Edmond Hamilton

Showcase 15 (July-August 1958)

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This issue of Showcase features Space Ranger, the secret interplanetary superhero identity of Rick Starr. Except Space Ranger wears a see-through helmet, so his identity can’t be very secret.

Rick Starr is a bored blue blood, living some time in the future after humans have colonized other planets in the solar system (and met alien races). Space Ranger is fairly unambitious science fiction, but Edmond Hamilton’s scripts for the two stories in this issue are genial enough. Rick’s got a girlfriend who he doesn’t include on his adventures enough and an adorable little pink shapeshifting alien sidekick.

Space Ranger feels like most other pulp sci-fi, though Hamilton keeps it pretty chaste.

The first story involves a villain with a teleportation ray, the second a planet of robots out to conquer the solar system.

It’s oddly endearing, even if Bob Brown’s art isn’t particularly imaginative or even generally good.

Batman 112 (December 1957)

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So this issue has three Batman stories, two comic strips and a one page text story. That level of content is a lot different from today.

The art’s fine… I suppose Dick Sprang, drawing ancient Rome in the second story, has the best panels (but just because of subject matter).

As far as writing… it’s actually kind of interesting to see the differences between the stories. The first one, by Finger, will offer the reader a chance to solve the mystery before Batman does. The clues are often too small to see, but if one really tried and knew a lot of trivia, he or she could do it. It’s also interesting because Batman and Robin almost die, surviving only by luck, not their own doing.

The last story, also by Finger, with Batman confused about his identity, is pretty good. The resolution is idiotic, but the mystery’s decent throughout.

CREDITS

The Signalman of Crime; writer, Bill Finger; penciller, Sheldon Moldoff; letterer, Pat Gordon. Batman’s Roman Holiday!; writer, Edmond Hamilton; penciller, Dick Sprang; letterer, Artie Simek. Am I Really Batman?; writer, Finger; penciller, Moldoff; letterer, Gordon. Inker, Charles Paris; editor, Whitney Ellsworth; publisher, DC Comics.

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