Friday, November 20, 2015

The Golden Derby - November 1965!






Fifty years ago this month at Charlton we got one of the key elements of the great Action Heroes line when Pete Morisi's singular Thunderbolt arrived on the stands in a full-blown number one debut issue. Morisi was a policeman who moonlighted as a comics artist and who for a host of reasons wanted to keep that under wraps so he went by the highly memorable and exceedingly enigmatic nom de plume of "P.A.M.". I had no clue what that stood for at the time, but I always knew that the artwork was lean crisp and compelling, eschewing as it often did conventions of the period such as lines indicating movement. For a time I suspected that the artist was really George Tuska, an artist who I admired but it would some years before I learned that Morisi had intentionally aped Tuska's style when he first got into comics. By this time in the 60's, the styles of both men were distinctive, but still much in sync. Also out this month was another Fightin' 5 adventure, one with a distinct sci-fi flavor. Black Fury is still around and echoes a different time in comics when comics about animals actually had purchase; it wouldn't last much longer. Son of Vulcan had gotten a revamp in the previous issue and this was to be his last, written by budding professional Roy Thomas. Likewise Gunmaster and Bullet neared the end of their run, but there were plans for that series.

More next month.

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2 comments:

  1. I'm sure I've seen the Thunderbolt cover's hero pose before. It's very similar to Spidey's pose on ASM #8, but I think I've seen it somewhere else too.

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    1. Morisi was an unabashed swiper, so it wouldn't surprise me at all. I hadn't noticed the Spidey comparison but you're right. Likely PAM used it again on a later cover, but I cannot think of it right now. He did that a lot.

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