COVER STORIES for 08/20/2006
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #67
Welcome to the 67th edition of "Cover Stories," in which I look at a number of comics covers with a common theme!
This week's theme is "Cowboys and Indians," which I believe I've covered before, but it's worth returning to again! Let's begin, shall we?
Adventure Comics 132 presents yet another variation in a series of Superboy-featured covers in which the Boy of Steal does something completely effortlessly that would be difficult for most people - and everyone cheers him on!
I mean, honestly... Superboy riding a bucking bronc? Does anyone really think any horse could possibly throw Superboy (short of Comet, who not only wouldn't appear until the Supergirl stories in Action, but also never encountered Superboy outside of Legion of Super-Pets tales)? Kind of hard to see why these kids are so happy about it... heck, Superboy doesn't even bother wearing a cowboy hat here!
Win Mortimer did the cover duties in this issue, and inside, we find "Superboy - Super-Cowboy" by Bill Finger and George Roussos leading off the issue, followed by Aquaman in "The Aquagirl" by Otto Binder and John Daly (two things about this issue already... note that Otto Binder, possibly better known for his Fawcett work on a certain Big Red Cheese, was writing for DC by this point... and two, this Aquagirl is named Thetis, and I've never read anything about this character before! I'm familiar with Tula, of course, but not Thetis! Heck, Tula wasn't even the second character to go by the Aquagirl moniker... Adventure 266 featured the second one, aka Lisa Morel, and the third was Selena, who only appeared in World's Finest 133 - Tula was the fourth!).
Following this was Green Arrow in "The Impossible Alibi" with art by George Papp, and the Shining Knight in "Sir Butch of Beeler's Alley" by Don Cameron and Chuck Winter, and finally, Johnny Quick in "The Phantom Formula" by William Woolfolk and Mort Meskin!
I love checking out covers of Rex the Wonder Dog, such as issue 24 here... not only are we usually treated to some great Gil Kane artwork, but we also get situations that are so completely different from what we see in modern comics - or even not-so-modern comics! I mean, here Rex the Wonder Dog becomes an honorary Indian chief - yes, I'm sure that Superman managed that at least once, and Captain Marvel probably did the same, but what other animals managed this? Did Donald Duck ever become an honorary chief?
Of course, I have no idea how Chief Rex managed to smoke a peace pipe (which seems required when one is "adopted" into an Indian tribe - well, except for the Brady Bunch when they visited the Grand Canyon, but I digress).
Inside this issue, "Rex, Honorary Indian Chief" leads off the issue in a tale written by Robert Kanigher with Kane art, in which Danny, Rex's owner, tells how he and Rex became honorary Indian chiefs. Next up is Detective Chimp in "The Mystery of the Silver Bullet" by John Broome and Carmine Infantino (who has often mentioned that Detective Chimp was his favorite feature to draw), and then another Rex story, "Million-Dollar Snapshot" by John Broome and Kane!
Speaking of Captain Marvel, here's Captain Marvel Jr., on the cover of his 64th issue! A nice-looking cover, and we can see that the cover artist, Kurt Schaffenberger, definitely knew how to draw western situations (something I doubt seriously most modern-day comics artists could manage).
The cover-featured tale leads off the issue in a story with art by Joe Certa, then Rubbernose Randolph in the filler "Stretching a Point" by Art Helfant, and a Judge Smudge filler, "Good Connections" by Howard Boughner. Next up, Cap Jr. in "Sivana, Jr.'s Sinister Secret Serum" with art by Certa, another Judge Smudge filler (as well as another Rubbernose Randolph filler), then Junior again in "The Secret of the Ink" with art by Bud Thompson, the sports character Kanvasback in "Is Interviewed," a two-page text story, "Thunder At The end" by Joseph Millard, and finally another Cap Jr. story, "The Raven of Enchanted Castle" with art by Bill Ward, who's not exactly an artist one would associate with the Marvel Family, eh?
And to wrap up this edition of "Cowboys and Indians," one can always count on the American Comics Group to provide the most bizarre cover to fit the theme, can't we? Here's Forbidden Worlds 44, where two men (photographers, I'm guessing, due to the cameras) are captured by Indians who still behave as they did in the Old West - or at least, how comics writers in 1956 (as well as in other time periods, no doubt) thought they behaved back then!
This cover was done by Ogden Whitney. The issue opens with "The Man Who Knew Tomorrow" with art by Hy Eisman, then the cover-featured tale, "Where The Redskins Never Fell" with art by Harry Lazarus, who also drew the next story, "Out Went the Candles" (which was reprinted somewhere, but the Grand Comics Database is missing that info from the entry), and then finally, "Buried History" with art by Edd Ashe, which was reprinted in Adventures Into the Unknown #136!
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," when the theme will be "Dance Crazes," and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at http://waffyjon.blogspot.com for other musings and ramblings by me, or email me with comments about this column at !