SBC’s Big Kahuna Jason has told me how he lies in wait for people who are late on meeting deadlines to log on., Then he pounces, demanding their work. Since I spent most of my years at DC running the Production Department, I know what it’s like when people are late, so I don’t expect he’ll be lying in wait for me any time soon.
Meantime, let’s get back to the topic at hand…


In last week’s column, I gave you some background about the “DC Explosion,” how it came to an abrupt end, and how the resulting “Implosion” spawned a near-mythic double-volume series that have sparked fan interest for more than two decades. Some of the material in CCC did eventually see print, but much of it never did.

Though the cover of the volume was blank blue cardstock, CCC #1 did have a “cover.” Drawn by Allen Milgrom, it depicts a virtual army of DC characters lying in the road as a truck bearing a DC logo careens away from them. The price box reads “Still 10c! No Ads!” but you couldn’t buy it for a dime or a dollar or even $1,000 at the time.

Leading off the volume are the complete contents for BLACK LIGHTNING #12. In “Lure of the Magnetic Menace” former Green Lantern foe Doctor Polaris shows up in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum to do battle with Black Lightning. But is he really the old Green Lantern enemy? The Polaris in this tale is Baxter Timmons, a fact discovered by his runaway nephew. In WHO’S WHO, DC’s official guide to the characters, Dr. Neil Emerson is Dr. polaris and he’s listed as having no known relatives. One wonders if writer Denny O’Neil was the one who ignored continuity or if the editor did. In either case, this particular Polaris never appeared anywhere else.
The back-up feature stars The Ray and retells (with some revamping) the origin of the character. The story provides another little tidbit didn’t make it to WHO’S WHO: “Happy” Terrill’s first name is given as Langford. Also of note is that this story begins where The Ray’s appearance in CCC #2’s SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #16 ended. As you’ll discover when we get to that tale in an upcoming column, The Ray is presumed dead by the villains. And obviously, had I been able to continue with my plans for the Freedom Fighters, they would have had one less member.
This first chapter concludes with an ebony-costumed character named The Dark vowing to destroy our hero. Alas, we shall never know what writer Roger McKenzie (who scripted from a Mike W. Barr plot) intended. John Fuller and Bob Wiacek did the art.
Nor will we know what would have happened to Black Lightning, though this section concludes with the cover of #13 which shows the hero unconscious and chained to a wall.

CLAW THE UNCONQUERED #13 is next. In case you don’t remember him, Claw was DC’s answer to Conan, created to cash in on the then-hot sword-and-sorcery market. As “The Travelers of Dark Destiny” begins, Claw is involved in a barroom brawl, but it suddenly concludes when a silver-gowned woman named Trysannda arrives on the scene.
Though Claw had mananged to chop off the monstrous hand that gave him his name in the previous issue, it manages to find him and reattach itself. All this as the hero joins Trysannda on a quest to Ravenroost. Despite having a full 25 pages for this tale, not much more is accomplished Claw-creator David Michelinie’s story (with art by Romeo Tanghal and Bob Smith) is copntinued in the next issue.
This issue was complete with a letter column too. Marty Greenberg, who in the 1950s published Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories in hardcover, offers “constructive criticism” of Claw on the page.

We’re not left to wonder what happened to Claw and Trysannda as CLAW was one of those titles that was ahead of schedule back in 1978. The complete issue #14 follows, though this time it’s Tom DeFalco taking up the scripting chores. Tanghal and Smith are again the art team while the cover, which features Claw and Trysanndra battling Rat-Men, was provided by Joe Kubert.
“When the River of Ravenroost…Ran Red” (Ah, such alliteration… the titles just rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it?) pits Claw against a living mountain (more like a hillock, actually), those aforementioned Rat-Men, and a giant mystical snail. But, despite another 25 pages, this saga is still not at an end. The cliffhanger finds Claw and Trysanndra in “a world gone suddenly and irreversibly MAD!” A grotesquely gloating warns them, “Welcome to the Lair of Lunacy—from which you’ll never leave alive!” One suspects he was right since there was no fifteenth issue.

Next week, a look at more of the contents of CCC #1.


Here’s the second part of the trivia quiz which began in last week’s column. (Click on “Past Columns” if you missed it.)
12. Using his new-found powers to defeat a train-wrecker named Dekker was part of the origin of what hero?
13. Cosmic radiation turned a quartet of astronauts into what famous team?
14. Although her colleagues call her “Mom,” what is the true nom de heroics of Belle Jackson?
15. NEW was part of the title of what long-running magazine until #32?
16. Commanding SHIELD was Nick Fury’s second gig; what was his first team?
17. One dog, one cat, one monkey, one horse…and a blob; what team is this?
18. Unaware her father was robber “Fly-Foot” Creamer, Merry Pemberton became known as what?
19. Number #15 of what series dropped a word from the title and introduced Marvel’s most famous character?
20. This late Silver Age DC book featured reprints of Space Museum and Star Rovers stories; name it.
21. Oh, so you know everything? Give me the full name of the Planet’s former cub reporter.
22. Not only did the “Woodchucks” produce this magazine, they mailed it out on their lunch hour; what is it?


Q: Do you think the Knicks have a shot at winning the NBA championship? — T. Jan Miller
A: While I’m primarily a baseball fan (with football ranking second), I’ll occasionally watch the last few minutes of a basketball game, so at least I know that the Knicks have advanced to the second round to face “their toughest rivals” (NBC’s phrase, not mine) the Miami Heat. Anyway, I’d say, sure, they have a shot at it. (Certainly a better shot than Toronto has!)
But then, some years ago when the Knicks and Patrick Ewing were feuding about a contract, I said they should get rid of him…so what do I know!

Hey, I’m waiting to answer your questions! Questions about COMIC BOOKS and the COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY, preferably!!
Send them to and if I use it here, you’ll earn yourself a discount on anything you order from SBC.


As the First Letter Clue says, it’s SOMETHING YOU CAN COUNT ON. The number of letters in the answer matches the number of the question.
1. Q
2. Oz
3. AIM
4. Atom
5. Namor
6. Archie
7. Sgt. Rock
8. Lucy Lane
9. Little Dot
10. Bob Phantom
11. Mickey Mouse
12. Green Lantern
13. Fantastic Four
14. Microwavabelle
16. Howling Commandos
17. Legion of Super-Pets
18. Girl of 1000 Gimmicks
21. James Bartholomew Olsen
[For more of BobRo’s trivia, check out the daily Anything Goes Trivia.]

Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.


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