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June 22

The Chaste are an elite group of mysterious warriors whose base lies atop a mountain in an unknown location. Led by Stick for a time, and now led by Stone, the Chaste’s members are required to rid themselves of emotions that are considered impure. The warriors have developed astounding mental and physical abilities, and their names are associated with powers or weapons they have mastered. The Chaste and the Hand have clashed in battle for many years. The Chaste live in a remote wilderness location that can only be accessed by climbing “The Wall,” a sheer cliff. The climb also serves as an entrance exam – those who fail the climb are not considered worthy. The Chaste’s first appearance is in Daredevil #187 (June 22, 1982). Daredevil (Matthew Murdock) first encountered members of the Chaste during a period when he had temporarily lost his radar sense. He sought his old master, Stick, to help him recover his abilities. At the same time, the Hand ascertained Stick’s whereabouts and launched an attack. The blind old man was able to thwart the four attackers, but he knew he needed help in the event of another attempt on his life. Stick summoned the other six members of the Chaste. Only Stone, Shaft, and Claw arrived; Star, Flame and Wing were presumed to have been killed en route. The Hand’s deadliest warrior, Kirigi, had been resurrected for the battle, but was defeated by the surviving Chaste warriors.

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June 23

Obsidian is the codename of Todd Rice, who is the biological son of Alan Scott and Rose Canton. Todd was raised in an abusive adoptive home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He finds out in his late teens that he has a twin sister, Jennie-Lynn Hayden, alias Jade. They meet, discover they both have superpowers and, operating under the assumption that Green Lantern was their father, decide to follow in his footsteps. As Obsidian and Jade, they were founding members of the superhero team Infinity, Inc., a group composed mainly of the children, grandchildren, and protégés of members of the Justice Society of America. He first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25 (June 23, 1983). Obsidian also serves with the Justice League in a space-station based headquarters. He has many various adventures there, including helping the League deal with dozens of aliens who are the last members of their species. During his tenure with the League, he undergoes therapy. For a time, he also has to deal with seemingly permanent injuries to his shadow form. Obsidian is connected to the Shadowlands, a dimension of primordial, quasi-sentient darkness. At will, Obsidian can merge with his own shadow and possess the shadows of others. In his shadow form, he is stronger than in human form, can pass through solid objects and can fly.

In the late 1970s, Batman’s popularity was waning. Producers Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan purchased the film rights of Batman from DC Comics in 1979. It was Uslan’s wish “to make the definitive, dark, serious version of Batman, the way Bob Kane and Bill Finger had envisioned him in 1939. Uslan was unsuccessful with pitching Batman to various movie studios because they wanted the film to be similar to the campy 1960s TV series. Uslan was unsuccessful with pitching Batman to various movie studios because they wanted the film to be similar to the campy 1960s TV series. After the financial success of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Warner Bros. hired Tim Burton to direct Batman. Burton had then-girlfriend Julie Hickson write a new 30-page film treatment, feeling the previous script by Mankiewicz was campy. The success of The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: The Killing Joke rekindled Warner Bros.’ interest in a film adaptation. Burton was initially not a comic book fan, but he was impressed by the dark and serious tone found in both The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke. When comic book fans found out about Burton directing the film with Michael Keaton starring in the lead role, controversy arose over the tone and direction Batman was going in.[17] Hamm explained, "They hear Tim Burton’s name and they think of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. They hear Keaton’s name and they think of any number of Michael Keaton comedies. You think of the 1960s version of Batman, and it was the complete opposite of our film. We tried to market it with a typical dark and serious tone, but the fans didn’t believe us.” Batman opened on June 23, 1989, grossing $43.6 million in 2,194 theaters during its opening weekend. Despite initial negative reactions from comics fans prior to the film’s release, Keaton’s portrayal of Batman was generally praised. The success of Batman prompted Warner Bros. Animation to create the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, as a result beginning the long-running DC animated universe and helped establish the modern day superhero film genre.

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June 24

SuperPatriot was once Johnny Armstrong, a soldier in World War II. Captured by the Germans, Armstrong was used as a guinea pig for scientific experiments and gained superhuman powers. He destroyed the base at which he was being kept so the Nazis could not replicate the process on their troops and donned an American flag-styled costume to become SuperPatriot. SuperPatriot later joined the superhero group called the Allies, working with such figures as Supreme and Mighty Man, and protected the innocent for many decades. He also worked with the World War II version of Die-Hard and Glory as the group ‘Allies’. Prior to becoming a cyborg SuperPatriot’s body had the stamina, endurance, strength, and agility of ten peak human athletic men as well as slowed aging process. During World War II SuperPatriot took a drug that allowed him to fly for a limited range, he discontinued the use of this drug due to its dangerous hallucinogenic side effects. SuperPatriot’s artificial eyes give him enhanced sight such as night vision, microscopic vision, and telescopic vision. SuperPatriot’s arms and legs have been replaced with nanite-powered cybernetic limbs, which obey his every mental command on a molecular level. When put to their most common use, his arms can assume the shape and function of any weapon he can think of so long as they retain its original mass. He first appeared in Savage Dragon #1 (June 24, 1992).

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for June 24-30, 2022...

120 years ago June 26, 1902 Artist Sals Bostwick is born. The Frank King assistant creates such features as Room and Board.

110 years ago June 27, 1912 Award-winning writer-artist Miné Okubo is born. She’s known for her book Citizen 13660.

105 years ago June 25, 1917 Novelist, screenwriter, and columnist William Woolfolk is born. The Golden Age comics writer for characters including Fawcett’s Captain Marvel and Quality’s Blackhawk creates Captain Marvel’s “Holy moley!” catchphrase.

100 years ago June 27, 1922 Golden Age artist and writer Ruben Moreira is born. He co-creates Roy Raymond and (with Jack Miller) Rip Hunter.

95 years ago June 27, 1927 Mel Cummin’s Good Time Guy begins.

75 years ago June 26, 1947 Italian editor and Bonelli writer Alfredo Castelli is born. He founds the first Italian comics fanzine, Comics Club 104, and creates Martin Mystère.

75 years ago June 28, 1947 Underground comix creator David Geiser is born.

75 years ago June 29, 1947 Norman Maurer marries Joan Howard, daughter of Moe.

55 years ago June 24, 1967 Samurai Penguin artist and film model maker Mark Christopher Buck is born.

55 years ago June 27, 1967 Chuck Winter dies at age 70. The Golden age artist draws in the Harry “A” Chesler shop, then for Iger’s studio, working for many companies. He co-created Liberty Belle for DC.

55 years ago June 27, 1967 ComicBase founder Peter Bickford is born.

50 years ago June 30, 1972 Comics researcher Dave Galvan is born.

40 years ago June 30, 1982 Magazine cartoonist Abner Dean dies at age 72.

35 years ago June 25, 1987 Dutch artist Bram Ohm dies at age 81.

30 years ago June 27, 1992 Irish-German writer-artist Elizabeth Shaw dies at age 72.

20 years ago June 30, 2002 Spanish artist Jaime Brocal Remohí dies at age 66. He specialized in fantasy, and his work appeared in the U.S. in Warren magazines, Heavy Metal, and Epic Illustrated.

15 years ago June 24, 2007 Italian animator and artist Giovanni Boselli dies at age 83.

15 years ago June 24, 2007 Belgian political cartoonist Joë Meulepas dies at age 92. He was known for the pantomime comic strip Meneerke Peeters.

15 years ago June 28, 2007 Howie Schneider dies at age 77 of complications from heart-bypass surgery. He was an award-winning cartoonist, editorial cartoonist, children’s book author, and sculptor and wrote and drew Eek & Meek and The Sunshine Club.

10 years ago June 24, 2012 Belgian artist and animator Iwan Lemaire (who also worked as Yvan Lemaire) dies at age 78.

5 years ago June 30, 2017 British writer Barry Norman dies at age 83. He collaborated with Wally Fawkes on the Flook comic strip.
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U.S. Air Force reports on Roswell
On June 24, 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier. Public interest in Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, beg... read more clickable text



Roe v Wade overturned by the Supreme Court

98 people die in Surfside condo collapse

1982 garment workers' strike begins in New York City's Chinatown

Disney pulls Insane Clown Posse album on release day
Tom Cruise raises eyebrows in "Today" show interview

Soviets blockade West Berlin

King Philip's War begins


UpStairs Lounge arson attack
Mail bomb injures Yale professor

Napoleon's Grande Armee invades Russia

Jacqueline Bouvier and Senator John F. Kennedy announce engagement

Senate repeals Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Colorado governor orders Native Americans to Sand Creek reservation
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June 25

Tyler Dayspring was born two thousand years in the future as the son of Nathan Summers and his wife Aliya Summers. He was raised by the Summers as part of the Askani Clan Chosen. As a young teenager, Tyler was abducted by the villain Stryfe and corrupted. He reappeared as one of Stryfe’s soldiers and took Dawnsilk, a friend of Nathan, as a hostage. Seeing no other solution, Nathan shot Tyler, freeing Dawnsilk. Tyler was thought to be dead, but he survived and escaped from Stryfe’s service. He had grown bitter against his father for shooting him. First appearing in X-Force #1 (June 25, 1991), he used time travel to come to the present, following his father. He created the identity of “Tolliver”, an illegal weapons merchant who always appeared wearing a rubber mask. Tyler wanted to punish everybody who had ever hurt him, first and foremost his father, who was now calling himself Cable. He hired the Six Pack, his father’s group of mercenaries, and sent them on a mission that would bring them into conflict with Stryfe, who had also travelled back in time. This mission would result in the Six Pack disbanding and most of the members hating Cable afterwards. Later, adopting the identity Genesis, Tyler considered himself the new heir of Apocalypse, and chose Wolverine to turn him into a Horseman of Apocalypse. He attempted to erase Wolverine’s mind and re-bond adamantium to Wolverine’s skeleton. On both accounts he failed; Wolverine’s mutation was sent into overdrive and he reverted into a feral state. Wolverine killed Genesis.

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June 26

Returning to his native Haiti after 12 years of education and practice as an accredited psychologist in the United States, Jericho Drumm discovers that his twin brother, Daniel Drumm, the local houngan, is dying, a victim of a voodoo sorcerer who claims to be possessed by the spirit of the serpent-god Damballah. Just before he dies, Daniel makes his brother vow to visit Daniel’s mentor, Papa Jambo. Jericho does, and becomes Jambo’s student. After studying under the aged houngan for several weeks, Jericho gains a greater mastery of voodoo practices than his own brother, becoming a houngan in his own right. Papa Jambo then performs a rite that summons Daniel’s spirit from the dead and joins it with Jericho’s own. Having fashioned a worthy successor, Papa Jambo dies. First appearing in Strange Tales #169 (June 26, 1973), and taking the name “Brother Voodoo”, Jericho challenges the priest, who goes by the same name as his god Damballah, and his cult. With the help of his brother Daniel Drumm’s spirit possessing one of the cult members, Jericho removes Damballah’s artifact of power (wangal), causing Damballah’s snakes to turn on him and evidently destroying Damballah’s cult. Brother Voodoo becomes Haiti’s houngan supreme and champion, and establishes a sprawling mansion as a base of operations. He places the wangal in a safe, its combination known only to Brother Voodoo and his manservant Bambu.

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June 27

Death is the second eldest of the Endless, a family of anthropomorphic beings. Death is possibly the most powerful of the Endless having been shown to be virtually omniscient. Death is both the end of life and a psychopomp. Like most anthropomorphic personifications of death, Death meets with the recently deceased and guides them into their new existence. Death appears as an attractive, pale young goth woman dressed in casual clothes — often a black top and jeans. She also wears a silver ankh on a chain around her neck, and has a marking similar to the eye of Horus around her right eye. She is pleasant, down-to-earth, perky, and has been a nurturing figure for her brother Dream. She first appeared in The Sandman #8 (June 27, 1989).

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June 28

Steven Sharpe III came from a long line of compulsive gamblers. He first appeared in Green Lantern #12 (June 28, 1944). When he proposed to his girlfriend, Helen, the day after his high school graduation, she refused unless he could prove he was not a compulsive gambler like his grandfather. She then ran off with a “Pool Hall” Charlie, another gambler, who had just won a fortune on the lottery. Sharpe vowed to become a new person after this day. As luck would have it, an armored truck crashed a few feet away from him. Seeing this as a sign, Sharpe helped himself to all of the money he could get and vowed to take whatever he could from life from that day on. He adopted the name the Gambler in remembrance of his grandfather. Sharpe was immediately successful as a criminal. He was spotted in Gotham City by Green Lantern while standing next to his own wanted poster. The Gambler eluded Green Lantern twice using his special Derringer, which could fire ammonia or blackout gas in addition to real bullets. When he emerged again, he had adopted a new identity after his riverboat gambling grandfather: The Gambler.
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June 29

Deathmate was a six-part comic book crossover between Valiant Comics and Image Comics. Designated by color rather than issue numbers plus two book-end issues, beginning with Deathmate Prologue (June 29, 1993) and Deathmate Epilogue, as well as Preview issues collected with comic products, the four main issues were written so they could be read in any order. Created at the peak of the comic book speculator boom, the project was heavily promoted and sold hundreds of thousands of copies, but was beset with production delays. The Image half came out severely behind schedule and out of sequence. Deathmate Red shipped after the epilogue issue. The plot evolved around a chance interdimensional meeting of two characters, Solar from Valiant and Void from Image’s WildC.A.T.s. The two became lovers, but their joining would mean the destruction of both comic book universes.

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June 30

Reep Daggle is from the planet Durla, whose inhabitants are shapeshifters to adapt to an environment destroyed by a thermonuclear war. He has orange skin, pointed ears and antennae, and has no hair in his usual humanoid form. He applied for membership in the Legion, to set an example to humans that Durlans are OK. Thanks in part to his exceptional deductive skills he is named the permanent head of the Legion’s Espionage Squad. Chameleon Boy first appeared in Action Comics #267 (June 30, 1960). Chameleon Boy has the same shape-shifting ability that is innate among all his people. They can take the form of any object or organism their body can ‘scan’ with their antennae and morph into it within seconds. Reep is able to shift into forms both larger and smaller than he is, creating or disregarding mass at whim. He can also elongate parts of his body with this excess mass creation, as well as rearrange his internal organs and tissue such as his eyes, nose, heart, etc. He is a skilled voice imitator to go along with his disguises. Because of these feats he is considered one of the most powerful and versatile Durlan shape-shifters.

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July 1

Concrete is a normal man whose brain was transplanted into a large, stone body by aliens, and who lives an extraordinary life on Earth following his escape. His first appearance is Dark Horse Presents #1 (July 1, 1986). The series focuses on the life of Concrete, formerly Ron Lithgow, whose brain was involuntarily transplanted by aliens into a hulking artificial body which is made up of a substance that closely resembles concrete. As part of the back-story, he eventually escaped and made contact with the US Senator he worked for as a speechwriter. After a prolonged period of scientific tests and examinations, he was allowed to live on his own with the cover story that he was a cyborg constructed by the government. In his new body, Concrete decides to use his tremendous strength, endurance and vision for a series of adventures he never thought of in his previous sedate life. Hiring a personal assistant writer and accompanied by a female scientist who is assigned to monitor his body, Concrete has a wide variety of adventures.

One of Pacific Comics first titles, the original run of Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers lasted thirteen issues, plus a special. The characters debuted in Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1 (July 1, 1981). All were written, illustrated, and edited by Jack Kirby. In the last issues of the Pacific series, Kirby crafted an origin story for Captain Victory which he tied into the New Gods comic book that he had written and drawn for DC Comics in the 1970s. It was suggested that Captain Victory was the son of Orion, of the New Gods. Orion was not specifically named, but a number of clues were planted, including equipment said to belong to Captain Victory’s father that was identical to the astro-harness ridden by Orion in the earlier series. Additionally, Captain Victory’s grandfather, Blackmaas, was illustrated only as a cast shadow, but a shadow that to many readers bore a resemblance to Orion’s father, Darkseid. After the end of Pacific, no more was seen of Captain Victory, until Topps Comics attempted to revive the character as part of planned 5-issue mini-series, which only lasted one issue.

Dot first appeared as a supporting feature in Sad Sack Comics #1 (July 1, 1949), and by 1953 was given her own series, joining Harvey’s growing cast of child-oriented comedy characters. Dot introduced several other popular headliners (including Little Lotta and Richie Rich) as back page fillers. Little Dot (real name Dorothy Polka) was a “one-note character” with a reliance on formulaic gags and repetitious images. Her stories also involved a considerable amount of slapstick humor and domestic comedy. The character’s signature theme only became apparent in 1953, after she was redesigned to conform to the company’s emerging house style. Consequently, as Dot became a virtual clone of Famous Studios’ Little Audrey, the ‘Dotty’ aspect was emphasized so that the two characters wouldn’t appear too similar.

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for July 1-7, 2022...

115 years ago July 2, 1907 Award-winning Indonesian-Dutch artist Eppo Doeve is born. He is a political cartoonist and appears on radio, TV, and in print.

105 years ago July 1, 1917 Artist and DC colorist and production manager Jack Adler is born.

95 years ago July 7, 1927 Sports cartoonist Dik Bruynesteyn is born. He’s known for Appie Happie.

85 years ago July 3, 1937 Russ Cochran is born. The professor, Another Rainbow and Gladstone publisher, and art dealer is especially noted for his reprints of EC and Disney material.

85 years ago July 6, 1937 Artist Marion T. “Penny” Ross dies of a heart attack at age 56. He created the Mamma’s Angel Child strip.

75 years ago July 6, 1947 Katherine Collins is born as Arn Saba. She creates Neil the Horse.

70 years ago July 1, 1952 Australian artist Jimmy Bancks dies of a heart attack at age 63. He created the Ginger Meggs comic strip.

70 years ago July 4, 1952 Artist Rick J. Bryant is born.

60 years ago July 3, 1962 Hogan’s Alley co-founder and editor, historian Tom Heintjes, is born.

55 years ago July 1, 1967 Roland J. Scott’s newspaper series Sally’s Sallies and Scott’s Scrapbook end.

55 years ago July 4, 1967 Czech editor-writer-artist Ondřej Sekora dies at age 67.

45 years ago July 5, 1977 The Dutch comics artist of De Verstrooide Professor, Theo Funke Kupper, dies at age 72.

45 years ago July 7, 1977 Award-winning adventure strip writer-artist Roy Crane dies at age 75. He created Wash Tubbs, Captain Easy, and Buz Sawyer.

40 years ago July 2, 1982 Animator and artist Jack Bogle dies two days before his 82nd birthday. He worked on the Felix the Cat animation and strip, worked for Walt Disney starting in the 1930s, and produced funny animal comic book material for Dell.

40 years ago July 6, 1982 Writer-artist Warren Tufts dies at age 56 in the crash of an airplane he designed. The writer-artist created Casey Ruggles, Lone Spaceman, and Lance comic strips.

30 years ago July 4, 1992 Marvel announces it will acquire Fleer Corp. for $265 million.

30 years ago July 4, 1992 The Chicago Comicon begins at the Ramada O’Hare. The event runs July 4-6 and is especially noted for the huge tent that serves as a venue for fans of Image’s creators. (Note: Also at that event, soon to be Comics Buyer’s Guide staffer Brent Frankenhoff consults with Don and Maggie Thompson about working on Comics Retailer magazine. OK, this is a little more personal than we usually get here.)

30 years ago July 5, 1992 Brazilian writer-artist Carlos Zéfiro dies at age 70.

25 years ago July 2, 1997 Men in Black opens, based on the comic book by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers. It’s nominated for three Oscars, wins for Best Makeup, and gets a 92 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 71 on Metacritic.

25 years ago July 4, 1997 It’s the first day of the first Wizard World Chicago. The event runs through July 6 at the Rosemont Convention Center.

25 years ago July 6, 1997 Italian artist and one of the artistic directors of Bonelli Michele Pepe dies at age 50.

25 years ago July 7, 1997 Zits begins by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman.

20 years ago July 3, 2002 “Coming to rid your Earth of the scum of the universe … Again!” Men in Black II opens – yes – based on the comic book by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers.

20 years ago July 7, 2002 Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise strip ends, with Dick Giordano its final artist.

10 years ago July 6, 2012 Dutch artist Bart van Erkel dies at age 63.

5 years ago July 6, 2017 Writer Joan Lee dies. Vanity Fair called Stan Lee’s wife “Marvel’s Muse.”

5 years ago July 6, 2017 Award-winning Argentine artist and composer Juan Carlos Colombres (who worked as Landrú) dies at age 94.

5 years ago July 6, 2017 Turkish artist Galip Tekin dies at age 59. He specialized in politically driven science fiction and fantasy stories.

And here are the anniversaries spanning the month of July…

80 years ago July 1942 Silver Streak Comics becomes Lev Gleason’s Crime Does Not Pay with #22; it calls itself “a completely new kind of magazine” and is now known as the first crime comic book.

80 years ago July 1942 “The Web battles The Black Dragon of Death!” Archie’s Zip Comics #27 introduces The Web in a story drawn by John Cassone.

80 years ago July 1942 Marvel’s Krazy Komics #1 introduces both Silly Seal and Ziggy Pig in an issue containing “68 sparkling pages in full color!”

75 years ago July 1947 There are two #7 issues of Fox’s Jo-Jo Comics. The July issue introduces and cover-features “the new and sensational adventures of” Jo-Jo Congo King.

75 years ago July 1947 Archie’s Pep Comics #62 introduces Li’l Jinx in a story written and drawn by Joe Edwards.

75 years ago July 1947 The first issue of Hillman’s My Date Comics may be the first romance comic. There’s major input from the team of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.

70 years ago July 1952 Charlton’s Space Adventures #1 introduces the Space Rangers. (Whereas it’s a couple of years before Rocky Jones, Space Ranger airs on TV, Wiki says its pilot is shot at about the time this issue is put into production. One of the comic book Rangers is named Jones. Just saying.)

70 years ago July 1952 DC’s The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #4 introduces Detective Chimp by John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Sy Barry. “Ik-ik-chk!”

70 years ago July 1952 Now, see, here’s where comics historians go nuts. DC’s Strange Adventures #22 has a Captain Comet story by John Broome, Murphy Anderson, and Sy Barry titled “The Guardians of the Clockwork Universe!” So does this mean it’s the story that really introduces The Guardians of the Universe, those annoying characters that are usually credited with their first appearance as being in Green Lantern #1 (July 1960)? That story is also by Broome. Hmm.

70 years ago July 1952 DC’s The Adventures of Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis begins with #1. The licensed Martin and Lewis stories are written and drawn by Howie Post.

65 years ago July 1957 Carl Barks’ “Forbidden Valley” story first appears in Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #54 from Dell.

60 years ago July 1962 Marvel’s Amazing Adult Fantasy #14 tries to entice readers with stories by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. Obviously, this is a team that is failing to attract readers. Heck, Lee tells a reader that he and Ditko even do their own editing. Why don’t they just forget about it? Wait a minute. What if they change the title a bit? Change it from an anthology title? Tweak it? I’m just saying. It’s worth a try.

60 years ago July 1962 “Meet … Doctor Doom!” Marvel’s Fantastic Four #5 introduces the guy who threatens, “With a turn of this dial, I shall destroy the four of you, forever!!” I bet they’d have settled for a simple, “Hello!” “Prisoners of Doctor Doom!” is by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Joe Sinnott.

60 years ago July 1962 Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan #131 is the last issue with a Dell logo. Stories are by Gaylord Du Bois, Jesse Marsh, and Russ Manning. (Don’t fret. Gold Key will pick it up in November, continuing the numbering and storytellers.)

60 years ago July 1962 Remember in May, when The Hulk’s skin was gray? Well, forget it. Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk #2 gives The Hulk green skin in a story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko.

60 years ago July 1962 Hey! Superboy’s got x-ray vision, but Ultra-Boy (introduced in the issue) has penetra-vision! Luckily, neither seems to be checking out Lana Lang on the cover of DC’s Superboy #98. (She’s probably not wearing a super-outfit the way the guys are.) “The Boy with Ultra-Powers!” is by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan, and George Klein.

60 years ago July 1962 DC’s Green Lantern #14 introduces Sonar, “the villain with the supersonic punch!” “The Man Who Conquered Sound!” is by John Broome, Gil Kane, and Joe Giella.

55 years ago July 1967 Rumor has it that Neal Adams makes his DC Comics debut with “It’s My Turn to Die,” written by Howard Liss, in Our Army at War #182.

55 years ago July 1967 “Spider-Man No More!” Well, OK, that decision doesn’t last long. Of greater duration is Kingpin, introduced in Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #50 in a story by Stan Lee, John Romita, and Mike Esposito.

50 years ago July 1972 Ms. magazine begins, featuring a Murphy Anderson drawing of Wonder Woman on the cover.

50 years ago July 1972 DC introduces the fantasy title Weird Mystery Tales with contents by Jack Kirby, Bernie Wrightson, Mike Royer, Howard Purcell, E. Nelson Bridwell, Jack Abel, Mark Evanier, and Steve Sherman.

50 years ago July 1972 “Now only 20¢” says the cover, when DC comics reduces its price from a quarter. Because let’s face it: Who can afford a quarter for a comic book?

50 years ago July 1972 George A. Pflaum’s Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact publishes its last issue. Volume 27 #8 (whole number #496) cover-features Chuck White, drawn by Fran Matera.

50 years ago July 1972 Marvel’s Sgt. Fury #100 features “One Hundredth Anniversary” by Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers, and Mike Esposito, and the cover is captioned “When a Howler Falls!” Characters include Stan Lee, Martin Goodman, Friedrich, Ayers, and more.

50 years ago July 1972 Rachel van Helsing is introduced in Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula #3. “Who Stalks the Vampire?” is by Archie Goodwin, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer.

50 years ago July 1972 He’s just a narrator in his first appearance, which is in Gold Key’s Mystery Comics Digest #5. Dr. Spektor tells “Of Inhuman Bondage” by Don Glut and Dan Spiegle. (Footnote: It’s lettered by pioneering publisher Bill Spicer. Look him up.)

45 years ago July 1977 On an unspecified date this month, animator and Supermouse artist Milt Stein dies by suicide at age 56.

45 years ago July 1977 Marvel’s Logan’s Run (“The official adaptation of the MGM production”) #7 concludes the run. It’s by John Warner, Tom Sutton, and Klaus Janson.

45 years ago July 1977 Choke! Sob! Issue #126 is the last for DC’s Young Love (“stories of romance for today’s young women!”). Stories include “I Won’t Kiss That Evil Way” by Tom DeFalco, Jeff Aclin, and Vince Colletta.

45 years ago July 1977 Marvel’s Star Wars #1 adaptation by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin is cover dated July but hits newsstands prior to the movie's May 25 release. (This emphasizes again that the issue dates used in these lists are cover dates; just saying.)

45 years ago July 1977 Machine Man is introduced in Marvel’s 2001: A Space Odyssey #8. “The Capture of X-51” is by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.

45 years ago July 1977 Eeek! “Our combined powers can’t stop that horde! We’ve got to retreat!” Ghost Rider has a point. It’s the first appearance of Swarm, also known as Lord of the Killer Bees! The story in Marvel’s The Champions #14 is by John Byrne, Bill Mantlo, and Mike Esposito.

45 years ago July 1977 As the cover says, DC’s Shazam! #30 features “The Entire Shazam Family!” It reintroduces the Golden Age’s Three Lieutenants Marvel in a story by E. Nelson Bridwell, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Vince Colletta.

40 years ago July 1982 DC’s The New Teen Titans #21 adds an insert preview of the Night Force series. And, in a story by Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, and Romeo Tanghal, the issue introduces Brother Blood and The Monitor (well, his voice, anyway), heralding the coming Crisis on Infinite Earths.

35 years ago July 1987 DC’s Doctor Fate #1 is the first of four issues by J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Dave Hunt.

35 years ago July 1987 He’s back in his own series again. Marvel’s Silver Surfer #1 features “ – Free – ” by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Joe Rubinstein.

35 years ago July 1987 Eddy Current #1 kicks off “a twelve hour book by Ted McKeever” from Mad Dog Graphics.

35 years ago July 1987 Usagi Yojimbo begins from Fantagraphics. Stan Sakai’s Rabbit Ronin began his adventures in Albedo Anthropomorphics #2, but now he has his own title.

35 years ago July 1987 DC’s Superman #7 introduces Rampage in (wait for it) “Rampage!” by John Byrne and Karl Kesel.

30 years ago July 1992 Erik Larsen’s The Savage Dragon begins from Image.

30 years ago July 1992 Dark Horse’s Nexus: The Origin is by Mike Baron, Steve Rude, and Gary Martin. It will receive the Eisner Award for Best Story/Single Issue/One-Shot.

30 years ago July 1992 The character has to wait for a month to get his own series, but Jim Valentino’s ShadowHawk gets his first appearance in Image’s Youngblood #2.

30 years ago July 1992 The last issue of Fantagraphics’ award-winning Amazing Heroes is the double issue #203-204.

30 years ago July 1992 In Marvel’s Iron Man #282, “War Machine” is by Len Kaminski, Kevin Hopgood, and Bob Wiacek and, yes, introduces War Machine.

30 years ago July 1992 OK, there was a tease about the character last month, but Valiant’s Solar, Man of the Atom #11 provides the first full appearance of the Eternal Warrior. “Justifiable Homicides” is by Jim Shooter, Steve Ditko, Ted Halsted, and Gonzalo Mayo.

25 years ago July 1997 It’s prequel time! Marvel’s Flashback Month features standalone stories taking place before the events in 1961’s Fantastic Four #1. The issues are numbered #-1.

20 years ago July 2002 “Explicit content”: Marvel’s The Hood #1 is part of its “Max” line. “Blood from Stones” Chapter 1 is by Brian K. Vaughan, Kyle Hotz, and Eric Powell.

20 years ago July 2002 Fables by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, and Steve Leialoha begins from Vertigo/DC. It will receive the Eisner Award for Best New Series.

15 years ago July 2007 “It ends here!” DC’s 52 #52 features the 40-page wrap-up “A Year in the Life” by many, many creators.

10 years ago July 2012 Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead from Image celebrates #100.

10 years ago July 2012 The New 52 starts fresh characters and numberings for some DC series this month, starting with new first issues. “A different world! A different destiny!” Earth 2 features “The Price of Victory” by James Robinson, Nicola Scott, and Trevor Scott in which a bunch of supers die and new supers get under way. Dial H for Hero offers “What’s the 411?” by China Miéville and Mateus Santolouco. (You know the premise, right?) Worlds’ Finest teams Huntress and Power Girl in “Rebirth” by Paul Levitz, George Pérez, Scott Koblish, and Kevin Maguire. Even G.I. Combat joins in, featuring “The War That Time Forgot” by J.T. Krul and Ariel Olivetti. You get the idea.

5 years ago July 2017 The first issue of Marvel’s All-New Guardians of the Galaxy features a story by Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder.

5 years ago July 2017 The miniseries will only last five issues, but it should be noted that Marvel’s I Am Groot #1 begins “The Forgotten Door” by Christopher Hastings and Flaviano Armentaro.

5 years ago July 2017 Talk about the metaverse! Archie releases Marvel Comics Digest #1 featuring reprints of Spider-Man stories.

5 years ago July 2017 Sacred Creatures by Klaus Janson and Pablo Raimondi begins from Image.

5 years ago July 2017 Marvel’s Jean Grey #1 begins, “I’m Jean Grey.” The story is by Dennis Hallum and Victor Ibáñez.

5 years ago July 2017 Cable #1 is another of those Marvel series beginning this month. Its first chapter is by James Robinson, Carlos Pacheco, and Rafael Fonteriz. (Eventually, its numbering will rejoin that of earlier Cable series. Just saying.)

5 years ago July 2017 Speaking of that sort of thing, Marvel’s Venom reaches #150 this month, having started with “#1” with its January 2017 issue.

5 years ago July 2017 The first issue of Marvel’s Black Bolt is by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward. It will win the Eisner Award for Best New Series.
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July 2

Magneto was born Max Eisenhardt sometime in the late 1920s to a middle-class German-Jewish family. Surviving discrimination and hardship during the Nazi rise to power, the passing of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, and the Kristallnacht, Max and his family fled to Poland where they were captured during the German invasion of Poland and sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. His mother, father, and sister were executed and buried in a mass grave, but Max survived, possibly due to the manifestation of his mutant powers. He later paid a Romanian forger, George Odekirk, to create the cover identity of “Erik Lehnsherr, the Sinte gypsy”. “Erik” relocated to Israel, where he met and befriended Charles Xavier while working at a psychiatric hospital near Haifa. There, the two debated the consequences humanity faced with the rise of mutants, though neither revealed to the other that they were mutants. Magneto’s experiences surviving Nazi Germany, Auschwitz, and Vinnytsia would shape his outlook on the situation that mutants face. Determined to keep such atrocities from ever being committed against mutantkind, he is willing to use deadly force to protect mutants. He would believe that mutants (“Homo superior”) will become the dominant life form on the planet and would set about either creating a homeland on Earth where mutants could live peacefully, or conquering and enslaving humanity in the name of mutantkind. He first appears in The X-Men #1 (July 2, 1963).

Professor Charles Francis Xavier’s goals are to promote the peaceful affirmation of mutant rights, to mediate the co-existence of mutants and humans, to protect mutants from violent humans, and to protect society from antagonistic mutants, including his old friend, Magneto. To achieve these aims, he founded Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to teach mutants to explore and control their powers. Its first group of students was the original X-Men (Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Angel, and Beast). Xavier’s students consider him a visionary and often refer to their mission as “Xavier’s dream”. He is highly regarded by others, respected by various governments, and trusted by several other superhero teams, including the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. However, he also has a manipulative streak which has resulted in several significant fallings-out with allies and students. Xavier is an exceptionally powerful telepath who can read and control the minds of others. Throughout much of the character’s history in comics, Xavier is a paraplegic variously using either a wheelchair or a modified version of one. One of the world’s most powerful mutant telepaths, Xavier is a scientific genius and a leading authority in genetics. Furthermore, he has shown noteworthy talents in devising equipment to greatly enhance psionic powers. Xavier is perhaps best known in this regard for the creation of a device called Cerebro, a technology that serves to detect and track those individuals possessing the mutant gene, at the same time greatly expanding the gifts of those with existing psionic abilities.He first appeared in The X-Men #1 (July 2, 1963).

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July 3

Satana and Daimon were born in the fictional town of Greentown, Massachusetts. They were the half-human children of Satan. Satana and her brother were groomed by their father to be evil, but Daimon rejected these teachings, while Satana embraced them. Satana first appeared in Vampire Tales #2 (July 3, 1973). When Satana was still a child, her mother, Victoria Wingate, discovered her husband and children’s true nature and was driven mad. Daimon was raised by servants, while Satana was taken to her father’s particular Hell-dimension and taught black magic. As a reward for her devotion to him, Satana’s father gave her a familiar named Exiter, with whom she formed a close bond. Satana began studying magic under her father and the demon Dansker. In Hell, her soul was bonded with an evil spirit called the Basilisk in order to increase her magical power. As an adult, Satana was banished to Earth by the Four as a succubus, draining the souls of men. When she does this, the victim’s soul transforms into an ethereal butterfly; Satana then consumes its essence by eating it. She also possesses the ability to gain strength through the use of weapons that were used to kill a living being. She used both her magic and sexual wiles to get the victims she needed.

Violator is the oldest and most powerful of five hell-born demons known as the Phlebiac Brothers, and his main purpose is to guide Hellspawns towards fulfilling Satan’s desire: to cultivate Evil souls on Earth for Hell’s army. He first appeared in Spawn #2 (July 3, 1992). He has been Hell’s guide for multiple Hellspawn, his latest charge being the current Spawn, Al Simmons. However, Violator views humanity as weak and so asserts that demons should lead the armies of Hell, not Spawn. Accordingly, much of his terrestrial activities, sanctioned by Hell or not, are aimed at proving his superiority to his master. The Violator’s current disguise is that of The Clown, a 5'6" overweight, balding man with menacing face-paint. His role is not to kill the Hellspawn, but to weaken them and cause them to waste their powers in wreaking havoc. His chief purpose is to groom and prepare the young Hellspawn for their service in Satan’s army. He has been killed multiple times, each time to be returned to Hell and reanimated by his master.

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July 4

The U-Men are people who believe in using mutant body parts to augment their human bodies as well as to grant themselves superhuman powers. They also live in specially designed environment suits to protect them from what they believe to be an imperfect world. The U-Men were primarily led by Dr. John Sublime until his death. Individuals view his book, The Third Species, to be their bible and the practice of being a U-Man as a legitimate religion, though others, such as mutants, view them as a cult. Sublime’s book states that there is a “third species” on Earth called Homo perfectus or “the Recycled Man”. The so-called “Third Species” is composed of normal humans who believe it is their right to use mutants and mutant parts to give themselves “chosen mutant” abilities. They do this by capturing mutants and harvesting their organs or other body parts to use either as grafts and implants or as tools. Like normal grafts and implants, the mutant organs do not always take, and some U-Men die as a result of the process. U-Men view the failure of a graft to take as a measure of an individual’s “purity” and deservedness to be one of the Third Species. They debuted in New X-Men Annual 2001 (July 4, 2001).

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July 5

Orm Curry was Aquaman’s fully human half-brother, the son of Tom Curry and a woman named Mary O'Sullivan. He grew up under the shadow of his heroic half-brother and resented the fact that he had none of Aquaman’s powers, being fully human, and he was already a petty criminal when he was stricken with amnesia and forgot all about his former life, disappearing shortly afterwards. Several years later, the self-named Orm Marius reappeared as the Ocean Master, a high-tech pirate who initially attacked ships but quickly moved on to causing natural disasters in order to hold the world at ransom. Ocean Master first appeared in Aquaman #29 (July 5, 1966). Aquaman and Aqualad were captured by Ocean Master but managed to escape. Aquaman was then unable to fight Ocean Master after having seen behind the Ocean Master’s mask and realizing that he was his half-brother Orm, although he did stop his plan. In his subsequent appearances Ocean Master, believing Aquaman was afraid of him, had decided to overthrow Aquaman and usurp his throne. Unable to survive underwater, he made a special costume and helmet to help him breathe while in the ocean and clashed with Aquaman many times.

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July 6

International Operations started “government internship” for gifted youths, taking place in an isolated training facility. Following the manifestation of Caitlin Fairchild’s powers, she fled the complex with Roxy Spaulding, Grunge, Burnout, and Threshold in disguise. They were later joined by Sarah Rainmaker. The project was revealed to be a gathering of the gen-active progeny of Team 7. Threshold tricked the group, sans Fairchild, to return to base to help free the other kids, but upon their return they were apprehended for further testing. With the help of Pitt and John Lynch, the kids finally escaped. The group retreated to La Jolla, California, and officially formed as the group Gen¹³. They opposed I.O. and their violent counterpart, DV8. The team first appeared in cameo in WildCats Trilogy #1 (July 6, 1993).

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July 7

Biochemist Dr. Bill Foster works in the Plans and Research Division for Tony Stark’s Baltimore factory. Dr. Foster debuted in The Avengers #32 (July 7, 1966). He is hired to be the biochemical laboratory assistant of Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym (a.k.a. Giant-Man). Pym is stuck at the height of 10 feet (3.0 m) for a time and at the behest of Stark, Dr. Foster helps Pym find a cure to change his size back to normal. Dr. Foster moves to the West Coast and at some point acquires the formula to “Pym particles” which give him the ability to grow in size like his former employer. Taking the name Black Goliath, he helps Power Man fight the Circus of Crime. Bill Foster’s superhuman powers are a result of his ingestion of a biochemical formula containing Pym particles. He has the ability to increase his size and mass to a gigantic size by psionically drawing extra mass from an extra-dimensional source while gaining superhuman strength in proportion to his height. The extra mass returns to the extra-dimensional source as he decreases in size. The process of changing height is fatiguing, making Foster more vulnerable to harm, after successive changes.

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July 8

Modred was born outside London, England in the 6th century, somewhere near Camelot. He was a sorcerer who served as an apprentice in magic to the wizard Gervasse. Modred was engaged to Gervasse’s daughter, Julia, and was set to become the apprentice of the wizard Merlin. However, Merlin had been replaced by an imposter, and Modred and Gervasse knew that “Merlin” needed to be stopped. In order to gain the power necessary for this feat, Modred sought out to master the mystic tome called the Darkhold, the book of black magic created by the Elder God Chthon, in order to use its power for good. The Other, an emissary or avatar of Chthon, offered Modred great power at the cost of his soul. Modred refused until the Other targeted Julia; in order to protect her, Modred offered himself up to Chthon. His soul was corrupted, and Gervasse placed him in suspended animation, where he lay for centuries. Modred’s powers are a result of the manipulation of the forces of magic, and possession by the demon Chthon. Modred has superhuman stamina and durability. He has the ability to manipulate magical forces for a variety of effects, including levitation, control of the elements, creation of mystic shields and energy projection. He can also cast any spell contained in the Darkhold. Modred loses both his sanity and his knowledge of magic when no longer possessed by the demon Chthon. Modred the Mystic first appeared in Marvel Chillers #1 (July 8, 1975).

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for July 8-14, 2022...

140 years ago July 9, 1882 Dutch writer-artist Henri Verstijnen is born.

135 years ago July 8, 1887 Belgian writer Jean Ray (also known as John Flanders, with the real name of Raymundus Joannes de Kremer) is born.

135 years ago July 9, 1887 Bruce Bairnsfather is born. The cartoonist is best known for his classic World War I “Old Bill” cartoons including, “Well, if you knows of a better ’ole, go to it.”

120 years ago July 13, 1902 Writer-artist and animator Dan Gordon is born. His freelance comic book career begins in the Golden Age, and he works on storyboards for the first Flintstones episodes and at Famous Studios and Hanna-Barbera Productions. He signs his comic book work “Dang.”

120 years ago July 13, 1902 Pioneering Turkish artist Cemal Nadir Güler is born. He’s often referred to as the “Father of Turkish Comics” and creates Amcabey.

105 years ago July 10, 1917 Award-winning Andy Capp creator Reg Smythe is born.

95 years ago July 14, 1927 Writer-editor-artist-publisher Mike Esposito is born. The Hall of Fame honoree is often teamed with Ross Andru, and he draws such characters as Spider-Man and Wonder Woman, as well as many Archie stories.

85 years ago July 8, 1937 “The Father of Shonen Manga,” artist Shinji Nagashima, is born.

85 years ago July 12, 1937 Abbie an’ Slats begins, created and written by Al Capp and drawn by Raeburn Van Buren.

85 years ago July 13, 1937 Belgian artist and animator Hugo De Reymaeker is born. He often works as “Hurey” and is especially known for De Fratsen van Jan Heibel.

80 years ago July 10, 1942 Film critic and writer Jeff Millar is born. He co-creates the Tank McNamara comic strip with Bill Hinds.

80 years ago July 11, 1942 The Italian comics artist of Il Principe Azzurro, Antonio Salemme, dies in fighting at Tobruk at age 48 or 49.

80 years ago July 11, 1942 Dutch artist Gideon Brugman is born.

80 years ago July 13, 1942 Artist Tom Palmer is born. He works on such titles as The Avengers and The Star Brand.

70 years ago July 9, 1952 Artist Kemp Starrett dies at age 62. His longest-running series was Vignettes of Life.

70 years ago July 14, 1952 Linus van Pelt is first mentioned in Charles Schulz’ Peanuts strip, though he’s not yet named or seen.

65 years ago July 9, 1957 Colorist Kurt Mausert is born.

65 years ago July 10, 1957 Award-winning writer Gerard Jones is born.

60 years ago July 13, 1962 Actor and voice artist Tom Kenney is born. His characters include SpongeBob SquarePants, and he plays comics fan Derek Sprang in Comic Book: The Movie.

55 years ago July 8, 1967 The Buck Rogers newspaper strip ends.

50 years ago July 8, 1972 British writer John Henry Gordon (“Don”) Freeman dies at age 69. He was especially known for writing the Jane comic strip drawn by Norman Pett and Garth drawn by Steve Dowling.

50 years ago July 9, 1972 The newspaper strip Tim Tyler’s Luck ends.

45 years ago July 9, 1977 The British comics magazine Sparky ends, as it merges with The Topper.

45 years ago July 9, 1977 French artist Georges Pavis dies at age 91.

40 years ago July 8, 1982 Editor Sylvan Byck dies nine days before his 78th birthday. The King Features Syndicate comic strip editor and vice president was a Silver T-Square Award-winner from the NCA.

40 years ago July 9, 1982 French writer-artist Jehan Sennep dies at age 88.

30 years ago July 9, 1992 Swedish writer-artist Bertil Wilhelmsson dies at age 65.

30 years ago July 13, 1992 “Self-employed illustrator” Albert J. Gabriele dies of cancer at age 75. The Golden Age artist co-created Black Marvel and Miss America.

30 years ago July 14, 1992 Paul T. Foxgrover is sentenced. The judge in the earlier Michael Correa case pleaded guilty to theft, official misconduct, and forgery and is sentenced to six years in state prison and ordered to pay $25,934 in restitution for stealing fines he’s imposed. A spinoff of the (successfully appealed) Correa case is the creation of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. (Despite the sentence, Foxgrover is released in 1994.)

25 years ago July 8, 1997 Writer, photographer, and underground comix historian Clay Geerdes dies of liver cancer at age 63. He created the Comix World and Comix Wave newsletters.

20 years ago July 8, 2002 Walt Disney animator and director Ward Kimball dies of complications from pneumonia at age 88. He was one of Disney’s animation greats, the so-called “Nine Old Men.”

20 years ago July 12, 2002 Road to Perdition opens based on the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner.

20 years ago July 12, 2002 Argentinian artist Jorgé Zaffino dies of a heart attack at age 43. His U.S. comics included Winter World.

15 years ago July 8, 2007 Muriel Kubert dies at age 77. The wife of Joe Kubert and mother of Andy and Adam Kubert was co-founder and administrator of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon Art.

15 years ago July 9, 2007 DC announces the webcomics imprint Zuda Comics.

15 years ago July 10, 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Doug Marlette dies, a passenger in a pickup truck crash at age 57. He wrote and drew the Kudzu comic strip.

5 years ago July 8, 2017 Award-winning writer-artist and crossword puzzle creator Bob Lubbers dies at age 95. His career began in the Golden Age, drawing for such companies as Centaur and Fiction House and eventually drawing comic strips, especially Long Sam and Robin Malone.

5 years ago July 10, 2017 Indian writer-artist Mangesh Tendulkar dies of bladder cancer at age 83.

5 years ago July 12, 2017 Writer-artist Sam Glanzman dies at age 92 following a fall. With a career starting in the Golden age, the co-creator of Kona with Don Segall was best known for his war comics, especially “The Lonely War of Willy Schulz” with Willi Franz.
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July 9

The Shade was a thief who could manipulate the shadows with a magical cane. He fought both the Golden Age Flash and his Silver Age counterpart Barry Allen. He was a member of several supervillain teams, including the Injustice Society. The ‘Shade’ draws his alias and source of power from Dante Alighieri’s epic poem The Divine Comedy, specifically its first book, “Inferno”, which describes the Nine Rings of Hell. This poem is the most cited depiction of Hell, and the various characters in the story referred to as “the Shade” are references to the perpetual darkness of Hell itself. He uses his power of perpetual night to cast a blanket of darkness over various parts of the world. He first appeared in Flash Comics #33 (July 9, 1942).

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July 10

Jennifer Sparks was born in England on January 1, 1900. Her family possessed quite a fortune, and she was sent to an all-girls school in Vienna. Her family had died on the Titanic in 1912, and her father’s nemesis took over their fortune. Left penniless, young Jenny was invited by her godfather, Albert Einstein, to Zurich, where he offered to finish her education. Before leaving she recommended that a young painter, whose art was quite abysmal, leave it behind and take a career in politics as he had a certain charisma and talent for speeches. Between 1913 and 1919 her powers started to manifest. Jenny Sparks had absolute control of electricity, including travel through power lines, shooting bolts of lightning and shaping electricity. With age her control and power increased. By 1919 Jenny stopped aging. In the 1960s through 1980s Sparks is shown to have become involved with the first British bands of superheroes, but she encounters problems with some extreme personalities that disillusioned her to that role. Sparks is described as “The Spirit of the 20th Century”, having been born at its beginning and later dying at its end. Throughout her time, she is shown to have influenced many of the most significant individuals who shaped that century, both positively and negatively. Her first appearance was in Stormwatch #37 (July 10, 1996) where she was appointed the leader of Stormwatch Black (Black Ops division), with Swift and Jack Hawksmoor, with whom she would later create The Authority.

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July 11

Hammerhead dreamed of becoming a gangster. He is eventually recruited into one of the “families” of the criminal organization known as the Maggia when a member oversees Hammerhead murdering a childhood bully and his girlfriend. Originally a small-time hit-man, Hammerhead quickly rises through the ranks of the Maggia, while hiding the fact that he’s actually Russian so he can be “made”. In his final test, Hammerhead is brought to his father’s garage, where he proceeds to kill his father. Later, Hammerhead was found beaten, disfigured, and delirious with pain in an alley in New York City’s Bowery by Jonas Harrow, a surgeon who had lost his medical license due to his illegal experiments. Seeing the opportunity both to save this man’s life and to redeem his reputation, Harrow operated on the gunman, replacing much of his shattered skull with a strong steel alloy. During the surgery, the unconscious thug fixated on the only memory he retained: an image of a poster for a movie called “The Al Capone Mob”, which was hanging in the alley where he lay beaten and bloodied before Harrow found him. When he recovered, the memory of the poster and its images of 1930s-era gangsters prompted Hammerhead to start a gang of his own. Hammerhead has no superhuman abilities, yet his skull is now surgically reinforced with vibranium, or adamantium, making his head flat on top; with this, he can charge and break through objects such as brick walls without causing any pain or damage to himself. This metal can absorb physical impacts that would otherwise fracture human bone. He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #113 (July 11, 1972).

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July 12

Artemis was born an Amazon as a member of the Egyptian tribe of Bana-Mighdall, who migrated from Greece to various European and Middle Eastern countries before finally settling in Egypt. As a child, Artemis was raised in poverty among her tribe, running naked through barren hills and often hungry. By the time she was 10 years old she was trained to carry 50 lbs. packs silently across night battlefields. Eventually Wonder Woman found their city while searching for the villain The Cheetah, who had stolen her golden Lasso of Truth. A battle took place between her and the Bana-Mighdallian’s chief warrior or Shim'Tar. Soon an enraged Olympian god Hermes, who was in love with Diana, took vengeance on the desert Amazons for attacking his beloved, and the city of Bana-Mighdall was destroyed. Homeless, the remaining Amazons eventually took up with the witch Circe who was a nemesis of Wonder Woman. It was agreed that in exchange for their servitude during the events of the War of the Gods Circe would grant them immortality and a new home to call their own. It was decided that since the Themyscirian princess was the initial cause of their city being destroyed, they would take over her Amazon city instead. Though only fourteen years of age at this time, Artemis spoke before the Queen and Council to protest the planned attack as she felt that Amazons must not war against each other. Her cries were ignored and the attack was undertaken. During the attack on Themyscira, the witch Circe showed her true colors and teleported the island into a dimension of demons in order for both tribes to be destroyed. The two tribes put aside their rivalry temporarily and fought the demons in order to ensure the Amazon survival. Discovering that Circe had made her island home disappear, Wonder Woman forced her to return it to its rightful place. Once this was done Wonder Woman learned about the invasion, the demon war, and the Amazon truce. She eventually met Artemis who was now in her mid-20s. The two got off to a rocky start but Diana could see that Artemis’ heart was true. Artemis of Bana-Mighdall debuted in Wonder Woman #90 (July 12, 1994).

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July 13

When Obadiah was a child, his father Zebediah Stane was a degenerate gambler and Obadiah’s mother died of unknown reasons. One day, his father considered himself on a “lucky streak” and played a game of Russian roulette and shot himself in the head while his young son watched. This trauma caused Obadiah to go bald, and shaped his outlook on life. From then on, Stane was a ruthless manipulator who studied his adversaries to find weaknesses to exploit. In adulthood, Obadiah Stane becomes the President and CEO of his own company, Stane International, as a munitions dealer. He also goes into business with Howard Stark. After the elder Stark died in a car accident, Stane turns his sights on acquiring control of Stark International, the industrial corporation he had worked with, now owned by Tony Stark. He also confronts the younger Stark in person. Stane and his associates conspire to lock Stark International out of various business deals. Stark eventually learns that Stane is the mastermind behind these attacks, but is unable to confront him. The assaults on Stark, his business, and his friends push Stark to the edge, and he relapses into alcoholism. With S.H.I.E.L.D.’s help, Stane buys out Stark International, which he then renames Stane International. Stark, having fallen off the wagon, relinquishes his armor to Rhodes and disappears to be a homeless vagrant. Rhodes becomes the new Iron Man while ignoring Stane’s demands to relinquish the armor. Rhodes eventually thwarts Stane in his attempt to take over the Iron Man battle-suits. Looking through Stark Enterprises’ records, Stane discovers Stark’s notes on the Iron Man armor. The notes are incomplete and highly advanced, but Stane assigns a team of scientists to decipher them; they eventually create the Iron Monger armor which, according to Stane, is “far superior to Stark’s Iron Man armor”. He debuted in Iron Man #163 (July 13, 1982).

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July 14

Hugh Dawkins is a born metahuman with the ability to turn into a supernaturally large and intelligent Tasmanian Devil, in a fashion similar to a werewolf. While Hugh is a pacifist, his alter ego of the Tasmanian Devil is aggressive and bestial. His parents had a hard time with him until he saved his father’s life. He first appeared in Super Friends #7 (July 14, 1977). He works as a superhero in Tasmania until he is contacted by a man named Doctor Mist to join the Global Guardians. He fights alongside the team and other heroes. In one incident, a teamup with Infinity Inc. goes bad when Taz is mentally forced to help a murderous villain gain revenge on a casino. Later, the Guardians’ base is destroyed and the team disbands. In his Devil form, he has super strength, savage claws, and razor sharp fangs.

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July 15

Trunks first appears in Dragon Ball #331 The Young Boy of Mystery, published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on July 15, 1991. Here he is a mysterious seventeen year old capable of transforming into the Super Saiyan state, who appears and singlehandedly kills Freeza and his father, King Cold. Upon Goku’s return from Planet Namek, Trunks confides in Goku his tragic story. Trunks has traveled from twenty years in the future where the world is in constant ruin due to the terror of the two androids #17 and #18which were created by Doctor Gero, the former chief scientist of the Red Ribbon Army. By this time, Goku has succumbed to an unknown heart virus and everyone, with the exception of Gohan, has fallen at the hands of the artificial humans. Trunks has been living with Bulma and secretly training with Gohan. After Gohan’s inevitable death, Trunks assumes the mantle of Earth’s sole protector against the artificial humans for the next three years until Bulma finishes her time machine. Once he informs Goku of the events to come, Trunks gives Goku a special medicine and returns to his own time.

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for July 15-21, 2022...

110 years ago July 20, 1912 Golden Age artist John Lehti is born. His work includes Tales from the Great Book, Sgt. Rock, and The Losers.

100 years ago July 17, 1922 Billy DeBeck’s Barney Google strip introduces Spark Plug. (The strip title will be changed to Barney Google and Spark Plug at one point.)

95 years ago July 15, 1927 Artist Jack Abel is born. He works for several comics companies (sometimes as Gary Michaels) on such characters as Superman, Iron Man, and Hulk.

95 years ago July 17, 1927 Belgian writer-artist Liliane Funcken is born. She’s known for work with her husband, Fred, on historical strips for Tintin.

95 years ago July 21, 1927 German animator and artist Willy Moese is born.

90 years ago July 20, 1932 Artist, editor, and DC vice president and executive editor Dick Giordano is born. He also serves on the board of directors of The Hero Initiative.

85 years ago July 16, 1937 Psychedelic poster artist Wes Wilson is born.

80 years ago July 15, 1942 Fawcett’s Wow Comics #6 introduces Commando Yank and Phantom Eagle.

80 years ago July 16, 1942 Artist, writer, and editor Russ Jones is born. He creates Warren’s Creepy magazine.

80 years ago July 21, 1942 Italian artist Franco Tarantola is born.

80 years ago July 21, 1942 Italian artist Giove Toppi dies at age 53. Lambiek says he created the first Italian police series, Renato Gallo.

70 years ago July 17, 1952 Historian and critic Mike Tiefenbacher is born. Among the credits of the Street Enterprises co-founder (with Jerry Sinkovec) is work as editor of The Comic Reader.

70 years ago July 19, 1952 Flaming Carrot creator artist-writer Bob Burden is born.

70 years ago July 20, 1952 Writer Mark Hamlin is born.

65 years ago July 16, 1957 Artist Louis Biedermann dies at age 82. He was especially known for his illustrations for Jack Lait’s All the Funny Folks: The Wonder Tale of How the Comic-Strip Characters Live and Love ‘Behind the Scenes.’

60 years ago July 17, 1962 Artist Steven S. Crompton is born.

60 years ago July 21, 1962 Bill Knapp is born. The writer-artist is especially known for The Furies.

50 years ago July 15, 1972 Funny Aminals from Apex Novelties goes on sale. In that anthology underground is a three-pager titled “Maus,” the start of Art Spiegelman’s classic.

50 years ago July 19, 1972 Writer-artist, art director, teacher, and editor Jamal Yaseem Igle is born. He creates Molly Danger.

40 years ago July 16, 1982 The first day of the Chicago Comicon at the Americana-Congress hotel kicks off three days of what becomes known as “Sweatcon,” thanks to its air conditioning failing to compete with the event’s major Doctor Who component. It’s the last downtown Chicago year for the con, which moves next to the Ramada O’Hare.

30 years ago July 17, 1992 Micronauts and Rom writer and Cloak and Dagger and Rocket Raccoon creator Bill Mantlo is struck by a car while rollerblading and permanently brain-injured.

15 years ago July 19, 2007 Argentine artist Roberto Fontanarrosa (who worked as “El Negro”) dies at age 62.

5 years ago July 15, 2017 Actor and artist Martin Landau dies at age 89. Though best known as a movie and TV actor, he began his career as a cartoonist and assisted Gus Edson on The Gumps during the 1940s and 1950s.
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July 16

The Badoon are older than the Kree and the Skrulls. They first appeared in Silver Surfer #2 (July 16, 1968). They are notable for living under strict gender segregation, resulting in two separate societies; the Brotherhood of Badoon (ruled by a “Brother Royal”) and the Sisterhood of Badoon (ruled by a Queen). There was a natural hatred between the two genders, and they fought each other in long gender wars. Eventually, the males won, placing the females in captivity. In time, the males developed technology and abandoned Lotiara, returning only when their mating drive made it necessary. The Brotherhood live on the planet Moord in the Lomora star system while the Sisterhood reside on the Badoon homeworld of Lotiara. The males became conquerors of worlds, while the females became pacifists, content to remain in peace on their homeworld and ignorant of the males’ star-spanning empire. Badoon invasion attempts of Earth have been overcome by the Silver Surfer, Namor, and the New Warriors. They were also opposed by the combined forces of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Arkon in order to liberate Arkon’s homeworld and prevent an invasion of the Shi'ar empire.

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