Midnight 25: DEADMAN #3-4 and The Spectre from ADVENTURE COMICS #434

Midnight...The Podcasting Hour returns a mere twenty-four hours after the last episode to drop this special milestone entry for All Saints Day. First, PJ Frightful tells "The Widow's Walk" from House of Mystery #179. Then Ryan Daly and Doug Zawisza wrap up the second half of the Deadman miniseries. And then, Rob Kelly joins Ryan to discuss "The Nightmare Dummies... and the Spectre" from Adventure Comics #434.

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Music produced by Neil Daly. Additional music: "People Like Us" by Matt Bomer featuring Alan Mingo, Jr.

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8 responses to “Midnight 25: DEADMAN #3-4 and The Spectre from ADVENTURE COMICS #434

  1. Max loomis
    Thanks for a very speedy second Hallowe’en return. Widow’s Walk is a classic – wasn’t it covered on Rob’s House of Mystery Treasury Edition Podcast? Complementary shows, I like it!

    I love Doug’s idea of doing those Challengers of the Unknown comics with Deadman and Swampy, but if it’s not spooky enough, I continue to push for the Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love prestige mini from a couple of years ago!

    I like the Deadman mini covers more than did you chaps, but then I’m a big fan of magenta tones… never mind Tom Ziuko (pronounced ‘zooko’, I believe), the Prince of Pink at DC was Tony Tollin, check out his long run colouring Green Lantern in the Bronze Age. Swathes of pink everywhere. Even the Phantom Zone was pink!

    – [ ] I wonder if Michael Fleisher had been smoking too many Manikin cigars when he wrote that Spectre script.

  2. Great show folks! Having shared my thoughts on Deadman earlier, I’ll instead focus on that Spectre story. Whoa! In addition to the narration you mention, Ryan, that poor hapless driver is begging them not to kill him, because he has a wife and kids. Chilling.

    Aparo was no slouch at drawing beautiful women, but with Frank Thorne involved, is it any wonder Corrigan’s girlfriend was hot? Red Sonja, anyone?

    Fun show! Glad to hear Midnight will return sooner than later…


  3. It’s strange to read the back half of a story I gave up on in High School. When I got an LCS I decided to only buy ongoing series- the Deadman mini is one of several I had no ends for- I’m glad you covered this so I could finally finish it-

    Great episodes

  4. Well, you and Doug did a great job breaking down this four-issue mini-series, but I don’t share your positive assessment. I read this story for the first time last summer, and I was sorely disappointed – not even the absolutely gorgeous art by Garcia Lopez (PBHN) could save it (in fact, I thought it was a real waste of such wonderful art).
    I just didn’t like any of the cosmic/spiritual aspects of this story, and I found the lengthy bits of exposition in the third and fourth issues a chore to read. I also *really* didn’t like the whole precipitating event, i.e., Boston ‘borrowing’ Cleveland’s body for a week and then getting him killed. You guys touched on how f-ed up that is, and for me there’s really nothing Boston did throughout the rest of the story to make up for what he causing his brother’s death – I really couldn’t put it out of my mind.
    Personally, I think Deadman works best when he’s just helping ordinary people deal with their problems, like in the stories written by Len Wein in the character’s all-too-brief run in the (similarly all-too-brief) dollar comic phase of Adventure.

    As always, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the coverage of yet another Fleischer/Aparo Spectre story. As for the (continuing) discussion of the ‘art continuity’ credit for Russell Carley, I refer to you the comment thread of this podcast’s fifth episode, in which I and then Scott X provided a full explanation…
    By the way, I don’t disagree with you that Aparo deserves recognition for being, among other things, a good girl artist, but I think that here Frank Thorne – he of Red Sonja and Ghita fame – deserves equal credit for the comely rendering of Gwen in this story.
    Oh, and mannikin (and manikin), although uncommon, are accepted alternate spellings of mannequin, and can be found in most dictionaries.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed these episodes! Wonderful to have MIDNIGHT THE PODCASTING HOUR back! … What, wait until Christmas for the next one?!?! @#$%^&*(!!!

    I’ve never read those Deadman stories, but for me personally, the end result would help me engage with the character more. The eastern philosophical elements of Deadman always bore me to tears, so concluding that chapter of his life would be in the win column for me. And Doug is always a delight! More of him, please!

    Regarding the bright pink color (like fuchsia) … Oh the mid-1980s at DC. So many books plagued with that fuchsia. Just look at the first couple issues of CRISIS and WHO’S WHO. Those were also burdened with the dreaded flexigraphic process, but the fuchsia compounded the problems.

    Fantastic Spectre issue! Absolutely gorgeous! If memory serves, most Flescher/Aparo Spectre stories dealt with evil regular humans. This is one of the few that actually had some weird mystical (possibly) elements to it. If my memory is mis-serving me, don’t bother to tell me. I like to think I’m always right. And always a joy to hear Rob discuss Jim Aparo.

    Great episodes! Keep ’em coming!

  6. I’ll comment on both episodes here. Thanks for getting an “It’s Midnight…” podcast in time for Halloween, Ryan!
    My opinion is similar to Edo’s. This series is beautiful, but very disappointing in that it re-set Deadman’s milieu. I had been a fan of Deadman since my first encounter with him, which was a small inset figure in a DC house ad. His look, and his pose, really intrigued me. Then he was in Challengers of the Unknown and I learned about his powers! Then a team-up with Phantom Stranger and a team-up with Batman! All within a year. The Deadman stories in Adventure comics, drawn by Jim Aparo and JLGL, were all gorgeous, and joyful to read as well, especially Len Wein’s stories. Then DC reprinted the legendary initial Deadman stories from Strange Adventures on good quality paper with new Neal Adams covers and no ads. Not four months after that glorious run ended, this mini series was launched. And not only does this series effectively say “all those stories never happened” it gets rid of Cleveland, Rama, and everything else that had been established. Found that very disappointing. Ah well…
    Regarding the Spectre story. Here’s my take on the “evil mannikin maker.” This is a world where there is magic. The Spectre knows this. When he encounters magic, he deals with it. He doesn’t need an explanation, he doesn’t have to ask the evil-doer “how” or “why.” He doesn’t have to know. All The Spectre needs to do is mete out justice accordingly! He doesn’t care that the poor reader might like an explanation. Villains in Specter stories are not permitted time to monologue!

  7. Great to have another Midnight podcast out so soon.

    The Deadman story is an interesting story. I love seeing Deadman as a guest star in books, but as Shag mentioned before, all of the Eastern mysticism deflects away from Boston as a protagonist, in my opinion. This story was very good though and some of the threads were picked up again in Deadman: dead Again and the Deadman 2002 series which also saw the return of Max Loomis. Both of these series were written by Steve Vance with Andy Helfer editing. JLGL also provided the covers to the Dead Again miniseries, which would be a nice series to cover some day.

    Loved the Spectre story too. These Spectre stories could have had the problem of being too samey, but Fleisher makes enough little twists to make it different. In this story for example, we do not see the Spectre transform Borosovitch, but rather see the after effects of what the Spectre’s punishment was. It will be interesting to see how the Gwendolyn subplot will pan out as well.

    Looking forward to the Christmas episode of Midnight.

  8. I’ve never read this mini, not sure why. Must rectify that next time I’m in a country that has comic discount bins.

    Unsure why my trustworthiness is in question. You’re probably thinking of Mike.

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