Sunday, September 23, 2012

Number 1232: The Marvel Family gets hissed off

 I've lined up a week of stories from Fawcett, publishers of Captain Marvel, The Marvel Family, Captain Marvel Jr, and Captain Midnight, all of which I'll be showing during my usual postings through Friday.

First up, the Marvel Family “Battles the Hissing Horror.” In this instance the “horror,” the Hissmen, look more like Albert the Alligator than evil sentient reptiles from a million years ago, but that's because despite the title, the cartoony art* dispersed any real horror. The Hissmen come bent on conquest from the dinosaur era, through a time tunnel which Billy, Freddy and Mary, and their friend Dexter, discover.

It's a very entertaining story, written by Otto Binder. 

P.S. Does it look to you like Mary Marvel is taking a bloody shot to the head on the cover? No such scene appears in the comic book. In the period before Fawcett, publisher also of crime and horror comics, closed down their comic book line in 1953, horror elements were used on the covers.

From The Marvel Family #74 (1952):

*I had originally credited Kurt Schaffenberger as artist. In the comments section of this post R.A.M. '67 credits C. C. Beck,  and after another look at the story I agree with him. The GCD credits Pete Costanza with a question mark.


R.A.M.'67 said...

Fun story; thanks for posting!

Interesting how Mary, Freddy and Billy are wearing what look like white polo shirts, and then they're attacked by alien alligators! They must have freaked when alligator shirts became the fashion rage.

The artwork was done by C.C. Beck, not Schaffenberger. There's no mistaking Beck's style, as well as his distinctive lettering style that sometimes accompanied the stories he drew.

Pappy said...

R.A.M., thanks for the comments. Yes, I agree that it's not Schaffenberger (who drew many of the latter issues of Marvel Family). I'll have to correct that in my post. C.C. Beck had other artists working with him, and I don't know if the story is done wholly by him. The Grand Comics Database has Pete Costanza? as artist (the question mark means they're guessing).

-DS- said...

They used this story for an episode of the 1981 Shazam cartoon, only switching out Dexter Knox for Freckles Marvel plus the show's usual supporting cast (Uncle Dudley and Talky Tawny). They also added in Ibac as the leader of the Hiss-Men for some reason. But otherwise, same story.

The episode is called Best Seller (But it's sometimes mis-labeled as The Incredible Sinking City).