Tuesday, July 26, 2016

PHANTOM LADY'S TWICE-TOLD TALES "World's Meanest Crook!" & "Meanest Men in the World!"

A startling story ripped from today's headlines...
...but it's from Fox's Phantom Lady #15, published in 1947!
Talk about "the more things change, the more they stay the same"!
Meet the menace of the man called...Foreclose!
According to the Grand Comics Database, while there's some Matt Baker work in the story, they believe the majority of it is by someone else, as yet unidentified.I think it's primarily Baker with someone else assisting, possibly Jack Kamen, but that's just me...  ;-)
Several years, and another publisher later...
With the newly-formed Comics Code Authority running roughshod over anything even slightly "naughty", Ajax/Farrell's hope to take existing art and reuse it (as they did HERE) to save money went out the window when the Code refused to let the story above be reprinted without so many art changes that it was easier to just redraw it from scratch...
The idea of crooked real estate agents ripping off returning veterans worked just as well in Ajax/Farrell's Phantom Lady #4 (1955), just changing the war (Korea instead of World War II) the vets were returning from!
You'll also note the Phantom Lady's risque ensemble now looks like a high school girl's baggy shirt and shorts gym outfit, and her poses are far less provocative than the cheesecake-style renderings in the first tale!
Script in both versions probably by Ruth Roche.
However, this time the art is not by Matt Baker, and though adequate, is no match for the original!
This situation occured several more times during the Phantom Lady's short-lived revival, and we'll bring you all of them over the next few weeks!

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


For our Summer Mini-Marathon, we're re-presenting twice-told tales...
...such as this one, starring a long-forgotten heroine from Spitfire Comics #132 (1944)!
Spitfire Sanders made only two appearances, in successive issues of Elliot Comics' Spitfire Comics, which despite the high numbering of this issue (#132), only had two issues!
The art on this story about an extremely competent female spy is by journeyman artist Paul Cooper, working for the Iger Studios, who also supplied art to Ajax/Farrell (where the re-worked version appeared several years later) and Fox Comics.
Now we jump a decade to 1954.
The Nazis have been defeated.
Communism is on the rise.
A comic book publisher needs a story about a superheroine to meet a deadline, so Nazi-fighter Spitfire Sanders becomes...Commie-crusher Phantom Lady!
Oh, and due to space limitations, the original story has to be cut by a couple of pages...
For this presentation in Ajax/Farrell's Phantom Lady #5 (actually #1) from 1954, the brand new (and extremely-restrictive Comics Code also required a reduction in gunplay and use of torture instruments like whips, so there are a number of panels reworked or deleted entirely!
Be Here Next Week
when we present another example of a 1940s tale re-done for the 1950s!
featuring goodies emblazoned with cover art that Fredric Wertham railed against in Seduction of the Innocent.