From the mid-1960s all the way through the earliest days of the 1980s, Warren Publications provided a bit of an alternative to the mainstream comic book marketplace dominated by Marvel and DC (as well as Archie and Harvey and Gold Key, etc.) Warren’s particular forte was in doing horror magazines, very much influenced, at least initially, but the EC Comics of the 1950s. By releasing his publications as black and white magazines, Warren avoided any oversight by the Comics Code and opened up an entirely new market–one that Marvel and DC and others would try to carve out a place in, but would ultimately be vexed by. Warren had its ups and downs, but it produced a number of memorable stories and gave an outlet to a wide variety of talents in the field, both guys just breaking in and established veterans who could stretch their legs in different ways through the limitations of black and white publishing.
One thing Warren really didn’t do, by and large, was super hero material . Despite the fact that there was clearly an audience for such characters, Warren stayed well aware of it. About the closest he ever came on a regular basis was when he contracted to reprint Will Eisner’s THE SPIRIT as a Warren Magazine. That title was only marginally successful, but it did introduce an entire new generation to Eisner’s work. But that didn’t mean that Warren and his contributors were above occasionally casting some shade and/or doing their own idiosyncratic take on a super hero story–as in this tale from EERIE #32.
The story, by writer Steve Skeates (who had worked for Marvel, DC and Tower on super hero titles at one point or another) and illustrated by Tom Sutton (who likewise did work for Marvel, mainly on the monster books) was a bit of a play on a Batman-style crime-fighter, Crime Crusher. And the punchline is easy to see coming–and something that Harvey Kurtzman did decades earlier in the pages of MAD. That said, it’s still an entertaining piece well-crafted.
That third panel seems to be a savagely pointed parody of the philosophy expressed by Steve Ditko through the mouthpiece of many of his characters, notably Mr. A.