Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reach for Happiness! - Episode Two

Back in August I featured the inaugural episode of the long running DC romance comic serial "Reach for Happiness!" that appeared in Secret Hearts. I am happy to share with you today, episode two from Secret Hearts #111 (April 1966) illustrated by Gene Colan!

Thus far in the storyline, our leading lady, Karen has returned from Hollywood after the sudden death of her movie star husband only to be greeted by a resentful sister and a competitive redhead named Rita. If you didn't catch the first post, however; do not fear! Read that post here or catch up with the following handy, "What Came Before" page!


After Rita's confrontation with Karen, Rita herself is accosted by the man caught in the cross-hairs -- Dr. Greg Marsh. Greg lets Rita know that the way in which she broke the news to Karen about their relationship was harsh and insensitive. Rita turns the tables a bit and asks why he hasn't taken her out on the town -- could it be that he is ashamed of her? Greg denies the notion and requests that Rita call up Karen and apologize for her behavior. When Rita refuses, Greg threatens to apologize on her behalf. In turn, Rita threatens Greg with a break up, which is quickly warded off by a passionate kiss.


Karen makes her way home from the uncomfortable run-in with Rita and is greeted by sister Peggy, who already knows the scoop about Karen's visit with Greg and the confrontation with Rita.


The two get into it over their mother's death (which Peggy attributes to Karen running off to Hollywood) and Karen explains that she is just trying to forget all of her grief over their mother and the sudden end to her marriage. Peggy then starts to pour her heart out to Karen about her own lost opportunity for love. Just as Karen begins to swell up with sympathetic emotion for her usually cold sister, Peggy pushes her away.


Meanwhile, on the other side of town... Rita goes to visit her father who has an inquiring mind about her relationship with Dr. Marsh.


Rita's father asks whatever became of the seedy nightclub owner named Ray Silva she was previously engaged to, a man with whom Rita holds no apparent resentment towards, but left (leaving only a note) to pursue greener pastures with Dr. Marsh. The conversation quickly takes a turn for the worse and Rita winds up defending herself against her father's critique by playing the old "I was born on the wrong side of the tracks" card. Naturally, her father who raised her alone after her mother died, takes issue with her "woe is me" attitude and implores her to make something of herself. Ultimately, Rita's father is pleased with her decision to attempt to marry a doctor -- in his eyes, it is a step in the right direction. As Rita rides the bus home, she thinks about her father's advice to play her cards right in order to capture the handsome doctor's eternal affections and decides it is a future she can get behind 100%.


As Rita enters her building to retire after the exhausting conversation with her father, she is shocked to see her ex -- Ray Silva waiting for her in her apartment.


Shocking... I know! But you will have to wait for episode three to see what transpires!!! In the meantime, tell me readers -- are you "enjoying this continuing drama of life in Danville Corners!" thus far? I know I am!!! So juicy and scandalous! Everything a perfect serial romance should be!!!

*Scans for this post most graciously provided by Pat Curley of the always informative and entertaining blog, Silver Age Comics!

2 comments:

  1. Missed the first installment, so thanks for the link. Fascinating stuff - and I love the Colan art. The character of Rita's father is interesting, in that he's prodding her to get married to the doctor. It seems to me that usually in these types of stories, there's a conniving, gold-digging mother playing this role, so this is an interesting turnabout.

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  2. Great observation, Edo! I didn't think about the father in terms of a stereotype usually carried out by a female character. Perhaps we as readers can be expected to have more sympathy for a female character left without a mother from a young and impressionable age. We will have to see how the story plays out!

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