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.

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4 comments:

  1. Do you own a full run on the revived Captain Atom title Rip? I have the issue that follows this one (#84) – but my Captain Atom collection is spotty. Cap with a Blue Beetle back-up story was about as sweet as it gets…Really nice Giordano art on that Marine War Heroes cover – “…We’re not gonna let the Commies take this hill!…” (Love these Charlton cover time capsule posts that you do…)

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    1. The site Comic Book Plus has the entire Silver Age run of Charlton's Captain Atom at http://comicbookplus.com/?cid=2430 for you to read or download!
      They also have the Ditko Blue Beetle series, and the earlier Strange Suspense Stories featuring Captain Atom.
      Don't worry.
      The books are Public Domain (copyright expired) so it's perfectly legal!
      ADmittedly, it's not as kool as having the original books, but it's the next best thing!

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  2. Whoa! I had no idea! I’m such a doofus about the internet – I had no idea this was all out here…Now the challenge is not to get fired from work for reading comic books. Has Pulp magazines too… 1,000 Thank you’s Britt!

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    1. That is a beautiful cache of great old comics. The Charltons are my faves too. I've read some classic stuff I've long wanted to read, but never found.

      To your other question about Captain Atom, I put my collection together in the 70's and 80's. I have the "Action Heroes" stuff as well as his earliest appearances. Loved chasing these issues, it was fun.

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