Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The Golden Derby - September 1965!
Fifty years ago this month Charlton's "Action Hero" line officially started, sort of, when at long last Rip Jagger the Judomaster created by Frank McLaughlin, made his debut in Special War Series #4. Soon the "Scarlet Smasher" would have his own World War II based comic and though he'd never meet his Charlton peers, he'd have company in the form of Thunderbolt, Peacemaker and others. Judomaster was considered a member of DC's All-Star Squadron, though I don't believer he ever got to take part in any action. Meanwhile Gunmaster is still appearing alongside Bullet Boy drawn neatly by Pete Morisi (P.A.M.) and Konga ends something of an era with the last real issue of his comic, one more would appear with the next number, but he'd share the spotlight with Gorgo and other Ditko magic. This final cover is by Pat Masulli and Rocke Mastroserio. Sarge Steel is now a "Special Agent" cleaving more to an espionage atmosphere as opposed to a simple hard-nosed private detective. This cover by Bill Montes and Ernie Bache in particular gives a really James Bond feel to the book. Son of Vulcan nears the end of his run with yet another battle with his arch enemy Dr.Kong but this time he sports a new armor designed by fanboy Dave Cockrum. Johnny Mann will surrender his book to Peter Cannon soon enough.
More next month.