21 February 2012

Whitman's "The Space Eagle"

The Space Eagle- Operation Doomsday was one of a series of books for children of around 10 and up put out by Whitman in the 60s. Other titles included "Bonanza", two "Man From U.N.C.L.E." books, "F Troop", 
"The Green Hornet" and more (Watch this blog for future Whitman material)

 The two "Space Eagle" books were written by Jack Pearl*, supposedly based on characters created by Raymond J. Meurer. Dedications in both books by Meurer, who was a business partner , in the broadcasting industry, of Lone Ranger co-creator George Trendle. Meurer was also a lawyer involved with the Lone Ranger licensing, so he would have connections with the Whitman/Western Publishing people. It's a shot in the dark, but he probably pitched this idea to them, and they hired Pearl to do the actual writing. Almost all of the other Whitman books in this series are licensed characters.
This book was, like all the others in the series, about 200 pages in length with colorful covers.

first book came out in 1967

second published in 1970

Interior art by Arnie Kohn. 
* Jacques Bain Pearl
born Richmond Hill, NY: 12 September 1923
died Nassau County, New York: 23 October 1992


  1. Loved all the Whitman-published books, could always manage to talk my grandmother into springing for one at the local department store.

  2. yes, part of their appeal to me was that they were "real" books and sold with other real books. Do you remember the prices circa 1968? $2.29 $1.99?

    I saved all my "book begging energy" for Tom Swift Jr and Tom Corbett. managed a few Whitmans though. I'll be featuring some more soon,.
    Thanks for the comments, Ralph. Nice to know someone looks at this thing!

  3. I remember this! I think it was given to me as a gift by my aunt (either Christmas or birthday, I can't remember which). This would be in the mid-to-late seventies so my copy may have been a reprint but the cover illustration on the first edition looks awfully familiar. Now, it may have been a copy that her sons had (who are about 10 years older than me)and she passed on to me...

  4. I recall ordering both of those books through the Scholastic Book Fair in elementary school in 74 or 75. My son, 25 this year ,was talking about both of these books just the other day. When my grand-daughter is old enough to enjoy them, they will be waiting on the book shelf.

  5. This is the first I've ever heard of Whitman books being offered at a Scholastic book fair. I wonder if they were printed specially for SB? I have most of the books I ever bought at those fairs (late 60s), and they are all branded as Scholastic Books, I think.
    Thanks for the interesting tip BFilmFan.

  6. The books were still heavily moored in the Cold War mentality with evil Commies everywhere out to subvert humanity and freedom.
    In the second book, the hero actually terminates any chance humanity had to develop more starships because the Spartanium* mine was in Soviet territory.

    (*Spartanium as the platinum isotope that made trans-lightspeed engines possible)

    Hmm, just realized Clive Cussler ripped this off a decade later for RAISE THE TITANIC!

  7. Just on a whim, I decided to look up this book, as I remembered the title. Lo and behold, here I am. I still have the hardcover copy of it stored away- I got it for Christmas, around 1969. I'm now motivated to bring it out.