Friday, November 30, 2012
Like Batman, Mart Bailey's “Face” was introduced to readers of Big Shot Comics #1 (1940) without a proper origin story. He just appeared already in action as a do-gooder, in this case going after a grafting politician. Of all the things a criminal can do, this one fed poisoned turkey to orphan children!
The Face appeared in Big Shot through issue #62 with his fright mask, then went back to his civilian identity as Tony Trent through the end of the Big Shot run, issue #104 in 1949. He even had a couple of solo issues of The Face and two of Tony Trent. Early on his success might've been a surprise for the publisher, because the feature's name doesn't appear on the cover of the first issue.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Despite inclusion in our theme week, the Eye doesn't really count as a costumed hero, although he could be said to be super. That is, if working miracles is a super power. So what was the Eye? No one knew, because he was never explained. I assume, as do some other comic historians, that the Eye was some sort of comic book version of God. He appeared for a year, until Keen Detective ceased publishing. He appeared in two issues of his own comic, then went wherever old comic book characters, including comic book gods, go.
Thomas did features like “The Owl” and “Billy and Bonny Bee.” He was a talented cartoonist and writer. I've featured him before, the post before this being this past February: Pappy's #1105.
Tomorrow, the Face.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Compared to yesterday's posting with its elegant and excellent Joe Doolin art, we have today a tale told with artwork that is mostly amateurish. The Grand Comics Database doesn't know who did the artwork, nor do I. The character is another in a whole platoon of red, white and blue patriotic costumed heroes. He's also close to one of the most famous patriotic heroes of all, as the index at the GCD notes:
“There are noticable themes here - the patriotism, the Army private who is secretly a superhero, the kid sidekick, the chemistry-related origin, the murder attempts on Army generals — that parallel Captain America.”Not only did Lone Warrior have a kid sidekick like Captain America's Bucky, the kid's name is Dicky. As I've mentioned before, originality was not a big priority in comic books. An editor or publisher of Banner Comics probably hollered out, “Give me someone exactly like Captain America — only different!” No publisher could have failed to notice the sales figures for that character. Unlike Captain America, though, who is still kicking ass after 71 years, Lone Warrior lasted a scant four issues. Perhaps Martin Goodman, who published Captain America Comics, noticed Lone Warrior, which is why Lone Warrior had such a short career.
From Banner Comics #3, 1941:
Sunday, November 25, 2012
There is truth in that, and I'm a good example.
First up in our theme week is Rangers of Freedom #2, a Fiction House comic from 1941. A couple of months ago in Pappy's #1248 I showed you the lead story from issue #1, which told us that a group of young boys were chosen to lead the fight against America's enemies. Now doesn't that sound like a twelve-year-old's fantasy? The Rangers of Freedom didn't last long, only seven issues. The lead feature was dumped and the comic became just Rangers Comics. Yes, the story is silly. Something that isn't silly is the beautiful artwork by Joe Doolin, another fantastic Fiction House artist.
Come back tomorrow for our second entry, a Captain America copycat, Lone Warrior.
Friday, November 23, 2012
The story I'm showing today was the lead in that last issue, with the title “The Expander Device” lettered into the splash panel. My post today is from Plastic Man #24 (1950), the story's first of three appearances (the other issue it was reprinted in was #44.) Plastic Man is one of my first true loves from Golden Age comics. In my early years as a collector I bought, traded and