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.

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