Monday, June 11, 2012
Number 1173: Rex Dexter of Mars
Dick Briefer is mostly known by Golden Age comics fans as the creator of the funny Frankenstein of the 1940s, which became the serious Frankenstein of the early ’50s. Briefer’s career goes back to the earliest days of comic books. He left the field about the time the Comics Code came in, in the mid-’50s.
Briefer created Rex Dexter of Mars for Victor Fox. Rex was the child of a scientist and his wife. They built a rocket ship for the 1939 World’s Fair, and ended up crash-landing on Mars. Years later Rex came back to Earth and with the American military fought off a mad scientist holed up in Europe. (I'm getting my information from the Public Domain Superheroes website.) There were only so many genres comic books explored in those early days, and just about every anthology title had a space hero.
Rex was shacked up—or more properly “rocketed up,” since they lived in Rex’s spaceship—with Earth girl Cynde, whom Rex rescued in his first appearance in Mystery Men #1 in 1939. Rex lasted through Mystery Men #24, in addition to an issue of his own comic.
This story is from halfway through the Mystery Men run, #12 (1940):
Still available, Dick Briefer's Frankenstein, the deluxe hardcover from Craig Yoe, printed in color, and The Monster Of Frankenstein, a trade paperback reprinting all of the "serious" Frankenstein stories Briefer did, reproduced in black and white.