Friday, January 02, 2009

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Wonder Woman #181

Wonder Woman #181 (On Sale: January 2, 1969) has a very nice cover by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano. I really loved the non-super-hero action of the revamped Wonder Woman and the very James Bondish covers and stories produced here.

"The Wrath of Dr. Cyber" is by Denny O'Neil, Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano. Diana Prince and I-Ching learn the location of Dr. Cyber's secret undersea base from one of her agents. The duo invade the facility to rescue Tim Trench. They then manage to escape before the base self-destructs.

Tim and Diana return to her shop and renew their hunt for Cyber. Tim recalls that Cyber mentioned the European town of Bjorland. Diana, Tim, and I-Ching visit the mountain village and discover that the inhabitants all work for Cyber. They locate Dr. Cyber, who tries to bribe Trench into betraying his friends. Reprinted in Wonder Woman #197 (yeah, only two years later!) and Diana Prince:Wonder Woman Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Jack Miller in his final editorship at DC. Miller had spent five years at DC as an editor, but was pushed out so that the artists could move in. In the case of Wonder Woman Mike Sekowsky would take over the running of the book.

As for Jack Miller, he would be gone from DC for two years, returning in 1971 to write three horror stories for the burgeoning horror/mystery line and in 1973 to write a single romance story. I don't know where Miller went after that but this was kind of an ignoble end for a guy who had been a DC writing mainstay for nearly 19 years.

Miller started writing for DC in 1945, doing a Congo Bill story in Action Comics #86, but became a regular DC writer in 1950 when he penned years' worth of Congo Bill stories in Action Comics and Johnny Quick stories for Adventure Comics. He also wrote a string of science-fiction stories for Strange Adventures and Mystery In Space, many of these treasures penciled by the great Gil Kane. Jack Miller was also one of the key Phantom Stranger writers in the early 1950s and also did a stint writing Roy Raymond for Detective Comics.

He wrote war stories for All-American Men of War, G.I. Combat, Star Spangled War Stories and Our Fighting Forces. He did a few issues of Blackhawk, wrote the Manhunters issue of Showcase and created Rip Hunter -- Time Master first for Showcase and then in his own book. He wrote the Aquaman reboot in Showcase #30-#33, a couple of issues of Detective Comics, Worlds Finest Comics and five issue of Aquaman. He also wrote Tommy Tomorrow for World's Finest Comics. Jack Miller wrote six of the key Deadman issues for Strange Adventures and a shit-load of Martian Manhunter stories for House Of Mystery and Prince Ra-Man stories for House of Secrets. I'm sure I am missing a bunch of stuff (Green Arrow for example), and I wish I had more to tell about the man, but I don't.

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