Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Memoirs of a Bronze Age Baby: World's Finest #255

Dollar Comics! Weren't they just the best thing ever? I have no idea how I got my hands on so many of these, because they did cost a lot more money than regular books back then. Of course, World's Finest and Detective Comics were two of my favourite titles, so I probably just bugged my parents incessantly until they forked over the extra cash. How could you possible pass up on this book? Jim Aparo's cover is beyond awesome (it's actually a wraparound, but I can't find a full image online anywhere). On the back, Captain Marvel, the Creeper, Green Arrow and Black Canary are all making their way through the swamp. The original art for this must look fantastic as it is truly Aparo at his finest.

As is so often the case, the Superman/Batman story doesn't quite live up to the promise of the cover (how could it?). It does have nice JG Lopez art, so that's a real bonus, but I still felt a bit ripped off as a kid - it's a silly Bob Haney story about cults and good and bad Native American magic. The Green Arrow story is much better; one of those serious stories where Ollie ends up in tears. I realized that the main reason I felt so comfortable with Mike Grell's Green Arrow series in the late 80s, is that I'd been reading melodramatic Ollie Queen story my whole life. Ditko's Creeper seems pretty out of place here - as it feels very 1968. I'm certain I didn't like it at the time, but it's all kooky fun today. Finally, we have one of those Don Newton drawn Shazam stories. I'm of a weird generation that knew the Newton-look first, and discovered that the CC Beck look was actually the standard much later on. This story looks good, but it's a really lame story about a hypnotic dancer who puts a spell on the male half of Fawcett City. This would have been my first exposure to the Bullet Family, too. That's a lot for a buck!


MDG14450 said...

Sure, the Captain Marvel story is silly--Bridwell did a great job channelling the original tone of the Marvel Family stories--but the figure drawing on the final pages is gorgeous.

Scott M said...

Oh, it's gorgeous all right - but that whole 'do the dance backward' thing was even to silly for my tastes.