Friday, November 30, 2012

Number 1272: Face the Face

This is the fourth and final posting of our early superheroes week. I enjoy these theme weeks and will do another one soon.

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.


Daniel [] said...

In multiple ways, the Face reminds me of later characters created by Steve Ditko.

Pappy said...

You're right, Daniel. Ditko actually did a revival of the Face in 1986 for a comic called What is...the Face for publisher Ron Frantz.

It's part of a longer piece about Ditko's more obscure comics here.

SUNDOG said...

Well, that makes sense, now. And I agree with Daniel. As I see it, both Mr.A and The Question seem related to the Face. But, overall, Ditko seems to have preferred anonymity to horror - a mask that is a faceless face, instead of one that is scary ugly. (His studio-mate may have had an influence on him, there.)

HemlockMan said...

Huh. I was going to mention the similarities of THE FACE to any number of Ditko characters. It's pretty obvious.

I did not know Ditko had rendered a revival of the title, but it's obviously a natural for him.