Commander Benson's News Posts (113)

Deck Log Entry # 96 Merry Christmas 2009!

No-one would ever call Sewell Avery a softie. Few other men would have the spine to defy the President of the United States.

Born in 1873 to a wealthy family of lumber barons, Avery attended public schools in Michigan and graduated from the Michigan Military Academy and then law school. In 1894, he went to work for what would become known as the United States Gypsum Company . From boyhood, he had been taught that…


Added by Commander Benson on December 24, 2009 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Deck Log # 95 Time to Hit the Captain Comics Emergency Signal

One of the benefits of being associated with Captain Comics all these years, and from writing my Deck Log column, is that I've gained a modest on-line reputation as a Silver-Age expert, and for being knowledgeable about pre-1980's comics, in general. I'll tell you right now---I'm no Craig Shutt or Bob Rozakis. But I do O.K. Enough to get frequent requests from webmasters to reference my material on their own sites. And on the two or three other comics-related… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on December 18, 2009 at 5:00pm — 42 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 94 Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

I have to confess to a heresy.

I have no interest in televised football on Thanksgiving Day.

While the rest of you alpha males start boiling your oil and sharpening your pitchforks, I may as well admit that I don't really have any love for any televised sports. Except for baseball. I like watching baseball on television. But that's it.…


Added by Commander Benson on November 26, 2009 at 5:30am — 6 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 93 Persistence of Villain: the Silver-Age JLA's Most Stubborn Foes (Part 3)

In winding up my look at the Silver-Age Justice League’s most persistent foes, we turn to one villain who tried to destroy the League the hard way. Or the smart way, depending on how you look at it.

Doctor Light, “that luminous wizard”, has experienced his ups and downs as a credible super-villain. By the early 1980’s, under the handling of later writers, Dr. Light had been transformed into a pompous… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on November 18, 2009 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 92 Persistence of Villain: the Silver-Age JLA's Most Stubborn Foes (Part 2)

Doctor Destiny intended to be a master thief, but the Justice League of America stopped him before he could steal his first valuable. After that, he spent the rest of his Silver-Age career trying to destroy the League from his jail cell. He never did make that big score.

Professor Amos Fortune, on the other hand, was well on his way to a life of wealth and luxury, without ever having to worry about the law or… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on October 15, 2009 at 12:00pm — 7 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 91 Persistence of Villain: the Silver-Age JLA's Most Stubborn Foes (Part 1)

At the height of its strength in the Silver Age, the Justice League of America boasted ten super-heroes as full-fledged members. The numbers alone, you’d think, would be enough for any villain with a strong sense of self-preservation to take his gang and set up shop elsewhere, like say, Earth-Three. Yet there never seemed to be a shortage of bad guys and space tyrants willing to tackle the World’s Greatest Heroes on their way to ruling the world. And,… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on October 3, 2009 at 11:30am — 10 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 90 Death in the Silver Age: Mark Merlin, R.I.P.

If you lived in the DC universe in the 1950’s and were a greedy relative or unscrupulous lawyer trying to swindle someone out of his fortune by posing as a ghost or a space alien or a time-traveller, you didn’t stand a chance. Not with all the DC sleuths who made a living out of exposing the fantastic as simply larcenous fellows wearing sheets or bizarre masks.

There was the self-styled “Ghost Breaker”, Doctor… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on September 14, 2009 at 4:00pm — 7 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 89 The Cop and the Crimefighter

Batman fans have discussed this for decades. Since his debut in 1939, Bruce Wayne has not lacked for love interests, but who was the girl, the lady somebody should have smacked the millionaire playboy in the head and said, “She’s the one, stupid!”?

Golden-Age veterans usually opt for either Julie Madison or Linda Page. Society deb Julie actually made it as far as becoming Bruce’s fiancée before she broke… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on August 25, 2009 at 4:30am — 8 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 88 The Dynamic Duo of Kandor

Say what you will about Mort Weisinger, he knew how to build a mythos.

Throughout most of the 1950’s, Whitney Ellsworth was the editor of record for the Superman family of magazines. But his attention was largely focused on managing “DC properties in Hollywood,” while Weisinger did the grunt work in putting out Superman and Action Comics. Without the inspiration of a dedicated editor, the adventures of… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on August 8, 2009 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 87 Cap's Kooky Quartet (Part 3): There is No "Team" in I

Half a year into the new line-up, and the Avengers were more fractured than ever. Team meetings were as contentious as dinners with the Ewings on Dallas.

But Cap’s Kooky Quartet was up against more than internal dissention. From the start, there had been unease over the new team’s lack of raw power compared to the classic Avengers. As Hawkeye, with uncharacteristic introspexion, observed at their first press… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on July 15, 2009 at 1:30pm — 8 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 86 Cap's Kooky Quartet (Part 2): Dysfunctional, Thy Name is "Avengers"

In the span of twenty pages, Stan Lee had almost totally repopulated the Avengers Mansion. Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man and the Wasp were gone, leaving Captain America in charge of three former rogues who had been inducted as Avengers with less effort than it had taken me to scrounge up two Ovaltine seals and a dime to join Captain Midnight’s Secret Squadron.

As discussed last time, filling up the cast with…


Added by Commander Benson on June 27, 2009 at 5:00pm — 8 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 85 Cap's Kooky Quartet (Part 1): A New Broom

It’s considered an urban myth now, but the story goes something like this:

One afternoon in 1961, Marvel Comics publisher Martin Goodman was playing golf with a DC executive, either Jack Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld. Liebowitz or Donenfeld was bragging about the success of DC’s new title Justice League of America, a book about a team of super-heroes. As soon as he got back to the office, Goodman ordered his… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on June 21, 2009 at 1:00pm — 8 Comments

Deck Log Entry # 84 Great Ex-Spec-tations

It took better than a year, but in the autumn of 1967, the Spectre was awarded his own title. For the first time since the concept of parallel Earths had been presented to the readers, DC launched a series set entirely on Earth-Two.

But why the Spectre? DC had floated a few concepts for an Earth-Two series past the readers. The Doctor Fate-Hourman team in Showcase. The Starman-Black Canary team-up in The… Continue

Added by Commander Benson on June 4, 2009 at 11:00pm — 5 Comments

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