This one is going in the collection, stains, and all.
I could not resist when I saw Atom #7, in Good (GD 2.0) condition, for less than $15 – a dollar amount that seems to be limit for how much I am willing to spend on a single comic book. Also, I usually avoid buying anything rated less than “Very Good”; unless it is an older comic book, as in this case.
So, if Hawkgirl is not on the cover of this 56-year old comic book, what is so special about Atom #7 that I would add it to my Hawkgirl/Covergirl Collection?
The cover, drawn by the great Gil Kane and inked by the also great Murphy Anderson, depicts Hawkman and the Atom fighting off an invasion of tiny aliens. The sub-caption reads “Introducing the superpowered team of Atom and Hawkman in “Case of the Cosmic Camera!”.
It is issue number seven and it is July 1963. On 7 July 1963, I turned eight years old. I remember having this comic book – “JULY No. 7” – in my childhood comic book collection; although, I am sure that I acquired the book later on. It would have been more like 1965. In which case, it would have been used and it would have cost me a nickel and not the cover price of 12c. That means this second issue cost me 100X the original cover price.
I saw an Atom #7 rated CGC 9.0 – that’s near mint – going for $330. When rated CGC, that means the book is encased in plastic. That’s no fun!
Atom #7 (July 1963) GD 2.0 $11.50
But where is Hawkgirl? Hawkgirl does not appear in this issue; however, she does appear in her secret identity as Shiera Hall. Earlier in the story we see Shiera speaking with her husband by way of a radio transmission. The explanation for her absence from the story is that she is busy conducting experiments aboard the couple’s Thanagarian Star cruiser.
After Hawkman and the Atom had their adventure, we see Ray “Atom” Palmer and his girlfriend, Jean Loring out for an afternoon of birdwatching in the park. Carter “Hawkman” Hall and his wife, Shiera “Hawkgirl” Hall introduced themselves to the couple and asked if they may join them on their stroll in the park. In the final panel, Ray, speaking of he and Carter, says to Jean: “I have got a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot of each other in the days to come.”
At that time, neither man knew the other man’s secret identity.
This hints of one of the classic team ups in DC Comics history. The comic book series The Atom, drawn by Gil Kane, begin publishing in July 1962, with the Hawkman series, drawn by Murphy Anderson, beginning two years later in May ’64. In November 1968, the two titles combined and the first issue of The Atom and Hawkman begin with #39 following The Atom #38. The Hawkman series ended after twenty-seven issues.
The Atom and Hawkman lasted for seven issues, ending with #45 November 1969. Forty years later, there was a The Atom and Hawkman #46 published in 2010 as part of the Blackest Night miniseries
The store where I buy most of my comics defines the Good rating as such:
“A GD copy has major defects but is still complete and readable. A GD copy will have a significant amount of damage, usually an accumulation of smaller defects punctuated with some major defects. Acceptable defects on a GD copy include: A vertical book-length crease, 1.5″-2″ spine split, cover or centerfold completely detached, major tears, heavy discoloration/brittleness due to oxidation, heavy amounts of staining, residue, and water damage.”
From the Solicitation: Cover pencils by Gil Kane, inks by Murphy Anderson. 1st Atom and Hawkman team-up (1st appearance of Hawkman since Brave and the Bold tryouts) in “The Case of the Cosmic Camera!”, script by Gardner Fox, pencils by Gil Kane, inks by Murphy Anderson; When the Earth is plagued by a series of strange tremors that also effects the migratory patterns of birds, it gains the attention of Ray Palmer and Jean Loring (both avid bird watchers) and Hawkman who is alone following Hawkgirl briefly going to Thanagar to report on their progress on Earth; As Ray stops some crooks who use helium balloons as getaway methods as the Atom, Hawkman determines that the cause of all the trouble is caused by radiation which has been given off by a weapon known by Thanagarian science as a Cosmitron device. 36 pgs., full color. $0.12. Cover price $0.12.