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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP - Teaser Trailer - Official UK Marvel | HD

Look around. Read and enjoy!

Wanted to make a point and this sale does that. This is a £10.00 book at the online store and it was sold to someone in the United States.


Note that from the £10.00 I get £3.75 -the other £6.25 goes to the printer and print on demand company.  It's still £3.75, right?  Check the screenshot below this.
The Ultimate Centaur Collection 2011
A4
b&w
148 Pages
Price: £10.00 (excl. VAT)Prints in 3-5 business days
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/hoopercomicsuk?searchTerms=the+ultimate+centaur

Previously available as two seperate volumes and now collected into one 146 pages volume!

Vol 1

Centaur -the short-lived publishing house of some of the first and most unique Golden Age heroes that still live on in legend today! The Eye Sees! Truly weird and bizarre! The Clock! Airman! The Sparkler! The Blue Lady! Plymo! The Arrow! And others. Volume 1 is a treat for all Golden Age comic fans and a must have!
Volume 2

The Skull,The Shark,The Blue Lady and Amazing Man! These were part of the First Wave of US Golden Age comics that also includes Mini Midget and Mighty Man. This book also reprints the one and only appearance of the very first comic book Owl from 1940! A must for comic fans and Golden Age buffs!





Note the * and fluctuations due  to currency exchange -like most US companies the POD will wait until the rate suits them and not the publisher -me. So, based on previous knowledge that figure will be more like £3.00.
Still, £3.00 though, right?  Sadly, no. You see, the US Tax people will tax me on that as a foreign trader and have been doing so for two years now despite my tax exemption claim –I cannot get a tax statement to cover this from HM Tax and Revenue because I simply do not earn enough to justify the effort or document (and I was told to stop sending in statements re. sales until I reached a certain figure because it was time wasting –someone in comics wants to be honest and gets the brush off!).


It means that the IRS will tax me. I may get £1.50-2.00 out of this sale.  Increase the book price? No.

That tells you how it all works!

Now, cutting back on posts due to something I only learned today about the blog on other devices.  So look around.  Read and enjoy!

1939 -A Bad Year To Try To Sell British Comics To Germany.


Now, the idea of Amalgamated Press sending Caldicott and Carstairs (you have no idea who they are, do you?) to Germany at the start of the Second World War to sell its comic sets (strips) to the Germans may seem silly to you.  I mean, one country at war with another and fatalities on both sides does not make you think of "business opportunities" does it?

Well, in 1982 there was the Falklands War/Guerra de las Malvinas and if you really need an history lesson on that you need to read some books.  Anyway, I was on one of my regular trips to Fleetway/IPC and talking to Dave Hunt who edited a football comic (I've gone into this before) and showed him a few samples from artists and was told that although it looked "top quality" there was a problem.  It seems that British artists would expect the full going rate per page which was not in anyway that great but it was a bill paid and food in the cupboard.

I was told that strips were being drawn by Argentinean artists, there were some delays in getting the finished art (everything was posted back then no scans!) back.  Quite a few Argentinian artists were employed on the company's comics.

I then met Managing Editor Gil Page and asked about the Argentinian artists and was told they were used on a few books because they were paid far less. Now the fact that artists were being paid less annoyed me a lot.  You do the same work as a British artist you should get the same pay, right? British artists who were quite capable of doing the same work, were losing out to cheaper ...well, not even competitors.

But there was another aspect that seemed odd considering the gung-ho climate being generated in the UK at the time.  We were in a state of war with Argentina and were recruiting, employing and paying artists from there because it was "cheaper".  And the company continued to employ Argentinean artists even after the conflict but when there was still an official state of war.

The excuse was that this was business and had nothing to do with the war going on.   I know a few people were shocked when they heard of this and you know those legendary, great creative editors everyone seems to currently worship as they re-write the history of what they did at Fleetway/IPC (I met and talked to most of them so I know what they were doing) ?  They knew and had no problem with this practice and one in particular showed me art from Argentina that was "not really up to scratch but it's cheaper".

Think about that and ask yourself: would the AP have employed German artists during World War II because it was just "business" and cheaper ?

We know that American comics were full of crooks and the UK had its own versions -but double and triple book-keeping and "publishing fiddles" were far more subtle.  Like a lot of American comic editors, their British counterparts also have a lot of known (in circles) dirty secrets but this is all being glossed over and when spoken about they are just jokingly called "roguish"

A crook is a crook and I just do not care to join in with the praising of the people or perpetuating the lies of their pals and hanger-ons about what they did, what they created.  Writers and artists were treated like shit and cheated: remember that and this involved editors not just management.

Why were editors not allowed to know where the company was storing all the original artwork -so much of it went, uh, "missing" that it makes the loss of Kirby artwork look like a drop of piss in the ocean.  Management knew where the art had been going.

I remember having to provide a copy of scripts I was paid for because the accountants had caught on to non-existent scripts they were paying out on.  And ask why I was never paid the £5000+ for scripts and art -"take that up with the editor. He is no longer with the company"...says it all.

Self publish and be poor through your own work!

Comics zwischen Frankreich und Deutschland - Grenzenlose 9. Kunst

Monday, 29 January 2018

Flying In and Flying Out

I have to wonder whether some of my posts are a bit too "obscure" for some readers. I have covered
Marvel and the Avengers as well as the Sub-Mariner (the Avengers a few times!) and DC with my look at the Justice League (volume 1 of course).  Then there was the mega Atlas Comics post.  Posts on Indian comics, Chinese (PRC and Hong Kong) as well as comics from Singapore.  Russian, Polish, French and German comics...

And let's not forget the Small Press!

The problem is that I have no idea what interests readers out there -but the high view numbers indicate I must be getting something right!

So, for a while -as long as I can- I'll keep the mix going. There have been, I checked, 2,702 comments since 2011 and, sadly, most of that is chat between myself and friends!  Still I can use that as a good stat!

Now, gotta fly as my date just flew in.

Captain Flash: Lost Hero of the Golden Age Ep.17

Top 10 Best Vintage Flash Gordon Toys

At least the Galoob Defenders of the Earth figures got a mention! Mine are on the shelf.

It Was A Very Long Day And A Very Painful Night...I'm not talking about my love-life.

tee hee hee hehe heh hehehehehe....little costumed people jumping and flying about...hehehe...in my room.  Whooo! There goes a blue and yellow one flying past my nose...hee hee hee.

shh! They are watching!

Well, I tee hee hee hope everyone enjoyed the Atlas Comics Mega Post yesterday? Neck and eyes are ruined but if someone enjoyed it the effort was worth it. Is that sarcasm? By 23:00hrs (UK time) I had comic cover blindness and the text was vanishing in a fog of my own eyes making!

Subzero, over at Tales From The Kryptonian, noted that his post yesterday was number 900.  So out of curiosity I checked and there have been 95 (What??) this month.  Since 2011 there have been some 6,013 posts.  Now even with blogger's habit of making images vanish you are still looking at thousands of images and I really -really- do not want to even think about how many million words. I fainted when I though of the posts on the old Yahoo 360 blog, the Freeservers and WordPress and what they contained!

As I have written before, all of this is done with no sponsorship (especially not from the companies who do well out of CBO) or GoFundMe or Patreon or whatever.  Buy a magazine with just the one mega Avengers post and it would cost you a lot of cash. Two or three mega-posts and you are looking at the cost of a very hefty book.  Costs that would reflect the amount of time and work put into them.

Now I know you don't really care and I'm sure people switch off what they read in these posts but: my online store is covered in cobwebs but full of books that should be my income. If you want to show support for all this effort then please visit the store and consider buying something you like the look of.  Thank you.

If you are saying "Why the feck should I spend my money on your books?" Then God Bless You (in  the true Victorian beggar meaning of that).

I had a couple other big posts planned but let's see what the reaction is (I may get two comments from the usual two people!)

Now...someone keeps flying past my face....

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Addison Morton "Mort" Walker 3rd September, 1923 – 27th January, 2018)

BBC news  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42853046
Mort Walker, the creator of the long-running cartoon Beetle Bailey, has died in the US state of Connecticut aged 94.
His son, Greg Walker, said his father had drawn the cartoon of a work-shy army private for 68 years and "he was drawing up to the end".
At its peak, the Beetle Bailey ran in 1,800 newspapers around the world and reached 200 million readers.

It began in 1950 with Beetle as a college student, but he was soon enlisted in the armed forces.
It included characters such as Sgt Snorkle and Gen Halftrack, who existed in the fictional Camp Swampy.
The setting was inspired by Mr Walker's experience in the US Army during World War Two.
In 2000, he was awarded the army's highest civilian honour - the Distinguished Civilian Service award - for his work and military service.
Fellow cartoonist Mark Evanier paid tribute to Mr Walker on his website.
"He was delightful to be around and always willing to draw Beetle or Sarge for any of his fans. He sure had a lot of them," he said.

MEGA POST!! Before Watchmen. Before The Dark Knight Returns. There Was Atlas Comics

 Here you go.  One day's work and 1,181 words and 96 images (I think it's 96 or 97) and I hope some of you find it informative and fun.

If you want a full list of contents and other background articles including Vengeance Incorporated by John B. Cooke...

If finding that mag is too expensive then the Atlas Archives has the full text on its site:

 Now if you think this is a good post please remember this is all free -no Patreon or anything like that.  However if you visit my online store (link to the right) and buy a book it would show support!
Thank You

Now the article


So it's 1975 and I am living near Ramsgate, in Kent.  A small seaside town where, in those days, come 17:00 hours Summer or Winter the place was devoid of life. I used to go for walks through the town and see no one.

Anyway, one day it is hot and sunny -in those days that meant Summer-  and I tell my then little brother Mike that we'll pop into a newsagent shop on the High Street and see if they have any comics to while away the boredom.  The week before on a day trip to Margate I had snagged a whole bundle of Marvel Two-In-Ones for half price each.  It was another seaside town and the shop owner couldn't care less so long as he made some money selling the comics and if I recall, he said I was the only one who had shown any interest.

But back to that Ramsgate newsagents -and there were no comic speciality stores around back then so this was the place to buy comics. Walked in and looked around and saw "Atlas Comics" -what? Had Marvel reverted to an old name?? Anyway, there were a couple books there so I grabbed them and when we returned to the luxurious trailer where we were living (I'm being sarcastic there) I opened up Weird Suspense #1....

Wait -Dick Giordano from DC Comics did the cover?  Curse of the Tarantula was written by Mike Fleisher and drawn by Pat Boyette who I knew as a Charlton artist and so I just shrugged because my main interest was the story and art -and with Boyette it was good work that lended itself well to the story. And what a story!

The Barton Brothers escape from a maximum security prison and manage to evade the police.

They find an old dilapidated house and attempt to seek food and clothing from it's owner.

Unfortunately for the Bartons, they have wandered into the home of Count Eugene Lycosa, also known as the Tarantula. The felons attempt to flee as the Count transforms himself into the arachnid creature. They are soon trapped in the web of the Tarantula, who crawls down the web to devour his victims.

But who is Count Lycosa? And how did he become the fearsome Tarantula? The story begins in Europe during the Middle Ages. Hideous Spider-Monsters, led by the Spider-Priestess, are terrorizing the countryside. Villagers are devoured by the Spider-Creatures or are transformed into the hideous creatures.

In order to stop the creatures, Count Lycosa, disguised as a tarantula, follows the creatures back to their hidden Glen. He quickly returns to inform the villagers of the location of the Spider-Priestess. A horde of villagers return to slaughter the tarantulas and burn the Spider-Priestess at the stake.

Prior to her death, she places a curse upon all male descendants of the Lycosa famly. The will forever suffer... The Curse of the Tarantula.

Whoa!  He actually…eats the criminals. Being a veteran old horror movie and comics fan by that tender age I loved this.  I did wonder how Americans would take this but in the UK we were used to anti-heroes (the Spider et al) though I don’t think any actually ate crooks.


Above: The Larry Leiber (yes, Stan Lee's brother) cover to issue #2

Rich Buckler's cover for the third and final issue of Weird Suspense.

No matter how I tried I could not find a fourth issue.  But the other title I picked up was The Grim Ghost and the covers and interior art were by another name I recognised –Ernie Colon. Issues 1 and 2 were written by Fleisher with Tony Isabella stepping in on issue 3.






If Boyette’s art work had lent atmosphere to the Tarantula then Colon’s work gave the whole book a very unearthly feeling.  The style was simply superb. And if you want to know what the story was about then…

Colonial America. 1743. A horse drawn carriage travels down a moonlit road when it is suddenly stopped. The carriage, carrying Lord and Lady Braddock, is being robbed by the infamous highwayman known as the Grim Ghost.

The authorities quickly arrive but the Grim Ghost has made his escape. Their search takes them to the home of Matthew Dunsinane, who has seen no one pass his way.
 
The following morning an outraged Lord Braddock demands that the Grim Ghost be apprehended. The authorities, who have never seen the Grim Ghost without his mask, have no way of catching him. Lady Braddock, however, claims that she can catch the Grim Ghost.

Several nights later, a lavish affair is held at Lord Braddock's mansion. Matthew Dunsinane attends, and is introduced to Lady Sarah Braddock. Several hours later, Lady Braddock tires and retires for the evening. In her bedroom awaits the Grim Ghost, ready to claim his prize. The Ghost, however, has been duped as the authorities quickly surround him. He is unmasked as Matthew Dunsinane.
 
Justice is swift and in just three weeks, Matthew Dunsinane is due to hang until dead. As he falls thru the gallows trap, he is transported to Hell, where he encounters Satan. In desperate need of souls for his kingdom, he offers Matthew a deal. Keep his kingdom supplied with the souls of the evil and he may remain on earth. Matthew agrees rather than endure the tortures of the damned.

Satan sends Matthew to the 20th century, where evil runs rampant. And so is born... The Grim Ghost.

Well, in the UK we had highwayman Nick Jolly who occasionally got transported to the 20th century where his horse was swapped for a robotic one.  Satan was in no way involved and Jolly killed no one to claim their souls!
I just sat there and re-read the comics several times.  Stories –great. Art was, in both titles, perfect.   And when I saw Tiger-man and what went on in his comic I damn near wet myself.





Ernie Colon drew the cover for issue #1 and internal art while #2 saw Steve Ditko jump on for one solo issue and for #3 Ditko was joined by Al Milgrom.  Frank Thorne (a vastly under-rated artist) and Larry Lieber drew the third cover.  Gabe Levy wrote the first issue story and then Gerry Conway wrote issues 2 and 3.

The story and origin is simple enough but Conway never went on to adapt it to the TV series he worked on a few decades later –Diagnosis Murder!

While serving a two-year internship at a clinic in Zambia, Dr. Lancaster Hill has isolated the chromosome that makes the tiger such a powerful and formidable creature.

Eager to see the results of his work, he injects himself with the tiger chromosome. He soon discovers that he the strength and agility of a tiger.

His internship at an end, Dr. Hill returns to the states. He is greeted by his sister, Anna. After dropping her brother off at a downtown hotel, Anna heads home. Upon her arrival, she is greeted by two thugs who proceed to rob and murder her.
 
The tragic event causes Dr. Hill to don the costume given to him by Chief Jnuka as he left Zambia. He vows to use his tiger powers to avenge his sister.

His cat-like senses allow him to track the two thugs that killed his sister to a rodeo. He follows the two to a nearby bar and confronts them. They are no match for the ferocity of Tiger-Man as he takes his revenge, slaying the two men that murdered his sister.

To me this was all just plain weird.  People who worked at DC, Charlton and Marvel were working on these books and the characters and stories were not like anything seen before (yes, 1940s comics were violent and in those costumed heroes shot or even lynched a villain or two but this…).
 
It took a few years of back street newsagents shops scouring and then finding the odd book at the old Bath Marts but I completed my run of Atlas books and they were well over a decade ahead of the 1980s and Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns.






Then we had The Brute.  Not quite the Hulk but the cover to issue #1 was by Dick Giordano and Mike Fleisher scripted while the great Mike Sekowsky aided byPablo Marcos drew the interior art.

Frozen for centuries, the Brute is released when a nearby power plant causes the temperature to rise 5 to 6 degrees, melting his frozen prison.

Three young boys have the misfortune of wandering into his cave. Two are horribly killed by the Brute, while one manages to escape to notify the authorities.

The police arrive to gas the cave and force the Brute out into the open. A tranquilizer dart subdues the creature, but not before he smashes a TV cameraman against the wall of the cliff.

The Brute awakens behind bars, his fate to be decided by a judge. The father of the dead boys, Mr. Carlson, wants vengeance, while Dr. Turner, an anthropologist, wants to study the Brute in captivity. The judge rules in favor of Dr. Turner, much to the dismay of Mr. Carlson.

Months pass as Dr. Turner and the Brute begin to form a bond. While leaving the lab one evening, she is struck from behind by Mr. Carlson. He releases the Brute, in hopes that he will be blamed for attacking Dr. Turner. Seeing the injured Doctor, the Brute turns on Mr. Carlson, crushing him against a concrete wall.

The Brute then escapes... and the manhunt begins.

Okay, at no point was Kolchak: Night Stalker involved in any of this and to get that reference I guess you needed to have watched the show.  In the January, 1975 episode “Primal Scream”, ancient cells discovered in the arctic by oil men give rise to a carnivorous, evolutionary ancestor of man and a corporate cover-up.
 
For issue #2  the cover by Dick Giordano and Larry Lieber was altered prior to publication and I tend to think that, although the published cover looks great, the original is just so much cooler!  The same creative team were on the book while, for issue #3 not only did Pablo Marcos produce a great cover that still “wows” the eyes decades later but the art inside was by another unrecognised great –Alan Weiss along with Jack Abel.
 
All that went through my mind was what happened if The Brute, Grim Ghost, Tiger-man and all the others met up?  Phew!



Frank Thorne drew the cover to #1 of The Cougar while Steve Mitchell wrote and Dan Adkins and Frank Springer provided art. Although the TV series, Fall Guy, starring Lee Majors as a stunt man who did part-time bounty hunting, did not appear until 1981, stuntmen and women were becoming legends in the 1970s so why not a comic based on one?

Jeff Rand is known to fellow stuntmen as the Cougar, due to his cat-like speed and agility.

While inspecting an ancient castle for the next day's shoot for the film "The Gore of Dracula", Jeff's buddy Roger inadvertently revives the vampire Krolok. Roger quickly becomes the vampire's first victim.

Later, Krolok wanders thru town and encounters the tavern where the Cougar and his friends have gathered. Krolok recognizes Kathie as his lost love Katya and attempts to abduct her. The Cougar battles Krolok to a standstill, yet the vampire escapes when the police arrive.
 
Later the next evening, Kathie is being protected by the Cougar and the police, who fear that Krolok will attempt to kidnap her. Krolok indeed does attack, subduing both the police and the Cougar. Katie is gone as the Cougar awakes.

The Cougar immediately heads for the castle, where he finds Krolok ready to drain Kathie of her blood. A battle ensues, which ends when the Cougar drives a stake thru the vampire's heart.

Gary Friedrich wrote the second story and Frank Springer did solo art behind a cover by Rich Buckler and Al Milgrom and then…nothing.



More of a sci fi character to start with was astronaut Ed Tyler -The Phoenix.  Oddly, I found #2 first and #1 a week later! Jeff Rovin wrote the story for #1 and I ought to point out that he edited the Atlas Comic line.  Sal Amendola and Dick Giordano worked on the cover and, guess what? Sal Amendola’s art suited the story-line perfectly.

After some months on board the Threshold I space station, the three-man crew were forced to abandon ship after an air-leak.  The escape shuttle made a three-point emergency landing (Here, There and Everywhere!) in the Arctic –Tyler was thrown across the ice and was near death.  However, Tyler was saved from freezing to death by the Deiei, an alien race that had been monitoring mankind for years from within a secret hidden base in the frozen north.  This was no real act of kindness since the Deiei feared that a rescue party might discover their presence.
 
Tyler awoke to find himself a prisoner rather than a guest and the truth was soon revealed to him. The Deiei, it seems, had been involved in the evolution of the human race but had become ashamed at the failings of humanity –war, etc..  So what do a bunch of self-righteous aliens with a god complex decide to do?  They planned to quite literally wipe the slate clean by destroying humanity.  Tyler could not be allowed to go free and expose them, the Deiei planned to keep him captive for the rest of his life. However, as such pains-in-the butt aliens tend to do, especially when they think they are superior, they ruled Tyler to be harmless and left him unguarded. The resourceful astronaut managed to steal a space suit and arm himself with “atomic transistors” –and then he made his escape.

Tyler reached the nearest human population centre which happened to be Reykjavik, Iceland, hours later.  Here he discovered that the Deiei were causing the very earth beneath the city to collapse using nuclear particles. No self-respecting human could just stand back and watch so Tyler raced back to the alien base to stop this attack. The Deiei were having none of this interference and especially not from a human using their technology.  It was the ensuing fight which set off an nuclear blast that destroyed the aliens’ headquarters. Tyler then returned to Reykjavik to help the survivors and it was here that the media dubbed him the “Phoenix,”  risen from the ashes of the city. Meanwhile some Deiei survivors, and they were really teed off and swore revenge; they would kill Tyler and then destroy the human race.
 
Tyler -The Phoenix-  was attacked by a Deiei spaceship a short while later, a distraction of sorts (if such superior entities felt they needed one) as the main force of Deiei craft headed for New YorkPhoenix survived the attack and learned of the armada and headed off to intercept it. After a fierce battle the alien Deiei fleet was destroyed and Phoenix was triumphant (oh, and New York was saved, though I’m guessing that you guessed that, right?)

Rovin plotted issue #2 while Gabe Levy scripted it and issue #3 –Amendola remained on the art chores nd Frank Thorne provided another great cover and #4 was all change as Lieber drew the cover and Gary Friedrich wrote the story and Ric Estrada and Frank Giacoia gave the character his more super hero look. The costume change was supposedly due to Tyler being thought of as dead by his wife and not exactly popular with the authorities.
 
Despite the story and art the costume change never worked.

Then came…The Destructor! Larry Leiber drew all four covers for the four issue series The Destructor –assisted on #1 by Wally Wood.  Awhile Steve Ditko and Wally Wood worked on the art no less than Archie Goodwin wrote the story.  Yes –the Archie Goodwin! And he wrote the first three issues until Conway took over with #4.




Basically, Jay Hunter, a young mob thug, is deemed too ambitious by his boss, Max Raven, so he orders him to be eliminated.

Jay and his father are soon gunned down in a hail of bullets. In a last ditch effort to save his son, a dying Simon Hunter gives him the serum he has been working on for years, a serum he hopes will create a super-hero. The serum does it's job as Jay's body begins to heal itself. He later discovers a costume his father has left behind. He becomes... The Destructor.
 
The Destructor now sets out to destroy all of Max Raven's operations. Unable to stop the Destructor on his own, Max enlists the aid of the hired assassin, Slaymaster, to eliminate the Destructor.

After destroying yet another Mob operation, the Destructor contacts Max Raven, who proposes that they settle this feud, once and for all. They are to meet at the Giant Novelty Company. Slaymaster will be lying in wait.

As the Destructor arrives at the Giant Novelty Company, he is attacked by Slaymaster. Overmatched at first, The Destructor recovers and dispatches the paid assassin.
 
The Destructor returns to Max Raven's headquarters, disguising himself as Slaymaster. He reveals himself to be the Destructor and is about to unmask in front of Raven. Hearing footsteps approaching, he slips away while Max Raven is gunned down by his own men, who fear he is losing control of the Mob operation.

The Destructor then reveals his identity to a dying Max Raven and vows to continue his fight for justice.



Well, for three more issues anyway.

Remember Howard Chaykin’s character Dominic Fortune?  Ahem. Before that was The Scorpion!  Written and drawn by Chaykin the first cover was lovely and stylish and for #2 Ernie Colon drew the cover while Jim Craig drew #3s cover.  What happened creatively is legendary in its confusion and complexity but Gabe Levy wrote #3 and the art was by Jim Craig.






Jules Reinhardt, Chicago financier, has disappeared. Five days after a mysterious phone call, terrified and muttering something about black magic and voodoo, Mr. Reinhardt left his home and has yet to return. Mrs. Reinhardt wants her husband found. The Scorpion agrees to do so.

After meeting with Mrs. Reinhardt, the Scorpion learns that Max Cervantes is somehow involved in Mr. Reinhardt's disappearance. Max Cervantes, however, died 8 years ago in a plane wreck.

The Scorpion's investigation leads him to one unmistakable conclusion, that Max Cervantes is still alive. He heads to the Skylight Room, a former speakeasy once owned by Max.

It is there that the Scorpion finds the lifeless body of Jules Reinhardt, only to be told that Jules Reinhardt is, indeed, Max Cervantes. Cervantes faked his death 8 years ago and changed his face, taking the identity of Jules Reinhardt.

After changing identities, Max skipped out on his partner, Buddy Lyle. There had been rumblings that Lyle had suspicions about Reinhardt, causing Reinhardt to grab his bank books and hide out. He was murdered using a voodoo doll and his bank books are missing.
 
Buddy Lyle now has the bank books, but they are of no value to him. Mrs. Reinhardt must sign off, in person, in order to withdraw any funds. He plots to kidnap Mrs. Reinhardt in order to empty the off-shore accounts. In addition, he tells his associate to dispose of the voodoo lady, Ol Rose. It was her voodoo magic that helped to kill Jules Reinhardt. He does as he is told, but not before the old woman casts two hexes on Buddy Lyle, insuring his death.

The Scorpion confronts Lyle and his henchmen at the Manhattan Sky Port. Lyle has taken the Scorpion's assistant, Ruby, hostage, mistaking her for Mrs. Reinhardt.

As the Scorpion battles Lyle and his henchman, the first hex begins to unfold. Lyle's pet cat, Caesar, is transformed into a man-eating lion. It strikes at Lyle and kills him instantly. The threat is ended when the Scorpion kills the beast in a hail of machine gun fire.

Thinking the threat has ended, ruby informs the Scorpion that Jules Reinhardt's body has vanished from the funeral parlor. The second hex has taken form. The Scorpion heads to the Reinhardt home to find the zombie like body of Jules Reinhardt, attempting to kill his wife. Striking the creature again and again has no effect, so the Scorpion must resort to drastic measures. He unleashes a grenade and grabbing Mrs. Reinhardt, jumps from the balcony as the grenade obliterates Jules Reinhardt.
 
It captured the atmosphere of the old pulps wonderfully but you’ll note that with issue #3 the Scorpion had a super hero costume and Larry Lieber was editing so was there a plan behind all the super hero costumes turning up?

Atlas Comics was, seemingly, trying to emulate Marvel Comics and I will return to that.

My next find was Morlock 2001 and behind the Al Milgrom and Dick Giordano cover was a story by Mike Fleisher drawn by Milgrom and Jack Abel.  Savage Tales #1, May, 1971 featuring the Lee, Thomas, Conway and Gray Morrow drawn Man-Thing and Swamp Thing (first series 1972-1976) appeared before Morlock so that raises certain questions.  Personally, I go with the flow since The Heap appeared first in Hillman Periodicals' Air Fighters Comics #3  and that had a cover-date of  December, 1942! 





Anyway, it is the year is 2001 A.D. and a totalitarian regime holds people in an iron grip. The Thought Police break into the home of Professor Kroschell, who has been conducting illegal botanical experiments. They liquidate the Professor and set his home ablaze. They leave with two large pods which are the product of his last, and greatest, experiment.

The pods are kept under observation at a laboratory complex. Weeks pass until one of the pods begins to open. The scientists are shocked to find a human growing inside the pod. He is removed from the pod and placed in the hospital rejuvenator.

Eventually, the pod creature awakens and begins to speak. He is given the name Morlock and indoctrinated so that he can be used for the benefit of the regime. Weeks later, Morlock inadvertently makes contact with one of the scientists -within seconds, the life of the scientist is snuffed out as his body is completely covered by a green plant like fungus.

The government decides to use Morlock as an assassin. They send him out to "touch" those the government has deemed subversive. Morlock is torn by his actions and voices his displeasure.

 
Days later, Morlock is befriended by Lynda, who, unbeknownst to Morlock, has been assigned by the Government to further brainwash Morlock. Lynda encourages him to continue his work for the government.

However, Morlock can no longer continue taking the lives of others. He heads to the lab complex to refuse any further assignments. He over hears Lynda's in a nearby office and realizes that she is a government agent. His rage and anger cause him to transform into the mindless Morlock and then devours and absorbs Lynda, leaving only a pool of brackish slime behind. After fleeing the lab complex, Morlock reverts back to human form and is now a fugitive from justice.

I try as hard as I can to avoid all the double entendres but honestly!

Morlock 2001 #2 had the same creative team and a Lieber cover. For #3 Rich Buckler drew the cover and the interior art was by Ditko and Berni Wrightson no less! Gary Friedrich took over the writing.

 
To me this is still a great character but like most of the Atlas characters he never made it past #3.

Giordano, Thorne and Buckler respectively drew the covers for #1-3 of Targitt written by Ric Myers and drawn by Howard Nostrand in #1 and for #2 Gabe Levy co-wrote with Myers and for #3 Gerry Conway jumped in to co-write. Nostrand drew all three issues.






John Targitt, Special Agent for the FBI, sees his wife and child off on a short vacation. The plane is barely airborne when it explodes, bursting into flames and killing everyone aboard.

Mob Boss Bert Manetti was aboard the plane, and someone wanted him eliminated. At the crash site, Targitt finds the remains of a Boston newspaper that was used to pad the bomb. Targitt is off to Boston to avenge his wife and daughter.

As Targitt leaves the airport, an attempt is made on his life. Foiling the assassin, he discovers who is responsible for the bombing of the plane.

His information leads him to a Boston University dormitory, where he makes quick work of the man who killed his family. By eliminating Manetti, he had hoped to become drug czar of Boston. Before leaving the apartment, he discovers a list of mob contacts.

Targitt makes his way to Haymarket Square, where several mob hit men attempt to eliminate him. The FBI arrives at the scene and a massive gun battle ensues.
 
After overcoming the mob assassins, Targitt uncovers documents concerning a large drug shipment due to arrive at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.

Defying his FBI boss Carl, he heads for the Mystic Seaport. He battles his way aboard the vessel containing the drug shipment.

As a helicopter tries to make a getaway with the drug shipment, Targitt unleashes a barrage of machine gun fire, destroying the helicopter and the drugs within.
 
Well, seems like a good crime comic, however, with issue #2 out came the costume and the title became John Targitt: Man-Stalker!   And in #3 he faced Professor Death. Now I have no problem with switching from civilian clothes to a costume if it is done for the right reason –I still say Phoenix should have kept the original outfit though!- but there seemed to be a lot of confusion going on.


Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin’s Shang-Chi first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December, 1973.  It was popular and so by #17 the book was retitled The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.  The Kun-Fu TV series that seemed to spark the fuse starred David Carradine and ran from 1972 to 1975.  So, ahem, Atlas got a martial arts book….

The Hands Of The Dragon! Well, there was only one issue with a cover by Jim Craig and story by Ed Fedory with art by Craig and Jim Mooney. According to the plot-line:

An elderly man is travelling to China from a Japan decimated by World War II. He is carrying his two infant grandchildren, twin boys, whose parents were killed during the war.

While approaching the summit of Mount Fuji, a bomb, long dormant, explodes. The radiation from the bomb scars the face of one of the boys. The old man, however, finds a new strength, a strength that allows him to cross the Sea of Japan and the Himalayan Mountains in order to seek aid for his grandsons.

The old man soon arrives at a monastery deep in the Himalayan Mountains. He is greeted by his older brother. The old man and the twin boys are to make the monastery their home.

The years pass and the boys grow into men. Wu Teh (the Dragon) and Ling (the Cobra) however, have chosen different paths. The scars on his face have left Ling bitter, cruel and devoid of mercy. Ling has also been seen in the company of the evil Dr. Nhu.

During martial arts training, the brothers come to blows. Ling loses all control and attempts to take his brother's life. The grandfather attempts to intervene and make peace between the two. A spear meant for Wu Teh strikes the old man and kills him. Ling flees the monastery while Wu Teh swears vengeance.

After his grandfather's death, Wu Teh leaves the monastery and settles in Southern California. He studies journalism and becomes an anchorman for a local news program. While examining photos of the Prime Minister of Japan, Wu Teh spots the illustrated skin of Dr. Nhu and the scarred face of his brother, Ling the Cobra. He knows that they will attempt to assassinate the Prime Minister.

Speaking at the local university, the Prime Minster is indeed targeted for death. The Dragon spots Dr. Nhu and barely stops the assassination attempt. As he is subduing Dr. Nhu, the Cobra strikes. His bullet pierces the Prime Minister. Both Ling and Dr. Nhu escape as the Dragon tends to the wounded Prime Minister.

Hours later, the Dragon enters the hospital room of the Prime Minister, who is near death. The Dragon removes his medallion and the essence of life and strength revive the Prime Minister.

The Dragon is left to ponder when Dr. Nhu and the Cobra will strike again.

I actually checked and no one has heard anything of Dr. Nhu since 1975 –though there was a bit of confusion when people thought I was asking about Dr. Who! I just hope that the Dragon has not been sitting around for decades waiting…seriously –what is he living off?

It was an enjoyable comic but just one issue…sad.


Another such comic was The Demon Hunter, created by David Anthony Kraft and Rich Buckler and his name says it all.  The character lasted one issue because Atlas Comics folded. However, the duo later for their "Devil-Slayer" character at Marvel Comics in 1977 and also for "Bloodwing" in Buckler's magazine Galaxia in 1980.

An assassin is about to the take the life of Damian Severs. Before he can strike, he is confronted by Gideon Cross, member of the Harvester of Night Cult. He gives the assassin a choice, to fight or to jump off the cliff. Not having the courage to face Cross, he leaps to his death.

Gideon then returns to the home of his employer, Damian Severs, to collect payment for his services. His payment is more than money, he demands a small flask of blood from Severs. This flask will then be handed over to the Harvester of Night Cult.

Gideon is given another assignment by Severs. Kill his former partner, a Mafia kingpin who has been hiding out in Jamaica.

As Gideon begins to drift off to sleep, he recounts how he became a Harvester of Eyes. The Cult gave him a sense of purpose after he returned from Vietnam. But after 11 missions for the Harvesters of Night, Gideon begins to have doubts.

Gideon accompanies Severs to a huge drug transaction. After this deal, Severs will be able to go legit, and finally settle up with his back-stabbing partner.

Gideon takes his leave of Severs and several days later, arrives at the airport for his flight to Jamaica. He is shocked to see a newspaper that states the Damian Severs has committed suicide. Cross knows better, and realizes that he was murdered.

Prior to leaving on his flight, he must deliver the flask of Damian Sever's blood to a cult member. Upon entering a storeroom to meet his contact, he is attacked by a demon. The Cult has sensed his upcoming betrayal and has chosen to eliminate him. Cross manages to defeat the demon but many questions remain unanswered. He realizes, however, that the Cult has been using him. But for what purpose ?

Rather than go to Jamaica, Gideon decides to go to Nigeria. He returns to the Dark Retreat, the Secret Sanctum of the Harvesters of Night. This is where he became indoctrinated into the Cult.

Upon entering the Sanctum, he is witness to a bizarre ritual as the Cult uses the life essence of Damian Severs to revive Astoroth, Grand Duke of Hell. His goal - Xenogenesis, the re-birth of the demon race on earth. Knowing that he cannot defeat the entire Cult, he flees the Sanctum. He knows that the Cult will come looking for him.

Gideon Cross has a new purpose - to prevent the re-birth of the demon race. He has become...Demon-Hunter.



Gary Friedrich wrote another one-off that had an incredible Frank Thorne cover (look at that cover!!) plus interior work by Thorne –Son of Dracula in Fright #1

A witch about to be burned at the stake has captured the attention of Count Dracula. He sees the woman as a way to satisfy his lust for human blood. He swoops down and claims the woman from the terrified villagers.

He takes the unconscious woman to his castle and prepares to feast. The Count recoils in shock as he notices the birthmark of Dracula upon her breast. She is the only living relative of Count Dracula, his fourth cousin. He soon learns that she is the only female ever born to a Dracula.

The urge for human blood, however, proves to great for the Count to overcome. He reveals himself to be a vampire and prepares to drain the blood from the woman. In a desperate attempt to save her life, the woman offers the Count a son, a son which is of the pure blood of Dracula. In exchange, he will not convert her to one of the undead. The Count agrees, and 9 months later, Dracula has a son.

After the child is born, Dracula deems her cousin to be of no further use. He attacks her, despite his word not to, and satisfies his lust for human blood.

The next morning, despite being weak from Dracula's attack, she takes her child to a ship that will set sail for America. She entrusts the boy to a woman familiar with the curse of Dracula, knowing that he will be safe. After the ship departs, Dracula arrives and confronts his cousin. Knowing that she will become one of the undead, she takes her life, and denies Dracula his son.

Time passes, and the Son of Dracula, known as Adam Lucard, is a teacher at Columbia University. Aware of his heritage, he has managed to keep his bloodlust under control. A golden cross prevents him from becoming a vampire at night and vial of his native soil protects him during the day.

One evening, his sleep is interrupted by one of his students, who breaks into his apartment in an effort to surprise him. She removes the cross from his neck and quickly becomes the first victim of the Son of Dracula.









Rich Buckler cover and Gary Friedrich script with art by Pablo Marcos graced the only issue of The Barbarians and confused a lot of collectors.

Ironjaw wanders onto the "Mountain of Mutants" and is quickly overwhelmed by the savage creatures. He is spared death only after the Mutant Queen finds him to be "of interest".

Ironjaw is taken to the mountain's summit, the ancient cliff dwellings of the Mutants. Tossed into a dungeon with a female slave, she tells of how after the Great Wars, her people drove the Mutants onto the mountain, many centuries ago.

Taken before the Mutant Queen, Ironjaw rejects her advances and is sentenced to die in the arena.

Ironjaw must prove the superiority of the human race by rescuing the female slave. In order to do so, he must defeat the 8 foot tall mutant monster.

Ironjaw manages to defeat the mutant warrior and decides to spare his life, earning the respect of the Queen... and his freedom.
 
Then came Ironjaw #1 with story by Mike Fleisher and art by Mike Sekowsky and Jack Abel with a cover by none other than Neal Adams!  And #2 saw another Adams cover with Pablo Marcos now on art –Fleisher still writing.   The team returned with #3 but Marcos supplying the cover art –as he did with #4 which he also drew interiors for and Gary Friedrich was now writing.

The story given here is this:

The first of the Atlas sword-slinging characters, Ironjaw roams the world in earth's distant, post-apocalyptic future. He's a violent, amoral wanderer who lives for battle. Hired by rebels to help overthrow a tyrannical king, Ironjaw discovers his true heritage.
 
When he was an infant, his mother's lover killed Ironjaw's father, the true king, and ascended to the throne himself. With the complicity of the queen, the new king ordered the infant killed, since he would inherit the throne and depose the usurper upon reaching adulthood. A soft-hearted stablehand abandoned the infant on a snowy mountainside, rather than kill him.

After killing the tyrant-king, Ironjaw, identified by a distinctive birthmark as the true heir to the throne, is crowned king. Upon discovering to his dismay that "...a king cannot fight, or hunt, or steal or chase wenches...", Ironjaw chooses to slip away in the middle of the night, abandoning his new kingdom to resume his wanderer's ways.
 
After a personality-altering interlude in The Barbarians #1, Ironjaw returns in his 4th and final issue with the first part of his long-awaited origin story; the tale of how the abandoned infant became the warrior.

Okay, okay a lot of well established elements here but this was a good read and Marvel had Conan and Kull so…anyway, you know now why there were two Ironjaw #1s…there wasn’t as one was The Barbarians #1.
 
The Atlas Archives site has a great deal more additional material on the character and, obviously, I highly recommend it.

Behind the Pat Broderick and Neal Adams cover for Planet of Vampres lurked a story by no-less a personage than Larry Hama and Pat Broderick was on interior art with Frank McLaughlin.  Spacemen. Vampires.  Everything except Vampira! This has all the elements of a good old 1980s sci fi-horror movie.






April 21st, 2010. The crew of the Mars probe Aries VII returns home after a 5 year voyage. They will return to an earth far different from when they first left.

After a successful water landing outside of Coney Island, the astronauts are attacked by a group of savages. One of the astronauts is killed. Before the savages can inflict further damage, a small floating aircraft appears laying waste to the savages. The astronaut crew is taken to a huge dome. With the Empire State Building as it's axis, it stands 1100 feet tall with 5 interior levels. The dome is designed to keep the savages out. To the savages, the inhabitants of the Dome are known as Domies.

The crew is soon introduced to the Proctor, the Dome Administrator. Captain Chris Galland recounts how the Aries VII first lost contact with Earth. The last message that they received from Mission Control is that war had been declared between the major powers. The crew assumed the worst, that controlled nuclear war was raging across the face of the earth. The astronauts decided to continue to orbit Mars, hoping to hear something from earth. Soon, critical limitations of life support forced them to return to earth.
 
After their meeting with the Proctor, the astronauts are taken to their quarters. On the way, they encounter a savage being taken to an "Indoctrination Facility". Screams of terror cause them to investigate the facility. To their horror, they find an assembly line for extracting bodily fluids from humans. The People of the Dome are mechanized vampires. Freeing what savages they can, they destroy the facility. The astronaut crew is led to freedom by Bruiser Culhane, Warlord of the Bay Ridge assassins.

Captain Galland and his crew soon learn that the savages had developed immunity to the horrid new diseases that ravaged the land, while the people of the Dome developed no immunity and were susceptible to the plague. The Domies extracted a serum from the blood of the savages in order to stay alive. Like the ancient vampires of lore, the Domies feasted on the blood of the savages in order to stay alive.

Shortly after escaping the Dome, Bruiser and the astronauts are confronted by Bad Lenny Siegle of the Myrtle Street Boys. The two gang leaders will fight to the death with the fate of the astronauts hanging in the balance.
 
John Albano wrote issue #2 with its Adams and Giordano cover and same art team. Albano also wrote issue #3 with its Russ Heath and Larry Lieber cover –Heath drew the interior art to boot!  SPOILER (well it is over 40 years on so…) as we find the cliff hanger ending: Captain Chris Galland is all alone on the ... Planet of Vampires. Rather like The Last Man On Earth with Vincent Price (1964) or the later variation The Omega Man with Charlton Heston (1971) –both based on Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend….was there really a more recent up-dated movie? Ahem






Tales of Evil ran for three issues and with these the Marvel Comics horror comics were well and truly reflected.  Larry Lieber provided the covers for #1 and #2 and the first issue had three strips while #2 and #3 featured only two –the cover of #3 was by Rich Buckler.
 
Again, the Atlas Archives will give you a full synopsis of all the stories. The werewolf, the Man-Monster and the Bog-Beast were obvious attempts at quickly establishing a group of horror characters yet their lives in print leaves us old fans wondering and dreaming about what might have been!



Larry Hama wrote as well as teamed up with Klaus Janson on the cover and interiors for Wulf The Barbarian #1 while Larry Lieber joined in putting the cover for #2 together. 

The story-line started thus:

While crossing the Desert of Kesh, also known as the Furnace of Hell, a weary and wounded Wulf has battled a group of nine desperate men. These men desired but one thing, Wulf's water bag.

As Wulf dispatches the last of the nine men, he is greeted by Berithe of the Free Swordsmen Guild and her companions Rymstrydle the Blader and Zemba, a magician.

Delirious from thirst and blood loss, he attacks the trio, only to be subdued by the magician Zemba, whose spell puts Wulf into a well-needed deep sleep.

Wulf awakens in the city of Rama-Kesh. A city, he learns, that has no water.
 
One of the water merchants, Rasselas, has dabbled in sorcery and killed his competitor, Melekantis. Not content, he continued to delve deep into sorcery, causing him to become mad and unleashing strange creatures upon the city. He then proceeded to empty all the water wells.

The Swordsmen's Guild was offered a fortune in gold for the head of Rasselas, a bounty that Berithe plans to collect. Wulf agrees to join them in the attack on Rasselas.

The quartet soon invades the fortress of Rasselas where they battle their way thru the undead. As they enter the Chamber of Rasselas, they find him perched atop the water demon, Bel-Shugthra. Berithe throws her sword at Rasselas and kills him, but his blood now gives life to the monstrous water demon, Bel-Shugthra.
 
In order to combat the demon, Wulf must slay the magician, Zemba, whose blood will bring to life the fire demon, Sri-Amantra, who will battle the water demon.

Wulf, Berithe and Rymstrydle flee the fortress as the two titans destroy each other and all around them.

The water has been restored to Rama-Kesh, and Wulf continues on his quest to kill the sorcerer Mordek.

With #3 Jim Craig capably handled the cover work and Steve Skeates wrote while Leo Summers drew Wulf’s continuing adventure. Craig’s artwork was the cover for #4 but things were getting very tough at Atlas. The last issue had Mike Friedrich on script and for art – “Jim Craig and the Atlas Bullpen”.
 
Wulf vanished into the comic book limbo like so many others.

Now what genre is missing….Westerns!  Oh yeah, Atlas had one title.  It also lasted one issue.  Larry Lieber provided the cover art as well as the story for Kid Cody, Gunfighter with Doug Wildey on art!  Steve Skeates wrote while Jack Abel and Al Milgrom drew the adventure of The Comanche Kid .
                  


  
Stan Goldberg’s Vicki ran for four issues and in case you are wondering what his pay-cheque must have been like, well this was not an original series as all Vicki stories were reprints of Tower Comics Tippy Teen.



War. What is it good for? Nothing….except war comics and movies and Atlas had Blazing Battle Tales and behind a beautiful Frank Thorne cover were a trio of stories by John Albano and art by Pat Broderick and Jack Sparling, Al McWilliams and John Severin.  Sadly just the one issue.








However, Savage Combat Tales featuring Sgt. Stryker’s Death Squad lasted three issues with covert art by Al McWilliams (#1) Larry Lieber (#2) and Rich Buckler (#3).  Jack Sparling, Al McWilliams, Alex Toth provided art for Archie Goodwin stories.
 
Atlas was doing everything right to start with but it was obvious things were going wrong when nothing else appeared after a first, a third or fourth issue of a title.
Cop shows were also big at the time –as were cop movies so Police Action appearing should not have surprised anyone!  The star was a hard-bitten cop –Sam Lomax: NYPD written by Jack Younger (Russ Jones) in #1 with Sekowsky and McWilliams on art.  Same art team for all the strips but Friedrich wrote the story in #2 and #3.  Lieber drew the covers to #2 and #3 while Thorne drew cover art for #3.




The back-up strip was Luke Malone –Manhunter written by Mike Ploog and drawn by him with assist from Frank Springer.  With #2 and #3 Friedrich took over writing while Ploog and Springer continued on art.

I ought to really point out here that I had first seen the Tiger-man character in the Atlas black and white magazine sized publication Thrilling Adventure Stories. The contents were far more “PG” –Tiger-man’s adversary is finished off, graphically, by his own piranha!




The contents were:

Thrilling Adventure Stories #1

Cover - Ernie Colon

Tiger-Man and the Flesh Peddlers

Story - John Albano
Art - Ernie Colon

The Sting of Death

Story - John Albano
Art - Leo Summers

The Kromag Saga: Kromag the Killer

Story - Jack Sparling/Gabe Levy
Art - Jack Sparling

Lawrence of Arabia

Story - Jeff Rovin
Art - Frank Thorne

Escape from Nine by One

Story - Russ Heath
Art - Russ Heath

Films of Alistair MacLean - text article by Ric Meyers

Doc Savage text article
 
Thrilling Adventure Stories #2

Cover - Neal Adams

The Temple of the Spider

Story - Archie Goodwin
Art - Walt Simsonson

The Kromag Saga: The Valley of the Dinosaurs

Story - Gabe Levy
Art - Jack Sparling

Tough Cop

Story - John Albano
Art - Russ Heath

Town Tamer

Story - Steve Mitchell
Art - John Severin

A Job Well Done

Story - Ric Myers
Art - Alex Toth

Robbery - text article by Bernard Michaelson

The Towering Inferno - text article by Carl Macek

All edited, again, by Jeff Rovin. A very busy man at that time as he was busily beavering away on another b&w title - Weird Tales of the Macabre and I still have my pristine copies!





The contents for #1 are:

Cover - Jeff Jones

The Demon is Dying

Story - Pay Boyette
Art - Pat Boyette

Time Lapse

Story - Gus Funnell
Art - Leo Duranona

A Second Life

Story - Ramon Torrents
Art - Ramon Torrents

The Cheese is for the Rats

Story - Villanova
Art - Villanova

Tour de Force

Story - Martin Pasko
Art - Leo Summers

Speed Demon

Story - Ernie Colon
Art - Ernie Colon

And issue #2 had a fantastic cover that would have made me buy the book just for that..I am a comic book tart!
 
Cover - Boris Vallejo

The Bog Beast

Story - Gabe Levy
Art - Badia Romero

Dr. Mercurio's Diary

Story - Al Moniz
Art - Xirinius

Carrion of the Gods

Story - Pay Boyette
Art - Pat Boyette

Who Toys with Terror

Story - George Kashdan
Art - John Severin

The Staff of Death

Story - Leo Summers
Art - Leo Summers

The Films of Edgar Allen Poe - text article by Karl Macek


There was also Gothic Romances #1 (and only issue) edited by Cybill St. John with the following contents:


Cover - Elaine Duillo

As Midnight Becomes Morning

Story - Carolyn Weaver
Art - Howard Chaykin

The Devil's Chapel

Story - Vanessa Swynford
Art - Vanessa Swynford

The Black Unicorn

Story - Ruth Macleod
Art - Ernie Colon

The Cruel Cliffs of Malaspina

Story - Nancy Maquire
Art - Harold Shull

Asylum

Story - Marianne Ashley
Art - Neal Adams

Mommy Save Me From the Night Monsters

Story - Ann Caldwell
Art - Russ Heath

The House Where Time Stood Still

Story - Ruby Jean Jensen
Art - Howard Shull


Rovin was editing Devilina another magazine and oddly my stolen copy of #1 cost £5.00 to replace but no one was selling #2 for less than £10!  Weird but I had my good original copy!

Contents for #1 are:





Cover - Pulojar

The Atlas Archive site points out that this cover was used a second time as the cover
to Vampirella #111.

Devilina - Satan's Domain

Story - Ric Estrada
Art - Ric Estrada

The Lost Tomb of Nefertiri

Story - Gabe Levy
Art - Pablo Marcos

Lay of the Sea

Story - Gabe Levy
Art - Leo Duranona

Midnight Muse

Story - Michael Cahlin
Art - Ralph Reese

Merchants of Evil

Story - John Albano
Art - Jack Sparling

William Shakespeare's The Tempest

Story - Martin Pasko
Art - Leo Summers

The Devil's Dungeon - editorial by Jeff Rovin

Filmdom's Vampire Lovers - text article by Gary Gerani

Devilina Pinup - art by Eric Estrada


For #2 the contents are:
Cover - George Torjussen

Devilina - Curse of the Ra Scarab

Story - Ric Estrada
Art - Ric Estrada

Vendetta

Story - John Albano
Art - Frank Thorne

The Devil's Procuress

Story - John Albano
Art - Jack Sparling

The Prophecy

Story - Suso
Art - Suso

Night Creature

Story - John Albano
Art - Leo Summers

Flesh Gordon: The Perils of Flesh - text article by Carl Macek

1975 was the year of Atlas Comics.  That was it until rumours turned to fact in 2011 when it was revealed that Jason Goodman was reviving “the much loved” 1970s characters.  I published a couple of posts on 1970s Atlas and then the new books appeared.

Superb printing and paper…but WTF…Grim Ghost was a mess. A couple of good covers –variant covers everywhere but what a gods awful mess!  And people wonder why Atlas fans won’t really talk about this!









The Phoenix was killed.  Came back to life. Killed…it got really boring over 6 issues. Apart from the name there was nothing I recognised here because it was a mess and at one point I gave up reviewing the book as it turned up and simply gave the company PR blurb and details.
 nmhjh;
uiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii








Wulf was about the best title art and story-wise with a cameo by Lomax and even Ironjaw.












































There was some hope...we had to have hope, right?  Atlas Unified was to be the major cross-over event This is how it was promoted:
 
“The Grim Ghost, Phoenix, Wulf the Barbarian, and Detective Sam Lomax join forces for the first time in 35 years in a historical Atlas crossover event! Which enemy could make these Atlas Heroes set aside their differences, forge an alliance, and risk everything to defeat it?”
 
The artwork was simply AWFUL –the Grim Ghost looked more like a mummy!  The story was…bleh. There was the compulsory 0 issue followed by #1 and #2 and then nothing.  Jason Goodman has told me three times now that it could still be back. I ain’t holding my breath waiting.
 
There was so much promise but after criticism Goodman stated these were not the 1970s characters but reboots. In one last post I asked: “What Actually Happened To The New Atlas Comics?”

A few people on comic forums had commented that, re. Jason Goodman and Atlas Comics, people should ask...me!

Look, I did what other people should have done at the time ~I contacted Jason Goodman, Communicated with him a few times since but I am not working in projects for him and I have no inside info.

Here is what I wrote in May, 2016

So What Actually Happened To The New Atlas Comics?
 
Well I was asked the above question and to be honest even the answers you can find online can get confusing.  In 2015, Jason Goodman (whose Nemesis Group joined forces with Arrden to produce the 2010 Atlas revival) told me that there was still the "possibility" that Atlas could be back.

But there were rumours.  Firstly, that Disney, owners of Marvel Comics which was formerly Atlas Comics after having been Timely Comics, had taken legal action for using the Atlas title. As I pointed out on several comic sites, that made no sense. Disney bosses were ignorant of Marvel having been Timely so they probably had no idea it was also once Atlas.  Then it was suggested that the fuss was over the Marvel comic Agents of Atlas.

I searched around but there seemed to be no problems coming from Disney.

Secondly, there was the rumour that a group of creators from the 1970s Atlas Comics were suing over use of their creations. I asked around again. No. No truth to that rumour.

So, was it likely that Atlas Comics and the series Atlas Unified were cancelled because someone else owned the "Atlas Comics" name?  It seemed ridiculous but it turned out that, indeed, someone had grabbed the name and ....well, this Wikipedia entry will explain:



"Circa 2010, Martin Goodman's grandson Jason Goodman announced a partnership with Ardden Entertainment to relaunch Atlas Comics starting with two "#0" issues featuring the Grim Ghost and Phoenix. With another character, Wulf the Barbarian, they were the stars of a miniseries, Atlas Unified, announced in September 2011 for publication that November.

"Jason Goodman's Nemesis Group Inc. belatedly discovered that one Jeffrey Stevens had acquired the trademark "Atlas Comics" for comic books on October 11, 2005. Nemesis filed suit on September 28, 2010, arguing that Stevens had no demonstrated use of the trademark, and on March 13, 2012, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board allowed the case to proceed to trial. The Board ultimately ruled against Goodman, and on August 10, 2014, Stevens assigned the trademark to Dynamite Characters LLC."

So when Goodman told me that it was possible that Atlas Comics would be back he was, probably, being, shall we say, a little "optimistic"?

But in December, 2015, someone (no, no names) told me that Goodman was getting Atlas Comics back as a name.  I pointed out that unless he paid Jeffery Stevens a lot of money for the name legally assigned to him he just couldn't. I was then sent (see why I won't name the person?) a scan of a logo but asked not to say anything until it all went "legal".

Now, sleazy Bleeding Cool Comics, in February,2016, ran this story -see the whole item here ~remember that this IS Bleeding Cool:


"Is Martin Goodman’s Grandson Trying To Get The Name Of Atlas Comics Back?"
Rich Johnson even had the logo in question and goes on to write:

"... this month (February), the Nemesis Group has filed paperwork for this logo
 ImageAgentProxy (1)
"for…Video game cartridges and discs; Video game discs; Video game software; Video and computer game programs; Computer game software for use with personal computers, home video game consoles used with televisions and arcade-based video game consoles; Computer game software for use with personal computers, home video game consoles used with televisions and arcade-based video game consoles; Computer programs for video and computer games; Vinyl covers specially adapted for cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, computers, portable satellite radios, personal digital assistants, remote controls, and television satellite recorders. Comic books; Comics; Graphic novels; Graphic art prints; Graphic art reproductions; Graphic prints; Framed graphic art reproductions. Graphic T-shirts; Graphic T-shirts; Halloween costumes. Appliques. Costume masks; Video game machines; Arcade video game machines; Arcade-type electronic video games; Coin-operated video games. On-line retail store services featuring physical and virtual merchandise for use by members of an online community in connection with a designated website featuring fictional characters; Subscriptions to books, reviews, newspapers or comic books. Imprinting messages on wearing apparel and mugs. Creating and developing concepts for television programs; Entertainment services in the nature of creation, development, and production of television programming; Providing online non-downloadable comic books and graphic novels; Providing online non-downloadable comic books and graphic novels; Providing online non-downloadable comic books and graphic novels; Screenplay writing..."

 The difference is Atlas TM Comics.  Yeah, I know.  But that "TM" can make all the difference. But it's typical comic industry shenanigans that someone would sneak in and register the Atlas Comics name without contacting the Goodman estate and then not use it.  From what I understand, the intention might have been to use the Atlas characters under the Dynamite-Atlas Comics banner but if the rumour mill is correct that would have resulted in creators being very unhappy and legal action.

So, if Stevens plans were scuppered back in 2005 you might ask why when Goodman and Arrden did all the Atlas Comics relaunch press and news releases as well as interviews, did Stevens not clear his throat and say "Sorry -you can't.  The Atlas Comics name is mine now"?

Sounds a dirty trick, right?  But nothing in comics surprises me.  What the motivation was or just what was going on behind the scenes we do not know. There's a suggestion that Stevens wanted to sell the name back to Goodman but Goodman said "**** you!" and the legal case opened.  There are a LOT of rumours.
 
Goodman may well be able to adopt the Atlas TM Comics and that means Atlas could be back. If it does happen I can only hope that better writers and artists are used and -please- get some of the original creators and their creations involved not a reboot that fans did not like.




 Image result for Jason Goodman's Nemesis Group Inc




 It's 2018....I'm not waiting any more!