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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 113

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we begin a multi-part look at the various notable recurring features in Strange Adventures over the years, starting with Star Hawkins…

Enjoy!

Star Hawkins was a private investigator in the future, created by John Broome and Mike Sekowsky, who collaborated on all of the initial run of Star Hawkins (he ran on and off from Strange Adventures #114 until #158, 1960 through 1963).

He was a perpetually down on his luck P.I. who was JUST quick-witted enough to stay in business. That likely would never have happened if it were not for his trusty robot secretary, Ilda.

Ilda – who Star would often pawn to put together enough money to keep his business afloat (and once a case came through, he’d buy her back, promising never to do it again).

Here’s his first case…

Once he tracks the perp down…

That’s the basic set-up of most Star Hawkins strips – they were quirky, charming little tales of a clever detective and his sometimes even cleverer robot secretary…

Here, Ilda goes undercover in a gang of robots to help Star on a case (she helps him even though he hasn’t paid her in weeks)…

The interplay between Star and Ilda really makes the strip.

Sekowsky does a great job with Ilda – giving her facial expressions without actually giving her a FACE!

Here, Star’s typical pawn shop routine almost goes horribly wrong…

But luckily, Ilda is able to contact Star and he’s smart enough to figure out her clues…

What a cute pair these two were.

Dave Wood and Gil Kane later came on board in 1965 to do another stint of Star Hawkins tales – I liked the originals better.

I’m surprised no one has tried to do a new take on Star and Ilda since, though (Star has been brought back a couple of times over the years, but it seems mostly in darker takes on him that ultimately end up with him dead) – they could be quite a charming comic book duo once again. Heck, you could even take the whole “attraction” thing to another level nowadays (Giffen and DeMatteis’ Metal Men use that to good comedic effect).

Anyhow, this is a neglected early 60s gem by DC – they ought to give it an Essentials collection.

10 Comments

Niiiice. One of my favorite DC series ever, period, full stop.

Holy crap, this is stone-cold brilliant. And it hasn’t been reprinted? Well, I demand it. And we all know the blogosphere controls the weird reprints. So, let’s have it! Showcase Presents Star Hawkins!

No sturm und drang, just pleasent, highly enjoyable fluff. I especially like the take off on the hoary cliche of the P.I. and his ever loyal secretary (Mike Hammer and Velda, Sam Spade and Effie, etc).The retro futuristic aesthetic is always a treat.

Agreeing with Mark, Bill, and trajan23. I’ve been crazy about Star and Ilda since that first story was reprinted back in the 1970s, and the series urgently needs to be collected!

like how Ida seems to be able to accept that sooner or later Star is going to have to take her to the pawn shop again. and just accepts it. as for a reprint of it Dc proably thinks there is not enough fan base to warrant the cost to do so .

A female robot secretary without big breasts? Shocking. What would her chest size be in the robot reboot, I wonder?

Weeeeeeeelll, there was a three part prestige series with all the old DC SF heroes, “Twilight” (?) with a real evil reconstructivist spin. In it the detective actually had the hots for Ilda, and ended up as a weird (actually quite sick) conglomerate of the man and the robot…
Abyobe else remember this?

AverageJoeEveryman

April 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm

“*Editor’s Note . . . Zip . . . 21’st Century slang for a crook!” Well I guess I had better get this slang started or else this silver age comic may not be acurate.

So, Star pays Ilda, but she’s still a possession, and can be sold at any time? That’s messed up.

I remember Twilight. As my roommate at the time noted, “SOMEBODY must’ve liked these characters at one time, and Howard Chaykin’s just shit all over their childhood.”

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