EXCL. PREVIEW: Superman Escapes a Black Universe in "Dark Knight III" #5
In each of the last two years, in recognition of Black History Month, I’ve written brief overviews of Golden Age creators of African American descent. This year, I thought that I would continue the tradition with a look at the little known Alfonso Greene.
Digging up information on Alfonso Greene is not the easiest task in the world. I could simply rehash what I’ve learned, but the best thing I’ve yet to read on Greene can be found at Ken Quattro’s excellent site: The Comics Detective. Alfsonso Greene at the Comics Detective. There’s some great stuff there, including stories recounted by Alex Toth, which would be amazing if even half true. The best I can do this week is to provide some additional information about where his work can be found along with some examples.
Greene did a decent amount of work for Eastern Color in its Heroic Comics title, as well as producing work for the likes of Gilberton and Fox. His first regular work was on the Wonder Women of History back-up feature in Wonder Woman during the mid-40s. These were 4 page biographies of historically important women such as Abigail Adams, Sojourner Truth and Helen Keller. I’ve always admired attempts at teaching history through the comic book medium. It’s doubtful that any of these will ever be reprinted.
Greene’s only other regular gig at DC/National was on the Black Pirate strip, which ran in Sensation Comics and later All-American Comics. In my opinion, it was on this strip that Greene really began to establish a personal style. In some ways, it’s still run of the mill Golden Age art. There are, however, certain flairs in the action sequences, that suggest some real talent. By my count, there more than a half dozen Black Pirate strips by Greene. Some Black Pirate stories were reprinted during the 1970s, but I believe that they were all Sheldon Moldoff drawn tales.
From 1956 until the time of the Atlas Implosion, Greene did quite a bit of work for Stan Lee at Atlas. Here’s a great page originally published in World of Fantasy #11 (April, 1958), which can be found for a lot less dough in Crypt of Shadows #19 (September 1975). I really love this page, from the twisting body in the semi-splash to the shadow on the brick wall in the second panel. I have a feeling that Greene could have done some amazing work for Warren’s line of black and white magazines had he continued working into the 60s.
Greene also did a decent amount of western work at Atlas, including this story originally published in Kid Colt Outlaw #76 (May, 1958). I’ve got good news for frugal collectors; it can also be found in Kid Colt Outlaw #229 (April, 1979).
As I have said, not much is known about Greene or the specifics of what he did after leaving comics and what he was up to during the first half of the 50s. If anyone has additional info, I’d love to hear it. For more comic book chat, stop by my blog: Seduction of the Indifferent
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