Back Issue #138 September 2022 (magazine review).

This issue of ‘Back Issue’ focuses on the classic heroes, translate that into non-super-powered. Nothing wrong with that. They just had to be more ingenious when it came to sorting out the bad guys.

Writer Dan Johnson explores the life of the Lone Ranger and Tonto over the generations. If anything, Tonto is the one who gets the most development as the appreciation for the native americans developed, although oddly Eury doesn’t quite reach the Johnny Depp film. I should point out that this article also encases the TV and film versions. I know some of the reasons for the disguise but even Clayton Moore said in one episode, in disguise its hard to hide the whiteness of his skin caused by the mask. Even so, the Lone Ranger was a popular character and a lot of artists were willing to draw him.

It’s inevitable that there will be some cross-overs where characters are covered in different depths. Popeye is one of these, although here its more along the lines of his transition across different comicbook companies licensed to tell his tales and even some attempts to update him and Olive Oyl and their marriage.

I haven’t come across the ‘Jungle Twins’ before and writer Stephen Friedt fills me in on the subject when Gold Key lost the Tarzan franchise but still wanted something with a jungle atmosphere. Even so, you still have to ask yourself how many people really do get orphaned, lost and raised in these jungles?

An interesting oddity introduced by Dan DeCarlo is that of four pencil layouts from the late ad writer Tony Macchia’s son, Paul, of his father’s layouts for Hostess comic page ads.

‘Flash Gordon’ gets two pieces.  Ed Lute looks at the 1978-1982 Gold Key/Whitman era around the time of the 1980 film. Robert Greenberger interviews Dan Jurgens about his work on the 1988 mini-series with an updated look at DC Comics which nearly fell apart King Features weren’t happy, despite initial approval, with the first issue and then backed down when he threatened to leave.

Zorro must have been more popular over the pond than in the UK, although Marvel UK did generate some of his adventures. For the American artists, they also lined up to draw the character they idolised when young. Considering how much of the art was in black and white, chiaroscuros certainly added to the dynamism.

If you think anyone is missing, prepare for a hunt for the earlier paper editions which they were released in. However, in the meantime, this ‘Back Issue’ should get you started.

GF Willmetts

September 2022

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $10.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $10.95 (US))

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