Sunday, February 7, 2021

Episode #395 Part IV: Superman Comic Book Cover Dated April 1966: Action Comics #336!


Action Comics 336, April, 1966!

Download Episode 395 Part IV!

NOTE: Listeners to this podcast know how much I enjoy comic book history (which is why I'm doing this podcast), and I've mentioned how much I enjoy the publications of TwoMorrows Publishing, even reviewing a number of their publications on past episodes. Right now, TwoMorrows is having a Clearance Sale, with selected items up to 80% OFF. I ordered two books, each at half price. If you enjoy comic book history as much as I do, check out their sale by clicking on the link. (This is an unsolicited advertisement. TwoMorrows never asked me to endorse their sale nor paid to have me advertise their sale.)

ACTION COMICS 336, April 1966, was published on February 24, 1966. It contained 32 pages for the cover price of 12¢. Mort Weisinger was the editor, and the cover was pencilled by Curt Swan, inked by George Klein and lettered by Ira Schnapp. Supergirl made her 21st appearance on a cover of ACTION COMICS, and her 23rd overall. This cover features the second and final story in this issue.

- (8:40) Review of CARMINE INFANTINO: PENCILLER - PUBLISHER - PROVOCATEUR by Jim Amash with Eric Nolen Weathington, published by TwoMorrows Publishing in 2010. This book is 221 pages long.

- (10:46) MY PULL LIST review of the comic books I received that carried the September 2020 cover date, which were released during the month of July, from Discount Comic Book Service.

- (23:36) THE MAN FROM THE PHANTOM ZONE (13 pgs.), written by Edmond Hamilton, according to Mike's Amazing World Of Comics, while the Grand Comic Book Database has a story note crediting E. Nelson Bridwell with finishing an unfinished Edmond Hamilton script. I mistakenly stated that this was Hamilton's next to last script for DC Comics.

- (50:27) METROPOLIS MAILBAG letter column.

- (59:22) THE FORBIDDEN FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE (11 pgs.), written by Otto Binder and drawn by Jim Mooney. This was Supergirl's 147th appearance.

- (1:10:13) DIRECT CURRENTS checklist of upcoming DC Comics titles to be released during the month of March 1966.

- (1:22:22) ELSEWHERE IN DC COMICS, 32 titles carried the April or April/May 1966 cover date, according to MYEike's Amazing World Of Comics.

Also highlighted in this episode are the issue's ads and other features.

Next Episode: SUPERMAN 2020: YEAR IN REVIEW!

Then we will begin to cover: SUPERMAN FAMILY COMIC BOOKS COVER DATED MAY 1966: PART I: WORLD'S FINEST COMICS 157, PART II: SUPERMAN 186, PART III: SUPERMAN'S GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE 65 & PART IV: ACTION COMICS 337!

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5 comments:

  1. First, I must comment on the cover, with its prominent depiction of Comet, the Super-Horse. Yesterday, I spent some time explaining to a friend the complicated history of Comet, starting from his days as a centaur in ancient Greece, and his transformation into a horse and being endowed with super-powers and immortality, eventually becoming Supergirl's horse, and having a sorcerer from the planet Zerox reward him for service by casting a spell which would transform him into a human whenever a comet appeared in Earth's sky, allowing a kind of romance between him (in the guise of rodeo rider Bronco Bill Starr) and Linda Danvers. Silver Age strangeness at its finest!
    As for the story, "The Forbidden Fortress of Solitude", I thought it was a good wrap-up to the story begun in the previous issue of Action. Although this story left the fate of the pretty Bizarro Supergirl unresolved, I like to think that, at some point, Supergirl took the Miss Galaxy crown to her, and it made he "Bizarro pretty". That would be a good Silver Age ending, I think.
    Like you, I usually enjoy a Bottle City of Kandor story, as well as Phantom Zone stories, so "The Man from the Phantom Zone" was a fun one. It seemed pretty clear that Ak-Var's wanting to tour Earth's wonders was some sort of excuse to go off and set up something underhanded for later, but I wasn't expecting red kryptonite. That seemed almost reckless of him, given the likelihood that he'd be affected by that, in some unpredictable way, but I had faith in writer Edmund Hamilton (possibly aided by E. Nelson Bridwell), to deliver a good story. It's a good thing that the Red K transferred exactly the super-powers required by the plot!
    I have to say, I am amused by Ak-Var's reluctance to return to Kandor, because he (having spent 30 years as a phantom) didn't want to be reduced to such a small size. That, and the Kandorians' often-expressed wish to be enlarged seems silly to me. Everything in Kandor is in proper proportion, so it should be the normal experience of life there that a person wouldn't feel any different than they would have on Krypton (except for being confined to what is, to them, a giant bottle. Obviously, in the decades since they were shrunk by Brainiac (and consequently saved from death when Krypton exploded), they've adapted quite well, continuing their society and even continuing to have children, so it doesn't seem such a burdensome life, really. Of course, I've never been shrunk and confined to a bottle, so I could be wrong.

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    1. Bizarre stories like these involving Comet the Super-Horse are what give the Silver Age its unique charm.
      I agree with you about the conclusion of the Supergirl story that began in the back of the previous issue, and which I finally got to read after about 55 years after I read the first part of this story. The pretty Bizarro Supergirl still has my sympathies. I don't think she would like Supergirl's Miss Cosmos crown because she still thought like a Bizarro. I think she would prefer a rusty one.
      In a way, I can understand Ak-Var's reluctance to be miniaturized and sent back to Kandor. The idea of being reduced to an almost microscopic being can be frightening. That's why I can understand the citizens of Kandor wishing to be returned to their full size. "A prison, no matter how benevolent, is still a prison", as the old saying goes, especially for the citizens of Kandor. When they are eventually returned to normal size late in the Bronze Age, they refer to feeling as if they've been Superman's pets all those years, despite the fact that he never treated them as such.

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