Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Golden Derby - March 1967!






Fifty years ago this month Charlton Comics finally dropped the next to last of the Action Hero books onto the stands. When Peacemaker debuted it marked the  near completion of the set which these days is most famous alas for inspiring The Watchman. But for my tastes, the originals win the day. Captain Atom was a hero from the Cold War 50's, Blue Beetle was a revived and revised hero from the Golden Age of Comics (and would debut again in his own comic next month), Judomaster was a WWII set war adventure blended with superhero action, and Thunderbolt was a new kind of hero for a new kind of world. Peacemaker, who had debuted some months earlier in the pages of Fightin' Five was created by Pat Boyette, a man of many talents who made his most lasting comic book mark with his "Man Who Loved Peace So Much, He Is Willing To Fight For It." Some have joked about the seeming contradiction in those words, but I've never seen any. Peace is not obtained exclusively by diplomacy but by a smart combination of willing diplomacy and ready force. Peacemaker seems to me to speak to that reality. Also on hand this month is Thunderbolt, this issue also by Pat Boyette and writer Steve Skeates who steps in to replace creator Pete Morisi (PAM). The battle against the Dragon was one of the earliest Charlton books I ever read and holds a powerful place in my memory. One of the biggest events of this month is the debut of The Many Ghosts of Dr.Graves, a ghost-buster turned ghost host who debuted in Ghostly Tales and  would go on to become one of Charlton's most durable books, even making it the final months of the company's existence. Once again we have a powerhouse Boyette cover to behold. Joining Dr.Graves in the genre categories they so faithfully maintained is a great issue of Texas Rangers in Action which debuts Riley's Rangers, a very handsome western feature. Rocke Mastroserio supplies the cover for this issue as well as the cover the next book. The war in Vietnam is front and center in this month's issue of War Heroes which asks the questions all of America was beginning to ask about that tragic conflict. Giving peace a chance seemed to be the theme of the month.

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2 comments:

  1. An excellent and Timely post Rip. And let's not forget that Saturday April 1st is Charlton Fool's day!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the reminder. But for me every day is Charlton Fool's Day!

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