Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Here are 5 more Charlton strips that I would love to see hit the stores in a reprint collection.
Several years before the whole Kung Fu thing took off at DC and Marvel, Charlton introduced one of its lesser known Action Heroes, Judomaster. While not the first judo based character (that would go to Judo Joe from 1953, as well as Harvey’s Black Cat who taught Judo throws to readers), he brought along some Asian influence, as well as sidekick named Tiger. Many of you may know Frank McLaughlin best as an inker, but he was a very talented penciller as well. McLaughlin had a background in martial arts and that made him a great fit for kung fu books. This is a really fun series, and it’s a shame it hasn’t been reprinted.
In the law, we have a phrase, res ipsa loquitur, which translates as ‘the thing speaks of itself’. Space Western obviously speaks for itself but to strengthen my case I shall simply point out that, in this series, our hero ‘Spurs’ Jackson fights everything from Nazis to giant bats. All this and at least one of the stories was written by Shadow creator Walter Gibson.
Of course, Six Million Dollar Man is in the ‘Not Likely Because of Licensing Issue’ pile, but I would still really love to see it. Between the comic and the magazine, there’s 16 issues worth of material. I’m more familiar with the comic version, and much of it features terrific Joe Staton artwork and some really enjoyable stories. The magazine was put together by Continuity Associates, so it’s a good chance to see what Neal Adams et al. were producing during this period.
As Scotland Yard lasted a mere 4 issues in the mid-50s, it would make for a slim volume coming in at 140 pages or so. Still, it would make for a unique product on the shelves, as there are not too many London-based procedurals out there. The series features some nice artwork from Dick Giordano, Rocco “Rocke” Mastroserio, A.C. Hollingsworth and Mike Sekowsky. If we need to add some bulk to the TPB, I’d suggest inserting the two issue of Charlon’s Sherlock Holmes series from the same era.
Wander was a very unique little strip, created by Denny O’Neil (as Sergius O’Shaugnessy) and Jim Aparo. It ran as a back-up in Cheyenne Kid, and was infinitely more entertaining than its lead-in. Why should this one be reprinted? Well, it’s not every day that you get the opportunity to read an ongoing saga about and alien dressed as a cowboy. Did I mention that the alien spoke in Shakespearean English? Also, early Aparo art is fascinating.
Next Time: I’ll feature another batch of Charltons dying for the TPB treatment. Please stop by my blog, and check out the Charlton Notebook feature: Seduction of the Indifferent
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