Friday, July 1, 2016


Charlton Comics' Sarge Steel was originally a hardboiled private eye, (my favorite) who somehow also got involved in “spy cases” and became, by issue #6, a “Special Agent.” In the book The Fine Art of Murder, Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition) notes that Steel was the first fictional private eye to be a Vietnam veteran. The final issues of the series were titled Secret Agent (even though Gold Key Comics also published a comic of the same title, based upon the television series starring Patrick McGoohan as John Drake, Danger Man.)

The television series Danger Man (John Drake) was shown in the U.S. as Secret Agent. There was only one Danger Man novel, Target for Tonight, published by Dell Books only in the U.S. The television series is available on DVD.
There were only two Gold Key Secret Agent comic books, but a series of five paperback novels by Macfadden-Bartell Books. Those five novels were published in the UK by Consul Books, under the Danger Man title.
Sarge (short for “Sargent”) Steel has a shiny mechanical left hand. As Dick Giordano stated in the editorial page of DC Comics' L.A.W. #4 Steel was created by Pat Masulli, later written and drawn by Joe Gill and artist Giordano. Other artists would take later take over, including the team of Bill Montes and Ernie Bache (of Fightin' 5 fame.)

The only illustration I've come across from the creator of Sarge Steel, Pat Masulli. Sarge Steel #8.  
And now, on to the story:

Judomaster #92
Sharp Frank McLaughlin cover. 
"File 110 Conclusion of the...Case of the "Double Agent"
While the nation watches, Sarge Steel shoots an astronaut believed to be Lt. Comdr. Wayne Langley. Steel returns to his office in New York to discover that his secretary, Bessie Forbes, has been replaced by a beautiful woman calling herself Miss Dura, who he quickly recognizes. 
Written by Joe Gill (Doomsday +1) with art by Dick Giordano (Freemind) & Frank McLaughlin (Giant-Sized Master of Kung Fu.)

I always enjoyed the martial arts features from the various Charlton Comics. Frank McLaughlin did not disappoint with his three page "Sport of Judo," in Judomaster #92

Don't miss the letters page, with a letter (the last one on the page) from Bill Schelly, an author primarily known as a historian of cinema, comic books and comics fandom. He is also a portrait and comic book artist. Bill Schelly has been a comic book enthusiast since 1960. It was for his fanzine Sense of Wonder that Schelly became known to the comics community. Schelly visited Joe Kubert and The Kubert School as well as writing Man of Rock, a biography of Kubert.

Great trade paperback if you're any kind of Dick Giordano fan. Highly and I mean Highly Recommended!
DC Comics' The L.A.W. brought together Bob Layton & Dick Giordano on the Charlton Action Heroes.
Live Large My Friends!

Thank You! 

Here's another Giordano gem, Secret Agent Mike Manly, from Fight the Enemy #1

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