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Saturday, March 21, 2020

CoronaVirus Comics PLASTIC MAN "Fight Against Germ Warfare!"

Perhaps the least-likely superhero to deal with either the Korean War or biological warfare...
...was the usually light-hearted Ductile Detective, Plastic Man!
As you can see, this never-reprinted tale from Quality's Plastic Man #38 (1952) is a loooong way from his usual surreal antics.
After World War II, while most surviving superheroes were going from serious to light-hearted, Quality's characters took a dive into the Dark Side of the pool, following whatever trend was popular at the moment!
Monsters (including vampires, zombies, and werewolves), Korean/Russkie/Chinese Communists, and aliens from outer space became their primary opponents!
For other characters like Blackhawk and Kid Eternity, it wasn't much of a transition since they had battled fairly realistic Nazis and Japanese both on the battlefield and on the homefront, but the usually-fun Plas went through a particularly-jarring change as writer/artist Jack Cole departed his creation early in 1950!
The decidedly non-humorous trend continued until Plas was laid to rest in 1956.
Though DC bought up the Quality Comics line that year, the only titles they continued were Blackhawk, G.I. Combat, Heart Throbs and the short-lived Robin Hood Tales.
Plas languished without even a reprint until he was revived in 1966 in all-new stories in a short-lived series!
(Note: around the same time, IW/Super Comics reprinted several issues of Plas's Golden Age book since they had purchased the actual printing plates from a facility where they had been abandoned by Quality.
The timing appears to have been a coincidence.)
Since then, he's been revived and revamped several times under a variety of creatives including Kyle Baker and Phil Foglio, and eventually incorporated into the DC mainstream universe.
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Featuring classic tales from each of his eras (Golden Age/Silver Age/Bronze Age)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

WEREWOLF HUNTER "Priestess of the Spider Death" / "Mistress of the Web"

It's a double-feature Halloween treat...
..with two versions of the same tale, true believers!
The original version of this terrifying tale is from Fiction House's Ranger Comics #15 (1944)!
But, when it was re-presented in Fiction House's Ghost Comics #3 (1952), not only was it partially-redrawn (beginning at page 3) to remove a page of story, it was re-written (from the splash panel onward) as well!
Fiction House did a lot of this sort of editing when reprinting material in the late 1940s since th earlier magazines, like Rangers Comics, were 60 pages, but the later books like Ghost Comics were only 36 pages!
Lily Renee illustrated the original version.
But, judging from the crudeness of the art modifications, she didn't work on the modified reprint!
BTW, we're part of the amazingly-kool CountDown to Halloween 2019 Blogathon!
Click HERE to see the other pround participants!
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Thursday, October 24, 2019

WEREWOLF HUNTER "Puppets of the Witch Queen"

After a round-robin of various artists...
...the series settles down with the woman who would become the strip's signature artist, Lily Renée!
As we mentioned last week, the new artist, Lily Renée escaped real-life horror!
In 1938, after the Germans annexed Austria, the then-teenage Lily Renée Willhelm was sent by her parents to England.
In 1940, she was reunited with her family (who escaped from Austria) in NYC, and finished high school.
Lily had an artistic flair, so she became both a clothing catalog model and illustrator.
In 1943, she answered an ad from pulp/comic publisher Fiction House for an illustrator.
With most of their regular contributors in the military, the editors immediately put the young artist to work on several existing strips including the sci-fi series Norge Benson and Lost World, the horror strip Werewolf Hunter, and wartime spy series Senorita Rio!
After the war, Lily married fellow artist Eric Peters and collaborated with him on St John's Abbott & Costello comic series in the late 1940s!
Trivia: in interviews, Lily stated she tried to steer the Werewolf Hunter strip away from lycanthropes since she claimed she couldn't draw them well!
BTW, we're part of the amazingly-kool CountDown to Halloween 2019 Blogathon!
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Thursday, October 17, 2019

WEREWOLF HUNTER "Tentacle Terror from Beelzebub's Void!!!"

Now is that a catchy/kitchy title, or what?
For a guy called "Werewolf Hunter", Prof Broussard doesn't spend much time actually hunting werewolves!
This never-reprinted tale from Fiction House's Ranger Comics #13 (1943) takes Broussard even further afield thanks to future Supergirl artist Jim Mooney, though the writer using the pen-name "Armand Weygand" remains unknown!
But the biggest change will occur next week as an artist who escaped real-life horror takes over the strip!
BTW, we're part of the amazingly-kool CountDown to Halloween 2019 Blogathon!
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Thursday, October 10, 2019

WEREWOLF HUNTER "Dungeon Dweller of Horror House"

Professor Broussard didn't hunt only werewolves...
...but anything otherworldly that threatened mankind!
We've skipped ahead several issues to show how the series evolved into the Professor going after anything paranormal!
You'll note a new aspect added...volume numbers indicating the stories are from Broussard's journals.
Note the volume numbers don't actually match the number of stories presented!
This tale is "Volume VI", yet it's the fifth tale in the series!
Was an earlier story scrapped?
We'll never know!
This never-reprinted tale from Fiction House's Ranger Comics #12 (1943) presents the change of concept along with a new art team, penciler Saul Rosen and inker Jim Mooney, though the writer using the pen-name "Armand Weygand" remains unknown!
BTW, we're part of the amazingly-kool CountDown to Halloween 2019 Blogathon!
Click HERE to see the other pround participants!
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