Monday, November 21, 2011

My Greatest Adventure #73

My Greatest Adventure was a DC series that mostly featured first-person tales of derring-do. The opening tale is the cover feature, and it's a definite corker. Mitchell, the "sahib" on the cover, has tried and failed three times to climb Nanda Devi, the tallest mountain entirely in India, and the 23rd tallest in the world. When he turns back from the third attempt, he meets an aged monk:
As a young man, the monk had been entrusted with a prayer wheel that he was supposed to deliver to the lamasery. But on spotting the summit so close, he decided to try to become the first to reach it. Leaving the wheel behind, he nearly reached the peak, but was driven back by fierce weather. Lamed by frostbite, he was unable to reclimb the mountain to retrieve the prayer wheel, but he had discovered a way around the tricky ledge that had foiled Mitchell. He tells the latter the route, on the condition that the climber bring back the wheel on his descent.
They reach the summit, but Mitchell reneges on his promise and during the descent the mountain strikes back (as shown on the cover). Finally he decides to return for the prayer wheel:
Comments: A terrific story by Bob Haney and superb art by Lee Elias. Mitchell may be based loosely on Hugh Ruttledge, who indeed failed in his three attempts to summit Nanda Devi. Incidentally, the letters page includes some comments about Haney's qualifications to write this story:
The second story is about a man surveying a cavern. He discovers a pool which has a strange effect on him:
He heads back to the nearest town, where he finds himself compelled to steal a carboy of heavy water. Once again the pool works its strange magic, and he returns to town to steal some radium. This time he discovers that an alien has controlled him:
He steals the gyroscope and the alien is able to leave Earth behind. Comments: The story is nothing special, but the art is by Gene Colan. The finale is drawn by Mort Meskin. We Fought the Lost Kamikaze Battalion is a pretty standard story about some folks visiting a Pacific island and encountering some Japanese soldiers who do not accept that the war is over; I have discussed these stories before. However, this one does have a definite twist ending:
And thus:
Comments: Love that ending; it comes completely out of the blue.

One oddity to note: This title was at the time (late 1962) edited by Murray Boltinoff. I am not sure if this was the first book he officially edited but I do know that the vast majority of DC non-romance titles at the time were edited by Jack Schiff, Robert Kanigher, Mort Weissinger and Julius Schwartz.

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