Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reading Room: AMERICAN EAGLE "Whirlwind of Battling Justice"

Besides Captain America, there were a number of chemically-enhanced super-patriots...
...including this multi-powered hero who debuted in Nedor's America's Best Comics #2 (1942)!
Script for the origin tale by Richard Hughes, art by Kin Platt.
America's Best Comics featured already-existing characters from other titles.
American Eagle is one of only five characters to debut there during its' 31-issue run.
The American Eagle and Eaglet (Bud Pierce's eventual costumed identity) became semi-regular features in both America's Best Comics and Exciting Comics (where American Eagle rotated cover appearances with other strips) and made their final Golden Age appearance in Fighting Yank #18 (1946).

Both Alan Moore's America's Best Comics (no relation to the Golden Age comic book) and Dynamite Entertainment's Project SuperPowers have recently-revived the character in startlingly-different plotlines.
featuring American Eagle!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reading Room: HELL-RIDER "How...Why...Hell-Rider"

Australian edition cover
Now that you've read the first tale of the hard-ridin' biker known as Hell-Rider, here's a behind-the-scenes feature on who he is and how he came to be...
As mentioned in the editorial, the second issue featured all three strips in non-related tales.
Because this issue filled up the entire week, we'll be presenting the individual stories for Hell-Rider and the Wild Bunch over the next month.
(The ButterFly tale from #2 was already presented HERE and HERE.)
The never-published Hell-Rider #3 would've returned to the concept of a running plotline thru all the stories...
It's a pity we'll never see it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reading Room: HELL-RIDER "Final Chapter"

Our Hero has been trapped, powerless, in a dungeon...
...but now, all hell is about to break loose in the cataclysmic conclusion!
A couple of notes:
1) Marion (ButterFly) Michaels says in a thought balloon that she met Hell-Rider "..while I was making like The ButterFly!"
Not in the book as printed.
Perhaps there were a couple of pages cut for space, but that's not what happened in any of the connected stories in #1.
2) Marion doesn't have time to don her ButterFly costume and join in the fight.
Just as well since she didn't have time to refuel or recharge the costume!
3) Deke of the Wild Bunch says he recognizes the unmasked Claw...except Deke never saw the Claw unmasked!
The concluding chapter of the multi-part story from Skywald's Hell-Rider #1 (1971) was written by Gary Friedrich and illustrated by Ross Andru (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks) and Bill Everett (greytones).
Behind-the-Scenes Stuff!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reading Room: HELL-RIDER "Introducing the Wild Bunch"

You've met Brick Reese aka Hell-Rider... say "Hi" to his brawlin' biker buddies.
But do it fast, 'cause they're rather busy...
You'll note the "Claw Salute" is a raised middle finger...
The fate of the entire country rests on Slink's slim shoulders?
Is he up to the task?
Or, will the Wild Bunch's sacrifice be for naught?
Are Ruby and Marion Michaels aka ButterFly safe from the Claw?
And, what of Hell-Rider, still trapped and powerless in a dungeon?
Answers to these and other questions...
Same Hell-Time!
Same Hell-Blog!
This cliffhanging chapter of the multi-part story from Skywald's Hell-Rider #1 (1971) was written by Gary Friedrich and illustrated by Dick Ayers (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks) and Bill Everett (greytones).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reading Room: HELL-RIDER "introducing...the Hell Rider" Part 1A

Art by Ross Andru (layout) & Harry Rosenbaum (painting)
A black leather-clad biker breaks into a drug den to rescue a captive woman.
After announcing himself as "Hell-Rider", he tosses around burly cat-costumed criminals like they were action figures, and seems on the verge of victory when suddenly his superhuman strength dissipates and he is easily captured.
Trapped in the fiends' reinforced cellar, the dazed biker reflects on how he ended up in this sorry situation...
Graduating from law school, Brick Reese took a motorcycle trip across America to "find himself" and linked up with a group of bikers called "The Wild Bunch"...after beating the $h!t out of the whole gang, lived a life of hard-riding, hard-drinking, hard-screwing fun!
Being drafted into the Army ended that, and being badly wounded in a Viet Cong attack almost ended his life.
But an army surgeon offered the now-crippled Brick a chance to test Q-47, an experimental drug that could enhance the healing process.
Q-47 worked beyond anyone's expectations, not only healing Brick, but enhancing his strength and reflexes!
Honorably-discharged from the Army, the now-rejuvenated Brick Reese returns home...
You'd think we'd go immediately to Part Two, right?
Nope, because the next chapter in this tale can be found HERE and HERE,starring comics' first Black super-heroine!
After reading that tale, be here tomorrow when we introduce another piece of the puzzle...
Then, we'll run Part 2!
This story from Skywald's Hell-Rider #1 (1971) was written by Gary Friedrich and illustrated by Ross Andru (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks) and Bill Everett (greytones).