Saturday, January 31, 2009

Episode #58: A Julie Schwartz Tribute!

Julius Schwartz passed away on February 8, 2004, at the age of 88, because of complications from pneumonia. If you have the chance, read his autobiography, Man Of Two Worlds: My Life In Science Fiction And Comics, written with Brian M. Thomsen.

During the summer of 2004, DC payed tribute to its departed editor emeritus by publishing a series of eight #1 comic books, all with the title DC Comics Presents and a special logo with the words A Julie Schwartz Tribute. Each title was one that Julie had edited at some point in his career. The covers were all recreations of iconic silver age covers by current artists. The interior stories were done by crative teams who had worked with Julie or were inspired by him. On the inside front or back covers would be a reproduction of the original cover and credits to the original and recreated covers. Julie himself would appear either on the cover, in a cameo or be a character in the story of these tribute issues. All of these issues contained two stories done by different creative teams. The first four were cover dated September 2004 and carried an afterword tribute written by Harlan Ellison, science fiction writer and close friend of Julie. The last four were cover dated October 2004 and contained a tribute written by Alan Moore.

The tribute issues cover dated September 2004 were the following:

Batman #1 was published on July 8, 2004. Joan Hilty edited this issue, and Harvey Richards was the assistant editor. Adam Hughes recreated the cover of Batman #183, originally created by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella. The cover depicted Robin taking a call from Commissioner Gordon's Hot-Line requiring Batman and Robin to respond to some emergency. Batman refuses to budge from his seat, where he is watching his own TV show. The first story was Batman Of Two Worlds, written by Geoff Johns, pencilled by Carmine Infantino, inked by Joe Giella, lettered by Kurt hathaway and colored by Snocone. Julie has a cameo as the director of an episode of the Batman TV show. Batman and Robin investigate the murder of the actor playing Robin.
The Ratings War was written by Len Wein, art by Andy Kuhn, lettered by Kurt Hathaway and colored by Bill Crabtree. Batman and Robin find themselves being secretly filmed for a reality show, no matter where in Gotham they fight crime.

Mystery In Space #1 appeared on newsstands on July 14, 2004. Alex Ross recreated the original cover of Mystery In Space #82, originally created by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, showing Adam Strange agonize over which peril he should try to stop - the one on Earth or on Rann. This issue was edited by Peter J. Tomasi and Stephen Wacker was the assistant editor. Crisis On 2 Worlds was written by Elliot S! Maggin, art by J. H. Williams III, colors by Joes Villarrubia and letters by Todd Klein. Adam Strange and Alanna team with Ralph and Sue Dibney against simultaneous threats to Earth and Rann.
Two Worlds was written by Grant Morrison, pencilled by Jerry Ordway, inked by Mark McKenna, colors by SnoCone and letters by Rob Leigh. Adam Strange stops an alien attack on Rann, and then attempts to stop an invasion of Rann from Earth.

Green Lantern #1 was published on July 21, 2004. Brian Bolland recreated the original Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson cover of Green Lantern #31, showing Hal Jordan selling fully funtional Green Lantern rings on the sidewalk. Bolland's recreation was the first tribute cover showing Julie, who is flying away after buying his own Green Lantern ring. Bob Schreck ws the editor and Micheal Wright was the assistant editor. Penny For Your Thoughts - Dollar For Your Destiny was written by Brian Azarello, pencilled by Norm Breyfogle, inked by Sal Buscema, colored by Tony Avina and lettered by Rob Leigh. In the story we find out what would force Green Lantern to sell GL rings on the sidewalk.
Feel Something ws written by Martin Pasko, pencilled by Scott McDaniel, inked by Andy Ownds, lettered by Pat Brosseau and colored by Tony Avina. In this story, Green Lantern and Green Arrow team up to stop a scam artist selling fake Green Lantern rings, made by someone exploiting child labor. The fight brings back some unpleasant memories for Green Lantern.

Hawkman #1 appeared on July 28, 2004. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez recreated the original Murphy Anderson cover of Hawkman #6, showing Hawkman fighting a winged gorilla. The issue was edited by Joey Cavalieri, and the assistant editor Harvey Richards. Visitor's Day was written by Cary Bates, pencilled by John Byrne, inked by Lary Stucker, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, and colored and color separated by Mike Atiyeh. Two most unusual fans have a special request to make of Julius Schwartz at his DC office, involving Hawkman and his winded ape opponent.
Love In The Air, written by Kurt Busiek, pencilled by Walt Simonson, inked by Bob Wiacek, lettered by John Workman and colored and separated by Mike Atiyeh. Katar Hol recounts how he fell in love with Shayera.

The Julie Schwartz tribute issues cover dated October 2004 were:

Superman #1 was published on August 4, 2004. Adam Hughes recreated the original Nick Cardy cover of Superman #264, showing an invisible man in a football uniform knocking down Superman. In the first story, The Phantom Quarterback, written by Stan Lee, drawn by Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, A lonely professor goes to extremes for love at a charity football game refereed by Superman. This story was edited by long time Supoerman editor and present DC Executive Editor Mike Carlin.
Secret Of The Phantom Quarterback was written by Paul Levitz and pencilled by Keith Giffen, both were co-plotters. Al Milgrom did the inks, Ken Lopez the letters and Lovern Kirdzierski did the colors. This story was edited by Vertigo editor Karen Berger. In this story, Steve Lombard goes to extremes to recapture his lost glory as the star quarterback of the Metropolis football team, near the end of his career.

Flash #1 appeared on August 11, 2004. Alex Ross recreated the original Carmine Infantino and Joe Giela cover of Flash #163, showing Flash on the cover and the famous word balloon, STOP! Don't pass up this issue! My LIFE depends on it! Alex Ross, who famously uses friends as models to the DC characters he draws, supposedly uses himself as a model for Flash. The Fastest Man - Dead, edied by Eddie Barganza with assistant editor Tom Palmer, Jr., was written by Heph Loeb, pencilled by Ed McGuiness, inked by Dexter Vines, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Richard Starkings. Someone attempts assassinating Barry Allen, and the aforementioned Flash cover plays a key role in recovering an important piece of evidence.
Mike Carlin edited the next story, Flash Back, was written by Dennis O'Neil, pencilled by Doug Mahnke, inked by Mark Farmer, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher and colored by David Baron. A younger Julie Schwartz, with a fuller head of hair, creates a plan to save Flash from fading out of existence.

The Atom #1 was published on August 18, 2004. Brian Bolland crecreated the original Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson cover showing someone throwing a grenade off the top of a building. The Atom is manacled to the grenade. On Bolland's recreation, it is Julie Schwartz throwing the grenade. The editor on this issue was Eddie Barganza, and Tom Palmer, Jr. was the assistant editor. Ride A Deadly Grenade was written by Dave Gibbons, art by Pat Oliffe and Livesay, colors by Tom McGraw and letters by Jared K. Fletcher. Gardner Fox and Julie Schwartz use a real grenade to return Atom to his own time.
The second story, also titled Ride A Deadly Grenade, was written by Mark Waid, pencilled by Dan Jurgens, inked by Jon Bogdanove, colored by Tom Smith, lettered by Rob Leigh. In this version of the story ATom saves Julie Schwartz from a villainous plot.

Justice League Of America #1 was published on August 25, 2004. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez recreated the original Mike Sekowski and Murphy Anderson cover to JLA #53, showing the JLA being attacked by their own weapons. Matt Idelson was the editor on this issue, and Nachie Castro was the assistant editor. Secret Behind the Stolen Super Weapons was written by Harlan Ellsion, adapeted by Peter David, with art by Joe Giella, colors by Steve Buccallato and letters by Rob Leigh. Julie Schwartz gets some help from some special friends during a family emergency.
In Mayhem of the Mystery Marauders, written by Marv Wolfman, pencilled by Dustin Nguyen, inked by Richard Friend, colors by Jeromy Cox, letters by Pat Brosseay. A young JLA are attacked by a mysterious group using their own weapons, but for what reason?

As far as I could find out, there were no collections of these tribute issues. If you are interested in reading these issues, try on line vendors or the back issue bins of your comic book store.

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Superman and all related characters are copyright DC Comics.

Thanks for listening to Superman Fan Podcast, and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

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