Friday, July 24, 2020

SPECTACULAR COMICS 100-PAGE SPECIAL # 4

Inspired by DC Comics' 1970s 100-Page Super SpectacularsSpectacular Comics 100-Page Special is a monthly series of fabricated 100-page comic books slapped together from various sources, celebrating comics from the '30s to the '80s. It's not real. But it is Spectacular.


Man, I like how this month's issue turned out. We start with the macabre adventures of The Spectre. The Ghostly Guardian was created in the '40s by Superman's co-creator Jerry Siegel with artist Bernard Bailey, and revived in the '60s for try-outs in the pages of Showcase followed by ten issues of his own series. The Spectre's 1970s run in editor Joe Orlando's Adventure Comics seemed to be initially well-received, but was abruptly canceled in 1975 amidst growing concern regarding the strip's violent depiction of the merciless retribution The Spectre dealt to evildoers.



As noted, the sudden termination of The Spectre's Adventure Comics run meant that writer Michael Fleisher had three more Spectre scripts ready to go when the guillotine fell. When DC reprinted the run as the 1988 mini-series Wrath Of The Spectre, those unused Fleisher scripts were exhumed and given to the series' original artist Jim Aparo to complete (with Mike DeCarlo inks) for belated publication. This issue of Spectacular Comics offers two of those stories. While The Spectre's Adventure Comics appearances have been reprinted again since then, I don't think those final three stories have been reprised since Wrath Of The Spectre in '88.

This month's Spectacular also includes a two-part Wonder Woman story from 1969, drawn and (I think) written by Mike Sekowsky with luscious Dick Giordano embellishment. These stories are from the period when Wonder Woman lost her powers and became an Emma Peel sort of action heroine; the era has many detractors, but it was the first series of Wonder Woman stories I ever liked. Your mileage my vary (especially if you happen to own an invisible plane).

Straying from DC for the rest of this book, we have a 1949 Captain America and Golden Girl story (a era in Cap's history that is rarely--if ever--reprinted), a short back-up from the third and final issue of Gold Key Comics' tie-in to the short-lived 1966-67 Green Hornet TV series, and a 1959-60 back-up from Dell Comics' license of Walt Disney's Zorro.

The Spectre in "The Arson Fiend And...The Spectre!," Wrath Of The Spectre # 4 (August 1988)
The Spectre in "The Maniac And...The Spectre!," Wrath Of The Spectre # 4 (August 1988)
The Green Hornet and Kato in "Masquerade," The Green Hornet # 3 (August 1967)
Captain America and Golden Girl in "Worlds At War!," Captain America Comics # 70 (January 1949)
Wonder Woman in "Return To Paradise Island!," Wonder Woman # 183 (July-August 1969)
Wonder Woman in "The Last Battle!," Wonder Woman # 184 (September-October 1969)
Zorro in "Garcia's Package," Walt Disney's Zorro # 8 (December-February 1959-1960)

It's all copyright the respective owners, shown here only in sample pages. I share a peek at the whole book with my paid patrons. Welcome to this month's edition of Spectacular Comics 100-Page Special.


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