July 5, 2017

DC Silver Age - October and November 1955

October 1955

Detective Comics (1937) 226 - "The Case of the Magic Baseball" (Jack Miller, Joe Certa) 

J'onn J'onzz has taken the Earth name John Jones and become a detective. We're shown that he has already used his Martian abilities to assist him in solving a number of cases. In this story, he's not trying to solve something to do with a "magic" baseball, but rather the cause of the "magic." An ex-con is now a baseball pitcher but he's under pressure from some criminals to throw the game. J'onzz uses his ability to see the future and observes that the pitcher would win the game if he played an honest game, so J'onzz manipulates his pitches so that he wins and then takes care of the crooks when they come to enact punishment. The logistics of his future-sight don't really make sense to me. I really do love the way that Certa draws an outline of J'onzz real appearance around his human form when he's using his powers, though. 3/5

Also in this issue: "When Batman Was Robin" and "Roy Raymond -- Super Athlete" 

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (1955) 9 - "Jimmy Olsen, Cub Inventor," "The Million Dollar Question," "The Missile of Steel" (Otto Binder, Curt Swan, Ray Burnley)

In the first story, Jimmy invents a time radio of all things. It's like a time machine, except that you can hear things from the past instead of traveling to it! "The Million Dollar Question" happens to be the goal of a game show, one that's featuring puzzlers about Superman. Jimmy is kidnapped by some crooks to provide the answers. Finally, "The Missile of Steel" invents video games! I mean, check out that cover image! Superman is away, so Jimmy helps out by controlling a Superman robot. He's doing a great job, so when the Man of Steel returns, he decided to substitute in for his own duplicate and follow Jimmy's commands. Unfortunately, he encounters some Kryptonite. The robot isn't susceptible, so Jimmy realizes the real deal is in trouble and helps him out. 4/5
November 1955

Detective Comics (1937) 227 -  "The Man with 20 Lives" (Jack Miller, Joe Certa)

In this case, J'onzz needs evidence against criminal Monte Fisk (great name!), so he reads Fisk's mind and then spooks the guy by telling him the details of his crime. Eventually Fisk thinks he's being pursued by a ghost detective and confesses. 3/5 

Also in this issue: "The 50 Faces of Batman" & "The Genius with Super Power" (Roy Raymond)

World's Finest Comics (1941) 80 - "The Super-Newspaper of Gotham City" (Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, Stan Kaye)

The Gotham Gazette is in trouble, so Perry White magnanimously allows Lois Lane and Clark Kent to assist playboy Bruce Wayne -- who is on the Gazette's board of directors -- in making a last-ditch effort to save the newspaper. Lane acts as editor-in-chief and she's a tougher boss than the one for which she normally works! We've got to have Superman and Batman involved as well, of course; they track down and stop a crime ring. That provides a story for them to report on and this scoop saves the paper. 3/5  

Also in this issue: "The Bewitched Bow" (Green Arrow) & "The Brave of Fort Fearless" (Tomahawk)

My thanks to the site Mike's Amazing World of Comics without which this project would not be possible.

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