Comic Book Cats, number 172: Secret Origins #8

Comic Book Cats, number 172: Secret Origins #8, drawn by Murphy Anderson, written by Roy Thomas, lettered by David Cody Weiss and colored by Carl Gafford, published by DC Comics in November 1986.

In our previous entry we saw artwork from the second appearance of Doll Man from Feature Comics #28. This story by Roy Thomas & Murphy Anderson recounts the origin of that size-shrinking costumed hero.  When the housecat Shere Khan mistakes newly-miniaturized Darrell Dance for a mouse, the scientist is able to leap over the tabby and whirl him around by his tail. Awww, I actually feel bad for the poor kitty, although Murphy Anderson does render the scene to be much more comedic than cruel.

Murphy Anderson’s career in comic books began in 1944 working for Fiction House. Much of his career was spent at DC Comics, where he both produced full artwork and was much in-demand as an inker. Anderson designed the characters Adam Strange, the Atomic Knights and Zatanna for DC, and also drew Captain Comet, Hawkman and the Spectre.  He is frequently regarded as Curt Swan’s best inker on the Superman titles during the Bronze Age. Anderson retired from comic books in the mid 1990s. He passed away in October 2015 at the age of 89.

Anderson cited Will Eisner as one of his major influences. This was the reason Anderson took on the assignment of retelling Doll Man’s origin, as Eisner had created the character in 1939, and Anderson fondly recalled purchasing Feature Comics #28 when he was 13 years old.

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