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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Adventure Comics # 81, December, 1942

With so many irons in the fire for Simon & Kirby--along with DC's insistence that the duo stockpile a year's worth of stories for their various series on the assumption they would be, like so many young men, drafted--it was probably inevitable that something had to go. In this case that something was MANHUNTER.
SANDMAN now had the cover as well as the lead spot and it was decided that that is the strip on which the pair would concentrate here while continuing to do BOY COMMANDOS and THE NEWSBOY LEGION for other DC titles.

MANHUNTER wasn't the only title losing its main creative force this issue. STARMAN lost the beautiful illustrative art of Jack Burnley. The good news is that, at least briefly, it was replaced with the differently impressive work of Mort Meskin and George Roussos (as Mort Morton, Jr and "Inky" Roussos).

MANHUNTER's new artist beginning here was Pierce Rice, a hit or miss artist who worked in various styles at various companies in thee forties.


Interesting to note in the back cover ad below the prominent placement of MUTT & JEFF!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Adventure Comics # 80, November, 1942

Simon and Kirby are now getting cover hype, proving, if there was any need, their status as the first true superstars of comic books. 

No idea what happened to the Federal Men Club when that strip finally vanished but the Jnior JSA took up the slack over in ALL STAR COMICS, complete with secret codes.

The SANDMAN features finally dislodges STARMAN from the book's top spot.

 This issue's HOURMAN (finally in one single word) is a fun one featuring Rex Tyler out of uniform (although still saddled with  Thorndyke). Look for the ADVENTURE COMICS in-joke.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Adventure Comics # 79, October, 1942

In this instance, this striking cover is a redrawn version of the MANHUNTER splash seen at the end of the book. Although the exact same image, there are major differences all around. Both, in fact, look more to me to be mostly the work of Simon as opposed to Kirby. 

 Starman still gets the lead spot, however.

Bernard Baily continues to impress with his spite of Thorndyke!

The propaganda continues as the final panels of various strips become essentially plugs for Bonds and stamps. See another from Sandman below!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adventure Comics # 78, September, 1942

Here's a vintage WWII propaganda cover akin to the all-star superhero covers Timely always had. Manhunter teams with Sandman and Sandy to fight the Axis. 

This issue Starman teams with a persistent young lad in what appears to be a story setting him up to be Starboy or some such but nothing ever comes of it and he's never seen again. 

Not sure why I didn't notice this before but one of DC's Advisory Board members was a Dr. Robert Thorndike...and Minute Man Martin was replaced as Hourman's young sidekick by...Thorndyke! Coincidence?

The one-off SAM THE INVENTOR strip shows just how accepted visual racial stereotypes still were at this point. Underneath it, the first ad for WONDER WOMAN.

Kirby and Simon seemed at a loss sometimes as to exactly what their MANHUNTER was supposed to look like. Here we see a couple of obvious instances of Paul Kirk in a red mask with, for some reason, a blue face. The rest of the story, however, features his usual full blue face which, since his ears are colored normally, one presumes to be some sort of mask, also.

Note the amazing gift to "COMIC" readers!