What if there had not been a DC Implosion? You’ve already read about material that had been written and drawn for those 40-page comics that DC would have been publishing. But there was much more material in the works that never made it past the script stage, stopped in its tracks before any artist had a chance to put pencil to paper.
Most of that material is probably lost by now, save for copies that the writers may have kept or the filing cabinet at DC which houses paid-for but unused scripts. (Yes, there is such a cabinet. The recent SILVER AGE 80-PAGE GIANT used a Jimmy Olsen story from the early 70s that had been locked away for nearly three decades.)
SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #s 17 and 18, as discussed here last week, would have featured the climactic battle between the Freedom Fighters and the Silver Ghost. But both issues were also scheduled to have 8-page back-up stories which continued the Wizard’s “War of the Worlds” against the Justice Society.
In #17, “The Secret Origin of Star Sapphire” opens with the Wizard dispatching the title character to take out Johnny Thunder and his magic Thunderbolt. Sapphire argues briefly, but agrees to honor her commitment to the Wizard and his plans.
We move quickly into a flashback where we learn that Sapphire was once Remoni-Notra, a poor working girl on the medieval-type world of Pandina. Two Zamoran women appear, advise Remoni-Notra that it her destiny to be their queen, and transform her with a star sapphire.
Taking her place as queen, the new Star Sapphire learns that four other women across the universe have been given similar gems, one of them being Carol Ferris of Earth. Should any of them choose to become Star Sapphire, she would come to Zamora and battle Remoni-Notra for the throne.
Remoni-Notra decides to eliminate her potential competition and travels to Earth to find Carol’s star sapphire. Unfortunately, she can find no trace of it, nor any memory in Carol’s mind. She takes on two identities, Camille the real estate agent and Debbie Darnell, romantic interest of Captain Comet. As Star Sapphire, she joins the Secret Society, hoping it will enable her to track down the missing gem.
With the flashback ended, Sapphire, as Camille, heads for Johnny Thunder’s house. Johnny, now sixty years old, if regaling is grandchildren with tales of how he saved the Justice Society. Within moments of Camille’s arrival, he unwittingly summons the Thunderbolt (“You SAY YOU are from the Paris Journal?”)
When the villainess reveals her true self, a brief and fairly slapstick battle follows, until Sapphire manages to capture the Thunderbolt within her gem. Fearing for the safety of his wife a grandkids, Johnny goes with her quietly.
In SSoSV #18, we would have seen the return of Captain Comet to the series, as the Wizard has sent The Fiddler and The Icicle to Earth-1 to battle the hero. (That, you see, is part of the Wizard’s scheme – to use Earth-1 villains against the JSA and Earth-2 villains against the JLA and their compatriots.)
We open with the Wizard watching as his two emissaries are battling Comet. The Fiddler’s music is numbing the Captain’s mind while the Icicle’s freeze gun is numbing his body. Lucky for the hero, the ice so encases him that he can no longer hear the music and can begin to think straight. As he uses his mind-over-matter powers to cause the ice to melt, we are treated to a flashback sequence that is the real reason for this tale: Explaining why Captain Comet has a weapon in his holster since he never uses it.
On the planet Crivello, Comet is rescued from an alien ambush by a creature named Madel. She tells him that marauders have been attacking her planet because the scientists of Crivello have created the ultimate weapon. Its secret? It can do virtually anything its possessor can imagine; but it will do to the person firing it exactly what it does to his foe. “There is no greater deterrent to warfare,” says Madel.
The marauders attack, gaining control of the ultimate weapon, but as the battle rages on, there are few survivors on either side. Captain Comet is given one of the prototype weapons – a.k.a. the gun in his holster – and we are back to his present dilemma.
Will he use the weapon to stop the Wizard’s war of the worlds? Check back in SSoSV #19 for the answer! (Well, of course he would?€? but I never wrote THAT script!)
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ:
The title of the story way back in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #38 is the inspiration for this quiz. Do you remember it?
1. Jerry’s teenage pal and collaborator, who co-fathered an American legend and an entire genre?
2. Until he brought John Jones to life, whose art was seen every month on Captain Compass?
3. Silly jokes wrapped around a piece of bubble gum featured what character?
4. TOR was one of his creations, but who is father to two artists and teacher to dozens more?
5. An original member of MAD’s “usual gang of idiots, who put the Mystery and Secrets back into the Houses?
6. Gunned down when he told others of his actions, who is the man responsible for Bruce Wayne’s career?
7. Usually an inker, what artist caricatured Julie Schwartz in many stories he drew?
8. YOUNG LOVE, THE GREEN TEAM, and BLACK MAGIC were handiwork of which comics biz veteran?
9. Novelist and short-story writer, who is perhaps best-known for his western comics tales?
10. AVENGERS, FF, THOR and many other titles were inked by what longtime Marvel mainstay?
11. Mainly a comic strip by Ham Fisher, what boxer starred in Harvey Comics for fifteen years?
12. E-Man is the fondly remembered creation of Nicola Cuti and what artist?
13. DC’s Sgt. Rock led what group across the battlefields of World War II?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. The numbers ‘172’ can be found on the back of the U.S. $5 dollar bill in the bushes at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.
2. An elephant can smell water three miles away.
3. Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep him cool! He changed it every 2 innings!
FROM THE E-MAILBOX:
I heard that you were the editor of YOUNG LOVE #121. I never knew you were an editor! What other comics did you edit, and for how long?
– Dave Blanchard [BlanchardD@aol.com]
My editorial career at DC lasted three years, though almost all of it was as assistant editor to Julius Schwartz. During that period, I did first draft editing on lots of the scripts, proofread the completed art boards, and wrote many of the letter columns.
After Carmine Infantino left the company and Jenette Kahn came in as Publisher in 1976, it was decided that we younger guys should have a shot at editing. The first title I got to handle (as “Story Editor” – they still weren’t that gung-ho about giving us full editor status) was that issue of YOUNG LOVE.
Shortly thereafter, I moved out of Editorial and into the Production Department, where I stayed until the fall of 1998. However, I was listed as the Editor of the Daily Planet page that appeared in the books in the late
70s and early 80s.
By having his e-question answered here, Dave’s earned himself an additional 10% off anything he buys from the SBC online catalog this week. Yes, that’s on top of any special offers everyone else can take advantage of. Want to save yourself some extra bucks? Send your questions using that convenient little box in the column on the left right now!
That’ll do it until next time. See ya back here in seven days.
1. Joe Shuster
2. Joe Certa
3. Bazooka Joe
4. Joe Kubert
5. Joe Orlando
6. Joe Chill
7. Joe Giella
8. Joe Simon
9. Joe R. Lansdale
10. Joe Sinnott
11. Joe Palooka
12. Joe Staton
13. The Combat-Happy Joes of Easy Company
By the way, the name of that Spider-Man story? “Just a Guy Named Joe.”
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.