Friday, December 30, 2016

The Golden Derby - December 1966!






Fifty years ago this month Charlton put out some handsome books, at least for lovers of vintage comic book artwork. As had become almost usual we get both a Judomaster comic and another issue of Thunderbolt. In the former by Frank McLaughlin we are given the first half of a dynamic two-part adventure which introduces to the World War II setting a partner for Judomaster himself. Rip Jagger was an American who had swiftly taken on the practices of the martial arts as practiced in Japan, but it is only with the addition of Tiger that we get an actual Asian in an ongoing heroic role. Admittedly he had the Bucky job, a  thankless one but soon enough in the back pages of Captain Atom we will see an adult Tiger training another of the Charlton Action Heroes, the gorgeous Nightshade. But that's for later, now we have a rockem' sockem' adventure which also has the return of the Mountain Storm. Though not highlighted on the cover, there is also a dandy Dick Giordano Sarge Steel adventure. Speaking of back ups, the Thunderbolt by Pete Morisi (PAM) issue features the return of one of Charlton's few teams The Sentinels, a group of folk singers who become superheroes thanks to the technology of a mysterious scientist. This feature has some fantastic Sam Grainger artwork on a Denny O'Neil script. Also this month is another issue of Go-Go brimming with pop culture and parody. As usual the romance covers are handsome and sleek thanks to Dick Giordano who turns out a particularly nice one for this issue of Career Girl Romances. And Jack Keller continues to be the maven of race cars and hot rods in a vibrant issue of Teenage Hotrodders, featuring a cover which almost seems to personify the cars as the drivers disappear. Wouldn't take much to make this an image fit for Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch.

More next month as 1967 arrives.

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2 comments:

  1. My memory is that The Sentinels was written by Gary Friedrich, with some uncredited help from his friend Roy Thomas. I feel so out of it that I missed out on Go-Go, which contained Aparo's first work for Charlton on Bikini Luv and some early comics from Grass Green. 1966 was quite the year for pop culture.

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    1. You're right, Friedrich did write the Sentinels. Grass Green's work deserves a reprinting of some sort. His style was so lively and engaging.

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