Hello again, boys and girls!
Today I'm sharing with you my issue of GREEN LANTERN # 69, from DC Comics, published in 1969!
It's a great Silver Age Green Lantern story written by John Broome, but the focus is all on the amazing art provided by the joint efforts of two of comics most talented artists, Gil Kane and Wallace (Wally) Wood.
Comics fans should already know who these legends are, so I am not going to go into great depth explaing all of that over again. If you've never heard of Gil Kane or Wally Wood, go stand in the corner, while the rest of us enjoy this awesome bit of comic art mastery. Just kidding, get back here, and take a look at this! You're going to love it!
Both artists bring something fantastic to the party. Kane brought his famous and unmatched skill at dynamic figure drawing, along with his impeccable knack for incredible action scenes, innovative page design, and perfect pacing. Wood brought his incredible skills as an inker, taking Kane's pencils and giving them weight and depth like no one else ever could.
This issue came near the end of Kane's run as the artist for GREEN LANTERN, as a few issues later a fellow named Neal Adams (with a little help from Denny O'Neil) took it to even loftier heights. But it was Gil Kane who helped re-invent the Golden Age superhero, and it was in large part thanks to him that DC superheroes of the 60's were able to make their amazing comeback.
John Broome and Gil Kane brought the Green Lantern back from obscurity with a fresh new look in DC's SHOWCASE # 22 in 1959. Three issues later, he was starring in his own comic. On the heels of the success of the GREEN LANTERN came a little comic entitled the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, in 1960. Sales were beyond expectations, and the superhero era was reborn. Over at Atlas/Marvel Comics, Stan Lee created a similar comic in order to ride the wave that DC had created, and with the help of Jack Kirby, the FANTASTIC FOUR was born in 1961. What followed was what we know as the MARVEL AGE OF COMICS that helped Lee and company turn their struggling busines into the unstoppable juggernaut we know today. The same thing happened at DC/National Comics, and superheroes have never lost their popularity since.
Wallace Wood enjoyed an incredible run over at EC Comics in the 1950's and when they finally stopped comic publishing to focus on their remaining succesful property, MAD, Wood continued to be highly in demand. At this point he had also been instrumental in helping Marvel grow their line, having redesigned Daredevil's costume so well in 1965 that it remains unchanged to this day. That same year he had also gotten involved in publishing as well, having created Dynamo and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and more for the Tower Comics line, where he also worked on occassion with Kane.
What we have here is beautiful comic art considered by many to be some af the finest ever to emerge from the Silver Age, and truly set a standard for everyone else to follow in years to come.
"IF EARTH FAILS THE TEST -- IT MEANS WAR!"
Art by Gil Kane and Wally Wood.
As I go through my comics collection and as I scan more and more pages, it is fascinating to discover how many letters were written by young fans who would one day make a name for themselves in the world of comics. It is not uncommon to see names like Roy Thomas, Mark Evanier, and in this particular issue, Martin Pasko. Equally fascinating is how wise beyond their years many of these individuals seemed. According to internet sources like wikipedia, Pasko was a mere 15 years old when this letter was published, and in four short years he would be writing comics for DC, and later, all over.
When I get organized (which may never happen) I want to post all of these famous personalities fan letters for you all. You may be astonished to find out just who were zealous comic book fans in their youth, in light of what they eventually went on to do in their careers!
Now, on a very sad note, I need to mention the passing of comic book artist and editor, Dick Giordano.
In my own thoughts, Giordano is remembered as one of the Silver Age's greatest, who, along with Neal Adams, helped keep DC Comics art up to a standard of excellence that enabled them to continue as an industry leader throughout the 60's, 70's and beyond. You can follow the link here to BLACK 'N' WHITE AND RED ALL OVER, where I feature a beautifully done story by Mr. Giordano. He will be remembered by fans the world over as a great comic book artist, and our sincere condolences go out to his loved ones.
Thank you for all the wonderful work, Mr. Giordano!
(7/20/1932 - 3/27/2010)