Monday, April 23, 2012
Number 1145: The Astonishing Marvel Boy
Marvel Boy—this incarnation, anyway (there had been two before him, both short-lived)—was born in Marvel Boy #1 (1950), written by Stan Lee and drawn by Russ Heath. If you're interested at all in the character you can read more about him at Don Markstein's Toonopedia website. After two issues the title of the comic was changed to Astonishing, which later became one of Atlas Comics' horror/science fiction titles, and a few issues later Marvel Boy was gone. Super heroes of the early '50s just didn't have the staying power they needed to keep themselves in business.
This story, which is the lead to Astonishing #3, is astonishing in that it's not only religiously intolerant, it's religiously ignorant. It's not going to help relationships with Muslims, that's for sure. The religion in the story is described as a cult, which invokes the names of Allah and Mohammed, so figure out for yourself where it's coming from.
A good thing is it's drawn by Bill Everett, who did his usual wonderful job. He also did the cover.