PETER BOSCH — the Sage of the Silver Age — takes you inside one of the wackiest features of the 1960s…
By PETER BOSCH
The Brave and the Bold #45 (Dec. 1962-Jan. 1963) — which went on sale 60 years ago on Oct. 25, 1962 — was the first of five issues featuring “Strange Sports Stories,” a gem of DC’s Silver Age.
Previous issues of B&B had been tryouts for the Justice League of America, Hawkman, Cave Carson, and the original Suicide Squad. However, “Strange Sports Stories” was different from what went before — or came after, because starting with #50, The Brave and the Bold would start its famous run as a superhero team-up comic book. That small window of five issues provided editor Julie Schwartz, writers Gardner Fox and John Broome, and artist Carmine Infantino the chance to create stories of human athletes battling Earth invaders, intelligent gorillas, time travel, science gone wrong, and invisible aliens.
All four comic legends were at the time working on DC’s sci-fi titles Mystery in Space (featuring Adam Strange) and Strange Adventures, as well as The Flash, where Infantino was at his zenith as an illustrator. The “Strange Sports Stories” issues also gave Infantino the opportunity to experiment with panel layouts, including having captions appear to the left of panels instead of above them. He drew silhouetted characters in each of the caption boxes and it truly enhanced the flow of the story. (It may have also been the first time many readers actually read the captions in comic books.)
Each issue of The Brave and the Bold #s 45 through 49 contained two stories. Below are three illustrations from each issue: the cover, an interior story page related to the cover, and the splash page of the secondary story.
The Brave and the Bold #45 (Dec. 1962-Jan. 1963)
The Brave and the Bold #46 (Feb.-Mar. 1963)
The Brave and the Bold #47 (Apr.-May 1963)
The Brave and the Bold #48 (June-July 1963)
The Brave and the Bold #49 (Aug.-Sept. 1963)
MORE From PETER BOSCH
— 13 SUPER STORIES: A JERRY SIEGEL Birthday Celebration. Click here.
— 13 SUPER STORIES: An EDMOND HAMILTON Birthday Celebration. Click here.
PETER BOSCH’s first book, American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s – From the Small Screen to the Printed Page, has just been published by TwoMorrows. He has written articles and conducted celebrity interviews for various magazines and newspapers. Peter lives in Hollywood.