Tuesday, August 28, 2012

J'onn J'onzz Writers: House of Mystery 143-158

House of Mystery 143 J'onn J'onzz splash page
J'onn J'onzz' name at this point in his career is pronounced John Jones, not a French-style Jean Jeans as per the animated Justice League. Not only that, he's an actual Martian, rather than a member of an extra-solar race residing on Mars, as later "realism" demanded.

Previously the series was titled John Jones, Manhunter from Mars, but Manhunter had to abandon his secret identity of Detective John Jones in his last story in Detective (#326, Apr/64), the introduction of the Idol-Head of Diabolu. The story-line of new menaces spawned from the Idol-Head with each full moon continued through HOM 158. (A few issues like #153 and 154 took a break from the ongoing Diabolu storyline.)

A new arc (vs. crime organization Vulture) began in #160 and ran for the remainder of the feature, through HOM 173.

So far the only two writers I've seen on Manhunter from Mars are Miller and Wood, although that's from only a sampling of the Detective run. If, as sheer rumor has it, Joseph Samachson had anything to do with the first story (in Detective 225, Nov/55), it was not in scripting it—Jack Miller did that, to judge by the style.

The artist on every story in the Manhunter from Mars series in the Fifties and Sixties was Joe Certa.

J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars in House of Mystery 143-158—Writers

June/64#143 The Giant-MakerJack Miller
July/    #144 The Weird World of GilganaMiller
Sept/    #145 Secret of the Purple PeopleMiller
Oct/    #146 The Doom ShadowDave Wood
Dec/    #147 The Orchestra of DoomMiller
Jan/65#148 The Beings in the Color RingsWood
Mar/    #149 The Man-Thing That Unearthed SecretsWood
Apr/    #150 The Supernatural MasterpiecesWood
June/    #151 The Doom from Two WorldsMiller
July/    #152 Iwangis—Creature KingMiller
Sept/    #153 The Giants Who Slept 1,000,000 YearsMiller
Oct/    #154 The Mirror Martian ManhunterMiller
Dec/    #155 The Giant Genie of GensuMiller
Jan/66#156 Look What Happened to J'onn J'onzz!Miller
Mar/    #157 Manhunter, World's Greatest ClownMiller
Apr/    #158 Origin of the Diabolu Idol-HeadMiller

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Mort Leav Captain America Story

A while ago in one of his Four-Color Shadows posts, Booksteve presented the Captain America story "Double Identity" from All Winners 1 (Aug/48—the only issue in volume 2) and noted that the Grand Comics Database attributed the art to Syd Shores, but it didn't look much like Shores' art. I was certain the Shores ID was wrong, but had no better guess to offer at the time. Now I do.

Captain America page with vignette panel, All-Winners v2 #1

Mort Leav is supposed to have done a handful of Captain America stories around 1946-48. This looks like one of them. Leav's work at Orbit (where he went in 1948) looks very much like the art on "Double Identity." This Wanted story, signed over the open "S" in the first page's blurb (click the final scan below to decipher at larger size), is "International Enemy No. 1" from #13 (May/48). The amoeba-bordered vignette panels opening both my examples, where the figures end at the edges of the neckties, present a very obvious similarity, and are a choice I don't recall Shores using.

Wanted 13 page with vignette panel
At Timely, the editors couldn't help "fixing" artwork with work by other hands. The Cap and Bucky figures on the splash page could be Shores' sole contribution to this 10-page story; see the first Captain America story in the Fifties revival (Young Men 24, Dec/53), where John Romita's splash has been famously jettisoned for Mort Lawrence's work.

splash pages--Cap in All-Winners 1; Wanted 13

So IDing this one story leaves a handful (minus one) of Mort Leav Caps to track down.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Woolfolk Records 1947/12

Two-Gun Kid 2 cover

Quality, Fawcett, Timely, and EC bought William Woolfolk's comics stories this month.

Note that the Two-Gun Kid scripts were expanded by a page apiece for publication. The four Moon Girl pages in a story published at twelve must have been Woolfolk's beginning or finishing someone else's (most likely Gardner Fox's) script.

Woolfolk recorded two Christmas bonuses this month, showing how valuable a couple of companies (not named) considered a superior freelancer.

December 1947 Comic Book Scripts by William Woolfolk

14 pg Kid EternityKeeper's evil twin brother
[untitled 3rd KE story] KE 11, Sept/48
Ibisthe forbidden pool
"The Forbidden Pool" Whiz 100, Aug/48
Captain Marvelthe volcano men
"The Volcano Men" Marvel Family 26, Aug/48
Tom Mixstagecoach ride
"Death Rides the Stagecoach" Wow 69, Aug/48
Captain Marvelthe iron horse
"The Wonderful Iron Horse" CM Advs 87, Aug/48
14 Doll Manversus Stunt Man
"Stunt Man" DM 18, Sept/48
11 Doll Manversus Gloves, hand of death
"Gloves" DM 18, Sept/48
Two-Gun Kidvanishing railroad
5 "The Train That Wasn't There" TGK 2, June/48
Two-Gun Kidoutlaw city
7 "Trapped in Outlaw City" TGK 2, June/48
Captain Marvelthe stolen city
"The Stolen City" CM Advs 87, Aug/48
11 Captain Marvel Jr.meets the outlaw
"CMJ Duels with the Outlaw" CMJ 64, Aug/48
12 Plastic ManMr. Hazard, crime gambler
"Mr. Hazard" PM 13, Sept/48
Tex Taylorgirl ranch owner
"Blazing Six-Shooters and the Thundering Herd" Wild West 2, July/48
Moon Girlmost daring man in the world
12 "The Most Daring Man in the World" MG 2, Win/47-48

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cave Carson Writers

Brave and the Bold 31: lava monster chasing Mighty Mole, with Cave Carson, Christie, and Bulldozer aboard

Cave Carson, master spelunker, Christie Madison, geologist, and Bulldozer Smith, ex-sandhog strong man, adventured inside Earth in the Mighty Mole, an update of Abner Perry's mole machine in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar novels. Instead of a mechanical screw, this one used an unnamed laser beam—a "thermo ray"—to cut into the rock of the crust. Their first adventure read like a novel itself when I found it as a preteen.

Upon their return in the Showcase run the team did without the Mighty Mole, and made do with mascot Lena the lemur. Bob Haney was credited in the letters page in Showcase 49: "Bob Haney now writes INSIDE EARTH." Note the "now"; he didn't write it before 1964. There was a change of editors: Jack Schiff on Cave's B&Bs, Murray Boltinoff on the Showcases. France Edward Herron is known to have worked on Cave; but a Ka-fuuush! in B&B 33 indicates Dave Wood, and In the next startling moment... and Tense hours elapse... point to Jack Miller in #41. There was only one more artist (four) than writer (three) on the five stories in B&B; Showcase stuck to the one creative team.

Cave Carson: Adventures Inside Earth
in The Brave and the Bold

A-S/60#31 The Secret beneath the Earthw: Ed Herron
   a: Bruno Premiani
O-N/    #32 The City 100 Miles Downw: Herron
   a: Bernard Baily
D-J/61#33 The Alien Robots from Inner Spacew: Dave Wood
   a: Baily
F-M/62#40 Three Caverns of Doomw: Herron
   a: Joe Kubert
A-M/    #41 The Raiders from the Secret Worldw: Jack Miller
   a: Mort Meskin
in Showcase

J-F/64#48 Killers of the Dead-End Mazew: Bob Haney
   a: Lee Elias
M-A/    #49 The Fury of the Fiery Avengerw: Haney  a: Elias
S-O/    #52 Prisoners of the Lost Worldw: Haney  a: Elias