Friday, January 25, 2013

Reading Room: DOC SAVAGE "Television Peril"

Doc Savage, though incredibly-popular in pulps, never made it big in comics.
But it wasn't for lack of trying, as this never-reprinted tale from Shadow Comics #91 (1948) shows!
Oddly, Doc, who doesn't hesitate to utilize captured equipment (like the HellDiver submarine*) in his fight against evil, doesn't adapt this teleportation device in later stories to enable him to reach distant locales faster than otherwise possible!
The writer is unknown, but the art is by Bob Powell's art studio, which was "packaging" (providing editorial and art services) for several titles for the publisher.
Doc Savage went thru a couple of incarnations in the 1940s.
He started out as a backup in Shadow Comics for three issues before receiving his own 20-issue book featured a bare-chested version wearing a hood with a mystic jewel from Tibet that gave him various powers as needed by the scriptwriter.
After the title was cancelled, Doc returned to the back of Shadow Comics, where he was portrayed as a better-than-normal (but not superhuman) investigator battling weird threats, staying to the end of the title in 1949.

Note: there's lots of currently-available Doc Savage material (pulps, comics, movies, and even radio shows), all well-worth picking up (most of them are in my personal collection), but we're be showing only the stuff not included in those volumes!

*The HellDiver was captured by Doc in The Polar Treasure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reading Room: ONE-SHOT HEROES Rainbow

Of all the comic characters inspired by other comic characters...
...this one has to be the silliest of all!
...the next issue of...???
As it turns out, this appearance in the back of Centaur's The Arrow #3 (1941) was the Colorful Crusader's one-and-only foray into superhero action.
Face it, it's not much of a gimmick, and the costume doesn't really show a "rainbow" effect, like Holo-Man, for example...
Art by Don Heck and Joe Giella
...but the concept of a character inspired to become a superhero (albeit one without weapons or powers) from reading a comic book is rather cool.
Written by "Ed Herron" (France Edward Herron aka France Herron), who was a writer/editor at several companies, co-created the Red Skull (with Jack Kirby) and Captain Marvel, Jr. (with Mac Raboy), and was a major contributor to various Superman and Batman series of the 1950s-early 1960s.
Illustrated by Alfredo "Al" Plastino, who went on to better things as one of the two primary artists (along with Wayne Boring) for Superman in the 1940s thru early 1960s (including working with Herron again)!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Reading Room: NOT WHO YOU THINK: THE ARROW "Smashing the Protection Racket"

No, he's not the guy currently on the CW...
...since that character is based on Green Arrow, who was given that colorful name to avoid confusion with this guy, comics' first archer superhero, as detailed HERE!
Ironically, the CW superhero visually-resembles this character more than DC's Green Arrow,  whose back-story has been Smallville-ized for the tv series.
This tale was written and illustrated by Paul Gustavson, who also created another archer hero who predated Green Arrow...Quality's Alias the Spider!

And, as pointed out by reader DarkMark, this never-reprinted tale appeared in Centaur's Funny Pages V4 #1 (1940).
I had listed another appearance, also written and illustrated by Gustavson.
(This is what happens when you drink the last of the holiday eggnog and then keyboard a blog entry...)