Monday, December 22, 2014

Number 1673: No truth to Captain Truth

The truth about Captain Truth is I know nothing about Captain Truth. Beyond the obvious and what the Grand Comics Database tells me, that is. He originally appeared in a 128-page giant comic called Gold Medal Comics (1945), edited by the Bernard Baily Studio. The story may have been written by Bruce Elliott (whose name appears with a ? after it); it was drawn by Bob Fujitani.

It was reprinted in a standard 36-page comic called Great Action Comics (1958), one of those three-for-25¢ bagged comics published by IW Comics.

Another truth I don’t know is why Captain Truth wore a foppish cavalier hat, red trunks, yellow cape and buccaneer boots, and was otherwise bare. When John Severin was hired to do the cover for this comic he put more standard superhero tights on him to make him look just a bit less of an exhibitionist.

The last truth I don’t know is if this was Captain Truth’s only appearance. He may have been a one-hit wonder, twice-printed.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Number 1672: Perplexing past

Last week I showed a robot story by Otto Binder, who wrote hundreds of Captain Marvel stories. I said I thought the robot story seemed like a Captain Marvel story without Captain Marvel, lacking the kind of genial whimsy of a typical Captain Marvel story.

So, here is a genial, whimsical Captain Marvel tale, written by Otto Binder. From Captain Marvel Adventures #135 (1952).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Number 1671: Co-starring Hitler

Having posted several World War II and post-war stories featuring Adolf Hitler as villain, I believe Hitler might be the most represented world figure of the era. Even with Japan and Italy as allies of Nazi Germany, I believe that Hitler stood out as the arch-villain of the day. In Military Comics #21 (1943) there are two stories featuring him. I showed the Blackhawk entry in Pappy’s # 1635.

The Sniper is a second-string sort of hero. In his series he wandered around with his Robin Hood cap and his guns and dispatched enemies of democracy. Well, in the comics we have to suspend disbelief in order to follow the story, don’t we? The yellow cape alone would make him stand out in wartime Germany. I don’t think he could get far.

The feature appeared in Military Comics from issue #5 (1941) to #34 (1944), so he was strictly a wartime hero. This particular episode is drawn by Vernon Henkel, a comics journeyman whose work appeared from the 1930s until sometime in the 1950s when he went with a partner into educational filmstrips and industrial slides.

One of my favorite Hitler stories: Futuro takes Der Fuehrer “below”! Click on the thumbnail.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Number 1670: New masthead, old origin story

I have a new masthead, based on the cover of Exciting Comics #49 (1946), drawn by the greatest Golden Age cover artist of them all, Alex Schomburg. As you can see I have done my usual, distorting the illustration to fit over the top of the blog. Forgive me, Schomburg fans.

Black Terror was a superhero from the World War II era, who lasted during the 1940s and in this original incarnation disappeared before 1950. According to Don Markstein’s Black Terror Toonopedia entry, the Black Terror was instantly popular. I think it was the costume with the skull and crossbones. Otherwise Black Terror’s adventures during the war involving saboteurs, Nazis, Japanese and the usual suspects, were fairly typical of the era.

Black Terror’s origin, brought about by “formic ethers” is pure hokum. That is de rigueur for a superhero origin, which just has to give off some illusion of making sense. It is from Exciting Comics #9 (1941). Story attributed to Richard E. Hughes, art by D. Gabrielson.

Here is another Black Terror story. You can see it and a link to another BT story by clicking on the thumbnail.