peek into the past with 1948 tales of the original Robotman and the Ghost Patrol! Due to the inaccuracies in storytelling and the fact that it is impossible to take super-villains seriously when they are called the Planet Smashers, this one gets a 9 out of 10 Grahams.

 

SUPERMAN #245 (DC-7)     DC COMICS

First off, congradulations if you understand the DC-7 part. And when it came to reprinting old stories to bump page counts and comic prices, nothing did it better that DC’s 100 Page Super Spectacular issues! And while some of these were held together loosely by a general theme (flying heroes, heroes with super-speed, etc.) it was when the editors had no clue that things got good. While jam-packed with 4 Superman stories from the Man of Steel’s career, it’s the secondary feature that make you smile even though your brain is screaming “WHAT THE …!”

With the likes of the Atom and Hawkman being joined by Golden Age hero, Air Wave, Quality Comics’ (now owned by DC!) Kid Eternity, and Super-Chief! Yes, I said Super-Chief! Even in the issue’s own index it refers to him as one of DC’s least known heroes! In a story torn from the pages of All-Star Western #117 (1961), this little beauty is scripted by the legend Gardner Fox and drawn by the other legend Carmine Infantino! With a bubble window cover done by that other legend Murphy Anderson, this was well worth cutting the lawn and trimming the hedges to earn the astronomical price tag of 50 cents! 10 out of 10 Grahams.

 

DETECTIVE COMICS #418     DC COMICS

With Robin off at college being the TEEN wonder and Bruce and Alfred working out of a penthouse suite in Gotham, there is a new player in town and he’s nuts! After his appearance in Justice League of America #70, the Creeper was starting to gain some popularity. And so with Denny O’Neil story (which was respectfully dedicated to Steve Ditko) and the art team of Irv Novak & Dick Giordano, the Creeper returned and it all made sense! It also set down a new ground work to bring the character in full. But remember, experimentation for some extra coin was the name of the game and with Robin at college, Batgirl pops up in a great ongoing story by Frank Robbins and Doc Heck. And just to make sure we reached our new 48 page count, DC threw in a short detective tale from a 1954 Gangbusters comic and “a DETECIVE classic” featuring Sierra Smith, Western Detective from a 1948 issue of Dale Evans comic starring the creative talents of Joe Millard, Alex Toth, and Frank Giacoia! All under another terrific Neal Adams cover! 10 out of 10 Grahams.

 

And with that, we set the Way, Wayback for the present and the mind numbing 46 issue maxi-series multiple title crossover next big thing world of comics. But I know that it is only a matter of time (pun totally intended!) before I’m back here, somewhere in the past, surrounded by long white back issue boxes. Here’s an idea, on your next trip into your local Graham Crackers Comics, take a few minutes and thumb through those impressive long white boxes of back issues. I guarantee you’ll find something amazing!   

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