Alter Ego #92

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ALTER EGO #92 (100 pages, $6.95) presents Sword-and-Sorcery in the Comics, Part 3! Behind a fantastic painted cover by Conan the Adventurer artist RAFAEL KAYANAN, we shine the spotlight on DC’s Sword of Sorcery by O’NEIL, CHAYKIN, & SIMONSON and Claw the Unconquered by MICHELINIE & CHAN—Charlton’s Hercules by GLANZMAN—Gold Key’s Dagar the Invincible by GLUT & SANTOS—plus Marvel S&S art by BUSCEMA, KAYANAN, WRIGHTSON, et al.—and JACK KATZ on his S&S classic First Kingdom (interviewed by JIM AMASH)! Plus FCA, MICHAEL T. GILBERT, BILL SCHELLY, STEVE GERBER’s fan-creations (part 3)—and more! Edited by Roy Thomas.

Text of Alter Ego #92

  • No.92March2010

    Roy Thomas BarbarousComics Fanzine








    1 82658 27763 5


  • Alter EgoTM is published 8 times a year by TwoMorrows, 10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614, USA. Phone: (919) 449-0344.Roy Thomas, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. Alter Ego Editorial Offices: 32 Bluebird Trail, St. Matthews, SC 29135, USA.Fax: (803) 826-6501; e-mail: Send subscription funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial offices.Eight-issue subscriptions: $60 US, $85 Canada, $107 elsewhere. All characters are their respective companies. All material theircreators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter Roy Thomas. Alter Ego is a TM of Roy & Dann Thomas. FCA is a TM of P.C.Hamerlinck. Printed in Canada. ISSN: 1932-6890


    This Issue Is DedicatedTo The Memory Of

    Edd Cartier &Frank Springer

    Vol. 3, No. 92 / March 2010EditorRoy Thomas

    Associate EditorsBill SchellyJim Amash

    Design & LayoutChristopher Day

    Consulting EditorJohn Morrow

    FCA EditorP.C. Hamerlinck

    Comic Crypt EditorMichael T. Gilbert

    Editorial Honor RollJerry G. Bails (founder)Ronn Foss, Biljo WhiteMike Friedrich

    Cover PaintingRafael Kayanan

    With Special Thanks to:Heidi AmashMichael AmbroseRichard ArndtDick AyersBob BaileyJean BailsTim BarnesAlbert BecattiniJohn BensonFrank BrunnerMike BurkeyGlen CadiganR. Dewey CassellMike ConroyLeonardo De SMichal DewallyJerry EdwardsMichael EuryMark EvanierMichael FinnShane FoleyMark FoyJanet GilbertSam GlanzmanDonald F. GlutWalt GroganPaul GulacyJennifer HamerlinckEric JansenJack KatzRafael KayananGene KehoeShirleen KingJim KingmanMike KuypersTristan Lapoussiere

    Jim LudwigGlenn MacKayDarrell McNeilPeter MeskinPhilip MeskinClifford MethDavid MichelinieBrian K. MorrisMark MullerTony OlivaBarry PearlJohn G. PierceDonnie PitchfordKen QuattroDave ReederTrina RobbinsGary RobinsonHerb RogoffSteven RoweAdrienne RoyDr. Peter SchilderEvan ShellyCraig ShuttJim SimonJoe SimonAnthony SnyderDesha SwayzeMarc SwayzeJeff TaylorGreg TheakstonDann ThomasAnthony TollinDr. Michael J. VassalloHames WareJohn WellsSteve Younis

    ContentsWriter/Editorial: The Shadow Of The Cimmerian . . . . . . . . . 2The Twelve Labors (And Thirteen Issues) Of Hercules . . . . . 3Charltons Conan precursorplus Richard Arndts incisive interview with artist Sam Glanzman.

    The Trials of Dagar, Prehistoric Warrior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Gold Keys 1970s swordsman against swords, examined by co-creator Don Glut.

    Fafhrd And The Gray MouserDCs Anti-Conans . . . . . . . 18Fritz Leibers Sword of Sorcery heroes at DC, put under the microscope by Richard Arndt.

    Claw The Unconquered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23John Wells surveys David Michelinie & Ernie Chans horror-handed DC hero.

    Im Trying To Prod People To Think . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37Part II of Jim Amashs incredible interview with Jack Katz, writer/artist/creator of The First Kingdom.

    Mr. Monsters Comic Crypt! Dr. Lauretta Bender:Comics Anti-Wertham Part 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Michael T. Gilbert wraps up his study of comics most vital defender of the 40s & 50s.

    HeadlineAnd Beyond! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67The Teenage Creations of Steve Gerber Part III by John G. Pierce.

    Tributes To Artists Edd Cartier & Frank Springer . . . . . . . . . 72re: [correspondence, comments, & corrections] . . . . . . . . . 75FCA [Fawcett Collectors Of America] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79P.C. Hamerlinks marvelous mixture of Marc Swayze and Captain-Marvel-inspired Superman sagas!

    On Our Cover: This pulsating portrait of the quintessential mighty-thewed sword-and-sorcery herowas painted in the 1990s by Rafael Kayanan, primary artist of Marvels series Conan theAdventurer. Our thanks to Raf for allowing us to feature it as this issues cover. Oh, and youll find abit more of RK on p. 34. [2010 Rafael Kayanan.]

    Above: Is it sword-and-sorcery? Is it science-fiction? Nope, its artist/writer Jack Katz with his ownunique and powerful brand of fantasya scene from the 20th issue of his 24-book graphic novel TheFirst Kingdom, which has a special place in the history of the medium. [2010 Jack Katz.]

  • ard to believe its really been forty years (or will be this summer,anyway) since Marvels Conan the Barbarian slashed its wayonto the nations newsstands, to become, apparently for the rest

    of my life, a major item on my rsum.

    With yours truly, the Cimmerian seems to be an every-second-decadething. From 1970 till I left Marvel in 1980, I was knee-deep in HyborianAge hyperbole and derring-do. After which, for the next ten years, Ineither wrote nor read a Conan comic (though I did get involved with thetwo Schwarzenegger films, especially the ill-starred second one). Thenonce more, for most of the 90s, I wound up scribing the Conan titlesagain, until such time as Marvel decided to let its license lapse. And so thefirst decade of the 21st century was another Conan-less one for mepersonally, although Dark Horse had brought the Cimmerian back by itsmiddle years.

    As for this second decade of the centurywell, we shall see what weshall see. Either way, I suspect Conan will squeak by... and so will I.

    Meanwhile, a couple of years back, I conceived the notion of puttingtogether a history of sword-and-sorcery in the comics, with Conan as itscenterpiece, though not its sole star, of course. When various legal Hydra-heads got in the way of doing that, it seemed simpler to turn the projectinto an ongoing series in Alter Ego, though largely limiting coverage totitles that were launched by the mid-70s (and, eventually, dealing withsome of my own post-Marvel forays into the genre).

    So here we are at the third installment of Sword-and-Sorcery in theComicsthe preceding ones having appeared in A/E #80 & #83. Thistime the spotlight is on Charltons pre-Conan the Barbarian/quasi-s&stitle Hercules, as well as Gold Keys Dagar the Invincible and DCs twomost notable post-CTB entries in the genre, Sword of Sorcery (starringFritz Leibers Fafhrd and Gray Mouser) and Claw the Unconquered.

    In addition, this issue also concludes Jim Amashs fascinating interviewwith artist Jack Katz, whose 24-issue graphic novel The First Kingdom, bycoincidence, contained elements of sword-and-sorcery as well as science-fiction and other aspects of high adventure.

    No, theres not nearly as much about Conan, or about his creatorRobert E. Howard, in this issue as there was in the series previous twoentries. Still, the spirit of both that hero and his guiding light suffuse thisissue, as well, with their gladiatorial glow.

    For they were both guys who cast a very long shadow.

    And the end is not yet.


    P.S.: Just as this issue went to press, a letter from Golden/Silver Age artistSheldon Moldoff, whose hospitalization we noted last issue, informed us thathe is home and recuperating from his illness. Welcome back, Shelly!

    The Shadow Of The Cimmerian2 writer/editorial

    Edited by ROY THOMASSUBSCRIBE NOW! Eight issues in the US: $60 Standard, $80 First Class

    (Canada: $85, Elsewhere: $107 Surface, $155 Airmail).NEW LOWER RATES FOR INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS! SAVE $4 PER ISSUE!


    [Super-heroes TM & 2010 DCComics;

    other art 2010 Carmine Infantino & Jim Amash.[

    Startling new cover by CARMINE INFANTINO (artist of Flash #123), inked by JIM AMASH!

    Justice on Two Worlds! Two Flashestwo Green Lanternstwo Atomstwo WonderWomenone Spectre& a whole lot more, analyzed and spotlighted by KURT MITCHELL& ROY THOMAS! Art & artifacts by INFANTINO FOX SCHWARTZ KANE ANDERSON BROOME DELBO ANDRU BUCKLER APARO GRANDENETTI DILLIN, et al.!

    Part I of JIM AMASHs monumental, never-before-published interview with Golden/Silver Age DC editor GEORGE KASHDANfeaturing lore & lowdown on the likes of such1940s-50s editors, writers, and artists as BINDER ELLSWORTH FINGER KANE KANIGHER LIEBOWITZ MILLER REED SCHIFF SIEGEL & SHUSTER WEISINGER,etc.! Lavishly illustrated with rare art by DC greats of 1939 and up!

    MICHAEL T. GILBERTs Comic Crypt tells The Truth about Comic Books in 1953!FCA presents MARC SWAYZE & those frantic Fawcett readers& MORE!!


    TwoMorrows 10407 Bedfordtown Drive Raleigh, NC 27614 USA 919-449-0344 FAX: 919-449-0327 E-mail:

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    The All-Star Companion, Vol. 3, Chronicled The JLA/JSA Team-UpsAnd The 70s Justice Society Series!

    Now Heres The Rest Of That Twin-Earths Saga!

    Beginning This IssueSpecial 16-PAGE COLOR SECTION!



  • ix years before Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, four years before Kull,and three years before Conan appearedat least in comic bookformwhat may well have been the first modern sword-&-sorcery

    comic debuted from Charlton Press.

    It was called Hercules.

    Certainly Charltons effort wasnt Hercules first bow in the four-colormedium. He had appeared dozens, possibly hundreds, of times inprevious comics, most notably in Fawcetts Captain Marvel titles and,only two years prior to his Charlton debut, in Marvels Thor series inJourney into Mystery. It also wasnt the first of what we might considermodern sword-&-sorcery tales to appear. Warren Publishing had d