Monday, August 12, 2013

365 Comics...224: Charlton Bullseye #1 (1981)

Aw crap.  When I found a pile of Charlton Bullseye comics in a $2 bin at a small town haberdasherie I thought I hit the motherload.  Also in thise bins were some vintage 70's Superman Family, Wonder Woman, Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes, Shazam, Justice League and more.  I was in a bit of a tizzy as I was finding a big pile of long-sought after gap-fillers among all yhese much undervalued gems.  The store operaters didn't seem to know or care what they had.  Everything was just $2 to them.

In a $40 pile I got the books I wanted and a few "Investment books", but immediately upon leaving the store regret for not picking up more of those investment books started to plague me.  I meant to go back later in the evening but didn't find the time to do so.  Those Shazam books especially haunt me.

But out of it I thought I had a prized book in this pairing of Blue Beetle and the Question,  thinking it a far grwater vintage than it actually is.   So disappointing to learn not only was I off by 20 years, but only the faded remnants of Ditko remained.

This being my first ever exposure to a Charlton comic was not a good one.  It's a pretty substandard heroes versus revenge-seeking bad guy (Beetle and Question's first meeting snd they don't even fight?  What gives comic from 1981?  The bad guy steals Beetle's bug ship and lays out a shittier version of sn Arcade funhouse for them when they arrive to get it back.   It's a meaningless story, with no flavor or even any sense of real danger.

Art from Dan Reed features strong, highly detailed facial close ups, and ridiculous action figure poses for the wide shots, often malproportioned against the setting.  Its really sloppy work most of the time.

The "What's Coming Next" editorial page is brutally honest about this issues' quality, foregoing any pride and restraining any praise, stating: "No, it isn't The Greatest Story Ever Told,  but they deliver a pretty good job against all odds" and "The editors thought the story was dumb, and made a lot of changes on the penciled pages. The crew down in Miami thought the editors were too dense to change their socks,  much less words on a page, so they changed the editors' changes!"  I would love honest post mortems in the very same book over at DC right now...

This isn't the 60 dollar investment book I'd hoped for, and it' s a pretty terrible read, but a great curiosity, my first ever exposure to twi of ny favorite DC characters,  pre-DC.

Also, watch this short doc on The Question:

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