Monday, January 17, 2011
Lars of Mars
Day two of Superzeroes Week:
Giving a Martian a Scandanavian name made sense to Jerry Siegel when he created this character for Ziff-Davis in 1951. It doesn't make much sense to me except it gives this comic a memorable title. It has art by Murphy Anderson and a somewhat creative premise: Martian comes to earth after explosion of hydrogen bomb and is ordered to stay on Earth to "wipe out evil", becomes a television actor, ends up playing a character on TV based on himself. But he also does super deeds as his true Martian self. Whew. It's like Clark Kent playing Superman on television when he's actually the real deal! Zowie!
But for whatever reason--and I suspect it's because underneath that premise are some uninspired stories--Lars Of Mars went only two issues, numbered #10 and #11. (It sounds like the old ploy of starting a title with a high number to fool the retailers into thinking it has a track record. Did that ever actually work?)
A very few (about four) years later DC Comics came out with Manhunter From Mars, and that's probably the feature Lars most reminds me of. DC got a lot more miles out of their character than Siegel or Ziff-Davis did out of theirs.
Here are the first two Lars of Mars stories: