Friday, August 19, 2016

PHANTOM LADY'S TWICE-TOLD TALES "Soda Mint Killer" & "What Price Protection?"

For the final Twice-Told Tale...
...from the issue Dr Wertham vilified in Seduction of the Innocent, The Phantom Lady deals out just desserts in this never-reprinted tale of luncheonette larceny!
Yeah, she killed them, but they deserved it!
The splendidly-sordid, but deliciously-cheesecakey art for this story from Fox's Phantom Lady #17 (1948) is, of course, by legendary good-girl illustrator Matt Baker!
The quirky story is probably by Ruth Roche.

Here's the cover to this issue...
...but, oddly enough, it has nothing to do with either Phantom Lady story in the book.
It's probably the single most famous example of comic book "good girl" art in history!
And, yes, it's by Matt Baker!
Dr Fredric Wertham described the cover in Seduction of the Innocent as "sexual stimulation by combining 'headlights' with the sadist's dream of tying up a woman."
BTW, while the story has never been reprinted (until now, see below), it was re-used... 

...and when the story was redrawn for use in 1954, both violence and sexuality were toned down, almost into nonexistencem thanks to the Comics Code!
Script in both versions probably by Ruth Roche.
However, the art in Ajax/Farrell's Phantom Lady #4 (1955) is not by Matt Baker, and though adequate, is no match for the original!
We hope you've enjoyed our Mini-Marathon of Twice-Told Tales.

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featuring goodies emblazoned with cover art that Fredric Wertham railed against in Seduction of the Innocent.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

PHANTOM LADY'S TWICE-TOLD TALES "Television Spies" 1.0 and 2.0

In 1948, tv was already a national obsession...
 ...and Phantom Lady is about to go in front of the cameras!
Oddly enough, both Don and the criminals have color tvs, when they weren't available commercially until five years later!
And Ringo's cane-camera is a color transmitter, when even portable b/w tv cameras were the size of suitcases!
The superb art for this tale from Fox's All Top Comics #10 is, of course, by Matt Baker.
This plot, probably by Ruth Roche, was reused, but totally-redrawn for the Comics Code-approved Phantom Lady #3 in 1955... here's a totally-redrawn version of a previous Phantom Lady tale!
By the time of this story in Ajax/Farrell's Phantom Lady #3 (1955), almost half the households in America had tvs, but they were almost all b/w sets.
As a result, the tv screens shown in this version of the story were b/w, the way most Americans experienced video.
The artist (or artists) of this tale are unknown, but the writer is probably editor Ruth Roche, as usual.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

PHANTOM LADY'S TWICE-TOLD TALES "Killer Clown!" & "Success is No Accident!"

Culture and crime mix when Phantom Lady goes to the opera... a tale from All-Top Comics, this time from #9, featuring the usual high-quality good-girl art of Matt Baker.
When the plot (and much of the dialogue) was reused several years later with new art in Ajax/Farrell's Wonder Boy 18 (1956), the results were not quite as exciting...
Man, that "schoolgirl gym" outfit is really quite a change from the previous version.
For the record, this was the final new appearance of Phantom Lady until DC's Justice League of America #107, where her original Quality Comics incarnation was revived with other Quality heroes as the Freedom Fighters!
We'll be back next week with another "Twice-Told Tale" of Phantom Lady!
featuring goodies emblazoned with cover art that Fredric Wertham railed against in Seduction of the Innocent.