Friday, June 13, 2008

Single Issue Hall of Fame: Black Cat Mystic #59

This is one of the best issues of Strange Tales never produced by Marvel. Black Cat (a.k.a Black Cat Mystery, Black Cat Western etc...) is definitely one of the most schizophrenic series in comic book history, but for a few brief moments in the late 50s it found a great identity and was chock full of Simon & Kirby goodness. Black Cat #59 is cover dated September, 1957 and would hold its own against the very best issues of Tales of Suspense or Amazing Adult Fantasy. The lead story focuses on a sad, gifted child who has been abducted by the government for study. Shades of government paranoia in the X-Men books for sure. Fans of the original Eternals series will likely note similarities of the subterranean giant statue in 'The Great Stone Face'. 'A Weemer is Best of All' is one of those great 'be careful what you wish for' stories that Stan Lee & Co. published so often, but this one has a fun and happy ending. The finale is the weakest, but it's still enjoyable - a light hearted ghost story. I love this era of Kirby, as he's just starting to finalize the 'look' that he'd bring to Challengers of the Unknown. I picked this up at a show a while back for under $10 (it was as low grade it you get) and it was worth every cent. It would be great to see this Harvey Comics S&K collected in a trade, but that's a rant I'll save for another entry.

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