Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Halloween Hospital Horrors AMAZING ADVENTURES "Death's Double"

Medical personnel take the Hippocratic Oath very seriously...

...not allowing anything or anyone from keeping them doing their duty for the helpless,  sick, and injured!
This never-reprinted story from Ziff-Davis' Amazing Adventures #4 (1951) feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone, eh?
Artist Paul Parker had a fascinating life after leaving comics in the mid-1950s when the "Seduction of the Innocent" witch-hunt almost destroyed the comics industry.
He became a radio reporter/producer/writer, primarily at the all-news radio station WINS in New York City, where he remained until he retired in the mid-1980s!
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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Halloween Hospital Horrors DOCTOR MID-NITE

Some super-hero "doctors" were also MDs in their secret identities...

....such as this "creature of the night", who, sadly, never made it big, despite having a long life as a second-stringer!
Though the character retained his license and served as a consultant to other MDs, he wasn't permitted to perform surgery.
(He occasionally did so in emergencies, as you've seen above!)
Note: While Charles McNider's costumed persona was comics' first blind super-hero (beating Marvel's Daredevil out by 23 years), he wasn't the first blind super-hero!
(A pulp magazine character called the Black Bat preceded him by a couple of years)
Dr Mid-Nite had a long run as a back-up feature in DC's All-American Comics, as well as being a member of comics' first super-hero team, the Justice Society of America.
But when superheroes (except for Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and a couple of others) faded out after World War II, his strip was one of the casualties.
Then came the 1960s, with both the Batman and James Bond fads in full-swing, Mid-Nite was revived with the rest of the Justice Society...albeit with a whole new modus operandi and lots of medical-oriented gimmicks...
The good Doctor eventually went back to his nighttime activities and blackout bombs.
Charles McNider was killed during the "Zero Hour" event which ran through all of DC Comics in 1986.
But the Dr Mid-Nite name has been continued by two other characters, both of whom are MDs rendered blind by villains!
If readers ask for them, I'll do additional posts...
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Dr Mid-Nite
(featuring Dr Pieter Cross, the third Dr Mid-Nite
Charles McNider never had his own series)

Friday, October 9, 2020

Halloween Hospital Horrors ALIEN ENCOUNTERS

With a story from a comic book named Alien Encounters, you'd correct to believe this is a sci-fi tale...

...or are you?
If you're a hematologist, this never-reprinted story from Eclipse's Alien Encounters #2 (1985) by writer-artist Kevin Farrell wasn't a surprise!
To tell the truth, the idea of all those cells being individual sentient beings is a bit creepy!
BTW, Kevin did less than two-dozen comics stories before switching (as many comic artists do) to movie/tv/advertising storyboards, which he continues producing to this day, as seen HERE!
His credits include The Predator, Independence Day: Resurgence, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, CatWoman, Roswell, and Outer Limits!

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween Hospital Horrors DOC STEARNE: MR MONSTER

 For October, we're presenting sci-fi/fantasy...

...starting with a monster-fighting super-hero who's also a medical practitioner!
Doctor Jim Stearne was, initially, a Doc Savage clone, an MD (specifically, a psychiatrist) turned scientific adventurer.
After a brief run in the Canadian comic book "WOW" Comics (yes, the quotation marks were part of the title), the character was reconceptualized for his next appearance in Terrific Comics #31 (1945)...
Stearne then moved (not to Unusual Comics, which was never published) but Bell Features' Super Duper Comics #3 (1946)...where he finally appeared in color!
You can see it HERE!
And, that was the end for Doc Stearne: Mr Monster...or was it?
In the early 1980s, writer-artist Michael T Gilbert revived the concept and name, doing a new version, Doc Stearn: Mr Monster (the missing "e" in "Stearn" isn't a typo.), revealed to be the son of the Golden Age character, as explained HERE!
That version continues, on and off, to this day.
Trivia: Originally, Canada imported American comic books and pulp magazines, filling their newsstands with Superman, The Shadow, and loads of other American characters.
But, when World War II broke out, Canada banned all "non-essential" imports, including comics and pulps!
This opened up a whole new industry for Canadian writers and artists to finally do their own characters!
One major difference between the American and Canadian comic books was that the World War II Canadian books were black and white inside, not four-color like American comics!
(British comics were also b/w inside until the 1950s, when they started using a second color on some books.)
Some American companies licensed Canadian publishers to reprint US comics, but the interiors for those were b/w as well.
In addition, there was a limit to how much "non-Canadian content" could be included in Canadian magazine print runs, so there were relatively-few American reprints during the war.
After the war ended American comics were again imported, so most Canadian publishers began doing color insides to compete with the imports.
But the American characters were far better-known, and, within a year, the Canadian characters had all but disappeared!
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Doc Stearn: Mr Monster
(includes both the Golden and Bronze Age Misters Monster!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

SWEETHEARTS "My Last Chance at Love"

Last week, we told you the later, shorter version of this tale... 
...now here's the earlier and (beginning with the second page) longer, sassier, version!
Now we return to the story we re-presented last week...
Why were five pages from this version published in Fawcett's SweetHearts #83 (1950) cut from the reprint we showed you last week?
Did the Comics Code Authority (which didn't exist when this story was first published) insist on the alterations?
And, if so...why?
We'll never know the answers!
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Agonizing Love

Halloween Hospital Horrors AMAZING ADVENTURES "Death's Double"

Medical personnel take the Hippocratic Oath very seriously... ...not allowing anything  or anyone from keeping them doing their duty for t...