Thursday, September 29, 2016
The Golden Derby - September 1966!
Fifty years ago this month was a breakout month for Charlton and for the Action Heroes who for a short time shined so very brightly there. It marked the debut of "The All New" Blue Beetle created by Steve Ditko. Read the story here. The character first appeared as a back up in Captain Atom #83. The Captain Atom story in that issue also was a blockbuster, the first of a two-part yarn that would see a new costume, but perhaps more significantly a change in the Captain's awesome powers. The guiding hand of Dick Giordano is becoming increasingly apparent as he tries to fashion a cadre of heroes who are more human than super, and putting the Captain's powers into some sort of check was key to this approach. The month also saw yet another issue of Ghostly Tales, the spook-filled comic that would show the way forward for Charlton in the years following the demise of the Action Hero titles. I'll have to confess this cover by Giordano and Mastroserio is not among the best which decorated the title. Wild West is an oddball comic, a one-shot which simultaneously revived a vintage comic title from Charlton's early days and the numbering of which was a last-ditch continuation of the venerable horse comic Black Fury. Romance continued as a staple of Charlton as this cover for Teen Confessions can attest. Likewise the generally sturdy war genre featured an above average effort as seen in this cover by Giordano for Marine War Heroes. Charlton has well and truly begun one of its most sterling periods, as we shall see in the months to come.