8/14/14

Detective Comics #442 - Alex Toth, Walt Simonson art, Jack Kirby reprint


Detective Comics v1 #442, 1974 - When a ghostly WWI-era plane begins to shoot people, the Batman flies into action to stop the perpetrator. In this only solo Batman story, Alex Toth comes through with this tale of revenge and deception. The artist tries a variety of visual techniques, some more effective than others. In the title splash of the caped crusader, the figure drawing seems clumsy and the typography forced. That aside, most of the artwork is carefully planned and nicely executed. Not surprisingly, the best scenes showcase planes and aeronautics (see interior page below). In a separate tale, Manhunter arrives in Japan, where he confronts his martial arts teacher and mentor Asano Nitobe. Walt Simonson delivers an exceptional work, full of texture and detail. His sequencing is equallty masterful, leading up to next issue's conclusion. This story was later reprinted in Manhunter #1 and Manhunter Special Edition #1. Finally, this 100-pager also includes a Jack Kirby reprint from Star Spangled Comics #21. Other artists in this issue include Jim Aparo (cover). This is number 6 of 11 Detective Comics issues with Simonson art and/or covers.
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"Death Flies the Haunted Sky" Toth story pencils and inks 11 pages = ***
"To Duel the Master" Simonson story pencils and inks 9 pages = ****

 Walt Simonson

Alex Toth
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