November 19, 2012
Golden Age Greats Spotlight Special Volume 11
Charles Biro is one of the great forgotten geniuses of the early days of comic books. Writer, artist, editor and innovator; his profile cast a heavy shadow over the development of the comic book, even though his involvement in the medium ended by 1956. This important volume of the Golden Age Greats Spotlight series showcases some great representative examples of this prolific creator’s best work, as well as spotlighting a number of features he helped direct as one of the co-editors at Lev Gleason Publications. The centerpiece of this stupendous package is a complete reprint of Daredevil Comics #8, from March of 1942, including a classic adventure of the original DAREDEVIL (the costumed hero Biro is most identified with, though he did not create DD) ; written and drawn by Biro, featuring the villainous SNIFFER; a gripping episode of THIRTEEN and JINX; “Of Crippled Vengeance”, illustrated by Bernie Klein; WHIRLWIND by Dick Wood and Bernie Klein; a never-previoudsly-reprinted episode each of NIGHTRO and PAT PATRIOT; REAL AMERICAN starring The Bronze Terror, by Dick Briefer; LONDON in “Who Is The Boar”, by Jerry Robinson; and the CLAW versus The GHOST, written and drawn by Biro’s co-editor, Bob Wood. Other classics to be seen in this missive include DAREDEVIL and the LITTLE WISE GUYS; written by Biro and illustrated by Norman Maurer from Daredevil #53, (the LAST Daredevil story that actually HAD DD in it-as of DD #54, the Little Wise Guys took over his book!) ROCKY X of the ROCKETEERS in “Return of the Claw”, from Gleason’s other long-running title, Boy Illustories # 89- again written by Biro and drawn by Maurer; BOMBSHELL- the boy hero; Gleason’s masked Western star, BLACK DIAMOND in “Reliapon’s Big Race”; and Biro’s ultimate juvenile do-gooder CRIMEBUSTER in a dramatic tale from Boy Comics#4 again written and illustrated by Biro wherin CB meets arch-villain IRON JAW’s son. And no tribute to Charles Biro would be complete without a look at a few examples of his game-changing crime comics. His straightforward, documentary-style approach to the crime genre produced stories with such impact that soon after their debut, EVERY publisher on the market was rushing out crime books to try to cash in on Biro’s success, but few did. His “true crime”stories were so disturbing they lent much weight to the people who thought that comics should be censored for young readers, and had far more to do with institution of the Comics Code in the 1950’s than any horror comics ever did. Here are two Biro-scripted stories from the legendary CRIME DOES NOT PAY title: “The Rise and Fall of “Socks” Lazia, King of the Alky Rackets” (beautifully illustrated by Dan Barry) and “Who Murdered Beautiful Mtry Lawson”, drawn by Fred Guardineer. If you think that wordy, involved stories filled with high drama, voilence and character development are strictly an invention of so-called “modern” comics, buy this volume and get educated. Charles Biro was putting together these kind of comics in the 1940’s and ’50’s and doing it well. 140 pages, black & white with color covers. Standard comic book size; saddle-stitched. Released in 2012.