Sunday, October 22, 2023

Dominic Fortune in “Moo over Manhattan” in Hulk! 23 Oct 1980

 Story Denny O’Neil Art Howard Chaykin

Dominic and Sabbath have stuck around New York and Dom has managed to get a celebrity endorsement for Ferdley’s Milk.  “Sure is yummy kids! I have it before all my adventures.”  Fortune tells us.

And his first job is to meet Hollywood star Chisholm Smith, who he knew in the old neighbourhood as Herkie Slivowitz.  Smith gets attacked and Dom steps in to help. 

Only we discover that Smith is a Nazi sympathiser and working with Baron Strucker to assassinate the guest of honour Senator Foster at the premiere of Smith’s new movie (who becomes Senator Fulton when we meet him – oopsie editors) 

Dominic’s agent Acey Dugan shows Fortune proof that Smith is a Nazi and the pair begin to fight as Sabbath realises that the Senator who is visiting the men’s room is in danger.  Dom knocks out Smith and rescues the Senator.  Great publicity for Ferdley’s milk.

Another cracker of a story, with a nice touch of connection to the Marvel universe proper with the appearance of Baron Strucker, who doesn’t do much but it was a nice touch.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Dominic Fortune in “Ghoul of my Dreams” in Hulk! 22 August 1980

 Story Denny O’Neil Art Howard Chaykin

Dom is out gambling and for once has decided to quit when he was ahead.  Of course, it would be that moment that the police have forgotten about their protection payoffs and raid the place.

Luckily for Dom, the Commissioner needs a Brigand for Hire.  It appears that he’s sweet on Zelda Pinkley who is running around with Louie Kelt a gangster.  Luckily Sabbath knows Zelda from school and manages an invitation. 

Dom asks around and Kelt is a bad man selling blood to the Spanish Civil War and is rumoured to be a Zombie.  Sabbath rings Dom and tells him that Kelt’s men are zombies and Zelda is getting married to Kelt tonight.

Naturally, Dom tries to stop the wedding and discovers that garlic, holy water and crosses don’t work on zombies but a solid right hook does.  He manages to stop the zombie gangsters and rescue Zelda – who is disappointed that she will have to cancel her honeymoon.

Again the art is awesome and the fights are great.  I like the idea that Dom confuses zombies and vampires.  The idea is similar to The Scorpion #2 but plays it completely different.  And shows that Dom is his own character with original adventures and not retooled Scorpion adventures.

The Marvel Premiere story was published after this.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Dominic Fortune in “All in Color for a Crime” in Hulk! 21 Jun 1980


Story Denny O’Neil Art Howard Chaykin

Before the Marvel Premiere issue, Dom got his first colour adventure in Hulk 21.  As a magazine the stories could be more mature and free of the Comics Code.  Tying into the Hulk TV show at the time, this is the first of five adventures.  Issues 21 & 22 appeared before Marvel Premiere #56.

The story starts in 1937 and Dom and Sabbath are heading to New York as Dom has discovered that there is a comic book character The Purple Slasher that looks a lot like Dom.  While Superman didn’t make print until 1938, masked and costumed characters had been appearing in pulps, comic strips and comic books before that.

Chaykin certainly knows his comics history and this comes into play here and in his later series “Hey Kids Comics”.

Dom and Sabbath visit the old neighbourhood and discovers that the artist has been missing for the last few weeks.  It turns out that the Nazis have taken over the comic shop and using the Purple Slasher to spread propaganda (naturally use the Jewish creators to create Nazi propaganda).

We get several fight scenes as the Nazis try to stop Dominic from freeing the cartoonists.  There is a lovely fight scene over black and white panels of the Purple Slasher with Fortune in painted colour mirroring his fictional counterpart.  The painted colours are lovely and are still vivid for a book that is over 40 years old.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Marvel Premiere #56: Dominic Fortune “The Big Top Barter Resolution”


 written by David Micheline (from plot by Len Wein and Chaykin) and art by Howard Chaykin. October 1980.

Our first full length adventure and the first story to tie into the Marvel Universe proper.

The story opens with Timothy “Dum Dum” Dugan getting into a brawl aboard the Mississippi Queen.  Dum Dum first appeared back in 1963 in Sgt Fury and the Howling Commandos #1 and this story takes place before that adventure.

Dum Dum owns a circus that some mobsters want to buy, the mobsters were giving him grief and so Dum Dum naturally taunts them by staking the circus.  And if you guessed he lost it to the house, you’d be right.

Sabbath now owns the circus and is happy to sell to the mobster’s boss, Spencer Keene, to recoup her money. That is until he calls her a tender morsel and the deal is off.

The circus starts giving shows to pay back the money but there are several acts of sabotage that only Dom’s quick thinking and action stops. But the mentalist, Cephallo’s trailer is stolen.  Turns out Keene only wanted the mentalist to open a safe without touching it.  Cephallo isn’t in the trailer but his assistant Glory is.  Glory is the real mentalist and is able to open the safe but Dom and Dum Dum burst in to rescue her, causing the safe to explode. 

The subsequent fight and airshow attract a crowd. Glory gets a movie deal, Sabbath returns the circus to Dum Dum, and Dom and Sabbath ride off into the sunset on an elephant.

This is a good story, it works even if you don’t know who Dum Dum Dugan is but it places the action into the larger Marvel patchwork.