We’re nearing the end of this memory excursion to the summer of 1967, fifty years ago, and my own personal “Golden Age”, when the livin’ was easy, the Orange Crush was plentiful and the comics were all new to me! We’ve reached the beginning of August…

ACTION COMICS #354 — Newsstand distribution being scattershot at best back in the day, it was the usual way of things to get the new comics here in Pittsburgh at least two weeks AFTER their listed on sale date, so even though these three titles were supposedly late month books, I generally got them as early books for the next month. It’s not as confusing as it sounds. I could deal. Anyway, I always thought the drawing of Superman on this cover was one of the most powerful images of The Man Of Steel I’d ever seen! Captain Incredible was silly cool looking. He wore the kind of costume we kids would make… in fact, I believe I did just that — and wearing woolies in August was no picnic, let me tell you! This issue also contained part two of a Supergirl story where she was battling disembodied alien brains in plastic tubes. I love me some disembodied brains!

ADVENTURE COMICS #360 — Part two of the classic “Outlaw Legion” saga. It’s amazing when you think about how many soon to be “classics” were published in the summer of 1967. Over at Marvel, The Fantastic Four was in the midst of one of Stan and Jack’s most creatively prolific periods on the book… must’ve been something in the water in New York that year. My dad, in a teasing moment, looked at Mon-El on this cover and remarked “Oh, isn’t HE sweet! Pink pants and baby blue shoes!” This angered nine year old me greatly… not so much for Dad’s taunts (I’d long since grown used to them… funny guy, my Dad) but, CLEARLY, his pants were RED and NOT pink!

DETECTIVE COMICS #367 — This was the first comic that I had to buy a multiple of on purpose! My brother or sister, I can’t remember which, actually cut out the puzzle pieces of the villain and pasted them together, RUINING the cover! This issue featured Part Two of ANOTHER soon-to-be classic, in the “grand old tradition”. The main story was so compelling to me that when I finished it, I put away the book with a sigh of satisfaction. A few weeks later, I was reading the Direct Currents column of books on sale and the write-up for this issue had a blurb “a new Elongated Man tale, too!”… I was shocked! In my bliss over the lead story, I had completely forgotten to read the Elongated Man story! So, I dutifully dug out my second (not cut up) copy and quickly rectified the situation with “Enigma Of The Elongated Evil Doer” (alliteration, thy name is Gardner Fox).

JIMMY OLSEN #106 — Back in the day, we had a small wooded area across the street from where we lived and, in addition to playing Robin Hood and Hide ‘N Seek in the tall weeds and other such woodland activities, we boys built tree shacks. During one of these construction periods, I stepped on a board with a rusty nail and had to get a tetanus shot. My foot was sore to walk on the next day but I simply HAD to get to the drug store for my weekly comic book fix, so, with the aid of two of my friends, I hobbled to the store, hopping on my one good foot most of the way! This was one of two books I picked up that day. The lead story was cool because it guest-starred the Legion Of Super Heroes. The cover story was excellent, mostly because of the Curt Swan artwork (which I liked much better than the regular Jimmy artist at that time, Pete Costanza).

BRAVE AND THE BOLD #74 — This was the second book I picked up in my infirmity. I was only vaguely aware of The Metal Men but I liked the various designs of the Andru & Esposito drawn robots in this story of an “International Robot Exposition” in Gotham City that erupts into a crime wave. Another cool touch was a sequence of panels after Batman is knocked out that shows him coming to from his perspective inside the Bat cowl! Plus, the cover scene was re-enacted almost exactly inside… always a cool touch in my book! Once again, the marketing geniuses at DC had done their job, because I found the Metal Men to be really cool and planned to try out their own book next time one came out!

SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #4 — I remember seeing this one on the stands and I don’t know if it was the coloring or what but The Human Torch seemed almost 3-D on this cover, leaping out at the reader! Spidey goes Hollywood in this annual. Goofy fun in the Mighty Marvel manner!

The end of my nail story? Turns out hopping on one foot for nearly a quarter mile is way harder than simply walking on the sore foot and sucking up the pain so, I did. I was a veritable Hercules that day! And guess what? The more I walked on my foot, the less it hurt. Mom was right, I DID “get better by the time I got married”. Such a Mom thing to say!

We’re nearing the end of summer… next time, the cataclysmic conclusion!