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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Teen Titans #36 - Dec. 1971

Comics Weekend "The Girl of The Shadows" by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo

You find the coolest stuff buried inside old DC Comics!

While I've read a lot of classic 1960s Teen Titans comics in my time, I haven't read every single issue. I was rooting around in them, looking for some Random Panels, and buried in the back of TT #36 is this awesome little mini-adventure starring Aqualad (who had long since left the team by then), written by Steve Skeates and drawn by Jim Aparo no less!

It's only three pages, so here's the whole adventure, first panel to last:
...and that's it! AFAIK, the young blonde and her alien captor were never seen before or since. Aqualad stumbles into this adventure, it's over, and he jumps back into the sea, The End.

I absolutely love weird little bits like this, the kind of thing that mainstream superhero comics just really don't do anymore. But let's not turn another post into a harangue of modern comics; let's just enjoy this fun little diversion for what it is: the classic team of Skeates and Aparo presenting us a bonus little Aqua-Adventure!

Bonus: I asked the legendary--and Friend of the Shrine--Mr. Skeates the hows and whys of this little story, and here's what he said:

"Rob--it was indeed originally produced for the Aquaman book! Dick [Giordano, Aquaman editor] came up with the idea of doing up a bunch of one-, two-, and three-pagers that, just in case my main story worked out to be a few pages short, we could toss in as a back-up! Besides this one, the two-page Aquagirl tale entitled "The Cave of Death" which showed up in our final Aquaman outing, and the two-page text story (illoed by Sal Amendola and Dick himself) that made it into the Aquaman annual (or whatever that was) were in the batch I came up with! Murray [Boltinoff, Teen Titans editor] inherited 'The Girl of the Shadows' from Dick; it sat around in Murray's slush pile for years, whereupon in a moment of weakness he threw it into the Teen Titans book!"

Steve is being way too modest; I think "The Girl of the Shadows" is a delightful throwaway; its brevity makes it perfectly charming. I could read a whole book of these things! 


Earth 2 Chris said...

What a great set-up...and now a great mystery since we never know what happened!

I miss stuff like this too. Some really odd gems in DC books of the late 60s through the mid-80s. Like an Hourman solo story in The Spectre! Who would expect that?


Unknown said...

Stuff like this made the Teen Titans really interesting in this era. I used to love it when I'd stumble on an issue in my back-issue hunts. I don't remember if Cardy pencilled the main story, but I'm sure he at least inked it. So you've Cardy and Aparo in the same issue!

James Chatterton